Singapore's rotating observatory25 October, 2011 by Chad
As part of our ongoing efforts to write about attractions in Singapore, today we feature the Singapore Flyer. Built in 2008 and standing at 165 meters tall (approximately 42 floors high), the Singapore Flyer is currently the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. The wonder is located at Marina Promenade, reshaping the Central Business District skyline. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most immediately noticeable landmarks for those traveling to Singapore.
The Singapore Flyer is nearly identical appearance to the London Eye (previously another one of the tallest Ferris Wheels in the world) but is taller by 30 meters. The Flyer also ousted the Star of Nanchang, the previous record holder by 5 meters to remain the tallest wheel in the world since it went live in 2008.
Promenade MRT on the new Circle Line, is the nearest station to the flyer. There’s an underground passage connecting the station to the wheel. There’s also a free shuttle bus from City Hall MRT station that operates every 30 minutes. The flyer is located just a short distance away from other popular local attractions like the Marina Bay Sands, Double Helix Bridge and the Esplanade.
Unlike regular Ferris wheels which make for a popular date spots, you will need to share a capsule with a crowd. Each regular capsule holds 28 people. Tickets start at $29.50. There are special dining at $249 (before taxes) which let you have a meal with 9 other strangers.
Privacy is expensive here. Especially when you consider that a single revolution only lasts 30 minutes. Private capsules only start at $1500 and with a price like that, would be reserved only for cases where a particular partner gets the sudden urge to “buy a hdb flat” (Singlish for popping the question) or to hold actual weddings. Cheesy? Yes. I’m sure you could do better.
Instead, to avoid disappointment it’s best to take the Singapore Flyer as a moving observatory of sorts. And for this purpose, it excels, providing the most scenic panoramic views of postcard Singapore.
Unlike most other Ferris wheels and like the London Eye, capsules of the Singapore Flyer rotate as they move along the wheel, ensuring that they remain exterior to the wheel itself. This means that the view from the capsules remain obscured by the wheel throughout the journey.
While tall buildings with wide cityscape views may be common in some other Metropolitan cities, they were a rare find in Singapore up until recent years.
Even today, the only other two publicly accessible options remain the Sky Park at Marina Bay Sands and the Pinnacle@Duxton, the former being another popular choice for those traveling to Singapore.
As such, the Singapore Flyer functions as a great alternative to the usual skyscrapers for a bird’s eye view of the city. Perhaps, our only qualm is how short the ride lasts.
A normal ticket for one revolution of the wheel, lasts only 30 minutes. A fairly steep price as far as observatories go. Still, trying out what is the world’s tallest wheel is not something you’d want to miss when visiting Singapore.
The Singapore Flyer is open daily from 8.30AM to 10.30PM. Tickets start at SGD$29.50.
If you intend to visit the Singapore Flyer, we recommend booking in advance through their official site. There are discounts and free vouchers for online bookings as well as other special promotions from time to time.Planning your holiday? We recommend visiting Agoda for a full list of hotels with early bird specials.