The London Eye is the highest ferris wheel in Europe and draws more than 3.5 million visitors a year. When it was first built in 1999, it got the title of being the tallest ferris wheel in the world. Within walking distance from the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye gained extraordinary popularity with its 135 meters height and 129 meters radius. From the glass cocoon, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the city. That is why it is one of the first things to do in London.
The London Eye is the number one attraction in London, and something not to be missed during your visit to the capital. Opening its doors on 31 December 1999, the Eye, now called the Coca-Cola London Eye allows visitors to enjoy 360-degree views over the city. On a clear day, you can see as far as 40 miles away, right over to Windsor Castle! A rotation takes half an hour, and an interactive guide within your warm, comfortable, enclosed capsule will give you information on the sights you’re seeing. These guides are available in several different languages. Standing at 135 meters high, the London Eye is the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel and is designed to give visitors an up close and personal experience of the capital in all its glory. Located on the South Bank of the Thames, the Eye sits directly opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
There’s no need to be scared of heights when you attempt the London Eye, as the slow-moving rotation and the fantastic view before you will ultimately take your mind off your fears. It takes approximately half an hour to do a full rotation, and you sit within warm, comfortable, enclosed capsules for your journey. Within your capsule you will have an interactive guide, giving you information on the sights and major attractions before you, at any given times. These guides are available in several different languages. Included with every ticket is a 4D Cinema Experience, which provides you with an excellent introduction before you board your capsule. There are many different packages to choose from, including a champagne and chocolate package for special occasions. You can also book a private capsule if you have a large group, or you merely want privacy. Choose between day or night tickets, and see the city’s ever-changing views, according to the sun, the moon, and the stars. There are 32 capsules within the Eye, and as a whole can carry 800 people per rotation. For superstition, you won’t find a 13th capsule! You won’t have to worry about missing anything, as the wheel moves slowly at around 26cm per second. That sounds fast, but when you consider the height, it’s quite slow! This means you will get to see everything you want during your ride. The London Eye is without a doubt one of the most exciting and therefore the most popular attractions in London overall. Booking your tickets ahead of time is recommended, otherwise the queue can be quite long in many cases. While the Eye can carry a large number of people on one ‘rotation’, the sheer number of visitors wanting to experience the wonder of the London skyline from way up high can be hugely surprising! The location of the London Eye, opposite the Houses of Parliament, on the South Bank of the Thames, means it is straightforward to explore the area after or before your ride. The central location also makes the Eye easy to get to and from, and there are countless shopping opportunities and dining places around. Do remember, however, this is central London, so prices in this area are likely to be a little higher! Another good piece of advice is to remember to dress up warm. Despite the fact the capsules are enclosed, it can still be quite chilly when you’re at the highest point, during the winter months.