LONDON TRAVEL

The Sky Garden vs The Shard

The Sky Garden vs The Shard

Billed as London’s public garden, The Sky Garden is on the top floor of the Walkie Talkie located in London’s financial district, close to Monument Tube Station.

Having only opened in January of 2015 it has become an instant hit with the locals and the tourists and its structure dominate both the financial district and London.

I have visited both The Shard and The Walkie Talkie and decided to do an article on which I think is the best. Surely London’s tallest building would be the place to visit? I wasn’t so sure! Here is my review of The Sky Garden vs The Shard.

So here are my pro and cons, The Sky Garden vs The Shard:

The Sky Garden vs The Shard

 

The Sky Garden vs The Shard

THE SHARD

The View from The Shard is the premium visitor attraction at the top of Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard. Designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano, the Shard redefines London’s skyline and has become a dynamic symbol of London. At a height of up to 800ft or 244m, The View from The Shard offers spectacular views over London, enabling visitors to see as far as 40 miles away. Twice as high as any other vantage point in the city, it is the only place where visitors can see the entire city at once. Book your tickets in advance for your chance to see London in high definition, and save £5 compared to the door price!

SKY GARDEN

Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street is a unique public space that boasts two destination bars and two beautiful restaurants, spanning three storeys and offering 360-degree views across London. Book a table at either of Sky Garden’s renowned restaurants, Darwin or Fenchurch for an unforgettable dining experience. Alternatively, book your free visit and wander the capital’s highest public garden at your leisure, 35 floors up. Visitors are welcome to both Sky Pod and City Garden bars to enjoy light snacks and delicious drinks throughout the day, from breakfast items and sandwiches to an array of cocktails and sharing boards in the evenings as London comes to life and music fills the air. Book your free visit online between 10am and 6pm on weekdays, and 11am and 9pm on weekends. Walk-ins are also welcome: Monday to Friday: 7am to 10am and after 6pm; Saturdays: 8am to 11am and after 9pm; Sundays: 9am to 11am and after 9pm.

 

The Sky Garden vs The Shard

SKY GARDEN

PROS

  1. FREE – It’s free to visit and you can get tickets pretty easily you just need to book at least two to three weeks in advanced.
  1. 360 DEGREE VIEWS – The views are impressive and they also make really good Instagram posts. You can roam freely around the entire area gaining a complete 360 view of London from the Tower of London to even The Shard.
  1. AFFORDABLE – Well this was obvious, it’s free and on top of that the prices for drinks and food within the Sky Pod bar are pretty reasonable. The restaurants are more expensive obviously, but nothing compared to The Shard.
  1. LOTS OF SPACE – Unlike The Shard where you battle to get to the windows, there was a great deal of space for you to wander, take photos and chat with friends. They also limit their numbers respectively so that this doesn’t happen. It’s open to the public so it feels more like an open space as opposed to a tourist attraction which was nice.

 

THE SHARD

PROS

  1. ATMOSPHERE – You definitely won’t freeze indoors here! Hands down it is a lot better than the Sky Garden in this sense and also the general facilities are better. As an extra the toilets are something else here – here you’ll find London’s best bathroom!
  1. DECOR – You can choose to sit in comfy seats and lounges downstairs or in the bars and restaurants upstairs all decked out with amazing décor and furniture.
  1. TALLEST – It is the tallest building in the UK and gives you some impressive views across London, so it wins in that sense but on other things, I just felt disappointed.

 

READ MORE: Spending 48 Hours in London

 

The Sky Garden vs The Shard

SKY GARDEN

CONS

  1. ATMOSPHERE – The atmosphere is pretty sterile and it’s blooming cold up there! I was also a little disappointed by the ‘garden’ aspect, I was expecting incredible greenery but in fact it only took up less than a ¼ of the space and wasn’t super impressive.
  1. DINING – If you choose to dine at the top floor restaurant you will have just zero chance of a view. The views are experienced on the balcony outside and in the main area. The food I am told is good and well worth it for a one off experience.
  1. COLD – Make sure you take a jacket as it pretty cold up there – They do provide blankets though! The staff all wear jackets and hats and I didn’t take my coat off either! I was told the reason for this is to keep the temperature in balance with the plants.

 

THE SHARD

CONS

  1. PRICE – As written previously said, obviously you have to pay £20 per adult to go up to the viewing area. Of course you can bypass this fee by going to one of the bars or restaurants but then you’ll be paying up to £10 per drink. .
  1. DINING – All options are very expensive… I can’t give my opinion on if the food is worth it!
  2. VIEW – It is impressive for sure, but what it misses is where the Sky Garden wins hands down is to be able to have a 360 view. As each corner has a restaurant it isn’t possible to get a view from all angles. NOTE: This is if you choose not to go to the observatory deck. But then you will be battling to get to the windows and being elbowed out the way.

 

Overall, for price The Sky Garden wins, for the atmosphere The Shard wins, but for the best view in London it’s got to be Sky Garden. I’d go back to The Sky Garden again for sure, whereas I might only go back to The Shard if it was for a special occasion.

 

Sky Garden // Sky Pod Bar // Darwin Brasserie // Fenchurch Restaurant // View From The Shard

 

BOOK TRAVEL INSURANCE BEFORE YOU FLY

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My Travel Tips and Recommendations

Flights

To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals. 

Accommodation

For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through Booking.com. I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!

Photography and Technology

Here is a list of the technology I always travel with:

Travel Insurance

Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner. World Nomads is an affordable option that I personally recommend. BOOK HERE

 

You can also find me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

 

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Berlin City Break: How to spend a Weekend in Berlin Germany

48 Hours in Tuscany Itinerary

The Best City Breaks for Couples

10 of the Best places to eat Brunch in London

 

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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.

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Sophie X

 

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