London Eye Frequently Asked Questions

Here you’ll find the answers to your questions about the London Eye, the most popular paid London tourist attraction.

When London Eye was built

Construction on the London Eye began in 1998. Its main components were built off-site and shipped to the construction site to be assembled.

Who designed London Eye?

Marks Barfield Architects, formed of husband and wife team David Marks and Julia Barfield, designed the London Eye.

Who built London Eye?

Mace was responsible for construction management. The main steelwork contractor was Hollandia, while Tilbury Douglas was the civil contractor.

Why the London Eye was built

The London Eye was built to celebrate the turn of the millennium. It was officially opened by Prime Minister of the time, Tony Blair, on December 31st, 1999. But, due to technical issues, the London Eye opened to the public on March 9th, 2000.

Much like the Eiffel Tower, it was supposed to be a temporary structure; built to stand on the banks of the Thames for around five years. However, in July 2002, the Eye was granted a permanent licence.

Who owns London Eye?

The Tussauds Group, British Airways and Marks Barfield Architects were the original owners. In 2005, Tussauds bought out British Airways’ shares, followed by Marks Barfield in 2009. From 2008 onwards, the British Airways branding was dropped from the London Eye logo.

In August 2009, Merlin Entertainments took on ownership. Later, in January 2011, EDF signed a three-year deal with Merlin. This was followed by Coca-Cola sponsorship in 2015.

Since 14th November 2019, lastminute.com has been the London Eye sponsor.

London Eye and river cruise - Passengers enjoying views from atop the London Eye
Passengers enjoying views from atop the London Eye

Where's London Eye located?

The London Eye stands opposite the Houses of Parliament, on the South Bank of the River Thames. Its address is The Queen’s Walk, Bishop’s, London, SE1 7PB.

Which bus to London Eye?

Bus routes 77, 211, 381 and RV1 stop at the London Eye. The attraction is also a featured stop on most sightseeing bus tours.

Which underground to London Eye?

The London Eye is within walking distance from several London Underground stations. These include Embankment, Westminster and Waterloo.

The closest station is Waterloo, roughly a five-minute walk away. Charing Cross, Embankment and Westminster stations are situated on the north side of the Thames and are a fifteen-minute walk away.

How many London Eye pods?

The London Eye has 32 pods, representing each of London’s boroughs. However, the capsules are numbered 1 to 33 for superstitious reasons. There is no pod 13, skipping from 12 to 14 instead.

How long is the London Eye ride?

A flight aboard the London Eye lasts thirty-minutes.

The London Eye at night
The London Eye at night
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