The Gherkin

Get up close to one of the City of London's most recognisable pieces of architecture.

What is The Gherkin? 

The Gherkin, otherwise known as 30 St Mary Axe, is one of London’s most iconic skyscrapers. Open since 2004, the distinctive landmark got its nickname due to its round, vegetable-like design. 

The glass-fronted tower was designed by legendary architect Sir Norman Foster, and it took a total of two years to construct the 180 metre (591 foot) building.  

Towering 41 floors above the City of London, The Gherkin looks magnificent at any time of the day, but is particularly dazzling when lit up during night-time.

Where is 30 St Mary Axe? 

The Gherkin is found in the City of London’s financial district, close to Leadenhall Market, The Monument and the Bank of England Museum

There are 12 London bus routes serving the area around 30 St Mary Axe. It can also be reached by Tube via Liverpool Street station or Aldgate and Bank Underground stations. 

Can I visit The Gherkin? 

The Gherkin isn’t normally open to the public. However, you can step inside the iconic building during special events such as Open House London. This event is extremely popular, so make sure to enter the ballot for entrance to 30 St Mary Axe.

Learn all about the tower during a walking tour, including the The City of London Tour or the skyscrapers and sculpture route of the City of London Visitor Trail.

And book in advance to enjoy a cocktail with a view or indulge in a spot of fine dining during an open night at the members-only restaurant, Searcys at The Gherkin.  

What’s inside The Gherkin building?

The Gherkin is a private office building, which is home to several large businesses.

There is an exclusive club, as well as a bar and restaurant located across the top three floors of The Gherkin tower. Offering panoramic views of the capital, Searcys at The Gherkin is open to the public during pop-up events and regular open nights. 

Facts about London’s gherkin building 

  • Despite its shape, the lens at the very top of the tower is the only piece of curved glass used in The Gherkin.  
  • There are 18 passenger lifts which travel at speeds of up to six metres (20 foot) per second.  
  • There are 1,037 steps in each of The Gherkin building’s stairwells. 
  • 30 St Mary Axe is covered in 24,000 sq metres (2,200 sq foot) of glass, which equates to five football pitches.  
  • The Gherkin building is constructed from more than 35 kilometres of steel, weighing a total of 10,000 tonnes.