The London Eye is one of the must-see attractions on your London city break, but do you know what the opening hours are, how long the experience lasts, and the best time to go up?
Don't worry, so you can organise this visit in detail, in this post I'll tell you all about the opening hours of the London Eye. Keep reading!
1. What are the opening hours of the London Eye?
The London Eye is open from Monday to Sunday. However, the opening times of the Ferris wheel may vary depending on the winter or summer season - see it in detail!
London Eye winter opening hours
During the winter months, the Ferris wheel is normally open from 11 AM to 6 PM. However, there are some exceptions. For example, during Christmas in London, the London Eye opens until 5:30 PM on Christmas Eve (December 24th) while on New Year's Eve (December 31st) the hours are even shorter and open until 3 PM.
If you plan to travel to London in winter and want to include this attraction in your route, keep this in mind to organise your sightseeing day.
London Eye summer opening hours
During the summer months, the Ferris wheel is open from 10am to 8.30pm.
With more flexible opening hours, if you're visiting London in summer this will allow you to schedule more activities during the day and leave the visit to the London Eye until the end of the day if you want to enjoy the sunset and the bird's eye view of London at night.
2. How long is the tour?
The London Eye experience lasts around 30 minutes. It may seem short but it's actually enough time to enjoy the panoramic views and take plenty of photos of the city skyline and surrounding tourist attractions such as the River Thames, Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.
In addition, the Ferris wheel has interactive screens to help you find each landmark more easily if you need to.
3. When does the London Eye close?
The ferris wheel is open every day of the year except Christmas Day (25 December) and during the maintenance period of the attraction, which usually runs from 7 to 22 January.
Unfortunately, you can't go on the London Eye during these times, but if you wish, you can go up to the London Eye to take some pictures of the scenery with the spectacular wheel in the background and take a cruise on the River Thames next to it.
What time can I make my last visit to the London Eye?
Depending on the season of the year you visit the London Eye, the last entrance to the London Eye is 30 minutes before closing time.
If you decide to go and see the London Eye at the last minute, a good plan to do afterwards is a dinner cruise on the Thames. Sounds good, doesn't it?
4. What is the best time to go on the London Eye and what is the best day?
The best time to ride the London Eye is early in the morning, as soon as the attraction opens, i.e. in winter at 11 AM and in summer at 10 AM (ticket offices open 30 minutes earlier).
The London Eye is one of the most popular attractions in the British capital. It attracts thousands of visitors every day eager to see the breathtaking views of London from the 135-metre-high Ferris wheel, so it's not uncommon for long queues to form. If you want to avoid them, as I said before, you'll have to get up early!
In case you can't go in the morning because you have another activity scheduled for that day, you can go for lunch near the London Eye and enter just after lunchtime, around 3 PM, when there are also few people.
The London Eye receives a whopping 10,000 visitors every day, which is amazing! So you can get an idea of the long queues that form at the foot of the wheel to get in.
If you want to avoid standing in line for a long time, my advice is to book your tickets to the London Eye to go on a weekday if possible and avoid weekends and public holidays at all costs.
On the other hand, the views from the Ferris wheel are best enjoyed on a sunny, cloudless day, but London's weather is unpredictable.
Here's a tip! Don't buy your London Eye tickets too far in advance. Wait to buy them 1 or 2 weeks before your getaway and this way you can check the London weather forecast more accurately to choose a day with clear skies.
5. How long are the queues to get on the London Eye?
There are two queues to get on the London Eye: one for those with a standard ticket and one for those with a queue-free ticket with priority access.
On average, the waiting time in the queue for the standard ticket is 30 minutes. But on days when there is an avalanche of visitors it can be as long as an hour. On the other hand, the queue for the priority-access ticket is very short, just a few minutes.
And depending on how you choose to get on the London Eye, you will have to be patient because there are several queues!
How to skip the queues to ride the London Eye?
You can skip the first queue at the ticket office to buy your tickets if you do it in advance and online through Hellotickets.
To escape the queue and save time, something that will help you a lot is to buy online a skip-the-line ticket to the London Eye, which will give you priority access to the attraction. You can find out in detail the prices of this and other tickets in the post London Eye prices.
The one thing you won't be able to avoid is the queue at the security checkpoint, but this is necessary for the wellbeing of all visitors during the visit and should be passed by everyone.
6. When is the best time to watch the sunset from the London Eye?
Sunset is one of the most beautiful times to go on the London Eye. If you are sure you want to visit the attraction at that time, I recommend you first make sure you know when the sun sets in London, as this phenomenon varies depending on the time of year and the month.
Once you know this, the visit requires a bit of planning to be up there at that very moment. If you choose a skip-the-line ticket to the London Eye you will only have to go through the security checkpoint queue so try to be there about 30 minutes before sunset time on the day.
Watching the sky become multi-coloured as the sun goes down and the city lights slowly illuminate is a magical experience not to be missed.
7. Opening times for attractions near the London Eye
After riding the London Eye you may want to visit other tourist attractions in the surrounding area. Below you can see the opening times of some of the most popular attractions near the Ferris wheel such as Westminster Abbey orthe National Gallery.
- Westminster Abbey opening hours: Open Monday to Friday 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Saturdays from 9 AM to 1 PM. Sundays open for religious services.
- National Gallery: Open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM. Fridays until 9 PM. Closed December 24th and 26th and January 1st.