If you are attracted by 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, is, along with the famous London Eye, the best place to see London from heights.
Located in The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, is next to the famous London Eye, the best place to see London from above. Want to know how to get tickets? Read on!
The most convenient option to enjoy the best view in 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.
Given that this is a very popular viewpoint in London, the best option to guarantee access the day you want is to buy tickets for The Shard online and in advance from 39 €. This way, you will have direct access and you will be sure not to miss your visit.
An ideal proposal to enjoy the best panoramic views of the city from a height of 244 meters and a distance of 64 kilometers. In addition, you can have the option to enjoy a premium experience by adding a glass of champagne.
Why I like this option: I am not exaggerating if I say that The Shard observation deck 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 feel like visiting this architectural marvel without having to queue for tickets at the door.
How to buy tickets
In Hellotickets you can buy tickets for the panoramic viewpoint The View of The Shard in advance at a price of 39 ¤. To do so, you will have to choose the exact time of your visit. The intervals are every 15 minutes. This way, you will have the possibility to cancel for free.
You also have the option to buy them on the website of the skyscraper but you have to do it well in advance. Keep in mind that next to the London Eye, The Shard is one of the best places to have a panoramic view of London and receives many visitors.
Prices for The Shard
Admission to The Shard skyscraper is not discounted on any day of the week and there are no reduced rates for any group, except for children under 3 years old who get in for free. You can buy them for a price from 39 € in Hellotickets. Also if you want to enjoy a superior experience you can enjoy a glass of champagne Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut for a price from 57 €. Read the following article if you want more details about the prices of The Shard.
However, if you are looking to save a few pounds, you can always buy the London Explorer Pass from 57 € and you will benefit from a series of discounts both in The Shard and in the main attractions of the city. See below for all the information about the London Explorer Pass.
Opening times for The Shard
The Shard observation deck is open from Wednesday to Sunday, during the summer months from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. continuously and in the winter months from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.. However, the hours may vary due to special events. So I recommend that you visit the official website to confirm the opening and closing times updated before your visit.
Also, please note that the last entrance is one hour before the official closing time and the restaurants close approximately 30 minutes before closing time.
How long does it take to see The Shard?
The tour lasts 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 in The View bar while sipping a glass of champagne.
Isabel's Traveler Tip
Saturdays and Sundays are the days that The Shard receives the most visitors so if you want to see it on a weekend, I advise you to go early to confirm your preferred visit time.
What is The View from The Shard like?
If I had to describe it in a few words, this viewpoint is a must-see and absolutely thrilling experience. To be 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 when 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 ultra-fast elevators of The Shards
When you enter The Shard with your ticket, you go through a security check like 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 their walls are projected on panoramic images of London that are an appetizer of what we will see in the viewpoint. With these ultra-fast elevators , in less than a minute I climbed 68 floors without even realizing it. Wow!
Entering The View
Being 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 glazed floor that offers 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, the Tower of London, the River Thames, Town Hall, the Gherkin and the London Eye, among 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. In addition, on this floor are the digital telescopes with touch screens "tell:scopes" that allow you to see the city both day and night zooming and receiving real-time information from the main attractions of London to understand its past and present.
The pinnacle of The View
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 climbing a short flight of stairs you will reach The Shard's uncovered observation deck from where on a clear day you will have stunning panoramic views of up to 40 miles around.
The feeling you get here is that of standing on the edge of a cliff as 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 strong emotions, I promise you that seeing London at your feet from The Shard, hundreds of meters high, is a very exciting feeling that you will not forget.
The finishing touch to a visit to The View
As 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 atmosphere and we took advantage of the visit to have a drink at the observation deck bar (there is a bar on the 69th and 72nd floors) as the entrance includes a glass of Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut champagne if you select this option when booking.
Given that the prices on the menu are not very cheap, I recommend you to 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?
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 time 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 the 65 km around that reach their views. Look closely and you'll even see the Houses of Parliament.
How to get to The Shard?
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 its surroundings you will also find many restaurants and trendy bars where to stop after visiting the skyscraper.
There are several ways to get to The Shard:
- Subway: Northern and Jubilee lines at London Bridge Underground Station.
- Bus: Lines 43, 48, 141, 149 and 521.
- Train: Southern and South Eastern trains at London Bridge Station.
Getting to know The Shard: a bit of history
In 2012, the modern architecture of the prestigious Renzo Piano changed the London skyline forever and a few years have been enough to become 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 87-story skyscraper has offices (floors 3-28), restaurants (31-33), the Shangri-La hotel (34-52), several private apartments (53-65), the viewpoint The View (68-72) and the spire (73-87), open at the tip 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.
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 busiest railroad stations in the city. Its entrance was renovated and now houses a shopping arcade called The Retail Arcade managed by The Shard. You can take advantage of your visit to take a stroll around the mall and do some shopping.
Did you know...?
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
If you are one of those travelers who love to enjoy London from above, another must-see is The London Eye, which was the highest 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.
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 pictures 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 in The Shard.
If you want to know how to get on the most famous Ferris wheel in the world, I recommend you to take a look at the article London Eye tickets where you will learn how to get the cheapest tickets with priority access.