London Eye is a 135 meter (443 ft.) high ferris wheel on the South Bank of the Thames River across Westminster Bridge from the Houses of Parliament.
London Eye across the River Thames from Big Ben.
London Eye was the tallest ferris wheel in the world when it opened in 1999. It is still the largest in Europe. Singapore Flyer (2008) is currently the tallest ferris wheel in the world (540 ft).
View of London Eye and Big Ben from Queen’s Jubilee Bridge.
London Eye is the most visited paid tourist attraction in the UK with 3.5 million annual visitors.
My trip on the London Eye was a complimentary press pass I requested.
Tickets start at 17.28 GBP ($26.12 USD) per adult for online purchase. Walk up price for an adult ticket is 19.20 GBP ($29.03).
There are all kinds of London Eye ticket prices offering different degrees of time flexibility and fast-track lanes and discounts for multi-ride or multi-attractions tickets.
Fast-track tickets were not necessary at all on my March 14 visit when crowds were low.
One of the best ticket values appears to be for two rides on the same day with a day and night ticket for online purchase price of 23.60 GBP ($35.68) for both a day and night ride.
Photography is great for the day and the lights of London are spectacular at night.
All rides are one 30-minute revolution of the ferris wheel.
EDF Energy London Eye
The official name is the EDF Energy London Eye. I found the name confusing until I read this is a three year sponsorship deal. Kind of like the way we name sports stadiums in the USA.
The London Eye Experience
At arrival I was given a 360-degree mini guide. I actually never opened it until days later to find a folded poster naming all the famous sites seen around London.
London Eye 360-mini-guide showing the city in daylight. The other side of the guide shows London at night.
London 360 mini-guide night view.
This is not a mandatory part of the London Eye experience, but not to be missed if you are not in a hurry. Guests put on 3D glasses and get a multimedia experience of flying over London like a bird. Attendees get sprayed with foam too.
Kids are sure to love this 10-minute excursion as part of the London Eye experience.
Ground level view of London Eye.
I made a comment in my post about Radisson Blu Berlin and its Aquadom that Merlin Entertainments Group was like the UK version of Disney. That parallel was evident as I entered the 4D theater introduction to the London Eye.
The London Eye staff were all so friendly and courteous and I felt like I was experiencing Disneyland with British style politeness and with a fraction of the crowds.
London Eye is moving at a constant slow pace. Guests walk into the capsule as it slowly moves by. Attendants are there to assist.
Walking in London Eye capsules.
My ride early in the morning at 10am had small groups of fewer than ten persons in each capsule.
London Eye capsule doors close and the 30 minute ride begins for one revolution of the wheel.
London Eye capsule rising.
The capsule contains Samsung Galaxy tablets for interactive media. This is when a tech kid latched to your group can be handy. I was too busy taking photos and video to try out the media display.
The constant motion of the wheel means the view keeps changing. One aspect of daylight on a sunny day are the reflections on the glass make photography more challenging.
With a 200mm lens I managed some decent shots.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
The Shard. This is another big photographer’s attraction with a viewing platform at 800 ft. on the 1,016 ft. tower. This is the tallest building in western Europe. Tickets are 24.95 GBP ($37.73).
London Eye view.
Near the top of the wheel I made a 3:18 minute video walking around the capsule for my own 360 London. It’s amateurish video with no picture editing, but I do my best to maintain a steady camera. My wife Kelley thought the train noise was distracting and there were some voices so I replaced the video soundtrack with an upbeat piece from Darko Seric aptly titled “Circles” that is longer than the film so it all abruptly stops.
Merlin Entertainments Group
Aquadom inside the Radisson Blu Berlin is the world’s largest cylindrical aquarium holding one million liters of water. Tourists can pay to ride an elevator through the inside of Aquadom. Price is 17.50 EUR with discount tickets available. Radisson Blu Berlin hotel guests get a discount ticket price at 12 EUR.
Big Loyalty Traveler thank you to Merlin Entertainments Group for the complimentary ticket.
London Eye is an experience I enjoyed greatly on my under 24 hour stopover in the city of London.