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Shard vs London Eye

I have read comments saying that the Eye is not worth the price. What about the view from the shard? Thanks

Posted by
7161 posts

Dont know about the Shard, but I thought the Eye was not worth the time - both waiting in lines and the ride itself.

Posted by
11294 posts

If you're just looking for views, consider the top level of the One New Change mall (in The City) and the top viewing level in the Tate Modern. These are both free.

London's skyline isn't a super-impressive one, like Chicago's or New York's; I wouldn't pay a lot of money to see it. I did both of the free views I mentioned above, and particularly liked the one from the Tate, as it was a clear night (the Tate is open late on Saturdays, and maybe another night too - not sure).

Posted by
3936 posts

We did the Eye our first visit in '08 - it's something we are glad we did - we went up at dusk so got to see the city as the lights came up. Haven't done the Shard as the price is just too high (especially with our poor exchange rate in Canada). We did the SkyGarden this year - it was nice - 360 views around, and best of all - free. I did have to watch when the dates were being released like a hawk, since we only had a few days in London. If I had to tell people which to do, just for sheer cost (or lack thereof), I'd say SkyGarden - and the area does have some interesting buildings/sites. We didn't have the option of SG in '08 (or the Shard for that matter!)

Posted by
774 posts

When you are explaining your trip to London, NO ONE cares if you had a view from the Shard, or Sky Gardens, or even St Paul's. It's the Eye everyone wants to know about.

Posted by
30 posts

Sky garden has amazing views and that was even when it was raining. Make sure to get tickets as soon as they become available because they are gone very quickly. We also did the eye and do not regret doing it. We did it around sunset and it was beautiful.

Posted by
3549 posts

I don't think a ferris wheel is worth that price. I also think the Shard is overpriced. I preferred the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch St. I made a reservation in advance and it was free.

Posted by
273 posts

I went on the Eye at night with my daughter, and felt it only took us farther away from the sights, and there was no map in the pods so I didn't really know most of the buildings we were seeing. A few of the others figured out where Buckingham Palace was, and we were of course right near Waterloo Station's lit glass ceiling. Mostly it looked like urban spawl for a very large city. When I went farther away from Big Ben, that was not very fun. But I did it, mostly to overcome my fear of heights. Very few people believed me when I said I went. I had to show them photos to prove it :) It was nice seeing the boats on the river at night.

When I saw your post I immediately thought of the Sky Garden too, that's on my list for next time, especially if there's a rainy day :)

I would imagine there will be a few people posting about the view from the top of St Paul's Cathedral too. I saw it was being renovated one time we were there, so it wasn't an option. I'm sure it must be all spiffed up for a long time now. :)

Hope you have a great time...
-Alison

Posted by
4843 posts

When you are explaining your trip to London, NO ONE cares if you had a view from the Shard, or Sky Gardens, or even St Paul's. It's the Eye everyone wants to know about.

Why would anyone care what someone else wants to hear about? It's your trip you do what you want to do.

Posted by
28826 posts

The Sky Garden has diagrams and outlines showing which building is which, all the way to the visible horizon.

The One New Change roof has a couple too.

The roof garden (tiny) on top of John Lewis Oxford Street (now a skating rink for the winter) has none. The view isn't all that fab either. But it quite high up, and free, and you can shop at John Lewis into the bargain.

Posted by
4836 posts

There is also a pretty great view from the Tate Modern. It is free.

Posted by
774 posts

Seabatter Power Station apparently will have a lift, for sight seeing, in one of the old smoke stacks when it is done.

Posted by
659 posts

Did the Shard yesterday on a Groupon £20 deal. My wife enjoyed it but i was very disappointed. Forecast was sunny, but we ended up with mist and could barely see as far as Canary Wharf. I took 2 photos and couldn’t wait to leave.

Posted by
8293 posts

I did go on the London Eye a few years ago and I thought it was fun. I got some good photos. The first time I saw the Eye it was lying flat in the River Thames, probably in 1999 because it was erected for the 2000 Milleniel was it not? At any rate, it was a bit surprising to see this bizarre object in the river.

Posted by
4825 posts

The Monument could be an interesting choice; the height is no where near what is achievable elsewhere of course, but it has the history associated with it, and you are out in the open air, with only a limited number allowed up there at any one time. Also going up the spiral staircase inside what seems from the outside to be a solid column is an experience in itself. You must be capable of climbing 311 stairs though. Combinable with the Tower Bridge Exhibition.

Posted by
240 posts

My daughters (ages 9 and 13) and I did the London Eye in early June. We bought our tickets on line the night before, but it turned out we would have been fine because the lines were very short. It was a cloudy day and that made some people stay away, I guess. Visibility was still great and we enjoyed it very much.

Posted by
312 posts

It all depends on what you're after. If you like tall buildings, you may enjoy the Shard more than others simply because of that. The Eye is nice to do once, but as others have said, the experience is somewhat overrated.

For me, the Tate Modern has nice views from the top. St. Pauls is also fun to climb as is Monument - though obviously what you see from the top will be vastly different. With St. Pauls and Monument, you just need to remember the number of stairs you'll be climbing.

Posted by
4843 posts

Those orbs! No way would you get me in one of them. Did the designers never watch The Towering Inferno!

Posted by
3936 posts

emma - the Brits always seem to have 'interesting' names for the fancy buildings - I can just imagine some of the less 'polite' names...