If you are living or studying English in London, there are three popular spots that you certainly don´t want to miss: the London Eye, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. So, to make your life easier, here are more details about these places, like how to get there and opening hours.
1. The London Eye
The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel as it was built to celebrate the new millennium, is a giant Ferris wheel on the south bank of the River Thames. Today, the London Eye has become an essential part of London’s skyline; taking a ride on the Eye is definitely a breath-taking and memorable experience. Each round trip in a London Eye capsule is referred to as a ‘flight’ and the entire rotation takes 30 minutes. At the top you can take in stunning panoramic views of London, with all the famous landmarks on display at once.
London Eye Opening Times
The London Eye offices open at 09:30 with the first flights starting at 10:00. There are a few variations around the year, and you can check the exact opening and closing times for your visit.
The London Eye works on a first come first served basis, which means that you can actually save money by booking earlier. The prices differ depending on the type of ticket you buy (e.g. Standard Ticket, Champagne Flight) and discounts you are eligible for (e.g. student or senior discounts, family tickets). You can also buy packages with London Eye and a River Cruise included. To find out more details visit the official London Eye website.
How to Get to the London Eye
As soon as you are in central London one of the easiest ways to get to the London Eye is to follow the trail to the giant wheel by the river – you can’t miss it. However, a more convenient way is to drive to the exact address at London, SE1 7PB.
You can also reach the London Eye by bus or via tube. The closest tube station to the Eye is Waterloo, but you can also take the tube from Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster.
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL TIP: get familiar with the London monuments and main sights, and point them out when you are in your London Eye capsule. Say them out loud if you are with someone, and if you are alone, ask one of the visitors in the cabin a question and start a conversation (e.g. is that Parliament?). Take every chance you can to interact and pronounce any new name or word you learn!
2. Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is one of London’s most striking attractions and a famous landmark that you can’t miss when visiting the capital. This magnificent piece of Victorian architecture dates back to the late 1880s, and until the mid-1970s the lower bridge was operated by a steam engine.
Today the Tower Bridge is a splendid landmark typical of London, surrounded by cafés and bars where tourists and locals alike can sit and enjoy the beautiful bridge which almost resembles two small castles hovering over the Thames, just like something out of a fairy tale.
It’s free to admire the Tower Bridge and walk on it at any time; it’s striking to look at during the day and magical when lit up at night, so don’t miss out on this gorgeous gem!
If you would like to step inside the towers of the famous bridge, you can book Tower Bridge Exhibition tickets. During the exhibition, you can visit the famed engine rooms and impressive towers and find out how the bridge came to exist through digital displays and animations. You can also visit the glass room floors of the Tower Bridge on the high level Walkways. There are even yoga classes available on the glass floor of Tower Bridge! To find out more about these services visit www.towerbridge.org.uk/whats-on/.
How to Get To Tower Bridge?
If you are travelling by car you can find Tower Bridge at London SE1 2AA. The bridge is very close to the Tower of London and can be easily accessed via bus and tube. The closest tube stations to Tower Bridge are Tower Hill (Circle and District Line) and Tower Gateway (DLR).
3. Tower Of London
Built in 1066, this historical castle boasts more than 1000 years of British history. The castle is made up of many separate buildings, including the White Tower that gave the building its name. The Tower of London was once a prison and a royal residence, and controlling the Tower used to be essential to controlling the whole country.
The castle has played various roles over the centuries, from treasury to place of coronation for monarchs and even place of execution (usually in the Tower Hill). A significant period in the castle’s history was during the 16th and 17th century when the building was again turned into a prison; in fact, Queen Elizabeth I was imprisoned in the Tower of London before she became queen! Today the Tower of London is one of the most popular attractions in the world, with both tourists and locals flocking to visit the place that holds a millennium of British history.
Tower Of London Ticket Prices
You can get tickets to see the Tower of London at the gate or online, and if you opt for the latter you’ll get a discount. The prices vary depending on whether you visit during the summer or winter season. To check out the latest prices visit www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/admissionsprices/toweroflondonadmission.
Tower Of London Opening Times
The Tower of London is open to the public throughout the year. Here are the timetables for each season:
1st of March – 31st of October
Tuesday – Saturday 09:00 – 17:30
Sunday – Monday 10:00 – 17:30
Last admission 17:00
1st of November – 28th of February
Tuesday – Saturday 09:00 – 16:30
Sunday – Monday 10:00 – 16:30
Last admission 16:00
To check out the latest changes in the timetable for the Tower of London visit their official website.
How to Get to the Tower Of London
The Tower of London is centrally located and easily accessible by bus, tube, train or car. The closest tube station is Tower Hill and the closest rail stations are Fenchurch Street and London Bridge. The Tower of London address is EC3N 4AB.
BEGINNER LEVEL TIP: as you are approaching the Tower of London, ask someone on the street for directions, even if you know where you are going. Every conversation is helping you improve your speaking and listening skills.
Check out the complete chapter ‘What to see & Experience: Legendary London’ to find out more spots to explore around London. If you are studying English in London or planning to, download our London Travel Guide especially designed for English students now!