Houses of Parliament

29 of the Best Photo Spots in London

London is one of the most recognisable cities in the world, thanks in part to its many iconic landmarks that offer some great photo opportunities around this fascinating and remarkable city.

Whether you’re looking for panoramic view shots, atmospheric photos of typical London streets and markets, or you just want a quick selfie with an iconic symbol that best identifies the capital, this guide will show you some of the ideal vantage points and locations to get the best photos during your visit.

Here are 29 of the best photo spots for capturing the essence of London and for taking a few selfies.

1. Tower Bridge

One landmark that best symbolises London is the iconic Tower Bridge. The bridge looks great in photographs, whatever time of day, although the evening lights look especially stunning.

Anywhere on the South Bank is a good vantage point, as is London Bridge further along. Don’t forget to take a photo on Tower Bridge itself. Get some close-ups of the interesting architectural details and stop off at the Tower Bridge exhibition.

Nearest underground station: Tower Hill

2. Tower of London

Built for William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the Tower of London is one of the capital’s most famous and popular landmarks.

Get up early in the morning to take the best shots of the famous Tower of London. There are fewer crowds to fill up the frame. The Beefeaters are very approachable and usually more than happy to pose if you’re quick.

Nearest underground station: Tower Hill

3. Houses of Parliament

Another iconic landmark that symbolises London is the Palace of Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament. Take a boat trip for a good riverside vantage point, or stand from anywhere along the South Bank between the London Eye and Westminster Bridge.

Nearest underground station: Westminster


4. Big Ben

One of the best views of Big Ben is directly outside the Westminster tube station, Bridge Street exit. Take a walk along Westminster Bridge, which offers great photo opportunities of the 96-metre high Elizabeth Tower.

Nearest underground station: Westminster

5. The London Eye

The London Eye is a great place for photographs, both the structure itself and from inside one of the capsules. Take a photograph from nearby Westminster Bridge to get the whole wheel and River Thames foreground in the frame. Then take a ride on the Eye for some panoramic shots of the London Skyline.

Nearest underground station: Waterloo

6. Downing Street

10 Downing Street is the most photographed front door in the world, although for security reasons the road is blocked off by armed police guards.

One of the best ways to get a photo of the famous black door is from the top deck of a double-decker bus on route 11. Or, if you just want to photograph the street, you can do it from the black railings that block off the street.

Nearest underground station: Westminster

7. The Shard

The tallest building in London offers spectacular views of the River Thames winding through the London landscape. Climb to the viewing platform and take a photo of the sun setting over the capital.

Nearest underground station: London Bridge

8. The Oxo Tower

Enjoy a cocktail or lunch with views in the top floor restaurant while snapping the fantastic views of the Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s. If you just want to take photographs, the viewing gallery is open to the public.

Nearest underground station: Southwark

9. The Millennium Bridge

Take a photo or selfie on the famous bridge that connects the City with Bankside. The Millennium Bridge is a great vantage point for photos of the Tate and the Globe Theatre in one direction and St Paul’s in the other. Or aim downriver for photos of Tower Bridge, Westminster Palace and the London Eye.

Nearest underground station: Southwark

10. St Paul’s Cathedral

Anyone who loves Mary Poppins should stop and get their photo taken sitting on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, where the old lady fed the birds. Or pop back to the Millennium Bridge in the evening and take a shot of the iconic dome lit up in the night sky.

You’re not permitted to take photos inside the cathedral, but there are plenty of fantastic panoramic photo opportunities from the Stone Gallery, Golden Gallery and the viewing platform at the top of the cathedral, which offers spectacular views of the Millennium Bridge and the Tate Modern Gallery.

Nearest underground station: St Paul’s

st pauls cathedral

11. Richmond Park

For a truly spectacular photo shot of St Paul’s Cathedral rising above the London landscape, head up to Henry VII’s Mound in Richmond Park. It offers one of the most far-reaching and breathtaking views of the capital.

Nearest underground station: Richmond

12. Buckingham Palace

No visit to London is complete without a photo of Buckingham Palace. The ornate gold and iron gates form a beautiful backdrop or snap a shot of the famous Portland Stone balcony.

Nearest underground station: Green Park, Victoria

13. The Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard takes place most days at 10.45am. The best place for a photo is in front of the railings, but make sure you get there early as it gets crowded. Alternatively follow the route from St James’s Palace to Buckingham Palace, which allows plenty of snapping opportunities.

changing of the guard

14. Kensington Palace

Another royal residence worth photographing is Kensington Palace, former home of Diana, Princess of Wales. Snap a selfie in front of the ornate black and gold gates with the palace in the background. The beautiful flower gardens also offer some fantastic photo opportunities.

Nearest underground station: High Street Kensington

15. Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of art and design covering 5,000 years of artworks, sculptures, drawings and photographs. Photography is permitted in the galleries, however, the stunning exterior is also worth snapping.

Nearest underground station: South Kensington

16. Harrods

The best place for a wide-angled photo of the iconic London department store is across the road on the intersection. In the evening, the exterior is completely lit up, so be sure to take your camera if visiting after dusk. If you’re discreet, Harrods don’t mind you taking photos inside the building either.

Nearest underground station: Knightsbridge

17. Piccadilly Circus

Another of London’s most photographed locations is Piccadilly Circus. Grab a selfie in front of the dazzling billboards, even more spectacular in the evening when they’re lit up.

Nearest underground station: Piccadilly Circus

18. Regent Street

Situated in the heart of the West End, Regent Street is famous for its many department stores including Hamleys and Liberty.

If you’re shopping in Regent Street don’t forget to take some street view photographs of the impressive sweeping curve of Georgian buildings that line the busy street. Even better if you can get a shot of a traditional London black cab driving past.

If you visit at Christmas time, the lights along Regent Street offer a fantastic photo opportunity, as do the beautifully decorated shop fronts. The Christmas lights are switched on from mid-November to 6 January.

Closest underground stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, and Green Park

regent street

19. Covent Garden

Bustling Covent Garden with its markets, pavement cafes and street entertainers is a fantastic spot to get some great atmospheric shots of the vibrant centre.

Nearest underground station: Covent Garden

20. Columbia Road Flower Market

For colourful photos of vibrant flowers, market stalls and good old East End charm, head to Bethnal Green and take some snaps of Columbia Road Flower Market, one of the most beautiful outdoor markets in London. It’s also a great spot to take some snaps of traditional East End terraced houses, just like the ones in Eastenders.

Nearest underground station: Old Street

21. Leadenhall Market

This indoor market is simply stunning and an ideal location for those who want to photograph some fine Victorian architecture. Don’t forget to get some shots of the spectacular glass and iron roof.

The cobbled streets and quaint shop fronts were used as a location for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. If you’re a Harry Potter fan don’t forget to take a selfie in front of the blue optician’s door. It was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Nearest underground station: Monument

22. Platform 9 and ¾

Speaking of which…

If you’re a Harry Potter fan visiting London, make sure you don’t pass up on the chance of a perfect photo opportunity at Platform 9 and ¾, Kings Cross Station.

Head along the West Concourse at Kings Cross Station. There you’ll find a plaque on a brick wall indicating Platform 9 and ¾. Directly under the sign is a baggage trolley part embedded into the wall.

You can get a friend to take a photo of you pretending to run at the wall, or you can pay for a professional photographer from the Platform 9 and ¾ gift shop nearby.

Nearest underground station: Kings Cross

23. Baker Street

On the other hand, if you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, head over to Baker Street where you can find lots of photo opportunities of the famous sleuth such as the Sherlock Holmes statue at the entrance to Baker Street underground station and in front of 221b, now home to the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

Nearest underground station: Baker Street

sherlock museum

24. Speedy’s Cafe, North Gower Street

Fans of the BBC Sherlock series will recognise the red awning shop front of Speedy’s Cafe in North Gower Street. It was the famous hangout of Holmes and Watson in the TV series. It also serves pretty good coffee!

Be sure to take a selfie in front of the black door next to the cafe. It was used for the exterior shots of 221b Baker Street in the series.

Nearest underground station: Euston Square

25. London Pubs

Another popular tourist attraction is a traditional London boozer, typically adorned with flower baskets outside and a traditional Victorian-styled bar inside. Two of the best for photographs are, coincidentally, the Sherlock Holmes in Northumberland Street, and The Churchill Arms in Kensington Church Street. They both serve pretty decent pub grub and beer too!

Nearest underground station to Northumberland Street: Charing Cross

Nearest underground station to Kensington Church Street: High Street Kensington

26. Abbey Road

Die-hard Beatles fans won’t be able to resist a photo opportunity at the zebra crossing on Abbey Road, famous for being used on the cover of the band’s album of the same name. Grab three more friends and take the famous walk or just grab a selfie on the crossing, but watch out for traffic!

Nearest underground station: St John’s Wood

27. Madame Tussauds

For the ultimate selfie alongside your favourite celebrity, don’t miss a visit to Madame Tussauds on the Marylebone Road. With 14 interactive areas and over 300 unnervingly true-to-life wax figures, Madame Tussauds provides plenty of photo opportunities where you can get up close and personal with waxwork replicas of stars such as Johnny Depp, Usain Bolt, David Beckham and Her Majesty the Queen.

Nearest underground station: Baker Street

28. Underground Signs

Another iconic symbol of London is the red-circled underground sign. Choose your favourite tube stop and grab a free and simple selfie. One of the most popular signs is the one for Bond Street.

29. Red Phone Booth

One of the most iconic and best-loved symbols that identify London has got to be the red telephone booth. Unfortunately, in the digital age of mobile phones, these London treasures are slowly disappearing. But there are still a few around. Covent Garden and The Strand still have plenty for a fun photo opportunity.

They’ve even become a popular photo location for couples getting married in London.

If you want a photo of an original blue phone box like Dr Who’s Tardis, you’ll find one just outside Earl’s Court tube station.

phone booth

As London experts, our knowledgeable tour guides know all the best photo spots in London. For more ideas, information and booking advice on our range of exclusive London tours, contact Premium Tours today.

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