Address: 32 London Bridge Steet, London SE1 9SG


Time: Open from 10 am

Time Information:

Phone: +44 (0) 844 499 7111

Entry Price: £29.95 for adult


100m from London Bridge

250m from London Bridge

The Shard is the latest addition to the London skyline and what an addition it is! It stands over 1,000ft (300m) high and overlooks London from its site in Southwark, in fact it would overlook most things as it’s the tallest building in Europe.

Lying close to London Bridge – it’s name is Shard London Bridge – it replaced Southwark Towers, an office block occupied by finance giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers. It was developed by Irving Sellar who recruited Italian architect Renzo Piano who had designed the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

The building has 72 floors with an open area and viewing gallery on the top floor and its outer surface is mainly glass. Designwise from the lobby, it has offices up to the 28th floor, restaurants to the 33rd, a hotel to the 52nd, a spa on the 52nd, apartments up to the 65th and an observatory up to the 72nd.

From the idea in 2000, it was never going to be easy getting it past the planning authorities and the project came up against much opposition which included English Heritage. It only received government approval because of its exceptional design.

It cost around £500m and was mainly funded by a Qatari based finance company. The building is part of an area redevelopment which will be known as London Bridge Quarter, with a museum, public areas, various facilities and underground station improvements taking place.

Whilst it holds the enviable record of Europe’s tallest building, it is in fact only the second tallest freestanding structure in the UK, with the Emley Moor Transmitting Station taking that honour. It’s a huge tourist attraction as it offers the public incredible views of the city.

Whilst a relatively new building, this really is one of the best London landmarks as it gives astonishing views of the city and gives visitors a fascinating aerial view of locations in relation to each other.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.