The View from the Shard

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Towering above all other buildings in London (and Western Europe) is Renzo Piano's erect 95-storey glass 'pyramid' – a spectacular monument built above London Bridge railway/tube station on the poorer side of the river, offering staggering views of nearly everything, notably the City and the West End beyond. A multi-function development (offices, restaurants, hotel, private residences), the Shard is listed here for its 69th- and 72nd-floor observation areas (the latter being open air), which opened to the public on 1 February 2013 amid controversy and displeasure owing to its £24.95 entry fee (given former Mayor Ken Livingstone's wish that it be for the people). But the experience is a must, especially towards the end of a first-time London visit when the landmarks will have developed a certain familiarity. Visitors might also consider booking a slot about 45 minutes before sundown so as to straddle both daytime and dusk (a double treat). The ride to the top takes about a half-minute. In 2017 tickets cost £20.95 on the spot (£5 cheaper online in advance) — £10 less than its 2015 peak, possibly owing to competition from the Shard's other sky-high offerings such as 52nd-floor bar GŎNG or 31st-level restaurant/bar Aqua Shard. A trip to the Shard can be combined with neighbouring food mecca Borough Market (Wed to Sat), White Cube art gallery in increasingly trendy Bermondsey St and, slightly further afield, Tate Modern [see entries]. Another of Renzo Piano's instant London landmarks is Central Saint Giles – a not universally adored but quite striking and uplifting development of more than 130,000 tiles (deep orange, lime green, mustard yellow etc), opened in 2010 and giving a colourful boost to a rather down and dreary pocket in the shadow of Centre Point, just east of Soho. Closed Christmas Day.
  • Joiner St, London Bridge
    London, England SE1 9QU
  • Southeast
  • Website
  • April to October: 10am—10pm daily
    November to March Mon to Wed 10am—7pm
    Thu to Sat 10am—10pm
    Sun 10am—7pm
  • +44 84 4499 7111
  • Report Incorrect Info / Closed


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