Have You Ridden Any of the 10 Tallest Ferris Wheels in the World?

By: Jesslyn Shields  | 
tallest Ferris wheels
A spectacular fireworks show celebrated the opening of the Ain Dubai Ferris wheel in 2021. ibrar.kunri/Shutterstock

If you're not into getting jerked around by a roller coaster and the Tilt-A-Whirl nauseates you, but you still want the thrill of an amusement park ride, perhaps a Ferris wheel is more your speed. Of course, to enjoy the thrill of a Ferris wheel, you can't be too afraid of heights — especially to ride the very tallest ones.

Although George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. patented the Ferris wheel he built for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the vertical wheel ride dates back to the human-powered "pleasure wheels" invented in Bulgaria in the 17th century. The first Ferris wheel had a capacity of 60 riders, had 36 buckets with swiveling seats and was 264 feet (80 meters) in diameter. These days, the technology has blossomed into something with little relation to Ferris's invention — in fact, many of the larger modern wheels are called "observation wheels" because they're not meant to give the rider a fast thrill, but rather a breathtaking 360-degree view of their surroundings. Here's a look at the 10 tallest examples standing in the world today.


Ain Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Ain Dubai Ferris wheel
The Ain Dubai Ferris wheel stands at 820 feet (250 meters) on Bluewaters Island in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Creative Family/Shutterstock

The tallest Ferris wheel in the world is the Eiffel Tower. It's capable of carrying 1,750 passengers on a single rotation, and some of the capsules have private bars and can serve dinner for 40. One rotation of Ain Dubai takes 38 minutes, and you can even have a birthday party or a wedding in one of the capsules!


High Roller, Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas High Roller observation wheel
The High Roller observation wheel comes to life at dusk on the Las Vegas strip. A Desert Dweller/Shutterstock

Las Vegas has many over-the-top experiences, and the High Roller on the Vegas strip is no exception. At 550 feet (168 meters) tall, it debuted in 2014 as the tallest Ferris wheel in the world and held the record for seven years until it was superseded by the Ain Dubai. The High Roller is predictably glitzy with 28 rotating glass pods that can each hold 40 passengers, for a total carrying capacity of 1,120. And in case you get bored of the view, each cabin is decked out with eight flat screen televisions.


Singapore Flyer, Singapore

Singapore Flyer
For feng shui reasons, the direction of movement of the Singapore Flyer was actually changed after it opened in 2008. Travel_Adventure/Shutterstock

The Singapore Flyer opened in downtown Singapore April 15, 2008. The giant wheel stands at 541 feet (165 meters) tall and stands beside a three-story terminal building. Each of its 28 air-conditioned capsules can hold 28 passengers. It was the world's tallest observation wheel until the High Roller in Las Vegas came along six years after it opened.

A few months after opening in 2008, the Singapore Flyer changed directions — after much consultation, feng shui masters convinced the operators to make the wheel rotate toward the city's financial district to bring good fortune.


Star of Nanchang, Nanchang, China

Star of Nanchang
The Star of Nanchang takes a full 30 minutes to make one revolution. David Momphard/South China Morning Post/Getty Images

Supplanted as the world's tallest Ferris wheel by the Singapore Flyer, the Star of Nanchang stands at 525 feet (160 meters) tall and is located in Nanchang, China, the capital of Jiangxi Province. Its 60 coaches can carry eight passengers each, and it's rather slow for its size — it takes 30 minutes to make a full revolution, allowing the passengers at the bottom of the wheel to exit the ride without stopping the entire wheel each time.


Bailang River Bridge Ferris Wheel, Weifang, China

Bailang River Bridge Ferris Wheel
The Bailang River Bridge Ferris Wheel stands under construction on Nov. 27, 2017, in Weifang, Shandong, China. Getty Images/Visual China Group/Getty Images

The world's largest spokeless Ferris wheel, the Bailang River Bridge Ferris wheel in Weifang, Shandong, China, is unusual in that the body of the wheel is stationary, and the 36 cars that carry 10 passengers each rotate around a lattice-patterned scaffolding. Measuring 475 feet (145 meters) tall, it's among the tallest wheels in the world, and an added bonus is a view of the Bailang River.


Moscow Sun Ferris Wheel - Moscow, Russia

The Moscow Sun Ferris Wheel claims the sixth spot on our list, towering at a height of 459 feet (140 meters). Located near the VDNH in Moscow, this Ferris wheel offers breathtaking views of the city's iconic landmarks, including the Moscow City District and the Kremlin Spasskaya Tower. With 30 cabins to choose from, including five glass-floored cabins, the Moscow Sun Ferris Wheel provides a unique and thrilling experience. Take a ride during the day or at night to witness the city's beauty in a spectacular display of light.


London Eye, London, England

London Eye
The London Eye watches over the city with County Hall, Westminster Bridge, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in attendance. Shaun Jeffers/Shutterstock

The London Eye, or Millennium Wheel, opened in 2000 on the banks of the Thames River in London to much fanfare as it was, at the time, the largest cantilevered Ferris wheel ever built. It was meant to be a temporary part of the London skyline, but nobody wanted to take it down once it was up. At 443 feet (135 meters) tall and resembling a huge spoked bicycle wheel, newer observation wheels are much bigger, but the London Eye remains very popular — in fact, after all these years it's still the most visited tourist attraction in the United Kingdom.

The London Eye contains 32 sealed cars that hold 25 passengers each. They are numbered one through 33; there is no No. 13.


Bay Glory, Shenzhen, China

Bay Glory Ferris wheel
The Bay Glory Ferris wheel in Shenzhen, China, overlooks the romantic coastline of Qianhai Bay. Julythese7en/Shutterstock

The stunning Bay Glory cantilevered observation wheel opened in 2021. Located in Shenzhen, China, the observation wheel has 28 capsules, each of which can hold 25 passengers. At 420 feet (128 meters) tall, the Bay Glory is the fourth largest cantilevered wheel in the world.


Sky Dream, Taichung, Taiwan

Sky Dream Ferris Wheel
The Sky Dream Ferris Wheel is the largest one in Taiwan. Richie Chan/Shutterstock

The largest Ferris wheel in Taiwan is the 413-foot (126-meter) Sky Dream, with 60 cars that hold eight passengers a piece. Sky Dream originally opened in 2001 in Fukuoka, Japan, but was dismantled in 2010 and sold to the Taiwanese Lihpao Land theme park, then opened in its current incarnation in 2017.


Redhorse Osaka Wheel, Osaka, Japan

Redhorse Osaka Wheel
The Redhorse Osaka Wheel looms over the Expocity shopping mall in Osaka, Japan. EvergreenPlanet/Shutterstock

Japan's tallest Ferris wheel is the 404-foot (123-meter) Redhorse Osaka Wheel, which stands over a giant mall in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. It has 72 passenger cabins with transparent floors to make the experience a little extra nerve-wracking.