If you think of London, what first comes to mind? Of course, you think of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and big red double-decker buses. But another thing that pops up is always the London Eye. It is one of the biggest and most visited attractions in the Capital of London, and thousands of people visit it daily.
But what makes this big ferris wheel so popular, and what is the history behind it? How do you find it, and how long do you have to take out of your day to visit it? Luckily, we have all the answers for you. Keep reading to discover everything about the London Eye so you can plan your trip when staying in London perfectly.
What is the London Eye and why is it famous?
The London Eye, also known as the Millenium Wheel, is a cantilevered observation wheel. Coming in at 135m tall, it is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel and has been around since 2000. Designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the wheel comes with 32 capsules for people to sit in and look out for all the sites of London.
When first launched in 2000, the London Eye was known as the world’s largest ferris wheel, but it is now so famous for the 85 different awards it has won. It is the UK’s most popular paid tourist attraction and has over 3 million visitors annually. It has become one of the biggest sites in London, and it will continue to be so big over the years.
Where is the London Eye?
It is not difficult to find the London Eye when you're visiting London. First of all, it is hard to miss, but it is also easy to get to on any public transport. The large wheel is located on the South Bank of the River Thames. If you are near the Houses of Parliament, all you need to do is look opposite them, and you’ll see the slow-moving vehicle right in front of you.
When you want to purchase tickets so you can ride the London Eye, you just need to head to the ticket office, which is directly next to the attraction, located inside the County Hall.
Views from the London Eye
There is almost nothing you can’t see when you’re riding the London Eye. You can make a checklist of sights to look out for before getting into your capsule and check them off as you move around. Once you reach the top, that’s when you’ll see everything clearly, and it is quite something to look at.
Apart from the hustle and bustle of London, you can also see other attractions, such as the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and St Paul’s Cathedral. If you want to find out about everything you can see from the London Eye, you can check out our article about it here.
The London Eye opening hours
The opening hours of the London Eye vary depending on the day of the week you’re visiting and the time of the year. During the week and on the weekends in the winter, the attraction is open from 11 am to 6 pm, providing you with much time to visit. However, in the summer and on the weekends, it is open for even longer, from 10 am to 8:30 pm, allowing you to watch the sunset as it goes down.
How to get to the London Eye
How you get to the London Eye will depend on where you’re coming from. London is a large city with many transport links. However, it is pretty easy to locate whether you’re coming from the north, south, east, or west.
The closest underground station to the London Eye is Waterloo, so you will need to either get on the Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern, or Waterloo and City line. It is in zone 1, so if you are out of this zone, you may need to make some connections. You can also opt to get there by train, bus, coach or taxi.
How much is a ride on the London Eye?
The price of a ticket for the London Eye will depend on whether you are buying a standard ticket or purchasing a combo. It will also vary on whether you purchase a ride on the day or pre-book it online. For example, a standard ticket is £32.50 online but £36 on the day.
You can also purchase a fast-track ticket for £46 online and £51 on the day. It means you can skip the queues and get to the attraction as quickly as possible. There are also bundles with a river cruise, Madame Tussauds, SEA Life, and more. These often cost more than the standard ticket, but you will ultimately save more.
How long is a ride on the London Eye?
You don’t have to take too much out of your day to ride the London Eye. In fact, it only takes about 30 minutes to do a full ride in one of the 32 capsules. You receive 360-degree views of the entire city and can see some of the best landmarks and attractions in less time than ever before.
What’s the best time to ride the London Eye?
If you’ve purchased a standard ticket and don’t like waiting in lines, then you need to find the best time to ride the London Eye and avoid the crowds. This would most likely be right when the attraction has opened or just before it closes.
So, is the London Eye worth visiting?
Many factors say you should go and visit the London Eye, especially if you are new to the city. It allows you to see more than you ever would in one day and at an affordable price as well. While there are lines, it doesn’t matter too much as the ride is very quick and the crowds get moving quickly. It is a staple attraction in London, and it is definitely something everyone should try once in their lives.