How to Summit London’s Tallest Tourist Attraction

The Shard is one of the youngest additions to the London skyline but it’s already established itself as an emblem of the city. It’s the tallest building in London and the United Kingdom and a tourist attraction where you can survey the English capital from the sky. 

Visiting The Shard does take some consideration – particularly in terms of the best time to go and how much you are prepared to pay. Whether you summit the skyscraper or admire it from the base, The Shard is not to be missed while staying at our hotels in Central London.

What is The Shard?

Standing at a height of 309 metres (1,016 feet), The Shard is the tallest tourist attraction in London. Coined the “vertical city” the skyscraper contains residences, offices, restaurants, and other leisure destinations. Construction commenced in March 2009 and took three years to complete. The finished tower was inaugurated on 5 July 2012 ahead of being opened to the public on 1st February 2023. 

What is The View From The Shard?

The View From The Shard is an observation deck that occupies ​​floors 68, 69, and 72. The observatory grants 360-degree views from the tourist attraction for up to 40 miles on a clear day. It’s open to the public and makes for a special addition to your London itinerary. 

When is the best time to go to The Shard?

The View From The Shard is generally open from Wednesday until Sunday although the opening times vary. The best time to visit The Shard is either as soon as it opens or just ahead of sunset. It’s quieter in the morning and gradually gets busier, with golden hour being the most popular time. Despite the increased crowds, the views are spectacular as you will observe the city transitioning from day to night. 

Ultimately, the best time to go to The Shard is when the sky is clear of clouds, fog, and rain. It is possible to monitor the weather conditions and to book a ticket at the last minute although this is not guaranteed in peak tourist season (summer and Christmas). 

It is possible to upgrade to a View Guarantee ticket. This allows you to return for a better view if the conditions are poor. If you are staying in our hotels in Central London for several days, this is worth considering.

What is the best London Underground station for The Shard?

London Bridge is the closest Tube station for getting to The Shard. Served by the Northern and Jubilee lines, this is easily reachable from all hotels in Central London

What is The Shard famous for?

The Shard is famous for its height and groundbreaking architectural design. It’s also known for its high-class restaurants and bars where you can savour a meal or a cocktail with the best view in London. 

Can you visit The Shard for free?

It is not possible to visit The View From The Shard for free. However, it is possible to visit one of the restaurants and have a drink or bite to eat. The dining destinations are not cheap but they do provide a wonderful view and a special experience. Reservations are required at the restaurants although the bars accept walk-ins. 

Is The Shard worth it?

The views afforded by The Shard more than justify the cost of a ticket, a drink at the bar, or a full meal. 

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