Riesenrad & Prater, Vienna

Riesenrad & Prater
The Riesenrad is the famous giant ferris-wheel, visible from all over the city. It was erected in 1897 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef I, marking fifty years of his reign. In 1944, during WW-II, the Riesenrad was burnt down; rebuilt the following years, it was reopened in 1947, and has been running ever since.

Technical Data:

Total height: 64,75 m
Diameter of the Wheel: 60,96 m (=200 feet)
Height of axis centre: 34.20 m
Total weight of the iron structure: 430,05 t
Turning speed: 0,75 m/sec = 2,7 km/h
Number of cabins: 15 (prior to 1945: 30)
Since 1987 cabin nr. 30 serves as a luxuy cabin

Tickets are 7.50 Euros for adults; included in this price is entrance to a small but interesting museum that depicts the history of the Riesenrad and Vienna.

This is not a fast "adventure" ride, but it goes at a slow and leisurely pace that allows for a spectacular view of Vienna. Unless you are afraid of heights.....then you pretty much just sit in the middle of the cabin and pray that the darn thing starts going faster. Each of the cabins are entirely in wood, and sway and creak while in motion, with large windows and a bench along the entire length in the middle. We had an american family of 4 with us, where the child kept talking about accidents with these old structures, much to the aggravation of the scared mother. All in all quite funny.
:-)

Note:
The exit leads through the Riesenrad-giftshop, where you can find all sorts of knick-knacks and souveniers.

  • Phone: 0043 1 729 54 30
  • Directions: The Prater is located in the 2nd district; it is situated between Ausstellungsstra├če, Prater Hauptallee, and Praterstern. The easiest way to get there is by taking either tram, train, or underground to the "Praterstern" station.

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