Tourist Attractions: The Shard

What is The Shard?

Located in London Bridge, The Shard is a skyscraper within the capital which is currently the tallest building in Western Europe, 2nd tallest viewing point in the UK, 5th tallest in Europe and 96th tallest in the world standing at 309.7 metres (1,016 ft) high. The Shard is one of our top selling tourist attractions with customers and you too can experience it by saving money on your visit when you combine it with our sightseeing tours

When was The Shard built?

Construction on The Shard began in March 2009 with it being completed on the 30th March 2012 and inaugurated on the 5th July 2012. The observation deck, The View from The Shard, opened to the public in February 2013. 

What can you do at The View from The Shard?

Opened in 2013, The View from The Shard has two viewing platforms inside the building where visitors can look out from across the London skyline. The viewing platforms can be found on Level 69 and Level 72. It has the highest shop in London with a gift shop on Level 68 of the skyscraper. The View from The Shard was officially opened by Mayor Boris Johnson with 5,000 people attending its launch day. One significant event happened on its first day with James Episcou from Epping Forest proposing to his girlfriend from the highest point in London!

Level 69 is the main viewing gallery of the building which gives visitors a 360 degree view of up to 40 miles (60km). The gallery on Level 72 is a height of 244m (800 ft), giving 360 degree views around the building and is partially open air. 

Who designed The Shard?

In 1998 a London-based entrepreneur called Irvine Sellar decided to redevelop the 1970s Southwark Towers after a white paper issued by the Government encouraged more tall buildings to be created in the capital. It wasn't until 2000 that Sellar had lunch with Italian architect Renzo Piano in Berlin, and whilst there Piano sketched out an idea for a sculpture.  

The initial plans in 2002 were rejected by the Commission for Architecture as well as heritage bodies, The Royal Parks and English Heritage. However, in 2003 after an inquiry, the plans were eventually approved! 

What inspired the design of The Shard?

The Shard's archtect Renzo Piano designed the spire-like sculpture emerging from the River Thames. The inspiration for the design came from the railway lines next to the site near London Bridge station, the London spires depicted by the 18th Century Venetian painter Canaletto and the sailing ship masts. The building took its name becasue of its resemblance to a shard of glass. 

Are there businesses in The Shard?

In addition to being a viewing spot for London visitors, The Shard is also an office for hundreds of workers and some of the world's top companies with 26 floors of office place. Some of its most well-known tenants include the global media giant Al Jazeera, world leading jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. and Kraft-Heinz, the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. 

Is there a restaurant in The Shard?

If you want a quick drink and bite to eat after work or on the weekend, The Shard is home to 6 restaurants & bars so you can take your dining to the next level! 

Aqua Shard offers innovative contemporary British cuisine on the 31st floor, plus a spectacular three-storey atrium bar. Inspired by the New York skyline, Oblix offers sophisticated urban casual dining for you on the 32nd floor. 

If you fancy cuisines from Northern China, then Hutong is the place for you! Light, spacious and conveniently located, Bar 31 is the ideal meeting place offering a wide range of local beers and spirits. The Ting lounge and restaurant serves seasonal modern British cuisine with an Asian twist! Finally, Gong on the 52nd floor, combines the dramatic views across London with tasty cocktails as you watch the sun set over the glorious capital. 

Why not combine your sightseeing tour of London and trip to The Shard with a glass of bubbly when you book online!

Can you stay the night at The Shard?

Stay in luxury at the Shangri-La Hotel within The Shard as you experience Oriental elegance in one of their 202 guestrooms and suites. A luxurious home away from home, each room has unique features with floor-to-ceiling windows and a stunning city view to woke up to.  

Who funded The Shard?

Sellar announced in January 2008 that he secured funding from a consortium of Qatari Investors who had paid £150 million to secure an 80% stake in the project. 

When can I visit The Shard?

 

The times of The Shard vary throughout the view, below are the times for the rest of the year:

Opening Time

Closing Time  Last Entry 
 5th May 2018  10:00  21:15  20:00
 12th May 2018  10:00  21:15  20:00
 15th May 2018  12:00  22:00  21:00
 19th May 2018  10:00  21:15  20:00
 2nd June 2018  10:00  21:15  20:00
 30th June 2018  10:00  21:15  20:00
 14th July 2018  10:00  21:15  20:00
 28th July 2018  10:00  21:15  20:00

Summer Opening Hours

(25 MARCH - 28 OCTOBER 2018)

 

Opening Time

Closing Time

Last Entry

Monday

10:00

22:00

21:00

Tuesday

10:00

22:00

21:00

Wednesday

10:00

22:00

21:00

Thursday

10:00

22:00

21:00

Friday

10:00

22:00

21:00

Saturday

10:00

22:00

21:00

Sunday

10:00

22:00

21:00

WINTER OPENING HOURS
(29 OCTOBER 2018 - 24 MARCH 2019)

 

Opening Time

Closing Time

Last Entry

Monday

10:00

19:00

18:00

Tuesday

10:00

19:00

18:00

Wednesday

10:00

19:00

18:00

Thursday

10:00

22:00

21:00

Friday

10:00

22:00

21:00

Saturday

10:00

22:00

21:00

Sunday

10:00

19:00

18:00

To experience one of the most spectacular views of London, save money on your visit when you combine it with a sightseeing tour of the capital!