The Shard has been the subject of mixed opinions ever since its construction was approved: too high, too shiny, too much, too pointy. Others said it would revitalize the area, and bring in loads of visitors (and consequently muchos pesos). So when I was invited to visit The View from The Shard, needless I was intrigued to discover what this much-debated landmark had to offer.
The View From The Shard: In Numbers
- At a height of 1,016ft (310m), it’s the tallest building in Western Europe.
- The View is located at the top of The Shard, on floors 68, 69 and 72.
- The elevator goes up at an impressive rate of 6 meters per second.
- The panorama offers an unobstructed, astonishing 360 degree, 64km (40mile) view over London.
- The Shard is composed of 11,000 glass panels.
- Should the 44 elevators be of no interest to you, you can opt for the 306 flights of stairs to get up to The View.
The View From The Shard: In Photos
These futuristic-looking machines are actually a lot of fun: they offer an incredible level of details and information on London’s most famous landmarks, and also has the possibility of choosing between 4 different viewing options: live, morning, day and night. Very entertaining!
The View from The Shard consists of three viewing areas: two that are indoors, on levels 68 and 69, and one that’s outdoors, on level 72. While I absolutely loved the two lower levels and their unobstructed panoramic views, I thought that level 72 was just a windier and chillier version of the two others.
As you can see, yes, there are reflections, and yes, it may ruin your photos if you are looking for a perfect shot. It is a glass building, so this is pretty much unavoidable. But for me, I just saw this as an opportunity to put the camera away and simply enjoy this view with my own eyes, taking in both the details and the grandeur of the city.
The View From The Shard: Is It Worth It?
My first instinct is to say HELL YES. But the weather is definitely something to keep in mind when booking your ticket.
London being the very lovely but sorely unpredictable city that it is, it’s almost impossible to trust the weather forecast. It’s more of a wait and see kind of thing, and that may or may not play in your favor when it comes to The View from The Shard. In my case, I was very lucky because while it doesn’t show on the photos, there had been a raging storm just a few hours prior to my visit, which had me very worried. The skies cleared up pretty nicely in the end – but unfortunately it won’t always be like this.
My advice: if it’s just overcast or if it’s sunny, it’s 100% worth it. Seeing London and its many landmarks from so high up is simply fantastic, and pretty much unparalleled.
But if it’s foggy or snowing or raining heavily, I would try and reschedule the visit. There is no point in paying in going up there if it’s to admire a thick layer of clouds, right?
*Amended: a little bird told me that if there is poor visibility on the day you booked your ticket, it is possible to reschedule.
The View From The Shard: Good To Know
- The View From The Shard is open every day from 9:00 to 22:00, with last entry being at 21:00.
- All tickets and timed and dated, make sure you pick wisely.
- There is free wifi throughout the viewing areas!
- Tickets costs £25 when booked online, £29.95 for the next available slot on the same day, and £100 for walk-in-cannot-wait-til-next-available-slot tickets.