In 2013 the Shard, the tallest building in Europe (but not even in the top 50 worldwide), added an extremely expensive observation deck with timed tickets—sunset sells out ahead of time, but if you come during the day, you can come back after dark on the same ticket. The jagged 306m/1,016 ft.-tall tower doesn’t exactly fit in with its neighbors. Commerce is the theme, with staff members hustling you to purchase pricey green-screen souvenir photos and champagne hawked for £10 to £12 a glass. After airport-style security and two ear-poppingly fast elevator rides, you emerge 244m/800 feet up to some weird angel-like choir music and vertiginous floor-to-ceiling windows far, far over the city—so far that, after the initial impression,casual visitors aren’t likely to figure out most of what they see. A few levels up (you must use stairs for those last three floors), there’s a patio shielded at body-level from the elements. You can stay as long as you want—an advantage over the Eye—but there’s no seating and no washrooms up there, so take care of business on Earth. There is one novel addition: Point a digital “TellScope” in the distance, and its screen reveals the same view at different times of day. If you have to choose, the London Eye is a more memorable experience than a £31 elevator ride.
View from the Shard
Joiner St., SE1
Our Rating Hours Apr–Oct daily 10am– 10pm; Nov–Mar Sun–Wed 10am–7pm, Thurs–Sat 10am–10pm Transportation Tube: London Bridge Phone 0844/499-7111 Prices Admission £31 adults, £25 children 4–15, £5 discount if booked 24 hr. ahead Web site View from the Shard
MapJoiner St., SE1 London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.