London Eye – tickets, prices, discounts, hours, waiting times

London Eye

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 share everything you need to know before visiting London Eye.

1. How to reach
2. Opening hours
3. Best time to visit
4. Waiting time
5. What’s visible
6. Tour duration
7. Ticket prices
8. London Eye tickets
9. Night visit
10. FAQs

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How to reach the London Eye

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,
Riverside Building,
County Hall,
Westminster Bridge Road,
London, SE1 7PB.

Get Directions

It is best to reach London Eye by public transport.

By London Underground

The London tube is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to get to the London Eye.

Waterloo tube station (Jubilee, Northern and Bakerloo lines) is closest to London Eye and you can walk the distance in five minutes.

Westminster Station (Jubilee, District and Circle lines) is just seven minutes walk away.

Embankment and Charing Cross tube Stations are close together on the Northern side of the river Thames and ten minutes away from London Eye.

By Bus

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.

Big Bus’s Open-Top Sightseeing Tour and The Original London Sightseeing Bus Tour are two of the most popular bus tours in the city.

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London Eye hours

In the summer London Eye opens at 10 am and closes at 8.30 pm, while in the winter months it opens at 11 am and closes at 6 pm.

The complete day-by-day London Eye schedule can be found here.

Note: To avoid last minute disappointment, we recommend you buy London Eye tickets in advance. Online booking is 15% cheaper as well.

When is London Eye closed

The London Eye remains closed on Christmas Day, 25th December.

London Eye’s regular annual maintenance dates are 7 January to 22 January, and every year, during this time no visitors are allowed.

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Best time to visit the London Eye

Visiting London Eye
Image: Mael Balland

The best time to visit London Eye is as soon as they open for the day – 10 am during summer and 11 am in winters.

If you can’t make it in the morning but still want to avoid the crowd, the second best time is post lunch – by about 3 pm.

London Eye during sunset

Many tourists feel that the best time to visit the London Eye is during sunset. 

Watching the sun go down behind the Big Ben and the Parliament is breathtaking.

This requires a bit of planning as you need to have your ticket ready and reach London Eye half an hour before the sunset time of the day.

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 this London attraction 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.

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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 last more than an hour.

Waiting times at London Eye
The queues at London Eye are notorious. It makes a lot of sense to book your tickets online. Image:

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.

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What can you see from London Eye

London Eye's Pod
Michael Siebert / Pixabay

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

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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.

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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.

Children below 3 years enter for free.

London Eye same day tickets

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.

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London Eye tickets

Ticketing counter queues at London Eye
This is the kind of queues you can normally expect at London Eye. This is why even the London Eye management recommends that visitors buy their tickets online. Image:

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.

  1. London Eye ticket
  2. London Eye + London Bus Tour
  3. London Eye + River Cruise
  4. Merlin’s Magical London

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 Ticket
Image: Anisketels

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

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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.

Ticket price

Adult ticket (16+ years): 52.50 Pounds
Child ticket (5 to 15 years): 30.75 Pounds

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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.

Ticket price

Adult ticket (17+ years): 45.55 Pounds
Child ticket (5 to 16 years): 34 Pounds

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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.

Ticket price

Adult ticket (16+ years): 60 Pounds
Child ticket (3 to 15 years): 48 Pounds
Infant ticket (0 to 2 years): Free entry

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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

View from London Eye at night
The stunning London skyline you get to see when you go up on London Eye after dark. Image: Shinsin Photos

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.

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London Eye FAQs

Tourists heading towards London Eye have lots of questions about this fine London attraction.

The most common questions are –

1. When was London Eye built?

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.

2. Why Coca-Cola London Eye?

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.

3. What is London Eye’s height?

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

# London Zoo
# Tower of London
# Stonehenge
# Kew Gardens
# Madame Tussauds London
# St Paul’s Cathedral
# Windsor Castle
# Kensington Palace
# The Shard
# Whipsnade Zoo

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