Visit the London Eye
Originally built for the millennium celebrations in the year 2000, the London Eye is now a permanent fixture on the London skyline. The most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, the London Eye hosts over 3.5 million visitors every year. If you’re coming to London and thinking about riding the Eye, then this post is for you!
Where is the London Eye?
Your best bet to get to the London Eye is to take the Tube to the nearest Underground Stations are Waterloo (Jubilee, Northern and Bakerloo lines). The London Eye is a 7-minute walk away from the station. You can also easily access the London Eye from Westminster Station (Jubilee, District and Circle lines) If you wish to arrive by boat, many Thames river services stop at the nearby London Eye Pier. We recommend clicking here for directions to the London Eye from anywhere in the London area.
Click the Google Map image to enlarge
What Exactly is The London Eye?
The London Eye is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. In fact, when it was constructed in 1999 it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world! The Eye was built at a cost of £70 million pounds and boasts a diameter of 120 metres (394 feet) and a height of 135 metres (443 feet). A team of seven architects worked together to design the London Eye and on a good day guests can enjoy a view of up to 25 miles away! The wheel rotates extremely slowly; 26cm (10in) per second – which is about 0.6 miles per hour.
Visitors ride the Eye in one of 32 (one for every London Borough) capsules that are specially designed to remain in the same position as the wheel revolves. Each capsule, capable of holding up to 28 people, is sealed and air conditioned so remains comfortable inside regardless of the weather. A single capsule weighs around 10 tonnes and they were recently refurbished in 2009, in a process that saw individual capsules being removed and floated down to the river to Essex for maintenance work!
How to Get Tickets to the London Eye
Tickets can be bought at the ticket office located right next to the Eye. However, booking in advance online at the London Eye website will actually save you money. You also have the option to buy combined tickets which include entry to the Eye but also places like Madame Tussauds, the London Dungeon, and the London Aquarium.
Top Tip: The busiest time on the Eye is from 11:00 to 15:00, so book outside of this window if you can!
How Much is a Standard Ticket?
- Adult (16+) – £23.00 (Online Price: £19.35)
- Child (4 – 15 years. Under 4 is free) – £17.00 (Online Price: £13.95) – under 4 are free
- Family of Four – £80.00 (Online Price: £66.60)
- Senior – £20.00 (Online Price: £16.65)
- The London Eye occasionally partakes in the 2 for 1 rail discount deal.
- Combine the Tower Bridge and London Eye for £26.75.
- Combine a hop-on, hop-off bus ticket and get the London Eye for £17.75 for an adult ticket.
- Find other potential deals with our Guide to London on a Budget.
What Does My Ticket Get Me?
All tickets have a scheduled ‘departure’ time that you must arrive up to 30 minutes in advance for. Your ticket will provide you with one journey inside a capsule that will take you through one single rotation of the Eye. Journey time is around 30 minutes.
Top Tip: If you don’t want to be restricted to the time on your ticket, you can pay a little extra for a Flexi ticket which will grand you access to the wheel at any time during the day. Flexi tickets cost around £3 more than regular tickets.
When Is It Open?
The Eye opens at 10:00am and closure times vary throughout the year. In general, you can expect closing to be between 20:30 and 21:30. Read our post on other nighttime activities in London.
Anything Else I Need to Know?
A couple things to keep in mind:
- Large bags are not allowed onto the Eye – small, personal bags only. There is no baggage hold at the Eye – the nearest is at Waterloo Station.
- There is no audio commentary at any time during your visit although a guidebook can be bought for £3.00.
- There is a bench in the centre of each capsule that you can sit on but this provides little view, so be prepared to stand.
- Food and drink is NOT allowed on the Eye.
Other Attractions Nearby