The Shard, also referred to as the View from the Shard, is the highest viewing platform in London.
From its three observatories – on floors 68, 69, and 72 – visitors can see 360-degree views of London for up to 65 km (40 miles).
It stands at a height of 300 meters (1,010 feet) and is twice the height of any other viewing platform in London.
It offers visitors 360-degree panoramic views of London up to 40 miles away on a clear day.
The View from the Shard is a truly unique experience, and it’s one that you can’t miss if you are in London.
Table of contents
- What to expect at The Shard
- Where to book tickets
- The View from the Shard ticket price
- The Shard viewing gallery tickets
- Saving with London Pass
- Walking tour of 30 landmarks + The Shard
- How to reach View from The Shard
- Opening hours of the View from the Shard
- How long does the tour take
- Best time to visit
- The Slide at The Shard
- Is The Shard better at day or night?
- The Shard vs. London Eye
- View from the Shard reviews
- FAQs about the View from the Shard
What to expect at The Shard
Your journey begins with an exhilarating ride in high-speed elevators, which take you from Level 1 to Level 68 in just sixty seconds.
Level 68 is home to the ticket office and the entrance to the lifts. Visitors can also find a cafe and a gift shop on this level.
The 69th floor has an indoor viewing gallery and a champagne bar.
If you feel brave, you can also head to the Skydeck on the 72nd floor.
The Skydeck is a partially outdoor gallery that offers even more stunning views of London.
On a clear day, you can see iconic landmarks like the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the River Thames, as well as expansive views of the city.
Besides spectacular views, the indoor viewing gallery is also a great place to learn about the city.
Inside, some touchscreens and displays help you identify landmarks, learn about the city’s history, and trace how London has evolved.
The View from the Shard viewing gallery also offers a selection of food and drinks available at the champagne bar on the 69th floor and the Skydeck Cafe on the 72nd floor.
Enjoy a glass of champagne or sparkling wine while taking in the 360-degree views of London.
The View from the Shard also hosts several events throughout the year, including live music, cocktail masterclasses, and corporate events.
Where to book tickets
Tickets for the View from the Shard are available online or at the attraction.
Online ticket prices tend to be cheaper than tickets at the venue.
When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the attraction’s ticket counters.
When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot.
The View from the Shard sells only limited tickets, so during peak days, they may sell out.
Booking early also helps avoid last-minute disappointments.
How do online tickets work
Select the preferred date, time slot, and number of tickets and buy the tickets immediately.
Once you purchase the Shard tickets, they get delivered to your email address.
There is no need to get printouts of the ticket.
You can show the e-ticket on your smartphone when you visit the attraction.
The View from the Shard ticket price
From Sunday to Friday, the general entry ticket for the View from the Shard is priced at £32 for all visitors above three years. On Saturdays, it costs £37.
From Sunday to Friday, the Shard entry ticket with champagne costs £47 for those above 18 years. On Saturdays, it is priced at £52.
Children under three years can enter for free.
The Shard viewing gallery tickets
If you buy tickets to the Shard online, 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.
The unique thing about this ticket is the View Guarantee.
If you can’t see at least three specified landmarks due to low visibility, the View from the Shard offers a View Guarantee.
You’ll receive a complimentary return voucher valid for at least three months, allowing you to book a free return standard ticket.
Please claim your free ticket on the same day of your visit before leaving the venue; it cannot be claimed later.
Sunday to Friday
General ticket (3+ years): £32
General with champagne ticket (18+ years): £47
General ticket (3+ years): £37
General with champagne ticket (18+ years): £52
Saving with London Pass
The 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 it multiple times to visit various attractions for free.
It helps save up to 50% on your ticket costs.
Go City: London Explorer Pass – Explore London at your own pace and choose 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 attractions to visit from a list of 65+ attractions including the Shard.
Walking tour of 30 landmarks + The Shard
Combo tours that include the Shard are popular with tourists holidaying in London.
There are two reasons for their popularity:
– Combo tours help save money
– Since a tour of the Shard takes only two hours, visitors are looking for one more attraction to explore for the day
This combo tour lets you explore London’s 30 most iconic landmarks like Big Ben, London Eye, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, etc.
After exploring the city on foot, you will go up the View from the Shard and see the whole of London from a different perspective.
During this six-hour tour, you will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide.
Tour ticket prices
Adult ticket (14+ years): £87
Child ticket (3 to 13 years): £36
Infant ticket (up to 2 years): Free entry
How to reach View from The Shard
The Shard is located on the south bank of the river Thames close to London Bridge Railway and Underground Station.
The viewing platform is right next to the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret.
Address: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, United Kingdom. Get directions.
You can reach the Shard by bus or by car.
London Bridge Bus Station stop D (Buses: N21, N343) is only a few steps from the meeting point.
London Bridge Bus Station (Bus No: 43, 48, 141, 149, 521.) is only 2 minutes from the Shard.
It would be best if you get down at the bus station located at the main entrance of the London Bridge Station.
You can take the Northern or Jubilee lines to get to London Bridge Underground Station, a quick walk from the Shard.
Once you exit the London Bridge Underground station, you can’t miss the signs directing you to the Shard or Joiner Street.
Opt for Southern and South-Eastern trains if you plan to take the regular train to London Bridge Station.
After exiting the London Bridge Station, turn left immediately and go down the escalator, which takes you to Joiner Street and eventually to The Shard.
If you’re traveling by car, turn on your Google Maps and get started.
There are enough parking garages around the attraction.
Opening hours of the View from the Shard
On Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, the Shard View opens at 11 am and closes at 7 pm.
On Fridays and Saturdays, the viewing platform stays open from 10 am to 10 pm.
The attraction remains closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
How long does the tour take
You need at least two and a half hours to enjoy stunning views of London from all three observatories at the Shard and try out the VR activities.
Visiting during non-peak hours allows you to bypass the 30 to 45 minutes of waiting time and complete the experience in just two hours.
Dining at one of the five restaurants at the Shard will require an additional hour in your schedule.
Tip: Since London Bridge and Tower Bridge are close to the Shard, some tourists add them as the next items on their itinerary.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the Shard is from 4 pm to 6 pm, when the viewing deck offers stunning visuals of the London skyline bathed in the setting sun’s colors.
Since most visitors prefer to reach just before the sun goes down and stay on till the lights come out, the Shard gets crowded during these hours.
It is best to visit between 10 am to 2 pm for a quiet time with family and kids.
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.
Avoiding the Shard over the weekends is better because it gets crowded.
However, if you must visit on the weekend, buy your tickets in advance and reach the observatory between 10 am and 2 pm because the crowd starts pouring in after that.
The Shard stays crowded till 7 pm, especially on Saturdays. The ticket prices are also higher during weekends.
The London City Card includes tickets to the Shard, the Tower of London, and a cruise on the River Thames for as long as you want. You also get a 10% discount code, which you can use (five times!) to get discounts on future purchases.
The Slide at The Shard
The Slide is the Shard’s virtual reality experience, where users can swoop and slide through the city’s skyline, traveling up to 160 kph (100 mph) past London’s important landmark.
The adrenaline-fuelled 360-degree virtual reality experience is a multi-sensory journey hit with both kids and adults.
The experience is almost as if you are sliding from the top of the Shard.
The Slide is not part of the regular ticket, and extra charges apply.
Is The Shard better at day or night?
If you want to see a 360-degree view of London’s buildings and skyline and appreciate the beauty of the River Thames, visit The Shard during the day.
If you want to see the magical glitter of London’s lights and utter a dramatic ‘wow,’ visit the observation deck at night.
View from the Shard during the day
On a clear day, you can see the city up to 65 km (40 miles) in all directions.
In the daylight, the reflecting glass panels make the views of the city more dazzling.
However, there is always the possibility of poor weather in the early mornings, and it is best to check the weather conditions before your visit.
Note: The reflective glass panels in the sun might make it hard to take photos.
View from the Shard at night
Viewing from the Shard during the night is a very different experience because of the lit-up skyline.
Structures like the Tower Bridge and the London Eye have lighting effects of their own, which visitors can see only at night.
Nevertheless, capturing the beauty of these iconic landmarks under the stars can be challenging without a quality camera.
The best time to visit the Shard is right before the sunset because you can enjoy the best parts of the day view, sunset, and 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) tall, and the observation deck of The Shard stands at a glorious height of 800 feet (244 meters).
The London Eye offers a view of around 40 Km (25 Miles), while Tthe Shard’s observation deck provides sights of up to 65 km (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 most elevated 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 exceed 30 to 45 minutes.
The Shard’s tickets might be more expensive than London Eye’s, but it offers unlimited time at the top, and the waiting times are also much less.
We recommend you visit both, but if you have to choose only one vantage point to check out stunning views of London – The Shard certainly has the edge over the London Eye.
View from the Shard reviews
At 4.5 out of 5, The View from The Shard is highly rated on Tripadvisor.
Check out a few of the reviews that will help you decide.
Better than other lookouts I’ve been to
I had done the London Eye previously, so I was unsure if it was worth going to 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! I also had a drink in the bar, which was great. The staff is helpful and friendly. Despite the fact it was raining we still enjoyed the views!Minkygirl, Grantham
FAQs about the View from the Shard
Here are some FAQs about the View from the Shard.
No, there is no time restriction on your visit. You can enjoy the experience for as long as you like, all the way up until the closing time for the day.
If you arrive up to 15 minutes after the time stated on your ticket, you can still enter. However, if you are later than that, you may be required to pay a re-booking fee.
No, only food and drink purchased within the View from the Shard are allowed in the viewing gallery. You can buy hot and cold drinks, as well as snacks, on Level 69 and Level 72 during your visit.
No, there are no parking or drop-off facilities. However, there are privately owned car parks in the local area, with the nearest one being approximately a five-minute walk away from the attraction.
Yes, the Shard is wheelchair accessible, and they offer facilities and assistance for visitors with disabilities. It’s advisable to contact them in advance for specific needs.
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