All over the world London’s emblematic attractions and sights are well-known. You can probably spot and recognize a few theme places or sights from the capital if you saw them from a hundred meters even without ever having been to London!
One such attraction is The London Eye. There is not a single person who’s been in London that has not taken a picture, bought a postcard, a magnet, another souvenir and probably visited the Eye itself. And on the receiving end – there is not a friend or family member of those visitors without a gift with the magnificent view of The London Eye. If there is by any chance someone left out without such a memory piece of The London Eye, well, there is always Christmas – the time when TV ads featuring the wheel with its lights on during a snowy night are flooding all channels! Basically, the dimensions of The London’s Eye fame are too vast to be described.
But for those who have not yet been to London, there are some things to learn about this large Ferris Wheel and of course some details that can help you save time and money on your visit to The London Eye, because with such popularity there is inevitably too much fuss, queues and nerves to be strained until you finally enter one of The Eye’s capsules and be captured by the stunning view.
London Eye’s Features
Some of the most important facts about the London Eye regard its features. Did you know that at the time it was built – in 1999, the London Eye was actually the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world? With its 135 meters height and the impressive 120 meters in diameter, this icon of London easily became one of the miracles of contemporary design. Actually, it was first intended to be only a temporary attraction, but luckily with the huge amount of attention it received, there was basically no choice but to leave the wheel permanently. Unfortunately, a few years later its size was surpassed and even in London in 2013 a taller building with an observation deck opened its doors for visitors on the 72nd floor of The Shard, but this has not reduced the record rates of popularity that The London Eye boasts – each year the wheel is visited by nearly 4 million tourist (and locals) which is truly an enormous amount of attention. No wonder that the Coca-Cola Company decided to sign a contract and pay immense cost just to put it’s name before the Eye – obviously this kind of advertisement is well worth the money, especially keeping in mind Coca-Cola’s involvement in Christmas spirit ads and campaigns which are always associated with the winter magic of The London Eye.
The London Eye covers in its view a large amount of London’s scenery from the skies – you can look down upon sights from Olympic Park to the East and all the way to the rest of the capital to the West! And to give an inside piece of advice – try to book your visit for the late afternoon or early evening, depending on the time of the year, because the most spectacular pictures The London Eye has to offer emerge around sunset. The whole experience lasts around 30 minutes, so you will have enough time to gaze at each and every part of London; and some time for photos, of course. The capsules are also well enough designed and built so that during the movement of the wheel, your view won’t be obstructed by any part of the structure.
When and How to Visit
And a little bit about the whole experience when you actually get to The Eye.
In order to avoid the hours of queuing, although during the winter (except for the holidays, of course) you can get in after a few minutes, my advice is to book your tickets online and pay them; this way you avoid one of the enormous lines of cranky people waiting for their turn. Unfortunately, there is this second line waiting to enter with their already bought tickets, but, hey – this is London’s top attraction, if you get your hands on it without any disturbance, you will just miss the feeling of true London!
But don’t worry, for a few extra pounds you can actually buy a ticket enabling you to jump the queue! A standard ticket will cost you £21.20 for a selected time slot of 30 minutes and £27.45 for a ticket valid throughout a whole day; and for £24.45 you can select a 30-minute time slot in which you can arrive and skip all the waiting. If you pay £5.50 more – you will have a whole day limit to come and avoid the waiting line and for £34.95 you can take advantage of the Fast Track Entry any day at any time! Here you can take a quick look at all tickets offered.
Other offers available to tourists when they buy their tickets for the London Eye are to combine it with another or even 3 more attractions. For the suspiciously low price of £28.80 you can buy your wheel tour and get a Thames River Cruise! And for £39 there are options to combine the London Eye with entry to Madame Tussaud, the Sealife Aquarium, The Dungeons and more; if you pay 9 more pound you can add one more attraction and a fourth one would cost you only pay only £7 extra!
Another interesting offer is to actually mount the Ferris Wheel twice – once during the day and once during the night – so that you get the most of London! Just imagine how many great photos you would be able to take; and this would only cost you £5 more than the standard ticket.
There are several more tempting ideas that the London Eye offers for those who like to be pampered – like, for example, a wine/champagne/chocolate tasting experience while on the capsule which could be a very exciting option, even if the food or drinks are actually not that spectacular.
A very important detail about The London Eye’s capsules is that in each one there are convenient interpretation boards because everyone would like to know what exactly they are looking at and at this height its extremely hard to recognize the buildings, areas and even squares that you may otherwise know very well; and if you are a newcomer this would become even harder as you’re not used to the city even from the standard ground floor point of view. But to get the most and be sure to recognize the important parts – you may also like to take a guide book with you, just in case. And the other option is to book a guided tour for around £28 – it’s worth it!
Book London Eye for an Event
What some people are not fond of when it comes to visiting The London Eye is that your capsule is shared and even though there is enough space to walk around, stop and stare without being disturbed of having to bear the breath of another visitor on y our neck, some people would like their experience to be intimate and completely unclouded. For those, who probably have some special occasion, a celebration or even a proposal – there is the option to book a private capsule. For the price of £380 you can have your own capsule for 2 plus a compliment – a bottle of champagne waiting for you. If you are planning a bigger event, you can gather up to 25 of your own guests and pay £550 for the private capsule.
You can browse on your own trough the offers of The London Eye Here and see which available experience suits you most. My last advice is to think this trough, though. If you are extremely terrified of heights – don’t risk ruining your London experience. Of course, you shouldn’t give up just because you are slightly worried that the view will fasten your heart-beat – this is absolutely bearable and well compensated by the beauty before your eyes!