1Skywalk at the Tianmen Mountain (China)
It is certainly not a path for the faint of heart – on one side there’s a sheer rock face, on the other, a 4,000ft drop. All that separates the brave traveler from a deadly plunge is a 3′ wide, 2’5″ thick walkway.
If that is not enough to bring terror into the pit of your stomach, the path running alongside a Chinese mountainside is made out of glass, allowing a crystal-clear view of where one false step can take you.
The skywalk is situated 4,700′ above sea level on the side of the Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie, China. The 200′ long bridge joins the west cliff at the Yunmeng Fairy Summit, the summit of Tianmen Mountain and Zhang Jiajie. It would appear to be too scary for the cleaners – tourists are asked to put on shoe covers before passing to help keep the path clean.
2Brewster's Discovery Walkway (Canada)
This stunning viewing platform called Brewster’s Discovery Walkway has been designed by Canadian firm Sturgess Architecture in collaboration with engineers RJC and construction company PCL.
The idea behind this project was to create an extension of the landscape consisting in a 400 meter walkway in the mountainside, and to offer some amazing views over a glacial valley in the Columbian Icefields of Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. The Brewster’s Discovery Walkway offers an amazing experience through unified geometric and material forms.
3Crouching Tiger and Turtle (Germany)
Located near the German capital of culture, the city of Duisberg, this fun and creative roller coaster walkway was designed to give visitors a thrill-ride inspired view of the surrounding German countryside.
Dubbed “Crouching Tiger and Turtle, Magic Mountain,” the walkway roller coaster measures 11 meters high and features an excellent view of the surrounding landscape. The whole design took about eight weeks to construct and is sculpted from steel and zinc — a nod to the regions industrial roots.
Visitors are encouraged to climb atop the giant sculpture, although some aspects, like the loop, are simply for show.
4Grassy Walkway Between Office Buildings in Gliwice (Poland)
Who says balconies need to follow the line of a building? In a new concept for a balcony-like space, Zalewski Architecture Group created a wonderfully unexpected meandering green pathway that extends far beyond the limits of the building. The walkway invites inhabitants to step out of the balcony door and take a stroll on a grassy path high up above a regular courtyard, adding a touch of whimsy to a traditionally unused space.
5Natural Walkway (The Maldives)
If there’s one place that’s pretty much on everyone’s bucket list, it’s the Maldives. Not only does the country boast crystal clear water and brilliantly blue skies, it also has a natural walkway that makes you feel like you’re walking in the middle of the sea.
The Maldives only gained popularity after the first resort was opened in 1972. At the present time, at least 900,000 tourists travel to the Maldives per year.
Although it’s not the only reason, the Maldives Natural Walkway is one of the main reasons people from all over the world come and visit these beautiful tropical islands.
6Tower Bridge Glass Walkway (England)
In November 2014, The Tower Bridge in London, a 120-year-old bridge over the River Thames, unveiled the first of two glass floors along its high-level walkways. The new walkway provides the rare chance to look straight down onto the river and the estimated 40,000 people who cross the bridge every day.
These new floors, which are 138 feet above the river, are meant to look like “a big gaping hole in the floor,” Chris Earlie, head of the Tower Bridge Exhibition, said.
The walkway, referred to as the “wow project,” has been in the works for two years and took a team of 20 to construct. The floors are 36 feet long and six feet wide, and are thick enough that the glass won’t crack under the weight of its many visitors – at least not all of its 5 layers of glass.
Only two weeks after opening, a part of the glass shattered when someone dropped a beer bottle on one of the glass panels. The incident occurred when a glass bottle was dropped – causing the initial cracks to the panels, which were further damaged by a woman wearing stilettos.
Fortunately the design of the walkway, which is made up of several layers of glass in each pane, meant engineers could repair the glass by simply replacing the top layer, rather than the entire thing.
7Titlis Cliff Walk (Swiss Alps)
In 2012, the world’s scariest bridge – a pedestrian walkway suspended 1,500ft above a glacier in the Swiss Alps –opened to the public. Engineers spent five months building the Titlis Cliff Walk, Europe’s highest suspension bridge at 9,000ft above sea level. The structure, which cost £1 million, is 330ft long but just 3ft wide and sits a vertigo-inducing 1,500ft above a glacier.
The impressive bridge on Mount Titlis was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of a cableway, which joined the towns of Engelberg and Gerschnialp in January 1913.
8Optical Illusion Walkway (New Zealand)
New Zealand based artist Mike Hewson makes slight alterations to building exteriors to reshape or hide architectural features. Here’s a walkway in Christchurch that is almost invisible when seen from the right angle.
9Bicycle Snake (Denmark)
This item is more of a bikeway than a walkway. Copenhagen has long been leading the world in citizen-pleasing infrastructure, and the city has yet again outdone itself. In June, it welcomed the Cykelslangen, or Cycle Snake, an elevated cyclist roadway over the harbor to ease congestion.
This road is the latest addition to one of the most bicycle-friendly city infrastructures in the world. In Copenhagen, more than 50 percent of residents ride their bicycles to work (Portland, Oregon, with the most bicycle commuters in the United States, clocks in at 6.1 percent).
Cykelslangen (pronounced soo-cool-klag-en) adds just 721 feet of length to the city’s 220 miles of bicycle paths, but it relieves congestion by taking riders over instead of through a waterfront shopping area.
Pedestrian-cyclist conflict was never an issue, but cyclists couldn’t pedal at a constant speed, and they had to deal with stairways. The new roadway, which runs one story above the ground, lets them move without interruption. At just over 13 feet wide, there’s plenty of room to pass even a double-wide cargo bike.
Following a catastrophic flooding in 1957, the Turia river in Valencia was diverted in the southern section of the city and in the old riverbed, now dry, a10 km long park was created crossing the city center. The new complex of the City of Arts and Sciences is now located there. (L’Umbracle is the entry port and covered walkway to the City of Arts and Sciences.)
The walkway is shaped by a succession of 55 fixed arches and 54 floating arches of 18 meters high. On them grows climbing plants, which provide shade along the whole landscaped walk and gives the feeling of a “Winter Garden.” The garden is planted with native species, palms, orange trees, rock roses, mastic trees, rosemary, bougainvillea, that change shape and color with every season, and create different ambiences over the course of the walk. Inside the structure is an outdoor art gallery, called the “Stroll of the Sculptures” with nine sculptures from contemporary authors.