Published on November 2019
Updated on December 2022
One of my favorite highlights in London was going inside and around the London Eye through their Champagne Experience. Gorgeous views of the city, coupled with a glass of bubbly with my beloved during golden hour…what more could you ask for?!
Everything you need to know about London Eye Champagne Experience
London Eye: A Brief History
The London Eye is the 443′ observation Ferris wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames. Constructed in 1998 and opened in 2000, it originally was supposed to be a temporary attraction with a 5-year lease. In 2001 the operators submitted an application to give it a permanent status.
London Eye Costs and Hours
You can purchase different tickets for the London Eye directly online. If you don’t mind waiting in line you can purchase the standard ticket for £32.50 ($39.24). Fast track tickets are £46 ($55) and give you priority to the entrance.
Unless otherwise noted on their website and socials, the London Eye is open from 11 am–6 pm.
What is the London Eye Champagne Experience?
The London Champagne Experience is £55 online ($66.41), and gives you one glass of chilled Pommery Brut Royal Champagne.
You can select the date and time you want to go on the Eye, and it’s in 30-minute increments. Once you purchase the tickets, you will receive a confirmation e-mail.
For VIP Experiences, they recommend that you arrive 45 minutes early. You will check in at the County Hall which is where the ticket office is, right next to the London Eye. There is a machine where you can print out your tickets, you just need to type in your e-mail address and it prints it out for you.
You will then walk to the Eye Lounge, which is the bar at the London Eye. This is where you will meet your host and the other people you are riding with and have also purchased the Champagne Experience.
Once the rest of the group and your host arrives, you all will skip the queue and head to the Fast Track entrance. There, you will enter the capsule. The ride is 30 minutes long, and once you reach the top you get a clear 360° view of London. We saw the big attractions such as the Shard, the Palace of Westminster, and Big Ben. While our host was talking about each attraction we saw, he opened his briefcase which had the champagne bottle and the glasses, and started pouring it for everyone to enjoy.
Tips for riding and enjoying the London Eye
- Get there as early as possible, 30-45 minutes in advance.
- Order tickets online. Not only will you save a bit of money, but you will also avoid having to wait in line to purchase the ticket in the County Hall. October may be shoulder season but there are still a lot of tourists visiting the Eye!
- Any time is a good time to go on the Eye, but for a pretty, romantic view, go in the evening as the. Cecilio and I went at 5 pm (17:00 in English time) in October. The sun was still out but we had golden hour, which made for well-lit photos. You can find out when the sun sets using this sungraph any time of the year you visit London.
- Take photos from every angle!
- I wouldn’t print the professional photos since they are on the pricey side, but you can always get your host or another attendee to take your photos.
- Don’t forget to tag them on Instagram with the hashtag #EyeLoveLondon!
Other Types of London Eye Experiences
Aside from the London Eye Champagne Experience, there are other ways to enjoy the wheel:
- London Eye River Cruise & Standard London Eye Ticket: You can take a 40-minute cruise on the River Thames and then hop on London Eye
- Westminster Walking Tour & London Eye Ticket: Get to know and see London’s other biggest attractions such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. The Tour ends with a ride to London Eye.
- Best of London: This is a comprehensive tour of London where you get to see St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and take a private cruise on River Thames. You have the option to upgrade to hop on the London Eye OR have cream tea at Harrod’s.
- Cupid’s Pod: The ultimate luxury experience for couples, where two guests can rent out a private pod for 30 minutes. You also get sweet perks like a private host, priority boarding, a bottle of Pommery Rosé Champagne, and a box of chocolate truffles from Hotel Chocolat.
My final verdict on the London Eye Champagne Experience
Now, to answer the question of the title…YES, it is worth it. I try to be more mindful of what I spend these days, but I figure if you are coming from the other side of the world, you are already spending a lot of money on your vacation. It’s up to you to decide what’s worth splurging, scrimping, or skipping. I knew I wanted to ride on the London Eye since booking our plane tickets, and I was willing to forgo other attractions. I wanted to make it extra special and romantic for Cecilio and me by sipping on some bubbly.
Hannah is a travel writer, graphic designer, and the founder/editor of Hannah on Horizon. She is based in Sacramento, California, living with her husband and two adorable dogs. She shares tips on how to experience luxury travel on any budget, and how to maximize time at each trip or destination, no matter what your budget or amount of vacation time at work. She enjoys making you feel like you have visited each destination with her through her storytelling and informative writing style.