The Shard is the 95-storey skyscraper that towers over London Bridge Station. The tower was designed by Renzo Piano and features offices, apartments, a hotel and an observation deck. Although it is a 95-storey building, the 310m (1016 ft) building only has 72 habitable floors with levels 73–95 forming the building’s spire.
The View from the Shard is the observation deck that is comprised of a triple-level indoor viewing deck on the 69th floor and a partial open-air viewing deck on the 72nd floor. The View from the Shard offers the highest vantage point of any building in western Europe.
Visitors enter the View from the Shard on Joiner Street and pass through security to an area with exhibits about the Shard including animated maps and video displays showing interesting facts about the building and its London Bridge location. At this point, you have the opportunity to have your photo taken in front of a green screen (which a view from the Shard is superimposed). These photos are available for sale at the end of the experience.
Lifts depart the ground floor lobby area to the level 68 entrance to the observation deck with a transfer zone at level 33 where visitors change lifts.
The main three-level viewing deck is one floor up on level 69. This indoor observation deck offers 360º views up to 60 km (40 miles) and also features digital Tell:scopes, which are essentially interactive viewing devices that feature pre-recorded day and night-time views of over 200 landmarks with commentary in ten languages.
The open-air viewing deck on level 72 also offers 360º views from the building and the open areas at the rooftop let you see up to the top of the building.
It is a well-managed attraction with professional exhibits at the ground floor entrance, a gift shop on level 68 (the highest shop in London) and you even get panoramic views from the toilets on level 68.
We recommend visiting just before sunset so you can enjoy the view during daylight, see the sunset and enjoy the nighttime view. It is best to get here around an hour before sunset to allow time for queuing and to see the displays on the ground floor lobby without feeling rushed while still allowing enough time to see the daytime view from the Shard.
The queues are reportedly shorter before noon and after 4pm.
On a height to price ratio, the View from the Shard is the world’s most expensive observation deck. Fortunately, it is included as part of the London Pass and it is one of the few London Pass attractions open in the evening.
If you don’t have a London Pass you can save money by buying your admission tickets online.