Sometimes, you just have to be creative: if you have one of the biggest mobile ferris wheels in the neighboring city – why not just taking it to your town and putting it up as a social distancing-compliant attraction? This is my rough essay of why Cologne is featuring the Europe Rad in summer 2020. The idea is very successful – the operation period had recently been prolonged. Here are some impressions of the observation wheel ride.
Europa Rad – The Ferris Wheel
The Europa Rad (“Europe Wheel”) is a Ferris wheel whis is typically used at funfairs / county fairs in Europe. Driven by the Kipp & Sohn company from Bonn, it is the world-largest mobile wheel with open and rotatable gondolas. There are 42 gondolas, each with a maximum capacity of six people. The Ferris wheel is operating since 1992. There was one deadly accident with the wheel, when in 2017 a worked fell at deconstruction after the Pützchens Markt Fair in Bonn from some 27 meters and died. The total height of the wheel is 55 meters.
Europa Rad in Cologne – Location & Admission
The Ferris wheel is located right in front of the Chocolate Museum in Cologne. There are are a couple of attractions and interesting places around, like the Historic Mustard Mill, the Sports- and Olympic Museum or the posh Rheinauhafen district with expansive living and interesting bar / restaurant options. The location is just a short walk from the shopping district. There is a bus stop very close to the Ferris wheel – you may however walk from Heumarkt station if you want to visit the Europa Rad in Cologne.
The adult trip on the wheel is 8 Euro. For 17.50 Euro, you get one ride and admission to the Chocolate Museum. If you thereby visit the lovely museum cafe, you also receive a free Prosecco (adults) or children’s drink. The Ferris wheel was already scheduled to be closed – currently it is scheduled to operate until 1st November 2020. Operating times are 11:00 to 22:00 hrs, daily. Please note that these times do not match the opening times of the museum.
Europa Rad in Cologne – The Ride
The ride was surprisingly nice. I was a afraid of wind due to the open capsules – Sarah did not feel too comfortable when the capsule was spinning (which majorly just happened when you intended to turn… Might be different with major wind). Overall, we had a very beautiful and low wind day, so that the ride, which roughly gave us six full rotations, was enjoyable.
Views from Europa Rad in Cologne (Pictured Story)
Here are some views from the Ferris wheel. I did enjoy the ride – I just felt that a single Ferris wheel ride is not sufficient to give a valid and reasonable rating. Thus, I present Europa Rad in Cologne as a Pictured Story – less text, no rating, but bigger pictures. The location feels a bit odd – but in fact it is a nice place to have good views of the city, but also adjacent cities and areas. Having rotating gondolas thereby helps a lot to enjoy the view.