Your Essential Guide to the London Eye
The London Eye has fast become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the capital, a brilliant way to see the city of London from a unique perspective. Here’s what you need to know about the London Eye.
If you want to stay in a hotel near the London Eye that’s great – easyHotel Victoria is nearby, plus we have a selection of hotels across London to choose from.
Your London Eye experience will deliver awe-inspiring, dazzlingly high views of the entire city, everything from Big Ben to St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge to Buckingham Palace. You might even be able to see your easyHotel from the top!
Visiting the London Eye: Essential Information
Did you know the busiest time of all on the Eye is between eleven in the morning and three in the afternoon? If you want more space and peace to enjoy the view, choose a time before or after that. It’s also open in the evenings. Tickets cost £28 on the day or £25 in advance online. The opening times are 10am – 6pm during the week, 10am to 8pm at the weekend, but opening times sometimes vary, so always check the Eye website first.
The capsules themselves are amazing, all 32 of them. Each one represents its own London Borough, and each one has plenty of space for 25 people to get great views. They’re air-conditioned for comfort and have central seating so you can rest your legs.
Your experience includes a fabulous live-action 4D film, Britain’s first. Remarkable 3D aerial photography delivers a fascinating four-minute introduction to what it’s like on the Eye, and you can see the film at the ticket office. Every ride lasts 30 minutes and takes you on one full revolution of the wheel.
The Eye is 100% accessible. There’s room for two wheelchairs in each capsule, and the maximum number of wheelchairs on the entire wheel at any one time is eight. There’s also an assisted boarding service if you need help and support getting on and off.
Places to Eat Near the London Eye
What to do beforehand and afterwards? Treat yourself to some great food and drink, that’s what! The Pommery Champagne Bar overlooks the Thames close to the Eye, and it’s an amazing place to have a drink after your experience on the London Eye. But you can hire your very own capsule if you like, and enjoy your very own private dining experience at a great height. Ask about the Dining at 135 package, which comes with a fun champagne reception, gorgeous three-course meal and three goes around the wheel after dark to see the sparkling lights.
You’ll find excellent fish and chips on Westminster Road at Great British Fish and Chips, a treat after a dizzying ride, but that’s just one of many restaurants, pubs and eateries nearby, including Mexican, Indian, and more. There’s Gillray’s Steak House and Bar on Westminster Bridge Road, Bao Fa Garden Chinese restaurant on The Queen’s Walk, and Hannah Japanese restaurant on Belvedere Road, just to name a few. The magnificent Royal Festival Hall is within walking distance too, perfect for after-experience drinks with amazing views of the mighty river.
London Eye Facts and History
- How tall is the London Eye? At 135m tall, 443 feet, it isn’t far short of the Shard, the current record-holder for Europe’s highest viewing point.
- The Eye is 394 feet wide
- When was the London Eye built? Construction began in 1998
- Over a year the Eye travels a total of 2,170 miles, roughly the distance between London and Cairo
- When did the London Eye open? In late December 1999, but it wasn’t open to the public until March 2000
- The Eye is also called the Millennium Wheel
- Is this the first London Eye? No, the original Great Wheel operated from 1895 to 1906
- Is the Eye a ferris wheel? No, it’s actually a cantilevered observation wheel – and it’s the tallest in the world
- The London Eye was designed by the architects Frank Anatole, Nic Bailey, Steve Chilton, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk, Julia Barfield and David Marks.
- How many people visit the London Eye? More than the 3.5 million a year, more than the Taj Mahal or the Great Pyramids
- The construction ate up a whopping 1,700 tonnes of steel and 3,000 tonnes of concrete and took two years
- How fast do the London Eye capsules go? 26cm a second, which translates as 10cm per second or 0.6 to 0.9mph, quite fast enough to proceed sensibly while enjoying the most incredible sights as you turn
- The eye is 200 times bigger than an average bicycle wheel
- How far can you see from the top of the London Eye? As far as 25 miles on a clear day
- Each capsule weighs 10 tonnes
- Is there a 13th capsule? The capsules are numbered 1-33 but there’s no 13th capsule. That would be bad luck!
- How many people can the London Eye carry? 800 people for every rotation
- Can you get married on the London Eye? Yes, you can – and they even do hen and stag parties. Epic!
How to Get to the London Eye
- By car – The Eye is in the congestion zone, but you can park your vehicle at the Q-Park Westminster car park
- By bus – The 211, 77 and 381 buses all take you to the London Eye, and it has its own special stop on red sightseeing bus routes
- By tube – Your nearest tube stations are Waterloo, a five-minute walk away, or Embankment a 10-15 minute walk away
- By train – Come into London via Waterloo or Charing Cross and it’s only a ten-minute walk away – Follow the signs for Southbank and you really can’t miss it
- By riverboat – Catch a boat from the stops at either London Bridge, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Tower or Masthouse Terrace
- By foot – The Thames is incredible, and walking along its banks on either side will eventually deliver you to the London Rye, having discovered all sorts of magic along the way that you’d never see in any other way.