The Sky Garden opened in early 2015 and quickly became one of London’s top attractions. Since then, it has received some pretty mixed reviews with some praising it and others seeing it as a huge disappointment.
In my view, it’s a pretty unique feature in the City of London now so well worth a visit if you’re in the city. It’s free so you won’t lose anything if it’s not to your taste!
Here are 11 things you should know before you book Sky Garden tickets so you can make the most of your trip:
You may need to book 3 weeks in advance
You need to book tickets to the Sky Garden in advance, which is one of the main drawbacks. This has been something of a controversy here as apparently when the idea of the Sky Garden was first brought up, it was pitched as a place where people in the building could grab a quick lunch (ha!).
Sky Garden tickets are released three weeks in advance and if you’re planning to visit during the daytime, you’d be wise to book as early as possible to guarantee a decent slot.
If, however, you are planning to visit after 6pm on weekdays or 9pm at weekends, you can visit the Sky Garden without booking as they welcome walk in guests. There may be a bit of a queue though!
It’s a whopping 155m up!
It is located on floors 34 to 37 of the Walkie Talkie building offering you one of the best unobstructed views of London’s top sites.
Provided the skies are clear you should be able to see everything from Canary Wharf to Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard, the London Eye and more.
If you’re out on the terrace you’ll be looking at these sites without a sheet of glass in the way and it really is magnificent.
You’ll get a 360-degree view of London
Out on the viewing platform at the Sky Garden, you can get an amazing view of one side of London with a clear cut view of the Shard.
However, to get a 360 view of all of London you’ll need to head inside and walk all around the glass building.
There are steps leading up to another level where you can see the other side of London including St Paul’s and Tower Bridge (see pictures below).
If, after your time at the Sky Garden, you’d like to explore more of the area, here are 10 things to do near the Sky Garden.
Spend as much or as little as you want
Whilst the restaurants and bars up here, such as the Darwin Brasserie, are quite pricey, entrance to the Sky Garden is completely free so it really is up to you how much you end up spending here.
I just went in to enjoy the view and didn’t indulge in any of the food or drink on offer so I didn’t spend any more than the tube fare for this visit!
If you want to splash out though, there is plenty of opportunity to do so with a range of different restaurants and bars of different standards.
The restaurants often have to be booked weeks in advance too though, so do you think about that in advance too if you want to dine in the Sky Garden.
The outside terrace is subject to weather conditions
The best views at the Sky Garden are from the outdoor terrace but unfortunately, this is only open if the weather is good so this is something to bear in mind if you are booking during the rainy season (i.e. any day in London).
It would be a real shame to wait weeks to get your slot then get up here and find that you can’t enjoy the view in its entirety because of the weather!
Another thing to bear in mind is that even if the terrace is open, if you visit on a particularly overcast day you may find that many parts of the London skyline are blocked by grey clouds.
It’s perfect for couples
Yep that’s a photo of me flying solo under the header about couples #loner. But seriously, I visited the Sky Garden with my boyfriend and there were lots of other couples around enjoying the view.
It’s such a lovely slice of London high in the sky that feels both classy and special. There are plenty of places to sit and look out over London or enjoy a cocktail in amongst the trees so it makes for one of the best date locations in London.
You can book an early morning yoga class here!
Yep, you heard me. The Sky Garden sometimes hosts early morning yoga classes! These are run on a limited basis so make sure to keep checking the website to see when the next series is available.
It’s £20 for Yoga and breakfast or just £10 for just yoga class at the Sky Garden. I can’t imagine a more peaceful location for a yoga session in the very heart of the city centre than up in this peaceful garden.
Classes start at either 6:30am, 8am or 8:30am so there’s something for the super early risers and the slightly-less-early risers.
The view in the morning must be absolutely magnificent and you can see the city waking up along with your body, followed by a delicious breakfast!
There is no dress code
Although there is no Sky Garden dress code for entry into the main terrace, some of the restaurants and bars within the Sky Garden do operate their own dress codes.
For example, the Darwin Brasserie in the Sky Garden has a smart/casual dress code policy that will need to be adhered to if you’re planning on having dinner here during your visit.
There’s live music
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights there’s live music. I left at around 6:30pm on a Saturday just as the music was getting started and it looked like there was quite an atmosphere.
What better way to start off a night out in London than drinks and music 155m up in the sky?
The flowers are in bloom all year round
Being an indoor garden, of course, the flowers and the trees can be kept in bloom all year round!
This must be the only garden in the city that can be easily kept in bloom whatever the weather, whatever the season and it does not disappoint.
When I visited it was full of these beautiful pink cherry blossom trees and many leafy trees too.
A sunset visit requires forward planning
When I booked my Sky Garden ticket, I looked up the rough time of sunset in London and aimed for that time. Of course, by the time my visit came around, three weeks later, the sun was setting much, much later so I was far too early!
I’d suggest using a tool like this to tell you the time of the sunset on the day you wish to visit so that you figure out the best time to visit the Sky Garden and don’t end up disappointed like me!
Book your Sky Garden London tickets now:
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If you liked this post, check out these:
10 Things to Do Near the Sky Garden, London
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All You Need to Know Before Visiting The Cutty Sark
[This post was first published in 2017 and updated in 2019]