The 15 Most Incredible Walkable Bridges in The World
You can feel the transitions between neighborhoods, investigate back lanes and markets that are off-limits to cars, and practically smell and taste your environment much more readily when you are exploring a city on foot. A bridge walk is an excellent method to take in the architecture and design history of a city or landscape while you are out exploring on foot.
While bridges are often visited by visitors, they aren’t created with that purpose in mind (with the exception of China’s Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, of course!). By crossing them, you’ll be able to rub elbows with the city’s residents as they go about their business and get a sense of the local flavor. Here are our top 15 picks.
Golden Gate Bridge
WHERE: San Francisco, USA
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is one of the nicest things to do in the city on the bay because of the spectacular views of the city skyline and the bay islands and headlands. Located over the Strait of Golden Gate, the rust-red suspension bridge was opened in 1937 and connects San Francisco’s northern point to the rest of the peninsula. Even though it’s now a well-known city landmark, the bridge wasn’t always well-liked. Many people, including the US Navy, were opposed to it when it was initially proposed.
The eastern walkway of the bridge, which is 1.7 miles long, is a popular tourist attraction. Because it’s used by bikes and pedestrians, certain hours of the day are set aside for each. These periods change with the seasons.
WHERE: New York, USA
While the Golden Gate Bridge has been dubbed the world’s most beautiful bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is a strong rival. The Lower Manhattan-to-Downtown Brooklyn cable-stayed/suspension bridge looks great from a distance, but the best part of strolling over it is gazing up at the intricate network of cables. When it was opened in 1883, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge; although it no longer maintains that distinction, it retains its historic allure.
Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge is a popular tourist pastime, but the bridge is also used by local bikers, who sometimes get frustrated with people’ meanderings while gazing up at the lacework of wires! Local cyclists. Be careful of other path users and stay on your side of the way.
WHERE: Niagara Falls, US-Canadian border
The Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge spans the Niagara River’s steep gorge to connect Niagara Falls, New York, with Niagara Falls, Ontario. This bridge was built in 1941, after the ice jam collapse of the neighboring Honeymoon Bridge in 1938. The ruins of the Honeymoon Bridge can still be seen on the US side. Once you’ve crossed the bridge, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the thundering waterfalls from all angles. The Canadian side supposedly boasts greater views of the falls, but being on the US side gives you a different perspective.
Bring your passport if you’re visiting these world-famous falls from either the US or Canada side of the border. With immigration checks at both ends and authorities accustomed to day trippers crossing for a few hours, you shouldn’t have any issues as long as you have the legal permission to enter both nations. On the Canadian side of the bridge, pedestrians must pay a $1 toll.
Sydney Harbor Bridge
WHERE: Sydney, Australia
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a well-known part of the Sydney skyline, second only to the neighboring Opera House in terms of fame. The Coathanger Bridge, constructed in the 1920s and finished in 1932, was given its nickname due of its appearance, which resembles a coathanger. The 187-foot main steel arch and two concrete and granite pylons at each end support the beautiful steel bridge. The museum, tourist center, and observation deck are all located atop the south-eastern pylon.
A pedestrian sidewalk runs alongside the automobile lanes, connecting The Rocks neighborhood in downtown Sydney with Milsons Point on the Lower North Shore. However, if you’re seeking for more adventure, you don’t have to stop at crossing the bridge. Climbing it provides spectacular views of Sydney Harbour.
Te Matau a Pohe Bridge
WHERE: Whangarei, New Zealand
The Hatea River Bridge, at the entrance to Whangarei Harbour, in the tiny Northland city of Whangarei, may be New Zealand’s most beautiful and unique bridge. The curving center pillars of the building, which opened in 2013, were inspired by traditional Mori bonefish books. It’s part of the Hatea Loop Walkway, which connects the upscale Town Basin marina neighborhood to Riverside Skate Park and Riverside Drive by a pedestrian and bicycle bridge. The bridge does open up from time to time for boat traffic. When the bridge opens, you won’t be caught off guard because of a lack of notice.
WHERE: Rotterdam, Netherlands
The Erasmusbrug (Erasmus Bridge) was inaugurated in 1996 and was named after the Dutch Renaissance philosopher who was born in Rotterdam, the country’s second biggest city. The 2,631-foot-long cable-stayed bridge connects Rotterdam’s north and south sides over the Maas River. The Swan Bridge got its name from the light blue asymmetrical pylon at one end that carries the cables. The contemporary design blends very nicely with the city’s hip and historic ambiance. The Rotterdam skyline may be seen from the bridge while walking (or cycling, in true Dutch manner). Go before sunset for the greatest views.
Pont Alexandre III
WHERE: Paris, France
Even if you narrow your search to just one stunning bridge walk in Paris, you’ll still have to traverse at least a few of them if you’re exploring the city on foot. However, the 1890s-built Pont Alexandre III, with its Beaux-Arts and Art Nouveau elements, is one of the most stunning. In addition to the gold embellishments on the bridge’s exterior and apex of the pillars at each end, the lights provide a touch of turn-of-the-century sophistication.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
WHERE: Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is named after the city’s two parts, Buda and Pest, which are located on each side of the Danube River. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge, was built in 1849 as Hungary’s first permanent bridge across the Danube, links the two banks. In fact, an English engineer named William Tierney Clark came up with the concept, which was then delivered to Hungary in portions to be put together. The bridge was demolished by retreating German soldiers almost a century later, in 1945. Only the bridge’s stone towers were left, but it was repaired and reopened in 1949, exactly one hundred years after it was opened.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge is a must-do in Budapest because of the spectacular views of the Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest’s most famous neo-gothic monument. It’s also wonderful in the winter to pull over and listen to the river ice grumble under the bridge.
WHERE: Prague, Czech Republic
There are various bridges that span the Vltava River, but Prague’s Charles Bridge is by far the most noteworthy. It was the only river crossing available until 1841 when the current bridge was built. The medieval stone bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built in the late 14th century and may only be traversed on foot. You may obtain an excellent view of the Lesser Quarter and Old Town from the bridge towers, which are three in number. There are 30 copies of 18th-century sculptures along the bridge, depicting Czech saints and historical people.
You should avoid crossing the Charles Bridge in the middle of the day or late at night (maybe after seeing a play at the adjacent National Theatre) if you want to avoid the crowds.
WHERE: Istanbul, Turkey
As one of the few cities in the world that connects Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a must-see. Pedestrians are unable to traverse the two bridges that link the city’s European and Asian regions due to the design (the Bosphorus Bridge and the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge). However, the Galata Bridge, which connects the Eminönü and Galata districts, is within walking distance for them. Although the location of bridges has been documented for centuries, the present bridge was only constructed in 1994.
While the Galata Bridge isn’t very outstanding in terms of design, crossing it is a must-do in Istanbul. It offers breathtaking views of the waterside city, as well as the Galata Tower and residences nestled into the mountains. While crossing the bridge, get a fried fish sandwich from the market below.
WHERE: Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan
As you can see, this is not the same Rainbow Bridge as the earlier one. Suspension bridge Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge connects reclaimed island of Odaiba with Shibaura district. The Rainbow Bridge is essentially white, despite its name, but at night it is illuminated with a rainbow of solar-powered lights. Passengers may wander on the north and south sides of the bridge, enjoying views of Tokyo Harbor and the city. While Tokyo’s skyline isn’t well-known, a trip over the Rainbow Bridge provides a rare opportunity to see it. Pedestrian access hours vary by season and day of the week.
This list includes some very bizarre structures, including Singapore’s Helix Bridge (but wait till you get to number 14!). There is a pedestrian path that runs straight through the middle of what seems to be a double-helix DNA thread. In the Marina Bay region, this bridge connects Marine Centre and Marina South, which was opened in 2010. As well as providing spectacular views of Singapore’s cityscape and Marina Bay, this promenade has four observation platforms, as well as shady spaces for relief from the city’s humid tropical climate. To really appreciate the bridge’s helix shape’s interlacing swirls, go there at night when the lights illuminate them.
Hillary Suspension Bridge
WHERE: Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal
The Sagarmatha National Park climb to the summit of Mount Everest passes across a suspension bridge that connects the contemporary urban of Singapore with the remote highlands of rural Nepal. This bridge, which most trekkers cross on their way to Namche Bazaar from Lukla or Everest Base Camp, is a well-known landmark. There are several suspension bridges across rivers and gorges in Nepal’s slopes and hills, but this one is the tallest. You can’t gaze down to the Dudh Koshi River below because it’s festooned with primary-colored Tibetan prayer flags that flutter in the wind. Give the right of way to donkeys carrying food, duffel bags, or even gas canisters if you see them coming the opposite way.
Living Tree Root Bridges
WHERE: Cherrapunji, Meghalaya state, India
In the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya, the living tree root bridges at Cherrapunji show that magnificent bridges don’t have to be made entirely of concrete and steel. Bridge constructions are typically hailed as contemporary engineering wonders. The Khasi people of Meghalaya, who live in one of the rainiest regions on the planet, found a creative solution to the issue of decaying wooden bridges: they trained and twined tree roots into them. People may cross a tree root bridge after around 15 years of building, and some of the bridges are said to be hundreds of years old. All of the tree root bridges require some hiking, although Shillong, the state’s capital, is a day or overnight journey away.
WHERE: Kolkata, India
This bridge is as much of a symbol of Kolkata as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is of the Bay Area. The irony is that it often appears in West Bengali films, despite the fact that photography is outlawed there.
The old pontoon bridge was demolished in 1943 to make way for the new steel cantilevered bridge. Calcutta (the traditional spelling of Kolkata) was located on the west bank of the Hooghly River, distinct from Howrah. Aerial views of the Malik Ghat Flower Market, near the eastern end of the bridge’s eastern side, have been one of the bridge’s most popular attractions in recent years. Flowers used every day in Indian religious rites are sold at this beautiful market which has been running since the 19th century, notably long strings of orange marigolds. You’re allowed to roam the market, but the view from the bridge is unbeatable if you want to avoid the crowds.