‘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 discounts
6. The Shard tickets
7. Combo tours
8. Last minute tickets
9. Free with London Pass
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.
Before your visit, you can check out the latest times here.
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
If you plan to explore the site at your own pace along with engaging in the various VR activities, it will take approximately two and a half hours.
However, during the non-peak hours, this can be done in two hours because you can avoid the 30 to 45 minutes of waiting time. To avoid the waiting time, it is best to book your tickets online.
If you also feel like having a meal at the top, you might have to add another hour to your visit.
Once inside, you can enjoy the Shard’s observatory 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 discounts
There are three ways to get discounts while visiting View from the Shard.
1. Booking tickets online
When you buy The Shard tickets in advance, it gets you a 20% discount.
They are six Pounds cheaper.
Besides, when you buy same-day tickets at the venue, you have to wait in long lines – sometimes up to half an hour.
That’s why we always recommend online tickets for The Shard.
2. Opting for London Pass
London Pass is a popular discount card, and if you are in London for more than 2 days we highly recommend it.
It is a Pass you pay for once, and use multiple times to visit various attractions for free.
London Pass is known to get you 40 to 45% discounts over your ticket costs.
3. Booking combo tours
Combo tours combine two or more nearby attractions (or experiences) to offer discounts on the ticket price of both.
Such combo tours are known to provide 15 to 20% discount on the ticket prices if bought individually. Best combo tours
View from the Shard tickets
To manage the crowd better, The Shard has timed tickets.
You must arrive at the venue 10-15 minutes before the time mentioned on your ticket.
This flexible time ticket gives you access to all the three observatories of The Shard.
You can see spectacular 360-degree views of London from either the indoor or the outdoor observatories.
We recommend these flexible tickets because you can then land up at a time that’s convenient to you.
Note: If you are feeling romantic, upgrade your Shard experience by opting for the ‘Champagne Experience’ on the ticket booking page.
Adult ticket (16+ years): 32 Pounds
Child ticket (4 to 15 years): 19.95 Pounds
Infant ticket (0 to 3 years): Free entry
Combo tours including The Shard
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
Here are the two best combo tours which also include a visit to The Shard.
1. Hop-on Hop-Off cruise on Thames + The Shard entry
This combo tour is a fantastic opportunity to view London from two unique perspectives.
First, you enjoy beautiful views of London from the River Thames on a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing cruise.
You then get onto western Europe’s tallest building ‘The Shard’ to see the city from 310 meters (1,016 feet) above street level.
The cruise ticket is valid for 24 hours, and cruises depart every half hour.
Tour ticket prices
Adult ticket (17+ years):49.70 Pounds
Child ticket (5 to 16 years):36.95 Pounds
Infant tickets (0-4 years): Free entry
2. Walking tour of top 20 London sights + The Shard entry
This 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 (16 to 65 years): 85 Pounds
Seniors ticket (65+ years): 85 Pounds
Youth ticket (14 to 15 years): 36 Pounds
Child ticket (4-13 years): 36 Pounds
Infant ticket (0 to 3 years): Free entry
View from The Shard last minute
Yes, you can buy tickets to The Shard at the last minute.
You can use THIS LINK to book your last minute Shard tickets or decide to buy them at the venue itself.
We recommend buying it online for multiple reasons:
1. Tickets at The Shard’s ticketing counter can be purchased only subject to availability. You don’t want to reach the attraction and find out that all tickets have sold out
2. Even same day tickets are cheaper online than at the venue
3. If you want to visit The Shard during sunset hours, booking in advance is the only way to get the preferred time slot
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and book your tickets now!
View from the Shard with London Pass
With London Pass in your hand, you get free entry to View from the Shard.
Besides The Shard, this London discount pass also covers 60 other attractions, where you can skip the line and walk in for free.
If you are in the city on 2-days plus holiday, this is a must purchase.
While purchasing the London Pass, you have the option of going from a 1-day Pass to 10-day Pass.
The cost of the London Pass depends on the number of days you have opted.
For instance, the cost of a 1-day London Pass is –
Adult Pass (16+ years): 69 Pounds
Children Pass (5-15 years): 49 Pounds
The cost of a 5-days London Pass is –
Adult Pass (16+ years): 135 Pounds
Children Pass (5-15 years): 105 Pounds
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.
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She has a passion for both traveling and photography, which help her document her memories forever. She loves to explore city streets taking in the people, the colors, and the culture surrounding her. Occasionally she loves to step away from the hustle-bustle of urban lifestyle, and chill-out either alone or with friends. Favorite Cities: Istanbul, London, Marrakech, Venice