The View from the Shard

Attractions, Towers and viewpoints London Bridge
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 (Casey Gutteridge)
Casey Gutteridge
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© The View from The Shard

Stand with your head in the clouds and see London from the top of the tallest tower in Western Europe

During 2012, a strange new shape took form on the London landscape, as the capital’s tallest tower reached for the sky. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and inspired by the spires he’d seen in the eighteenth-century London landscapes painted by Canaletto, The Shard was built to house offices, a hotel, residences and restaurants. Floors 73 to 95 account for its distinctive summit, and its highest habitable floors make up The View from The Shard observatory.

With 360° views, 244 metres from the ground, The View from The Shard is one of the city’s very best vantage points. Since opening to the public in early 2013 it’s also become one of the capital’s favourite spaces for events like yoga sessions and silent disco nights.

Open seven days a week, 364 days a year, The View from the Shard is more than a mere photo opportunity. The visit starts at ground level, as you step into the kaleidoscopic lift and travel at high speed up to the triple-height viewing platform on level 69. From here you can explore the View, set out on three spacious levels, with floor-to-ceiling windows on every side of the building to allow visitors big and small the chance to gaze out at landmarks up to 40 miles away.

Walk all the way round floors 68 and 69, then head up to the 72nd-floor skydeck – an open-air platform. Use the specially designed touchscreen telescopes to see the sights in greater detail, get information about the views in a choice of ten languages, and click to see the same view in day, night, sunrise and sunset conditions.

Throughout the year, special installations are hosted here to keep the offering fresh for returning visitors. In the past these have included a summer garden with over 2,000 plants and flowers, and a winter wonderland created by gastro-wizards Bompas & Parr.

On the last Sunday of every month the Museum of London’s team are on hand for a free ‘Objects in Focus’ session where you can handle objects from their collection, including items discovered on an archaeological dig at the 2012 Olympic site. Suitable for all ages, the drop-in session runs 10.30am to 4pm and is free to all ticket-holding visitors. You can also buy a Day & Night Experience ticket, which allows you to visit during the morning or afternoon and return to the View the evening on the same day.

By: Laura Lee Davies


Venue name: The View from the Shard
Address: Joiner St
Opening hours: Apr 1–Oct 24 daily 10am–10pm (last entry 9.30pm). Oct 25–Mar 31 Mon–Wed, Sun 10am–7pm (last entry 6pm); Thu–Sat 10am–10pm (last entry 9pm)
Transport: Tube: London Bridge
Price: £25.95, £20.95 student, £29.95 disabled (one carer free), £19.95 under-16s, £74.95 family. Day & Night £35.95, champagne visit £33.95
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Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it’s shamelessly touristy. But it’s a completely unique view of London. And think about how often you pay to do these sorts of things in other peoples’ cities!

Herded through like the indomitable touists we are, pausing to take the obligatory group shot for additional merchandising, a speedy lift journey whizzes you to very close to the top of Europe’s tallest building.  

I visited late afternoon in late September, which is ideal to watch the changing of the light play over the city.

And the view is absolutely incredible.

It’s remarkable to peer down at the miniscule people scurrying across London Bridge, and the boats charging up the Thames, whilst the clouds drift slowly past – I felt an enormous sense of calm and wellbeing which is somewhat elusive in London.  

Don’t forget your camera – everyone else certainly didn’t.  


The View from the Shard is a great experience, being above London at such a great height, but with most popular viewpoints, you may be stood on one of the major points on the city skyline that you actually want to see. This is why I would probably opt for a free visit to Sky Garden over a £25.95 ticket to the Shard. Also, you can appreciate good views from the Shangri-La hotel lobby in the Shard for free.


The View offers a stunning panorama of London from 68 floors up. My favourite side is the view of East London, with Tower Bridge in full and Canary Wharf in the background. I find it quite amusing because it blends the historic architecture from the Bridge and the modernity from the financial district. 

I've had the opportunity to experience this twice at the Silent Discos that are held at The Shard. So I've only seen this view at night. It's still easy to spot the iconic buildings and sights but obviously slightly harder to find less known attractions such as the BT Tower or St. George Wharf Tower. As beautiful as the view is, I think that there are definitely other options in London with an even better view and at a lower price, if not free. 

I did like that the lower viewing deck (the one that is indoors) had electronic binoculars that you could move around to see different buildings. It was pretty cool because the machine allows you to see the same view in different modes - eg. at night, during the day, a live feed, etc. 

Diana T

Generally I think the Shard is overrated. There are so many other more interesting buildings in London, I really don't understand the hype around this particular one. 

I was graciously invited to an event at the View from the Shard, and as I skeptically handed my coat over to the cloakroom attendant I wondered whether I'd need it at the top. 

With a drink in hand, I strolled over to the edge, admiring the view. Now the view is actually pretty incredible. However the staff on hand to explain the skyline are much to used to the tourists and therefore don't actually know London's city scape that well. 

I'd say this experience is great for someone new to the city, that wants to learn a bit of history or see further than the eye can see. Otherwise, just go to the Tate's new extension and you'll be just as impressed. 

Vera S

You have to do it. There's no way around it. If you're in London for a quick visit, or even if you live here - you have to get up there. 

If you pick the right date, you really get the most amazing views from up here. You don't even need binoculars - the map, the way you see it in pocket guides, is right in front of you, and one can really waste hours here, pointing out landmarks that are ordinary or even boring on ground level, but from up here it's a completely different experience.

After a thrilling elevator ride up to the top, you are presented with an entire view of London and after you work yourself through some crowds, the best strategy is to just pick a spot by the window and take it all in from there. Sure, you can walk around after, but this is the least frustrating way to deal with tourist crowds while still getting to enjoy it all.

Definitely recommend taking the last set of stairs up to the open top - the breath of fresh air makes you feel like King Kong on top of the skyscraper, and if you've just been paid or had a rich relative recently pass away, make sure you look around here with drink in hand. The green garden setting makes it all look like a hanging garden, and the feeling of being above the entire city is honestly unique.

Yes, it's pricey, but please see first line.

Jane G.

One of the MUST DO things when visiting (or living) in London. The views are absolutely breathtaking. You can see for miles on a clear day. Looking down on Central makes everything seem so near to each other. The best part about is the Loo with a View. I thought they were kidding but they are not. If you are bashful you can draw the blinds, but it is a fun feeling to be a bit on the wild side and leave them open. I spent over an hour between the two observation decks so i didn't feel I'd wasted my money. 


Although it can be quite pricey and full of tourists, the views are spectacular. I would highly recommend it.

Telmo M

Just wonderful. Best way to go and see it is with the silent disco. Book your ticket and enjoy party and nice view!!!


OMG. I am actually afraid of heights but it was a family thing. It was fantastic. also we had access to floor 72 which is open. Once in a lifetime is enough.


Its very great place, its very expensive and touristy but the view is really worth it. I love seeing London from up high and its great thing to do at least once. Enjoy! 

Staff Writer

London clearly has many amazing attractions, but there is no other with such an incredible view and experience as The View From The Shard. Yes you have to go through the process of tickets, checks and opportunities to purchase gifts. But once at on the viewing platforms it is not like anything else for a view of London. We loved it so much we have been back several times, morning noon and early evening. Each giving a different perspective of the city. 360 degree views of London and beyond. One to be done.

Rellie Loves

In all honesty, I think Sky Garden is MUCH nicer, chilled out and purse friendly, but this is London and if you want to tick The Shard off the bucket list I’d still recommend you go. If you can squeeze past the many tourists, then the uninterrupted views are wonderful, day or night.  


Definitely one of the best views of London. The restaurant and the pub are expensive, but the place is breath-taking. I think the best time to go there is late afternoon, when you can see the sunset playing on London's buildings. You can see everything, from the London eye to Canary Wharf. I'm in love with this place. 

Luisa G

Very expensive, but beautiful views all across London. We could even see the North Downs. The champagne is disgustingly expensive, and you should get a bigger glass of it for the price you pay. Really lovely experience overall. There are also very cool toilets - 'loo with a view', which was great!

moderatorStaff Writer

Whilst it is quite pricey but there's no other view like it in London, and it's much cheaper than a chopper ride..


This was a birthday gift from two of my best girlfriends so after work one day they surprised me. Best surprise ever! The Shard really is the way to 'wow' someone and is a real 'must do' when in London. I do think, however, it is important to be in good company though. Looking around, some people were merely glancing here and there and clearly didn't get much out of it, but my friends and I really relaxed, took time to look at every part of London and had a really good giggle! Even if you don't need the loo, I still recommend you go as it is such a surreal experience being so high up, in such an open space, yet in a room that requires privacy. Because I loved it so much, I did buy two vouchers for my boyfriend and his brother (this included a glass of champagne) and they were raving fans too! It's a must in my eyes... 

Livvi AT

If you are a tourist visiting London for a special weekend or a Londoner born and bred who can see the Shard from their office every day, The View from the Shard is a stunning experience and a London must.

Looking at some reviews below, people seem to hesitate over the price. But however cliché it sounds, once you get to the top of the sleek building, you can't really put a price on the view, it really is breathtaking. My boyfriend took me for a birthday treat at night-time and this view was particularity beautiful. The 360 degrees view means that you can locate any London landmark and the lights of the city are amazing.

We paid an extra £8 on the original tickets to include an arrival glass of champagne from the Lanson bar (which we continued to frequent throughout the night) which made the whole experience feel more special. The music creates a relaxing atmosphere and the fact there is no time limit on your ticket means you can soak in the sights in your own time. 

I can't recommend this experience enough if it is just to spice up your weekend or to celebrate a special occasion. Worth the hype and worth the pennies. 

Top Tip: Make sure you continue to climb up to Floor 72 where the viewing platform is right at the top and open air, so you can really feel the height of the tallest building in Europe. 

Andrew G

Amazing views - it's a must when it London.  Great place for a special date with some bubbly for the special lady in your life - worked for me!

Staff Writer

I agree with a lot of the other comments here. The views are astounding (I particularly liked the view at night) but the price is a bit steep at almost £25 per person. It's worth noting there's not a huge amount to do once you're up there. There's a small bar but mostly it's all about admiring the amazing views. You get a great bird's eye view of London Bridge station - with all the trains coming in and out, it looks like a toy train set - as well as over towards the City with the Gherkin and Walkie Talkie on display.  

Tiago Almeida

Great views.

I arranged to go at sunset and enjoyed the beautiful London skies.

It's expensive but it's worth doing it at least once.

Andy R

As expected the View is astounding! The whole experience is good from the entrance to the lift journeys to the actual viewing gallery.  I couldn't fault the attraction or the staff, they were great!  My biggest disappointment was the "Height of Winter" experience on the skydeck.  I was expecting a really special Christmas experience after reading this: "Step into the glittering embrace of winter and be captivated by the magical creations of innovative British experience designers Bompas and Parr. Alongside perfumers, composers, psychologists and professors of visual culture they will transform the viewing gallery into the unmissable event of the season."

In reality, there are some plastic "Glowing crystal benches" and an ice cave.  Although it didn't cost any more than a standard ticket for this "experience" my overall review is tainted by this massive let down.

The view from the Shard is a must do experience if you are visiting London, especially at night around Christmas, just don't expect anything extra from the Height of Winter!


I did this as a present from my family and it was a really lovely experience. It was really windy that day but the view was amazing across London. I loved the screens to point out the buildings in case of any queries!


There’s one building you can’t miss when you’re in London. It looks incredible from outside, all sleek and shiny. And when you’re at the bottom of it, it’s a wonder how they could build a thing that tall. But how’s the experience inside?

The price is not cheap, but £25 is still acceptable when you’re considering you’re visiting the tallest building in Europe!

The high-speed lift is awesomely smooth, taking you directly to the ‘view’.

The ‘view’ itself is built on two level – the first one, closed and the second opened. The second one is my favourite because you can feel the wind and sunshine… It highlights the fact that you’re at that height.

The panoramic views are spectacular. As you’re at the highest point you’ve ever been, you’re able to look at London from a different perspective. Don’t expect much else though as there’s none to little explanation and only a few telescopes…

I would recommend it once, juts to see London from high above. But as there’s nothing more to it, you should probably not bother coming back…


We had wonderful panoramic views on a dry sunny-ish day but it was only 30 minutes viewing for an expensive price tag.  I wonder if they give a refund when the weather isn't so good?  This is a very slick operation - loads of staff standing around just pointing which way we should head to the lifts.  I would recommend anyone wanting to visit to wait for discounted offers.

Staff Writertastemaker

The view from here is great, and it's nice to walk right up to the glass. Get there in time for a good sunset and you'll be getting considerably more for your money than mid afternoon whatever the weather!

The downsides are the price tag (and they dont seem to be doing offers yet) and for me it has a slightly hotel-y vibe which is a bit nauseating when paired with the altitude.

Think its worth looking for some of their special events as a visit will feel better value for money when you can linger with a dink in your hand or have a dance.

Kirsty E

Very nice 360° views of London. BUT.. very expensive for what it is. Having been to quite a few viewing towers around the world, this is by far the most expensive yet probably one of the least interesting. For around £30 a ticket I would expect more of an experience. The high price must surely put people off of returning, as it has with us.

Prindi T

The highest view of London and it was really cool to see the city at 360 degrees. Although because of the way London is, short old buildings as far as the eye can see, I think it's something I'd only bother to see once.The Shard staff were amazing though and it really is a beautiful building on the London skyline


Whilst it is a great view of London and I liked the 'outdoor' bit on level 72, I don't think it is worth its price tag. It was fairly quiet, so you weren't constantly waiting for people to move. I think they should try and make it more of an experience if they plan on keeping the price as high as it is. Perhaps offer some facts about the building as you head up? 

I think I preferred the view from the Walkie Talkie - it has the advantage of being North of the River, so a better 360 view of London, I think.

Kevin H

We had the chance to win tickets thanks to Time out and made the most out of what was proposed. I think the only bad thing you could say about this is the price but there was none of this for me so I enjoyed all of it. It was an impressive moment, with an excellent view, a great sunset, with champagne. It was such a calm place to admire the city moving, running, driving, everything. I think it is a must do at some point in your London life. Even if you have fear of heights. :)


its a great view but save yourself the entrance fee and either head for a Time Out Silent Disco or grab a glass of chambers at the shangra la hotel which is almost the top. You get the view and great music/alcohol/ dancing with these options 

Cookie Monster
moderatorStaff WriterTastemaker

An amazing view of London and well worth the trip, as long as you like heights. Definitely think about stopping off at the bar and restaurants, which are also excellent.

Staff Writer

It's exactly what it says - you get a view of London from the top of a very tall building. As much as I love the look of the Shard, I wasn't that impressed with the view and (unless it gets much cheaper) I won't do it again. There's one unusual thing about it though - although you are so high and there are glass walls all around you, there's no ceiling above. You can feel the cold wind swooshing around you and I personally became very pleasantly light headed, feeling a bit as if I was flying and not standing on the ground. For that, it was a fun thing to do. Otherwise I'd probably go back there only if it was a part of an event such as the Silent Disco.


It was very expensive, although we made the most out of it. We went up while it was still sunny, had a cocktail and left after sunset. It was beautiful, wonderful views from both platforms. If you can find a spot you like, sit down and just enjoy the beautiful view, watch the boats pass.

The elevator ride up there was good fun too! The attendants can tell you all kinds of cool engineering facts.

Charly Lester
Staff Writer

Great view, but definitely over-priced.  If you want to go, make sure it's at an event where you get something more than the view, or that you're having a drink or dinner, rather than just going to the viewing platform. 


Such a lovely view. I spent around an hour at the top, I think any longer would probably be too much. I went on a clear evening with my boyfriend and we both loved pointing out places and buildings. I'm not sure if you would appreciate it so much if you aren't too familiar with London, although they have digital telescope monitors to give you a little information of what's around you. I went on a weekday evening so it wasn't too busy. The toilets also with a full window view out we're "interesting"! I would really recommend (exploring both floors) and at the price time out are offering at.


The view from the top is absolutely breathtaking & we would recommend it to everyone. I feel it is worth the money & there is no time limit either. It would have been nice if there was a yearbook there & you could sit & admire the view with a cuppa.

Sadna Zaman

If you visit with young children, be careful in the lifts! They are very fast and designed to distract you while travelling in them. When we visited, the lift doors opened with no warning and my youngest literally fell out of the lift onto the floor outside. Luckily she wasn't hurt, but was upset and shaken. The staff although very pleasant, did not seem to have a set procedure to follow if there were any accidents such as this. I wouldn't be confident if they had to handle a more serious accident/injury.

George Andrawis

Booked our tickets through timeout and upon arrival they had difficulties finding our tickets on their system to let us through. Members of staff appeared to have needed slightly more time to train whilst others were very humourous and thus friendly about it. Facilities were clean, managed very well and the views of London are breath taking. Perfect location for a date :)


A view is really amazing. Something special. But not for this price. It is to expensive (even for London). Rather spend that money on something other. Its not worth.

george thomson

It is what it says it is but we were disappointed, I guess because we thought there would be more than just a quick elevator ride up and a view and because it was so expensive. There seemed to be dozens of staff, mainly just talking to one another. Perhaps they should consider a presentation from someone about the building, the architecture, any special design features etc. That would have made it more of an event. I would not recommend this to anyone as it is.

Pete Harris

Having read some of the other reviews, I must confess I'm a touch surprised at the general disappointed tone of some of them....I'm not quite sure what people expect to see from an observation Tower in London? Sydney Opera House, perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically...? (thank you, Mr Fawlty). Really - the view is absolutely unpararalled. 360 degrees, everything made easy to identify (by using the Tell:scopes) and so high up, you can see all you want, and more. It gives you an understanding of just how big London really is. Is it worth the £25 (in advance) or £30 (on the day) admission? Yes - the spectacular close up view of Tower Bridge & The Tower of London (alone) is worth that. It really is. St Pauls is brilliantly visual too. As is *everything* else you want to see in London. An amazing attraction. I've been on the London eye twice, and that doesn't even come close to The Shard, it truly doesn't. My only criticism is that there aren't any benches/chairs - a few wouldn't go amiss, for those of us not in the greatest of health etc. Besides that, The View from The Shard comes highly recommended and I would certainly go up there again in the future.

Peter Clark

I like tall buildings and I like views. I like the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth and the CN Tower in Toronto, I love the views of London from the London Eye. So it's fair to say that I was quite looking forward to this for all it was quite a hit on the wallet. So...great views. It's a good long way up and probably has the best views of London you can get. The lifts are swift and they get you up there quickly and you can stay as long as you want. So lots to like but ultimately is it a step change from other views of the city? Frankly no. It's such an iconic building but when you take into account the cost I'd say it was a solid 3 stars. Enjoyable but expensive for an hour staring at our beautiful city

Venera Tab

I've read that The Shard has divided opinion among Londoners. Just like the sandwich spread marmite - you love it or hate it. Thing is though, I've not actually met a single person who dislikes architect Renzo Piano's glistening civic masterpiece. Wherever his detractors are, it seems they've been steering clear of me. So, filled up to the brim with enthusiasm, I headed off to London Bridge to take a look at what claims to be the unmissable attraction of 2013.Upon arrival at Level 68, you enter a teaser of a floor, with images of clouds on the floor-to-ceiling windows obscuring the view you know is sitting below. Within seconds the wait is over as visitors ascend to the triple height gallery on Level 69, with its 360 degree views for up to 40 miles (64km) across the Thames basin.Once you're done it's back down to Level 68 and a chance to visit The View From The Shard boutique shop. If you'd prefer you can hang around a little longer on Levels 69 and 72 - there's no time limit to your visit once you're up. That's one of the nice little touches offered up by the attraction organisers. Another is the promise of a free return trip if your visit is marred by a fogged up lack of visibility. At close to thirty pounds for the standard price entrance, The View From the Shard is hardly cheap. But metre for metre it offers good value compared to the London Eye, although the 'Millennium Wheel' does benefit from a majestic position opposite the Houses of Parliament, overlooking the touristic West End. As for cost, little in London is a bargain these days, be it a seat at a West End theatre show or a Premiership football match. To their credit The View From The Shard's hosts seem firmly set upon providing a warm welcome and a little extra value to their guests, adding some neat features such as the free-to-use 'Tel:scopes' and the 'linger-as-long-as-like' offer. And so to paraphrase what a wise man once said about a Rolls-Royce motor car, 'the view will be remembered long after the price is forgotten'.


people say that you have to book in advance, but we just went there and got tickets for this sunny day! it's true that it's really expensive, but the money is worth it! the view was just stunning and we din'd queue at all!!! I can just recommend it!

V. Ruggi

Forget this rip-off & go have drinks at the upstairs Grill at the Royal Festival Hall: best view of London, no queues, classy space, and a nice glass of bubbly for the same price!


Went there on a day when the weather was not the best (but you have to book ahead so this is an inevitable risk), queued for over an hour despite having a booked time slot for entry (queue to get upstairs, queue to get in, queue for the downstairs loo (there are NONE on the viewing level - with no paper anyway), queue to get through security, queue for the lift to go halfway up, queue for the lift to get the rest of the way up), so missed the sunset we had booked the timeslot for and got a slightly flat view similar to flying into Heathrow and NO facilities whatsoever, just a plain wooden floor and some digital binoculars that are either hard to get to or broken. Not even anywhere to sit down for my mother, who is elderly and not able to stand for long, especially after all that queueing. All in all a very disappointing experience. You're much better off going to the bar at the top of Heron tower and spending your 25 quid on a couple of nice cocktails!


Priced to keep the "rifraf" out and Londoners in - maybe they can do a lottery for the early morning slots for the provinces


For a family of 5 this costs over £100. unbelievable price for a "good view"! For the same price why not buy a tent, a train ticket to the Peak District and go camping for the weekend. Much better views!

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