One of the most popular and famous London attraction, the London Eye is a can’t-miss in the capital. Check out our top tips when visiting the London Eye.
The Coca-Cola London Eye is one of the most iconic structures of the capital’s skyline, a gigantic observation wheel with just 32 gigantic glass cabins that carry thousands of people up to the city’s heights. It holds its own alongside the likes of the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and the Shard; all of which you’ll be able to spot from the very top on a good day, by the way. Here’s some tips for visiting the London Eye – don’t forget to bring your camera.
London Eye Opening Times
Over the summer months (June – August), the London Eye will be open between 10am and 8:30pm. From September 3rd onwards when the daylight hours get a little shorter and the weather much colder, the opening hours shift to 11am – 6pm.
The attraction is open all year long, however it’s best to avoid coming at the height of tourist season if you can help it (which isn’t a bad shout for London in general, to be honest). If you can time your trip around the fringes of the school holidays, you’ll find the attractions much less hectic. You can also grab a London Explorer Pass or fast track ticket, if you want to avoid the hassle of waiting around.
Although London is a picturesque city, the weather can sometimes make picking out the landmarks a bit of a struggle. There’s nothing quite like a glorious British summer day when the city glitters under a blue sky – you’ll be able to see for miles from the very top of the 135 metre high observation wheel.
London Eye Tickets
Standard tickets for the London Eye are priced at £22.95, while fast track tickets are priced at £33.30. You can also book on the day but we wouldn’t recommend it, as the prices climb to £27 and £37 respectively. Student tickets are priced at £15.
London Explorer Pass holders can ride the London Eye for free.
London Eye Events
If you want your experience to go a step further, there’s a number of cool events that you can sign up for that take place in the London Eye’s crystal cabins. Time Out magazine has actually teamed up with the London Eye to bring a series of sports classes to the heights which include yoga and barre, as well as a gorgeous sunrise ride which takes place on the summer solstice.
Leave time for queues
The queue for the London Eye usually takes about twenty to thirty minutes, with the ride itself lasting a rotation (thirty minutes). If you’re coming at the height of tourist season in the summer however, bring sturdy shoes as the wait gets notably longer – try to head over when the attraction first opens or around lunchtime when everybody else is off grabbing a meal.
Make it romantic
Want to make your trip unforgettable? There’s a dreamy Cupid’s Capsule package that you can book for you and your other half, which scores you your own private capsule for a lush thirty minutes. Besides the fact that you won’t have to muscle fellow tourists out of the way to see the sights, the experience comes primed for romance with a complimentary bottle of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne, Hotel Chocolat truffles and – wait for it – your own personal butler. It comes with a steep price tag at £425, but if you’re ready to make a once in a lifetime commitment then it might be worth it…
Don’t rush off afterwards
The London Eye is situated on one of the most beautiful stretches of the capital: Southbank. Take things slow and wander along the waterfront which will take you past Westminster, Southbank Centre (where there’s always a play on and groups relaxing in its sprawling courtyard with a cider in hand), a colourful skatepark, the Tate Modern and even London Bridge where you can hop out and grab a bite at Borough Market.
Enjoy London in spring with these fun events happening around the capital
It’s impossible to be bored in the English capital, especially as its event calendar really picks up for London in spring. From some of the biggest sporting tournaments through to a very royal occasion, here’s all the best things to keep an eye out for this April-June.
A Big Day Out with Peter Rabbit Dates: 30 March – 15 April Tickets: Included with Kew Gardens entrance Venue: Kew Gardens
Bring the family down to Kew Gardens this Easter break, where days full of activities have been planned out with one of Britain’s favourite childhood characters Peter Rabbit. It’s all educational fun and children will learn about the vegetables and gorgeous flowers growing in the Royal Botanic Garden, grow their own leafy greens, learn to build a rabbit warren and wind down with a storytelling session of Beatrix Potter’s works.
If you’re looking for a unique date night, SEA LIFE will be throwing its doors open for the evening with a late night edition just for adults. Explore the mysteries of the deep and their brand new Rainforest Adventure area with a complimentary glass of Prosecco in hand – don’t worry, there’s more drinks at the bar.
See the dramatic finale to the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley Stadium, surrounded by thousands of fellow sports fans. Just remember not to bring up the word ‘soccer’ and do as the Brits do – call it ‘football’.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Wedding Date: 19 May Venue: Windsor Castle
While you won’t be able to snag tickets to this one, the upcoming Royal Wedding is one of the most talked about events in Britain’s calendar. It’ll be held over at Windsor Castle and if we’ve learned anything from Kate and Will’s nuptials, London is going to be overwhelmed with royal wedding hysteria, celebrations and more all day weekend long.
Bless the rains down in Africa at Royal Albert Hall with Toto. For one night only, they’ll be taking centre stage to perform their biggest hits over the past 40 years as well as some never before heard tunes that’ll have you warbling along.
Chart-topping sensation Bastille will be stepping away from the synthesisers and electric guitars for an evening, swapping out their instruments for a live orchestra and choir to breathe new life into some of their biggest hits. To Kill a King and Charlie Barnes will also be performing.
There’s nothing quite like the chill that John Williams’ Harry Potter score sends through your body and it’s going to be even better hearing it live. A live orchestra will be accompanying a massive screening of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at the Royal Albert Hall, where the film will be projected onto a 40 foot screen as the likes of the BBC Concert Orchestra and English Chamber Choir soar through the soundtrack.
Hamlet Dates: 25 April – 26 August Tickets: £5 – £22+ Venue: Globe Theatre
As one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, this famous play follows Prince Hamlet of Denmark and weaves together the darkest sides of human nature: bringing together political power struggles, sexual obsession, betrayal and inevitable violence. Set in the Globe Theatre where Shakespeare himself staged his performances, it’s Shakespeare as it was meant to be performed.
Dates: 7-10 May Tickets: £5 – £22+ Venue: Globe Theatre
From one extreme to the other – Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is one of the bard’s most beloved romantic comedies and there’s going to be a very short run of it this spring. A small company of just eight actors will bring the story of the bard’s pluckiest heroine Viola to life as she fools everyone around her into thinking she’s a man, all while trying to navigate her newfound love for Duke Orsino.
Ever wondered what secrets lie within one of London’s scariest attractions, the London Dungeon? Then check out these top London Dungeon facts, brought to you by the team at the London Pass.
Transporting visitors through 1000 years of gruesome London history, this immersive walkthrough experience features the likes of Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd and Guy Fawkes. But it doesn’t stop there: 360-degree sets, 2 underground rides, 19 interactive shows including the Torturer, the Whitechapel Labyrinth, the Plague Doctor and the Great Fire of London can all be found here, for ages 12 and above.
1. Back from the dead
The London Dungeon has been scaring visitors with its knee-trembling recreations of British history and legends for over 40 years. The entertainment tour, now based in the County Hall near London’s South Bank, first opened its doors on Tooley Street – a short walk from London Bridge. The move brought a fresh new face to the Dungeon and plenty of new thrill-seeking things to do. Rebuilding the house of nightmares took 12 long months and a scream-worthy £20 million.
2. Dungeon mania
The London Dungeon is actually one of eight dungeons around Europe and America. The chain, owned by Merlin Entertainment, was the first of its kind to be opened and was originally founded by Annabel Geddes in 1976. The wax works at the Dungeon might be no coincidence since Merlin Entertainment also owns Madame Tussauds, not to mention Legoland and Thorpe Park.
3. Going down
Hiding under the building are treats for all those with a need for adrenaline: the Tyrant Boat Ride and the Drop Ride. The Tyrant Boat Ride recalls Anne Boleyn’s daunting journey along the Thames to the Tower of London. Or if you prefer, the Drop Ride lets you plummet eight metres into the pits of darkness. Another newer attraction is the Tavern waiting for you at the end of your adventure. Relax and have a drink at this 18th century Victorian-themed pub. Opened in 2015, meet some ‘Victorian’ characters (like the landlady and landlord), enjoy authentic piano tunes, card games and stories, told around the tables.
4. Behind the gore
Behind the gory make-up are 20 trained actors. The plague doctor, Jack the Ripper, Henry VIII and Sweeney Todd are just a few of the interactive characters. Their makeup was created by M·A·C, the professional cosmetics brand, and rehearsals take place live in the Dungeon. In the past, actors have taken inspiration from movies such as Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice and gruff characters like Big Chris, played by Vinnie Jones in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The job was actually voted number 2 in the Weirdest Jobs in Britain Survey! (2014, Yesterday TV)
5. Underground fright
Ready for more London Dungeon facts? The London Dungeon isn’t just known for giving visitors a scare. In 2010, the attraction put up digital advertising screens in London Underground depicting a normal-looking Queen Mary suddenly turning into a zombie-like face. They were so frightful they had to be taken down!
6. Real or fake?
Dotted around the London Dungeon is a jumble of artificial props. In 2011 it was discovered that one of the skeletons was actually made up of real human parts – a rib-cage and backbone to be exact. The remains are thought to have been there since the Dungeon opened its doors. And before the move to the South Bank, some props were even sold at car boot sales – including severed heads and a pillory. You might want to watch where you walk too, because scuttling around the medieval halls are live rats and cockroaches.
7. What is that smell?
A lot of work goes into recreating the horrible conditions of old London. A 300-strong team of engineers, designers and script writers helps to get it scarily close. Fiery special effects, aroma machines that send gunpowder and meat pie smells through the air and sound effects that will make you jump are all part of the behind-the-scenes work. Creative Director Alisa Easton based the props and sets on historical research gathered from consultants and experts at the Museum of London.
8. Plagued with fame
One of the highlights of this creepy show is being sentenced to death by Henry VIII. But what you probably didn’t know is that the 3D projection of the terrible king is played by actor Brian Blessed, the Blackadder star. He is just one of many talented actors at the London Dungeon leaving visitors with an impression so good you can’t help but scream.
9. Gallows humour
An attraction like no other, the London Dungeon has been turning normal tourist trips into not-so-boring educational walks through history that will be sure to keep you on your toes. But as Richard Quincey, Head of Performance and Show Development, points out, this attraction isn’t just about making people jump and dressing up in ghastly costumes, it’s also a roar of laughs. The show has been refreshed to bring more humour to the stories and more interaction between the characters and visitors. Chuck in some Victorian slang and clever idioms, and you get a realistic but fun retelling of truly horrible history.
10. Home, sweet home
The London Dungeon is situated in the County Hall by the Thames. The building was created by architect Ralph Knott during the 19th century, influenced by Edwardian Baroque-style art. It stands opposite the Houses of Parliament – the same building Guy Fawkes attempted to destroy back in 1605. As well as housing the Greater London Council, it has been home to many attractions including of course the ever-popular London Dungeon.
Whether you’re considering your first visit or your 100th one, there are always plenty of interesting stories and London Dungeon facts to tell. Why not check out the attraction’s gruesome Halloween programme? Full scream ahead!
If you happen to be around the English capital on October 31st, you’re in for a (trick or) treat. With a number of nightclubs pulling out all the stops for fancy dress spectaculars, museums stepping up their night time activities and even a Harry Potter themed spooktacular, there’s loads to do this Halloween in London – but better get booking fast.
While this is about as touristy as it gets, London Dungeon has remained a stalwart for those looking for something spooky to do in the English capital. Spanning over a thousand years of London’s creepiest facets of history including serial murderer Jack the Ripper and the cannibalistic pie maker Sweeney Todd, the attraction will take you for a wild ride with 19 different shows, terrifying actors ready to jump out at a moment’s notice and one of the spookiest (and campiest) things to do in London.
Museums at Night: Handel and Hendrix
While it’s well worth visiting Handel and Hendrix in the daytime, the former homes of musicians Handel and Jimi Hendrix will be transformed for a Halloween spectacular as part of Museums at Night. It’s not necessarily the creepiest experience on the list and is more of a classy shindig, with live musicians reviving the spirit of the residence, a pop up bar serving cocktails all night long and Halloween-themed arts and crafts.
Museums at Night: London Canal Museum
If you’re travelling with the family, the London Canal Museum’s MaN offering will be right up your alley. Step into the cultural site and be greeted by a witch, who will guide you round as she shares hair raising tales before leading you to Islington Tunnel. From there, you’ll jump onboard a narrowboat and explore the nearly mile long tunnel by water – and all in the dark.
Hogwarts After Dark
Potterheads, break out your wizard robes and wands – we’re heading to Hogwarts. Well, you’ll actually be heading out to Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour where they’ll be pulling out all the stops for a magical all hallows eve. They’ll be recreating Hogwarts on October 31st, with a spooky banquet set in the Great Hall (yes – you actually get to eat in the Great Hall so choose your house tables wisely) amidst tens of floating pumpkins. From there, you’ll have to find your way to dessert through the Forbidden Forest which will be teeming with magical creatures – as well as some sketchy death eaters. Have an Expelliarmus ready, just in case.
Netflix fans, this one’s for you. There’s been a trend of orchestral renditions of popular shows, movies and hip hop groups with everything from Jurassic Park to Destiny’s Child’s greatest hits given the classical treatment, and this Halloween it’s Stranger Things‘ turn. Expect a night full of 80s debauchery filled with big hair, rainbow fairy lights and violins whining over iconic riffs from the likes of Toto, The Clash and Dolly Parton – all set in Electric Brixton‘s take on the Upside Down.
Crazy Circus Party at POP Brixton
Take a leaf out of American Horror Story’s book and creep yourself out at the circus. POP Brixton will be turned into an unsettling take on the family-friendly staple, with monsters taking to the floor as high priestesses and contortionists roam the nightclub. If you need to give your dancing feet a break, it’s worth heading to their dreamy greenhouse where you’ll be able to figure out your fortunes.
As one of the newest kids on the block, Alcotraz has been fun date night fodder since it opened. The prison-themed cocktail bar will be pulling out all the stops this Halloween with an immersive experience, with a number of cocktails, a prison pack and more on offer as part of their package. You’ll play one of the convicted inmates as the Warden throws the abandoned penitentiary’s gates open to the public, though there’s something horribly wrong behind its bars…
Discover how the London Explorer Pass works and how you can save time and money while visiting the English capital!
London: in the top tier of world cities, overflowing with exciting attractions and cultural institutions. If you’re planning a trip to the British capital, chances are you’ve already got a list of places in mind to visit. Maybe you’d like to take in over a thousand years of history at Westminster Abbey, enjoy the views from the London Eye or relax at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. All that remains now is to work out your itinerary – and how not to blow the budget.
Check out the new London Explorer Pass that can save you time queuing and up to 35% on ticket prices on the gate. Here’s how it works:
1. Choose your pass
Passes are available for three, five or seven attractions, to be chosen from twenty top sites. The list includes famous cathedrals, historic landmarks, bus and river tours, and much more. You don’t even need to confirm your selection before purchase, but can go where the fancy takes you.
2. Get your pass
Decide whether you’d like to have your pass delivered to your address, to download it to your smartphone or pick it up from the central London collection desk.
3. Enjoy your holiday
Passes are valid for thirty days from first use. Too wet for an open-top bus tour? You’re free to head to the SEA LIFE London Aquarium and keep the tour for a sunny day. Or a sunny-ish day; Londoners can’t afford to be fussy.
Just present your pass at the entry to an attraction and go straight in. And with savings of up to 35% compared with prices at the door, you can be sure of getting a good deal, too.
And now for the most important part: the top attractions you can visit:
1 Day Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: an opportunity to find your bearings, with more than fifty different stops along three tour routes, covering popular landmarks like Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus and Buckingham Palace.
Westminster Abbey: immerse yourself in over 1000 years of history at the coronation church of the English monarchy.
Access to the visitor app is included in the pass price, featuring free sightseeing and London underground maps, attraction opening times and directions, and a host of other useful information. The app also allows you to access exclusive special offers, such as discounted theatre tickets, Heathrow Express train tickets, dining experiences and day-tours.
Navigate the city like a pro with our easy-to-follow guide to getting around London
London is a wonderfully diverse and cosmopolitan city – and it’s also quite large, with various distinct neighborhoods that each possesses its own delightful character. Fortunately for travelers, many of the most popular attractions are all located in central London, making getting around London a little bit easier on tourists who may be new to the area.
London is, however, a notoriously difficult city to drive in – parking and traffic are challenging, not to mention adjusting to the whole “driving on the other side of the road” for American tourists. That said, there are plenty of other simpler ways to get around London that don’t require getting behind the wheel of a rental. Opt for public transit as your first choice, with multiple options such as the subway and modern double-decker buses.
If you plan to visit a lot of attractions while you’re jaunting around London, consider picking up a flexible London Explorer Pass®, which includes admission to your choice of 3, 5 or 7 of the top attractions. The Explorer Pass allows you to save up to 35% off vs paying for these attractions separately at the gate.
Public Transit in London
Far and away the best way to get around London – besides walking, of course! – is via public transit. You have two basic options, the Tube (also called “the Underground”) and buses.
The London Underground
Known as the Tube to locals, the London Underground is the city’s subway system. It’s a fairly extensive transit system, going from downtown London out to several suburbs.
Our biggest piece of advice for how to easily get around is to snag a Visitor Oyster Card (or Oyster Travelcard if you’d prefer to pay a flat fee for the length of your stay) upon arrival.
Flat rate fares on the Oyster Travelcard are quite pricey, so it’s much more cost-effective to buy the Visitor Oyster Card. You can easily purchase, store, and refill fare on a Visitor Oyster Card and you can even receive a refund for unused fare above £10 after 48-hours of using the card for the first time (learn how to receive a refund here).
Tourist Travel Tip: you will need to swipe your Oyster Card as you exit the Underground to determine your fare based on the length of your trip, so keep your ticket handy or you will be charged the maximum amount by default.
These cards are usable on all London public transit – trains and buses, so it’s a great investment.
Signage: there are a series of helpful public transportation signs around the city with maps, information about the nearest Underground stop, and arrows that direct pedestrians to the nearest points of interest.
Although the historic double-decker buses are no longer in operation (with the exception of the heritage Routemaster lines, of which there are only two) modern double-decker buses provide just as much sightseeing potential and equally convenient transit.
Buses are a good option for those who are interested in seeing the city as they travel. Be fair warned, buses are probably not the best option if you’re in a hurry.
All buses are tracked via the iBus system, so it couldn’t be easier to find out when the next bus is arriving at a given stop by using a smartphone or going online. There’s also an app you can download for iPhones that will give you real time transit info.
With the Big Bus London tour you will have the flexibility to hop-on or off at any of the 50+ included stops to explore and visit popular attractions. The buses run on 5 to 15 minute intervals, so you likely won’t have to wait too long at any stops.
Simply show your London Explorer Pass as you board a bus at any of the included Hop-On Hop-Off stops on any of the included routes.
A few of the popular stops along the route include Hyde Park Corner, Haymarket, Trafalgar Square, and more.
Walking around London
For those of you with more time or perhaps a bit more energy, London is an extraordinarily walkable city and it’s one of the best ways to get to know the city.
Many of the major attractions are close to one another, like the Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben, so it’s easy to rely on public transportation to get you to popular areas and then get around to a significant amount of sights from there by foot.
Popular neighborhoods like Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square are all within easy distance of one another, too.
Just be certain to obey traffic laws and follow crosswalks when crossing streets!
Biking around London
Another great option for how to get around is to travel via bike. Whether you’re renting a bike to pedal around on your own or traveling as part of a guided tour group, it’s easy and convenient to explore on two wheels.
There are bike lanes all over the city, and drivers are very accustomed to bikes on the roads. Check out the maps of their Cycle Superhighways for super bike-friendly ways into and around the city.
Taxis & Rideshares
London’s famous black taxis are ubiquitous, but can be very hard to flag down. Use one of the many cab-booking apps to easily reserve one or use a popular rideshare service, like Uber.
Fares are priced via distance/time and tariff (which is a system that essentially just means different times of the day and week). The biggest difference you’ll notice is that fares are more expensive (although not by much) late at night.
For up-to-date taxi fares, visit the fare website on Transport for London.
Tipping: tipping in London is accepted and you can tip as much as you’d like, but standard etiquette is to round up to the nearest pound.
Getting to LondonBy Plane
By far, most international visitors arrive to London via plane.
There are six different airports that service the London area: Heathrow, London City, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, and Southend.
Technically speaking, only Heathrow and London City are within the bounds of London itself, although Gatwick is actually the second busiest after Heathrow in terms of international traffic.
In all likelihood, if you are traveling from the United States, you will come into Heathrow or Gatwick.
Travelers may find Heathrow the more convenient of the two, as it is connected to central London via the Tube, as well as overground rail, buses, and of course, taxis or shuttles. Be aware that taxis will be quite pricey from Heathrow, with fares potentially reaching 80£ or more.
We recommend taking the Tube (the Piccadilly Line goes downtown from Heathrow), although you should know that many Tube stations are accessed via stairs or escalators only, which may be a challenge with luggage.
Gatwick is only accessible via bus, rail, or taxi-style services. Again, rail is the most budget-friendly option, and should definitely be favored over taxis. You’re coming from near Brighton, so you’re not actually that close to the city center and taxi fares will be pricey (we’re talking 100£ or more). To access the overground rail system, just hop on the South Terminal via the free airport shuttle and you have several options.
Travelers from other parts of England or the United Kingdom often come into the city via train.
So, if you are exploring London as part of a larger UK vacation, you may be in a situation where a train ride to London is your most convenient and budget-friendly option.
There are several different train lines that run from other major cities to London, including Cardiff, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, and more. Then, there are several major destination stations within London itself, including Waterloo, King’s Cross, Victoria, London Bridge, and more (many of which are also Tube stops).
For complete information about visiting and how to get around London via commuter rail, explore the Visit London train guide.