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London Eye

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London Eye

Translated by Lottie Davies — 2 years ago

Original text by Maika Cano Martínez

The London Eye is one of the most famous Ferris wheels in the world and is located in the very heart of London.

Although it was initially thought to last solely for the duration of the Millennial Celebrations (for this reason, you can also see it as the "Millennial Wheel", inaugurated in the year 2000), it's very much true that its social impact has lived on, serving as a great source of revenue and being an unquestionable visit for any tourist in London.

Due to its great height of more than 100 metres (making it the tallest Ferris wheel in the world until not very long ago), it's visible from several places across the British capital, decorating the city and attracting the majority of tourists to the banks of the Thames to see the rest of London from the wheel.

London Eye

It really is spectacular: walking towards it from Westminster Bridge, it's surprising how many businesses there are located at the base of the wheel (The Queen's Walk), and how people crowd around to watch performances that the locals put on.

London Eye

And it's not only the wheel itself that is interesting, but, below it, I was also lucky enough to see a man juggling with a ball, then a second, and even a third; the people applauded him and enjoyed all of these simultaneously-occurring activities. A few metres away, there was a guy who was balancing a large number of jars on his chin without letting them fall, whilst another group of young people were dancing to African-style music. A collection of street artists right at the base of the London Eye.

London Eye

London Eye

All of this excites and gives a really special impression to passers-by below the big wheel, just before they themselves join the queue to go on the Eye.

On the other side, Jubilee Gardens (the gardens located just behind the wheel) has very pretty green spaces, often where you can see children running around with the Eye in the background, which makes this place magical for young and old alike.

London Eye

With regards to the attraction itself, one of the things that caught my attention the most was the speed at which it turns. At first when you hear the word "wheel", you tend to think that it turns a bit faster, but here no; the point of the wheel is for you to see the great views on show, therefore, this slower pace is welcomed to allow you to enjoy every minute of this huge panorama. However, if I am honest with you, I was super excited to go to the London Eye (in fact, it was the thing that I wanted to do most whilst in London), and I ended up getting bored because it's too slow in my opinion. And, although the views are truly magnificent, it did get a bit tiring.

London Eye

The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey can be seen really well from here - the views are beautiful - and there are also great views of the Thames, Trafalgar Square, and practically almost all of London. If you visit the Eye on a day when there is good weather and during the morning (which sometimes is quite infrequent), the views will be much better and you will see a lot more of the city. Nevertheless, the views at night of the city all illuminated are excellent from start to finish, and it's much more magical, as 'daytime London' has nothing to do with 'night-time London'.

To access the wheel itself: once you have walked to it, you will see an office in the building next to it where they sell the tickets. When I went, there wasn't a big queue, but it's not uncommon for there to be long queues on the loading platform as people wait to enter a pod (in some cases, you can be waiting for up to an hour).

The wheel has a large number of oval/egg-shaped compartments, more than 30 of them, which each can usually hold between 10 and 20 people. They don't usually fill them any more than this so that you can better enjoy the views and be able to sit down (in the centre of each pod, there is an area where you are able to sit down, although the majority of passengers will be stood up looking through the glass).

London Eye

A full rotation of the wheel takes approximately half an hour, with the best moment being when you arrive at the very top and it doesn't even feel like you have moved. The fact that each pod is 360º glazed glass, it means that you can see from every possible angle.

I's worth mentioning that the entrance price also includes access to another attraction that I personally quite liked: it's a three-dimensional model of the City of London, which is situated next to the ticket office.

All things considered, it's an experience that I recommend to everyone who comes to London, not only just to go on the wheel, but to also enjoy the activities in the surrounding areas like the gardens and The Queen's Walk. If you like the maritime world, the aquarium is located just below the ticket office, and the world famous museum, Madame Tussaud's, is also located very close by.

The cost of "standard" entry to the London Eye is around £20 at the ticket office (it seems a little bit expensive to me if I am honest, but oh well, I guess it's worth it), and £18 if you buy your ticket online in advance (which I strongly advise you to do) through the website. There is also a ticket that you can buy which allows you to access the wheel twice - once during the day and then again at night. In addition to this, there are also other types of tickets that you can adapt to what suits you best, as well as a "combination ticket" where you can combine entry to the London Eye with that of Madame Tussauds or the Sea Life Aquarium, or even with both.

London Eye

With regards to opening hours, the best thing would be to visit the website that I linked above, as they change depending on the date: in July and August, it opens from 10:00 until 21:30, except on Fridays when it seems to shut a little bit later at 23:00.

To get to the London Eye, it's sufficient enough just to know where Westminster Bridge is located. If you are using public transport, you have the option of the tube and buses. For the tube, alight at either Westminster (Circle, District and Jubilee lines) or Waterloo (Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines), and for buses, take either of these services: 77, 211 or 381.

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