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Trip Ideas

The World’s Most Beautiful Bridges

Sometimes, a bridge is more than means to an end, and to prove it, we've rounded up the world's prettiest, from iconic cable-suspended numbers to Roman-age stone beauties.

A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series.

See recent posts by Chelsea Stuart

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Brooklyn Bridge

What kind of list would this be if we didn’t mention one of the oldest (and most loved) cable-stayed suspension bridges in the US? Working its way from Manhattan to Brooklyn across the East River, the 133-year-old Brooklyn Bridge (which was deemed a National Historic Landmark in 1964) is a beauty built from limestone and granite. Originally used by horse-drawn carriages – modern-day visitors can drive, bike or walk their way between the boroughs.

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Helix Bridge Marina Bay, Singapore

Take a look at any of Asia's bridges and one thing becomes abundantly clear – the continent knows a thing or two about building design-driven, yet fully-functional overpasses. Case in point: the spiral, pedestrian Helix Bridge which combines glass canopies, perforated steel mesh and four viewing platforms to offer trekkers unparalleled views of Marina Bay and Singapore’s skyline. At night, the walkway also lights up in red and green, illuminating the bridge’s corresponding pairs of c, g, a and t – a nod to DNA’s four bases (cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine).

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Pont Du Gard Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France

The three-story Roman-built Pont Du Gard aqueduct has miraculously been standing since ~40 AD. A marvel made of soft yellow limestone sourced from a local quarry, the arched design became a hugely popular French destination as 17th-century travelers grew more and more fond of the European grand tour. Today, millions of people continue to visit each year to admire the bridge and picnic and swim along the banks of the Gardon.

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Seri Wawasan Bridge Putrajaya, Malaysia

The Seri Wawasan Bridge is a sight to see at night when its futuristic silhouette is illuminated against a dark sky by purple and pink spotlights. But regardless of time, the structure’s curved white cables – which mimic the shape and movement of a sail – are worthy of a visit.

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Ponte Vecchio Florence, Italy

I bet you’ve never thought of a bridge as a shopping destination, but the famed Ponte Vecchio – over the Arno River in Florence – is just that. Until nearly the 16th century, the medieval bridge’s stone-arch corridors were filled with more than forty butchers, fishmongers and tanners, but eventually, they made way for jewelers, art dealers and your typical souvenir salesmen.

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Golden Gate San Francisco, CA

Like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate’s spot on our list was an indisputable given. Regardless of how cliched it is, the three-mile contraption combining iconic orange suspension cables and dual Art Deco towers not only demands, but deserves its spot.

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Langkawi Sky Bridge Langkawi, Malaysia

Not for the faint of heart (or those with a fear of heights) – the pedestrian Langkawi Sky Bridge hovers more than 330 feet above the ground (almost the length of a football field). In order to reach the suspension cable-supported bridge, visitors first have to hop the Langkawi Cable Car and then transfer to the SkyGlide lift. Views from the walkway and triangular platforms are optimized by a sophisticated curvy design that emphasizes shifts in perspective.

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Chain Bridge Budapest, Hungary

Gracefully crossing the Danube, Chain Bridge’s cast iron design was the first to connect Buda (on the west bank) and Pest (on the east) before their unification in 1873. Once a marvel of modern engineering, the bridge has had quite the storied history. Nearly 100-years into its existence, it was blown up by German soldiers during the Siege of Budapest, at the end of WWII. Since the event left nothing to the site but the towers, it had to be entirely rebuilt (a process that was completed in 1949).

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The Wind and Rain Bridge Sanjiang County, China

The Chengyang (known by its colloquial name, the Wind and Rain Bridge), in China’s Sanjiang County, is one of the most intricately constructed bridges on our list. The covered structure dates back to 1912 and has five pavilions, 19 verandas and three whole floors, making the wood and stone gem – backed by lush greenery – a ‘grammer’s dream come true.

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Kapellbrücke Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne’s Kapellbrücke wooden footbridge runs diagonally across the Reuss River connecting Old Town and New Town. A super popular spot in Switzerland, Chapel Bridge (as its translated) was once a part of city fortifications and has since earned the distinct honor of being Europe’s oldest wooden covered bridge and the world’s oldest truss bridge.

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The Sunniberg Bridge Klosters, Switzerland

Simple but slick, Switzerland’s minimalistic Sunniberg Bridge runs two cable-stayed lanes across the Landquart River. Don’t be alarmed if you feel the structure move – the slender and flexible design allows for slight swaying when the temperature changes.

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Rakotzbrücke Bridge Rhododendron Park, Kromlau, Germany

How a bridge so charming could be known as the ‘Devil’s Bridge’ is beyond us, but locals will tell you it has more to do with how precarious and un-traversable the design is, than its appearance. The thin, stone arch, which was built in 1860 after being commissioned by a local knight, reveals a hidden attribute in the right light. When the water sits perfectly still, the bridge’s reflection on the lake creates the illusion of an uninterrupted circle.

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Millau Viaduct Millau, France

Spanning 8,071 feet across the River Tarn, the Millau Viaduct holds the title of the world’s tallest bridge. More than just an architectural milestone, the stunner is part of a route that connects Paris to Montpellier and roughly 10,000 to 25,000 cars traverse the roadway each day.



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