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, and he asked me to go up. I was honestly reluctant to do so – it sounded so touristy! But he was so keen on it that we decided to go. I ended up enjoying it so much, to the point that it became my favorite attraction in town.
One thing we didn’t quite enjoy though was the long line to get London Eye tickets. Back then, we waited for around one hour to get our tickets – I am not even sure that getting tickets online was a thing then!
Though the lines to get on the London Eye haven’t quite changed, the good news is that nowadays you can get London Eye tickets online that will help you save a lot of time. So, even if you have limited time in the city, you really should make it a point to visit.
In this post, I highlight all the best ways of getting London Eye tickets, so you can decide which one is the most suitable to your needs. I will also share a bunch of useful information that will 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 any time I can to meet my friends, to enjoy the atmosphere and to explore it even more in depth. This is the kind of place where next to historical landmarks and beautiful churches you will find skyscrapers and modern buildings – it’s so eclectic, and so interesting, and hardly surprising this is one of the most visited cities in the world.
To get the most impressive and unobstructed views in the city I usually 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 full years to build it and one full week to lift if up. Initially meant to be a temporary structure, once it was clear that the attraction was more popular than expected, it was decided to make it a permanent one.
Measuring 135 meters in height, the London Eye was the world’s tallest ferris wheel from 1999, when it was built, until 2006, when the Star of Nanchang in China surpassed the record.
What to expect when visiting the London Eye
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 tablets where you can check information about the many places you can see from the top.
The ride is nice and slow, so it is hardly a scary one even to those that are afraid of heights. The overall ride lasts 30 minutes, and as you reach the top the views become better and better. On a clear day you can see incredibly far – but even on a rainy day (such as it was the first time I visited) the views are incredible.
Among the places you will be able to see there are the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben, the O2 Arena, Wembley Stadium and Battersea Power Station are also visible on a clear day. I wasn’t so lucky when I last went up, but apparently you can see all the way to North Down Hills, Queen Elizabeth II Bridge to the east and Windsor Castle to the west.
London Eye tickets will also give you access to the 4D Cinema Experience, where you can see a short 3D movie that will make you marvel at the city even more.
One super cool thing that I have recently found out is that the London Eye is available for special occasions. So you can decide to hire an entire pod for things such as proposals, birthday celebrations, dinners and even weddings.
Continue reading this post to learn how to get London Eye tickets and skip the line.
Are you in a rush? Here’s a shortcut to the best London Eye tickets:
- London Eye tickets – prices start at $35.71 USD for advanced purchase for the standard experience and go up to $ 52,29 for same day bookings for the fast track option. You can pick among many timed entrances.
- London Eye and London Dungeon tickets – the two attractions are close to each other so you can easily visit on the same day. There is a 10% of the final price.
- More London for less: 5 attractions pass – an excellent option if you wish to visit 5 of the city’s most popular attractions in town – including the London Dungeon.
7 Smart Ways Of Getting The London Eye Tickets
There are seven main ways to get London Eye tickets in advance. Further down, I will highlight the solutions available – pick whichever one you deem most suitable to your travel needs, but just so that you know I actually recommend getting London Eye tickets via third party sites, as this is the most hassle free way – with easy cancellation policies and easy to use websites.
Finally, here are the best ways of getting London Eye tickets.
Way N. 1: Buy your London Eye tickets on the official website
This is the official website of the London Eye. Standard tickets bought via the official website cost £27.50 GBP for adults (around $34.70), and £23 ($29 USD) for children between 3 and 15. This is the most budget friendly option.
Once you select the number of tickets needed, you will be taken to another page where you will be prompted to add other options such as the fast track, after which you will be asked to select a time slot for your visit. You will then be prompted to add other items again – for example a river cruise. 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 there will be a line at the counter.
GOOD TO KNOW: There is no mention of cancellations, modifications and refunds on the official website. If you want to be 100% sure you get your money back in case you need to cancel, opt to get your tickets on third party sites such as GetYourGuide which have more flexible cancellation policies – I will explain that in more detail below.
Other options available on the official site are the Fast Track ticket, which costs £37.50 (around $47 USD) for adults and £33 (around $41 USD) for children between 3 and 15. Pick this option to skip all lines.
You can also get Flexi Tickets, which cost cost £27.50 GBP for adults (around $34.70), and £23 for children between 3 and 15 ($29 USD). These tickets are not timed and you can use them until 31 December 2020. What I don’t like about this option is that there is no mention of how to select a time for when you finally decide to visit.
The official site also sells combo tickets for the London Eye with other attractions – for a total of 5 attractions. These are the nearby London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, Sea Life and Shrek’s Adventure.
As I have said before, this is my least favorite way of getting London Eye tickets. The website says nothing (at least not in clear sight) about cancellations, so you’d be really unsure of what you are getting and what the conditions are.
Way N. 2: Buy your London Eye tickets on third party reseller sites
Of all the ways of getting London Eye tickets, this is the one I recommend. There are many third party reseller sites you can use, but my favorite is GetYourGuide.
What I should point out about third party reseller sites is that they aren’t necessarily more expensive than official attraction sites – but those times they are, it’s actually for a good reason.
First of all, 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 asking you for additional services. You just go to the one page you need and select your option there, select the time you want to visit, and get the vouchers sent via email. GetYourGuide even has a very easy-to-use app which means you don’t even have to print your ticket. As an added bonus, you get a reminder a day before your visit, so that you know exactly where to go, and when.
Another good reason to buy London Eye tickets via GetYourGuide is that they are fully refunded for cancellations up to 24 hours before the visit.
The one below is the best option:
- London Eye tickets – at $35.71 USD for advanced purchase ($39.53 USD for same day, $48.46 for fast track advanced bookings and $52.29 USD for fast track same day bookings) these tickets cost just pennies more than the ones sold on the official site. Those extra pennies you pay will allow you for easy cancellation, and the site experience is overall much better.
Make sure to read my post A Completely Honest GetYourGuide Review to learn more about third party booking sites.
Way N. 3: Buy your London Eye tickets together with the London Dungeon
Close to the London Eye, the London Dungeon is one of the most fun places to visit in town, and it will give you lots of insights about the city’s past. You can get London Dungeon and London Eye tickets together, and save about 10% off the final price. You will be asked to visit the London Dungeon first. You can get your London Eye and London Dungeon tickets here.
Way N. 4: Buy the London City Pass
If you want to buy all your attraction tickets at once and are looking for a chance to save some money, you may want to opt for a city pass. The only nuisance about them is that once you get the pass, you will have to book each attraction separately – which to me defeats the purpose of saving. If in any case you want to consider this option, these are the passes that include London Eye tickets:
- London explorer pass – it starts at $81 USD for 3 attractions, and 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.
- London 5 attractions pass – you pay $80 US to access 5 of the most popular attractions in town.
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 – you can also snag London Eye tickets, which definitely is an added bonus. There are several tours that include the option of going up the London Eye. These are the best ones:
- Full day total London and flight on the London Eye – this is the most expensive option, costing around $160 USD, but it’s the best one if you actually want to visit the places rather than just see them from the outside. Included in the tour are the Tower of London, the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral. You will also see the Changing of the Guard and go on a cruise along the river.
- The Original Tour and London Eye ticket – for less than $71 USD this tour includes a river cruise, a hop on hop off bus ride, three 90 minutes walking tour, a ride on the London Eye. It comes highly recommended.
- Top 30 sights walking tour and London Eye ride – costing around $100 USD, this tour lasts around 6 hours. It has excellent reviews.
Way N. 6: Take a London Eye river cruise
Another good option to get London Eye tickets is to hop on a Thames river cruise. It’s a cool way to get a different perspective of the city – first from the river, then above the river. So, photographically speaking, it’s absolutely perfect. Some options are also very budget friendly.
These are the best options:
- The London Eye river cruise and admission options – the starting price of the cruise together with London Eye tickets (advanced booking) is $38.26 USD, which means you only pay a few dollars for the cruise. In other words, a real bargain.
- Hop on hop off cruise and London Eye ticket – this cruise costs $53.56 USD and is a good option for sightseeing. The London Eye is the only attraction you actually get to visit.
Way N. 7: Take a Vintage Bus tour of London
Sticking with the idea of combining sightseeing transportation with getting on the London Eye, you may want to consider 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 full 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. You can get your London Eye tickets and bus pass here – please take care to notice that there are two daily departures.
Other Useful Information For Visiting The London Eye
Book in advance
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, and one to get in. Booking in advance is pretty much required, and in fact I also recommend getting the fast track ticket options if you want to save even more time.
GOOD TO KNOW: The London Eye strongly encourages visitors to get tickets in advance. If you still want to get them at the venue, take care to notice that this is a cashless attraction and you will be encouraged to pay via contactless card. One more reason to buy your tickets in advance!
What to do if the London Eye tickets are sold out
Third party reseller sites will be the best places to look for last minute London Eye tickets. These sites buy tickets in bulks so you can always hope they have a spare one or count on some last minute cancellation. Check out this site for last minute tickets.
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 metro station is Westminster (which is a 5 minutes walk away), which you can reach via the Circle, District and Jubilee lines. Alternatively, you can ride the Northern or the Bakerloo lines to Charing Cross or to Embankment and the Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee lines to Waterloo.
If you are traveling by train, get off at London Waterloo East and walk from there – it will take you around 9 minutes.
Buses 77, 211 and 381 all have stops close to The London Eye.
The opening hours of the London Eye tend to vary depending on the season. It usually opens at 10:00 am and closes between 6:00 and 8:30 pm. The attraction is closed on Christmas day and during the 2nd and 3rd week in January when it is scheduled for maintenance.
The 3D experience closes 15 minutes before the London Eye does.
Modification to the reservation and refunds
The official website of the London Eye isn’t clear about the possibility of making changes to the reservation or canceling a booking, so you may want to opt to get your ticket via a third party reseller site and not take any chances. You can get your ticket here.
Is the London Eye crowded?
Pretty much! So, the bad news is that there will always be some sort of line to walk in – but it’s easier to get in if you have fast track tickets. The good news is that pods can hold up to 25 passengers so you will never really feel overwhelmed.
London Eye ticket price and free visits
Official London Eye standard tickets cost £27.50 GBP for adults (around $34.70), and £23 ($29 USD) for children between 3 and 15.
Fast Track tickets cost £37.50 (around $47 USD) for adults and £33 (around $41 USD) for children between 3 and 15.
Flexi Tickets cost £27.50 GBP for adults (around $34.70), and £23 for children between 3 and 15 ($29 USD).
Children up to 3 years old can get in for free.
You will have to go through security checks when visiting the London Eye. 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. Sharp items and weapons aren’t allowed.
Toilets and other facilities at The London Eye
Toilets are found in the ticket hall.
The London Eye is fully accessible.
There is no luggage storage at the London Eye. The closest luggage storage can be found at Waterloo Train station.
Other nearby attractions
Nearby attractions include The London Eye and SEA LIFE London Aquarium.
Further readings about London
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
- 5 Easy Ways Of Getting London Dungeon Tickets
- How To Get Madame Tussauds London Tickets And Skip The Lines