Panoramic Wheel Set Up in Rijeka, Promptly Mocked by Locals

By 29 January 2022
Panoramic Wheel Set Up in Rijeka, Promptly Mocked by Locals
Burin portal - video screenshot

January 30, 2022 - The new attraction has stirred up controversy due to an unfortunate choice of location

A panoramic wheel was set up in Rijeka earlier this week, at a location near the waterfront in the city centre. The wheel is 22 metres tall and has 18 cabins that fit 4-5 people each.

It’s the same ferris wheel that was previously installed in Varaždin by the company Fest d.o.o. as part of the Advent programme last year in December. The attraction has now moved to Rijeka for the carnival season, and will remain there until the end of February. 

‘The wheel is quite attractiv and completely new, it arrived in Croatia from a world-famous factory in Italy late last year’, said Anita Tuček of Fest d.o.o. for Novi list.

The ferris wheel had stirred up controversy among the local population before it was even made operational, mostly due to the unfortunate choice of location. Namely, it was set up in a small square flanked by two buildings, one of the same height, the other taller than the wheel itself. The view from the top thus leaves a lot to be desired, especially in a city that has quite a few nice viewpoints as it is.

As far as panoramas go, this one is a bit narrow, and it’s been immensely fun keeping up with the public opinion on the subject. Numerous online comments rightly point out there are bars and restaurants in the vicinity that offer a better view, one of them located in a building right next to the wheel. (If you take a ride, at least you can see the daily menu through the window without having to climb a few flights of stairs, says one comment.)


Some have suggested that the passenger terminal in the nearby ferry port would have been a much better location for a panoramic wheel and would actually offer a new and attractive view of the city; others have said the same for the Delta parking lot, also in the city centre. That being said, it’s believed that the current location was chosen as the safest one in case of strong wind, a common occurrence in Rijeka which would likely prove fatal (for a ferris wheel, at least) in any other location that isn't partially shielded.

Many have also criticised the price, seen as steep at 45 kuna for a ride that lasts several minutes and offers a spectacular view of someone’s second-floor apartment. Tickets for kids aged 5-12 cost 35 kuna, and children under 5 years of age get to ride the wheel free of charge. There are also family tickets, priced at 140 kuna for a party of four. 

Judging by the comments on local media's socials, some locals wouldn’t mind the cost if the panoramic wheel was set up at a better location. Others have jokingly said it’s better to have three pints at a bar for the price of the ferris wheel ride if you so badly want to have your head spinning.

And then there are those who fervently defend the panoramic ride, saying they’re happy to see a new attraction in town even if it’s not exactly a match for the London Eye. It’s the infamous Croatian mentality, they said - complaining there’s nothing to do in this town and then viciously attacking any attempt to offer something new and exciting. There’s some truth to that; also, with the carnival parade rescheduled for the summer, us Rijeka locals were in dire need of another subject of debate.

I'm siding with those who consider it a cool concept, but poorly placed - it would have been nice to see the town from a new perspective. This way, the wheel looks more like a kids' ride in an amusement park, and in a way, it's what makes it seem like a fun prospect nonetheless. It might be worth paying 45 kuna to have a good laugh.

It remains to be seen if the panoramic wheel will turn out to be a popular attraction in spite of the majority making fun of its location. Those interested can hop on anytime between 3pm and 9pm on workdays, or from 10am to to 9pm on weekends.