London Eye

Things to do , Event spaces South Bank
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(27 user reviews)
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A sightseeing icon that’s as beautiful to look at as it is to look out from

Originally designed as one of the capital’s main commissions to mark the turning of the millennium, the London Eye has established itself as one of the skyline’s most loved features, long after the Y2K bug and the ‘Dome’ were forgotten.

The London Eye first started turning in spring 2000 and remains the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel. But wordy technical definitions aside, it’s simply a gloriously over-sized ferris wheel that carries its passengers in space-age pods on a elegantly paced journey  to 135 metres up above the Thames and back down again.

The experience begins with a short 4D film featuring aerial photography over London. After this ticket-office taster, you join the queue to step into one of the huge glass pods. There’s plenty of room to move around so you can look out of the floor-to-ceiling windows at sights in every direction. On a clear day you can see as far as Windsor Castle, and on most days you can usually see if the Queen’s opened the curtains yet at Buckingham Palace.

The trip takes 30 minutes for a full rotation and, unless you have a serious aversion to heights, it’s a mild ride that suits any age. It’s fully wheelchair accessible, too. Because the Eye rotates slowly, it’s boarding almost constantly, so waiting time isn’t usually too painful. However, in school holidays and on bright sunny days, it’s worth booking your tickets in advance (your ticketed slot is the time you join the queue).

The popularity of the London Eye has drawn other attractions to the same stretch of the South Bank, between Westminster Bridge and the Golden Jubilee walk bridges. County Hall is a pleasure palace, housing the London Eye’s ticket office and cinema, a hotel, and the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, The London Dungeon and Shrek’s Adventure London. Nearby Jubilee Gardens offers a chance for young families to run off steam after the queues and crowds, and the London Eye Pier directly below the wheel is a great place to jump onto one of the regular riverboat services that stop off at several points between Westminster and Greenwich.

Venue name: London Eye
Contact:
Address: Riverside Building
County Hall
London
SE1 7PB
Opening hours: 2016 opening times. Apr daily 10am-9pm; May 1-26 and June 6-30 Sun-Thu 10am-9pm, Fri and Sat 10am-9.30pm; May 27-Jun 5 daily 10am-9.30pm; Jul and Aug daily 10am-9.30pm; Sep to Dec 10am-8.30pm (except Dec 24 10am-5.30pm, Dec 25 closed, Dec 31 10am-3pm).
Transport: Tube: Waterloo
Price: From £21.20 (online), £16.10 (online) under-16s, free under-fours (free valid ticket must be booked).
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Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:13
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|27
1 person listening
The Man on the Street
2 of 2 found helpful

As I walked across Westminster Bridge today I had to stop and take this photo. London is such an amazing city - and The London Eye is a worthy modern landmark contrasting with the history of Parliament opposite.  

John Cuthbert
1 of 1 found helpful

I would have reviewed 5, but it turns out I am surprisingly afraid of heights. My girlfriend loved it though, and thought seeing me go pale every time it stopped was incredibly funny. It was our 1 year anniversary, and I thought it would be nice to do something spectacular, and the views (what I could see of them sitting down with my eyes half shut anyway) certainly were spectacular. overall had a good time, and would probably do it again now I know there is no chance of dying horrifically. Thanks guys!

Mei M
Tastemaker

On a nice, clear day, especially if you go when the sun is setting, the London Eye is one of the best thing you could do. You will be able to enjoy stunning views of London in all its beauty, from great heights, in a beautiful spacious cabin. The London Eye is easy to reach, I usually go there from Waterloo station as I really enjoy walking along the Thames on that side. You can also go there from Westminster, and that walk is also a very pretty one! 


The only thing I strongly suggest is book online to avoid the queues, that can be kilometers long on fine days. It's not cheap but definitely worth it, especially if you want to surprise your date with special views over one of the most beautiful cities of the world.

Tom
moderatorStaff Writer

There are plenty of other viewing platforms in London, and much higher ones to boot, but the Eye is a truly unique experience, and the location on the Southbank opposite the Houses of Parliament make it my favourite one.

MooseInLondon
Tastemaker

The London Eye is to London what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. When it was first built people hated it and found it an eyesore. Now, it's hard to imagine the city without it. 


Situated on the South Bank, this little strip of London can be a soul sucking experience, but one that must be done to prove your merit in our great city. Dare you navigate the crowds to reach the long queue for tickets? Definitely book online to skip that line, but not TOO Far in advance that you cannot check the weather forecast to ensure decent skies. 


It's fairly pricey and for a family a bit of a strain on the wallet, but if the views are good-- it is one of the best 30 minutes or so of your day. Or a sweet date. Or splurge and rent the entire capsule and have a mini party. 




Kritt N
Tastemaker

The London Eye needs no introduction. It’s one of London’s iconic and recognisable landmark.



Built to mark the beginning of the new millennium, this observation wheel offers passenger spectacular panoramic views of London’s skyline. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see up to 40 km away. It rotates 26cm per second, which is twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting, and the 32 capsules (which represents the 32 London boroughs) can carry up to 800 people people per rotation. Each rotation will last roughly 30 minutes.



As an observation deck, there’s not much you can do except admire the breath-taking view of London. It doesn't disappoint. It’s spectacular during the day and night. At night, you’ll see London lit up like never before, twinkling and glittering below you.



These days there are variations to your London Eye experience if you time it right. For example, you might be enjoying a glass or bubbly or two with a special someone for Valentine’s.



It’s a great attraction for the whole family to enjoy. Who doesn’t enjoy a good view after all?. It’s picture-pretty. It’s instagrammable. Keep an eye on the weather though. You don’t want to go on a rainy day. The flecks of rain on the glass of the capsule may obscure your view. It’s also very popular during the day so try to visit later in the evening if you can.

NakedPRGirl Claire
Tastemaker

London Eye is a show stopper innit! So it's like a 5 star for looks and 3 for being on it so I'm giving it a 4 overall! It's a cracker on Southbank and I love it every time I see it...however if you go on it...not so impressive! The queue might look ok when you arrive, but there's like a queue to queue to queue - yikes the British like queuing but still! On board, you're with loads of other tourists so you all have to take turns taking snaps, although it's big enough for you all the hover around one side or another. It's quite a slow ride especially when you might have waited a couple of hours to get on. If you like a view, try the top of Primrose Hill, the Shard, Skylon Restaurant or Oxo Tower.

Kirsty E
Tastemaker

One of the "must do" attractions in London, although perhaps not the most exciting. The views are very impressive and arguably the best of the many viewpoint attractions in the city (including the Shard). However, it is a very slow ride, so it becomes a little boring once you have pointed out and taken photos of all the visible landmarks.


The queues are ridiculous every day of the week. Make sure you pre-book to save time and money as tickets are cheaper in advance and you will queue upwards of an hour if you want to buy at the attraction. Fortunately, there is always plenty going on at the South Bank to keep you occupied though.


Go if you are a tourist and want to see all the wonderful sights of London, or even as a Londoner that hasn't yet visited the wheel. Just don't expect to need a return visit.

Sosh_uk
Tastemaker

Great views of London, but at a fairly inflated price. There are 32 capsules and it takes about thirty mins. The views are phenomenal, but I'm not sure it's worth the money. It's one of England's greatest landmarks and is iconic of London. It's better to book in advance as the queues on the day are long.

Jorge A.
Staff Writer

Views are great, and the experience is long enough to satisfy everyone. The negative point is the (always long) waiting queue, and the price.

South Carolina
Tastemaker

After three years in London I finally did what as a new Londoner I vowed I would do. I guess I can go now, eh? While I’ll admit I caught the eye on one of those all too familiar gray, drab days it was still amazing. It’s one thing that I’d say everyone living in London should definitely do, it gives you an opportunity to see London in a totally different way (I had no idea the Thames was so bendy!) You’ll find yourself overhearing tourists pointing out all the big landmarks while you try to find home or your favourite lunch spot. The queue wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated, it’s a bit pricey so maybe wait until you have a visitor then get yourself into one of those signature orbs!

Corina B
Tastemaker

The truth is that the views are incredible and nothing really beats them, nevertheless I'm not really quite sure it's worth it. If you've got the money and time to spare then this a perfect experience, if not, you might be better off going to the shard for an amazing view. The queue is ridiculous,especially on a cold day, and although the views are incredibly beautiful, after the first 10 minutes you've taken all the pictures you could possibly want to take. 

Anaelle
Tastemaker

Looks great on the outside, but not awe inspiring on the inside.

Views on the river and houses of Parliament are great, not jaw dropping, but still lovely. Pick a sunny day for the real experience. But there’s nothing another tall building or rooftop in London couldn’t give you.

A few tips for those who still want to go:

First: buy your tickets in advance. You will still have to queue, but an hour is better than two!

Second: beware of the tourists. You’ll be sharing the pod with strangers and will definitely have to battle them and their selfie sticks for the best vantage spots.

Third: do not rush. The wheel spins very slowly. Take your time; you’ll have plenty of chances to see Big Ben all you want. If you rush it, you might get very bored…

Tiago Almeida
Tastemaker

I brought my niece from Portugal has a reward for her good grades and this meant that I was able to be a tourist again and do many of the things I haven't done since I arrived, the London Eye was an obvious attraction to go.


Beautiful views (even with cloudy sky) and I would even say that it's much better then what you see from the shard.


Highly recommended!


GeorgeX
Tastemaker

Despite being relatively recently erected (1999), it is considered one of the most iconic landmarks in London. Imagine a metallic circular structure with 120m diameter and glass capsules full of people going round & round! You will be amazed from the view up there, seeing Thames river/Westminster Palace/Big Ben etc. But...the tickets are too expensive and the queues are so long...I am not so sure if it's really worthy paying for that, instead of just spend some time outside to have a look on it... 

Pavlos G
Staff Writer

Great to go at least once. The view from the top of the London Eye is amazing. You can see the whole of London. The wheel spins very slowly so you have enough time to take all the pictures you need and feast your eyes with the view. 

Jerry C

Just been back to The London Eye for the first time in ten years. Man it's still a good ride and on a clear day you can see for miles - but the PRICE OF THIS ATTRACTION - I think it would be cheaper to hire a helicopter lol.

Lady of Leisure

Went to a Time Out Card event here last night and had a great time! We started with champagne cocktails in the VIP Pommery Champagne Bar and then headed over for a private rotation with more champagne. The service and the views were both stunning!

Becka Seymour

I booked the London eye as a birthday surprise for my husband, neither of us had been up in the evening, and the skyline was beautiful! Staff were all very helpful and ushered us through quickly ahead of a large school party. All in all, a wonderful experience!

KONSTANTINOS THEODORAKOPOULOS

APPALLING EXPERIENCE! As I made two bookings for a total of 3 people through TimeOut site i was refused entrance to the attraction on the grounds that i should have printed the vouchers beforehand. given that i was a tourist in London it was hard for me to print it let alone the fact that nowhere in your site stated that I would be refused entrance if i didnt. So i had to queue TWICE ( approx. 50 min per time) only to be asked to RE-BUY the tickets and asked for a refunfd from TimeOut. When I contacted TimeOut customer Service i was directed to " encore" company. A week later i m still waiting for a single reply to my letter of comlaint. BOTH THE EDF ENERGY LONDON EYE and the TIMEOUT are REDICILOUSLY IRRESPONSIBLE given the tasks and responsibilities they assume as of that of a World famous attraction such as the london Eye. I regret every minute i spent booking the attraction and I would expect both Companies to have already acted towards my refund instaed of redirecting me here and there. APPALLING!

George A

I went at nighttime, and the light over London were beautiful, I am not a massive fan of heights, so I thought it would be really scary!! But it wasn't that bad, and I absolutely loved it!!

Bigsands

This is a real test of calmness for a tourist as you need to queue for quite a while. So before visiting the London Eye you need to practice being calm and patient. If you need something to amuse yourself while waiting, you could check out the Party Ideas Incubator on YouTube from your smartphone. Some people send me tweets @bigsands and I send them links to my Pinterest board with more images of London - http://www.pinterest.com/bigsands/things-to-see-in-london-images-of-london/ After surviving the queues, get ready to capture some amazing views of London. If you tweet, then get someone to take a picture of you up inside the capsule with Big Ben in the background and send it to @bigsands. The best thing about the London Eye is that they allow you to hire a private capsule. They may even allow you to have 2 or 3 musicians as you enjoy champagne in your private capsule.

Ken

Enjoyed a lovely view of the whole of London on the London. It was a cold snowy day in London. most parts of London were covered with snow. Beautiful Scene. No queue either.