It’s Vienna’s most prominent landmark and it’s been spinning visitors around for well over a hundred years. The wheel was built to mark the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef in 1896, but its long term future was secured in 2002 with a huge renovation project. When you ride the Riesenrad you get terrific views of Vienna, but also a sense of history with its wooden cabs and distinctive square windows. You’ll probably remember it from the movie “The Third Man”. You do get the feeling though that wheel hasn’t had the love and attention it deserves over the years. This maybe because it is part of the Vienna Prater – a huge amusement park with traditional fairground rides and attractions. Whilst the fairground attractions look best and are busiest at night, bear in mind that there’s not much to see from the wheel when it’s dark. Riesenrad is in Vienna’s second district of Leopoldstadt. This is an extract from our free Vienna City Guide.
Another movie that you might have seen the wheel in is the 1987 James Bond Film, The Living Daylights. The wheel originally had 30 cabs, but after it was severely damaged in the World War II, it was rebuilt with only 15. You may also have seen historic black and white images of the wheel with the Nazi Swastika flying from the top when Austria was occupied during the war. The Riesenrad wheel is open daily from May until September between 9am and 11.45pm, in March, April & October between 10am and 9.45pm, and from November to February between 10am and 7.45pm. Adult admission is 9 Euros with a family tickets starting at 23 Euros (2012 prices). Another option for riding the wheel is the Vienna Zoo & Riesenrad Wheel Ticket which includes a trip on the Riesenrad.
LOCATION & CONTACT
Address: Riesenrad, Prater 90, 1020 Wien, Austria
Tel: +43 1 729 54 30
MORE ON THE RIESENRAD WHEEL
Hotels near the Riesenrad Wheel (Leopoldstadt) – Great rates from Hotels.com
More Vienna Hotels – Massive discounts from Expedia
Vienna Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour – Stops at the Prater/Giant Ferris Wheel
Riesenrad – Official Website
Riesenrad Wheel – Wikipedia
Vienna Guide Books – Amazon.co.uk (UK)
Vienna Travel Books – Amazon.com (US & Canada)