8 incredible Ferris wheel views worth every penny

A ride on the London Eye costs a whopping $50. That's like £4, or something. But it's still pricey. And that brand new Ferris wheel in Las Vegas? It'll set you back $25. Honestly, Ferris wheels usually aren't that cool – have you ever heard anyone say, "I'm just DYING to get on that Ferris wheel"? Probably not. 

However, there are a handful of Ferris wheels in this world worth your time and money. With that in mind, we've rounded up the ones with spectacular views and reasonable price tags so you're not left asking yourself, "Why did I just spend $15 to go in a circle at a county fair"?

riesen rad
Flickr user ethan prater

Riesen Rad -- Vienna, Austria

view vienna
Flickr user marcus rahm

Height: 212 ft
What you’ll see: Pretty much all of Vienna. Don’t miss the famous St. Stephen's Cathedral.
Fun fact: Built in 1897, it survived WWII intact, and was the world's tallest Ferris wheel from 1920 until 1985. Most of its cabins are still the originals, too.
Cost: $12

cape wheel
cape wheel

Cape Wheel -- Cape Town, South Africa

cape wheel view
Facebook user Cape Wheel

Height: 196ft
What you’ll see: Table Mountain, Robben Island, and Cape Town City all the way to the Paarl Mountains.
Fun fact: The wheel sits in the middle of the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront in Cape Town, which is the most visited destination in all of Africa.
Cost: $9

Clifton Hill

The Niagara Sky Wheel -- Clifton Hill, Canada

view niagara
Niagara falls tourism

Height: 175ft
What you’ll see: The Niagara River, Horseshoe Falls and American Falls.
Fun fact: Canada’s largest observation wheel cost $10 million to build. And you don't even need to ride in a barrel to see the whole cascade.
Cost: $11

Flickr/andy brannan

Wonder Wheel -- Brooklyn, NY

view beach
flickr/the all-nite images

Height: 150ft
What you’ll see: Coney Island beach and boardwalk, Brighton Beach, the Atlantic Ocean.
Fun fact: 16 of the 24 cars on this so-called eccentric wheel aren't fixed to the rim, but slide inwards as the wheel turns. Possibly frightening, seeing how it's Coney Island.
Cost: $7

navy pier
Flickr user Ben_Grey

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel -- Chicago, IL

navy pier

Height: 150 ft
What you’ll see: Chicago’s skyline and lakefront.
Fun fact: In the site of the original, this Ferris wheel is modeled after the world’s very first, which was created for Chicago’s 1893 World Columbian Exposition (aka The Chicago World's Fair).
Cost: $7

ferris wheel
flickr/mark mitchell

Pacific Wheel -- Santa Monica, CA

pacific wheel
flickr/laura bittner

Height: 130ft
What you’ll see: The Southern California coastline, Catalina Island, the Pacific Ocean.
Fun fact:  This is the only entirely solar-powered Ferris wheel in the world, and it’s covered with 160,000 energy-efficient LED lights.
Cost: $6

tianjin eye

Tianjin Eye -- Tianjin , China

tianjin view

Height: 383ft
What you’ll see: The Hai River, the Tianjin skyline.
Fun fact: It’s the only Ferris Wheel in the world that straddles a bridge. Which is actually really crazy if you think about it.
Cost: $11

brighton wheel
Brighton Wheel

Brighton Wheel -- Brighton, UK

view brighton

Height: 160ft
View: Historical Brighton landmarks like the Brighton pier and Bedford Hotel, as well as miles of coastline. And English actor and comedian Steve Coogan will enlighten you as to what you're looking at in the audio commentary.
Fun Fact: This Ferris wheel has seen more countries than most Americans: It was made in Germany, then spent time in South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup before settling in Brighton in 2011.
Cost: $13

Sophie-Claire Hoeller is Thrillist's über-efficient German associate travel editor, and has fond memories of the Riesenrad. Follow her @Sohostyle