‘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 mesmerizing 360-degree views of London for up to 65 Km (40 miles).
It stands at the height of 256 meters (840 feet) and is twice the height of any other viewing platform in London.
Table of contents
- What to expect at The Shard
- How to reach View from The Shard
- The Shard’s hours
- Best time to visit View from The Shard
- How long does The Shard take
- The Shard’s ticket prices
- View from The Shard discounts
- View from The Shard tickets
- Walking tour of 30 landmarks + The Shard
- The Slide at The Shard
- Is The Shard better at day or night?
- The Shard vs. London Eye
- View from the Shard reviews
- Facts about View from The Shard
What to expect at The Shard
How to reach View from The Shard
The most convenient way to reach View from The Shard is by public transport.
The Shard by Train
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.
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, which takes you to Joiner Street and eventually to The Shard.
The Shard by Bus
You must get down at the bus station located at the main entrance of the London Bridge Station.
The Shard’s hours
The View from The Shard opens at 10 am, all through the year.
From April to October, The Shard closes at 10 pm, and from November to March, which is the lean season, it closes early at 7 pm.
The London attraction remains closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The Shard’s pandemic schedule: From Wednesdays to Sundays, The Shard opens at 2 pm and closes at 10 pm.
Best time to visit View from The Shard
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.
It is better to avoid The Shard over the weekends because it gets crowded.
However, if you must visit on the weekend, buy your tickets in advance and 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.
The London City Card includes tickets to The Shard, 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.
How long does The Shard take
To enjoy stunning views of London from all the three observatories at The Shard and try out the VR activities, you need at least two and a half hours.
If you visit during the non-peak hours, you can avoid the 30 to 45 minutes of waiting time and complete the experience in two hours.
If you dine at one of the five restaurants at The Shard, you will need one more hour.
To avoid waiting in long queues, we suggest you book your tickets online.
Tip: Since both London Bridge and Tower Bridge are close to The Shard, some tourists add them as the next items on their itinerary.
The Shard’s ticket prices
You can purchase The Shard’s tickets online or at the attraction’s gate.
While buying online tickets, you can book them in advance or buy them on the day of your visit.
Visitors can choose from three kinds of The Shard tickets – Standard tickets, Premium tickets, and Family tickets.
Cost of Standard tickets
At £28 per person, the Standard Entry ticket is the cheapest online ticket to enter The Shard.
When you purchase the Standard ticket at the last minute, it costs £31.18 per person.
Cost of Premium tickets
The Premium Shard ticket gets you fast track entry, a guidebook on The Shard, and four souvenir digital photos and costs £37 per person.
When you purchase the Premium ticket at the last minute, it costs £41.20 per person.
Cost of Family tickets
To help families save on ticket costs, The Shard offers numerous combinations.
These family tickets are also costlier when booked at the last minute.
|Family Ticket||Advance rates||Same Day rates|
|1 adult + 1 kid||£56||£62.36|
|1 adult + 2 kids||£84||£93.54|
|2 adults + 2 kids||£112||£124.72|
|3 adults + 2 kids||£140||£155.90|
*Children aged three and under do not require a ticket to visit The View from The Shard
**Children aged 16 and above are considered adults
Purchasing your tickets online has two distinct advantages – you pay less, and you also avoid waiting in long lines at the attraction.
Even same-day online tickets are cheaper than the price you will pay at the venue.
Whichever ticket you opt for, you don’t need to take a printout. You can show the tickets 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 and a few days in advance.
When you book your tickets online, on the Standard ticket, you save more than £3, and on the Premium tickets, you save more than £4.
Family tickets are also a great way to save money on your tickets to The Shard.
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 it multiple times to visit various attractions for free.
It helps save 40 to 45% on your ticket costs.
When you book The Shard and the Hop-on-Hop-off City Cruise of London together, you get an additional 10% off. You can use the tickets on different days. Find Out More
View from The Shard tickets
All Shard tickets get you to access indoor viewing platforms on levels 68 and 69 and the open-air Skydeck on level 72.
The Shard tickets are timed
When you book your tickets, you must select a timeslot.
The slots start from when The Shard opens for the day and are available every 15 minutes till 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 printouts
The 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 a ‘Good Weather Guarantee’ on all tickets, except the Standard tickets.
Under this guarantee, if you can’t see at least three of the following five landmarks – London Eye, 20 Fenchurch Street, Tower Bridge, One Canada Square, and St Paul’s Cathedral – you will get a complimentary ticket for a revisit.
The free Shard ticket allows you to return within three months, absolutely free.
You must claim your free ticket on the day of your visit before you leave the attraction.
The Shard ticket options
Standard Entry: This is the cheapest entry into The Shard. The Standard ticket costs £28 per person.
Premium Ticket: This ticket gets you a fast-track entrance, four souvenir digital photos and Good Weather Guarantee. The Premium ticket costs £37 per person.
Family ticket: Besides helping you save money, the Family ticket also gets you four souvenir digital photos. On the ticket book page you can select the size of your family. Visitors 16 years and above are considered adults.
Walking tour of 30 landmarks + The Shard
Combo tours, which include The Shard, are pretty popular with tourists holidaying in London.
And there are two reasons for their popularity:
– Combo tours help save money
– Since The Shard takes only two to two and a half hours, visitors are looking for one more attraction to explore for the day
This combo tour allows you to 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 by walk, you will go up The View from The Shard and see the whole of London from a different perspective.
All through this six-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
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 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.
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 visitors can see only at night.
However, iconic buildings aren’t clearly visible, making 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 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 go beyond 30 to 45 minutes.
The Shard’s tickets might be a little more expensive than London Eye’s tickets, 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 we think 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
Facts about View from The Shard
The Shard stands 306 meters (1004 feet) from the ground near the London Bridge and is the tallest structure in Western Europe.
Famous Italian architect Renzo Piano designed the 95-story skyscraper.
The Shard is covered with 11,000 glass panels on the outside, stretching over an area of 56,000 sq meters.
The Shard has three observation decks – on the 68th, 69th, and 72nd floor.
It is famous even 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.
The construction workers found a fox on the 72nd floor while working and nicknamed him Romeo.