Is the London Eye Worth It? Weighing the Pros and Cons

view of a london eye pod with the Houses of Parliament
by Anisa // 0 Comments

Welcome to the London Eye, a captivating landmark where you get a unique view of the city from the Houses of Parliament to the majestic Shard. Renowned as one of the most iconic attractions in London, it beckons visitors from all corners of the globe.

If it’s your first time in London, you probably want to ride the London Eye, but the price tag makes you think twice.  Does the experience truly justify the price of admission?

Let me share more about what it is like to go on the London Eye and help you decide if the London Eye is worth it.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Please see disclosure for more information.

view of London Eye ferris wheel by the River Thames
The London Eye has become one of the most iconic attractions in London.

About the London Eye

The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel that stands on the South Bank of the River Thames.  Soaring to a height of 443 feet and housing 32 capsules, each capable of accommodating 25 passengers, it provides a 360-degree vantage point of the city of London.

Originally constructed as a temporary structure to commemorate the Millennium, the London Eye’s overwhelming popularity led to its transformation into a permanent fixture in the city’s skyline.  Since its opening in 1999, the London Eye has welcomed more than 50 million people, captivating them with an unforgettable and truly unique experience.

The London Eye has also become a sought-after venue for special events such as weddings, proposals, and corporate gatherings. Its striking presence has also made it a favorite backdrop for various television and film productions, including a memorable appearance in the James Bond film “Casino Royale” in 2006.  It’s also featured in London’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks each year.

Tickets for the London Eye

If you’re planning to visit the London Eye, I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance – and here’s why. Not only will it save you precious time, but it can also help you save some hard-earned cash. Plus, by booking through the official website here, you’re guaranteed to get the best price out there. That’s a win-win!

Keep in mind that prices can vary, especially during peak days when availability is limited and tickets are selling fast. So, snagging your spot early can ensure you secure your desired date and time without breaking the bank.  Don’t worry if your plans change because they allow you to reschedule your ticket for free.

When it comes to ticket options, you’ve got choices aplenty. You can go for a standard ticket, or if you’re all about skipping the queues, a fast track ticket might be just the ticket for you. And for those seeking an extra touch of luxury, why not indulge in the champagne experience? It’s all about finding the perfect fit for your London Eye adventure.

But here’s the icing on the cake – the London Eye offers combination tickets that let you bundle your experience with other popular attractions in the city. It’s a fantastic way to save money while maximizing your London sightseeing adventure.

So, don’t wait until the last minute – book your London Eye tickets in advance through the official website here, guaranteeing the best price and the flexibility to reschedule if needed. With various ticket options and money-saving bundles, you’ll be on your way to a memorable experience soaring high above the city’s skyline. 

Book your London Eye tickets here.

Riding the London Eye

I recently rode on the London Eye for the fourth time, and let me tell you, it was a blast! My friend was visiting London for the first time and she wanted to go.  The timing couldn’t have been better as we lucked out with a gorgeous spring afternoon. Since we had our tickets booked in advance, we were able to bypass the ticket counter and head straight for the line to board.

The line moved quickly but stopped briefly where they had an optional photo spot.  After about 15 minutes in line, we were ready to hop on the wheel. Now, here’s the thing – the London Eye doesn’t stop for you to step in, so it feels a tad strange to step onto a moving pod. But hey, it adds to the adventure, right? I was a bit surprised by the number of people they crammed in with us, probably close to its 25-person capacity. It made for a lively atmosphere, to say the least.

the boarding process for the London Eye
The ride does not stop to let people on.

Just as we settled in, we heard an announcement letting us know that the ride might have to stop at some point to let folks on, but luckily, that didn’t end up happening. We started our ascent, and it was a slow and steady rise. My friend opted for a seat on the bench in the middle of the pod, giving her tired feet a well-deserved break. Meanwhile, I positioned myself near the glass, eager to soak in the views.

The ride was so smooth that at times, you had to pay attention to notice we were moving. In fact, you could easily miss the moment we reached the top if you weren’t keeping an eye out. Not me, though! I made sure to explore every nook and cranny of that pod, making my way around to catch sight of the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and so much more. Oh, and let’s not forget the iconic chimneys of the Battersea Power Station in the distance – quite a sight!

Time truly flies when you’re having fun, and before I knew it, we were already descending. They made an announcement for a photo op, instructing us to stand in designated areas, so we happily obliged. As we reached the end of the ride, the doors opened, and we all filed out. A whirlwind experience that took us about 30 minutes to complete one full rotation around the wheel.

camera that will take your photo on the London Eye
Listen for the announcement then get ready to have your photo taken by this camera.

All in all, it was a smooth ride with some of the best views of London and plenty of opportunities to capture some memorable photos. If you’re up for a unique adventure and want to see London from a whole new perspective, I’d say go for it and give the London Eye a spin!

Pros of the Riding London Eye

Riding the London Eye is a must-try experience for visitors to the city for a few reasons.

Firstly, the unparalleled panoramic views it provides are simply breathtaking. From the top of this iconic Ferris wheel, you’ll be treated to an astonishing 360-degree perspective of London’s renowned landmarks, including the Houses of Parliament, the Thames River, and the majestic Shard. It’s a rare opportunity to witness the city’s beauty from a unique vantage point that will leave you in awe.

view of the river thames from the London eye
It’s hard to beat the views from the London Eye.

Secondly, the London Eye offers a comfortable and enjoyable ride. The spacious glass capsules provide ample room for passengers to move around and take in the sights without feeling cramped. The slow rotation of the wheel ensures a smooth and gentle journey, allowing you to relax and fully immerse yourself in the experience. 

Another advantage of riding the London Eye is the opportunity to take unique photographs. With the bird’s-eye view it offers, you’ll have the chance to snap incredible pictures that showcase the grandeur of London’s architecture and the sprawling urban landscape. It’s a photographer’s dream, allowing you to capture memories that will last a lifetime.

view of houses of parliament from the london eye
Don’t forget your camera as you will want to take lots of photos on the London Eye.

If you are visiting London during the winter or summer, you should know that the pods are temperature controlled.  While you may have to deal with the extreme temperatures while you wait, once you board the ride you won’t have to worry about how hot or cold it is outside. 

Additionally, the London Eye has become an iconic symbol of the city itself. Being able to ride this cultural landmark offers a sense of connection to London’s history and heritage. It’s a chance to be a part of something larger, to engage with a structure that has become an integral part of the city’s identity.



Cons of the London Eye

While there are many reasons why riding the London Eye is a must-visit attraction, it’s essential to consider some potential drawbacks as well.

One of the primary cons is the cost of admission. The price of a ticket to ride the London Eye can be considered relatively high especially given the fact the ride only lasts 30 minutes.  This may deter budget-conscious travelers or those looking to experience multiple attractions within a limited budget as it is not included in any attraction passes.

Another potential con is the possibility of long queues and wait times, especially during peak tourist seasons. The popularity of the London Eye means that it attracts a significant number of visitors, resulting in potential delays before getting on the ride. However, it’s worth noting that there are options available to minimize wait times, such as purchasing fast-track or skip-the-line tickets in advance or riding the London Eye at night.

For individuals who experience a fear of heights or have a general discomfort with being in enclosed spaces, riding the London Eye might be intimidating.  During the four times I have ridden the London Eye, I haven’t seen anyone have issues.  I think that because the ride moves slowly and smoothly it isn’t as scary as it looks.

view looking towards the shard
The London Eye is not as scary as you might think even though it does go quite high.

Despite these potential cons, the London Eye continues to be a beloved and sought-after attraction for countless visitors. You need to consider your own personal preferences and budget to determine if the benefits of riding the London Eye outweigh the potential drawbacks.

Alternatives to the London Eye

If the London Eye isn’t quite your cup of tea but you’re still itching for a bird’s-eye view of London, don’t fret! There are plenty of other options out there that might just float your boat.  Even if you do go on the London Eye, you still might want to check out these alternatives. Let me share more details about other attractions with amazing views of London.

Sky Garden

view inside the sky garden which is at the top of the walkie talkie building in London
You get lovely views from the Sky Garden at the top of the Walkie-Talkie Building.

The Sky Garden is London’s highest public garden with panoramic views from the top of the Walkie Talkie Building.  From the balcony, you can see the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the Tate Modern, London Eye, Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s, and much more.  They have two bars serving drinks and food.  Make sure to reserve your free time slot three weeks advance here.  If all the slots are booked you can try to make a reservation at one of the restaurants.

The View at the Shard

Perched atop one of London’s most iconic skyscrapers, The View at The Shard offers unrivaled panoramic views of London’s landmarks.  It’s Western Europe’s highest viewing platform.  Take a high-speed elevator to the top, where there is an indoor viewing gallery and the open air Skydeck on the 72nd floor with visibility of up to 40 miles.  You can learn about London’s history through the multimedia exhibit, or just sit back and enjoy the view from the champagne bar. 

It’s not cheap but it is not as expensive as the London Eye.  You will get the best price if you book more than 14 days in advance. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance here for a seamless experience.  Alternatively, it is included in the London Pass but you still need to reserve a timeslot.

Another option could be to have a drink at the bar at Aqua Shard on the 31st floor.  You will probably have to wait in line to get in and you won’t be as high up as the View from the Shard, but you do still have a lovely view.

Lift 109 at Battersea Power Station

Lift 109 is a glass elevator inside of one of Battersea Power Station’s iconic chimneys that takes you 109 meters (almost 358 feet) above the ground for a special panoramic view over London.  It’s not as centrally located as the Shard and Sky Garden, but you can still see the US Embassy, the Shard, Big Ben, the London Eye, Wembley, and much more. 

lift 109 peaking out of the top of the battersea power station chimney
You can see Lift 109 peaking out of the top of the Battersea Power Station chimney.

You only get about 10 minutes at the top, but your experience also includes an exhibition about the history of Battersea Power Station and the mesmerizing infinity room.  Get your tickets in advance for the best price.

Find out more in my Lift 109 review.

Up at the O2

Forget what you think you know about the O2 Arena because Up at the O2 is about to change the game! This unique attraction allows you to go beyond concerts and experience something extraordinary. Picture this – you get to climb on a walkway above the roof, reaching a viewing platform at the top. How cool is that?



Safety is a top priority at Up at the O2, so you’ll be harnessed and attached to a secure latch system. Plus, you won’t be going it alone. An expert guide will be with you every step of the way, ensuring your adventure is both exciting and safe.

The Walkway over The O2 - Climb The O2: A London Icon - Two Traveling Texans
There is a specially built Walkway that goes over The O2.

Now, I’ll be honest with you. Since the O2 is located in Greenwich, the views focus more on Canary Wharf rather than central London. But fear not, it’s still an experience you won’t forget. Just imagine the thrill of being up there, taking in the panoramic vistas and soaking up the exhilaration.  It could be an exciting alternative to the London Eye.

Read more about our experience at Up at the O2.

How to Save Money on London Eye Tickets

While the London Eye may not be part of any of the attraction passes like the London Pass, there are still ways to save money on your tickets.

Book your tickets for off-peak times in advance on the official website

As mentioned earlier, booking your London Eye tickets in advance can often lead to better deals and savings.  Use the official website here to secure your spot and potentially enjoy discounted prices when you book an off peak time such as weekdays or early mornings. Take advantage of these quieter periods to enjoy the ride at a more affordable rate.

Consider combination tickets

If you were already planning to visit another popular attraction in London, opting for a combined ticket can be a smart choice. It allows you to save money by bundling your London Eye experience with another attraction. Just make sure it’s an attraction you genuinely want to visit to make the most of the savings.  You can find these options on the official website here.

Take advantage of 2 for 1 tickets if you travel to London by train

The London Eye is one of the attractions that participates in the 2 for 1 ticket program with National Rail.  If you travel to London by train, you might be eligible for this discount.  Get more information about this offer here.

London Eye FAQs

Is it better to do the London Eye during the day or at night?

Whether you choose to ride during daylight hours or after the sun sets, there’s something magical about each option.

During the day, you’ll be treated to a splendid panorama, allowing you to soak in the city’s vibrant energy and catch sight of all its marvelous landmarks. Keep in mind, though, that daytime rides tend to draw larger crowds, so expect a bustling atmosphere and longer waits.

view of London eye at Night
Both the London Eye and the city sparkle at night.

If romance is on your mind, then an evening ride is the way to go. While the visibility might be slightly reduced, the enchanting city lights paint a mesmerizing picture. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic outing or a memorable moment with your loved one.

Do you need to buy London Eye tickets in advance?

You don’t have to buy your London Eye tickets in advance, but it will save you time and money.  For the best price, book through the official website here.

Is the London Eye wheelchair accessible?

Yes the London Eye is suitable for guests with all kinds of accessibility needs. However, for health and safety reasons, we can only accommodate up to two wheelchair users per pod and a total of eight on the London Eye at any given time, so please be sure to book a wheelchair slot in advance on the website here.

How long does it take to ride the London Eye?

It takes about 30 minutes for a full rotation, but you may have to wait a bit to board the London Eye.

view of a pod on the london eye
You will be amazed how fast the time goes by inside your pod at the London Eye.

How long do you have to wait for the London Eye?

While we only had to wait 15 minutes, their website advises that you should be prepared to wait around 45 minutes in the queue for a standard ticket and around 20 minutes for a fast-track ticket.

Is the London Eye safe?

The London Eye is super safe! It’s built to handle extreme weather, has a high-tech computer system that keeps an eye on things and can shut it down if needed, and it’s designed to withstand lightning, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

They take maintenance seriously too. They do daily checks, yearly maintenance, and engineers regularly inspect it. So, when you hop on, you can feel confident in your safety. So you can relax and enjoy the ride!

Is the Riding the London Eye Worth It?

Yes, riding the London Eye is definitely worth it. With the panoramic views of the city’s iconic landmarks, it offers a unique and unforgettable experience. It’s a chance to appreciate London from a whole new perspective and create incredible memories. While the price of admission may give some pause, the overall experience and the opportunity to go on one of London’s most recognizable icons make it a worthwhile investment. Don’t miss the chance to ride the London Eye and create lasting impressions of this remarkable city.

Have you gone on the London Eye? I would love to hear about your experience.


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close up of a portion of the london eye wheel with text overlay - "is the london eye worth it?"

Expert Tips for Riding on the London Eye

  • Book your tickets through the official website here for the best price.
  • Don’t forget your camera! 
  • Try to plan your visit for a clear day.
  • If you visit during the holiday season, you should also check out the Southbank Christmas Market which is right by the London Eye.  It’s one of the best Christmas markets in England.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2023

About the Author

Anisa is an experienced international traveler with extra pages in her passport and stamps from 41 different countries across 5 continents (and counting). She was born and raised in Texas. After a 13 year stint in NYC, she moved to England to live with her husband.