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.
The symbol of Vienna, Riesenrade the Giant Ferris Wheel offers a great view to the city. It costs 7.50 euros with Vienna Card and 9 without and before the entrance there is a "museum" which shows the story of the Wheel (the construction, the fire etc.). The Whell goes very slowly in order to see the visitors the city. There are private small rooms where you could have dinner if you wish. I loved the city view and the view of Prater. If you afraid of highs do not see down when you are on the top but see the roofs!!!
Prater is a big park which except the recreation park there is also a green place to walk, go for a ride, to play tennis! We took the Lilliputbahn and we made a tour to the park!
Prater and Riesenrade is a must go place even if you don't have children with you.
The wheel was built by a British Engineer, Walter B Basset, and has stood the test of time and war. Prior to 1945, the wheel had 30 cabins, currently it only has 15. It symbolises the city to many people and has a prominent part in The Third Man film starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles.
The wheel is 64.75m high, with a diameter of 60.96m and weighs 430 tonnes.
If you are a romantic why not book one of the special cabins in the Biedermeier or Jugendstil styles.
The opening times change through out the year; during the summer months it opens between 09.00 and 24.00 - the other times of the year do vary but it always opens at 10.00 through to 20.00 or 22.00.
Prater is the name of a huge recreation area for Vienna. It has been a part of Vienna for many centuries. Until 1766 it used to be a private park for emperors etc. Until the sun went down the people of Vienna were allowed to walk in the park then. From 1775 it was open all day and night, and for everybody.
The most popular part of Prater is "Wurstelprater", the amusement park on the grounds of Prater. Its history started in 1603 with the first "restaurant" where you could get sausages (hence the name Wurstelprater). After the opening for everybody a lot of amusements (shooting, restaurants etc) opened. The first carousel opened in 1844.
Today you don't only find the famous ferris wheel here but also a lot of carousels, entertaining games and scary machines. There's no charge to visit, only if you want to be shaken by one of the machines or try your luck to win anything you need to pay. It's definitely a good place to go for a walk.
I've heard and read that Prater area should be avoided after nightfall. During the day I felt completely safe here. The only time I felt unsafe was in the ferris wheel ;-)
The main landmark of Vienna is the ferris wheel in Prater amusement park so of course we went there for a turn. I am extremely scared of heights so ferris wheels are always a nightmare for me. But how could I miss this one? It has this certain romantic flair not only since the movie "Before Sunrise" became one of my all time favourites.
The ferris wheel has been there since 1897. It was built to celebrate emperor Franz Josef's 50th jubilee. Back then it still had 30 wagons, today for safety reasons there are only 13 left.
From the top you get nice views of Vienna and the Prater underneath. A complete turn takes approx. 20 mts. It felt much longer because of my fear of heights ;) It's not as bad as the London Eye though as it is not as high ("only" 64 metres). Come early in the morning to avoid queuing for too long. We were here on a Sunday morning and queued for 30 mts maybe. A ticket costs 7,50 EUR.
The Giant Ferris Wheel, trademark of Austria's capital city and a symbol of Vienna's world-famous Prater, creates a very special point of reference for every visitor with its unmistakeable silhouette, clearly visible even from great distances.
A circular trip on one of the most significant and fascinating structures in the world, and the unique view of the city of Vienna, make the Giant Ferris Wheel an absolute cultural and architectural must for every visitor to Austria's capital.
Have a look at my restaurant-tip "SCHWEIZERHAUS" , only a 10 minutes walk!
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