Sky High Visit: The Shard in London

If you want to see all of London at an incredible height, visit the Shard in London — a towering spiral of glass open to the elements.

Europe’s Amazing Sky Scraper

I grew up in a city of sky scrapers. Having folks visit New York was always fun, everyone had their necks craned north — in awe of the size and the sheer amount of our city’s super tall man made structures unlike any place elese in the world.  In short, sky scrapers don’t impress me too much. However, the Shard is another story.

The Shard rises 309.6 meters (1, 016 feet) above London.  It opened in 2012 as western Europe’s tallest building and London’s highest viewing platform.

It’s pretty amazing to approach and even view from afar. It is also adequately named. The building resembles a spiral of glass that ends up in shards at the top.  The top corners of building are open to the elements because the shards do not touch. This allows the building to “breathe.” You can actually see this on one of the viewing platforms.

Designed by starchitect Renzo Piano, it was built with 11,000 glass panels and has 44 elevators and 306 flights of stairs.



The View at the Shard in London

There are 72 habitable floors where people live, dine and work.  Guests come for – what else – but the view.  It has become a popular tourist attraction thanks to the panoramic views of the city.

You can purchase your ticket in advance or at the ticket counters.  We boarded some large elevators that sped up very quickly and pleasantly to floor 68 where we were led to take steps to floor 69 or 72 which are the viewing floors offering 360-degree views for up to 40 miles.

The Shard in London – Level 69 Indoor Viewing Gallery

The indoor viewing platform touts London’s highest Champagne experience. The view was impressive there.

I really enjoyed the next viewing platform…




The Shard in London – Level 72 Open Air Skydeck

On Level 72, I was standing on highest publicly accessible floor which is open to the elements in a very cool way.  As mentioned earlier, this is where you can observe how the shards of glass don’t connect.  One reason why the design of this skyscraper is so unique.



The Shard in London
View of St. Paul’s Cathedral


The Shard in London
Tower Bridge view from the Shard


The Tower of London. What a castle to view from the “sky.”


The floor’s turf layer created pleasant, garden like space.  The cool air breezing in and feeling nature’s elements blow into the space was refreshing.  That, for me, made the 72nd floor a truly unique skyscraper experience.

Bad Weather Day: Raincheck at the Shard

The day we were scheduled to visit it was raining bad and clouds thickened the London sky.  That was when we learned about the Shard’s weather guarantee which means that in the event of bad weather we could come back another day for free.

We had the opportunity to return the next day and it was well worth it. This experience is only worth it if the skies are clear.

The general ticket rule is that guests can choose the time of visit and can enter the viewing platform up to 30 minutes from the time printed on the ticket. Guests can stay as long as they want for the day.

The Shard in London experience can also include audio guides in various languages, tours and special admission experiences like champagne with admission, yoga classes and private events.

Conclusion: The Shard in London Experience

If you love modern architecture and sweeping city views, the View from the Shard experience is well worth the ticket cost.

It is an iconic landmark in London and on a beautiful day, you will snap some great photos. You don’t need more than an hour up there but the general ticket admission allows you to linger if you like and enjoy the view as much as you like.

The View from the Shard in London
Adult Tickets: £25.95 Advance, £30.95 Same Day
For more information to plan your visit:  www.theviewfromtheshard.com

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