‘The View from the Shard’ or ‘The Shard’ is the highest viewing platform in London.
From its three observatories – on floors 68, 69 and 72 – visitors can see mesmerising 360-degree views of London for up to 65 Kms (40 Miles).
It stands at the height of 256 meters (840 feet) and is twice the height of any other viewing platform in the entire London city.
1. How to reach
2. Opening hours
3. Best time to visit
4. Tour duration
5. Ticket prices
5. Ticket discounts
6. The Shard tickets
7. Combo tours
10. Night or day?
11. The Shard vs London Eye
13. Interesting facts
How to reach View from the Shard?
The most convenient way to reach View from the Shard is by public transport – either by Train or the bus.
The Shard by Train
The View from The Shard is a quick walk from London Bridge Underground Station. You must take the Northern or Jubilee lines.
Once you exit the London Bridge Underground station, you can’t miss the signs directing you to The Shard or Joiner Street.
If you plan to take the regular train to London Bridge Station opt for Southern and South Eastern trains.
After exiting the London Bridge Station, turn left immediately and go down the escalator you can’t miss.
It will take you straight to the Joiner Street, and eventually to The Shard.
The Shard by Bus
If you decide to reach this tourist attraction by bus, opt for bus no. 43, 48, 141, 149, or 521.
Get down at the bus station located at the main entrance of the London Bridge Station.
The Shard opening times
From April to October, The Shard opens at 10 am and closes at 10 pm every day.
November till March, which is the lean season, The Shard opens at 10 am but closes early at 7 pm. It remains closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The Shard’s schedule during Coronavirus pandemic:
From Wednesdays to Sundays The Shard opens at 1 pm and closes at 9 pm. It remains closed for visitors on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Best time to visit View from the Shard
The best time to visit The Shard is from 4 pm to 6 pm, also known as the sunset hours.
The Shard’s viewing deck offers stunning visuals of London skyline bathed in the colors of the setting sun.
Since most visitors prefer to reach just before the sun goes down and stay on till the lights come out, during these hours The Shard gets crowded.
For a quiet time with family and kids, it is best to visit between 10 am to 2 pm.
We don’t recommend a night visit since many landmarks won’t be visible from the viewing deck after dark.
However, if you have already visited during the day, there is no harm in taking in the night view as well.
It is better to avoid The Shard over the weekends because it gets really crowded.
However, if you must visit on a weekend reach the observatory between 10 am to 2 pm because after that the crowd starts pouring in.
It stays crowded till 7 pm. Especially on a Saturday.
How long does The Shard take
To check out stunning views from all the three observatories at The Shard, and try out the VR activities, you need at least two and a half hours.
During the non-peak hours, this can be done in two hours because you avoid the 30 to 45 minutes of waiting time.
If you dine at one of the five restaurants at The Shard, you will need one more hour.
To avoid waiting in long queues, it is best to book your tickets online.
The Shard’s tickets have no time limit. Once inside, you can enjoy the views from the observatories for as long as you want.
Since both London Bridge and Tower Bridge are close to The Shard, some tourists add them as the next items on their itinerary.
View from the Shard ticket prices
You can purchase The Shard’s tickets online as well as at the attraction’s gate.
While buying online tickets, you can book them in advance or buy same-day tickets.
At £25.29 per person, the Standard Entry ticket is the cheapest online ticket for entry to The Shard.
The Ultimate Shard ticket, which is opted by visitors who prefer ultimate luxury, is priced at £89 per person.
When you book The Shard ticket in advance, you save three Pounds per person on the cheapest tickets.
Purchasing your tickets for The Shard online will also save you the hassle of standing in a long queue at the counter.
Same day ticket prices
On the day of your visit, the cheapest entry ticket to The Shard costs £28.16 per person – £2.87 more than if you had booked in advance.
The Shard’s last-minute tickets are costlier, even if you purchase them online.
|Type of Ticket||Advance rates||Same Day rates|
But even same day online tickets are cheaper than the price you will pay at the venue.
Besides, you also get to skip the lines at the ticket counter.
Important: You don’t need to print online tickets. You can show them on your mobile and enter.
View from The Shard discounts
The best way to score a discount on your Shard tickets is by booking online. You get to save more than £3 per person.
The Shard also offers discounted combo tickets to visiting families.
1 Adult + 1 Child: £70
1 Adult + 2 Children: £105
2 Adult + 2 Children: £140
3 Adult + 2 Children: £175
Unfortunately, The Shard doesn’t offer a reduction in the ticket price for seniors and visitors with disabilities.
Saving with London Pass
London Pass is a popular discount card, and if you are in London for more than two days, we highly recommend it.
You pay once for the London Pass and use multiple times to visit various attractions for free.
London Pass helps you save 40 to 45% discounts on your ticket costs.
View from The Shard tickets
There are four types of The Shard tickets you can book – Standard, Premium, All-inclusive, and Ultimate.
All the tickets get you access to all the three observatories of The Shard.
The Shard tickets are timed
When you book your tickets, you must select a timeslot.
The slots start from 1 pm (when the attraction opens) and are available every 15 minutes till 8 pm when it closes.
You must be at the entrance at least 10 minutes before the time mentioned on your ticket.
Buying tickets online is better
When you visit the tallest building in Europe, you must stand in two lines – at the ticket counter to purchase your tickets and the security check.
If you buy your tickets to The Shard online, much in advance, you can skip the long lines at the ticket counter and quickly go through the security.
Depending on the day and season, this saves you 15 to 30 minutes of waiting time.
No need to take print outs
All View from the Shard tickets are smartphone tickets, and as soon as you make the purchase, they get emailed to you.
There is no need to take a printout.
On the day of your visit, show the ticket in your email, on your smartphone, and enter.
Good Weather Guarantee
The Shard offers ‘Good Weather Guarantee’ on three of their four tickets – Premium, All-inclusive, and Ultimate.
Under this guarantee, if you can’t see at least three of the following landmarks – the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Gherkin, Tower Bridge, and One Canada Square – you can re-visit within three months for just £5 more.
The Shard ticket options
Standard Entry: This is the cheapest entry into The Shard. The Standard adult ticket costs £25.29.
Premium Ticket: This ticket gets you a fast-track entrance and Good Weather Guarantee. The Premium adult ticket costs £44.
All Inclusive Ticket: Besides fast-track entrance, and Good Weather Guarantee you also get a glass of champagne per person on arrival, and four souvenir digital photos. The all inclusive Shard ticket costs £53.
Ultimate Ticket: Besides the regulars such as fast track entry, 4 souvenir digital photos & Good Weather Guarantee, this Shard ticket also gets you a guided tour, 1 hour of unlimited drinks, and a private lift to the top. The Ultimate ticket is the costliest experience at The Shard and is priced at £89 per person.
If you are an all adults group, follow the link to see book your tickets to The Shard.
If you are a family visiting the London attraction, you can purchase one of The Shard’s Family Packs and save money.
All the family packs help you skip the lines at the ticket counter and also include four souvenir digital photos.
*Visitors 16 years and above are considered adults.
The Shard’s Family pack price
1 Adult + 1 Child: £70
1 Adult + 2 Children: £105
2 Adult + 2 Children: £140
3 Adult + 2 Children: £175
Walking tour of top 20 London sights + The Shard entry
Combo tours which include The Shard are quite popular with tourists holidaying in London.
And there are two major reasons for their popularity:
– Combo tours help save money
– Tourists are always looking for one more attraction or activity for the day because The Shard only takes around two hours
This combo tour tour gives you an opportunity to explore 20 most iconic landmarks of London like Big Ben, London Eye, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, its world-famous Changing of the Guard ceremony etc.
After exploring the city of London by walk, you will go up The Shard and see the whole of London in a different perspective.
All through this 6-hour tour, you will have an English-speaking guide with you.
Tour ticket prices
Adult ticket (14+ years): £87
Child ticket (3-13 years): £36
Infant ticket (0 to 2 years): Free entry
View from the Shard night or day?
Many tourists planning to visit The Shard have this question in mind.
Should you visit The Shard during day time or night time?
View from the Shard during the day
On a pleasantly clear day, you can see the city up to 65 Kms (40 Miles) in all directions.
In the daylight, the reflecting glass panels make the view of the City more dazzling.
If you want to see the iconic buildings of London and the river Thames in detail, you must visit The Shard during day time.
However, there is always the possibility of poor weather in the early mornings, and it is best to check the weather condition before your visit.
Note: The reflective glass panels in the sun might make it hard to take photos.
View from the Shard at night
View from the Shard during the night is a very different experience because of the lit up skyline.
The buildings like Tower Bridge and the London Eye have lighting effects of their own, which can be witnessed only at night.
However, iconic buildings aren’t clearly visible, which makes taking pictures difficult unless you have a good camera.
The best time to visit The Shard is right before the Sunset because you can enjoy the best parts of the day view, the sunset view and also the darkened skyline once the night falls.
The tickets for the Sunset hours, i.e. 4 pm-6 pm sell out first so book The Shard tickets right away.
The Shard vs London Eye
Many tourists compare The Shard and the London Eye because they offer views from the two highest platforms in London.
At its highest point, the London Eye is 443 feet (135 meters) high, and the observation deck of The Shard stands at a glorious height of 800 feet (244 meters).
London Eye offers a view of around 40 Kms (25 Miles) while The Shard’s observation deck provides sights of up to 65 Kms (40 Miles) in every direction.
However, one full rotation of the London Eye takes 30 minutes, and you have limited time to enjoy the view from the highest point – when your pod is at its highest position.
The Shard has no such time limit. You can stay for as long as you want and enjoy the London skyline.
Another significant difference between the two attractions is the waiting time.
A visit to London Eye involves a lot of waiting time because of the crowd it attracts, while the waiting time at The Shard doesn’t go beyond 30 to 45 minutes.
Both The Shard and London Eye try to enhance your experience from time to time.
For instance, The Shard conducts the silent disco and also offers the ‘Champagne experience ticket.’
And London Eye provides mulled wine during Christmas and chocolates and Champagne on 14th February.
The Shard might be a little more expensive, but it offers unlimited time from a higher vantage point along with much greater space and lesser wait time.
We recommend you visit both, but if you have to choose only one – The Shard certainly has the edge over the London Eye.
View from the Shard reviews
The View from the Shard is highly rated on Tripadvisor.
Check out a few of the reviews we think will be useful in helping you decide.
Better than other lookouts I’ve been to
I had done the London Eye previously, so I was not sure if it was worth going the Shard. But once I arrived at the top and saw the fantastic views I instantly changed my mind! It’s much higher up than the London Eye so you can see more. I have been to other lookouts (e.g. A’DAM in Amsterdam, TV tower in Berlin) and I have to say The Shard was the best out of them all. It was not too crowded, and everything was to a very high standard.Kiwijamo, Auckland
This has to be a must-do item when visiting London. The views over London are spectacular! Also had a drink in the bar, which was great. The staff are helpful and friendly. Despite the fact it was raining we still enjoyed the views!Minkygirl, Grantham
Facts about View from the Shard
The Shard stands 306 Meters (840 feet) from the ground near the London Bridge and is the tallest structure in entire Western Europe.
It is a 95-story skyscraper designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano.
The Shard also referred to as the Shard of Glass, is covered with 11,000 glass panels on the outside stretching over an area of 56,000 sq meters.
The viewing galleries of the Shard are spread over the 68th, 69th and the 72nd Floor.
The construction workers found a fox at the 72nd floor while working and nicknamed him Romeo.
The Shard is even popular for the views from its restrooms, which have floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Shard has many names – Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge, London Bridge Tower etc.