Visiting the London Eye: What You Need to Know
Perhaps when you think of London, you may imagine quintessential and historic landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, or the Tower of London.
These are all places that should definitely not be missed (especially if it's your first time), but if you visit London, you really should carve out some time for the London Eye to catch some of the best views of the city.
If you visit London, there is a good chance you'll pass by the London Eye at some point.
Located on the South Bank of the River Thames across from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye was opened to the public in 2000 to celebrate the Millennium. At the time, it was the world's tallest Ferris wheel. Although that designation has been surpassed today, it still remains the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe.
The Views from the London Eye
With its prime location on the River Thames, the London Eye gives visitors a 360 ° view of London.
Apart from the sprawling city, some of the notable sites nearby that you'll be able to see include Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The Shard, St. Paul's Cathedral, and of course the River Thames along with many of the bridges running across it.
Seeing these impressive sites from up high is a completely different experience than being on street level. There are no throngs of tourists pushing past you, no one vying for the same photo spot. Perhaps, this is what's so appealing about the London Eye - it's a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city that allows you to simply enjoy being in London.
Although the weather took away from the views during my visit, it was interesting to have typical London weather complete with cloudy skies and dreary muted tones. I can only imagine how much more incredible the views would be when the sun is shining!
Ticket Prices & Visitor Info
The London Eye is one of the city's most beloved tourist attractions, so wait times can be extremely long if you don't purchase a ticket in advance.
A standard ticket for adults costs £26.00 when purchased at the ticket office on the day. However, if you can plan out your days in London and know when you'd like to go on the London Eye, I would recommend you purchase your tickets ahead of time online to not only save a few pounds (the cost is £23.45) but also to ensure that you get on the ferris wheel.
It might also be worth splurging on Fast Track tickets (which can also be purchased online ahead of time for £32.45) to beat the crowds if you're in a hurry or don't want to wait around.
A London Eye ticket gets you one rotation on the Ferris wheel which takes approximately 30 minutes. The ride is incredibly smooth (even on windy days), so if you're feeling anxious about being up high, don't fret. Should you feel uncomfortable you can always sit down on a bench in the middle of the capsule to get some distance between yourself and the windows.
The really nice thing about the London Eye is that they don't stuff the capsules full of people. This ensures that everyone can move around freely and enjoy all of the views. Each capsule also includes touch screen tablets along the windows that will tell you exactly what buildings and other landmarks are in your line of sight.
Please note, I received two complimentary London Eye tickets to experience and review.
However, all opinions expressed in this article are entirely my own.