The Shard

Get High in the Shard

The Shard has the highest viewing platform in London, providing unparalleled and breathtaking views across the capital and beyond.

Highlights

  • Take in the stunning 360-degree views over the London skyline from the viewing gallery.
  • Head up to level 72 where you can enjoy the views from an open-air skydeck 288 meters above the city.
  • Zoom up the levels in the speedy lifts travelling at 6 meters per second, an experience in itself for any visitor to The Shard.

What to See and Do

The View From The Shard

A visit to the Shard is not complete without taking in the stunning views from the higher floors of this iconic building. The viewing gallery across levels 68 and 69 provides London’s highest and best viewing point. 

Enjoy incredible 360-degree views across London and beyond. Depending on the weather conditions you can see up to 40 miles wherever you look. Digital telescopes with touchscreen displays allow you to zoom in on London’s famous tourist attractions and read all about them.

Level 72

By venturing on up further from the viewing gallery you will find another treat not to be missed on level 72 of The Shard. You will step out on to an open-air skydeck where, with the sky above, you will be open to the elements as you experience the sounds of London below, as well as the stunning panoramic views.

Places to Eat and Drink

The Shard is like a city within a building and contains a choice of restaurants and bars. Cuisines and styles to select from include contemporary British, sophisticated casual dining and Asian influenced food. 

Restaurants located on levels 31 and 32 provide a unique dining spot as you look out at the view across London. You can also drop in at one of the bars and participate in a champagne or gin tasting masterclass, plus a cocktail making masterclass if you prefer.

Retail Arcade

Situated on the pedestrian route between The Shard’s main entrance and London Bridge underground station, the retail arcade has a mix of retail units and kiosks providing a variety of goods and services. 

You will find a mix of well-known brands and independent stores where you can pick up daily essentials as well as gifts. You will find food to takeaway, coffee, flowers, greeting cards, collectables, clothing, shoes, beauty products and more. A handy place to stop off on your visit to The Shard.

Virtual Reality

For those who want an added thrill from their visit to London’s highest viewing platform then let virtual reality fulfil your wish. The Ride The Slide experience lets you virtually glide around the London skyline at 100 miles per hour. You can also test your head for heights with the Vertigo experience, as you walk across the stripped-back features of The Shard, treading across scaffolding 1000 ft up in the air.

Did you know: (5 interesting facts!)

  1. The Shard is 95 storeys tall, coming in at a height of 309.6 meters and is served by 36 lifts.
  1. The name relates to a shard of glass and 11,000 panels totalling 56,000 square meters were used on the exterior in its construction.
  1. Reaching the viewing gallery of The Shard takes just one minute as the lifts cover 68 floors of the building at a rapid speed of 6 meters per second.
  1. If you are caught short in The Shard then you will be treated to a loo with a view, as the restrooms sit 244 meters above the capital and have floor to ceiling windows to maximise that view.
  1. Toward the end of construction, workmen came across a fox on the 72nd floor, which is thought to have survived up there on food left by the workers.

History

  • July 1998 – British Government issued White Paper encouraging development of high-rise buildings near major transport hubs.
  • November 1998 – Property developer Irving Sellar acquires Southwark Tower, the building previously on the site.
  • May 2000 – Sellar meets with architect Renzo Piano to explore ideas for developing the site.
  • 2007 – 2009 – Southwark Towers demolished and the site cleared.
  • March 2009 – Construction begins on The Shard
  • March 2012 – Steel structure of The Shard reaches full height when the spire is winched into place.
  • February 2013 – Viewing gallery opened to the public by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
  • November 2013 – A royal visit to The Shard from Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Facilities and Accessibility

The View From The Shard galleries are fully accessible with step-free access all the way up to the open-air sky deck on level 72. Accessible toilets are located on level 1 and level 68. 

The entrance to The Shard is on Joiner Street and there is a lift to the left of the entrance stairs for access. Anyone requiring a seat at the viewing galleries can be offered a foldable seat when requested from a staff member. Assistance dogs are allowed within The Shard. However, pushchairs are not permitted to be taken into the viewing galleries, although they can be stored free of charge.

There are no time restrictions for how long you can stay and enjoy the viewing galleries. 

The Shard has a choice of restaurants and bars where you can relax and enjoy the stunning views across London, including the capital’s highest champagne bar. 

You can also take home a memento or a gift marking your visit. The shop offers an extensive range of items and clothing for you to browse and choose from, including a model of The Shard.