The Shard Observation Deck was officially opened in February of 2013 by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. One of the first things to happen after he cut the ceremonial ribbon was a young man getting down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend. He had purchased tickets in July, but had no idea there would be media and dignitaries to witness the proposal (she said yes, by the way).
Johnson himself described the spectacular view, which includes being able to see his own office, Buckingham Palace and other London landmarks, and all the bends in the graceful River Thames where river cruise ships appear like dots in the water far below. This was the view he described in February when there was cloud cover and low visibility, so you can imagine how spectacular it will be during the tourist season when weather is generally better.
The Shard Observation Deck, which is officially called The View From The Shard, is on three levels - floors 68, 69, and 72. Predictably, the best views are on the 72nd floor. This is at a height of of 244 meters (just over 800 feet), twice the height of any other observation point in the city. The lift takes you from ground level to the 69th floor. It is open daily from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased online on the official website or by phone. Booking tickets in advance is less expensive than buying them on the same day. Gift certificates are also available.