London Eye is a giant Ferris Wheel at the heart of the capital and is one of the iconic symbols of modern London.
On a clear day, from the top of London Eye one can see up to 40 Kms (25 Miles) on all sides.
Every year, London Eye attracts more than 3.5 Million visitors.
In this article, we cover everything you need to know before your visit –
Where is the London Eye?
The London Eye is situated in the heart of the capital, rotating over the South bank of the River Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
London Eye address
The London Eye,
Westminster Bridge Road,
London, SE1 7PB.
How to reach the London Eye?
The best way to reach the London Eye is by public transport.
By London Underground
The London tube is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to reach the London Eye.
Waterloo tube station (Jubilee, Northern and Bakerloo lines), at about 5-minute walking distance from the London Eye, is the closest tube station.
You have to exit the tube following signs for the South Bank.
You can also easily access the London Eye from Westminster Station (Jubilee, District and Circle lines).
Embankment and Charing Cross tube Stations are close together on the Northern side of the river Thames.
Both tube stations are at a ten to a fifteen-minute walking distance from the London Eye.
If you prefer buses, get on to Bus No. 211 or Bus no. 77 or Bus no. 381.
If you are on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, rest assured that the Coca-Cola London Eye is on your tour’s route.
Consult your route map, and plan accordingly.
London Eye hours
The opening times for the London Eye varies throughout the year.
Roughly said, London Eye’s summer hours are 10 am to 8.30 pm, and winter hours are 11 am to 6 pm.
The complete day-by-day London Eye schedule can be found here.
Note: It will be best to buy London Eye tickets in advance to avoid last minute disappointment. Online booking is also 15% cheaper.
When is London Eye closed?
The London Eye remains closed on Christmas Day, 25th December.
It also closes during January for annual maintenance work. For instance, in 2018, the London Eye was closed from 8th January to 22nd January.
Every year, the London Eye closes around this period for annual maintenance.
Although the London Eye is closed during this period, the ticket office remains open for the purchase of tickets for other tourist attractions.
Best time to visit the London Eye
The London Eye attracts millions of tourists every year.
The best time to visit London Eye is when it opens at 10 am.
The second best time to visit the London Eye is late afternoon when the crowd thins down a bit.
Many tourists feel that the best time to visit the London Eye is the sunset.
Watching the sun go down behind the Big Ben and the Parliament is breathtaking.
During the high season, one of the best ways to avoid the crowd is by opting for a night time visit.
The waiting lines are really short or non-existent after the sunset and the Eye usually stays open until 9.30 pm.
When NOT to visit the London Eye
If you can, avoid London Eye on the weekends.
It is also best if you refrain from visiting the London Eye on Bank holidays and the UK School Holidays like Easter Holidays, the Summer and autumn break and the Christmas.
April-May, August, and October are among the peak months.
Important: If you book London Eye tickets in advance, you can reduce your waiting time by half.
Waiting time at London Eye
There are two waiting lines at London Eye: one to buy the ticket and another for boarding.
During peak periods including weekends and school holidays, the wait in the standard ticket lines can also last more than an hour.
The waiting time in the Fast Track ticket line is much shorter, but then the tickets are also 10 Pounds costlier.
You can avoid wasting your time in these ticketing lines by booking your tickets in advance.
Peak season or not, the waiting time at 10 am – as soon as London Eye opens – is never more than 20 minutes.
On a good day, by 10.30 am the lines start getting longer and continue to do so till midday.
After 3 pm, the queues are shorter and the waiting times go down to 15-20 minutes.
Surprisingly sunset does not attract much crowd.
Note: Visitors with online tickets are expected to arrive half an hour before the boarding time to get the pre-booked ticket and pass the boarding line.
What can you see from London Eye
From the top of London Eye you can see up to 40 Kms (25 Miles) in all directions.
In fact, on a clear day you can even spot the Windsor Castle.
Within the city, besides long stretches of the river Thames, you can also see the following tourist attractions –
- Buckingham Palace
- Houses of Parliament
- Westminster Abbey
- Elizabeth Clock Tower (Big Ben)
- St. Paul’s
- The Tate Museum
- Tower Bridge
How long does the London Eye tour take?
Each London Eye’s capsule makes one full circle in 30 minutes.
So 30 minutes of buying tickets, 20-30 minutes of boarding plus 30 minutes of the actual ride brings the duration of the whole London Eye experience to be around 90 minutes.
If you also see the 4D Cinema Experience, which comes free with every ticket, you will add another 15 minutes to your London Eye tour.
If you buy your London Eye tickets in advance, you can save 30 minutes (to one hour) of your waiting time.
London Eye prices
London Eye’s management wants you to –
1. Buy your tickets online
2. Buy it at least 24 hours in advance.
Thats why they offer a good discount if you book your tickets online, 24 hours before your visit.
For instance the Standard tickets for an adult (age 16+ years) costs 30 Pounds at the venue but only 27 Pounds if booked online – a 10% discount.
For the same adult, a Fast Track ticket costs 40 Pounds at London Eye but only 37 Pounds if booked online – an 8% discount.
For a kids (between 3 to 15 years), the Standard ticket is priced at 24 Pounds at the venue and only 22 Pounds if booked online.
For the same kid, the Fast Track admission ticket is priced at 34 Pounds at the venue and 32 Pounds if purchased online.
If you book your London Eye tickets online, but on the day of your visit you pay what is known as “same day price.”
This is the same as the ticket prices at the venue.
Note: Children below 3 years enter for free.
London Eye tickets
There are four ways to experience the London Eye.
Depending on the amount of time you have, and the budget you can select one of the options provided below.
These tickets get emailed to you immediately after purchase.
For a full refund, you can cancel these tickets more than 24 hours before your visit.
Important: It is better to take a print out of your tickets. However, if you forget, no problem. Folks at the Ticket Collection Desk located within the London Eye Ticket Office can print it out for you. They will need your booking order number, the credit card used to make the purchase and a Photo ID.
1. London Eye tickets – Standard & Fast Track
London Eye tickets come in two flavors – Standard and Fast Track.
With both the tickets, you can go up one of the London Eye capsules and spend 30 minutes in the air.
Just that Fast Track tickets help you avoid the queue and enter through a dedicated entrance.
Once you click on the link below, you will be able to choose between ‘Standard’ and ‘Fast Track’ ticket options.
Important: Kids two years and below can ride for free, but you are still required to mention them on the ticket booking page.
Alternative: If you prefer going up this London attraction in style, check out London Eye Champagne Experience
2. London Eye + Original London Bus tour
This ticket combines the Original London Sightseeing Bus tour with a discounted ticket for the London Eye.
You can enjoy a day discovering the sights of London and later get on to the biggest Ferris Wheel in the whole of Europe to see London from above.
Adult ticket (16+ years): 52.50 Pounds
Child ticket (5 to 15 years): 30.75 Pounds
3. London Eye + Thames river cruise
With this ticket you get one day of hop-on-hop-off River Thames sightseeing tour and one ride on the London Eye.
With this tour, you get to see the London Eye from land, water and from London Eye itself.
Adult ticket (17+ years): 45.55 Pounds
Child ticket (5 to 16 years): 34 Pounds
4. Merlin’s Magical London tickets
This is a value-for-money combo ticket which besides the London Eye, also gives you access to –
1. Shrek’s Adventure!
2. Madame Tussaud’s
3. Sealife Aquarium
4. London Dungeon.
If you are holidaying in London with kids aged 5-18 we highly recommend this combination ticket.
Once bought the Merlin’s Magical London ticket is valid for 90 days.
Adult ticket (16+ years): 60 Pounds
Child ticket (3 to 15 years): 48 Pounds
Infant ticket (0 to 2 years): Free entry
London Eye at night
Many tourists wonder what is better – London Eye at night or London Eye during the day.
With some traveler inputs, we try and help you decide.
London Eye at night or during day
With the London Eye offering beautiful ariel views of the city’s skyline from a height of 135 meters (443 feet), it is not something one should miss.
This is why, first time visitors to London prefer to up on London Eye during the day.
However, if you have already been on London Eye once or The Shard, it makes sense to give the Ferris Wheel one more try at night.
At night, when the lights come on, London is beautiful in its own mesmerizing way.
Night times is also one of the best times if you want to avoid long waiting lines.
Before you make your reservations, do check on the London weather for the day.
You will be in for a disappointing ride up the London Eye if you go up but can’t see anything because of bad weather.
London Eye at night tickets
The London Eye at night can be experienced in two ways.
The first option is the London Eye Day and Night ticket, allowing two 30-minute rotations in London Eye’s passenger capsules.
The first admission is allowed between 10 am and 4 pm and the second admission from 4 pm to the closing time.
This ticket, however, is seasonal and is available only from October to March.
The second option is booking a standard London Eye ticket, at a time slot closer to (or after) sunset.
London Eye FAQs
Tourists heading towards London Eye have lots of questions about this fine London attraction.
The most common questions are –
The construction of the London Eye began in 1998 and it opened to the public on 31 Dec 1999.
The main components of the London Eye were built off-site and then shipped to the construction site where the wheel was assembled.
In September of 2014, Coca-Cola became the sponsor of the London Eye after signing a deal with the wheel’s owner, Merlin Entertainments.
The attraction re-opened in 2015 with the wheel shining red in the night because of the deal, now known as Coca-Cola London Eye.
The London Eye is 135 meters (443 ft) tall with a wheel having a diameter of 120 meters (394 ft).
London Eye was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel till it was surpassed in 2006 by the 160 meters (525 ft) tall Star of Nanchang.
London Eye is still the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel.
Popular attractions in London