It is impossible to imagine the city without the iconic London Eye that stands proudly on the southern bank of the River Thames. The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, is the world's biggest cantilevered ferris wheel and the UK's most popular paid visitor attraction. The gigantic Ferris Wheel is regarded as London’s best observation point, offering 360 degree birds-eye views of the entire city.
The wheel has revolutionized London's environment and is now a national emblem that honors Britain's ingenuity and technical progress in the twenty-first century, attracting people from all over the world. The Eye's 32 capsules represent London's 32 boroughs and are numbered 1 to 33, with the thirteenth carriage removed for good luck. The wheel, which stands at a height of 443 feet (135 meters), provides some of the best panoramic views of the city, spanning as far as 25 miles on a clear day.
Unlike thrill-based Ferris Wheel rides, the London Eye moves obnoxiously slow. The aim, after all, is to enjoy the beautiful views that surround one. The London Eye tickets also offer a number of special experiences. The private experience, for example, offers an exclusive ride for a selected group or pair, as opposed to the regular 25 person per capsule ride. The Pub-Pod experience, on the other hand, recreates the ambience of a typical British Pub within the comfort of one’s sealed capsule.
Booking the London Eye tickets not only allows one to skip the queues at the attraction, but also secures one good discount on the London Eye tickets, as well as the number of other VIP and exclusive experiences that the attraction has to offer.
The London Eye began as a submission by David Marks and Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects in a contest organized by The Sunday Times, for a new landmark to commemorate the century in London in 1993. Incidentally, Marks and Barfield did not receive a winning position. However, inspired by their idea, they took up the project themselves and discovered the location where the wheel currently sits. British Airways realized the potential in the dream and decided to fund the project, giving birth to the wheel as it is today. The London Eye was formally inaugurated by then-president Tony Blair in 1999, but did not begin admitting visitors until March 2000.
While a visit to the London Eye is a near-mandatory experience for anyone visiting the city, one’s time at the iconic attraction may prove to be yet more valuable with one of the many VIP experiences offered at the London Eye. Whether it be an added River Cruise, a Champagne Experience or a private tour for your family, these experiences seek to elevate one’s ride on the world’s most popular observation wheel.
The London Eye tickets with river cruise seek to add two exclusive experiences in one- a ride on the magnificent wheel as well as a cruise on the River Thames. The river cruise will include a 30 minute, circular tour on the Thames. One can embark on a cruise from any of the three piers at Westminster, Tower, or Greenwich. Gliding along the world’s most famous river, the cruise offers splendid views of some of the city’s biggest and oldest attractions, including the Buckingham Palace and the Big Ben. All of the cruises have cafes where tourists can purchase light snacks and beverages.
The Champagne Experience elevates the London Eye experience to a truly VIP Standard. This special experience ticket includes a glass of champagne with a spin on the London Eye. Visitors are treated to the best quality drink in London, coupled with the fantastic, unobstructed views of the city. However, the provision of champagne is limited to adult visitors only, and requires a valid age proof. Visitors below the age of 18 are provided soft drinks, while those below the age of 15 have to be accompanied by a legal adult. The Champagne Experience is not private, and the pod is shared between a number of parties.
The Pub Pod, quite literally, recreates the experience of a traditional British Pub 350 meters above the ground. The Pub Pod capsules are fitted with every amenity that one can hope to find in a pub- whether it be a bar counter, a table, or a sofa to lounge on. Each rider is served with two drinks throughout their rides. While the classic Jameson whiskey is the proudest seller here, the menu at Pub Pod includes a number of craft beers and wines instead. Owing to the consumption of alcohol, this particular experience is reserved for adults only, and requires a valid age proof. Like the champagne experience, the Pub Pod too, is a shared ride.
The Private Pods at London’s Eye offers an intimate 30 minute ride, only in the company of one’s closest family and friends. This exclusive VIP experience allows groups to reserve pods for parties of 2 to 25 people for a private ride. The Private Pods also include a dedicated guest ambassador, who will be pointing out and offering invaluable insights into the attractions that one can spot. Guests can also avail the use of mini binoculars against an added charge, which would allow one to zoom into the attractions as they embark on their spin. The experience requires at least 2 adults to be present throughout the ride. The Private Pod experience also includes a bottle of Champagne, and requires visitors to furnish adequate age proof.
As its name suggests, the Ferris Wheel is quite literally ‘London’s Eye’, commanding unending views of the city’s skyline. The views, of course, are the biggest attraction of the London Eye. The capsules on the Wheel are glass-walled and spacious, allowing visitors to walk around the unit and witness the views from each and every side. While the Thames glitters majestically right beside the Observation Wheel, one can also catch a glimpse of London’s other major attractions, including the Houses of Parliament, the Big Ben, and even the Windsor Castle on a clear day.
The latest addition to the London Eye, the 4D Cinema is a pre-flight experience offered to all visitors. The groundbreaking 3D picture offers a glimpse into the history of London with breathtaking in-theater effects like wind, bubbles, and mist. This new theater is housed within County Hall, a historic rotunda structure near the London Eye.
Location: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom.
Timings: 11.00 AM- 06.00 PM on all days of the week.
Best Time to Visit: Given its popularity among visitors and tourists, the London Eye is virtually constantly crowded. It is better to avoid school holidays and peak holiday seasons. Because the early London Eye opening periods of 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM have a lot of people, it's preferable to go just when it opens or right before it shuts. Another ideal time to visit would be during the sunset hours, when the city remains washed in a beautiful golden light. The rainiest months in London are August, November, and December, so do plan your visit accordingly . A ride on a Ferris wheel is useless on a cloudy, wet day! Summers are ideal for visiting the London Eye, since the sun shines brightly and allows you to view up to 30 miles into the distance.
The London Eye closes for the public at 06.00 PM each evening. However, if you want to watch the city in its lit-up glory, you could always opt for the last ride of the day and watch as the sun sets on London.
Visitors of all ages- including children and infants- are allowed on the London Eye. However, certain experiences such as the PubPod or the Champagne Experience include consumption of alcohol, and require minors to be accompanied by legal adults.
Yes, You can easily book The London Eye tickets online.
The London Eye tickets would depend entirely on the kind of experience opted for. A standard entry ticket would cost 24.50 Euros and a fast track ticket would cost 39.50 Euros. Special experiences, such as the Pub Pod or the Private Pod, cost more.
The London Eye goes as high as 443 feet, or about 135 meters off the ground. This would roughly be equal to 64 red telephones boxes stacked on top of each other!
London Eye’s worldwide fame derives itself from a number of facts; for starters, it is the highest cantilevered- which means it is supported only on one side, as opposed to two- observation wheels in the world. The Eye is renowned for its stupendous views of the city of London, covering nearly all of the city on a clear day.
The London Eye tickets price start at £14.50.