Since 2013, The Shard London has been offering a whole new perspective. The Shard is a pyramid-shaped skyscraper in London’s Southwark district, considered the city’s new landmark and the tallest building in Western Europe. I’ve collected the most important information about The Shard for you, including my tips on tickets to London’s most breathtaking viewing platform: The View from The Shard.
The Shard in London
The star architect Renzo Piano has designed some of the most famous buildings in the world such as the Paris Center Pompidou. One of his latest masterpieces is The Shard in London. Renzo Piano designed The Shard as a vertical city with access to London Bridge Station. It combines 56,000 square meters of luxury apartments, offices, retail, restaurants, hotel and viewing platform The View from The Shard. In March 2009, the construction began, four years later, on 1 February 2013, followed by the grand opening.
The Shard – where does the name come from?
If you take a look at the building, you can guess why the building is so-called. The design of the building is truly unique. For the facade over 11,000 glass panes were installed. There are 44 elevators in the building, which rise at an average speed of 6 meters per second.
The Shard height
At just 310 meters, The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe. In the meantime, the skyscraper was the tallest building in Europe, before it was replaced at the end of 2012 by the Mercury City Tower in Moscow with 338 meters. In addition to the neighboring Tower Bridge, many more of London’s sights, such as the London Eye, can be admired from above. The Shard offers a gigantic 64-mile-wide view of London on the 244-meter high observation deck The View from The Shard.
The View from The Shard – the viewing platform
The View from The Shard Observation Deck is located on floors 68 to 72 of the skyscraper.
The good starting point is the exhibition Cloudscape on the 68th floor. Here you will learn interesting facts about the various cloud types floating over London.
Then it goes on to the 69th floor. A unique 360-degree panoramic view of the capital of the United Kingdom awaits you. Also, so-called tell: scopes are set up here, digital binoculars with screens that can be used to select a day or night view. In addition, you can zoom in very close to the sights of the city and read on the screen all the important information about the spots.
On the 72nd floor, the highlight awaits you: a breathtaking view in the open air. Attention: You should be free of heights in any case. It’s even worth the walk to the bathroom – you have not enjoyed such a view on any quiet place yet.
The Shard Inlet Control
To enter the building, there are some aspects to consider. Similar to the airport, security checks are carried out first. Bags and other personal items are scanned electronically. The carrying of large bags and backpacks (larger than 55 x 38 x 20 cm) is prohibited. Tripods for the camera are unfortunately not allowed. Cameras in themselves may be taken along. That’s good because the breathtaking view simply has to be recorded.
The Shard Restaurant & Bar
The Shard has three exclusive restaurants. These are located on floors 31 to 33.
On the 31st floor is the restaurant Aqua Shard. It mainly serves contemporary British cuisine. On this level is the spectacular three-story Atrium Bar.
On the 32nd floor, you can find the Oblix, an upscale grill restaurant. Oblix offers sophisticated, urban dining and world-class cocktails.
On the 33rd floor, the restaurant Hutong invites you to a culinary delight. In this restaurant, there are all kinds of delicacies from North China cuisine. The food in the restaurants is very good and partly creative. Here is a very good price-performance ratio. A main dish in the restaurant Hutong costs on average 18 pounds (about 23 USD) and in the Oblix costs a dish from the grill on average 30 pounds (about 39 USD).
From sunrise to sunset you can enjoy the London skyline in the restaurants with a delicious meal or the bar with a delicious cocktail. In the restaurants, you should book in advance, in any case, a table. The bar does not accept seat reservations – so you can just drop by.
Important Info: In restaurants, there is a strict dress code. Sportswear, shorts or flip-flops are taboo.
The Shard Hotel – Shangri-La
In the London skyscraper, The Shard is the luxury hotel Shangri-La. No other hotel has such a panorama. Entering the reception of the five-star hotel on the 35th floor opens up a dazzling view from the London Eye over St. Paul’s Cathedral to the city’s banking towers. However, this view also has its price: A night in the luxury residence costs from 550 USD upwards. As a hotel guest, you can let your eyes wander straight out of bed through the panoramic windows over London. The hotel has standard rooms, suites, bars, and a private pool. The pool is 11 x 4 meters but not very big. By contrast, the neutrally furnished hotel rooms are already: On average, they cover 42 square meters. The bathroom has some gadgets, such as heated toilet seats and TVs.
The View from The Shard Tour
Some tours include entry to The Shard. Here you can find our favorites:
Thames River Cruise Including The View from The Shard
Experience London from the water and lofty heights. The combination ticket includes an idyllic boat trip on the Thames, where you will experience the major attractions of London. Afterward the 306m high building The Shard is climbed. From here you can enjoy the best view.
So you come to The Shard
The Shard is located in the historic London Bridge district. In the area, you will find many chic bars and classy restaurants. It is best to take the train to London Bridge (Northern Line and Jubilee Line). When leaving the subway station you can not miss the impressive building.
The Shard is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm. The last admission is at 21 o’clock. However, these times are not always reliable. Many events take place in the building and the opening hours are adjusted accordingly. Check the homepage of The Shard for short-notice announcements in advance.