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).

The London Eye, side view. By Shiho Takahashi The London Eye, boats. By Alexis Brett
The London Eye, capsule interior. By James Lumb The London Eye, capsules. By Red Morris The London Eye, queue. By Garry Knight

London Eye Highlights

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.

Special Tips

  • 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!