London Eye Guide: History, Tickets, Tips and Everything You Need to Know (2023)
Welcome to an exciting journey into the heart of London’s skyline – the remarkable London Eye. London Eye is a colossal observation wheel standing tall and strong along the Southern Banks of the Thames. This symbol of heritage and modern British ingenuity has captivated locals and visitors for ages. Whenever in the United Kingdom, London’s Eye is a must-see tourist attraction.
Looking forward to visiting the London Eye? If yes, then join us in this comprehensive guide. We have got you all covered, from the London Eye’s fascinating history to its significance, design, and importance as a tourist attraction. From its inception as a temporary millennium project to its current status as one of the world’s most recognizable attractions, we delve into the engineering marvel that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
Let’s start discovering the intricate mechanics that power this giant wheel, the iconic London Eye. For an undisputed experience year-round, continue reading.
London Eye, An Introduction to its History and Present
London Eye is a captivating landmark that stands tall and strong by the River Thames in London. London Eye, which is often referred to as Millennium Wheel, is a cantilevered observation wheel. For years it has made its position amongst the hearts of millions along with taking center stage in the London Skyline. The structure towers to an impressive height of 135 meters. It is further adorned with a colossal wheel spanning 120 meters (diameter).
Standing strong since its opening in 2000, the London Eye was once the world’s tallest Ferris wheel (now overtook by Ain Dubai (also known as the Dubai Eye)). A single A-frame backs the unique design and placement of the London Eye. It still maintains the title of “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel.” It was not until 2013 when London Eye offered the city’s finest views, but soon, the Shard’s observation deck took the reigns.
London Eye was a creative effort of genius architects Julia Barfield, David Marks, and Mace and Hollandia. During the time of its construction, components were sourced from various corners of Europe. The structure through has a bumpy start due to a capsule clutch, but it gained immense popularity within a decade.
Currently, London Eye welcomes over three million visitors annually from worldwide. It is, in fact, the most popular paid tourist landmark in the United Kingdom, and every London visitor surely has a picture with this icon. Its graceful rotations offer not just breathtaking views. Here’s more you need to know about-
London Eye Address and Location
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom.
London Eye stands on the Southern Banks of the Thames, right next to the Jubilee Gardens. This giant wheel is near County Hall; its nearest tube station is Waterloo.
How to Reach the “London Eye”?
Being London’s most popular and visited attraction, London Eye has always been within accessibility. Reaching the London Eye is relatively straightforward, thanks to its central in the city. Here are some quick and easy transport options to consider:
- Reach Waterloo Station, the nearest London Underground station to the London Eye. From here, take a short walk across Westminster Bridge, and it will take you to London Eye within no time.
- Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern, and Waterloo & City lines serve Waterloo Tube Station.
- Similarly, Waterloo Station receives regular trains from National Rail and Eurostar services. Once you arrive at the station, there are easy signs to reach the London Eye.
- Or take the bus since several of them pass near London Eye. For more precise bus information, you can consider checking online.
- Take a riverboat ride on the Thames and stop right at the London Eye Pier. This transportation mode surely adds uniqueness to the experience.
- Or, walk or cycle along the South Bank of the River Thames or cycling lanes, and you will never miss the iconic London Eye. There are bike parking facilities nearby.
- While driving your own car towards London Eye is possible, but it isn’t always the best idea since central London has parking limitations and traffic congestion. To avoid the hassle, it is smarter to take public transportation instead.
London Eye Opening/Operational Hours
During the off-peak months (usually from January to February and November to December):
Weekdays (Monday to Friday): 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Weekends (Saturday and Sunday): 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM
During the peak months (usually from March to October):
Daily: 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM
*Last entry allows 30 minutes before the closing time.
London Eye Ticket and Admission
- Standard Ticket: £30.50 to £45
- London Eye + River Cruise: £46
- Fast Track Ticket: £53
- Flexi Fast Track Ticket: £58
- Champagne Experiences: From £58
- Eye Lounge: From £63 to £65
- Private Pod: From £675/ Per Pod
- Cupid’s Pod: From £550/ Per Pod
For more details on different ticket packages, check https://www.londoneye.com/tickets-and-prices/
The prices mentioned above are applicable on per person basis.
All That You Can Do At London Eye
London Eye isn’t just a giant wheel to observe from a distance but a landmark at which you can actually be present. This iconic tourist attraction offers more than just a stunning ride with panoramic views. It is full of various activities and options that add to one’s experience.
Here are some things you can do at the London Eye:
- Enjoy the Ride: The primary yet the most exciting thing to do at London Eye is enjoy the giant wheel ride itself. As the giant wheel rotates, it offers panoramic views of London’s skyline. The more it rotates, it opens different perspectives of landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and more.
- Upgrade to VIP or Private Experience: If you are ready to spend some more, consider upgrading to a VIP or private capsule. Experiences like these are meant for a more exclusive and comfortable ride. Upgrading can bring you complimentary benefits, including priority boarding, a glass of champagne, and more.
- London Eye 4D Cinema Experience: This before-ride ritual happens in a dedicated cinema area near the entrance or exit of the London Eye attraction. Enjoy this London Eye 4D cinema; effects like wind, mist, and even bubbles will create a sensory experience for you.
- Sunset or Night Ride: If you have been to London Eye before and want a different experience, book a sunset or at-night ride. These rides are truly magical with a different ambiance as the city lights illuminate the skyline.
- Photography Opportunities: Do not forget to capture London from the vicinity of capsules rotating sky-high. These rides definitely offer some excellent photography opportunities.
- River Cruise Combo: Book yourself tickets that include a combination experience with a Thames River cruise.
- Special Occasions and Events: While occasions like themed experiences, holiday celebrations, or unique collaborations can be crowded, they are definitely one of the best times to be at and around the London Eye.
- Visit Nearby Attractions: Check out the nearby attractions in Central London, including the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, the London Dungeon, and more.
- Dine and Drink: There are multiple riverside cafes and restaurants near the London Eye to enjoy a meal after the giant wheel ride. Some of them might offer packages that include refreshments or even a meal aboard the Eye.
Visiting London Eye- Follow These Tips and Tricks
- To avoid queues, book your tickets well in advance. Book online to secure your preferred time slot.
- Book Fast Track Tickets to save time, skip regular queues, and board more quickly.
- If you are a photographer or very precise about getting only the best experience, book your ride for sunset and twilight hours. It is when the views of the sky and skyline are stunning and unparalleled. If you are planning to photograph during daylight hours, consider cleaning your lens beforehand. Also, place your camera close to the glass to avoid reflections.
- Bad weather and cloudy sky can impact your experience greatly; thus, check the forecast before planning your visit.
- Since London Eye capsules are air-conditioned, take along a jacket or dress warmly beforehand. Even when the weather is warm outside, be cautious about the inside temperature.
- If you plan to visit other nearby attractions, consider purchasing combination tickets to save money and make the most of your time.
- Don’t miss the 4D Cinema experience before your ride. It’s a unique introduction that enhances your visit.
- Keep in mind that the London Eye is a popular attraction, and some waiting might be involved; thus, be patient.
So, are you ready for your visit to the iconic LONDON EYE? With all the information, tips, and tricks, Get, Set, Go.