London is a key attraction for visitors all over the world and tourism is one of the cities highest export earners behind financial services and chemicals. Tourists spend a substantial amount of money to explore the city, and one of the city's top attractions is The Shard.
Plan how high you want to go. The Shard has different levels and the many levels afford different views. Going on the highest viewing platforms means having to pay big bucks. If have a strict budget to stick to, how about going to Level 31.? You still get amazing views of the city, experience great food and drinks, and visit Aqua Shard for free.
Get skip-the-line tickets. The Shard is one of the most iconic buildings in London, so it is normal to see crowds of people wanting to go to the observatory and take nice pictures. Save yourself the hassle and the endless queue by getting skip-the-line tickets so you'll get whisked right through the entrance.
As with most popular attractions, there are some items that are restricted. Confiscated items will not be returned after your visit so do try to avoid bringing pushchairs, large bags, large photographic equipment, and food or drinks. Guests are welcome to bring small cameras, service animals, and smartphones.
The Shard threads the skyline of London looking like a great glass needle. Completed in 2013, it stands over a thousand feet tall and has 95 floors, making it the tallest structure in the city and in the United Kingdom. Modeled after a shard of glass, hence the name, it was not always known as The Shard. It used to be called the London Bridge Tower.
However, it is more than just a tall building, the floors that make up the whole building has exciting information. Some people love The Shard while others may think it is an atrocity, but it is not going anywhere. It is going to stay in the city as one of its most celebrated landmarks.
The Shard is a work of art and is a spectacle for individuals who love photography, architecture, and the city of London. It is different to see it up close and personal as compared to looking at pictures of it on social media. The glorious views is something to behold but because it is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city, you can expect long lines, a huge crowd and jostling for space, especially if you visit during peak times, such as weekends.
The Shard's 31st to 33rd floors boasts of topnotch restaurants and unforgettable dining experience. There is no shortage of incredible views, impeccable customer service and out-of-this-world experience which guests will cherish forever. All the restaurants and bars at the Shard has a smar casual dress code.
Located on the 31st floor, one of the first things people say when asked about Aqua Shard is that the view is outstanding, but this modern British restaurant offers more than just an incredible panorama of the city. Their exquisite dishes are all made with local produce and combined with the staple ingredients found in British cooking. There is also an extensive menu of cocktails to choose from.
Situated on the 33rd floor of The Shard, Hutong has a dramatically-located dining room and offers delicious Chinese cuisine. Renowned for their delicious Peking Duck, Hutong is influenced by the China provinces of Shandong and Sichuan, incorporating fiery spices resulting in flavorsome dishes. The restaurant has welcomed over half a million guests and serves 60 Peking ducks daily. Check their menu here.
Nearly halfway up The Shard in London, Oblixboasts of a fabulous open kitchen and smart tables. Being inside the restaurant is like being inside an Aztec pyramid, with flickering candles, and earth-colored slabs. The latest venture of the German wunderkind Raine Becker, once the executive chef at the Hyatt Chain, Oblix has a menu that is mainstream Occidental.
TING Restaurant and Lounge, the main restaurant in Shangri-La, features a modern European cuisine with a touch of Asian influence. The main dishes will satisfy you, and the dessert will please your palate too. After Eight Delice is something that chocoholics everywhere will celebrate, but don't take our word for it, check their menu and see for yourself.
With unparalleled views, Gong the destination bar at Shangri-La Hotel. The highest bar in London is the perfect place to go to if you want sunset cocktails, as well as late-night drinks. Gong has eighteen creations made by their head bartender Christian Maspes. Each is inspired by different stages in life, and by varying moods. Check the bar's menu here.
Europe's tallest building, The Shard, not only houses offices, restaurants, and bars, it is also the home of one of the world's most recognizable hotels, The Shangri-La. Conjuring a sense of pure elegance and relaxation, Shangri-La at The Shard offers guests 202 rooms and suites. It is the home of legendary hospitality and luxury. Each room features floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views of the city, Acqua Di Parma bathroom amenities, and complimentary high-speed internet.
There are 185 rooms to choose from and guests can handpick their view by selecting rooms from any of the four categories: The Superior Shard Room facing towards the historic parts of the city, The Deluxe City View Room facing to the north and the east, The Premier City View Room which overlooks unparalleled northerly views of some of the city's most iconic landmarks, and The Iconic City View Room which has 180-degrees panoramic views.
Aside from the regular rooms, Shangri-La also has signature suites for the more sophisticated guests willing to spend a considerable amount of money. There are 17 spacious suites, all of which have personal butler service. The different signature suites are The Premier Shard Suite, the Westminster Suite, the Iconic Shard Suite, the London Suite, and the Shangri-La Suite.
If you are going to pay the hefty fee for panoramic views from The Shard in London, you might as well spend some time taking the best pictures not only for your Instagram but for your repository of memories. The Shard is one of the most recognizable structures in the London skyline, and it also offers stunning views of the city. So, how do you make the best of your time there and how do you take spectacular photos?
It is important to consider timing if you want to take enviable photos. Weekdays are quieter than weekends, so there are less people. However, during the summer it can get swamped before sunset. Arrive an hour before sunset and stay until it's completely dark so you get two types of photos. There is no time limit to your visit so plan accordingly.
London has weather that is extremely changeable. If you are waiting for specific weather conditions, you can turn up on the day itself, but you will have to pay slightly more, which is not ideal if you are trying to save money. It is advisable to book at least a day before. You can see at least three significant landmarks from the building, such as The Gherkin, Tower Bridge, The London Eye, and St. Paul's Cathedral.
Majority of the lower viewing gallery or the 69th floor is double-glazed so reflections are inevitable. It is best to head straight to the 72nd floor. It's refreshingly open but is also exposed to the elements so you may need gloves in the winter when it gets frigid.
Tripods are not allowed on the viewing levels and this ban includes Gorillapods and mini-tripods. Smartphones, as well as basic compact cameras are able to produce excellent results in bright conditions.However, it can be a struggle to record details at night when not using SLRs.
If you are planning to go to The Shard, you must already be asking yourself if it is better to go there during day or night time? The top of the Shard is a well-established viewing platform in London. It is the highest access point in the city that is open to the public. Located right in the center of the city, guests can enjoy stunning views of London.
However, the more significant question is when is the best time to visit The Shard and get fantastic views? The view during daytime is entirely different compared to night, so it can be a challenge which to choose. Let's see the pros and cons so you can decide at the end.
If you want to see the hundreds of buildings of the city in great detail and get the clearest possible view, your best bet is to go to the Shard during daytime. The best time to go is an hour before sunset because it allows you the opportunity to get a glimpse of the city during day and night.
Opening times can vary on occasion, depending on the events taking place, if any. However, the regular opening hours from 10 am until 8 pm, Sundays to Wednesdays and from 10 am until 10 pm, Thursdays to Saturdays. Last entry is at 7:30 pm on Sundays and Tuesdays, 7 pm on Wednesdays, and 9 pm on Thursdays to Saturdays.
Although several people indicate that it is alright to visit the Shard any time of the day and any day of the week, it is important to come up with a plan to make the most of your time there. You are paying good money so you should get your money's worth.
Summer is of course the best time to visit London but it is also peak season, so you can expect crowds and large amounts of tourists. The good news is London has a mild climate so that means it can be visited any time of the year. In spring the weather is mild but wet, in autumn it can be mild in the beginning and turn colder later on, and winter can be very cold.
The Shard is located in Southwark, located on the southern bank of the Thames. London Bridge on the Jubilee and Northern Lines is the nearest London Underground station. The Shard is also located just across the London Bridge from Monument. For people who plan on taking a bus tour, there are many London hop-on-hop-off bus services which has stops near London Bridge and the Shard. These buses are a great way to save money on transportation. Its central location also means you are in proximity to the HMS Belfast, Monument to the Great Fire, tower Bridge, and the Tower of London. You might also want to check out various London city tours tickets and London walking tours.
The Shard is considered the tallest building in Europe, but how does it fare compared to other buildings and structures in the world? The Shard stands at 310 meters tall or 1016 feet. By comparison, the Eiffel Tower, which is technically not a building, is actually taller than the Shard at 320 meters and its observation deck stands at 276 meters, which is 31 meters taller than the Shard.Despite being the tallest building in Europe, it is only the 59th tallest building in the world. Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world is 2.8 times taller than the Shard.
The Shard is essentially a pyramid of glass which stands at the southern terminus of the London Bridge, that is why is also called the London Bridge Tower. Designed by the famous architect, Renzo Piano, in conjunction with Broadway Malyan, the plan started in 2000 under contract by Irvine Sellar. Piano is most famous for designing the renowned Pompidou Centre in Paris, France.
The name “Shard” came about due to the building's resemblance to a shard of glass stabbing out of the ground. Piano wanted to create a design that will stand out against the skyline of the metropolis without being too overbearing. The building was designed to use specialised windows which would reflect different intensities of light in different ways that will change the appearance of the building during different seasons and various times of the day. The designed was altered after the terrorist attacks in New York City.
Construction began in 2009 and three cranes were erected to complete construction. The Shard was one of the first few buildings to use new structural standards recommended by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology after the 9/11 incident.
The Shard is a multiple-use structure with different floors serving varying purposes. The 2nd to the 28th floors are office space rental areas. The 31st to the 33rd floors are dedicated to restaurants and bars. Shangri-La Hotel, a five-star hotel, takes up the 34th to 52nd floors. There is also an observatory between the 68th to the 72nd floors. The spire runs from the 72nd floor to the very top.
Make the most of your time when you visit the Shard by checking out other attractions in the nearby area. Here's a guide to all the best activities, attractions, and sights within walking distance of the Shard.
Developed in the 1980's as a beautiful interior market with restaurants, cafes, and shops. The riverside pubs boasts of excellent views of the Tower of London and is the perfect spot if you want to chill out after seeing iconic views from the Shard.
One of the city's defining landmarks, the Tower Bridge, is one of the most famous bridges in the world. For only £9, you can walk along the walkways and see some stunning views, see the Victorian engine rooms, and get a sense of the history of the structure.
Considered a real piece of British WW2 history, the HMS Belfast is a floating museum and the last ship of her type to serve in the WW2. Get up close with the giant guns and go deep into the bowels of the ship to discover its history. Just a stone's throw away from the Shard, a visit to the HMS Belfast only costs £12.80.
Known as the scariest attraction in the UK today, the London Bridge and Tombs experience takes you through 2000 years of history where warfare, murders and death are re-enacted before your eyes. Not one for the faint-hearted, this is a visit which is also an educational trip.
Borough Market is where you should go if you are a foodie, or if you want to sample the local dishes in London. One of the oldest and most respected markets in the city which has local and international fresh and organic produce, it is just literally down the road from the Shard.
An English galleon once captained by Sir Francis Drake himself, the Golden Hinde you see today is a replica of the flagship which has been transformed into a museum. Visit the ship and experience what it is like to sail the world during the 16th century.
There is so much to see and explore in London, so make sure you have enough time to truly get to the soul of the city. Do not forget to visit other attractions such as Harry Potter Studio London tours, which children young and old will definitely love. If you are a little strapped for cash, you will be happy to know that there are many free things to do in London. London is a city that is alive at night as it is by day so do explore the city after the sun sets. There are London things to do at night so do go out and explore late night spots.
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