In the Praterstern, actually a somewhat disappointing park with a fair, we find the Giant Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad). It was built in 1896-1897. This 65 m high Ferris Wheel with 15 gondolas is one of the most famous symbols of Vienna. We make a ride what was a fun experience. Right at the top gives a magnificent view over the city.
See for an impression the video Giant Ferris Wheel.
Accessible with the U-Bahn Praterstern and tram O, 5, 21
One part of the Prater is a big recreation park (till the beginning of the 20th century it was a hunting area), with a lot of green space and forest. Many people do sports there, for example running, roller skating, or are just sunbathing. There is a riding school as well. Since the 1920ies a little train is going through the Prater, the nostalgic "Liliputbahn". The ticket costs EUR 3,50 (EUR 2,20 for children under 12, free for children under 2) and it is great fun.
One of the main attractions in the Prater is of course the amusement park, which is called "Wurstelprater". It was pretty shabby in the 90ties, now it is well kept again and a nice place for adults and for kids to spend for example a Sunday afternoon. There is no general entrance fee to the amusement park, but they charge directly at the attractions. Tickets cost ca between EUR 1,50 - EUR 15,00 (for the ejection seat- you sit in kind of a big ball and are catapulted up in the air- only for the ones with nerves of steel :)) . Apart from some scary attractions like the "space shot" you`ll find roller coasters, haunted houses, carrousels, racing circuits, gambling houses, pony riding for kids and a looot more. Here you`ll find the famous giant ferris wheel as well, which is Vienna`s landmark. The ticket costs EUR 7,50 for adults and EUR 3,00 for kids between 3 and 14. Watch out for reduced combination tickets, for example Liliputbahn and giant ferris wheel or Donauturm and giant ferris wheel.
Last but not least, the most famous restaurant in the Prater, the large "Schweizerhaus" should be mentioned. It is always packed with people, so if you come with a larger group you should reserve a table, especially at the weekend. They have a large beer garden where you can enjoy a Budweiser beer and the traditional rear knuckle of pork (so called "Stelze" which usually weighs 1.5 kg and costs ca EUR 20,00).
From it you can enjoy a great view of Vienna, during a 20-minutes-long ride. The first time I went there was very early in the morning on January 1 2000 and we were the only ones!!! The view from there is just wonderful. At the entrance the staff was offering free drinks, such as chocolate, tee and beer, and they asked what we wanted. I said: 'beer' and the man made a funny face looking at his watch, as to say: 'at this hour???' LOL
This Ferris Wheel was built in 1896/97 by the British engineer Walter Basset for the Emperor Franz Josef I's golden jubilee. After burning down during World War II, it was replaced in 1945.
Today the ferris wheel stands at the entrance to the Prater amusement park. The square has been redesigned in a nostalgic theme reminiscent of the Prater in 1900.
A ride on the wheel takes you to a height of 65 metres and gives you a unique view of Vienna. Some of the cabins can be hired for celebrations or romantic dinners for two.
Opening times and prices can be found on the website below.
The Giant Ferris Wheel is open 365 days of the years. It has been a famous landmark since it was opened in 1897 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef I. It was damaged during WW2 but was rebuilt and reopened in 1947. It has featured in a number of films but became world famous in the post war film ‘The Third Man’. It is nearly 65m in height and the whole construction weighs 430t. There are 15 cabins on the wheel from which you get fantastic views of Vienna. There are 4 cabins set aside for private hire. For those who fancy something different for a wedding this could be the location. As the cabins have a limit on the number of people allowed, it cuts down on the number of wedding guests.
Just beside the 100+ year old ferris wheel of Reesenrad in Leopoldstadt in Vienna, there is a wonderful amusement park that kids will surely enjoy --- called the WURSTELPRATER.
There’s a wonderful rollercoaster, carousels and several other fun rides. The mascot for the park is Calafati, a 9 meter-tall sculpture of a Chinese man --- why Chinese, I don’t know…
The park is open from 10:00 am to 1:00 am daily in its season from March 15 to October 31. But check actual dates as this may change (I visited in 2007). There is no entrance fee to get into the park; instead, each individually-owned attraction charges its own fee! So, feel free to walk around!!!
I just took a tram to go to the famous 1897 Reisenrad ferris wheel (one of the earliest of its kind) in Vienna's Prater in the second district of Leopoldstadt (designed by Hubert Cecil Booth). At first I was anxious if this old structure would collapse, but remember - it has survived 2 World Wars!
It has a height of 65 meters (213 ft), and from above you see a magnificent view of Vienna as well as a large amusement park. Some of the carts had dining tables, reserved for special occassions and I think it would be a perfect place for a “marriage proposal”!
Drop me a line if you did propose on that ferris wheel (and send pics too!)...
There is a wonderful museum at the base, giving a history of the ferris wheel and pictures of it from the past. It is amazing that it stands to this day, and every new visitor to Vienna should go on it to have a piece of history!
Just on the outskirts of the city centre you'll find the theme park. Now its similar to most but its known for having on of the oldest ferris wheels in the world. Its well worth a visit and at night is amazing to look at.
I like Ferris wheels so I had to ride Riesenrad :D the day we went it was a little windy so it was a tad scary when the cart started to move left to right and back a little. Riesenrad is also the only place where we saw Vienna from above. Some might say that the view isn't spectacular but I liked it.
On arrival you get 4 photos taken for you to shop if you want. The idea is that you look at different places from Riesenrad and the "book" where your pictures are printed is actually a good idea...if only I was more photogenic that day hehehe.
In the other side of UNO CITY,you'll see a big wheel and other attractions just in the riverside.Is a good option if you are travelling with children,I am sure that you'll have lots of fun here and see some nice views of the city.This big wheel is more than one hundred years old,and it is one of most important landmark of Vienna!.
The Prater is a great way to spend your evening if you would like to unwind and have a bit of fun! The park is full of attractions for all ages and there's something for everyone. Personally, I hate heights so the roller-coaster, although quite small, was a very bad idea for me! But I enjoyed other 'calmer' rides. For the thrill-seekers there are definitely an ideal ride or two! The Reisenrad is the main attraction in Prater and it takes you back in history just by looking at it. There is another much modern ferris wheel in Prater but, in my opinion, a ride on the traditional Reisenrad should not be missed!
As seen in the movie "The Third Man", no trip is complete without a ride on this. It's open all year, less people around in winter. Lots of info about the wheel on the website.
Price is 8Euro (Feb 2008)
Fun fairs aren’t usually “my thing” at all, but I was prepared to make an exception for the “Riesenrad” ferris wheel at the permanent Viennese “Prater” fun fair. Why? Well, because it is such a historic device, having commenced operations in 1897, when it was by far the world’s largest (65M) – now it’s the world’s oldest; because over the years it become so much a symbol of Vienna; and because….well, the ‘kid’ in me came out and I just wanted to try it!
Yes, I know that many people feel it is an enormous tourist trap – and if you purchase the photos taken as you enter, you’re succumbing to that, but the easiest thing is to not bother even checking them as you leave: nobody says you must buy, after all! As you enter, you will pass through a small ‘museum’ with items such as dioramas of Vienna, housed in old cars from the wheel: many years ago, half the original cars were removed. It isn’t a world-shaking museum, but worth a few minutes of your time.
And did the Riesenrad meet my expectations? It did indeed, it was not only a buzz, but being slow-moving it also provided a good vantage point for some great photos. I’d give it the thumbs up as a “to do”.
Vienna was one of the first large capitols in the somewhat more modern times, that understood that it was important to keep the citizens entertained. The "Prater" became a entertainment area for the city, on one of the islands in the river Donau (Danube). A large green park with wide lawns and green fields, but also café's and restaurants. It was here that Vienna also built it's famous Prater giant ferris wheel, for long time the largest in it's kind. Taking a round in this wheel is a definate must for every Vienna visitor, especially when they also happen to be James Bond fans (in The Living Daylights some scenes are taken here). But also another famous film played her: "The Third Man".
Visit the Prater fun & attractions park and don't miss a ride in the Giant Ferris Wheel. The ride is not spectacular and adrenaline-pushing like some of the Prater attractions, but it brings you back into the past - you will slow down and enjoy the view over the city. The Giant Ferris Wheel was erected in 1897 for the first time, burned down in 1944 and rebuilt in 1945. Nowadays you can book the cabins for romantic candle light dinners (for details see the website indicated below) or other small events.