In case you were wondering, that giant Ferris wheel on the banks of the River Thames is called the London Eye. As London’s answer to the Eiffel Tower it has become one of the capital’s most popular attractions for both tourists and residents. It’s not surprising that our London Eye hotels are pretty popular too. In fact, staying in one of our many hotels near the London Eye puts you in prime position for exploring the very best that Central London has to offer.
Hotels near the London Eye
London County Hall
London Waterloo (Westminster Bridge)
London Southwark (Bankside)
London Kings Cross
London St Pancras
London City (Old Street)
London City (Aldgate)
London Kensington (Earl's Court)
London Kensington (Olympia)
What to do near the London Eye
Sea Life London Aquarium
Once you’ve been up in air on the London Eye, dive straight underwater to the Sea Life London Aquarium. You’ll see sharks, turtles, stingrays, octopi, penguins and more.
Houses of Parliament
Make the short journey over Westminster Bridge and you’ll arrive at the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Go on a guided tour, watch hearings and debates, and if you’re a UK resident, you can book a tour of Big Ben.
Buckingham Palace is within walking distance of our London Eye hotels. Stroll down The Mall or Piccadilly, take a detour through St. James’s Park or Green Park and hopefully you’ll arrive in time for the changing of the guard.
What is the London Eye?
A remarkable feat of design and engineering, the London Eye is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel at 443 feet tall. It opened to the public in early 2000 and has now become the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK, largely due to its observation pods which offer an incredible bird’s-eye view of the city’s landmarks.
It was initially intended as a temporary structure that could be dismantled and moved to new locations but its overwhelming popularity prompted its lease to be extended and become a permanent fixture on the London skyline. The London Eye represents modern London with its 32 capsules symbolic of London’s 32 boroughs.
Where in London is the London Eye?
The London Eye is situated in the borough of Lambeth, on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge, directly opposite the Houses of Parliament. The ticket office is located inside County Hall, directly next to the London Eye.
If you’re looking for more opportunities to see London from a different perspective then The Shard is only a mile away. At 1,016 feet tall it’s impossible to miss and can be seen from the London Eye.
It’s easy to incorporate experiencing the London Eye into a day’s sightseeing, you could even plan what else you would like to see whilst gazing down on the capital from the top of the wheel! For example, historic Westminster Abbey is a mere half-mile away and an easy walk, whilst iconic Buckingham Palace is a pleasant 15-20 minute stroll on foot.
How big is the London Eye?
The London Eye is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft). On opening to the public in 2000 it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel but has since been surpassed by three other Ferris wheels, Star of Nanchang (160 metres tall), Singapore Flyer (165 metres) and High Roller (167 metres).
There’s another record that the London Eye held for a brief period; that of the highest pubic viewing point in London. The opening of The Shard in 2013 broke that record with its 245-metre-high viewing deck on the 72nd floor.
Despite its impressive size, the London Eye ranks only 46th in the list of the tallest structures in London which is, once again, dominated by the colossal 310m height of The Shard. The London Eye is significantly taller though than Big Ben by over 35 metres.
The impressive structure of the London Eye is not solely down to its frame but also its 32 observation pods or ‘passenger capsules’ which each weigh 10-tonnes and hold up to 25 people as they rotate at 10 inches per second.
How long does it take the London Eye to go around once?
One full rotation of the London Eye takes about 30 minutes at a speed of 0.6 miles per hour. With its 32 observation pods able to carry 25 passengers each, 800 passengers can be transported on any one full rotation. Dependent on its opening times, which change throughout the year, the London Eye can complete between 21-23 full rotations per day.
Is the London Eye lit up at night?
The London Eye looks spectacular at night when it is fully lit up, adding to the dramatic London night-time skyline. From February 2020, the London Eye is sponsored by travel company Lastminute.com who have agreed that the Eye will be illuminated at night in its hot-pink brand colour.
Does the London Eye stop in bad weather?
The London Eye is designed to operate in all weather conditions including wind and rain, but, from time to time, if there are severe gusting winds or weather conditions it may be stopped for a short period.
What time is the London Eye open?
Opening times for the London Eye vary throughout the year, but typically the attraction opens at 10am and closes between 6-830pm.
Are there seats on the London Eye?
Yes there are, each observation pod has a bench in the centre but these are only available on a first come, first served basis.
Are there toilets on the London Eye?
There are no toilets in the observation pods so make sure you go before your journey if you need to! There are male, female and disabled toilet facilities available in the London Eye ticket hall.
What is the best time to ride the London Eye?
There is no definitive best time to ride the London Eye as it offers superb views of London both day and night at any time of year. It’s worth trying to time your ride to experience nightfall over the city, aim to start your journey just after sunset and you’ll see day giving way to night across one of the best cities in the world.
How long is the wait to get on the London Eye?
Wait times to board the London Eye vary dependent on time of day and time of year. A good rule of thumb is to allow 45 minutes of queueing in the standard entry queue and 20 minutes using the Fast Track entry queueing system. It’s recommended that you arrive 30-45 minutes prior to your time slot to give you plenty of time to collect your tickets.
Can you ride the London Eye while pregnant?
You certainly can, the London Eye is completely safe for expectant mothers. There is a bench in the centre of each observation pod so you can sit down if you need to at any point.
Can you take your bags on the London Eye?
Most types of bag are allowed on the London Eye except particularly large bags and suitcases. There is no cloakroom facility so make sure you plan your journey accordingly.
Can you eat on the London Eye?
Only bottled water is allowed on the London Eye; no other food or drink is permitted. If you need to bring any specific food or drink for medical reasons then you should contact the London Eye in advance of your visit so that their security teams are aware.
Can you bring alcohol on the London Eye?
You’re not allowed to bring alcohol on the London Eye but there are a range of hospitality items available that can be pre-booked and will be served by your own personal host.
Is the London Eye heated?
All of the observation pods on the London Eye are temperature controlled with either heating or air conditioning to reflect the current weather conditions.
Is the London Eye scary?
The London Eye is not designed to be a scary attraction although due to its height and curved glass observation pods, if you have a fear of heights then you may find it a particularly intense experience.
How much does it cost to go on the London Eye?
It’s worth booking your tickets on the London Eye website in advance of your visit, as you’ll receive a 10 per cent discount. There are various ticket packages available, some of which include entry to other popular London attractions. The current standard adult book online in advance ticket costs £27.50 and a child’s ticket costs £23. Under 3’s go free.
Should I book the London Eye?
You can pre-book London Eye tickets in advance. If you book at least 24 hours in advance you’ll receive a 10% discount so it’s well worth doing if you know exactly when you want to visit. When you book a ticket you’ll be asked to select a time slot which gives you your planned boarding time.
Is London Eye Fast Track worth it?
The London Eye’s Fast Track ticketing and queueing system is certainly worth it if time is of the essence on a busy day of sightseeing! You’ll cut down time spent queueing significantly, which, considering how long the line can get during peak hours, is likely to be worth paying a little extra for.
Do you need ID for the London Eye?
You don’t need ID for the London Eye if you’re planning to turn up and buy tickets on the day, as there are no age restrictions. However, if you have pre-booked tickets online you will need to present photo ID and the payment card you booked on to be able to collect them.
What happens if you’re late for the London Eye?
The best thing to do if you’re running late for your pre-booked time slot is to speak to a member of staff on arrival to let them know and they will endeavour to ensure entry at the next available time. You’re likely to have to wait and you may also incur a £10 rebooking fee.
How do I book the London Eye?
The best way to book is via the official website but you can also turn up on the day and buy tickets at the ticket office next door.
How do London Eye tickets work?
If you have pre-booked your ticket in advance via the website then you’ll save time by printing your ticket at home; all you’ll need to do on the day is join the boarding queue and enjoy the ride. If you’ve pre-booked but haven’t printed your ticket in advance then you will need to show photo ID and the payment card you used to book at the ticket office to collect your tickets before joining the queue.
What does a London Eye ticket include?
It depends on what ticket type you have purchased. All tickets include a ride on the London Eye and entry to the 4D cinema experience located at the back of the ticket office. A Fast Track ticket allows you to bypass the majority of the queue via a dedicated Fast Track entrance which is clearly signposted on arrival.
Does the London Pass include the London Eye?
The London Pass is a popular option for visitors to London as it grants access to over 80 top London attractions such as Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London. Unfortunately, it doesn’t currently include the London Eye. If you want to buy a pass that grants you access to multiple London attractions including the London Eye then the London Explorer Pass is the one to buy.
How can I get 2 for 1 London Eye tickets?
You can get 2 for 1 London Eye tickets by travelling on National Rail to London. You’ll need to visit the Days Out Guide website to redeem your voucher and, on the day of your visit, you will need to present your train tickets, booking reference number and payment card.