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The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing The Shard

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View london city sunset

Are you ready to put your fancy pants on and make some unforgettable memories in London City? Let us introduce you to The Shard, the capital's swankiest location. If you're visiting London, The Shard is one of London's iconic landmarks that you must experience. Join us as we climb an incredible 72 floors of this vertical city, and unveil all the glitz and glam that The Shard has to offer.

If you are looking for visual presentation of what the Shard has to offer click to see our infographic below.

The shard infographic
Click for full infographic

Soar through 72 stories of modern elegance and experience London's ultimate luxury amidst the clouds. Designed as a vertical city, the Shard (also known as the Shard London Bridge) is London's ultimate social hub of premier living, working, dining and leisure experiences.

Renowned for its luxurious aesthetic and its cutting edge design, this contemporary masterpiece comprises of:

  • A 3-floor private healthcare centre
  • 26 floors of top-tier office space
  • 6 floors of culturally diverse bars and restaurants
  • A world-class, five-star hotel & spa with 19 floors (complete with a rooftop infinity sky pool)
  • 13 floors of luxury residential apartments
  • London's highest public Viewing Gallery

Rising to an astonishing height of 309.6 metres, this 72-story skyscraper stands as the tallest building in Western Europe, reigning over the London skyline since it opened on the 1st of February 2013. With its panoramic vista and sleek glass design, The Shard showcases some of London's most breathtaking views, stretching as far as 41 miles on a clear day.

So, if you're looking for the ultimate guide to the secret gems hidden on the Shard's sky-high floors, then you've come to the right place. Let us take you on a virtual tour through all the best bits that The Shard has to offer, so you can get on with creating those unforgettable memories with that someone special, in London City.

The shard london sunset

Where is The Shard?

The Shard is situated on the south bank of the River Thames at 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG. Within a brief walk, you'll find the London Bridge Railway and Underground Stations, as well as several popular London attractions, including London Bridge, Borough Market, and the iconic Tower of London.

London underground station

How to Get to The Shard

By Tube & Train

London's tallest building is located just a few minutes’ walk from London Bridge Underground Station (Northern and Jubilee lines) and London Bridge Railway Station.

By Bus

The closest bus station to The Shard's viewing galleries (located on Joiner street) is just outside London Bridge Station. The buses that stop here include: 43, 48, 141, 149, 521.

By London's River Bus

The Uber river bus by Thames Clippers, offers a safe and enjoyable way to travel around the UK's capital. The closest river bus station can be found at London Bridge City Pier, where it‘s just a 12 minute walk to where the Shard is located on Joiner street.

The shard london from below

How to Enter The Shard

Due to its vast size and countless amenities, the Shard has multiple entrances located at various points around the building.

Entrance 1
For access to the Office Reception, you can enter the Shard at: 32 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG, or by using the what3words exact location: ///driven.degree.smile

Entrance 2 (main entrance)
For access to The Viewing Galleries, located on Floors 68, 69 & 72, you can enter the Shard at: Joiner Street, London SE1 9QU, or by using the what3words exact location: ///ends.button.exam

Entrance 3
For access to:

  • Bar 31 (Level 1)
  • Ting Restaurant (Level 34)
  • Sky Lounge (Level 34)
  • Shangri-La Hotel (Levels 34 - 52)
  • Gong Restaurant (Level 52)

you can enter the Shard at: St Thomas Street, London SE1 9QU, or by using the what3words exact location:///artist.lined.lake

Entrance 4
For access to:

  • Aqua Shard (Level 31)
  • Oblix (Level 32)
  • Hutong (Level 33)

you can enter the Shard at: 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY, or by using the what3words exact location:///stay.dimes.engage

Entrance 5
For access to HCA Healthcare, located on floors 4, 5 & 6, you can enter The Shard at: 32 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9BS, or by using the what3words exact location: ///phones.vase.focus

Security Check at The Shard

Whether visiting the offices, restaurants or the iconic Shangri-La Hotel, a security check is an essential part of your visit to The Shard. Similar to airport style security, visitors will be required to walk through scanners and present their bags x-ray scanning.

This security process is important to keep in mind, especially when visiting restaurants at the Shard, as you'll need to make sure you have enough time to go through security, prior to your booking.

Women high fiving in office

The Shard as a Workspace

In case you hadn't guessed already, the workspaces within the Shard are not your average office, you won't find any plastic plants, grungy cubicles, or yellow lighting here.

What you will find is an image of pure elegance and sophistication, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, showcasing the finest view of the City, a concierge service, and possibly the most unique - a Winter Garden. The Shard's Winter Gardens are an excellent way of welcoming the serenity of the outdoors into the workspace, offering workers a real connection with the outside world.

Through a great feat of engineering, the Shard offices feature special windows that can be opened to create a natural ventilation system. This genius design creates a natural airflow from the outside, bringing with it the everyday sounds of the City, which far surpasses the stuffy, air-tight environment of most office skyscrapers.

So if you're wondering what a luxurious space like this would cost to rent, a private office space starts out at £1100 per person each month. Additionally, meeting rooms that can accommodate between 5 and 75 people are also available for booking, with rates set at £98 per hour.

Restaurants at The Shard

Whether you're in the mood for a casual drink, an intimate dinner, or a joyful gathering with friends, The Shard offers a variety of unique London dining experiences for all manner of occasions. With a selection of 7 outstanding bars & restaurants, each boasting its own individual style of culinary excellence, the only difficulty you may have is deciding which one to visit first.

So to help make that decision as easy as possible, we've broken down all the very best bits of each of the Shard's iconic, London restaurants.

Bar 31 (Ground Level)

Located on The Shard's ground floor, Bar 31 serves as a convenient spot to relax with friends and enjoy the perfect seasonal drink. From summer cocktails to winter warmers, Bar 31 embraces the ever-changing seasons with their expert selection of drinks, accompanied by its open-air ambience.

Offering a wide variety of local beers, spirits, affordable wines, and Champagnes, it's a suitable choice for unwinding after work or taking a break from sightseeing.

Bar 31 aperol spritz

Opening Hours: Tue - Thur - 15:00 - 22:00 | Fri - 15:00 - 23:00 | Sat 12:00 - 23:00

Ambience: Vibrant, Casual, Sophisticated
Suitability for Children: Children are welcome until 5pm
Flexibility: No-shows or cancellations made within less than 48 hours' notice may incur a fee of £15 per person.
Dress Code: Casual
Average Price: ££

Bar 31 is Great for...

  • A casual drink
  • A bite to eat
  • Meeting friends
  • An after work drink
  • Dog walkers
  • Walk ins

Bar 31's Best Bits

Happy Hour
If you're looking for somewhere new for your after-work drinks, then Bar 31 has you covered! Lighting up the hours from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, with their Happy Hour deals, you can enjoy 2 delicious spritzes for just £12 - you'll have those cocktails lined up in no time.

Gin O'Clock
Thank goodness it's Friday, with Bar 31's Gin O'clock deal! Available between 4.00pm and 6.00pm every Friday, you can enjoy your favourite Gin for just £6.

Dog-friendly
Fancy a spur-of-the-moment drink while on a walk with your furry companion? Take full advantage of cocktail hour with your pooch by your side.

Lady drinking red wine

Aqua Shard (Level 31)

Nestled on the 31st floor of the iconic Shard, The Aqua Shard restaurant offers a diverse mix of British cuisine, using only the finest seasonal ingredients. Each dish is crafted with a unique artistic flair and imagination, which also holds true for their Peter Pan afternoon tea - they’ve certainly gone heavy on the Pixie Dust here, creating a truly magical experience for both children and adults alike.

In addition to the exquisite flavours and first-class dishes, the ambience of the restaurant is one of pure luxury and elegance. With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, you can dine while enjoying a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of London's ever-changing skyline.

Opening Hours
BRUNCH: Saturday - Sunday and Bank Holidays | 10 am - 3 pm
LUNCH: Monday to Friday | 12 pm - 2.30 pm
PETER PAN AFTERNOON TEA: Monday - Sunday and Bank Holidays | 12.15 pm - 3.15 pm
DINNER: Monday to Sunday | 6 pm - 10.30 pm

Ambience: Elegant, Cosy, Luxurious
Suitability for Children: Children are always welcome in the restaurant when accompanied by an adult. Adults only after 5 pm.
Flexibility: No-shows or cancellations made within less than 24 hours' notice may incur a fee of £25 per person.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Average Price: £££

Aqua Shard is Great for...

  • A special occasion
  • A romantic dinner
  • A business meeting
  • A fine dining experience
  • Events & parties
  • A proposal
Cocktail on bar

Aqua Shard's Best Bits

The Peter Pan Afternoon Tea
You'll be swept away to never never land to dine amongst the lost boys, with the afternoon tea of your childhood dreams. Enjoy an exquisite selection of treats, from warm British scones nestled amongst piles of treasure to mushroom-shaped bread, all served on its very own Jolly Roger!

Daring Cocktails
Inspired by the four elements: aqua, fire, air and earth, you'll be at the mercy of a mixologist's wildest inventions, with a symphony of colours, flavours and creative flair that create magical concoctions like you've never experienced!

Private Events

Aqua Shard is not just your ordinary spot for excellent British grub and mind-blowing cocktails! Nope, it's also your go-to place for throwing some seriously unforgettable private events that'll have everyone talking for many months to come. We're talking movie premieres that'll make Hollywood blush, awards ceremonies that'll make you feel like a star and cocktail receptions that'll have your jaw-dropping.

If you're looking to host the event of the decade, Aqua Shard can also be hired exclusively with its sister restaurant, Hutong, located on level 33 of The Shard.

Oblix West (Level 32)

Drawing inspiration from New York’s iconic skyline, Oblix perfectly combines a sophisticated ambience with casual urban dining. So you can be sure you won’t feel out of place here while enjoying the best of both worlds.

Oblix is unique in its design, as it’s split across two spaces: East and West. Each area has their own unique views and special characteristics, so you can expect a very individual experience at both.

Oblix West is a foodie's dream! It's all about good times, great vibes and seriously delicious food, not to mention, incredible brunches!

Opening Hours
BRUNCH: Saturday - Sunday | 12 pm - 3 pm
LUNCH: Wednesday to Friday | 12 pm - 3 pm
DINNER: Monday to Sunday | 6 pm - 10.30 pm

Ambience : Upbeat, Sophisticated, Elegant
Suitability for Children: Children are welcome in the restaurant when accompanied by an adult.
Flexibility: No-shows or cancellations made within less than 24 hours' notice may incur a fee of £20 per person.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Average Price: £££

Oblix West is Great for...

  • Brunch Extravaganzas
  • Scenic Dining
  • A stylish date
  • A social gathering

Oblix West's Best Bits

Iconic Brunches
If you've made it your mission to sample as many brunches as possible, then you're in for a treat. With free-flowing champagne and a dessert platter of dreams, Oblix West's legendary brunches really are in a league of their own, setting the bar sky-high for all future brunch dates.

Oblix East (Level 32)

Oblix East is more of a bar scene and it really is the place to be! Here you will find a whole host of incredible cocktails, all begging to be tried, alongside an upbeat and lively atmosphere, befitting its cool and chic vibe.

Front view bartender making drink

Opening Hours
BAR: Monday - Tuesday: 5pm - 10pm | Wednesday - Sunday: 12pm - 10.30 pm
AFTERNOON TEA: Thursday to Sunday | 12 pm - 3 pm
DINNER: Monday to Sunday | 6 pm - 10.30 pm

Ambience: Upbeat, Sophisticated, Elegant
Suitability for Children: Guests under the age of 16 are not permitted in Oblix EAST after 5 pm
Flexibility: No-shows or cancellations made within less than 24 hours' notice may incur a fee of £20 per person.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Average Price: £££

Oblix East is Great for...

  • Weekend days out
  • A fun date night
  • A casual catch-up

Oblix East's Best Bits

Live music on Thursday - Saturday evenings
With a 3-piece band performing from 7-10 p.m, Oblix EAST offers the perfect setting for a relaxed dining experience. It's an excellent way to begin your evening, soaking in the band's live atmosphere, before a DJ ramps up the vibe from 10 p.m.

Hutong (Level 33)

Inspired by the “Lu school” cuisine of the Shandong Province, Hutong expertly captures all the specialities of Northern Chinese flavours throughout its expansive menu. With its dark, moody ambience and dazzling 360 views, Hutong is the perfect destination for a cosy evening meal, enveloped amongst the sparkling lights of London and the very best of Chinese cuisine

Bowl asian food with rice chopsticks

Opening Hours
BAR: Monday - Sunday | 12pm - 1am
RESTAURANT: Monday to Sunday | 12pm - 10.30pm

Ambience: Luxurious, Cosy, Romantic
Suitability for Children: Children are welcome in the restaurant when accompanied by an adult. The bar area is restricted to those over 18 after 5 p.m.
Flexibility: No-shows or cancellations made within less than 24 hours' notice may incur a fee of £25 per person.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Average Price: £££

Hutong is great for...

  • Events & Parties
  • Exquisite Fine Dining
  • A Leisurely lunch
  • A Special occasion
  • A Romantic dinner
  • Sampling the very best of Chinese cuisine

Hutongs Best Bits

Set Menus
If you're easily bamboozled by too many choices, Hutong's set menus are the perfect way to enjoy the very best bits of Chinese cuisine.

Private Events

Just like its sister restaurant (Aqua Shard), Hutong is the perfect destination for hosting a show-stopping event like no other. With its breathtaking views and stylish ambience, Hutong provides the perfect backdrop to amaze your guests and create lasting memories.

Ting (Level 34)

At Ting restaurant, you’ll embark on a culinary adventure like no other. This exotic mix of Asian and British cuisine is sure to delight your tastebuds with the artistic combination of aromatic spices and fresh local ingredients.

Waiter holding plates of food

Opening Hours
BREAKFAST: Monday - Friday | 7am - 10.30am
LUNCH: Monday to Thursday | 12.30pm - 2.15pm
AFTERNOON TEA: Monday - Thursday: 12.30 pm - 3.30 pm | Friday - Sunday: 12.30 pm - 4 pm
DINNER: Monday - Thursday: 5:30 pm - 10 pm | Friday - Sunday: 6 pm - 10.15 pm

Ambience: Quaint, Elegant, Cosmopolitan
Suitability for Children: Ting always welcome children and have a children's menu available.
Flexibility: No-shows or cancellations made within less than 48 hours' notice may incur a fee of £40 per person.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Average Price: £££

Ting is great for...

  • A romantic dinner
  • A business meeting
  • A pre-theatre dinner
  • A family occasion
Women eating bruschetta

Tings Best Bits

Over the Rainbow Afternoon Tea
Indulge in the extraordinary experience of Tings Over the Rainbow afternoon tea. Served in their enchanting Wisteria-themed lounge, you’ll savour an array of delightful rainbow-hued delights, made even more captivating by the addition of a miniature chocolate shard pudding that really is a show-stopping treat!

Whimsical 5-Course Experience Menu
If you often struggle to choose just one item on the menu, then Ting's 5-course tasting menu is just for you! Enjoy 5 delicious courses, sampling the very best of European cuisine, infused with a truly unique Asian twist.

Sky Lounge (Level 34)

Nestled within the world-class Shangri-La Hotel, the Sky Lounge is your ultimate go-to for sophistication and comfort, all set against the breathtaking canvas of London's iconic skyline.

With its chilled vibes and minimalist design, The Sky Lounge is the perfect place to enjoy a midday rendezvous over delectable cuisine, so whether it's a laughter-filled reunion or an intimate lunch, the Sky Lounge sets the stage for those special moments.

Women celebration

Opening Hours
BRUNCH | Sundays | 11am - 4.30pm
DINING| Friday - Saturday | 2pm - 9.30pm

Ambience: Chic, Vibrant, Relaxed
Suitability for Children: Children are welcome
Flexibility: No-shows or cancellations made within less than 48 hours' notice may incur a fee of £30 per person.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Average Price: £££

The Sky Lounge is great for...

  • Catching up with friends
  • A Sunday brunch
  • A midweek lunch
  • A business meeting

The Sky Lounge's Best Bits

Brunch in the Clouds
Serving only the very best champagne on demand, The Sky Lounge Brunch is one of pure luxury. Enjoy one of the very best of brunches whilst nestled amongst the clouds up on the 34th floor.

Gong (Level 52)

Situated on the 52nd floor of the Shard, Gong is not only the highest restaurant in London, but the highest restaurant in Europe! Inspired by Chinese architecture, its luxurious space is divided into cosy chambers, not only complete with a cocktail and champagne bar but a swimming pool too - so you can just imagine the height of elegance that surrounds you in this bougie bar.

The shard day out

Opening Hours
Monday - Wednesday | 4pm - 11pm
Thursday - Sunday | 12:00pm - 11:30pm

Ambience: Romantic, Opulent, Sophisticated
Suitability for Children: Children are strictly not allowed after 5 pm
Flexibility: No-shows or cancellations made within less than 48 hours' notice may incur a fee of £30 per person.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Average Price: ££££

Gong is great for...

  • A special occasion
  • A romantic date
  • A luxurious brunch
  • Exquisite fine dining

Gong's Best Bits

Europe's Highest Restaurant
If you're looking to impress, then Gong is the perfect setting for a romantic evening as the sun sets over London. With panoramic views from the 52nd floor, you'll be winning the award for the best date, as the views up here really are nothing short of spectacular.

Colourful Cocktail Menu
With its own in house bar, Gong's cocktail menu is truly one of artistic magnificence. Themed around a spectrum of bold colours, these cocktails are absolute showstoppers that shouldn't be missed when you pay a visit to Gong.

World-Class Luxury at the Shangri-La Hotel (Levels 34 - 52)

Renowned across the world as one of the most luxurious hotels, the Shangri-La Hotel radiates pure luxury and refinement across 19 sky-high floors. From impeccable service and super fancy dining to 5-star comfort and a top-notch gym. Oh, and not forgetting the rooftop infinity pool that serves up some real jaw-dropping city views!

The Shangri-La Hotel is truly your all-in-one spot for romantic escapes, special moments, or simply when you're in the mood to be pampered like royalty. Curious about the price tag for such an extraordinary hotel stay? Well, for a single night in a Superior Shard Room, you might be looking at around £600 to £800. That's a surefire way to ensure your night is nothing short of spectacular!

Weddings at The Shard

If you’re looking to start your married life from up on cloud 9, look no further than the Ren, Li and Ye Event Space at the Shangri-La Hotel!

This ultimate venue is like a dream come true - Imagine sealing your love before the breathtaking backdrop of London's famous skyline. So whether you’re hosting an intimate event with your nearest and dearest or going all out with the celebrations, you can be sure that your big day will sparkle with glitz and glam that only the Shard can create.

wedding at the shard

Ren

Designed for up to 140 guests
Gazing out upon the majestic River Thames and the vibrant City of London, the Ren space is your ticket to a view that'll steal your heart. Whether you're planning a wedding that's larger-than-life or simply unforgettable, Ren has got you covered. It's the grandest private room in the house, ready for a celebration that's as breathtaking as the view itself.

Li

Designed for up to 30 guests.
Peering out over London Bridge, with sights stretching to embrace Battersea Power Station and beyond, Li is the perfect canvas for a wedding celebration that's intimate and enchanting. With Li's charming atmosphere and captivating views, your wedding celebration will be one to remember, framed by the city's vibrant energy.

Yi

Designed for up to 20 guests.
As the smallest and cosiest room, Yi is your go-to venue for an intimate wedding filled with a charming ambience that you just won't find at larger gatherings. Thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows, your wedding will be a stunning spectacle against London's iconic backdrop, leaving you and your guests in awe and wonder

Sky-High Living in the Shard's Apartments

Step into The Shard's swanky world of luxury apartments – it's like living inside a Hollywood film set. Imagine waking up to jaw-dropping views surrounded by a doting team ready to cater to your every need - that's the allure of these exclusive abodes. Here, luxury isn't just a word; it's a lifestyle curated for those who seek the finest.

Not only are these apartments sky-high in location, but even the lowest-priced apartment is soaring higher than any other London home at a whopping £30 million, so we may have to put that one on the back burner, but we can dream right?

View from the shard at night

Viewing Platforms | Levels 68, 69 & 72

Sky Boutique (Level 68)

At the Sky Boutique, you can shop till you drop - that is if you can take your eyes off the mesmerising skyline that surrounds you. From chic souvenirs to stylish mementoes, the Sky Boutique offers a unique shopping experience while 69 stories above the ground.

Main Viewing Platform (Level 69)

The main viewing platform showcases a 360-degree view of London's most iconic landmarks. With no restriction on how long you can stay, you'll be able to take your time soaking in the stunning views, all while sipping on a carefully crafted cocktail, that just adds an extra touch of elegance to your experience.

Open Air Viewing Platform (Level 72)

Get ready for windblown hair and the highest possible views as you step onto the Shard's open air skydeck. It's a bit windy up here, but that's all part of the thrill, right? With London's iconic landmarks at your feet, it's a unique experience that's sure to blow you away – quite literally!

Viewing Platform Opening Hours

The Shard's viewing platform is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a time slot every 30 minutes and the last entry at 8:30 p.m. Once you enter the Shard, there is no time restriction for how long you can stay there, so feel free to sample more than one of the Shard's fabulous cocktails as you take in the London skyline from a very different perspective.

How to Book Tickets

If you're looking for a special day out at The Shard, WonderDays offers the ultimate gift voucher, including tickets to The Shard, as well as a swanky Three-course dinner and cocktail for two at Marco Pierre White's London Steakhouse Company

However, if you're just looking to purchase a ticket to the viewing platforms, then you can purchase them here: Buy Tickets to The Shard.

How much is a ticket to The Shard's Viewing Platform

General entry starts at £28, which includes a View Guarantee, Panoramic Guide and four digital photos with each ticket. If you want to make your experience even more special, you can add a glass of champagne for an extra £16.

View from the shard day

What's the best time to visit The Shard?

If you're looking to enjoy the view from the shard with a little peace and quiet, the best times to do this are between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., as the most visitors tend to wait until later in the day, to witness the beauty of the sunset.

If you're hoping to enjoy the ambience of the sunset hours, the best times for a Shard visit are between 4 and 6 p.m., to watch the sun slowly set over the City. The only downside here though is that these tickets sell out really quickly, which means it's always pretty busy at these times.

The View from The Shard

The stunning views from the Shard's observation deck stretch as far as an unbelievable 41 miles (on a clear day), some of the iconic landmarks and London attractions you're likely to spot from this most elevated position include:

  • Tower Bridge
  • The River Thames
  • Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
  • St Paul's Cathedral
  • Big Ben

What happens if there is poor weather during your visit to The Shard?

Being seasoned pros at weather letdowns here in the UK, a sudden cloudy twist to your sunny plans isn't a shocker. But don’t despair, your ticket includes a weather guarantee, so if you're missing out on at least three out of the following five landmarks you’ll be issued with a complimentary ticket for a second chance to take in those jaw-dropping sights.

  • London Eye
  • 20 Fenchurch Street
  • Tower Bridge
  • One Canada Square
  • St Paul’s Cathedral

So if anyone is still wondering whether The Shard in London is worth it, I think the answer has to be a resounding yes! Whether you're just looking for a casual drink on your way to the theatre or looking to dip your toe into London's most exclusive dining scene, you're sure to make memories to remember while spending a day living the high life in London's most luxurious skyscraper.

A Guide To The Shard Infographic

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