In 2013, the newly opened Shard, the tallest building in Europe (but not even in the top 50 worldwide), added an extremely expensive observation deck with timed tickets. Jude Law called it “about the most unfortunate name for a building in the world,” and the jagged 306m/1,016 ft.-tall tower doesn’t exactly fit in with its neighbors. Signs work hard to incessantly remind you how big it is. Even its prices are bigger: souvenir photos cost £25. After two ear-popping fast elevator rides, you emerge 244m/800 ft. up to some weird angel-like synth music and vertiginous floor-to-ceiling windows far, far over the city—so far that after the initial impression, the casual visitor isn’t likely to discern most of what they’re seeing. A few levels up (hoist yourself upstairs for the last three floors), there’s a second, half-outdoor level, shielded at body-level from the elements. There’s no seating (although staff will fetch a folding chair if you need one), no restaurant, and no washrooms, but you can spend as much time up here as you want. There is one novel addition: Point a “digital telescope” in the distance, and the attached screen reveals the same view at different times of day. The unblinking truth? The London Eye is more memorable.
View from the Shard
Joiner St., SE1
Our Rating Hours Summer: daily 10am–10pm; Winter: Sun–Wed 10am–7pm, Thurs–Sat 10am–10pm Transportation Tube: London Bridge Phone 0844/499-7111 Prices £30 adults, £24 kids 4–15, £5 discount 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.