Towering over the Singapore skyline, the Singapore Flyer has become an iconic part of the cityscape with its soothing roundness – a nice complement to the boxy skyscrapers adjacent to it. The giant observation wheel first opened in 2008 and while I always get glimpses of it during rides to the city, I had never actually been on it until very recently.
If like me, you are also thinking whether the Singapore Flyer is worth visiting – especially if you are a local, here are some points to consider to help you decide.
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One of the key positives about the Singapore Flyer is its location. The ferris wheel is located in 30 Raffles Avenue, a short walk from the nearest MRT station – Promenade. Compounded with its height of 165 meters, this ideal positioning means that spectators get to enjoy a panoramic view that combines both the Marina Bay Sands plus the ensemble of skyscrapers in the central business district. When one turns to the north, one can also get an alternative view of the Singapore Sports Hub.
As of this writing, tickets for the Singapore Flyer are priced at S$33 each for adults / S$24 for seniors and S$21 for kids. You can also buy bundled tickets, where the Singapore Flyer admission is combined with the seasonal Time Capsule exhibition. This bundle is priced at S$40 for adults / S$25 for seniors and children. You can book tickets here for a slight discount.
Visitors also have the option of choosing a 4-course dinner set to go along with the ride. For such instances, visitors get to spend 120 minutes (equivalent to 2 rounds on the Singapore Flyer) in a shared capsule. During my visit, I noted that there were around 4 tables of 2 persons each inside a capsule with one server handling the service. This is priced at S$300 per couple.
One full round at the Singapore Flyer takes approximately 60 minutes and within that span of time, there is a pre-recorded guide inside the capsule that announces key points during the flight – whether it be regarding locations of interest or general facts about Singapore. For locals, this may be rather redundant although there is no denying that the views here are sublime.
The Singapore Flyer used to be open in the morning and that used to be an excellent time to visit as that’s when the sun shines on the skyscrapers in Singapore’s CBD. Since mid-2020, the flyer only opens from afternoon onwards so you are better off visiting for the sunset view.
Sunset is by far the most popular time to visit the Singapore Flyer and if you intend to come here to take some beautiful photos, do make an allowance as the queue can get longer at this time. Depending on the time of year you visit, sunset can be any time between 7PM to 7:15PM in the Singapore context. In my case, I queued up at around 6:50PM, boarded by 7PM and was at the peak of the Singapore Flyer at the 30 minute mark – around 7:30PM. For photo taking purposes, do note that your view of the Singapore CBD will be obstructed during the first half of the ride while your primary view will be the Singapore Sports Hub at this time.
Is the View Worth it?
To decide whether the view is worthwhile or not – one has to take into account other rooftop venues in Singapore and whether any of them can offer the same views. This is a rather subjective topic to tackle but perhaps an important criterion to consider is the expansiveness of the views. Other than the Singapore Flyer, one can get great views of the Singapore skyline from the following places:
- Rooftop bars / restaurants
- Hotels around the Marina Bay area
- Marina Bay Sands rooftop
- Offices / condominiums around the Marina Bay area
If one were to look at the alternatives, it’s important to note that the rooftop bars and offices/condominiums are mostly located in the CBD itself so if you are situated here, you can get great views of Marina Bay Sands and even the Singapore Flyer but not of the CBD buildings.
If you situate yourself in Marina Bay Sands, you then miss out on the iconic Marina Bay Sands view because you are standing on the structure itself.
The closest alternative in this case would be to situate oneself in one the hotels around Marina Square. The Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore, Pan Pacific Singapore, PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay and Mandarin Oriental Singapore all offer panoramic views of both Marina Bay Sands and the CBD. However, a room at one of these hotels can easily set one back by a couple of hundred dollars versus just S$33 at the Singapore Flyer.
The case for Singapore Flyer can thus be summarized as follows – a more economical way for one to glimpse two of Singapore’s iconic ensembles in one panoramic view – that of Marina Bay Sands and the Central Business District. As a bonus, the Singapore Flyer also affords one of views of Singapore’s east coast.
At the time of my visit, the Singapore Flyer was having a temporary exhibition called the Time Capsule. This new addition can be thought of as an immersive and multisensory attraction focusing on Singapore’s past, present and future.
While the premise may sound rather mundane, I have to say that I rather enjoyed the Time Capsule as it provided for such a visual feast. The light installations were done in collaboration with Panasonic with the exhibition spread over two floors. The best part of it has got to be the Infinity Space – a hall of mirrors with a colorful 3-minute show on floor-to-ceiling LED screens that create an illusion of being in a much larger space. For the kids, the Teleportal offers interactive and educational touch screens where the little ones can learn more about Singapore culture.
You can book Singapore Flyer tickets here for a slight discount.
30 Raffles Avenue
Thursday to Sunday, 2PM to 10PM