While the public might have three more months to wait until The Shard finally opens (February 1, 2013), journalists from all over the world were today invited for a sneaky peek of what visitors can expect.

HuffPost UK Lifestyle took an ear-popping lift ride some 800ft above London to find out whether tickets to the tallest building in Western Europe are really worth £25.

Firstly let’s be honest, it’s not really going to cost £25 because no one is going to go alone. A trip up The Shard will cost a couple £50, while a family of four (child tickets cost slightly less) will see little change from £100.

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So, is the view all it's cracked up to be?

Impressive snaps taken by professional photographers are all well and good [scroll down for these], but what would a normal camera-illiterate person who doesn't know their aperture from their elbow get out of it?

Well, HuffPost sent me -- armed with nothing but an iPhone 4S -- to find out.

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If you compare the view from The Shard with some of the best free vistas in London, such as Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath, Greenwich Park or Primrose Hill, you might decide the price of a ticket is a little steep.

But then, the price of a ticket does also include a brief talk about the building's history.

So in conclusion: Would I pay £25 to go up The Shard for an hour? The simple answer is no. I’d rather go to Hampstead Heath for free and put the money I saved towards a nice new coat.

And, in case you're interested, here are the Instagrammed photos, which I'm now going to share with my friends, of what I want people to 'think' I saw.

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Also on HuffPost:

Professional pictures of The Shard
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  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A visitor uses a digital telescope, as she looks out across London, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A visitor uses her camera phone as she looks out across London, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A view across London of Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf in the east, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A view across London of the Gherkin and Nat West Tower, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A view across the River Thames towards St Paul's Cathedral from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A view across London of Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf in the east, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A view looking south west across London of trains passing each other as they approach London Bridge Station, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A visitor looks out across London, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A visitor looks out across London, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A view of St Paul's Cathedral from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A view looking east across London of the Canary Wharf, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A visitor uses her camera phone as she looks out across London, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A view looking east across London of the Tower Bridge, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • The View from the Shard attraction

    A visitor looks out across London, from the new visitor attraction 'The View from the Shard', due to open at the Shard, in south London from February 2013.

  • Autumn weather October 23rd

    A city worker walks along Grant's Quay Wharf on a foggy afternoon in central London as fog shrouds the upper floors of the Shard.

  • General Views of London

    General view of the city of London and the Shard taken from Millbank tower.

  • General Views of London

    General view of the city of London and the Shard taken from Millbank tower.

  • General Views of London

    General view of the city of London and the Shard taken from Millbank tower.

  • Autumn weather October 23rd

    A city worker walks along Grant's Quay Wharf on a foggy afternoon in central London as fog shrouds the upper floors of the Shard.

  • Autumn weather October 23rd

    Window cleaners working on the Shard building shrouded in fog, in central London.

  • Autumn weather October 23rd

    The Shard building shrouded in fog, in central London.

  • General Views of London

    General view of the city of London and the Shard taken from Millbank tower.

  • The Shard

    A general view of City Hall (left) and The Shard building in London.