Whether it's their staggering height, or their rickety nature, a bit of courage is definitely needed to cross these bridges when you come to them. Take a look at some of the world's most terrifying bridges.
Canopy Walk - Ghana
The Kakum National Park in the Central Region of Ghana possesses enough exotic fauna and flora to take one's breath away, but it's the park's famous canopy walkway that truly makes visitors stop in their tracks; Even if it's out of fear!
Located 40 meters above the ground, the bridge is one of only three canopy walkways in Africa. The 350 meter-long structure is connected by seven treetops, providing visitors access to the tropical rainforest and an opportunity to view the plants and animals from a completely unique vantage point.
Langkawi Sky Bridge - Malaysia
The architects behind the Langkawi Sky Bridge designed the structure in a curve so that visitors could take in the stunning view below from different perspectives as they ventured along the winding route. The 125-meter walkway also includes five triangular platforms where visitors can stop and gaze at the landscape.
Despite offering exquisite views that could not be accessed without ascending 600 meters above sea level, the bridge has raised some safety questions. The structure undergoes regular maintenance to keep in top shape, but tourists had to go without the Sky Bridge for 3 years when renovations forced it to close from 2012 to 2015.
Titlis Cliff Walk - Switzerland
The glorious Swiss Alps serve as the backdrop for this suspension bridge which is believed to be the highest-elevated in all of Europe. The pedestrian walkway was built along the cliff of Mount Titlis and allows you to take in the icy landscape from 3,000 meters above sea level.
Heavy snowfall is common in that area, so the bridge was built to withstand 450 tons of snow, in addition to winds that reach more than 190 kilometers per hour. Although the walkway is only 100 meters in length, it is only 1 meter wide, so best to step carefully.
Vitim River Bridge - Russia
This rickety structure dates back to Soviet times and, according to reports, hasn't been upgraded since. That's not necessarily hard to believe when looking at the bridge's dilapidated condition, which features old, rotting wooden planks along its metal skeleton.
The conditions of the river have a significant impact on the bridge. In warmer months, the structure is surrounded by a wild current, while the ice and snowfall make it particularly slippery when the weather turns cold. At a width of just 2 meters wide - barely enough for one car - the bridge makes for a dangerous drive.
Puente de Ojuela - Mexico
During the 19th century, the Ojuela Mine in the Mexican state of Durango was famous for producing colorful ore. Each day, brave miners would summon their courage as they made their cautious trek along the narrow bridge between two pylons to access the mine.
By the 1930s, the mine’s mineral reserves had been all but exhausted, turning the Ojuela settlement into a ghost town. Decades later, the 315-meter bridge took on a new life as a tourist attraction. Those brave enough have been able to cross the strictly pedestrian walkway since 1991.
Iya Kazurabashi Bridge - Japan
If you’re planning to cross Japan’s Iya Gawa River, you are going to have to do so along a wobbly bridge that dates back all the way to the 12th century. The word “kazurabashi” translates from Japanese as “mountain vines,” which is precisely what the suspension bridge is made of.
Although the Iya Kazurabashi Bridge is the most famous in the Iya Valley (and the longest at 45 meters), it is one of only three remaining structures from the original 13. Thankfully, the vines have been remade with metal inside for safety purposes, but that doesn’t make it any less scary to cross.
Eshima Ohashi Bridge - Japan
The Eshima Ohashi Bridge could likely pass as an optical illusion. Stretching 1.7 kilometers over the Nakaumi Lake, the steep incline on both sides of the motorway has drawn many comparisons to a rollercoaster, making strong clutch control a necessary requirement.
The slope measures a gradient of 5.1% on the one side and 6.1% on the other, leaving drivers feeling practically vertical at times. It’s all worth it, however, to see the Japanese sea from its highest point - 343 meters in the air. The bridge took 7 years to complete and is the third-largest rigid-frame bridge in the world.
The Bridge of Immortals - China
It's probably not very surprising to see this bridge on the list, given its rather foreboding name. The name results from many locals sadly having passed away from just trying to reach this structure. It's since been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The bridge connects two large rocks in China’s Huangshan Mountains, and although it is not very long, it still requires immense courage as it's situated 1,320 meters above sea level. The delicate (and somewhat magical) nature of the walkway has also earned it the name “Fairy Walking Bridge,” which seems far less sinister.
Montenegro Rainforest Bridge - Costa Rica
If you're looking for a bridge straight out of an Indiana Jones movie, this is it. Fierce jaguars and venomous snakes lurk below the suspension bridge in the Monteverde Rainforest, and the fragile-feeling walkway would likely leave even ol' Indie shaking in his fedora.
The bridge stretches over 300 meters and is actually a network of six footpaths linked together in the trees. The heavy mist and fog found at that height can make it feel like you're truly walking through the sky, but keep an eye on where you step as the missing planks can make it easy for your foot (or cellphone!) to slip through.
U Bein Bridge - Myanmar
The U Bein Bridge was named after a local mayor who used wood pieces from a demolished royal palace to construct it. The palace of Inwa was made of teak, and the use of its remains has made the U Bein Bridge the oldest teakwood bridge in the world as it has stood since 1851.
Situated along the Taung Tha Man Lake banks, the 1.2-kilometer structure is viewed as a symbol of old-world elegance. While it is still used as a passageway by the locals of Amarapura, the bridge is now a popular tourist attraction, with merchants often flocking there to trade their goods.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge - Northern Ireland
It's safe to say that a bit of Irish luck is needed to cross the bridge which links the little Carrickarede Island to the mainland of Ballintoy. The rickety structure was built by salmon fisherman more than one hundred years ago, but it seems as though safety was not the primary concern.
The 20 meter-long bridge might be just 30 meters high, but the view through the rope of the sharp rocks down below is enough to leave anyone petrified. The walkway can withstand eight pedestrians at a time, but it is recommended to make a quick passage.
Sidu River Bridge - China
$100 million was used to construct the suspension bridge located in China’s Hubei Province. While the amount is certainly more than many of us have ever seen, the money was well spent. The bridge enabled access between parts of the country that had been separated by the river and its rocky valley.
Following its completion in 2005, the 1,222 meter-long structure was considered the highest bridge in the world at almost 500 meters above the Sidu River. Although the title has since been overtaken, the bridge still serves as an example of China’s building prowess.
Millau Viaduct Bridge - France
The French are known for producing excellent wine and cheese, but beautiful bridges can be added to that list. The Millau Viaduct Bridge is regarded as an architectural achievement, recognized by the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering, receiving the 2006 Outstanding Structure Award.
Located above the Tarn River valley, the 2,460-meter motorway possesses seven piers, the highest of which is 336.4 meters tall. As a result, the structure holds the title of the tallest bridge in the world. And if that isn't impressive enough, the bridge was also featured in the film Mr. Bean's Holiday.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge - USA
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is considered a symbol of Florida and was even painted yellow to match the Sunshine State. While it may give off a cheery appearance, the bridge has also been associated with much tragedy since its initial establishment in 1954.
In 1980, part of the original bridge collapsed when it was struck by a freighter. This caused several vehicles to plunge into Tampa Bay and 35 people to lose their lives; The structure was rebuilt and opened again in 1987. But at 55 meters above the water, it sadly remains a site where many people have taken their own lives.
Trift Bridge - Switzerland
20,000 people venture each year to see Switzerland's Trift Glacier, and many brave the Trift Bridge. It's no easy journey to reach the structure, as a cable car, gondola, and 1.5 hour uphill hike are required to get there, but the view from above makes it all seem worth it. If you can stomach the height.
Standing 100 meters above Triftsee Lake, the suspension bridge is suitable for pedestrians only. Despite being relatively narrow, the 170-meter distance is considered reasonably safe since a sturdier version of the bridge was built with stabilizing cables in 2009.
Keshwa Chaca Bridge - Peru
The Incas are responsible for constructing the Keshwa Chaca Bridge, which spans the distance of the Apurimac River. This walkway is the last remaining of the Inca rope bridges that were developed for pedestrians, livestock, and the runners assigned to deliver messages throughout the ancient empire.
The walkway might appear terrifying, but the ropes are made from rolled grass, which is, in fact, very strong. For extra safety, the ropes are renewed each June by families in the area who uphold the traditional skills. The Peruvian government also recognized the structure as part of the country’s cultural heritage in 2009.
Longjiang Suspension Bridge - China
Before the Longjiang Bridge opened in 2016, it took days to travel between the Chinese cities of Baoshan and Tengchong. Although the journey has been made much faster since, it now involves crossing one of the longest bridges in the world, with a distance of 2,471 meters.
It took five years to complete the expansive structure, and not a single cent was spared, with the total project costing more than $200 million. At 280 meters above the Long River, the bridge is amongst the highest in the world, offering up breathtaking views of the valley below.
Capilano Suspension Bridge - Canada
Dazzling fir trees surround the Capilano Suspension Bridge situated in the Canadian District of North Vancouver. A Scottish civil engineer built the original structure in 1889 using hemp rope and cedarwood planks, but the bridge was remade using wire cables 14 years later. It was then completely redone in 1956.
These days, the suspension bridge serves as a leading tourist attraction for the park, welcoming 1.2 million tourists every year. It's also strong enough to hold a 747 airliner! Those brave enough to cross the 140-meter walkway have a view of the Capilano River from 70 meters above.
Hussaini Hanging Bridge - Pakistan
Located in the upper Hunza Valley, the Hussaini Hanging Bridge has earned the reputation of the most dangerous bridge in the world. Unfortunately, it's also the only way to cross the Borith Lake, which separates the Gilgit-Baltistan region from the rest of Pakistan.
Constructed with rope and distantly-placed planks, it's easy to understand why the feeble structure was washed away by a monsoon in 2011. Those who have crossed the 200-meter bridge have reported that it swings wildly in the wind. Doesn't sound like an experience for the faint of heart.
Daedunsan Suspension Bridge - South Korea
Scenes of the Daedunsan Suspension Bridge resemble an oil painting more than reality. For starters, the bridge is almost vertical. Yet, the structure - which stands at an angle of 70 degrees - is very much real, and the feeling of ascending into the heavens is what has earned it the name “The Cloud Bridge.”
Measuring a distance of 50 meters, the pedestrian walkway is suspended between two rock formations and is the perfect viewpoint to see the park from all angles. Those wishing to hike the majestic Daedunsan Mountain need to first pay a visit to this bridge which hangs 81 meters in the air.
Moses Bridge - The Netherlands
It probably would have been much easier for Moses to cross the Red Sea if he'd had a bridge like the one in the Dutch village of Halsteren. Those crossing the invisible structure appear to be walking through parted water, much like those in the biblical story.
Called "Loopgraafbrug" or "Mozesburg" by the locals, the waterproof trench bridge is made of specially-treated wood and provides access to the 17th-century fortress, Fort de Roovere, by walking below the Dutch Water Line. Architects didn't want to alter the fort's original design when renovating in 2010, so the bridge was born.
Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge - China
If the idea of looking down from a great height makes you squirm, we don’t recommend visiting China’s Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge. Designed by an Israeli architect and situated 300 meters above the ground, the bridge is famous for its utterly transparent glass floor
The 430 meter Glass Bridge was designed primarily as a tourist attraction, and it has not failed in its mission as around 8,000 people cross the mind-boggling structure each day — 800 of whom can enter the walkway at one time. Talk about a glass (bridge) half-full.
Taman Negara Canopy Walkway - Malaysia
If you fancy trekking through the jungle, the canopy walkway in the Taman Negara National Park is the perfect bridge to visit. The park itself is one of the oldest deciduous rainforests in the world (we’re talking more than 130 million years), and the bridge is the best way to see its fascinating fauna and flora.
Despite hanging between the trees of the tropical rainforest, 40 meters from the ground, the 530-meter walkway is said to be incredibly safe. The bridge undergoes a daily inspection before opening to the public, and it is closed to visitors when it rains.
Quepos Bridge - Costa Rica
The Quepos Bridge in Puntaraneras was initially built to transport bananas to the port of Quepos during the 1930s. While a train was used back then, today, the narrow bridge is frequented by cars and trucks, which are only allowed to travel in one direction.
Uneven metal planks form the base of the bridge that crosses a fast-moving river that often floods. It is not uncommon to hear stomach-turning creaks while the vehicles pass over, and the brittle nature of the structure has earned it the nickname “The Bridge of Death.”
Royal Gorge Bridge - USA
Once the highest bridge in the world for 72 years, Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge is still the highest one in the United States. The distance from its deck to the Arkansas River below is 291 meters, even though a sign was displayed declaring a much greater height alongside the title, “ World’s Highest Suspension Bridge.”
Unlike many other bridges, the structure was designed primarily as a tourist attraction when it was built in 1929. Passenger vehicles are allowed to cross the bridge, though some choose to walk the 384 meters, usually taking around 5 minutes (if you don’t pause to take too many photos of the view).
Mekong River Crossing - China
Most of China’s bridges are astounding, but the ones located along the Mekong River are just terrifying. The river itself is the 12th longest in the world and runs through six Asian countries, so you can only imagine how many crossings have been built. More than 70 of these bridges are in China alone.
While Chinese engineers have excelled in constructing bridges, innovation has not seemed to reach the Mekong. It is common to find several makeshift structures assembled with wood and rope amidst the rushing current, making crossing a risky business.
Hanging Bridge of Ghasa - Nepal
It's not unusual to see cattle crossing the infamous Hanging Bridge in the Ghasa region of Nepal. The narrow structure was explicitly designed so that shepherds did not have to guide their animals through the winding roads in the Kali Gandaki River valley. Hopefully, the cows aren't afraid of heights.
Although daunting in its appearance, the suspension bridge possesses high railings on each side to ensure the safety of all who cross. And if you are brave enough to make the trek, you will be treated to a spectacular view of the Annapurna Circuit which passes through.
Aiguille du Midi Bridge - France
Amidst the picturesque French Alps lies the Aiguille du Midi Mountain. Translating to ”Needle of the Midday,” the mountain received its name because when viewed from in front of the church at the Chamonix ski resort, the sun passes over its summit at noon.
The summit of the mountain is a whopping 3,842 meters above sea level and requires a 20-minute cable car to reach, but from there, it's possible to cross a short bridge that is connected to a different portion of the mountain. If you can handle the height, the view is well worth it.
Storseisundet Bridge - Norway
Eight bridges make up Norway’s “Atlantic Road,” which connects the island of Averøya to the mainland and the Storseisundet is the longest. The cantilever bridge is considered one of the country’s official national tourist routes, costing more than $2.6 million to build.
Adverse weather conditions in the Romsdal Peninsula meant that workers took six years to complete the 260-meter structure as numerous hurricanes caused the project to be delayed. The bridge eventually opened to the public in 1989 and stands 23 meters above the water.
Deception Pass Bridge - USA
Located between the islands of Whidbey and Fidalgo in Washington, Deception Pass Bridge is a pair of two-lane bridges that measures 453 meters long. The structure entered the US’s National Register of Historic Places in 1982 - 47 years after being built.
A maintenance project began in mid-2020 that would see the bridge being re-painted but still retain its signature color called “Evergreen Green.” Hopefully, the paint job will cost less than its first one, which came to even more than the original construction price.