I have a special place in my heart for free tourist activities. From walking tours to museums, I love ’em all. So when I noticed an influx of #SkyGarden tagged photos on Instagram a few months ago with stunning views of London and captions mentioning the word “free”, I knew what I had to do.
I went on a mission to get my own Instagram photos of the experience, of course.
The SkyGarden is London’s highest public garden and opened earlier this year in the building dubbed the walkie-talkie (see how it got that nickname in the top left photo). The garden is perched on the 35th floor and offers 360 degree views of London. There’s a restaurant and bar available on the same level if you prefer to get fancy, but I was content with the free views.
Tickets open up 6 weeks in advance and although it’s free you need a reservation. I marked my calendar and booked tickets for a Saturday afternoon and the following Saturday evening so I could see the daytime and nighttime views. Both were stunning and made for a great tourist activity to check off my London list.
Know Before You Go:
- You have to book tickets at least 3 days in advance. Ticket sales open 6 weeks in advance, book early as it’s still a popular attraction and will become more so as tourist season begins this summer. Details here.
- The closest tube stop is Monument and there are plenty of pubs nearby for a drink to calm your nerves beforehand if you dislike heights. You could also add nearby St. Paul’s or the Tower of London to your itinerary if you want to make a day of it.