Imagine this: the sun dips below the horizon, painting the London skyline in hues of fiery orange and soft pinks. Iconic structures like The Shard, the London Eye, and the Gherkin stand silhouetted against the twilight, each light flickering to life like stars being born. This isn’t just another evening in London; it’s a prelude to an unforgettable night above the city’s bustling streets, on the exclusive decks of the most coveted rooftop bars.

Rooftop bars in London are more than mere drinking spots. They are sky-high sanctuaries where the vibrancy of the city meets the tranquility of the clouds. This guide is your golden ticket to the crème de la crème of London’s rooftop experiences, where the cocktails are as mesmerizing as the views.

Why Rooftop Bars?

Rooftop bars possess a certain je ne sais quoi that ground-level establishments can hardly match. Is it the panoramic views that give drinkers a sense of freedom and elevation beyond the physical? Or is it the exclusive atmosphere, where the hustle and bustle of the city seem distant, yet simultaneously beneath your feet?

The allure lies in the blend of open skies, innovative mixology, and the pulse of music that resonates with the heartbeat of London itself. From the London skyline bars that offer an eagle-eye view of the city’s architectural marvels to “exclusive rooftop bars London” that serve up luxury in every sip, these elevated havens are about more than just altitude. They’re about an attitude—a declaration of love for nights filled with starry skies, spirited conversations, and clinking glasses.

The Ultimate List of London’s Most Exclusive Rooftop Bars

Let’s take you on a tour of the most exclusive, must-visit rooftop bars in London. Each offers not just a drink, but a dive into a unique atmosphere that can only be described as, well, elevated.

1. Radio Rooftop Bar

Perched on the 10th floor of the ME London hotel, Radio Rooftop Bar offers panoramic views that sweep from the Strand over the Thames to the Shard. It’s a hotspot for fashion-forward crowds and the occasional celebrity sighting.

What to Drink: Try the ‘Radioactive Sunset’—a cocktail that blends the fiery colors of dusk with a tangy twist.

Insider Tip: The magic hour just as the sun sets is when this place truly shines. Arrive early to snag the best spot.

Radio Rooftop Bar
Radio Rooftop Bar

2. Sushisamba

Hovering on the 38th and 39th floors of the Salesforce Tower, Sushisamba serves up a unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian cuisine. The views are as spectacular as the fusion flavors, with London laid out like a neon-lit feast below.

What to Eat: Don’t leave without trying the Samba London Roll, a sushi creation that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious.

Insider Tip: Reservations are a must, especially if you’re aiming for a window seat. Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.


3. The Rooftop St. James

With an unobstructed view over Trafalgar Square, The Rooftop St. James is an epitome of sophistication in the sky. It’s where classic cocktails meet modern innovation, all wrapped up in a chic, inviting atmosphere. This is the spot to soak in iconic London sights while indulging in some of the city’s finest drinks.

What to Drink: The ‘Trafalgar Tea’ is a must-try—a refreshing blend that pays homage to the area’s rich history, with a twist that’s as contemporary as the bar’s stylish decor.

Insider Tip: The Rooftop St. James can get quite breezy, even on a summer evening. They provide blankets, but it’s wise to bring an extra layer to ensure you stay cozy as you sip and sightsee.

The Rooftop St. James
The Rooftop St. James

4. Savage Garden

Perched atop the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London, Savage Garden is a place of contrasts. Its wild, edgy interior design, with touches of the untamed and the mystical, makes it a unique find in the city’s rooftop scene. Here, the cocktails are as bold and innovative as the décor, making it a hit among those looking to venture beyond the classic bar experience.

What to Drink: Dive into the ‘Savage Heart’—a cocktail that’s as fierce as the bar’s name suggests, with a mix of flavors that’s both surprising and satisfying.

Insider Tip: Savage Garden is known for its themed nights and special events. Check their schedule in advance to align your visit with an evening that might offer live music, DJ sets, or a unique cocktail menu.

Savage Garden
Savage Garden

5. 12th Knot

This vibrant spot on the South Bank boasts not just eclectic decor but some of the most mesmerizing views of the River Thames. The atmosphere here is electric, making it a perfect backdrop for those Instagram-worthy moments. The 12th Knot seamlessly blends the casual with the sophisticated, inviting guests to unwind and revel in the urban chic vibe.

What to Drink: The signature cocktail, ‘Thames Fizz,’ offers a bubbly tribute to the river views it overlooks. It’s refreshing, with just the right amount of zest.

Insider Tip: The outdoor terrace is fantastic during the summer months, but its popularity means it can get crowded. Arriving early not only guarantees a good spot but also treats you to the spectacle of the city transitioning from day to night.

12th Knot
12th Knot

6. Jin Bo Law

Located in Aldgate, Jin Bo Law offers a rooftop experience that is quintessentially London. With a panoramic view that includes The Shard, Tower Bridge, and the Gherkin, it’s a place where the city’s iconic architecture feels within reach. The interior is sleek and modern, with Asian-inspired design elements that reflect the sophistication of its cocktail menu.

What to Drink: The ‘Dragon’s Gate’ is an exotic mix that pays homage to the bar’s Asian influences, combining traditional ingredients with a modern flair.

Insider Tip: Jin Bo Law attracts a fashionable crowd, especially on weekends. Dress to impress and be prepared for a night where luxury and style take center stage.

Jin Bo Law
Jin Bo Law

7. The Nest in Treehouse

Nestled in the heart of London, The Nest in Treehouse offers an eco-conscious retreat amidst the urban jungle. Its terraces provide panoramic views of the city skyline, with lush greenery adding a touch of tranquility to the bustling atmosphere. This rooftop oasis combines sustainability with style, inviting guests to sip cocktails while surrounded by nature.

What to Drink: Opt for the ‘Green Goddess’ cocktail, a refreshing blend of botanical flavors that perfectly complements the verdant surroundings.

Insider Tip: The Nest in Treehouse is popular for its weekend brunches. Make a reservation to secure a spot and indulge in a leisurely mid-morning feast with a view.

The Nest in Treehouse
The Nest in Treehouse

8. Aviary London

Perched on the 10th floor of the Montcalm Royal London House in Finsbury Square, Aviary London offers a luxurious rooftop escape with stunning views of the city skyline. Its spacious outdoor terraces provide the perfect setting for alfresco dining and cocktail sipping, while the contemporary interiors exude elegance and sophistication.

What to Drink: Try the ‘Skyline Spritz,’ a light and refreshing cocktail that captures the essence of London’s skyline with its blend of citrus and botanical notes.

Insider Tip: Aviary London hosts live music performances on select evenings, adding an extra layer of ambiance to your rooftop experience. Check their events calendar for upcoming performances and plan your visit accordingly.

Aviary London
Aviary London

9. Madison

Madison, overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral, is where sophistication meets skyline views. Its expansive terrace offers unparalleled vistas of the iconic dome, while the chic interior provides a stylish setting for sipping cocktails and socializing. Whether you’re after a romantic evening or a lively night out with friends, Madison delivers an unforgettable rooftop experience.

What to Drink: The ‘St. Paul’s Sipper’ is a Madison signature, featuring a blend of premium spirits and fruit flavors that perfectly complement the stunning backdrop.

Insider Tip: Arrive early to secure a spot on the terrace and witness the sunset casting a golden glow over the city—an Instagram-worthy moment not to be missed.

Madison, London

10. Coq d’Argent

Set amidst the architectural marvels of the City of London, Coq d’Argent offers an elevated dining experience in every sense of the word. Its garden setting atop No.1 Poultry provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle below, while the French-inspired cuisine and extensive wine list ensure a feast for the senses.

What to Drink: Indulge in a glass of champagne or choose from their selection of expertly crafted cocktails to accompany your meal.

Insider Tip: Coq d’Argent is a popular spot for business lunches and special occasions. Make a reservation in advance, especially if you’re planning to dine during peak hours.

Coq d'Argent
Coq d’Argent | @tzeekaadventure

11. Pergola Paddington

Pergola Paddington is an urban oasis nestled in the heart of Paddington Central. Its sprawling rooftop terrace is adorned with lush greenery, creating a vibrant and inviting atmosphere. With a rotating selection of street food vendors and a well-stocked bar, Pergola Paddington offers a relaxed yet lively setting for enjoying delicious bites and refreshing drinks with friends.

What to Drink: Cool off with a ‘Pergola Punch,’ a fruity and refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for sipping in the sun.

Insider Tip: Pergola Paddington can get busy, especially on weekends. Arrive early to secure a table or consider visiting during off-peak hours for a more laid-back experience.

Pergola Paddington
Pergola Paddington

12. Frank’s Cafe

Perched atop a multi-story car park in Peckham, Frank’s Cafe is a seasonal rooftop bar that has become a beloved fixture of London’s summer scene. Its unpretentious vibe, panoramic views of the city skyline, and eclectic crowd make it a must-visit destination for locals and visitors alike. With its colorful umbrellas and artsy decor, Frank’s Cafe exudes a hip and relaxed atmosphere that perfectly complements its stunning surroundings.

What to Drink: Keep it simple with a classic G&T or opt for one of their rotating selection of craft beers.

Insider Tip: Frank’s Cafe is only open during the summer months, typically from May to September. Make the most of the season and plan your visit accordingly to catch one of London’s best-kept rooftop secrets.

Frank's Cafe
Frank’s Cafe | @wanderrover

How to Choose the Perfect Rooftop Bar In London, for You

Choosing the right rooftop bar is an art form. Consider what you’re after: Are panoramic views at the top of your list, or are you more about the vibe? Maybe it’s a specific cocktail or cuisine you’re craving. Remember, the best choice blends ambiance with flavor, offering a night that’s as delicious as it is unforgettable.

Making the Most of Your London Rooftop Bar Experience

To ensure an elevated evening, keep these tips in mind:

  • Book in Advance: Many of these spots are exclusive for a reason. Secure your spot to avoid being turned away.
  • Dress Code: Most rooftop bars have a dress code—think smart casual or chic. It’s all about matching the sophistication of the setting.
  • Weather Wise: The British weather can be unpredictable. Check the forecast and choose a bar with indoor options just in case.

Experiencing London from its rooftop bars is to see the city in a new light—literally. It’s about embracing the night, the city’s skyline, and the myriad flavors each bar brings to your glass. So, here’s to high spirits and even higher views. May your nights be as dazzling as the city lights below.