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‘The Shard Experience’ review (best booze with views in London!)

Pinterest image of a view from the shard

‘The Shard Experience’ review (best booze with views in London!)

The Shard has become a real London icon. Joining the likes of Big Ben, The London Eye, London Bridge and the Houses of Parliament on its famous skyline.

It towers over everything in London and looks wonderfully out of place, juxtaposing against historical landmarks like the Tower of London.

But does it actually live up to all the hype? Well friends, there’s only one way to find out.

Get ready to experience London like you’ve never seen it before. Here is my review of The View from The Shard.


About The Shard – all the cool starter facts!

The Shard was completed in 2012 after three years of construction and was originally designed to replace the 1975 office block, Southwark Towers. And thank goodness because it was super ugly!

At 1,016 feet, ‘The Shard’ is one of the most recognisable landmarks in London’s skyline. But it’s not only the tallest building in the UK but the tallest in Western Europe and the 59th tallest in the world!

Inspired by the railway lines next to the site, the design of The Shard is quite revolutionary. 95% of the structure is made from recycled building materials and features 11,000 glass panels with open corners allowing the building to “breathe”.

For anyone that hadn’t guessed, the name, ‘The Shard’ derives from the term, ‘shards of glass’. It was this simple yet brilliant description that Master architect Renzo Piano gave his structure during the planning phase that has made The Shard so memorable and beloved.

Everyone knows The Shard.

My view from The Shard experience

The first time I visited The Shard it was a very special occasion for a very special person. My Dad.

It was one of those rare years, where I was going to see my Dad somewhere near Father’s day. Usually he lives 3,000 miles away in Dubai and I only get to see him once a year, so this trip was like lightning in a bottle!

So for this special visit, I scouted around London for the best Father’s Day present I could find. But what do you buy a Dad that has absolutely everything?

Well, there’s nothing my Dad loves more than a great view and glass of bubbly so why not combine the two and take him on a Shard experience he’ll never forget!

Mel smiling with her Dad with the view of London in the background
Happy Father’s Day Dad!

The View from The Shard experience, includes unparalleled 360-degree views of London for up to 40 miles and a glass of champagne. I even arranged for us to go to the last viewing at around 8pm so we could watch the sunset over the horizon.

The perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day.

Waitress pouring pink champagne from behind the bar at The Shard

The first views!

The View from The Shard experience is on floors 68, 69 and 72. At almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in the capital, the lift getting up there certainly makes your ears pop!

The building truly feels like it brings life and energy to the South of the Thames, which is fitting as this is where London started from! The Shard seems to spiral upwards out of the River Thames, which is really cool.

Mel stood by the window at The Shard with the London skyline in the background

Now, I was a little worried that Dad may not enjoy the visit as much as I’d like because he’s visited the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (the tallest building in the world!). But I didn’t have anything to worry about.

We actually found that we enjoyed The View from The Shard much more. You’re not as high up as you would be at the Burj Khalifa’s viewing platform so you can actually ID your favourite landmarks and see the view in more detail.

Proving that bigger is not always better. 😉

If you want a closer look, screens are provided so you can zoom in and find out more about your favourite landmarks. They even show you the view at different times of the day, which is a really nice touch!

Screen at The Shard to see landmarks on the London skyline more closely

It was great to see Dad having such a good time (being the organiser you always feel that pressure, right!).

He used to work in London before we moved to the Middle East when I was little and I loved hearing all of his stories from his time there.

Dad looked on in amazement at how much his beloved city had grown in the last 20 years. Lighting up when he spotted places that triggered fond memories. He told me all about the great times he’d had in London and the passion projects he’d worked on. It was a lovely moment I’ll never forget. 😊

People looking out of the window at The Shard looking over the skyline of London

Peeing with a view!

I have to say, one of my favourite parts of visiting The Shard was the view from a very unusual place…the toilet! 

If you’ve ever wanted to answer the call of nature while enjoying a commanding aerial view of London through floor-to-ceiling windows, then The Shard is the attraction for you!

Even at this height I still got paranoid that someone from a facing building would see me sat on the toilet! 😂

View of the London skyline from the toilet at The Shard
Best seat in the house: The 68th floor of The Shard offers one of the most scenic pees in London!
Skyline of London from The Shard featuring the River Thames and Tower Bridge in the day

The top floor viewing deck

As the sun started to set we headed to the top floor open air viewing deck on floor 72 to enjoy the warm summer evening and finish our champagne. There are also a series of deckchairs where you can sit and relax to enjoy the views.

It’s so wonderful seeing the sun set over London from the top floor viewing deck and watching all the lights slowly come on. London really starts to get its sparkle on!

Skyline of London from The Shard featuring the River Thames and Tower Bridge at night
Time your visit around sunset so your ticket covers a day and night viewing for the price of one!

Price

As of 2022, standard tickets cost £32 per person. Premium tickets cost £42 which includes fast track entry and a panoramic guide booklet. A VIP ticket costs £52 and includes an additional glass of champagne.

How to get there

The Shard is located within a few minutes’ walk from London Bridge Underground Station (on the Northern and Jubilee lines). When you exit the underground, follow the signs for The Shard or Joiner Street.

Final verdict

I give The Shard experience a solid 10/10.

It’s reasonably priced for the incredible views and experience you get. I bought VIP tickets which included an additional glass of champagne and it was well worth it for something a little ‘extra’. Especially when you’re booking tickets for a special occasion!

However, I highly recommend booking a time slot at least one day in advance to guarantee entry.

It may be annoying to have to book in advance but the time slot system for a set number of people really works. You have plenty of space to walk around and don’t have to worry about your drink getting knocked over. Unlike my visit to the Empire State Building!

You’re also not hassled into having one of those ghastly staged family photos at every corner. I’m looking at you Burj Khalifa!

At The Shard, you can just relax, take your time and enjoy the view together in peace.

So, next time you’re in London, be sure to take the family for an experience at The Shard, you won’t regret it!

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Have you ever had a Shard experience? Let me know if the comments below. ☺️

Mel x

About the author

Hi, I’m Mel! The adventure-seeking vegan travel blogger behind Footsteps on the Globe. On this blog you'll find my latest adventures, travel inspiration as well as tips and tricks on how to be vegan around the world. You don’t have to give up being vegan to follow your travel dreams and I’m here to show you how!