The View from The Shard opens: full attraction revealed

Thursday 1, January 1970


The View from The Shard opens: full attraction revealed


The new state of the art visitor experience at The View from The Shard - the premium attraction at the top of The Shard, London’s newest landmark, developed by Sellar Property in association with LBQ Ltd - has today been revealed for the first time, ahead of the attraction’s official opening to the public on1 February 2013. The first day of opening is already sold out.


The View from The Shard is the only place where it is possible to see the entire city of London at once and provides a unique encounter with the iconic building. With spectacular 40 mile (64km), 360 degree views of the city, 800ft (244m) above ground, the attraction is set to become the first one-stop destination in London where visitors can experience the UK’s capital like never before.

The journey begins

From the entrance at Joiner Street, guests enter the ground floor galleries to begin their exploration of the UK’s capital. Over 140 famous Londoners in playful juxtapositions greet visitors including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pictured as Pearly King and Queen; London Mayor, Boris Johnson, shining the shoes of his rival, Ken Livingstone; and Kate Moss marrying King Henry VIII, amongst many others.

Around the gallery, animated maps and video screens illustrate the growth of London and reveal the context of the historic London Bridge location – the oldest crossing point over the Thames - around which the city has expanded. Through a series of short films, guests are given glimpses of London’s diverse communities and famous streets and places across the capital – all of which they will be able to see from the viewing galleries over 200m above them.  Interactive displays also bring The Shard to life, demonstrating how this unique building is connected to the city. 

A specially composed orchestral and choral soundtrack performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and The Joyful Company of Singers  – one of Europe’s foremost chamber choirs – will accompany visitors as they journey through the attraction.

Soaring skywards

In total, guests travel in four separate lifts up and down to the viewing galleries. The lifts travel at six metres per second, making the total lift journey time from Level 00 to level 68 around 60 seconds.  Guests depart the ground floor in ‘kaleidoscopic’ lifts using video screens and mirrors to create the effect of soaring through iconic ceilings and roofs of London.  As they ascend towards the pinnacle of The Shard so they pass through the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Rubens ceiling at the Banqueting House in Whitehall, the spiral staircase at Monument, and the British Museum’s Great Court glass roof. The descent lifts feature different visual effects.


Transfer zone (Level 33)

Visitors will transfer lifts at Level 33 through an all-enveloping graffiti word map of London. Guests follow an image of the River Thames curving along the floor and see the capital mapped geographically around them in 200 sentences scrawled on the walls and floor, each describing a different part of the city. Guests can test their knowledge of London as they walk through, for example: Where is the ancient road to Dover? Which heath is famous for pistol duels?  Where was the original Olympic Velodrome located?  [Answers in the Notes for Editors below]]. 


The View is revealed (Level 69)

Guests arrive at the ‘cloudscape’ on level 68 and immediately head upwards to the triple-height, light-filled, main viewing gallery at Level 69 where breath-taking, 360 degree views for up to 40 miles (64km) over the capital are revealed. [List of notable landmarks below in the Notes for Editors]. The city of London is brought to life on 12, free to use, ‘Tell:scopes’ – ultra high-tech digital telescopes that are being used in Europe for the first time.  The Tell:scopes enable guests to explore the city around them in real time, as well as offering alternative (pre-recorded) day and night-time views.  Fully interactive, they are able to identify over 200 famous landmarks and places of significant interest and offer information about them in 10 languages. 


Level 72

For the most profound experience, guests can go higher to the viewing gallery at Level 72 (800ft/244m).  Here, at the very highest public level of the building, partially open-air and exposed to the elements, guests are surrounded by the giant shards of glass that form the top of The Shard and can fully experience the sounds and atmosphere of the city below. 

The entire attraction offers free Wi-Fi.  Guests can immediately share pictures, thoughts and views as they stand over the city with friends all over the world.  Experiences can also be shared on The View from the Shard’s Facebook page and on Twitter using the hashtag #shardview.  [Social media links below in the Notes for Editors].

The Sky Boutique – the highest shop in London

Level 68 features an exclusive boutique that enables guests to take home mementoes of their visit to The View from The Shard with bespoke designs and limited edition souvenirs. 


Descent and exit

Guests descend in multimedia-enhanced lifts that reflect the trip back down to earth.  The sky recedes, the seasons change, and the hustle and bustle of the streets of London comes into focus.  Visitors arrive back in the ground floor gallery and a more extensive gift shop.

Andy Nyberg, The View from The Shard, CEO, said:  “The View from The Shard is the only place you can see the whole of London all at once, and as such, is a natural starting point for exploring the UK’s capital. Here visitors can find the entire city laid out before them, to be explored, admired and inspired by. We’ve designed an immersive visitor experience enhanced by state of the art technology to draw people deeper into the story of London, its people and history. I hope that our guests - Londoners and tourists alike - will enjoy a truly unique encounter with the city and The Shard.”

Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property and partner of LBQ Limited, said: “The Shard was designed to be a building for everyone and the opening of the View from The Shard is a fundamental part of this. There is no doubt that it will be one of the leading attractions in London, complemented by the new restaurants, bars and Shangri-La Hotel opening in The Shard 2013.  It is an integral part of our vision that London Bridge Quarter will form a unique and inclusive area at the heart of a community that has a long history and huge potential for growth.”

Renzo Piano, the Architect who created The Shard, has been personally involved in developing the content of the experience, working in collaboration with the attraction designers Event Communications.

Renzo Piano, Architect, The Shard: “London is a city of inspiration and imagination. When we designed The Shard, a viewing gallery was part of our thinking right from the start. We wanted to create a public space where people could visit the building to experience London in a different way and also feel that they have discovered the spirit of the building. Level 72 is a wonderful example of this: in the open air on the highest habitable floor, you are surrounded by the shards of glass as well as the sights, sounds, elements and atmosphere of the city below. On top of the city, but also within it.”

Tickets and visiting

Tickets are pre-booked, timed and dated, providing a queue and crowd free premium experience with no time limit in the attraction.  Tickets can also be given as gifts via The View from The Shard Gift Certificates which enable the recipient to choose when they would like to visit. Tickets cost £24.95 for adults and £18.95 for children.  The View will be open from 09.00am to 22.00pm daily to enable guests to experience the city by day or night.  [Booking details below].


London Bridge Quarter

The Shard is the iconic new building at the heart of the London Bridge Quarter.  The £2bn regeneration project is being developed by Sellar Property in association with LBQ Ltd. The building is a vertical town comprising offices, restaurants, the five star Shangri-La hotel, residences and the stunning View From The Shard visitor attraction. London Bridge Quarter will see The Shard and its sister development The Place connect with London Bridge Station through a new central plaza, public realm, new station concourse and bus station as well as retail units. 



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