The Singapore Flyer
The Singapore Flyer is known by some as being the largest observation wheel in the world. And it actually did hold that distinction up until as recently as 2014. But ultimately that’s beside the point, because the bottom line is that the structure is really huge. In fact it ascends 165 meter (over 540 feet) into the air. Or to put that into layman’s terms, at the top of the wheel passengers/patrons will be 42 storeys above the ground, in an arrangement where they will have a 360-degree view of the Lion City. And being that the view is indeed unobstructed, the Singapore Flyer is considered by many to be the best observation deck in the country. And keep in mind that we’re talking about a nation where there’s a number of prominent sites offering public-observation opportunities from amazing heights.
Moreover, an observation wheel is basically a fancy name for a Ferris wheel. So in addition to the breathtaking scenery, patrons are also going to be treated to a memorable ride in general. But there’s so much more to the Singapore Flyer experience than that.
Indeed as we have stated many times in the past, when Singaporeans do something they tend to do it big. That means no expense is spared in constructing state-of-the-art structures as many of them, like this one, are specifically designed to cater to both domestic and international audiences. In fact the building of the Flyer set a record in Singapore in terms of the amount of foreign money used (in excess of $240 million) in constructing an entertainment venue. Or let’s put it this way – there’s a good chance you’ve rode a Ferris wheel before, though none like the Singapore Flyer.
The Singapore Flyer is located in the southern part of the country, specifically an area which is called the Downtown Core. This is actually the economic center of the Lion City and as such the most-modernized/urbanized part of the mainland. So rotating the wheel gives you a spectacular look at many of the prominent structures which Singapore is known for.
But being that the capsules do reach so high, on a clear day you’ll be able to see places which extend even outside of Singapore itself. Indeed from that altitude, even though Malaysia is the country all the way to the north and you’re all the way in the south of Singapore, you may be able to view part of that landmass also. Moreover many of the surrounding islands can also be seen, even some belong to Indonesia, which is quite a distance away, across the Strait of Singapore.
So viewing the modern architecture which makes up the Downtown Core / Marina Bay area, such as the Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, etc. are just part of the draw of riding the flyer, as there’s also plenty of nature to enjoy, including the seas themselves. It should also be noted that riding the Flyer in the day or night is recognized as two different experiences, as the view is radically altered respectively by the sun and moon. And evening rides are especially preferable if you’re one of the types who enjoys city lights.
Traditional Ferris wheels, as you know, tend to have those swinging passenger seats. These cars, as they’re sometimes called, usually accommodate about four people and honestly can be quite unsafe at times. But the Singapore Flyer has what we refer to as “capsules”. These structures are fully-enclosed, so you won’t be exposed to any naked air. Indeed they’re even air-conditioned. And perhaps the best way to describe them is as mobile rooms, because they actually have a maximum capacity of 28 people and enough head and room space to sit, stand or even walk around while you’re rotating the wheel.
Undoubtedly from a technological standpoint, riding the Singapore Flyer is bound to be one of the most-advanced experiences of your life. In fact considering that the capsules take about 30 minutes to completely go ‘round the wheel, you can even throw something like a mini party while taking the ride.
Moreover the capsules themselves are 28 in number. That means the Singapore Flyer can accommodate about 800 people in a single round. But the site is so popular that still, there may be times you have to wait in a queue before you’re able to get onboard. Verily, during certain times of the year tickets can even be sold out. Moreover some capsules may be reserved or designated for special premium purposes, which we will get into below.
This is an option you can consider if you want to take the Singapore Flyer experience to the next level. Some of the capsules are actually assigned as dining rooms. In other words, you can sit at a table and partake of a complete four-course meal while riding the wheel. And yes, it is a bit pricey for a table for two. But let’s just say if you ever take a loved one on a date like this, they’re likely to never forget it. And you won’t be in a rush to quickly gulp down your food within a 30-minute timeframe, as the Sky Dining capsules actually rotate the wheel twice before patrons are required to exit. So that basically means you’ll be dining on the Singapore Flyer for an hour straight.
There are also special premium packages the folks who run the Singapore Flyer have made available to interested guests. For instance, capsules can be booked for corporate or even private rides. And such passengers should not fret being up so high without any professional assistance. For just as in the Sky Dining capsules, the Corporate rides features a host/butler who accompanies you throughout the trip.
Even if you’re not the Ferris wheel type, there are many other attractions which can draw you to the Singapore Flyer site. For instance, being situated on the Marina Bay, visitors can enjoy a waterfront dining experience as opposed to say one hundreds of feet in the air. In fact even the terminal to the wheel, being three storeys itself, can be termed as a mini mall which has a sky deck on top. So you can still enjoy an elevated view of the Marina Bay without ascending to extremely-high altitudes.
The terminal is also replete with various retail experiences, including a vast array of eateries that cater to international tastes, miscellaneous items that can be purchased, a ‘tropical rainforest’ and art exhibits, a 3-D theater, event hall, etc. So basically, you can just chill out in the area and enjoy many of the sights, sounds and products which the Marina Bay has to offer without ever boarding the Flyer itself.
The Singapore Flyer hours of operation start pretty early in the morning, at 8:30. And they conclude at 10:30 pm. So if you want to enjoy the last ride of the evening, you have to show up to the ticket office by 10:15.
Once again, the Singapore Flyer is located in one of the most economically-vibrant parts of the Lion City. As such, reaching the venue, including using bus or train services via Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), is very easy. In fact while in the vicinity you may even enjoy walking around the Bay and visiting some of the other sites in the area. Additionally if you are a visitor to Singapore, there are a number of premiere hotels within walking distance of the observation wheel.
Tickets for Singapore Flyer
The ticket prices for patronizing this attraction vary based on the age of the customer. Accordingly, conventional adults (between the ages of 13 and 59) have to pay the most, which is $33 Singapore Dollars. For those under 13 years of age (going down to age 3) the price is $21, and for seniors above 60 years, they can ride for $24. And to help you calculate how much this would cost based on international exchange rates, let’s say one US Dollar equals about one-and-a-half Singapore Dollars. So an adult ticket for instance would cost about $24 USD.
FYI, the prices quoted above could slightly change in future. However, as of 2019, they are the exact prices charged.
All of this considered, the Singapore Flyer is very-popular amongst Singaporeans themselves. But it is also a must-see attraction for foreigners and a site that touring companies commonly visit. So if you happen to find yourself in the Lion City – and especially if you’re a fan of observation decks or Ferris wheels – this is definitely one of the places you should allot some time to go and check out. In fact the Singapore Flyer is a modern marvel. And when it comes to bragging rights, in the grand scheme of things only a few people can boast of having enjoyed a rotation on the second-largest Ferris wheel in the world.