My Mini Bucket List of Giant Ferris Wheels Contains Some Surprises!
The last time I went on a Ferris wheel, a mechanical fault almost caused my wife and I to miss our theatre reservation.
That was the London Eye, on a rainy day. Fortunately, they fixed the fault within 20 minutes, and we were lucky enough to be stopped at the very top to enjoy cloudy, atmospheric views. These days, cities compete to create the biggest and most impressive giant Ferris wheel. They have replaced viewing towers as a go-to attraction.
There is one Ferris wheel that tops my personal list, especially when you buy the package with the 30-minute open bar.
More on that below.
This page has highlights of five of the biggest and best Ferris wheels around the world. Instead of just size order, accessibility for Brits and the other attractions nearby are included.
#1 – Biggest Ferris Wheel So Far: The Ain Dubai (Dubai Eye)
The UAE loves to go big (see the Burj Kalifa as a fantastic example!). They built the Dubai Eye on Bluewaters Island, which is a destination full of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
As the current record holder, the Ain Dubai is a staggering 250 meters tall and can hold up to 1,400 people at a time. You get stunning views of the Dubai skyline, including Atlantis at the Palm. Prices are reasonable, starting at around £30 for a basic ticket (do check, things change).
Dubai does get silly-hot in the summer months. November to March are the best times to visit. Checking out the Ain at night gives a view of the city lights which will take your breath away. You’ll need to taxi to get to the Bluewaters island.
#2 – High Roller Ferris Wheel in Las Vegas
Spoiler alert – this giant Ferris wheel is my favourite (and it’s not even close).
Located on the Las Vegas Strip, behind the Flamingo and Link hotels, is the High Roller. This was the tallest Ferris wheel between 2014 and 2021 (when the Ain Dubai took the crown). It is 550 meters tall and takes around 30 minutes to complete a circuit.
You get magical views of the Las Vegas strip, including the iconic hotels and the MSG Sphere. In the background there are mountains, with the city stretching out into the distance.
Prices depend on whether you go during the day (2pm to 6pm) or the evening. My tip is to get a ‘Happy Half Hour’ ticket. This involves an open bar and is the perfect way to meet fellow travellers. A friendly (and fast) bartender made this a memorable experience. Remember that tips are expected.
#3 – Biggest and Best Ferris Wheels: The London Eye
I’m skipping a couple of less-accessible Ferris wheels here – the Singapore Flyer (3rd), Star of Nanchang (4th), Bailang River Bridge Ferris Wheel (5th) and Sun of Moscow (6th).
The London Eye has views which can’t be beaten anywhere. It is located close to London Bridge, on the South Bank of the Thames. On a clear day you can see for miles across London. While cloudy / rainy days have their own quirky feel, clear and sunny is so much better that I’ll recommend skipping the eye if it looks like rain. The London Eye is 135 meters tall.
Tickets start at around £25 (do check!). If you want to splash out, you can go for a VIP Champaigne experience. As with all these types of attractions, they will try to sell you photos too!
Once you get off, you are in the thick of London’s best attractions. Continue down the South Bank for the Tate Modern or visit the South Bank Centre.
#4 – The Singapore Flyer Ferris Wheel
At 165 meters tall, the Singapore Flyer is currently the 3rd biggest Ferris wheel worldwide. Like the other giant wheels, it uses air-conditioned pods – with each one holding up to 28 passengers.
It is located right in the downtown centre of Singapore, on the seafront. This gives amazing views of the skyline, especially after dark when the lights of this modern city will take your breath away.
Prices are tiered by age, with adults at around £25 (do check, exchange rates change fast).
Singapore has a lot of different attractions, including the new Marina Bay Sands complex which includes a casino. You can visit extensive botanical gardens, the Santosa Island (butterflies, fairground style attractions and more) and the Singapore Flyer cable car.
#5 – The Iconic Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel in Vienna
Height-wise, the Wiener Riesenrad won’t compete with the newer Ferris wheels around the world. I’ll admit some bias here, as a huge fan of Vienna (especially their galleries).
As far as iconic status goes, this historical wheel in Vienna, Austria is hard to beat. It is almost 65 meters tall and was the World’s tallest wheel from 1920 until 1985. Originally built back in 1897 – it still runs daily. It is set in a park, with other retro fairground attractions and places to eat and drink.
You sit in what looks like garden sheds, hanging from the wheel. Prices start at just £12 (again, do check), and queues are common.
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