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YHA England & Wales share their favourite rooftop bars in London

With one of the world’s most impressive and recognisable skylines, there are few superior places to enjoy a rooftop drink or a bite to eat than in London. The city boasts a number of excellent establishments, with a variety of prices, locations and of course, views to enjoy. Make the most of your stay in our London hostels with a visit to any of these five brilliant bars.



Perhaps the best known of London’s rooftop bars is SkyGarden. 155 metres up and with far reaching views over the city, including the Shard, the Gherkin and the London Eye, this space is ideal to visit day or night. Throughout the day, soak up the views with drinks and snacks, while the evenings see the extensive cocktail list and sharing boards become the star of the show as London kicks into life. Entry is free, and although drinks certainly aren’t cheap, the view and the experience are well worth a few extra quid, particularly when you see the effort and craft which goes into making the bar’s signature cocktails. Be prepared to queue too – although this can be bypassed if you are able to pre-book your visit. All in all, it’s well worth it!

Stay – YHA London St Pauls


SushiSamba is about as cosmopolitan as it gets! It’s not everywhere you can get a fusion of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, but if that’s what you fancy – Sushi Samba is the place to be. Located a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station, the unique establishment claims to offer ‘the highest outdoor dining terraces in Europe’ – ideal for enjoying a peaceful summer’s evening while sampling food and drink from far-flung destinations. Inside, the main dining area is dramatically framed by a high bamboo ceiling. It’s open until late too, meaning you can enjoy the views as London transforms from day to night. If you’re feeling adventurous, it’s well worth a visit.

Stay – YHA London St Pauls

Skylight London

If you’re heading out towards East London, and prefer the idea of an activity to accompany your aperitif, Skylight is well worth a go! Set across three levels of a former car park and boasting all the cocktails and food you would expect from such a bar, the real stand out feature of Skylight is its petanque court, lawn bowls and croquet lawns! Hire them out for half hour or one hour slots – ideal for letting your hair down after a tough day at work – or just as a change from the usual bars and eateries you tend to find yourself in the capital.

Stay – YHA London Thameside

Sky Lounge

This twelfth-floor bar offers a superb view of the city skyline and some of London’s most famous and photographed buildings. As the name suggests, the vistas of both the Tower of London and Tower Bridge are magnificent, as well as the imposing glamour of The Shard just a short distance further afield. The views make it a popular spot, so be prepared to wait to take your place in a prime position, at which you can make the most of your panoramic views with a wide range of cocktails, wines and beers for you to sample.

Stay – YHA London St Pauls

Queen of Hoxton

Shoreditch is an ever-growing hub for young people, with plenty of spots to eat, drink and socialise. One prime, hipster-friendly spot is The Queen of Hoxton, which prides itself on being pub, club and just about everything else you could ask for in between. Sprawled over three floors, the place comes alive during the summer, with Caribbean parties, themed nights and laid-back barbeques all on the menu. This Shoreditch rooftop bar is kitted out for the cooler months too, with a large wigwam wonderland for guests to keep warm and dry beneath.

Stay – YHA London St Pancras

Originally published by YHA England & Wales

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