London is awash with lovely green spaces and expansive public parks. While there are countless free gardens in London to visit, the London Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street is, by far, our favorite. Perched atop a skyscraper, the indoor London Garden offers phenomenal city views – and, unlike other pricey London tourist attractions, it is completely free to visit…all you need is a Sky Garden reservation!
20 Fenchurch Street London
Located in the City of London on the north side of the River Thames – and directly across from The Shard, London’s tallest building – is the 20 Fenchurch Street building.
Nicknamed the Walkie Talkie for its uncanny resemblance to a two-way radio, it ranks as one of the tallest buildings in London. Most of the building’s 38 stories are used as office space. However, the top three floors are occupied by a public green space: The Sky Garden London.
Offering 360-degree views of the city – including a south-facing, open-air viewing deck – the Fenchurch Street Roof Garden is a must-see.
Sky Garden Tickets
The Sky Garden in London is free to visit! However, visitors are still required to book tickets in advance. Sky Garden London Tickets are booked online – and are time and date specific. Tickets are made available up to 28 days in advance.
Because of its popularity, time slots fill up quickly. Visitors should make a Sky Garden booking as far in advance as possible, which requires a little pre-planning for your London Itinerary. Weekends tend to book up the fastest; Saturdays and Sundays are often fully booked within just a couple of hours of being made available. More info and a link for booking your Sky Garden free visit below!
What To Expect When You Visit Sky Garden Fenchurch Street
When we arrived at 20 Fenchurch Street on our reserved date and time, we encountered a long queue – but, thankfully, it moved quickly. We had our tickets scanned on our mobile phone and our bags needed to be inspected before we were whisked to the 36th floor.
The London Sky Garden
When we stepped off the elevator, it felt like we were walking into an airplane hangar hovering in the sky. We were completely wowed by the space. Guests are free to stroll the perfectly manicured gardens, which are lined with benches – or grab a drink and seat at the Sky Pod Bar. On our Sky Garden visit, however, we bee-lined for the outdoor viewing platform.
Sky Garden Rooftop View Outdoor Observation Deck
The open-air deck runs along the south side of the building providing stunning panoramic city views and the River Thames. Our sights quickly fell on The Shard that stands directly to the south. To the east, we could see the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and London City Hall. Looking westward, we were able to see the London Eye, Big Ben and Parliament.
The only downside is that the observation deck is that, even though it is open air, is enclosed by a glass partition. We could see clearly through the glass, but the tall barrier kept us from snapping the stellar pictures we had hoped to get.
More Sky Garden Walkie Talkie Views
The outdoor viewing deck only provides views to the south and somewhat limited views to the east and west. However, the entire Walkie Talkie Garden is enclosed in floor to ceiling glass windows – which means there are is a stunning Sky Garden London view in every direction.
Sky Garden Restaurants and Bars
There are three restaurants and two bars at Fenchurch Sky Garden. To ensure you get a seat, we recommend booking your table far in advance.
Fenchurch Restaurant is an upscale dining establishment with west-facing views (and hard-to-get tables). The Fenchurch Terrace is located on the 37th floor and offers a menu of cocktails, wine and champagne with small shared plates. The Darwin Brasserie serves classic British fare and features a Chef’s Table for group celebrations.
Sky Pod and the City Garden Bar are the two bars at Sky Garden. Both bars are situated in the garden, serving signature cocktails and a range of beverages to daytime visitors. Tables can be booked for early morning and evening visits, too (outside of the regular free ticketed times).
Sky Garden Events
The Sky Garden rooftop lounge isn’t only for views and drinks – fun events are held at the garden, too! Some of the most popular events are Sky Garden Yoga, Winemaker Dinner Series and Sky Garden Afternoon Tea.
The Sky Garden FAQs
To help you plan your trip to the Walkie Talkie Roof Garden, we are answering a few of the most frequently asked questions.
Sky Garden Dress Code
There is no dress code to visit Sky Garden during the public ticketed hours. However, the restaurants and bars have a smart/casual dress code. No shorts, sportswear or flip flops are permitted in the evenings.
Sky Garden Opening Times
The public opening hours of the Sky Garden are Monday through Friday from 10am until 6pm and on Weekends and Bank Holidays from 11am until 9pm. The restaurants and bars have opening hours outside of the public ticketed hours; tables can be booked in advance, although some walk-ins may be accommodated if space allows.
Sky Garden Address
The address is 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 8AF. Use this link to Google Maps for the Sky Garden location.
How Much Time Should I Plan to Spend in the Garden?
We recommend allowing at least a half hour to tour the gardens and take in the view from the Sky Garden.
Sky Garden London Booking
Sky Garden free tickets are booked through their website.
Tickets are released on Mondays for the following 3 weeks – and it is wise to book as soon as possible to ensure entry. There are some walk-in tickets available during weekdays (in the mornings from 10am until 11:30am and in the afternoon from 2:00pm until 4:30pm), however, entry is subject to availability.
Visit The Shard or Sky Garden?
Visitors who are deciding between The Shard and the London Sky Garden have a few factors to consider.
The Sky Garden London price is FREE, which is pretty tough to beat. Meanwhile, The Shard charges about $25 USD for entry to their viewing platform.
The Shard is a much taller building, so the views are certainly more dramatic. However, it is not as atmospheric as the Sky Garden.
Tickets to both venues can (and should!) be booked online in advance. However, The Shard will likely have last-minute tickets available…unlike the Sky Garden which if often fully booked long in advance.
More London Budget Tips
London is an expensive city, there’s no doubt about it. Admission into some of the iconic landmarks can cost upwards of $30 USD. However, we have found a few freebies, one of the best of which is visiting the Sky Garden in London.
As budget travelers, we seek out low-cost and free activities in the city. We also create our own self-guided walking tours and being content with seeing most of the sights from the outside. Read more of our money-saving tips in our 3-Day London Itinerary on a Budget.
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