In the interest of being brutally honest, let me just start out by saying that we were late to our first visit of the London Eye, located in the heart of London.
We left later than we should have, but still would have been there in plenty of time had our very kind but not-so-efficient Uber driver not taken a couple of wrong turns and altogether missed the giant Ferris Wheel sticking 443 feet up in the air.
Arriving at the London Eye
The real issue was that, after arriving, we had to step into a sea of hundreds of people pushing past each other into literally every direction. We had no idea where to go (read: there were no signs pointing us in the right direction. FYI, if you do get the Champagne Experience, you have to go inside the building, on the side closest to the Eye), and, by the time we figured it out and weaved our way through the crowds, we had missed our time slot. We had paid for the Champagne Experience, and, of course, the remaining Champagne Experiences were full. They said we could have our one glass of champagne each at the bar afterwards, and gave us a standard ticket. We boarded with our group and everyone spread out to the various windows.
Pros & Cons of Visiting the London Eye
I have already mentioned the mass number of tourists, which, for someone like me who gets anxiety in large crowds, was not great, but here are the pros and cons of the actual ride:
Con – People hog the good spots.
People hog the good spots. Please don’t be one of those people. Get in, take your photos and move for someone else to have a chance. This one guy got the best spot in the best window and literally didn’t move the entire time, even when others were clearly waiting and then trying to take photos around him. Now I can be a BITCH at times (cue Michael scoffing while loudly agreeing “UH HUH!”), but I also tend to be very non-confrontational with strangers. I’m from Houston; you just never know how people are going to react. So we took the best photos we could in the next window over.
Pro – Amazing view, amazing photos.
Even with the aforementioned spot-hog, we were able to snap some of the most amazing photos that would not be possible anywhere else in the city. The moments we spent together looking out for miles in every direction made me fall in love with London. When I first posted one of the photos below, I vowed I would move there someday.
Con – Unoriginal photos.
Because this is such a tourist trap, this photo I love has been taken by 20 million other people. Almost this exact photo, or extremely similar ones, can be found on 852 other travel blogs. I made that number up, but it’s probably pretty accurate.
Pro – However unoriginal, the view is breathtaking.
Who cares? This was a wonderful experience with my best friend. I’ll try anything once, and while I probably won’t ever see the need to go on the London Eye again, my answer is yes, it was worth it to see the view and say I’ve done it. So give it a try, and be sure to get there early.
This is a weird but important one for me. As you have heard me say before and will hear me say again, I am extremely afraid of heights. This has been and will continue to be a prevalent factor as we try new experiences and travel the world. I wanted to note that my fear of heights was almost non-existent here. I didn’t feel the least bit scared or the need to stand in the center, away from the windows. That’s a big plus for me!
And yes, we did go get our glass of champagne in the bar upstairs after the ride! It was super quiet and romantic in there. I highly suggest it.
London Eye – Quick FAQs
Is the London Eye worth it?
Michael: “If you have the time, hell yes, but don’t put it at the top of your priority list.”
Lisa: “Definitely worth doing once!”
Is the “Champagne Experience” worth it?
Michael: “No, it’s basically the same thing with a glass of champagne added. You’re better off doing the normal ride and having a drink somewhere else… or sneaking it in 😉 “
Lisa: “I’m partial to anything that involves champagne, so yes 🙂 “
Is the London Eye a tourist trap?
Definitely, but for a good reason. It gives you a great view of London. Mind you, with both of us having a history in marketing, big-brand sponsorships don’t really bother us.
How much does it cost?
Standard: £26 (or $34.55)
Fast Track/Skip the line: £32.45 (or $43.12)
Champagne Experience: £36 (or $47.84)
Tickets are cheaper online than they are onsite.
When is the best time to go?
Sometimes, you can get even cheaper tickets if you go on weekdays.
How do you get there?
As mentioned, we took an Uber. London is really proud of its public transportation, so feel free to take the subway or a bus.
Best places to eat nearby?
We say hold your appetite and go to another part of London!
Five Facts About the London Eye
- Apparently, the London Eye is not a ferris wheel but an “observation wheel.” The largest one in the world.
- From the top, riders can see 25 miles in every direction.
- Two lucky competition winners were able to spend the night in the London Eye in the Spring of 2017.
- The Eye has also been turned into a Nightclub, a pop-up dining spot and has hosted more than 500 weddings (with more than 5,000 proposals).
- In 2004, a man dressed as Spider Man and scaled the Eye in protest. He caused it to shut down and didn’t “voluntarily come down” for 18 hours.
If you’ve been to the London Eye, what were your favorite (or least favorite) parts? If you haven’t, do you have any other questions? Comment below!
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