Why should I visit the Giant Ferris Wheel?The Giant Ferris Wheel isn’t just the symbol of the Prater park, it’s basically the emblem of the city itself. Built in 1897 to celebrate Emperor Franz Josef I’s Golden Jubilee, the Ferris wheel was nearly demolished in 1916 but because there weren’t enough funds to carry out the demolition it survived! It very nearly survived World War II intact but was severely damaged by fire in 1944, being rebuilt shortly after with only half as many cabins as it started with. It’s been featured in a huge number of Austrian and German films and TV shows, and it’s also caught the attention of Hollywood, appearing in Orson Welles’ The Third Man and in a James Bond film (The Living Daylights, starring Timothy Dalton). If its historical significance doesn’t do it for you, then visit for the excellent views of Vienna you can see from the top.
What can you see from the top?From the top of the Giant Ferris Wheel you get a pretty extensive view of Vienna, including the Donauturm, the Stefansdom, the huge expanse of the rest of the Prater park. On clear days you can see all the way across the city to the Kahlenberg mountain and the Vienna Woods (Wienerwald).
How long does a rotation take?It depends. The Ferris wheel stops when people need to get on or off, and depending on how busy the attraction is, one rotation can take anywhere between 12 minutes and half an hour.
Is there anything interesting to do nearby?So many things, especially if you decide to buy a Vienna Pass! Opposite the entrance to the Giant Ferris Wheel you’ll find Madame Tussauds Vienna, and in the other direction you’ll find the Prater Museum, both of which are included in the pass (you also get a free ride around the park on the Liliputbahn). Other attractions in the park include the Chocolate Museum, a Planetarium, the Rollercoaster Restaurant, and several children’s playgrounds throughout the area.