London Eye in London, Great Britain

The London Eye is the highest Ferris wheel in Europe and the third highest in the world. In addition to the fantastic view over London, the London Eye also offers culinary delights in the glass gondolas.

The impressive London Eye on the south bank of the Thames near Westminster Bridge is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe to date and the fourth tallest Ferris wheel in the world. It is only surpassed by the Ain Dubai in Dubai, the Singapore Flyer in Singapore and the Star of Nanchang in Nanchang, China.

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PICTURES: London Eye

Photo gallery: London Eye in London

The enormous construction, also called "Millennium Wheel", rises 135 metres into the London sky and has become a landmark of the city. Until the opening of "The Shard" in February 2013, it was impossible to view the British capital from any higher point. With over 3.5 million visitors per year, it is one of London's top 10 sights.

History of the London Eye

Evening view of the London Eye with the Houses of Parliament in the background in London, United Kingdom - © Dan Breckwoldt / Shutterstock
© Dan Breckwoldt / Shutterstock

The construction of the London Eye started in 1998. It was assembled lying down and erected in September 1999, which took over a week. The London Eye was inaugurated by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in time for the millennium on 31 December 1999, but due to technical problems the Ferris wheel was not opened to visitors until 9 March 2000.

Actually, the London Eye was only supposed to operate for 5 years. However, due to its great popularity, it is still turning and today it is almost impossible to imagine London's cityscape without it. Since 2011, it has been called "EDF Energy London Eye" after its operator.

London Eye ride

The London Eye's gondolas are air-conditioned and fixed outside the structure so that not a single steel girder disturbs the fantastic view, United Kingdom - © zefart / Shutterstock
© zefart / Shutterstock

There are 32 glass cabins attached to the 120m wide Ferris wheel, each of which can seat 25 people. The gondolas are air-conditioned and fixed outside the structure so that not a single steel beam disturbs the fantastic view of the British capital.

The wheel moves at barely one km/h, so it does not have to stop to let its passengers get off and on. At most, the London Eye is stopped briefly for wheelchair users. A normal ride on the London Eye takes between 30 and 40 minutes.

In ideal conditions, the view from the London Eye stretches up to 40km. You can see all over London and beyond - often as far as Windsor Castle outside. From this vantage point, London's perfect symbiosis of tradition and modernity can be seen. Since 2012, tablets have served as touch-screen guides to London's special buildings.

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London Eye Attractions

London's perfect symbiosis of tradition and modernity can be seen from the "London Eye", Great Britain - © Nikita Gusakov / Shutterstock
© Nikita Gusakov / Shutterstock

Besides the fantastic view, a ride on the London Eye also has other highlights to offer. Whether wine tastings, hot chocolate or the typical English 5 o'clock tea, all this can also be experienced floating above the British capital. Separate romantic rides for couples and even weddings are held in the glass capsules, which can also be hired privately.

4D Experience

The London Eye ticket also entitles you to enter the 4D Experience, a 4D cinema very close to the Ferris wheel, where a four-minute film shows the rooftops of London and the sensational New Year's fireworks in 3D. The reason for the 4D Experience is that the wind in the viewers' hair, the snow falling at their feet, the vibrations and the smells make them feel as if they are actually floating above London.

Further links:

Official website of the London Eye with prices and opening hours.
Buy London Pass online

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