Visit the London Eye: tickets, prices, opening hours

Visiter le London Eye à Londres

How about taking in the sights in the heart of London? Visit the London Eye, the capital’s must-see belvedere.

What do London’s London Eye, Las Vegas’ Hight Roller, China’s Star of Nanchang, the Emirates’ Ain Dubai and Japan’s Redhorse Osaka Wheel have in common? These are some of the biggest and most famous wheels in the world! Yes, our English neighbors have done it!

Visiting London? Between two fish and chips, a stroll through Westminster and a shopping spree in Camden Town, what’s there to do? Visit the London Eye, of course! Climb aboard one of the capsules for a panoramic view of the whole of London, surely the most impressive that the English capital has to offer. Admire the various monuments and witness the hustle and bustle of London’s streets from an unprecedented angle. Every year, almost four million visitors take to the skies and spin around on the London Eye. Don’t miss out on this breathtaking attraction. Follow us as we take you on a tour of London’s London Eye!

History of the London Eye

Histoire du London Eye

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Georgios Antonatos

A change of century

Does the year 2000 ring a bell? In France, the Y2K bug doesn’t happen, the 35-hour week is adopted, the presidential term is reduced to five years and Les Bleus become European soccer champions. In London, the London Eye is built and enters its first year. Set up to celebrate the turn of the century, the wheel is now a symbol of the British capital. Tourists from all over the world board one of its gondolas and wait impatiently to soar one hundred and thirty-five meters into the air.

It took seven years and seventy-five million pounds sterling to build the London Eye. Begun in 1998, the original Millennium Wheel was inaugurated on December 31, 1999 and officially opened to the public in March 2000. At the time, it was the tallest tower in the world. Defeated in 2006, it has never been equalled in Europe. It wasn’t until 2011 that the monument was finally named London Eyes.

A symbol of London

What better place than on the romantic banks of the River Thames, opposite Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, to erect the world’s largest cantilevered Ferris wheel (a slightly different structure from a conventional Ferris wheel)? A visit to the London Eye is like landing in the very heart of London, with a bird’s-eye view of the city’s finest monuments.

The London Eye was scheduled to operate for just five years, before being dismantled. But the government had to face the facts: the wheel had become an integral part of the London landscape in a flash, and it was impossible to tear it away from the contours of the Thames. Doesn’t this remind you of the story of our famous French Dame de Fer? In 2002, the wheel officially became a city attraction!

Technical prowess

Nearly eight hundred passengers can climb aboard the London Eye at any one time! Divided into thirty-two capsules (because there are thirty-two boroughs in London) that gracefully rotate in the sky, each accommodating twenty-five people.

If you’d like to visit the London Eye, you’ll also be witness to some real technical prowess.

Initially built flat on platforms stacked on the Thames, the next step was to hoist the wheel. An extremely tedious operation! It took several cranes and days to lift it onto its feet. After all, the London Eye weighs one thousand eight hundred and seventy tonnes of steel! The device specially designed to keep the capsules in a horizontal position is also exceptional. Despite the slow, gradual movement of the wheel, they always remain perfectly horizontal, every time they rotate.

Since 2015, the wheel’s official name has become Coca-Cola London Eye. The soda brand became its new sponsor, in exchange for having its name attached to the wheel. Nevertheless, few people call it that.

What to see and do at the London Eye

Que voir et faire au London Eye

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Songquan Deng

A full tour, of course!

Visiting the London Eye from a capsule takes around twenty-five minutes. The time it takes for the wheel to make one complete revolution. A long moment out of time, during which the panorama and perspective are constantly changing. Aboard your capsule, seated comfortably or standing, the London Eye offers a 360° view of the whole of London. Allow ten minutes to reach the top. Then enjoy five minutes at a standstill, hanging in the London sky. Then gently descend from your cloud for another ten minutes.

Did you know that in fine weather (yes, it’s possible!) you can admire the scenery for up to forty kilometers around. Can you see Windsor Castle in the distance? Only the residents and visitors of The Shard skyscraper, three hundred and six meters high, will be able to taunt you.

To visit the London Eye, you can’t miss the boat! The tower doesn’t stop during embarkation and disembarkation. No, we’re joking! Don’t worry, the wheel turns at just 1 km/h, so you can get on and off without a care in the world.

Watch the illumination of the London Eye

Want to visit the London Eye by night? What a wonderful idea! London’s iconic landmark is lit up every evening and stands out as a beacon in the heart of the city center. If you’re in London for special events or celebrations, you’ll have the chance to see it decked out in its own special light show.

Immerse yourself in a futuristic experience

Your ticket for the London Eye includes access to the London Eye 4D attraction. Guaranteed thrills and spectacular effects as you discover the British capital through a sensational experience you’ll never forget. Your skin, ears, eyes and sense of smell won’t believe it! You’ll fly over London’s rooftops and live to the rhythm of its celebrations.

Treat your taste buds or rent a London Eye capsule

You can even take advantage of the thirty minutes aboard the London Eye to sample champagnes, wines and chocolates. It’s a top-flight tasting experience! You can even take the experience a step further!

Four hundred and fifty pounds sterling is all it takes to treat yourself to the luxury of a private capsule. With your friends or sweetheart, enjoy the privilege of being just the two of you, with the whole of London at your feet!

What if you were proposing, brunching or celebrating a birthday with an endless view of Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s, the Shard or Horse Guards Parade?

How do I get to the London Eye?

A visit to the London Eye is a must, in every respect! It’s impossible to miss it, as it dominates the landscape. The wheel is located on the south bank of the Thames, next to the Aquarium and the Houses of Parliament.

By metro

The London Eye is just a few minutes from many subway stations. The nearest is Waterloo (a five-minute walk). Alternatively, get off at Embankment, Charing Cross or Westminster.

By train

Waterloo and Charing Cross train stations are the closest to the London Eye.

By bus

Take the 211, 77 or 381 bus to the London Eye stop.

By boat

And why not take a trip on the River Thames to visit the London Eye? Departing from a number of quays, you can sail right up to the wheel and enjoy a spectacular finish.

By car

Needless to say, cabs can easily take you to the London Eye. From Heathrow airport, for example, it takes around thirty minutes. If you have your own car, park at Q-Park Westminster for a discount on your London Eye booking.

London Eye timetables & fares

Horaires & tarifs du London Eye

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Bikeworldtravel

SCHEDULES

The wheel

Planning a visit to the London Eye? Opening times vary throughout the year. Generally, the wheel opens at 10am and closes between 6pm and 8.30pm, depending on the season. To find out more about the wheel’s opening times, visit the official website.

Cruise on the Thames

The Thames cruise, with or without a tour of the London Eye, departs every hour from 10.45am to 7.45pm (summer).

RATES

If there’s one thing you should know about London, it’s that it’s best to opt for the Visitor Pass! This pass gives you access to many of London’s monuments and attractions, as well as free transport. The pass includes the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, the London Dungeon and DreamWork’s Tour.

When you book online, in advance, you save an average of ten percent on your ticket for the London Eye and up to fifty percent on your ticket for other attractions.

Here are the main prices for visiting the London Eye, with or without a discount.

  • Classic admission: £27 or £30
  • Admission ticket: £37 or £40
  • Thames cruise + London Eye: £33 or £36
  • One attraction + London Eye: £40 or £65
  • Two attractions + London Eye: £50 or £55
  • London Eye Champagne Experience: £41 or £44

Please note: If you wish to visit the London Eye with children or in a group of at least seven people, you will receive an additional discount.