The London Eye has become, since its installation in 2000, a London landmark with more than 70 million visitors since then. This 'Millennium Wheel' is the tallest in Europe and, until 2006, in the world.
If you are already convinced to climb aboard this design marvel, I recommend buying your tickets online and in advance to save time and money.
Enjoy incredible panoramic views from London's skies.
Ride the London Eye for 30 minutes and experience the world's most famous Ferris wheel on the banks of the River Thames. Take the best high-altitude photos of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace or Westminster Abbey.
This is one of the typical must-do activities during your visit to the British capital. Climb aboard one of the 32 capsules of this iconic 135-metre-high Ferris wheel, the tallest in Europe.
Designed by Marks Barfield Architects and opened in 2000, the London Eye is now one of the city's main attractions and receives around 3 million visitors a year. From there the views are spectacular, reaching to see Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, among others.
Recommended if... you want to make sure you get the best photos of London at altitude and enjoy one of the icons of the city. Climbing the London Eye is a must on your visit to the British capital.
London Eye ticket prices
Being one of the most important tourist attractions in London, the demand for tickets is very high. Therefore I recommend you to buy them in advance and secure your place on this Ferris wheel, emblem of British culture that gets all the looks and the best photos.
If you book your tickets in advance in Hellotickets the prices are:
- Adults (+16): about 44€.
- Children (3 to 15): about 40€.
- Children under 2 years: free
Why it's worth going on the London Eye
The London Eye is a panoramic rotating observatory from which you can enjoy the best views of the city (360º) and from where you can take great shots of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral or Buckingham Palace.
Also, if you are not a great lover of heights or you are travelling with small children, don't worry, I assure you that it is a completely safe experience and adapted for everyone. The capsules are perfectly attached to the steel structure and do not sway as in a conventional Ferris wheel, allowing you to travel standing up.
About the 4D interactive experience
As if seeing the London skyline in motion wasn't enough, inside the London Eye you can watch the 4D Cinema Experience, an interactive short film that takes you on an inspiring journey of discovery through a London that comes to life through multi-sensory special effects, such as wind and fog, during the projection.
Vicky's Top Traveller Tip
If you are interested in enjoying the 4D London Eye experience before the ride, please arrive 30 minutes early.
London Eye opening times
The London Eye is open every day of the year except Christmas (25 December) and annual maintenance days, which usually take place in January.
However, opening times vary from season to season and can even change within months of each other, so please check the website before planning your visit.
How to get to the London Eye
The London Eye, housed in the Riverside Building on County Hall Westminster Bridge Road, is located in the heart of central London and is within easy reach of many of London's other attractions, such as Westminster Bridge, so it is well served by the city's public transport services.
You can get there from Waterloo tube station (the nearest) or from Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster stations.
The nearest stations are Waterloo (5 minutes walk) and Charing Cross (15 minutes walk).
Buses 77, 211 and 381 will take you very close to the London Eye, but you can also get there via one of the dozens of stops on the tour buses if you have a London Pass or on the RV1 route which connects the wheel with the Tate Modern and Covent Garden.
There are many services that stop at the London Eye Pier (O2, Bankside, Embankment, Blackfriars, London Bridge, Tower, Canary Wharf, Hilton Docklands, Masthouse Terrace, Greenwich, Royal Arsenal Wollwich, St. Katherine's or Westminster Pier).
If you are going to spend several days in the British capital, I recommend that you get an Oyster Card, a transport card that you can buy and recharge at any of its underground stations and that will give you access to all its public lines in the most agile and economical way.
Useful information about the London Eye
- There are no toilets inside the cabins, but there are in the entrance hall.
- There is a shop at the exit where you can buy gifts and souvenirs of the experience.
- Also, with advance notice, the attraction has facilities for passengers with reduced mobility.
- Visitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 in the immersive projection of the London Eye 4D Cinema Experience.
Combined tickets to the London Eye
If you are looking for a more complete or different experience, there are several options and combined proposals to make the most of your stay in the British capital, enjoy its various attractions and, of course, go up to the London Eye. Here are some ideas:
- Westminster Tour with tickets for London Eye: a walking tour of approximately 4 hours with a professional guide, where you will visit the most iconic places of the city such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. Then you'll arrive at the London Eye and hop on to enjoy the most wonderful views of the city. Admission is included in the price of the tour, which is around €89.
- London Tour with London Eye tickets: a 10-hour tour of London's most iconic sights. Led by an expert guide. You will visit places like Saint Paul's Cathedral or the Tower of London and then get on a cruise on the River Thames to get to the London Eye. There you'll be able to ride the Ferris wheel and take in the most breathtaking views of the city. All entrance fees are included in the price of the tour, which is about €180.
- London Eye tickets, sightseeing bus pass and Thames river cruise: ideal if you want to explore London at your own pace, but with your life sorted. This package includes three experiences: land, water and air. You will have tickets for the sightseeing bus with audio guide included, which will allow you to visit the key points of the city. You'll also have a ticket for a boat trip on the River Thames to see London while you relax on the water. And finally, you'll have access to the London Eye, to marvel at the views. This combined option is priced at approximately €73.
Other options to ride the Ferris wheel: the sightseeing passes
Another option and the one I recommend to visit the London Eye if you are going to spend several days in London is to buy a tourist pass of the city.
As you can see in this other post about London PassLondon Sightseeing Passes, these are very convenient for visits of at least 4 days in the capital, as they include a much faster and cheaper access to its main attractions. Two of these passes include, among its many options, entry to the London Eye:
The London Explorer Pass
The Explorer Pass is London's must-have pass. You can choose up to 7 attractions from a list of 31. Its main advantages are that you get fast-track entry to some of the city's top attractions and you can save up to 35% on the price of standard attraction tickets.
The London Pass
The London Pass is the best pass for family travel because it gives you quick and much cheaper access to 5 of the city's top leisure attractions. It offers access to a world of super fun entertainment to visit as well as the London Eye, the spectacular Madame Tussauds wax museum, Shrek's Adventure London, the thrilling interactive tours of the London Dungeon and the London Aquarium, SEA LIFE London.
The London Eye in numbers
3.5 million tourists visit the London Eye every year. If that figure doesn't tell you anything, perhaps knowing that its average number of visitors is 10,000 a day and that it is larger than the Taj Mahal or the Pyramids of Giza will help you to visualise its power of attraction.
The London Eye can carry up to 800 people on each of its rotating rides (25 passengers per capsule), but queues are guaranteed at almost any time of the year, especially if you're travelling on weekends, public holidays or during school holidays. Buying tickets online will save you all this time, which you can spend on making the most of your visit.
The Ferris wheel has 32 glass-enclosed, air-conditioned capsules (one for each London borough), but for superstitious reasons, they are numbered from 1 to 33, skipping number 13.
Vicky's Traveller Tip
On a sunny day you'll be able to see for a distance of 40km. Look closely and you'll see as far as Windsor Castle.
Discover the area around the London Eye
Big Ben and Houses of Parliament
The London Eye has made the area where it is located, the South Bank district, the focal point of the new millennium. There you can find other wonders of architecture and nature to make your sightseeing day a rounded one.
Don't miss one of the city's iconic landmarks, Big Ben, and just 537 metres from the London Eye, you'll discover that its name is actually the 14-tonne bell that houses the clock in the Elizabeth Tower, erected above the Houses of Parliament.
The latter, also known as the Palace of Westminster, is another must-see as it houses the two chambers of the British Parliament, where the government formulates its legislation.
Another nearby attraction is the stunning Westminster Abbey which, just 639 metres from the London Eye, features some of the finest examples of London's medieval architecture. You can read in this article about London Westminster Abbey Tickets: how to buy and prices how to visit its interior.
Between the Abbey and Buckingham Palace you can take a break in the beautiful natural surroundings of St James's Park (735m from the London Eye).
St. James Park and Buckingham Palace
This former royal hunting ground is London's oldest park, one of London's best-loved and the ideal place to spend a morning or afternoon with the family, as it's full of cafes, waterfowl and original play areas. Part of the late Princess Diana's memorial route passes through the square and has been used as a backdrop for popular films such as Match Point, 28 Days Later and 101 Dalmatians.
Once you've recharged your batteries you can finish the day by visiting London's nerve centre, Trafalgar Square (778m from the London Eye), a huge square where, in addition to other places of interest, you'll find one of the capital's most famous monuments: Admiral Nelson's Column.
Trafalgar Square is buzzing with people and street performers every day, but especially on those days when big events are taking place, as it's the gathering place for Londoners to celebrate New Year's Eve, sporting triumphs and even royal weddings.
Where to eat near the London Eye
Despite not being a country with a great gastronomic tradition, London has some good restaurants, although most of them tend to be a bit pricey. For your lunch stop, I recommend three restaurants near the London Eye.
They range from eating typical English dishes, such as at St Stephen's Tavern (on the pavement opposite Big Ben), to savouring the exclusive food of a Michelin-starred restaurant near Parliament, the Roux at Parliament, to eating quality food and good service aboard a boat, on the London Showboat, which you can board from Westminster Bridge.
Other activities that may interest you
Since you are here, on the river, and so close to several piers from where the Thames cruises depart, it would be a good idea to complete your day in London with a relaxing cruise on the river, from where you can see the contrasts offered by the London Skyline and even reach the Greenwich meridian by boat. Here is a post I did about 7 Best Thames River Cruises in London in case you are interested in organising the excursion.