What’s so special about the Shard?The Shard was built in 2012 and is the tallest building in the UK, the tallest building currently in the EU, and the 5th tallest building in the continent of Europe. It was designed by Renzo Piano, the Italian architect who designed the Centre Georges Pompidou and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco (among many, many other buildings). It’s 1016 feet (309m) tall, with it’s highest observation deck at 801 feet (244m) above ground level, making it taller than all of the natural hills in London and the counties which border the city.
What’s included in the View from the Shard?A standard ticket to the View from the Shard entitles you to entry within half an hour of your assigned timeslot, with access to the indoor gallery on level 69 and the open-air Skydeck on the 72nd floor. You’ll also be able to access London’s highest bar, The Moët and Chandon Champagne bar which serves chilled champagne and cocktails 800 feet above the ground. Premium tickets also include a weather guarantee, fast-track entry, and a panoramic guide booklet, and All-inclusive tickets also feature a glass of champagne or a soft drink and a souvenir digital photo of your visit.
What can you see from the top of the Shard?Since the Shard is higher than all of London’s natural hills, you can expect to see nearly all of the city’s major sites and attractions (not quite all, because some are hidden by taller buildings). To the north, you’ll see the Tower of London, the Walkie Talkie, the Monument, and Tower Bridge. To the east, you’ll see the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, and to the west, you’ll see the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tate Modern, and the Houses of Parliament.
Can you get a good view from one of the restaurants instead?You can get a great view from one of the building’s restaurants, but you may find that the drinks or dinner cost you a lot more than a ticket to the View from the Shard. Most bars and restaurants won’t let you in without a reservation, so make sure to check ahead, and some save seats near the windows for guests who have reserved places for a meal, not just drinks. The options are Aquashard or Bar 31 on the 31st floor, Oblix on the 32nd floor, Hutong on level 33, TĪNG on the 35th floor, or GŎNG Bar on the 52nd floor. All of these are lower than the observation deck and its champagne bar, but offer good views and fine dining.
What happens in bad weather?London’s weather can be changeable, and if you’re unlucky you might find yourself looking out into a cloud. If you’ve bought a premium or all-inclusive ticket you’re entitled to a free return ticket which you can use during the next three months. These tickets are issued if, during your visit, you can’t see 3 of the following sites: the London Eye, 20 Fenchurch Street, Tower Bridge, and One Canada Square. Standard tickets don’t include this guarantee, so they might be more of a gamble.
How long will a trip to the Shard take?There’s no limit on the amount of time you can spend in the observatory, so enjoy it at your leisure! Most people spend about an hour between the indoor viewing platform and the outdoor Skydeck on level 72, but if you want to kick back with a glass of champagne from the bar and stay there all afternoon, feel free.
Can I propose to my partner at the top of the Shard?Yes, and there’s a special exclusive package if you want to keep it private. Starting at £640, you can hire the View from the Shard for 30 minutes, where you’ll be provided with a private area decorated with candles and roses, two glasses of champagne, and a gift bag containing a bottle of champagne and a luxury box of chocolates. You can even select your own soundtrack and a dedicated concierge will be on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly.