View from the London Eye
View from the London Eye

Despite being one of the major cities in the world, London doesn’t really have a single skyline that comes to mind when you think of it. In fact, with much of London’s building being a hundreds of years old, many of the buildings aren’t very tall like in a city as New York.

But the relative shortness of London has some advantages. Namely, it creates some great views from above, giving you the chance to see across a great deal of London.

Here are the three best places to see London from above.

1.St. Paul’s Cathedral – Built after the Fire of 1666, St. Paul’s is a landmark in itself, the masterpiece of Christopher Wren. The church sits imposingly on Ludgate Hill, the tallest part of The City and is visible from all over London.

After climbing some 250 steps, you stand around the upper ring in the giant dome and can look down over the church below. This is not for the faint of heart, but it lets you appreciate the three-century old building even more.

The real treat comes after another 50 stairs trek to the viewing deck outside. But the climb is well worth it. You can see clearly along the Thames to Parliament. It’s also gives you a good feel for the amount of new buildings in The City that are seemingly always being worked on. Throw in the fact that you could explore St. Paul’s for a whole day and St. Paul’s is the best place to view London from. Not to mention the City offers some of the most splendid vacation rentals in London.

2.The London Eye – With its prime location on the Thames across from Parliament, the 443-foot tall London Eye has become the UK’s most popular paid tourist favorite since opening in 2000.

Located in Lambeth, the massive Ferris Wheel features 32 glass-sided cars which can hold up to 25 people each ride, giving you the chance to move around the car and get different views of London on its approximately 30-minute rotation. One of the most unique views is of Buckingham Palace in Westminster, where the whole complex can be seen, where very little of it is able to be viewed from the ground.

And for people like myself who are afraid of heights, the wheel turns so slowly and steadily I wasn’t afraid. The ride reminded me of the Peter Pan ride at Disney World where you ‘fly’ above Big Ben. Except this was real.

Go close to sunset for the best views and the least amount of glare from the sun.

3.Tower Bridge – One of the most recognizable landmarks in London was built with pedestrian walkways 143 feet above the Thames so river traffic could pass and pedestrians could still cross the bridge.

As a matter of fact, the bridge connects East End to Southwark, and the views down Thames are great, but you can’t see nearly as much as from either the London Eye or St. Paul’s. However, the quick elevator ride to the top of the bridge is the quickest and cheapest way to see the city from above.

Your observation ticket also lets you view the engine room of the bridge where the original steam engines used to raise and lower the bridge.

Read to see the city from above, book one of our vacation rentals all around London to make your stay complete.

This ultra-modern two-bedroom two bedroom vacation rental in Southwark, London (LN-1103) is within walking distance of the London Eye. And with its balcony, you can get your own personal view of London, just not from quite the same height.

You can make yourself at home in this studio vacation rental in Islington, London (LN-831). Besides being walking distance from St. Paul’s, the studio has complementary maid service, workout facilities, and concierge service, giving you a no-hassle place to come home and relax in after climbing the stairs at St. Paul’s.

Close to the Thames and Tower Bridge sits this three bedroom vacation rental in Southwark, London (LN-694), located off Tower Bridge Road nearby many major attractions. After visiting the walkway on top of Tower Bridge, you can make the rest of the trip across the bridge to the historic Tower of London. You will love the charm of the brick walls in this apartment.

What’s your favorite view of London?