3 spots to see London from above.

Posted April 21, 2016

London is arguably one of the most visually diverse and interesting cities in the world, and as such, there are multiple ways to view the city from above.  For the most part, however, the means to view the city cost.  A lot.  Although things like the London Eye, St Paul’s and the Shard provide absolutely stunning views of London, they cost at least £20 each, which on a backpacker’s budget is not ideal.  So, here are some ideas on how to see London from above for cheap (or free)!

Emirates Air Line

Option one is the Emirates Air Line, which is a glass lift that takes you over the Thames and gives you a unique view of the East end of London, including Canary Wharf and Greenwich.  The ride is quick, only lasting 10 minutes for a return journey but during the summer, you can take the funicular until 10 PM at night, giving you a gorgeous night view of London along the Thames.  The ride does cost, £9 for an adult return ticket, but discounts are available for travel card holders and it can be paid for with an Oyster for only £3.40.  So, less than a fifth of what the London Eye would cost!  You can buy online or in person, and no reservations are necessary.

A photo posted by Andy (@ondakloh) on Sep 13, 2016 at 10:58am PDT

Primrose Hill

On those (albeit rare) sunny days in London, there is nothing better to do than head up to North London for a bit of relaxing in the sunshine on Primrose Hill.  Situated on the northern edge of Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill is exactly what it sounds like… a hill.  As such, it’s free.  The view includes most of central London leading over to the east, from the London Eye to St. Paul’s, with some of London’s greatest buildings filling in the space in between.  Primrose Hill closes at 9 PM, so it’s the perfect place to drink some Pimm’s in the sun with friends before heading for a night out in nearby Camden! (see featured image)

Sky Garden

If you feel like being proper fancy, but not having to pay the price attached to it, the final option is the one for you.  On the top floor of a building called the Walkie Talkie (dubbed as such by Londoners because of its shape) near Monument tube station, is an atrium filled with plants, alcohol and stunning views of the City, Thames and the Tower of London.  What more could you need, really?  There is a bar in the Sky Garden, called the Sky Pod, but the tickets to get into the Sky Garden are completely free and you are under no obligation to actually buy a drink when you get to the top.  All you need is to make a reservation online (the earlier the better) at http://skygarden.london, and then show up and be your posh and fabulous self (without having to actually be rich).

Featured Image Source: Flickr. Taken by Mike Rolls.

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