The View from The Shard attraction officially opened to paying customers on February 1st 2013. Viewing floors will be open 9am-10pm, 364 days a year (closed on Christmas Day).
Opening times have been segmented into half-hour windows to control traffic. No more than 200 people are expected to be up at any one time – less than the official capacity. How that will actually pan out is anyone’s guess, especially as there’s no limit on the length of stay.
Visitors access The Shard through a dedicated entrance. After filing through an exhibit telling the story of the building, they are whisked up two stages of high-speed lifts to the 68th floor. The 68th and 69th floors offer indoor views of the city framed by the building’s angular glazing.
Observers and photographers will undoubtedly prefer the 72nd floor (the building’s highest inhabitable level). Here, the gaps between the pinnacles of archiect Renzo Piano’s shard-like features offer outdoor perspectives, unfettered by dirty or raindrop-soaked glass.
As with any attraction of this kind, we recommend visiting in the late afternoon – that way you can catch the final daylight, admire the sunset, and see the city lit up in its night time guise, all in one visit. We’re impressed by the handy link to a calendar of London sunset times on the booking page.
Certain times of year will undoubtedly be busy – Valentine’s Day, in particular. Weekends are expected to book up in advance, too. Booking ahead online is advisable, not only to secure the most preferable time, but also to avoid the £5 premium of paying on the day. And by premium, we mean penalty.
Advance adult tickets cost £24.95, while entrance for a child aged 4-15 costs £18.95 (infants are free). The admission price is pretty expensive, though it’s comparable with other tourist attractions in the capital (see below).
See Brett Ackroyd’s fantastic photos and learn how The Shard compares with the other great urban viewing platforms around the world. Read this: The view from the top – England’s tallest viewing platforms
London tourist attractions
Attraction: The View from The Shard
Adult admission: £29.95
Child admission: £23.95
Attraction: Madam Tussauds
Adult admission: £30
Child admission: £25.80
Attraction: Tower of London
Adult admission: £20.90
Child admission: £10.45
Attraction: London Dungeons
Adult admission: £24
Child admission: £18.60
Attraction: Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Adult admission: £7
Child admission: £2
Attraction: HMS Belfast
Adult admission: £14
Child admission: Free
Prices as of December 2012
- Prices for standard tickets bought on the day of visit
- Discounts for advance and online booking
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…
(Featured image is courtesy of The View from The Shard)Brett Ackroyd