LONDON EYE ULTIMATE GUIDE
Open: Winter: 10:00AM to 8:30PM
Summer: 10:00AM to 9:30PM
Time Needed: 2 hours
With countless landmarks and even more tourist attractions, one could spend months wandering through the streets of London and still not see the city in its entirety. But thanks to the London Eye, visitors can now have a bird’s-eye view of London’s skyline and see all its magnificent landmarks in one sitting.
Approximately 3.5 million people visit the London Eye each year, which means it has more annual visitors than Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Giza. And by riding in one of its 32 capsules, visitors can see up to a distance of 40 kilometres, or even as far as Windsor Castle (on a sunny day, of course).
Despite popular belief, the London Eye isn’t a ferris wheel at all, but a “cantilevered observation wheel” consisting of 32 enclosed capsules positioned along the outside of the wheel. It is also the tallest cantilevered observation wheel in the world (with the Singapore Flyers being the first).
Each capsule weighs about 10 tons, and travels at a speed of 26 centimetres per second. Each of the 32 capsules represent the 32 different boroughs in London (although the capsules are numbered up to 33, as number 13 was left out due to superstitious reasons).
Sure you can take a photo of the London Eye from afar, but there’s no true London Eye experience than to take a ride in one of its 32 capsules.
Inside the capsules there are diagrams to point out all the different landmarks and attractions, and you can also use the touch screen devices to read more information on the different buildings and landmarks you’ll be able to see during your visit.
If you like, you can also hire your own private capsule for a group or even your sweetie; (but be prepared that the price could be as steep as being at the top of the London Eye itself!)
Also included in your admission ticket is entry into The London Eye 4D Cinema Experience, where visitors can watch a four-minute video to see the London Eye in 4D.
Don't bother buying Fast Track tickets if you plan on visiting The London Eye during the winter, as queues tend to be shorter anyways.
If you want to avoid being crammed in a capsule full of other people, then try to visit The London Eye during the evening hours (or even as late as 8 p.m.)
If you can't decide whether you want to visit The London Eye during the daylight or nighttime hours, there is a “Day & Night” package which includes two 30-minute rotations at both day and night, and costs £28.75 for adults, or £23.75 for children.
Make sure you bring a set of binoculars with you!
London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom (See map).
The nearest station is Waterloo (which is a 5-minute walk away)
The nearest stations are Waterloo (which is a 5-minute walk away) and Charing Cross (which is a 10-minute walk away).
You can reach the London Eye via routes 211, 77 and 381.
There are car park services in South Bank that are within walking distance from the London Eye.
You will need to book a coach parking pay in advance before your arrival. The service is free, and the booking allows parking for twenty minutes before and after drop-off time.
A ride on The London Eye is obviously not recommended for anyone who is extremely afraid of heights and/or claustrophobic. Those who suffer from motion sickness may experience a wave of nausea or two during the ride as well. That being said, the capsules are quite roomy with air conditioning, and there will be plenty of room for everyone even if the capsule is full.
The London Eye may not be suitable for those with mobility issues, as visitors will need to hop-on and hop-off the capsule while the wheel is still moving. However, there are wheelchair services available, as well as wheelchair access for visitors.
Be prepared to wait as long as two hours if you don’t purchase a Fast Track ticket, especially during the weekends, holidays and early afternoon hours. If you want to avoid the long queues, try to arrive at least 30 minutes before opening and closing times.
The London Eye is open every day (except Christmas), however opening and closing times vary depending on what time of the year you visit. Because of this, it may be a good idea to check out the London Eye’s official website before you visit.
During the winter months, the London Eye is generally open from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. during the summer months.
There are also extended hours for special holidays such as:
It is highly recommended that you purchase your London Eye ticket beforehand and save at least 10% on ticket costs. There are Saver Tickets (£21.20 for adults) which you book online beforehand, but if you want to skip the long queues it may be a good idea to purchase a Fast Track ticket (which costs £28 for adults). By purchasing a Fast Track ticket from The London Eye’s official website, you can choose which time and day you would like to ride in the capsule.
There are also a variety of different ticket packages which offer everything from a glass of champagne in the capsule, a personal London Eye host, a chocolate and truffle tasting, and even wine and champagne tasting. Each package usually includes Fast Track entry, as well as entry into the 4D cinema experience, and some may even include more than one 30-minute rotation around the London Eye. Special packaged ticket costs range anywhere from £25.45 to £50 each depending on which package you choose, and you can find out more information on The London Eye’s official website.
Here is another page where you can pre-book tickets.