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The Shard Tickets

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

Jun 12, 2021 • 10 min read

The Shard Tickets

©Fred Moon

If you are attracted to strong emotions and you are not afraid of vertigo, on your next trip to London you cannot miss what has become the latest tourist attraction in the city: The View panoramic viewpoint.

Located in The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, it is, together with the famous London Eye, the best place to see London from above. Do you want to know how to get tickets? Read on!

The best option
The View from The Shard Tickets (Optional Champagne)

The most convenient option to enjoy the best view of London

If you are planning your trip to London and want to make sure you have time to enjoy the most spectacular viewpoint in Europe, it is best to book your ticket online at the best price.

From $ 39 at Hellotickets

Considering that this is a very popular viewpoint in London, the best option to guarantee access on the day you want is to buy tickets for The Shard online in advance for 34 €. This way you will have direct access and you will also save some money by being a little cheaper than at the box office.

Since opening its doors in 2012, the modern architecture of this 310-meter-tall skyscraper has defined the city's skyline. Even if you haven't visited it yet, if you've strolled through the London Bridge area you've probably been struck by its imposing height and futuristic, pyramidal design that contrasts with the surrounding landscape.

Its glass-covered exterior is a true marvel. When the sunlight reflects on The Shard gives the impression that the skyscraper displays all its beauty to attract as if it were a spell, all eyes to its slender and pointed profile and step to all the curious inside.

Why I like this option**: I am not exaggerating if I say that the viewpoint of The Shard is the one with the most amazing views of the British capital, even more than the London Eye as its height is almost double that of the famous Ferris wheel.

Recommended if...** you would like to visit this architectural marvel without having to queue for tickets at the door.

The most complete option
London Pass: Includes Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour and 80+ Attractions

The tourist card that opens the doors to the most important attractions in London (including The Shard!)

If you plan to visit more than one museum, monument or attraction in addition to The Shard, it is very likely that you will save money compared to buying each of the tickets separately.

From $ 77 at Hellotickets

This tourist card gives you access to The View from The Shard and more than 80 attractions in the British capital, including admission to the sightseeing bus and the Thames river cruise. The London Pass is highly recommended for travelers who want to see as many attractions as possible during their trip.

You pay per day and with this pass on the one hand you save money (because you are not paying for each ticket individually) and on the other hand you save time as it puts you at the quick entrance of the main sites of interest in the city. In addition, it allows you to enjoy special offers in a lot of stores, restaurants, theaters and other entertainment venues in London.

If you want to know more about the London Pass, I advise you to take a look at the article The best London Tourist Card where you will find all the detailed information.
This tourist card gives you access to The View from The Shard and more than 80 attractions in the British capital, including admission to the sightseeing bus and Thames river cruise.

Why I like this option**: The London Pass will give you access not only to The View at The Shard but also to other must-see attractions in London. Do the math, because it's probably worth it financially to buy this card.

Recommended if...** you are planning to visit several attractions while saving time and money during your trip.

What is The View from The Shard like?

London view from The Shard | ©Darko M.
London view from The Shard | ©Darko M.

If I had to describe it in a few words, this viewpoint is a must-see and absolutely thrilling experience. Being up there looking down on London and the Thames from the highest observatory in Western Europe is a blast. It gives the impression that time and the city stands still before our eyes.

It all starts when you arrive at the entrance of The Shard, in the neighborhood of London Bridge. When you look up from the ground you feel like an ant as you see how this colossus seems to have no end.

It gives you an idea of the magnificent views that await you at the top and the excitement builds. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, little by little.

The Shards' ultra-fast elevators

Inside the elevator at The View | ©Sean MacEntee
Inside the elevator at The View | ©Sean MacEntee

At the time of access to The Shard you have to pass a security check as happens at airports and in just a few minutes the staff of the skyscraper guides you to the elevator that you must take to go up to The View. The complex has 44 elevators in total but there are 2 that lead to the spectacular views from the top.

As in other famous observatories such as Top of the Rock: or The Edge: in New York, the elevators of The Shard are also interactive as panoramic images of London are projected on their walls, which are an appetizer of what we will see in the observation deck. With these ultra-fast elevators in less than a minute I climbed 68 floors without even realizing it. Wow!

Entering The View

Admire the beauty of The View | ©Martin Pettitt
Admire the beauty of The View | ©Martin Pettitt

As the highest observatory in the city, without a doubt, The View offers the best aerial view of London.

It is divided into three floors, two of which are enclosed and an open terrace. Number 69 is a glass floor offering a 360-degree panoramic view of the British capital. At such a height, everything can be seen as if it were a toy model: St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, River Thames, Town Hall, The Gherkin, London Eye and many other sites.

The truth is that here you spend a very entertaining time scanning the landscape of the city to identify its tourist attractions one by one.

Also on this floor are digital telescopes with touch screens "tell:scopes " that allow you to see the city both day and night by zooming in and out and receiving real-time information on London's main attractions to understand its past and present.

The View's peak

The View at the top of The Shard | ©Dimitry Anikin
The View at the top of The Shard | ©Dimitry Anikin

But, if you ask me, for me the experience goes up a notch when you reach the top of The View on the 72nd floor of the skyscraper. After ascending a short flight of stairs you'll reach The Shard's uncovered observation deck from where on a clear day you'll have stunning panoramic views for up to 40 miles around.

The feeling you get here is that of standing on the edge of a cliff while you feel the impact of the air on your face. Everything seems small and immense at the same time! Adrenaline rushes and it is inevitable that your skin will crawl if you have respect for heights. The occasion is worth it, so take advantage of the moment to take all the videos and selfies you want of the visit.

If you like thrills, I promise you that seeing London at your feet from The Shard, hundreds of feet above the ground, is a thrilling sensation you won't forget.

The finishing touch to a visit to The View

Since it's not every day you get to see a place as spectacular as this one, we felt like spending more time at The Shard enjoying the ambiance and took advantage of the visit to have a drink at the observation deck bar (there is a bar on the 69th and 72nd floors) since the entrance fee includes a glass of champagne Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut if you select this option in the reservation.

Since the prices on the menu are not very cheap, I recommend you choose this option if you don't want to pay too much for a drink. Having a drink up there with those wonderful views is an excellent end to the visit, isn't it?

What is the best time of day to visit The Shard?

Views of London from The View at sunset | ©Genevieve Perron-Migneron
Views of London from The View at sunset | ©Genevieve Perron-Migneron

I would almost say that the experience at The Shard depends more on the weather in London than the time, as on a sunny day you will see more of the city than on a rainy one, but really the views at The View are mind-blowing at any time of the day.

However, my favorite moment is at sunset. Watching the sun set over London and the River Thames as the lights of the city slowly illuminate is unparalleled - it's a magical feeling!

One of the most beautiful experiences you will live during your trip and I highly recommend it.

Isabel's Traveler Tip

On a clear day you will be able to see for 40 miles around. Look closely and you will even see the Houses of Parliament.

What are the opening hours of The Shard observation deck?

The Shard standing out in the London skyline | ©Darko M.
The Shard standing out in the London skyline | ©Darko M.

  • Thursday to Saturday open from 10 AM to 10 PM (access until 08:30 PM).
  • From Sunday to Wednesday it is open from 10 AM to 7 PM (access until 05:30 PM).
  • Closes on December 25.

How long does it take to watch The Shard?

The duration of the visit is approximately 1 hour. You can take advantage of the first 45 minutes to enjoy the views from the observation deck and reserve the remaining time to relax at The View bar while sipping a glass of champagne.

Isabel's Traveler Tip

Saturdays and Sundays are the days when The Shard receives the most visitors, so if you want to visit it on a weekend, I advise you to go early to confirm your preferred visiting hours.

How to get to The Shard?

An experience for all ages | ©Collins Lesulie
An experience for all ages | ©Collins Lesulie

The Shard is located in the historic district of London Bridge, close to such interesting places as the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the modern Town Hall, The Borough Market or the HMS Belfast. In the surrounding area you will also find many trendy restaurants and bars to stop by after your visit to the skyscraper.

There are several ways to get to The Shard:

  • Subway: Northern and Jubilee lines at London Bridge Underground Station.
  • Buses: Lines 43, 48, 141, 149 and 521.
  • Train**: Southern and South Eastern trains at London Bridge Station stop.

Getting to know The Shard: a little bit of history

The Shard illuminated by the sun at sunset | ©Ana Paula Grimaldi
The Shard illuminated by the sun at sunset | ©Ana Paula Grimaldi

In 2012, the modern architecture of the prestigious Renzo Piano (designer of the famed Pompidou Centre in Paris together with Richard Rogers) changed the London skyline forever and a few years have been enough to make it one of the icons of the British capital.

The Shard was born with the idea of being a vertical city where "people could work, live and relax". This is why this 87-story skyscraper has offices (floors 3-28), restaurants (31-33), the Shangri-La Hotel (34-52), several private apartments (53-65), The View (68-72) and the needle (73-87) open at the top through which the building "breathes" and releases the heat generated inside.

The Shard was built with an ecological vocation. No less than 95% of the materials used in its construction are recycled and the huge glass window that covers the entire skyscraper was designed with photovoltaic panels that make it possible to take advantage of sunlight and reduce energy consumption emissions.

But Renzo Piano's project not only sought to erect the tallest skyscraper in Western Europe but also to regenerate the London Bridge area, one of the city's busiest railroad stations.

The entrance was renovated and now houses a retail arcade called The Retail Arcade: managed by The Shard. It has a little bit of everything: from clothing, perfume and cosmetics stores to hairdressers and barbershops, as well as several cafes where you can have a snack.

You can take advantage of the visit to the viewpoint The View from The Shard and then take a stroll through the mall and do some shopping. You might just find the perfect souvenir you've been looking for.

Did you know that...?

Before Moscow's Mercury City Tower (339 meters) was built, The Shard skyscraper (310 meters) held the record for the tallest building in Europe.

Other breathtaking views in London...

Visit the London Eye | ©Robson Denian Mateus
Visit the London Eye | ©Robson Denian Mateus

If you are one of those travelers who love to enjoy London from the heights, another must-see is The London Eye, which was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world at the beginning of the 21st century until it was overtaken by the Nachang Star (China) and the Singapore Flyer (Singapore) later on.

The London Eye is a panoramic rotating observatory (360º)** and an icon of the British capital. You will find it in the heart of London, in the Riverside Building in County Hall Westminster Bridge Road.

Go prepared with your camera because from here you will take some spectacular photos of Big Ben, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace that you can add to your collection of the London skyline that you start at The Shard.

If you want to know how to get on the most famous Ferris wheel in the world, I recommend you take a look at the article Tickets for the London Eye: where you will learn how to get the cheapest tickets with priority access.

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