If you're asking us, the iconic London skyline is one of the best views in the world. Maybe it's because we live in London, maybe it's because we like looking at London, maybe it's just because we love London, but from the inimitable dome of St Paul's to the sky-piercing point of the Shard, there are few cities that blend bold modern architecture with age-old grandeur quite like the English capital.

But when it comes to places to view the city from on high, things get a little trickier. Do you opt for the view from one of the elevated parks like Primrose Hill or Greenwich Park, or do you chill with a cocktail on a terrace in the City of London that lets you sit cheek-by-jowl with some of the city's most amazing architecture? Well, if you want our view on London's best views, you should probably read on. Here's our guide to the best views London has to offer:

Parliament Hill

Heath Lodge, Hampstead, London NW5 1QR

Acquiring its name during the English Civil War, Parliament Hill was occupied by the troops loyal to (no surprises here) the Parliament. Since then, this spot has seen the city skyline develop and prosper. The picture-perfect spot at the bottom of Hampstead Heath has held markets, been a cross-country track and inevitably has become a popular picnic spot, withal the views have remained astonishing.

Among the numerous tower blocks of the City and Canary Wharf, you can admire are some landmarks including the Gherkin, St Paul's, the BT Tower and the Shard. visitlondon.com


Aqua Shard

The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY

When it comes to seeing the best views in London, everyone should make at least one visit to the Shard – that vast, pointy chunk of glass that offers unparalleled views of the meandering Thames and the iconic landmarks along it.

Our advice: skip the queues for the top and get a seat at Aqua Shard, which serves modern Britsh food from a dining room and bar on the 31st floor. Expect good food and sky-high cocktails elevated by its breathtaking city views, and the floor-to-ceiling windows mean there's not a bad table in the house. aquashard.co.uk

London in the Sky

Peninsula Square, North Greenwich, SE10 0DX

London in the Sky

If you love the high life, get down (or should we say up) to this airborne dining experience for a meal to remember. London in the Sky takes terrace drinks and nibbles to another level (literally) with its suspended open-air restaurant, with a table that hangs 100ft up in the air at the O2, offering guests scenic views of the river, Canary Wharf and beyond – plus a nice little rush of adrenaline as the crane starts to lift you up. londoninthesky.co.uk

Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill, NW1 8XL

View from Primrose Hill, London

Separated from the bulk of neighbouring Regent’s Park by Prince Albert Road and ZSL London Zoo, Primrose Hill gives a more staggering view of the London skyline almost any other spot in the city, and thanks to being one of the Royal Parks, it’s absolutely free to access whenever you like. The summit sits 63m above sea level, and the trees are trimmed low in front of the hill’s protected view. Up close, you can see the BT Tower, the London Eye and the St George Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, while the City stretches out into the distance. royalparks.org.uk

Galvin at Windows

22 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1BE

Shakespeare once said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. If that's the case, then you should really clap your eyes on the view from Galvin at Windows for a soul-stirring lookout across London that's (almost) as iconic as the bard himself. Windows is a Michelin-starred restaurant with a pretty close-to-the-actual-stars view thanks to its perch on the 28th floor of Park Lane's Hilton hotel. galvinatwindows.com

Greenwich Park

Greenwich, London SE10 8QY

View across Greenwich Park taking in The Shard, the City of London, River Thames, National Maritime Museum, Queen's House, the Old Royal Naval College, and Canary Wharf. Greenwich Park, Greenwich, London

Greenwich Park is one of the largest single green spaces in South East London. A whopping 74 hectares, the park provides an urban sanctuary for deer, foxes and more than 70 species of bird. At the highest point of the park, visitors can see right over the River Thames, across the Isle of Dogs and over the City. Well work the leg burn getting to the top. royalparks.org.uk

Sushisamba

110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY

Sushi? Yeah, sushi is very good. London? Yeah, London is very good. A restaurant where you can eat top-class sushi and get a jaw-dropping view of England's much-loved capital? Well, that's just doubly good, that. Occupying the 38th and 39th floors of 110 Bishopsgate (aka Heron Tower), SUSHISAMBA is Instagram catnip in the best way possible. The upscale dining room offers a stunning view of London that will have you gulping at the sheer scale of the city. sushisamba.com

OXO Tower

Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, SE1 9PH

The OXO Tower is a London icon. The rooftop restaurant, brasserie and bar are all guaranteed to take your breath away and have you needing a bit of air. Which is good news considering the restaurant's got one of the best unimpeded views across the Thames to the bulk of the London skyline. The 250-foot outdoor terrace is an excellent spot for looking out over the city shouting: "God, London's a bit of alright, isn't it?" oxotower.co.uk

Frank's Café

7th-10th Floor Multi Storey Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

This rooftop restaurant, cafe, bar and overall great place to be is Peckham through and through. Opened in 2009, Frank's Cafe very quickly found itself embraced by the local community. For good reason, too. Not only is the food on offer thoroughly enjoyable, but the venue offers a pretty hard-to-beat view of the city we call home. If you're going to be posting about your whereabouts on social media anywhere come summer, make sure it's at Frank's. boldtendencies.com/franks-cafe

Sky Garden

20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF

While some Londoners famously enjoy views of the City from their offices, they don't tend to do quite as well on the garden front. Located on the 43rd floor of the Walkie Talkie building, Sky Garden has combined nature and city, with spectacular panoramic views of the Shard, the Leadenhall Building (The Cheesegrater) and an array of plants that'll get the green-fingered tourists cooing. skygarden.london

City Social

Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ

When it comes to great dining in London, you know you're in safe hands with Jason Atherton, but what separates this East London offering from the other jewels in Atherton's restaurant crown is its art deco ambience and jaw-dropping views of the city. Located right in the heart of the City of London on level 24 of Tower 42 – City Social's vista of London is one that'll be ingrained in your mind forever. A feast for your eyes and taste buds. citysociallondon.com