When I visit cities, big or small, my favorite thing to do is find a view from above, whether it be rooftop, mountain or sky. The view over Rome at sunset from Villa Borghese Park is still one of my all-time most memorable views.
SEE ALSO: 3 Sunsets I’ll Never Forget
London has no shortage of lookout points, the most well known being the London Eye. However, I think the best place to see London from above though is from the top of historic St. Paul’s Cathedral.
If you are a photographer St. Paul’s is optimal because it gives you an open air 360-degree view over the city. Many of the other sky views are obstructed by glass and when it rains it makes it more difficult to get a clear photo and view. It is also a little bit less crowded because you have to climb to the top of the dome via the 528 steps. I always feel like views you have to work for are more rewarding.
An individual adult ticket is £18 and there is no reservation needed (they are closed on Sundays for services). There is also a discount if you buy your tickets ahead of time online.
This is the most difficult view over London to reach. There is no elevator so you must take the stairs all the way to the top. There are three levels, one for the interior dome that looks down over the interior of the cathedral, one for the lower and wider balcony looking over the city and the third for the very top of the steeple. I will say I have a slight fear of heights so the last set of stairs were not my favorite but it was definitely worth overcoming for the view.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Churchyard
London EC4M 8AD
For more information visit: https://www.stpauls.co.uk/
SEE ALSO: My Favorite Rooftop in Italy
ALTERNATIVE VIEWS FROM ABOVE
If you choose not to go to St. Paul’s I do recommend that seeing London from above is a can’t-miss item on your itinerary. There are amazing views all over the city. Also, if you visit more than one landmark I recommend going at different times of day (daytime, sunset, night).
Sky Garden (Free with reservation) – https://skygarden.london/
London Eye – https://www.londoneye.com/
The Shard – https://www.theviewfromtheshard.com/
The Monument – http://www.themonument.info/
Tower Bridge (there is a joint Monument/Tower Bridge ticket discount) – http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/
Helicopter (Splurge) – https://www.thelondonhelicopter.com/
Tate Modern – http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern/viewing-level