Getting The London Eye tickets is hardly a hassle. This post will explain the best options available.
The London Eye is one of my favorite attractions in London. I first discovered it in 2010, when a friend was visiting me in town. I was reluctant to go at first – it sounded so touristy! But I ended up enjoying it so much, to the point that it became my favorite attraction in town and I go whenever I can.
One thing we didn’t quite enjoy the first time I visited was the long line to get tickets. Back then, we waited for around one hour – getting tickets online was not a thing!
Though the lines to get on the London Eye haven’t quite changed, the good news is that nowadays you can get tickets online. So, even if you have limited time in the city, you won’t have to wait too long to get in.
In this post, I highlight the best way to buy London Eye tickets in advance, so you can decide which one is the most suitable to your needs. I will also share useful tips to help you plan your visit and make the most of it. But – first thing first! Let me tell you why you really should visit.
Why You Must Visit The London Eye
London is a great city. I have lived there for years, studying and working, and I visit whenever I can to meet my friends, to enjoy the atmosphere and to explore it in depth. This is one of the most eclectic capitals in Europe, and one of the most visited cities in the world.
To get the most impressive and unobstructed views in the city I sometimes ride the London Eye. Interestingly, its history is similar to that of the Parisian Eiffel Tower.
Designed by David Marks and Julia Barfield to celebrate the millennium, it took seven years to build and a week to lift if up. Initially meant to be a temporary structure, once it was clear that it was a popular attraction, it was decided it’d become part of the landscape of London.
Measuring 135 meters (about 443 feet) in height, the London Eye is one of the world’s tallest ferris wheel, after the Star of Nanchang in China and the Ain Dubai.
The London Eye has 32 pods and moves so slowly you literally can jump on them as the wheel is still running. Each of the pods can hold up to 25 passengers. There are benches for seating and a live commentary points out the many places you see from it.
There are two spots that are marked as “photo zone” where a photo of you will be taken by the cameras (and you can buy it once you leave).
The ride is nice and slow, which means it is not scary even if you are afraid of heights. It lasts 30 minutes, and as you approach the top the views become better and better.
On a clear day you can see nice and far (as far as Windsor!) – but even on a rainy day (like when I visited for the first time) the views are stunning – you can see the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Shard, the O2 Arena, Wembley Stadium and Battersea Power Station.
Check out my post Where To Get The Most Impressive Views Of London.
The London Eye is also available for special occasions – you can rent an entire pod for things such as proposals, birthday celebrations, dinners and even weddings (more about that at the end of this post). Tickets will also give you access to the 4D Cinema Experience.
Finally, continue reading to discover the best place to buy London Eye tickets and skip the line.
Where To Buy London Eye Tickets
There are 7 main ways to get tickets to the London Eye in advance. I usually prefer using third party sites, as this is the most hassle free way – with easy cancellation policies and easy to use websites, but the London Eye tickets official site is actually a fairly good one, and there also are other options you can use.
Finally, below I highlight the best way to book London Eye tickets.
Way N. 1: Buy your tickets on the official website
This is the London Eye tickets official site. This is the overall best place to buy London Eye tickets.
The London Eye tickets official site shows two different prices for tickets – £25.50 (around $31 USD) or £33 GBP for adults (around $42 USD), and £22.50 (around $27.50 USD) or £29 (around $37 USD) for children between 3 and 15.
The cheapest tickets are available 30 days from the date of purchase. In other words, to score the cheapest price you have to buy tickets today for a visit in no less than 30 days. This is the most budget friendly option.
If you buy tickets today to visit tomorrow or in a week, you will pay £33.
Once you select the number of tickets needed, you will be taken to another page where you will be prompted to select a time slot for your visit. You will then be prompted to add other items such as a photo book (but you can actually pay for it on the spot once you leave the attraction).
Finally, you will be asked to pay – either via PayPal or credit or debit card.
You will have several options of receiving your tickets. You can get them via email and print them at home or download the PDF version on your smartphone, which can be scanned at the entrance.
You can also pick up your ticket at the counter on the day of your visit, but for that you will be required to show your booking reference and the credit or debit card used to purchase the ticket. This is not a good option if you are in a rush.
As per the terms and conditions, once purchased tickets can’t be refunded or transferred – though you can reschedule your visit.
Other options available on the official site are the Fast Track ticket, which costs £48 (around $58.5 USD) for adults and £44 (around $53.5 USD) for children between 3 and 15. Even in this case, you will need to select a time slot for your visit. Pick this option to skip all lines.
You can also opt for the Flexi Fast Track Pass, which allows you to enter whenever you want. It costs £53 (about $65 USD) for adults and £47 (around $57.50 USD) for children.
Whether you buy standard or fast track tickets, there is a small surcharge for tickets bought on the same day.
Finally, you have the option of booking a Champagne ticket for £53 (around $65 USD), by which you get to enjoy a glass of champagne with your ride; or a Champagne and London Eye Lounge Experience for £63 (around $77 USD), which gives you an extra glass of champagne to enjoy at the private lounge before or after the ride.
These experiences are only available for adults and ID proof is required.
The official site also sells combo tickets for the London Eye with other attractions – Madame Tussauds, London Dungeon, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Shrek’s Adventure.
Make sure to check the London Eye tickets official site for special offers and discounts as there often are last minute sales!
Way N. 2: Buy your tickets on third party reseller sites
This is where to buy London Eye tickets for a completely hassle free experience. There are many third party reseller sites you can use, but my favorite is GetYourGuide. Third party reseller sites is aren’t necessarily more expensive than official attraction sites – but those times they are, it’s for a good reason.
Third party reseller sites make getting tickets incredibly easy. You won’t get annoying popups, you won’t be send to a million other pages prompting you to purchase additional items.
You just go to the one page you need and select your option, the time you want to visit, and get the vouchers sent via email.
GetYourGuide even has a very easy-to-use app so you don’t have to print your ticket. And you get a reminder a day before your visit, so that you know exactly where to go, and when.
Tickets bought via third party booking sites have the additional bonus that they are fully refunded for cancellations up to 24 hours before the visit.
My go-to site for attraction tickets is usually GetYourGuide. You can get your tickets to The London Eye on GetYourGuide here.
Another site I like using is Tiqets, which is also very user friendly. Get your tickets to the London Eye on Tiqets here.
Make sure to also read my post A Completely Honest GetYourGuide Review.
Way N. 3: Get a multi-attraction ticket
If you are visiting London with your children and you want to take them to Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE London, Shrek’s Adventure! and a even do a hop-on-hop-off BIG BUS Tour, this is the best way to buy London Eye tickets. It will allow you to save quite a bit.
These combined tickets are sold on the London Eye official website. You have the option to pick from a combination of London Eye and just another attraction; or you can select the London Eye and up to four more attractions for a very comprehensive visit.
To get your multi-attraction ticket, visit the London Eye official website here.
Another option you have is that of a combined ticket for the London Eye and the London Dungeon. This is close to the London Eye and one of the most fun places to visit in town, and it will give you lots of insights about the city’s past. Combined tickets to the London Dungeon and London Eye together, and save about 10% off the final price.
You will be asked to visit the London Dungeon first (it’s actually a guided tour), and need to book a time slot for both places. Your ticket for the London Eye will be a standard one.
If you want to use the London Eye official site, you won’t be able to simply buy a London Eye and London Dungeon combined ticket, but you will have to select multiple attractions.
You can get your tickets to the London Eye and London Dungeon on GetYourGuide here. These tickets are valid for 90 days from the day you visit the first attraction, and you can get a full refund if you cancel within 24 hours of your visit. Keep in mind the London Dungeon is not suitable to small children.
Make sure to also read my post 5 Easy Ways Of Getting London Dungeon Tickets.
Way N. 4: Buy the London City Pass
Getting a city pass is the best way to buy London Eye tickets if you want to get all your attraction tickets at once and are looking for a chance to save some money. Once you get the pass, you will have to book each attraction separately.
Just make sure to double check that the city pass you are getting includes admission to the London Eye, as not all do.
For ease, let me point out that these are the passes that include tickets to the London Eye.
London explorer pass – You can pick up to 7 attractions and end up saving up to 35%. The list of included attractions is wider than the other options mentioned below.
London 5 attractions pass – You get access to 5 of the most popular attractions in town, including Madame Tussauds.
London pass – Perhaps the most comprehensive option, you get access to up to 85 attractions in the course of 10 days.
Way N. 5: Take a guided walking tour of London
Taking a guided tour of London is a good way of visiting the city if you have limited time in town, and – depending on which tour you get – it will include tickets to the London Eye as an added bonus. There are several tours that include this option.
Here are my top recommendations:
Full day total London and flight on the London Eye – This is the most expensive option, but it’s also the most comprehensive and the best one if you actually want to visit the places rather than just see them from the outside. Included in the tour is a visit of the Tower of London, the London Eye, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. You will also see the Changing of the Guard and go on a cruise along the river.
Top 30 sights walking tour and London Eye ride – This tour lasts around 6 hours and has excellent reviews. Depending on the day you are visiting you can also see the changing of the guard. This is a cheaper option, and you won’t actually go inside most attractions.
Way N. 6: Take a London Eye river cruise
Another good option to get on the London Eye is to get a combined ticket that includes a river cruise along the Thames river. It’s a cool way to get a different perspective of the city – first from the river, then from the London Eye. So, photographically speaking, it’s absolutely perfect.
I recommend this London Eye river cruise and optional London Eye admission – keep in mind the London Eye ticket is actually an add on, so the final price will be different from the one listed initially.
Way N. 7: Take a Vintage Bus tour of London
Sticking with the idea of combining sightseeing transportation with getting on the London Eye, another thing you may want to consider is a vintage bus tour of the city.
You will be going around town on a traditional double decker red bus and during the tour, which lasts 4 hours, you will be able to experience the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace; admire the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey; take a short cruise along the River Thames and finally go up the London Eye.
I recommend this London Vintage bus tour – please take care to notice that there are two daily departures, and that you will only get a voucher that you’ll have to change for a ticket once you get to the London Eye. Transportation to the London Eye may not be included.
Other Useful Information For Visiting The London Eye
London Eye tickets price and free visits
The prices of tickets for the London Eye as sold on the official site are as follows:
ADULT STANDARD TICKET – £25.50 (around $31 USD)
CHILDREN STANDARD TICKET – £22.50 (around $27.50 USD)
ADULT SAME DAY TICKET – £33 GBP (around $42 USD)
CHILDREN SAME DAY TICKET – £29 (around $37 USD)
ADULT FAST TRACK TICKET – £48 (around $58.5 USD)
CHILDREN SAME DAY TICKET – £44 (around $53.5 USD)
ADULT FLEXI FAST TRACK PASS – £53 (about $65 USD)
CHILDREN FLEXI FAST TRACK PASS – £47 (around $57.50 USD)
CHAMPAGNE EXPERIENCE – £53 (about $65 USD)
CHAMPAGNE AND EYE LOUNGE EXPERIENCE – £63 (around $77 USD)
“Same day tickets” are those sold up to 30 days prior to the day of visiting.
Children up to 3 years old can get in for free.
Modification to the reservation and refunds
The London Eye tickets official website says you can reschedule your tickets for free if your plans change, but you won’t receive a refund for cancellations. Third party sites will have a similar policy that allows you to reschedule for free, but also offer free cancellation if you cancel no later than 24 hours before your scheduled time.
Can you buy London Eye tickets on the day?
The London Eye is one of the most popular attractions in London and it is not uncommon to find a line at the ticket counter, one to go through security and one to get in.
According to the official website, all tickets must be pre-booked online to guarantee entry. You should get tickets online and in advance even for same day visits.
Make sure to visit the London Eye official website to check for last minute availability.
What to do if the London Eye tickets are sold out
Third party reseller sites will be the best place to buy London Eye tickets at the very last minute. These sites buy tickets in bulks so you can always hope they have a spare one or count on some last minute cancellation.
I recommend using GetYourGuide for last minute tickets.
Is the London Eye crowded?
It really depends on the season. Last time we visited it was a Saturday at the very end of September, and we opted for the 6:30 pm time slot so we could see the sunset. We did not feel it was crowded, but it was towards the end of the day and already in shoulder season.
During the peak season, the London Eye will be crowded, especially at weekends. There will always be some sort of line to walk in – but it’s easier to get in if you have fast track tickets. Pods can hold up to 25 passengers so you will never really feel overwhelmed.
Private Experiences at the London Eye
If you have the budget to splurge and want to have a truly romantic experience, you can actually rent an entire pod at the London Eye.
You have the option of booking a Cupid’s Pod, which is up for two guests, or a Private Pod, which is for a party of up to 25 guests. When we last visited, we could see a couple on the pod right next to ours and we just assumed a proposal was in the making!
To book your London Eye pod, you’ll need to visit the London Eye official website here.
The opening hours of the London Eye tend to vary depending on the season. Make sure to check out the official website for the exact opening hours on the day you wish to visit.
The attraction is closed on Christmas day and during the 2nd and 3rd week in January when it is typically scheduled for maintenance.
The 3D experience closes 15 minutes before the London Eye does.
How to get to The London Eye
The London Eye is located on Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd. The easiest way to get there is by subway. The closest stations are Westminster (roughly a 5 minute walk), which you can reach via the Circle, District and Jubilee lines.
Alternatively, hop on the District, Northern or the Bakerloo line trains to Charing Cross or to Embankment and the Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee lines to Waterloo.
The walk from Embankment Station is actually my favorite, as the views along the way are stunning. It’s an easy 10 minutes walk. Once you get out of the station, you have to go up the stairs, cross the bridge and then walk down the stairs again to get to the riverside and reach the attraction.
If you are traveling by train, get off at London Waterloo East and walk from there – it will take you around 10 minutes.
Buses 77, 211 and 381 all have stops close to The London Eye.
You will have to go through security checks when visiting the London Eye. A member of staff will ask to open your bag and check inside for prohibited items.
Items you can carry inside are small bags, backpacks and laptops; baby bags and strollers; water. You can’t bring in large backpacks or bags; helmets, skateboards, tripods and strollers that you can’t fold down, and bottles. Sharp items and weapons aren’t allowed.
Toilets and other facilities at The London Eye
Toilets are found in the ticket hall. That’s where you will also find a souvenir shop.
The London Eye is fully accessible.
There is no luggage storage at the London Eye. The closest luggage storage is Stasher, which can be found not far from Leicester Square.
If you have small items that can’t be brought up (bottles, umbrellas etc), the staff will actually look after it for you. When we last visited, we had a bottle of wine (it was a gift to a friend we’d see later on during the day) and the staff simply tagged it, gave us a small receipt and gave it back to us once we left.
Other nearby attractions
Nearby attractions include The London Dungeon and SEA LIFE London Aquarium. The London Eye is also a short walk away from the Tate Modern, a wonderful (and free to visit) art gallery. On the other side of the Thames, the London Eye is also very close to the Houses of Parliament, the Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Churchill War Rooms.
Make sure to read my other posts about London:
- 24 Stunning London Hidden Gems
- How To See London In 2 Days
- A Perfect Itinerary To See London In 3 Days
- An Easy To Follow Itinerary For 4 Days London
- The Best 5 Days London Itinerary
- How To Make The Most Of London In A Day
- How To Get Madame Tussauds London Tickets And Skip The Lines
- 15 Great Day Trips From London
- How To Get Tower Of London Tickets
- The 20 Best Museums In London