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How to book free Sky Garden tickets, London + Photos (2024)

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Wondering how to book free Sky Garden tickets? The Sky Garden is one of London’s best free attractions and the city’s highest public garden.

It is a very popular spot for both strolling around the gardens, and for eating and drinking at one of the several rooftop bars and restaurants in and around the Sky Garden.

Unlike other viewing platforms in London that cost a fortune (Hello, the Shard!), incredibly you can enjoy the stunning view from the Sky Garden for free if you plan in advance. So read on to learn more and ensure you guarantee your free ticket to the Sky Garden in 2024…

Sky Garden in London - guide to the best free views of the city

You might like – Guide to Horizon 22, London’s highest free viewing platform >

How to book free Sky Garden tickets and Sky Garden guide

Sky Garden London Location and History

The Sky Garden opened in 2015 in London’s Square Mile and sits atop the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building.

The skyscraper’s comical nickname was coined by locals and developers after it was realised the building’s exterior looked like a walkie talkie from afar (and not to be confused with the nearby ‘cheese grater’ building aka the Leadenhall building).

Sky Garden in London - guide to the best free views of the city

The Sky Garden building is located in the heart of the city in Bishopsgate, near Fenchurch Street and Liverpool Street station.

Whilst most of the building is used for commercial purposes, part of the reason planning permission was granted by the authorities was that they had to include a public space that all visitors and Londoners could access (not just Walkie Talkie workers) – hence the Sky Garden was born.

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How to get free tickets to the Sky Garden London in 2024

In summary – book waaaay in advance. Free tickets usually become available on the Sky Garden website around 7 to 10 days in advance.

If you are only in London for a short period, remember to set a reminder on your calendar to check daily a few days before you arrive to secure yourself a ticket.

Free Sky Garden tickets in London go VERY very fast so do keep checking the website regularly in the days leading up to your trip.

Sky Garden in London - guide to the best free views of the city

Incredibly, all 3 of London’s best free viewing decks and observation decks are within a few minutes walking distance of each other in Bishopsgate near Liverpool Street – the other two free viewing decks in the heart of London are Horizon 22 and The Lookout at Bishopsgate 8.

So if you are unsuccessful getting free tickets to Sky Garden, you could also console yourself with trying to get free observation deck tickets to Horizon 22 or The Look Out.

Sky Garden last minute free tickets / sunset tickets

Although there are no guarantees, we have on occasion ourselves managed to secure free sunset tickets to the Sky Garden at the very last minute e.g. we once managed to get sunset tickets for an 8.30pm slot two hours before, purely by chance and checking the website at random.

We presume these were last minute reallocations so don’t hold out for these, as they are few and far between.

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Sky Garden Sunset Sessions / Restaurant Reservations

Ultimately, the only way to guarantee yourself a spot in the Sky Garden if you haven’t been able to obtain free Sky Garden tickets is to book a dining spot in either the Fenchurch & City Garden Bar or Darwin Brasserie restaurant.

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Special Events

As well as the bars and restaurants to unwind in, the Sky Garden hosts a series of special events such as sunset DJs or yoga sessions (although we think the wine-tasting events are more our cup of …erm…vino).

Sky Garden events for 2024 include Yoga at the Sky Garden starting from April 2024 and held every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8am (prices starting from £18 per person).

‘Sunrise at the Sky Garden’ takes place every weekday between 8am and 9am where you can combine a coffee with a croissant and watch the London cityscape awake before you.

Tickets start from £9.50 per person as of early 2024 including coffee and a pastry. This is also a great way to visit if you weren’t able to secure free Sky Garden tickets in advance.

Check out the latest London Sky Garden events schedule and what’s on here >

Sky Garden arrival / 35 storeys up

Once you’ve booked your free Sky Garden tickets in advance, you’ll be allotted a timed slot to arrive by. There will often be a queue outside so try to get there early; later-comers will usually not be admitted.

Your ticket will be scanned (phone or printed out) and then you’ll be ushered through security and an x-ray machine.

Once through security, you’ll be escorted into an elevator (without windows in case you’re scared of heights) and then you’ll shoot up 35 storeys in less time than you know.

All in all, the Sky Garden is a wonderful and welcome addition to the London skyline (and a free alternative to the Shard viewing deck) but just be prepared to plan your adventure in advance.

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Sky Garden London Views and Layout

Set over three levels of lush landscaped layouts, your first port of call as you exit the lift will likely be the outdoor balcony on the 35th floor, with stunning views looking over the city and towards south London.

Outside on the Sky Garden terrace, you’ll see incredible vistas of the Shard, the River Thames plus a bird’s eye view of Tower Bridge and nearby the Tower of London. Head right as you first enter the balcony to also glimpse a skyline view of St Paul’s Cathedral in the Square Mile.

Sky Garden in London - guide to the best free views of the city
Outdoor balcony
View of the city and St Pauls Cathedral
View of The Shard
Sky Garden in London - guide to the best free views of the city
View of Tower Bridge

Once you’ve completed your alfresco viewing (and tried not to lurk in the background of all the selfies going on), head back indoors to explore the multi-level gardens comprising south african savannah style plants and Mediterranean flowers.

Sky Garden in London - guide to the best free views of the city

Once you’ve explored, time to reward yourself and soak up the city views in style with a well earned cocktail or beer…

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Eating and Drinking / Restaurants

There are several establishments and restaurants in and around the Sky Gardens from level 35 upwards.

The Sky Pod is the first bar you’ll see as you exit the lift. The bar is open all day and has stunning views of the city, serving a variety of hot and cold drinks, plus light snacks. Prices are reasonable, especially if you consider entry is free e.g. a pint of beer starts from £8 as at early 2024.

Sky Garden in London - guide to the best free views of the city
Seating for the Sky Pod bar
Sky Pod bar

The City Garden Bar is located amongst the garden foliage and is also open all day (we personally prefer the Sky Pod section so this is a good back-up if no tables are available in the former).

Sky Garden in London - guide to the best free views of the city
City Garden Bar

The Fenchurch comprises a restaurant (serving British contemporary fine dining fare) and a terrace section on the 37th floor overlooking the main balcony and Sky Pod bar.

The Darwin Brasserie is located on the 36th storey, nestled between The Fenchurch and Sky Pod – it specialises in seasonal dishes inspired by the very best of British dishes.

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Sky Garden Opening Hours in 2024

Public Garden

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday: 8am – 11pm
Friday – Saturday: 8am – 12am (midnight)
Monday: 10am to 11pm

A small number of non ticketed walk-in slots are also sometimes available (but booking free Sky Garden tickets in advance is highly recommended).

Alternatively book a ‘Sunrise at the Sky Garden Session’ including a coffee and pastry for £9.50 per person (which is usually available up to the day before and has more last minute availability).

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New Gift Shop and Cafe

A new garden themed gift shop has opened recently on the ground floor of the Sky Garden. The gift shop sells a selection of gardening gifts for those of the green-fingered nature.

In addition, you can buy Sky Garden branded souvenirs and other tourist gifts including bespoke tote bagsYou can also now grab a drink from the ground floor cafe at Sky Garden London with sweet treats and savoury sandwiches.

Sky Garden Shop and Ground Floor Cafe 2024 opening hours
Mon – Fri:
10am – 6pm
Sat – Sun (and bank holidays): 11am – 9pm (shop closes at 6pm)

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Other free London observation decks and sky viewing platforms near Sky Garden:

Horizon 22, London’s Highest Free Viewing Gallery

Newly opened in 2023 and a 5 minute walk from Liverpool Street station, Horizon 22 is not only London’s highest free viewing gallery but also Europe’s highest viewing platform.

One of the best free things to do in London, the Horizon 22 skydeck joins Sky Garden and the Shard to become one of the best ways to see the capital from up high, offering incredible panoramic views of London.

Located on the 58th floor with views of the River Thames and the City of London, Horizon 22 is set to be one of the most popular visitor attractions (if you can get a ticket!).

From how to get free Horizon 22 tickets to what to expect at the top, here is our guide to visiting Horizon 22 in Bishopsgate, London >

Address: Horizon 22, 22 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AJ

8 Bishopsgate The Lookout London

Although possibly overlooked (literally) by neighbouring observation decks Horizon 22 and SkyGarden, the Lookout London is on the 50th floor of 8 Bishopsgate and is another free observation deck.

The Lookout is one of London’s best kept secrets and it is much easier to secure tickets for 8 Bishopsgate free viewing deck – tickets are released every Monday morning for that week.

Address: 8 Bishopsgate The Lookout, 150 Bishopsgate, Leadenhall St EC2N 4BQ

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Where to stay near the Sky Garden London

Club Quarters Hotel London City
4 star hotel with stylish rooms located next to Leadenhall Market, one of the oldest parts of London. Facilities include a a 24-hour fitness centre and Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse (housed in a former gold vault!). Check out prices and availability for Club Quarters Hotel London City

Cheval Three Quays at The Tower of London
Spacious serviced apartments ranging from studios to 3-bedroom apartments, with some overlooking the River Thames. Facilities include a fitness centre. Check out prices and availability for Cheval Three Quays at The Tower of London

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London
Beautifully decorated luxury hotel that has a rooftop bar with incredible views of London’s skyline. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows as well as custom-designed beds, and there is a 24-hour gym on-site Check out prices and availability forDoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London


1 Sky Garden Walk, 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 8AF

Nearest Transport

London Underground tube station: Monument (district line)
Train station: Liverpool Street, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street are all within a 10 minute walk of Sky Garden

Check out our other London blog posts

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  • Reply
    April 16, 2023 at 7:36 am

    You cannot book free tickets for the Skygarden, because these are always sold out. ( Probably resold elsewhere). We looked for 9 months. Never available for any dates. We could try to walk in after 10pm, but no children under 18 are allowed in then, so what’s the point. If they won’t let children in then we won’t visit. We went to the Shard where at least we can actually visit.

    The Shard or up the top of St. Paul’s is a much better deal – Because we can actually get tickets!

    • Reply
      CK Travels
      April 19, 2023 at 1:38 am

      Hi Sophie – thanks for checking out our Skygarden blog and sorry to hear you are unable to source tickets. We’ve always had to plan our visits well in advance based on whatever tickets are available. We’ve also noticed that the occasional last min Skygarden tickets become available when others cancel so that might be another way to try. We hope you manage to get some tickets in the near future ^

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