There are only a handful of impressive Ferris Wheels in the world and one of them can be found in London. The aptly named London Eye gets the accolade of the biggest Ferris wheel in Europe. It was built to celebrate the dawn of the new millennium, making it almost a must to visit this attraction when you are exploring Great Britain’s capital.
Standing at a height of 442 feet (135 meters), this magnificent feat of architecture, whose complete name is currently EDF Energy London Eye, is a slow moving spinning observation wheel. Its foundation is made out of concrete, metal and glass covered ultra-modern spheres nestled high over the South Bank of River Thames. The spheres carry the passengers and offer arguably the best viewing platform for the city of London. To give you an idea of the scale, one sphere can hold as many as 25 people.
This massive giant observation wheel treats its guests to an amazing 360 degree view of London. From the top, you will also get the chance to see the city’s most iconic landmarks such as Westminster and Waterloo Bridges, 30 St Mary Axe (‘The Gherkin’), the Houses of Parliament, and the world famous Big Ben clock. You will also get a view of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. So make sure to bring a trusty camera for the opportunity to take fantastic photos of central London, and if you get lucky with a clear day, you can get to see as far as 25 miles or 40 kilometers!
If you have a little fear of heights, don’t worry as London Eye will give you the time to adjust. The spinning is slow and the ride takes about half an hour. You have the option to ride during the day or night. Some people choose nighttime because of the magical bursts of city lights and that there tends to be fewer visitors.
There are over 3 million tourists that make their way to the London Eye each year. With that in mind, make sure to book your tickets early to secure a seat. The good news is you can purchase your ticket online but you still have the option of going to the designated ticket stands, however keep in mind the queue can get really long and tiresome!
Once you purchase the entrance ticket, you will also gain entry to the London Eye 4D experience; a presentation using multi-sensory special effects that provide unique perspectives of London as a city. This impressive 4D experience is offered before the actual ride, making it a fun preparation for one of the highest altitude tours in you may ever experience. The London Eye opens daily at 10 am except for certain days like December 25 and January 5-16. Its closing time may vary depending on the last rotation. Take note that the time indicated on the ticket refers to the time of queuing at the entrance.
You can reach this big attraction through the public transport network in London. If you are taking the tube (subway), the nearest stations are Waterloo and Westminster, which are only a 5-minute walk away from the London Eye. Aside from sightseeing tour buses, there are also a couple of regular city buses that drop passengers to the site.