The London Eye has become, since its installation in 2000, a key point of London with more than 70 million visitors since then. This 'Millennium Wheel' is the tallest in Europe and, until 2006, in the world.
If you are already convinced to get on board of this design marvel, I 100% recommend you to buy your tickets online and in advance to save time and money. I analyze which are the cheapest options so you don't waste a minute in choosing the one that suits you best. Here I go!
The most economical way to ride the world's most famous Ferris wheel
Perfect if you want to enjoy the incredible views of London from one of the London Eye's cabins at the best possible price. Includes access to the London Eye 4D Cinema Experience and you can choose the time that suits you bestFrom $ 34 at Hellotickets
This is the cheapest option: this standard ticket for the London Eye can be booked right here and guarantees you access to the Ferris wheel at the best price. You are assured of the cheapest option, as it is cheaper than buying it directly from the ticket office and above all, the endless queues to get it at the attraction's ticket office. This ticket also gives you access to its immersive experience, the London Eye 4D Cinema Experience.
However, you should know that this option does not allow you to skip the queues to access the London Eye. Once you arrive at the foot of the Ferris wheel, you will have to wait for your turn to "board" and you will have to pass through metal detectors at the checkpoint for security reasons (all visitors must go through the same measures).
At the exit of the attraction you will be offered the chance to buy a souvenir photo taken during the Ferris wheel ride. As it usually happens in these cases, the price is not worth it, so go prepared with your camera and your phone to capture the best images of the London skyline.
Why I like this option**: it allows you to enjoy the same experience at a more affordable price.
Recommended if...** you want to enjoy spectacular views of the city while participating in one of the most typical plans of the British capital.
Skip the queues for priority access to the London Eye
This is the best option if you don't want to waste a minute waiting for your turn to board. Priority boarding will save you a long wait at the foot of the attraction. It also includes access to the London Eye 4D Cinema Experience and a choice of timesFrom $ 0 at Hellotickets
The skip-the-line ticket to the London Eye offers you to reserve an access time to better organize your trip and avoid the long queues that usually form. This ticket gives you access, of course, to the multi-sensory experience offered by the London Eye 4D Cinema Experience and can be purchased from months before planning your trip to minutes before catching your flight to the UK.
The experience on board the Ferris wheel is exactly the same for all types of tickets, but this option, suitable for the most impatient, guarantees you priority access to your cabin without queues. However, like all other passengers on board, you will have to pass a security check with a metal detector.
Why I like this option**: Time is money when traveling and if budget is not an issue for you, it may be worth considering the option of priority access.
Recommended if...** you despair of queues or if you are traveling with children, to avoid waiting and make access more pleasant.
Why it pays to go on the London Eye
The London Eye is a panoramic rotating observatory from which you can enjoy the best views of the city (360º) and from where you can take great pictures of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral or Buckingham Palace.
Also, if you are not a great lover of heights or you travel with small children, do not worry, I assure you that it is a completely safe and adapted experience for all audiences. The capsules are perfectly attached to its steel structure and do not sway as in a conventional Ferris wheel, allowing you to travel standing up.
About the 4D interactive experience
As if it wasn't enough to see the London skyline in motion, inside the London Eye you can watch the 4D Cinema Experience, an interactive short film that is an inspiring journey of discovery through a London that comes to life through multi-sensory special effects, such as wind or fog, during its projection.
Vicky's Top Traveller Tip
If you are interested in enjoying the 4D London Eye experience before the Ferris wheel ride, please arrive 30 minutes early.
London Eye opening hours
The London Eye is open every day of the year except Christmas (December 25) and annual maintenance days, which is usually in January.
However, schedules vary from season to season and may even change within the months of the same season, so we recommend that before planning your visit, check their website to verify them.
Interesting information about the London Eye
- The cabins of the Ferris wheel do not have walks inside but do have them in the entrance hall.
- There is a shop at the exit where you can buy gifts and souvenirs of the experience.
- In addition, if you give advance notice, the attraction has facilities for travelers with reduced mobility.
- Visitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 at the immersive screening of the London Eye 4D Cinema Experience.
How to get to the London Eye
The London Eye, erected in the Riverside Building, in the County Hall Westminster Bridge Road, is located in the heart of London and among many other places you can visit, such as Westminster Bridge, so it is perfectly connected with the services of public transport of the city.
You can get there from Waterloo tube station (the nearest) or from Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster stations.
The nearest stations are Waterloo (5 minutes walk) and Charing Cross (15 minutes walk).
The bus lines 77, 211 and 381 will leave you very close to the London Eye, although you can also reach it through one of the dozens of stops made by the tourist bus if you have a London Pass or with the RV1 route that connects the Ferris wheel with the Tate Modern and Covent Garden.
There are many services that stop at the London Eye Pier (O2, Bankside, Embankment, Blackfriars, London Bridge, Tower, Canary Wharf, Hilton Docklands, Masthouse Terrace, Greenwich, Royal Arsenal Wollwich, St. Katherine's or Westminster Pier).
If you are going to spend several days in the British capital, I recommend that you get your Oyster Card, a transport card that you can buy and recharge at any of its subway stations and that will give you access to all public lines in the most agile and economical way.
Other options to ride the Ferris wheel: tourist passes
Another option and the one I recommend to visit the London Eye if you are going to spend several days in London is to purchase a tourist pass of the city.
As you can see in this other post about London Pass:, these are very convenient for visits of at least 4 days in the capital, as they include a much faster and cheaper access to its main attractions. Two of these passes include, among its many options, the entrance to the London Eye:
The London Explorer Pass
The Explorer Pass is the must-have pass in London. You can choose up to 7 attractions among the 31 that it offers in its list. Its main advantages are that you get fast-track access to some of the most important attractions in the city and that you can save up to 35%** on the price of standard attraction tickets.
The London Pass
The London Pass: is the best pass for family travel because it gives you quick and much cheaper access to 5 of the city's top leisure attractions. It offers access to a world of entertainment super fun to visit, in addition to the London Eye, the spectacular Madame Tussauds wax museum, Shrek's Adventure London, the thrilling interactive tours of the London Dungeon and the London Aquarium, SEA LIFE London.
The London Eye in figures
3.5 million tourists visit the London Eye every year. If that figure doesn't tell you anything, perhaps knowing that its average number of spectators is 10,000 per day and that it is larger than the Taj Mahal or the Pyramids of Giza will help you visualize its power of attraction.
The London Eye can carry up to 800 people on each of its rotating rides (25 passengers per capsule), but queues are guaranteed at almost any time of the year, especially if you travel on weekends, public holidays or during school vacations. Buying tickets online will save you all this time, which you can spend on making the most of your visit.
The Ferris wheel has 32 glazed and air-conditioned capsules (one for each London borough), but for superstitious reasons, they are numbered from 1 to 33, skipping the number 13.
Vicky's Traveller Tip
On a sunny day you will be able to make out the 40 km around that reach their views. Look closely and you'll see as far as Windsor Castle.
Complete your visit to the London Eye discovering its surroundings
Big Ben and Houses of Parliament
The London Eye managed to turn the area where it is located, the South Bank district, into the focal point of the new millennium. There you can find other wonders of architecture and nature to make your sightseeing day a round day.
You can not miss one of the emblems of the city, Big Ben, and in which only 537 meters from the London Eye, you will discover that its name is actually the 14-ton bell that houses the clock of the Elizabeth Tower, erected over the Parliament.
The latter, also known as the Palace of Westminster, is another must-see as it houses the two chambers of the British Parliament, that is, where the government formulates its legislation.
Typical food options for lunch or dinner
Despite not being a country with a great gastronomic tradition, London has good restaurants, although most of them tend to be somewhat expensive. In your stop to enjoy lunch I recommend three restaurants near the London Eye area.
There you can eat typical English dishes, as in St Stephen's Tavern (on the sidewalk in front of Big Ben), to savor the exclusive food of a Michelin Star restaurant near the Parliament, the Roux at Parliament, to take quality food and good service aboard a boat, in the London Showboat, which you can get on from Westminster Bridge.
Vicky's Traveller Tip
Near the London Eye there are several restaurants: be sure of the price of the menu before you sit down to avoid surprises on the bill.
Returning to our trip, another attraction very close to the area is the impressive Westminster Abbey, just 639 meters from the London Eye, which presents some of the best examples of London's medieval architecture. You can read in this article about Westminster Abbey Tickets how to visit its interior.
Between this Abbey and Buckingham Palace you can take a break in the beautiful natural environment of St. James's Park (735 m from the London Eye).
St. James Park and Buckingham Palace
This former royal hunting ground is the longest running park in London, one of the most beloved by Londoners and the ideal place to spend a morning or afternoon with the family, as it is full of cafes, waterfowl and original playgrounds. Part of the memorial route for the late Princess Diana runs along it and it has been used as a backdrop for well-known films such as Match Point, 28 Days Later and 101 Dalmatians.
Once you have replenished your energy you can finish the day by visiting the nerve center of London, Trafalgar Square (778 m from the London Eye), a huge square where, in addition to other places of interest, is one of the most famous monuments of the capital: Admiral Nelson's Column.
Trafalgar Square is a hive of people and street performers every day, but especially on those days when major events are celebrated, as it is the meeting place for Londoners to celebrate New Year's Eve, sporting triumphs and even royal weddings.
Since you are here, on the river, and so close to several piers from which depart the cruises that cross the Thames, it would be a good idea to complete your day in London with a relaxing cruise on the river, from which you can see the contrasts offered by the London Skyline and even reach the Greenwich meridian by boat. I leave here a post I made about Thames River Cruises: in case you are interested in organizing the excursion.
Frequently asked questions
How long will I have to queue for the London Eye?
As little as 30 minutes and as long as 2 hours during a rush of visitors, especially during English school holidays.
What is the best time to go to the London Eye?
Generally you will want to avoid going between 11:00 and 15:00, and it's probably a good idea to ride the London Eye at the beginning and end of their opening hours. Also, take into account that the London Eye closes during two weeks in January for yearly maintenance.
What can I do after my London Eye visit?
Some attractions near the London Eye that you can visit are the Sea Life London Aquarium, Big Ben and the London Dungeons. Also, you can go for a walk along the Embankment and the Jubilee Gardens.