What to see aboard the London Eye?
The London Eye - also known as the "Millennium Wheel" - is one of the Britain's top tourist spots with over 3.5 million visitors per year.
It is the tallest ferris wheel in Europe (135 meters high) and the 3rd tallest ferris wheel in the world - behind the Singapore Flyer (165 m) and the Etoile de Nanchang (160 m), in China.
It has already won 85 awards (national and international) in the field of tourism.
History of the London Eye
The London Eye was inaugurated on December 31, 1999 to celebrate the passage into the new millennium. Its official commissioning took place on March 9, 2000.
It took 7 years and hundreds of people from five different countries to build it, at a total cost of around £70 million pounds sterling.
The Ferris wheel was built flat, on the surface of the Thames - but the engineers had underestimated the force necessary to raise it vertically: it took many cranes and several days of effort to finally succeed in installing it.
The Ferris wheel would normally have had to be dismantled 5 years later, but the explosion in its popularity was a game-changer.
Since January 1, 2005, the London Eye has been the hub of fireworks and the focal point of New Year's celebrations in London.
The design of the London Ferris Wheel is inspired by a bicycle wheel.
Sponsors of the London Eye
Since its construction, the London Eye has been sponsored by different companies - resulting in name changes:
- British Airways London Eye (2000)
- Merlin Entertainments London Eye (2009)
- EDF Energy London Eye (2011)
- The Coca-Cola London Eye (2015)
- The lastminute.com London Eye (since January 2020)
Board the London Eye
The London Eye Ferris wheel is 120 meters in diameter and 424 meters in circumference.
It has 32 glass cabins 8 meters long - which correspond to the number of boroughs in London. They are numbered from 1 to 33 - the number 13 having been intentionally omitted for reasons of superstition.
Each cabin weighs 11 tonnes and can accommodate up to 28 people (seated or moving): the Ferris wheel can accommodate up to 800 people.
The wheel moves at a speed of 26 cm per second (about 0.9 km/h), this low speed makes it possible to embark and disembark passengers without stopping the wheel. In one year, the London Eye makes more than 7,600 rotations, which corresponds to more than 3,700 km.
Toilets and WiFi access are available at the entrance to the attraction. Souvenir photos are available for purchase in the souvenir shop at the exit of the Ferris wheel and at the exit of the 4D cinema.
The London Eye is often incorrectly called a 'Ferris wheel', but it is actually a cantilevered observation wheel: its capsules being completely closed, motorized and positioned outside the wheel structure. In addition, its entire structure is supported by an A-frame on one side only.
A ride in the London Eye
The London Eye offers a panoramic view of the city of London - stretching for 40 km, all the way to Windsor Castle.
From one of its 32 cabins (waterproof and air-conditioned), you will be able to observe: the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, Saint Paul's Cathedral or the Shard.
The view is particularly spectacular at sunset and at night with the city's illuminations.
To avoid the crowds, choose a visit schedule early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
A trip on the London Eye Ferris Wheel lasts approximately 30 minutes (the exact duration of a rotation is 24 min and 30 s).
The London Eye ticket also includes admission to the 4D cinema which is located next to the ticket office in County Hall: watch a screening of a three-dimensional short film with effects of winds, fog and snow!
Accessibility of the London Eye
The London Eye is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
To facilitate access to its cabins, the Ferris wheel exceptionally stops its rotation to allow the elderly or in wheelchairs to embark and disembark in complete safety.
The staff of the Ferris wheel are obviously at their disposal if needed.
Adapted devices for the deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired are also available (specify when booking the ticket).
Tickets for the London Eye
Get the best price by purchasing your tickets for the London Eye from one of our partners:
From 28 € (or £24.38)
From £24.38 (or 28 €)
The ticket price includes a 30-minute ride on the London Eye - plus admission to the 4D cinema which is located next to the ticket office in County Hall. Admission is free for children under 3 years old.
In order to benefit from the best prices, it is recommended to buy your tickets in advance, on the internet. Admission to the London Eye is included in the Merlin's Magical London pass (but not in the London Pass, nor in the London Explorer Pass).
It is also possible to privatize a cabin for an aperitif, a dinner, a reception, a marriage proposal, etc. Count between £185 and £5,000 depending on the experience chosen!
London Eye opening hours
The London Eye is open year round, except Christmas Day and annual maintenance days:
Getting to the London Eye
The London Eye is located in the heart of London, on the banks of the River Thames - near Westminster Bridge, close to Big Ben.
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, South Bank, SE1 7PB, London.
To get there, 6 options:
- District, Circle and Jubilee lines - Westminster stop
- Jubilee line - Waterloo stop
- Train: Waterloo station (5 min walk from the Ferris wheel) and Charing Cross (15 min walk from the Ferris wheel).
- Bus: lines 77, 211 and 381.
- Sightseeing Bus: Route RV1 connects the London Eye with Tate Modern and Covent Garden.
- Boat: Waterloo Pier stop.
- Car: the Q-Park Westminster car park offers you a 15% reduction with the code LONDONEYE (reservation required).
Car is not the most recommended option as the London Eye is located in the congestion zone.
Close to the London Eye
Take advantage of your visit to the London Eye to visit:
- Westminster Abbey
- Sea Life London Aquarium
- Big Ben and the British Parliament
- Southbank Cultural Center
- Hungerford Bridge
- Palace of Westminster
- Waterloo Station
- St James's Park
- Trafalgar Square
- Westminster Bridge