Do you want to soar above the clouds and the Budapest skyline? If so, then you definitely should check out the Budapest Eye or Sziget Eye Belváros. During my recent visit to Budapest after my river cruise with my friend Karla, we pretty much tripped over the Budapest Eye and I’m so glad we did. In case you’re planning to visit Budapest, here’s everything you need to know about the Budapest Eye. In case you don’t have any plans to visit Budapest soon, bookmark this for later or just scroll down and look at the pics. You know you want to. One of my friends recently went on a Budapest stag do and took the time out of their busy schedule to go on this wheel; it’s seriously worth it!
Located in the largest green space in Budapest’s city center, Erzsébet Square, the Budapest Eye offers visitors a view over Budapest like no other in the city.
While some people might refer to it as the Budapest Eye, Sziget Eye, Sziget Eye Belváros, Budapest Ferris Wheel, or Budapest Óriáskereke, whatever you call it you’re definitely not going to miss the 65 meter (214′) high observation wheel as it towers above the trees and buildings of Budapest.
If this ferris wheel perhaps looks like others you’ve seen on your travels, that’s because it’s from Freij Entertainment International, the company that places ferris wheels in places like Manchester (The Wheel of Manchester), Liverpool (The Wheel of Liverpool), Paris (La Grande Roue de Paris), and Malaysia (Eye on Malaysia), among others.
For 2,400 HUF (about $8.50 USD or €7,71) you can climb aboard the Budapest Eye and take a spin in one of its 41 cabins. Children and family tickets are also available. There weren’t any lines when we arrived, so we could purchase our tickets and enter the first available cabin, which accommodates up to six people.
TSG Tip: Did you know that you can reserve a special VIP cabin? For a longer 30 minute ride with three of your closest friends while sipping on champagne, a special VIP cabin with privacy glass is available for €100.
Each ride is approximately 10-12 minutes long, during which time the wheel makes three full revolutions. If you plan it out correctly, that’s almost enough time to get a sufficient number of shots using all available cameras you’ve brought along with you. Alternatively, you could quietly enjoy the view, but you knew I couldn’t do that.
We went up in the Budapest Eye at the best possible time as the sun was beginning to set, which meant I could take a variety of pictures in the different light.
I was giddy with excitement as I bounced all around the cabin taking pictures of the skyline, the ferris wheel, and the sun as it slowly began to make its way down the horizon. I’m sure Karla was extremely excited about that.
The view from the cabin was spectacular with views of the city as well as down into Erzsébet Square, a favorite destination for young people, families, and even tourists to Budapest, especially in the summer when there are cultural activities and festivals available. We actually saw people dancing salsa on this beautiful summer’s night and although tempted to jump in and join, there were many more adventures ahead for Karla and I while in Budapest. As we departed the Budapest Eye, I took a moment to get a closer look at Danubius Fountain, the same fountain I could see while in my cabin from up high.
TSG Tip: Have you ever seen Danubius Fountain? The Danube Fountain was built between 1880-1883 and the statue of Danubius at the top represents the Danube River, while the three females underneath are supposed to be the three of the tributaries of the Danube. Originally placed in Kálvin Square, the fountain was moved to its current location after restoration due to its size and extensive damage during World War II.
As I was leaving Erzsébet Square, I walked past this little boy playing with a few love locks when I noticed he was a total doppleganger for my nephew, Silas. Same looks and mannerisms so I had to snap a picture. Creepy? I hope not. Only after I returned home did I discover that the love locks were secured onto an online dating advertisement. Strange, but pretty clever advertising as it blends into the scenery and is probably photographed repeatedly throughout the day.
My Budapest Eye experience was a fun one with great views and I would absolutely recommend trying it out for yourself. Some may try to compare it to other better known ferris wheels like the London Eye, the High Roller in Las Vegas, or the Singapore Flyer. Nothing can ruin a good time faster than making a comparison, be it a ferris wheel or anything else (wink, wink), so I say sit back and enjoy the ride for what it is. It’s not going to cure cancer or increase your IQ significantly, but for excellent views of Budapest, you can’t beat a ride up in the Budapest Eye.
Budapest Eye – Sziget Eye in Erzsébet Square
Hours: Daily from 10.00-24.00
Price: Adults: 2,400 HUF; Children under 140cm: 1,500 HUF; Family (2 adults, 2 children): 6,600 HUF
Closed between 31 January and 15 April