The London Eye Sightseeing Wheel. Experience Breathtaking Aerial Views of The City
This page will give you a description of what to expect from the experience, plus details on opening times, how to get there, the ice rink and river cruises, address, contact details and photographs of the attraction. There are also links to more detailed pages on hotels close to the London Eye and ticketing.
London Eye overview: what makes the ride special
The London Eye allows you to travel in a large glass pod 135 metres above the city of London. The wheel sits on the South bank of the River Thames, ensuring that you will get close-up views of iconic buildings including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Tower Bridge. Since opening the London Eye has become one of London's popular tourist attractions as it offers an interesting way to get 360 degree views of the city. Surrounding the wheel itself you will find other attractions that are related to it - see below for more information.
The London Eye experience
You can buy your tickets from the large ticket hall that is directly in front of the wheel. (unless you bought your tickets online - see below for a link to the London Eye tickets page). If you buy your tickets at the London eye you will have bought them for a particular 'flight' (this is the name for a ride on the London Eye) time. When it comes to the time of your flight, you can join the queue that sits in front of the London Eye and wait to board.
It is worth noting that when you board the pods they will continue moving slowly. Therefore, if you have limited mobility, are an elderly traveller or you simply feel nervous about stepping onto the ride whilst it's moving, you can let the staff know. They will arrange for the ride to be stopped for you briefly so you can get on more easily. Do not feel nervous about doing this - alot of people ask for this service.
The London Eye journey lasts about 30 minutes (the journey time can vary slightly depending on whether staff need to stop the ride briefly to help elderly or disabled people into the pods). Each pod fits a maximum of 25 people in it - but there may be fewer depending on how busy it is. You can stand up and walk around in the pod, taking in the views from different angles.
There is no commentary as you go around in the pod, so if you want to learn more about the city it may be worth buying one of the booklets which is called the 'London Eye View 360'. They are available from the shop that sits below the London Eye. The booklet covers North, South, East and West of the pod and gives you the names of the main buildings that you are looking at.
The London Eye is a different experience depending on what time of day you take a journey on it. If you go in the morning you can hopefully enjoy clear views over the city (depending on the weather). If you go towards the end of the day you may be able to watch the sunset over London. Have a think and book tickets at a time that will suit the sort of experience that you are after.
How to get tickets
For details on the ticket prices and how to buy tickets for the London Eye, see our Guide to Ticketing at the London Eye. Here you will find advice on the easiest way to buy tickets and the different ticket combinations that are available.
Remember - the tickets available offer free entrance to the 'London Eye 4D Experience'. This is a short film that you can gain access to whenever is convenient for you. It lasts about four minutes and is a 3D film of a bird's flight in and around the London Eye, with the added excitement of fake snow and smoke to provide that fourth 'D'! A delightful extra for the kids.
Check the table for the annual opening times:
|01 January - 31 January||Monday - Sunday||11:00 - 18:00|
|14 February||10:00 - 20:30|
|01 February - 28 February||Monday - Sunday||11:00 - 18:00|
|01 March - 31 March||Monday - Sunday||11:00 - 18:00|
|01 April - 16 April||Monday - Sunday||10:00 - 20:30|
|17 April - 30 April||Monday - Sunday||11:00 - 18:00|
|01 May - 31 May||Monday - Sunday||11:00 - 18:00|
|01 June - 31 August||Monday - Sunday||10:00 - 20:30|
|1 September - 30 September||Monday - Sunday||11:00 - 18:00|
|01 October - 30 November||Monday - Sunday||11:00 - 18:00|
|01 December - 21 December||Monday - Sunday||11:00 - 18:00|
|22 December - 23 December||Friday - Saturday||10:00 - 20:30|
|24 December||Sunday||10:00 - 17:30|
|26 December - 30 December||Tuesday - Saturday||10:00 - 20:30|
|31 December||Sunday||10:00 - 15:30|
London Eye river cruise
It is possible to buy combination tickets (for more details on how to buy the tickets, see our page on How to get my London Eye tickets) that include both a trip on the London Eye and a river boat trip. When you buy your tickets you will be given a time for the London Eye flight and a time for your river boat cruise that coincide.
You will be asked to arrive 15 minutes before the departure time of your boat cruise. The pier that leads to the river boat sits right underneath the London Eye, slightly to the left if you are facing the London Eye.
The river boat cruise itself lasts approximately 30 minutes. The boat will take you both up and down the river and you will pass important buildings including the Globe theatre, the Houses of Parliament and the Tate Modern. On the river cruise you will benefit from something that the London Eye flight does not offer you - a live running commentary. As you travel along the river you will be told interesting facts about the history and architecture of the buildings that you are passing by. As the commentary is live you can enjoy the personalities and individual styles of the different tour guides - on my trip we had a hilarious commentary. Unfortunately the commentary is only available in English.
On the boat there is upstairs seating that is uncovered - offering the one of the best views form the boat. However, if it is chilly or rainy you may wish to avail of the downstairs seating that is indoors and heated.
London Eye introduced a winter ice rink below the wheel in 2010. This means that during your trip to the London Eye you can also enjoy some ice skating on an outdoor rink. You can choose this option as an activity to do as an alternative to taking a flight on the London Eye - you will be skating in the shadow of the impressive wheel. Alternatively you can buy a combination ticket which will allow you to use both the skate rink and the London Eye.
For details on your ticket options and the prices, see our Guide to London Eye Tickets.
How to get there
If you are travelling to the London Eye it is easiest to get the underground to Waterloo station. From here you can follow signs in the main station building that direct you to the London Eye. On leaving the station simply continue following sings for the London Eye. You will arrive at the London Eye in about five minutes.
Tube: Waterloo (Black Line / Northern Line, Grey Line / Jubilee Line, Brown Line / Bakerloo Line)
When contacting the London Eye it is best to consider what queries you have before calling them. The London Eye is a large operation meaning that they have specific phone lines for different enquiries:
The Merlin Entertainments London Eye
Westminster Bridge Road
Website: Official Website
During a tourist trip to London there is no doubt that a trip on the London Eye is worth fitting into your schedule. It has become one of London's distinctive icons and is an entertaining way to get your bearings in this vast city. Use this page and the ticketing page (link above) to plan ahead and pick the trips that best suit you.