London skyline
Area guideFamily friendlyHistory, art and cultureblog.categories.itinerariesOn a budgetTrip inspiration
Anonymous

The Shard Vs Sky Garden - Which Is Better? | The London Pass®

by Mia Russell

Battle of the Views: The Shard vs. Sky Garden - Which is the Best?

London is a city that never fails to amaze, and what better way to take in its spectacular sights than from high above? When it comes to breathtaking views of the city, two iconic landmarks immediately come to mind: The Shard and Sky Garden.

Both offer unforgettable experiences, but which one is worth your time and money? Let us take a closer look at both buildings and help you decide which one is the best fit for your next London adventure. Get ready to soar high and see London in a whole new light!

The Shard

This towering skyscraper boasts the title of the tallest building in the United Kingdom, standing at95 stories tall, and is an iconic feature of the London skyline! The views from The Shard are nothing short of incredible - you will see some of the most iconic landmarks in London, such as the Tower Bridge, the River Thames, and St. Paul's Cathedral. From the observation decks on the 68th, 69th, and 72nd floors, you can see all the way to the horizon on a sunny day.

The views

The Shard boasts several different viewing platforms, each with a unique perspective of London. The Skydeck on the 72nd floor provides panoramic views of the city and lets you feel the wind in your hair as you take in the sights. The elegant champagne bar on the 68th floor is a fantastic spot to sip a glass of bubbly and drink in the views!

Dining

The Shard in London is not just a place to enjoy breathtaking views; it's also a hub for delicious dining experiences. From high-end restaurants to casual cafés, there is something for every taste at this iconic landmark.

Look no further than Aqua Shard if you are in the mood for an unforgettable fine dining experience. Located on the 31st floor, this restaurant serves modern British cuisine with the freshest and finest ingredients. The menu is as breathtaking as the view, with dishes like seared Orkney scallops and salt marsh lamb loin. Their extensive bar menu of cocktails will not disappoint either.

For something more casual, head to the 32nd floor and grab a bite at Oblix. This modern European restaurant boasts a lively atmosphere and serves dishes like grilled octopus, roast Cornish brill, and wagyu beef burgers. It's the perfect spot to catch up with friends or enjoy a romantic evening out.

You have two great options if you're looking for a quick bite or a cup of coffee. The Sky Coffee on the 68th floor is perfect for a mid-morning pick-me-up, while the L'A mina del Gusto on the ground floor serves Italian pastries, sandwiches, and gelato.

Attractions

For a totally unique and thrilling experience, head to The Slide on the 72nd floor. This 40-second ride down the building's exterior is not for the faint of heart, but it is sure to get your adrenaline pumping and provide you with a once-in-a-lifetime memory.

The Shard can be a bit on the pricey side. Tickets to the observation decks can be expensive, especially during peak tourist season, and the champagne bar is on the higher end of the price scale.

Sky Garden

Located in the heart of the city, Sky Garden is a beautiful public space that offers 360-degree views of the city's skyline. Also known as the Walkie Talkie building, Sky Garden has a spectacular curved glass façade, which gives it a distinctive look. The Sky Garden is located on the top three floors of the building, and its floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic views of the city.

The Sky Garden is divided into three levels. The first level is the main entrance, and the second level is the Observation Deck, which offers a 360-degree view of the city. The third level is the Sky Garden itself, which is a beautifully manicured space with an indoor garden.

The views

As you might expect, the views from Sky Garden are breathtaking. From the Observation Deck, you'll see some of London's most iconic landmarks, including the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the Thames River.

Dining

If you're feeling peckish, several dining options are available at Sky Garden. From casual cafés to upscale restaurants, there's something for every taste and budget.

Located on the 36th floor, Darwin Brasserie is the main restaurant at Sky Garden and offers contemporary British cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The menu features a range of dishes, including seafood, meat, and vegetarian options, all prepared to the highest standard, emphasizing sustainability.

For a more upscale dining experience, head to Fenchurch Restaurant. Located on the 37th floor, this fine-dining establishment offers stunning views of the city alongside a delicious modern European menu. Expect sublime dishes like roasted scallops, duck breast, and poached rhubarb.

If you're looking for a more casual dining experience, Sky Pod Bar on the 35th floor is the perfect spot. Boasting a relaxed atmosphere and a broad selection of drinks and snacks, it's the ideal place to unwind and take in the spectacular views of London.

Located on the 36th floor, City Garden Bar offers handcrafted cocktails, fine wines, craft beers, and bar bites. The outdoor terrace is a trendy spot in the summer, with its relaxed seating and gorgeous views.

Attractions

Sky Garden isn't just about the view - there's plenty to see and do inside as well. Take a stroll through the exquisitely landscaped gardens and admire the carefully curated tropical greenery and blooming flora. You'll feel like you've been transported to a lush oasis in the heart of the city.

You can also enjoy live music performances throughout the week, making it a great place to take in some entertainment while taking in the views. From jazz to acoustic, there's something for every music lover.

One of the remarkable things about Sky Garden is that it's completely free to visit, which makes it a popular spot with locals and tourists alike. The atmosphere inside Sky Garden is more relaxed and laid-back than at The Shard, which some visitors might appreciate.

Final thoughts

The Shard and Sky Garden offer incredible views of London and are worth a visit. If you're looking for a high-end, luxurious experience, The Shard might be more up your street . On the other hand, if you're after a more relaxed, budget-friendly option, Sky Garden could be just what you're looking for. Ultimately, the choice is up to you!

Love this article? Why not share it:

Buy with confidence

Free cancellation

Plans can change, we get it. All non-activated credits packages are eligible for a refund within 90 days of your purchase date.

Find out moreChevron Icon

Got a question?

Check out our FAQs or live chat with our customer service agents now

See our FAQsChevron Icon

The London Pass® is highly rated, but don't just take our word for it!

Sign up now for an exclusive discount!

Join our mailing list and receive a 5% discount code straight away! Plus, you'll be the first to receive future offers, trip inspiration and so much more!

  • Thick check Icon