The best view in Europe: Shard building, London

by Bernadette Fallon

What a job – managing the best view in Europe! Andy Nyberg is Chief Executive of The View from the Shard. Opening to the public on February 1, it’s the tallest building in Western Europe and the only place in London you can see all of London, with 360 degree views. (Andy has previously managed ‘At The Top’ in the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa in Dubai – and The Skydeck at the Sears Tower in Chicago – the tallest building in the US; clearly a man with a head for heights.)

Getting the lift to the top is a bit like riding the glass elevator in ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’; the doors close smoothly and you’re rushing faster and faster (lifts travel at six metres per second), as video screens play around you. Then off at floor 33 to be guided through a map of London with a twisty Thames graphic and lots of ‘just for fun’ questions – try a taster here. Next back in the lift again and it’s, whoosh, straight to floor 68 with its 360 degree views of the city.

You can climb (or take the video lift) to the top floor, level 72, for an open air view that’s a bit like Charlie’s elevator breaking through the roof and into the sky. (Well I say open air, there’s plenty of air but huge glass ‘shards’ stretch floors above you for protection – it’s a far cry from leaning over the parapet at the top of the Empire State Building). And up here you can see everybody’s secrets; the office block rooftops, surprising hidden gardens, apartment terraces, naval ship decks and winding paths of the railways.

It’s a bit steep – ha! – at £24.95 for adults and 18.95 for children – but to be fair they have built London history into the experience as well as the view and if you are unlucky enough to visit on a cloudy day, you can return for free another time. It’s handy to get to, right next door to London Bridge Station with underground and overground services as well as plenty of bus routes. And it’s nice to see a bit of life being breathed back into this part of town. Southwark is one of the city’s oldest areas, dating back to Roman times – Shakespeare hung out down the road - and London Bridge was for centuries the only crossing point over the Thames.

The rest of the building is given over to offices and commercial space, there are 10 private residences, three floors of restaurants and bars half way up, and the five-star Shangri-La Hotel near the top. Tickets for The View are pre-booked in advance and timed so there’s no queuing, but there will be a limited number of ‘walk-up’ tickets available for purchase each day. It’s open every day, except Christmas Day, from 9am to 10pm, entrance is on Joiner St, London SE1, right next door to London Bridge Station; booking and information at 0844 499 7111 or

Test your knowledge of London here

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About The Authors

Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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