Situated on the South side of the river Thames in one of Europe’s most famous cities stands the London Eye – a huge observation wheel that gives guests a chance to see breathtaking views of London. The wheel opened in 2000, and has since been warmly welcomed as a treasured addition to the city’s skyline. It stands at 165 metres tall, and is Europe’s tallest observation wheel. Its popularity as a tourist attraction is no secret either; it is London’s biggest attraction, with over three million visitors each year. And with such incredible views of central London on offer, we believe it’s a must-see for anyone visiting the UK!
Em recently had the chance to ride The Eye during her time exploring London. On a cloudy, windy day, she rugged up in warm clothes and took to the central London streets. With Buckingham Palace and Big Ben ticked off before lunch, her next goal was to ride the famous London Eye. And she did! Here are a few insights from her experience that will prepare you for the amazing viewing experience.
Pricing and entry
Before we discuss fees, be prepared for the fact that there are a lot of different types of tickets for this attraction! Some include flexi-passes, fast-track passes, corporate capsules, private capsules with champagne and cheese tasting, and much more! For the just the standard walk-up entry with a thirty minute rotation, you’re looking at paying about £21.20 pounds. It’s not too bad, but make sure you do some currency conversions if you’re a visitor to the UK.
Entry to the London Eye is preceded by a five minute 4D film experience, which immerses viewers in montage of London – with spectacular aerial views, cultural activities, street life and architecture.
Passengers aboard the Eye sit in fully-enclosed glass capsules. The capsules are oval-shaped and are large enough to fit about 25 people in each one! London is notorious for being an awfully rainy place – even in summer. So you’ll be very thankful for the capsule’s glass walls and roof, which perfectly protects passengers. Much of the capsule is dedicated to standing space, and viewers can get right up against the glass walls and make the most of the panoramic view. Alternatively, benches are available in the centre for those who want to sit.
While European cities aren’t really known for their mammoth skyscrapers or dazzling tall skylines, the city of London features a charming mix of old and new. Look around on the London Eye, and you will see a bustling metropolis with an old and strong heart. Look South and be greeted by gothic wonders – Big Ben, Westminster Palace, and Westminster Abbey. To the North lies the world-famous British Museum, Waterloo Bridge, and St Paul’s Cathedral.Gazing East, you will see London’s tallest building known as The Shard. And to the West, the greens of Hyde Park are visible, with Buckingham Palace creeping out between the leaves. The truly panoramic view is sure to please. Everywhere you look, there are points of interest, remnants of history, and terrific monuments. While the view is guaranteed to be amazing from the top of the Eye, there is one more important tip we’d like to give you.
Try to go on a sunny day
I know. This isn’t going to be easy, and it might not even be possible. Even in summer, England is a rainy place. One in three days a year will give you rain, and countless other days will leave the city covered by thick grey clouds. But occasionally, if you happen to strike luck, the streets will brighten up and the city will be blanketed in warm sunshine. If this happens, run as fast as you can to the London Eye!
Nothing beats a warm sunny view of London. But if the weather doesn’t change your favour, don’t worry! You’ll just see the city as the locals see it.
You can view the London Eye website here