It’s officially outdoor drinking season, which means one thing – time to hit the rooftop bars and patios.
While there are plenty to choose from in the capital, if you want to beat the crowds – and the steep price tags – it can be hard to know where to go.
Based on the opinions of Business Insider’s London locals, we’ve rounded up the best rooftop bars in the city, ranked by the price of the most affordable cocktail.
Scroll down for the full list, ranked from cheapest to most splurge-worthy – and featuring some stunning views.
Pergola, Paddington — £5.50.
“Pergola’s rooftop isn’t that glamourous, but it has a great selection of food and drink, with the likes of Patty and Bun burgers as one of the highlights. Their Peroni Spritz, a mix of Aperol, beer, grapefruit juice and prosecco, sounds like the sort of thing you’d throw together at a house party at 3 a.m., but is utterly delicious and a perfect summer drink.” – Will Martin, Finance Reporter.
Prince of Wales, Brixton — £6.50.
This busy two-level outdoor roof terrace is also a music venue – perfect for a night out with friends.
Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch — £7.
“Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch changes theme twice a year – currently operating under a shisha-infused ‘Morrocan Medina’ experience. For when evenings turn into nights, the ground and basement floors also operate as a nightclub.” – Tom Murray, Associate Social Media Editor
Magic Roundabout, Old Street — £7.
Dina Spector, Managing Editor at BI UK, is a fan of this “really big space in the heart of Old Street.”
Dalston Roof Park, Dalston — £7.50.
This rooftop venue with music, food, and drinks is home to regular events – and a favourite among locals.
The Castle, Angel — £7.50.
Less known to tourists – or even most Londoners – this chilled rooftop sits above The Castle pub in Angel.
Vivo, Angel — £7.90.
‘This is one of the best under-the-radar rooftops in the city. It’s right about Vivo Italian restaurant on Upper Street, and few people know it’s there – and it has some great shady spots, too.” – Ali Millington, Senior Editor
Big Chill, King’s Cross — £8.
“This is such a great spot for brunch in the sunshine – ideally with a mimosa in hand – while a DJ contributes to a beach party vibe.” – Ali Millington, Senior Editor
Skylight, Tobacco Dock — £8.
“Delicious food, decent cocktails with the added fun of croquet and petanque make it a great rooftop spot in east London. Oh, and you can reserve an area.” – Megan Ingham, Office Manager and HR Coordinator
Netil360, Hackney — £8.50.
“Netil360 at Netil House draws a hipster crowd, but I’d say it’s hands down the best rooftop in east London. It has pretty amazing panoramic views of the city, although be warned – on a hot summer’s day the queues can run all the way down the many flights of stairs you have to climb to get up there. But it’s worth the wait!” – Rosie Fitzmaurice, Lifestyle Reporter
Roof East, Stratford — £9.
“Roof East is a must-visit for anyone in east London. It’s right next to the well-connected Stratford underground station, entry is free, and they host all sorts of pop-up activities throughout summer. These cover everything from outdoor cinema screenings to crazy golf and baseball batting cages, so there’s something for everyone.” – Harry Kersh, Associate Distribution Editor
Golden Bee, Old Street — £9.
“Perfect place to meet for after work cocktails. Great location and they always have a good DJ.” – Megan Ingham, Office Manager and HR Coordinator
Summer of Sound on the Roof, John Lewis, Oxford Street — £9.50.
The newly-landscaped rooftop on top of the John Lewis store on Oxford Street celebrates music and sound with live gigs, DJ sets, and acoustic music against the panoramic backdrop of London’s skyline.
Sky Pod Bar at Sky Garden, the Walkie-Talkie, Fenchurch Street — £10.
Located 155 metres up in London’s Walkie-Talkie building, Sky Garden is free to visit – and the Sky Pod bar plays live music from Wednesday to Saturday.
Boundary Rooftop at The Boundary Project, Shoreditch — £10.50.
“Cute, but expensive.” – Kayla Petty, Creative Director, UK & EMEA
Hotel Indigo, 1 Leicester Square — £11.
The panoramic rooftop restaurant and bar at new boutique Hotel Indigo – 1 Leicester Square offers the only terrace in Leicester Square – and it’s largely undiscovered, so get there quick.
Madison, St. Paul’s — £11.50.
“Madison is pretty pricey if you’re planning on drinking at a rooftop bar for a whole evening, but it is totally worth spending £6 for a bottle of Pilsner to bask in the Glory of St. Paul’s Cathedral for an hour or so. Warning though, dress code is smart/casual, no trainers, sandals, flip flops or sports wear.” – Leon Siciliano, Senior Video Producer
Bōkan, Canary Wharf — £11.50.
“Although a bit posh, it has jazz sessions during the sunset on Sundays and, because of its location, it has the best view of London’s skyline I’ve seen from a rooftop – and I’ve been to many rooftops in London.” – Sabrina Cesar, Associate Product Manager
Jin Bo Law, Aldgate — £12.
“Expensive, but cool drinks and great views! – Kayla Petty, Creative Director, UK & EMEA
Radio, The Strand — £12.
“Radio offers some of the best panoramic views of the city I’ve seen, and would be perfect for impressing a date – but maybe just for one drink, since they’re shockingly expensive.” – Ali Millington, Senior Editor
Rumpus Room, South Bank — £12.50.
Take in the views of London’s South Bank at this plush bar, which boasts greenery and comfy lounge-worthy sofas as awell as life music on Wednesdays and DJs Thursday to Saturday.
Coq d’Argent, Bank — £13.
“It has a big lawn – you’d never guess there was room up there!” – Kayla Petty, Creative Director, UK & EMEA
Shoreditch Sky Terrace at the Courthouse Hotel, Shoreditch — £14.
Head to the Shoreditch Sky Terrace for a cocktail with a panoramic view of London, or hire it out yourself – it can fit up to 200 guests.
The Rooftop, The Trafalgar St. James, Trafalgar Square — £15.
“One of the more splurge-worthy options on the list, this cosy spot offers a bird’s eye perspective over Trafalgar Square – ideal for people-watching.” – Ali Millington, Senior Editor
L’Azur, Four Seasons Hotel Park Lane — £15.
Open to guests and members of the public, this yacht-themed terrace still has an exclusive feel, bringing the French Riviera to the heart of Mayfair.
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