Is there anything better than a traditional pub pint in London? Well, maybe not. But you don’t need to stick to pubs to enjoy nightlife and classy drinks in the Great British capital.
You can turn your night of binging into a classy affair by heading to a rooftop bar.
Most of us love a fantastic view. We also love a cheeky tipple. At a rooftop bar, you can get both at the same time; drink cocktails until your heart’s content and observe the City from above. Here’s our pick of the best rooftop bars in London.
Let’s kick off our list with London’s best affordable rooftop bar, Frank’s Café. Despite its underground vibe, this bar sits on top of an old car park. Beer is served in plastic cups, and the décor is fairly minimal. This simplicity, coupled with cheap booze and sweeping skyline views, gives Frank’s Café a unique charm.
This lively rooftop bar is only open during summer. It mainly attracts the youngest generation of drinkers (18-30), but pets and little ones are welcome.
12th Knot offers stunning views of the Thames backdropped by the cityscape of London. It’s a small terrace, but it’s one of the best places to watch the sunset over the capital. Here, you can drink an assortment of British and American cocktails while listening to live music. The beats don’t stop until 2am over the weekend – if you want to add a touch of class to your all-night bender, 12th Knot is the place to go.
If you need to give your feet a rest, you’ll find lots of spare seats at Bar Elba. Located in Waterloo, this rooftop bar is a great place to meet and unwind, and drink prices are somewhat human, too. Beer, Aperol Spritz, Frosé and summery cocktail jugs are on the menu at Bar Elba. Need to fill up before you start boozing? Line your stomach with a delicious Dip & Flip burger.
Netil 360 is another top rooftop bar that overlooks the Thames. The décor is simple, but who cares about the interior when the stunning skyline of London is on display? If you can’t find a table, simply sit where you stand – relaxing on the floor is welcomed at this Hackney rooftop bar.
As you might expect, the simple, affordable and ambient Netil 360 is popular with younger drinkers. But remember – you’re only as old as you feel (and you can never be too old to enjoy craft beer with a view).
Jin Bo Law Skybar
If you’re looking for a ‘classically posh’ rooftop bar with a unique drinks menu, Jin Bo Law Skybar should be on your bucket list. Its Asia-influenced cocktails really are to-die-for. Located on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel, Jin Bo Law boasts an impressive cocktail lounge and even more impressive views of the City.
Radio Rooftop Bar
Radio Rooftop Bar is one of the trendiest spots in London. Here, you can enjoy panoramic views of the urban jungle from the comfort of a corner sofa. Live DJs create a lively but sophisticated atmosphere at night. On weekends, tourists and locals alike head to Radio Rooftop Bar for a tasty (and booze-filled) bottomless brunch.
For an exciting new way to explore London’s artisan alcohols scene, take a look at our Borough Market & Gin Distillery tour. You’ll get to experience some of the finest brews the city has to offer from our expert guides.