The Best Bridges in the World
Travel’s greatest rewards are found in the journey as much as the destination. As you’re getting from point A to point B, it’s important to stop and soak in the amazing sights along the way, and bridges are some of the most impressive structures enabling you to reach your destination. These engineering masterpieces allow you to traverse across rugged landscapes, rushing rivers or steep canyons, or venture into a completely new urban landscape to embark on the next stage of your adventure.
Bridges are products of the immense creativity, intellect and effort of architects and engineers, so next time you cross a bridge by foot, bicycle, vehicle or any other mode of transportation, make sure to stop and admire the work that went into making your journey possible. Here are some of the best bridges in the world.
Sydney Harbour Bridge - Sydney
Year Built: 1932
Length: 3,770 feet
An iconic symbol of the land down under, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is up there with the Opera House as one of the top must-see attractions in Sydney. Its steel arch design has earned it the nickname, “the coat hanger.”
This bridge isn’t just used for commuting in and out of the city either. It also hosts an incredible New Year’s Eve fireworks show, and there are climbing tours for daredevils looking for a unique bird’s eye view.
Helix Bridge - Singapore
Year Built: 2010
Length: 918 feet
Spiraling through Singapore is a bridge inspired by the double helix model of human DNA: the Helix Bridge. This twisting stainless steel structure connects Marina Centre to Marina South and is an impressive feat of engineering.
Adorned with colorful lights, the bridge features canopies that provide shelter and shade for those looking to take in the views.
Ponte Vecchio - Florence, Italy
Year Built: 1345
Length: 328 feet
Florence is a city rich with iconic sights, but the charming Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge”) set across the Arno River is definitely one that is not to be missed. Its design features segmental arches stacked with warmly toned buildings.
Historically, the medieval bridge has served as a defensive structure and housed butchers, but today tourists stroll through the boutiques to visit vendors selling jewelry, art, antiques and souvenirs.
Khaju Bridge - Isfahan, Iran
Year Built: 1650
Length: 436 feet
Located in Isfahan, this beautiful two-story bridge is made up of arches adorned with colorful mosaics and illuminated by vibrant lights. Along with being aesthetically pleasing, Khaju Bridge also serves as a dam to regulate the flow of the Zayanderud River running below.
Built at the height of the Safavid Dynasty, the bridge now serves as a popular public meeting spot for locals and tourists.
Charles Bridge - Prague
Year Built: 1357
Length: 1,700 feet
One of the most beautiful Gothic Bridges in the world, the Charles Bridge is a historic icon of Prague. It was originally named Stone Bridge, as it is comprised entirely of stone and acts as a link between Old Town and Lesser Town.
Stroll across for views of the majestic Vltava River, but don’t expect to be the only tourist here — the Charles Bridge is an extremely popular spot, with musicians, artists and vendors creating a vibrant atmosphere.
Millau Viaduct - Millau, France
Year Built: 2004
Length: 8,070 feet
According to Guinness World Records, the Millau Viaduct of Southern France currently holds the title of the tallest bridge in the world. Spanning 8,070 feet across the gorge valley of the Tarn, its summit reaches 1,125 feet above the base of the structure.
It is known as one of the greatest achievements of engineering in the world and is definitely worthy of a visit on your Euro-trip.
Brooklyn Bridge - New York
Year Built: 1883
Length: 6,016 feet
An iconic symbol of present-day New York City, allowing for about 150,000 vehicles and pedestrians to commute across the East River every day, the Brooklyn Bridge also boasts quite a history.
The bridge was built in 1883, making it one of the oldest suspension bridges in the U.S. and the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge. Don’t leave New York without taking a stroll and a snapshot on this beautiful landmark.
Kintai Bridge - Iwakuni, Japan
Year Built: 1673
Length: 574 feet
The best bridges serve as fantastic viewpoints for the surrounding scenery, and one of Japan’s most stunning scenes is undoubtedly its cherry blossom season. Kintai draws visitors for the annual Kintaikyo Cherry Blossom Festival or for the adjacent Iwakuni Castle.
Made up of five arches set on stone pillars, the bridge itself is a sight for sore eyes if the pretty pink petals don’t cut it for you.
Royal Gorge Bridge - Canon City, Colorado
Year Built: 1929
Length: 1,270 feet
The jagged cliff sides of Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, located near Canon City, Colorado, are connected via a spectacular feat of engineering known as the Royal Gorge Bridge. Standing more than 3,000 feet tall above the Arkansas River, this is one of the highest suspension bridges in the world.
Attracting more than 500,000 visitors per year, the structure of wire and wood displays unparalleled views of Mother Nature, along with being a popular parachute spot for adrenaline junkies.
Puente de la Mujer - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Year Built: 2001
Length: 335 feet
Located in the commercial district of Buenos Aires, Pente de la Mujer (“Women’s Bridge”) stands for the city’s dedication to innovation in art and architecture.
The asymmetrical design of this rotating footbridge is meant to represent a couple dancing the tango, with the white mast symbolizing the man and the curve of the bridge symbolizing the woman. It is one of Buenos Aires’ most defining architectural features.
Tower Bridge - London
Year Built: 1894
Length: 800 feet
The nursery rhyme may put the London Bridge on a pedestal, but the most iconic bridge of London is more likely to be the Tower Bridge, which crosses the Thames near the Tower of London.
A combined bascule and suspension bridge, the Tower Bridge’s elaborate features resemble a castle and make up an incredible display of London’s prestige.
Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge - Shanghai to Nanjing, China
Year Built: 2011
Length: 540,682 feet
From the Great Wall to the world’s longest bridge, China is well versed in long and resilient structures. The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge holds the current title of the longest bridge in the world, acting as the lifeline for mainland China.
The 102.4-mile-long modern engineering marvel connects major cities Shanghai and Nanjing and transports trains along the High-Speed Railway, traversing across rice paddies, lakes and rivers.
Bloukrans Bridge - Nature’s Valley, South Africa
Year Built: 1983
Length: 1,480 feet
An essential stop for any adrenaline junkie venturing along the Garden Route of South Africa, Bloukrans Bridge is known for one thing: bungee jumping!
Connecting two hillsides in Nature’s Valley that are covered with the lush vegetation that characterizes the Garden Route, Bloukrans Bridge is the highest bungee jumping bridge in the world, standing tall at 709 feet above the Bloukrans River. Zipline to the center platform and get ready for the thrill of a lifetime.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge - Budapest, Hungary
Year Built: 1849
Length: 1,230 feet
Hungary’s capital is split by the Danube River, and the hilly Buda is connected to the flat Pest by a number of bridges — the Széchenyi Chain Bridge being the grandest of all.
Its mighty twin towers and signature stone lion statues linked by chains make it an icon of the city and one of the most beautiful bridges in the world.
Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco
Year Built: 1937
Length: 4,200 feet
One of the most recognizable bridges in the world, thanks to its many features on films and television shows (cue the “Full House” theme song), is the Golden Gate Bridge.
A defining element of San Francisco’s skyline, this red suspension bridge has been named one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It’s a must-see on your trip to the City by the Bay.
Pont Alexandre III - Paris
Year Built: 1900
Length: 520 feet
Weaving through Paris, the Seine River flows past many ornate landmarks of the city, and the Pont Alexandre III exudes romance and elegance.
The beautiful bridge is adorned with gilded, iron and stone statues of nymphs, pegasus, lions and cherubs, and if you time it right, you can even catch the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the backdrop.
Somerset Bridge - Sandys, Bermuda
Year Built: 1620
Length: 130 feet
Each bridge brings something unique to the world, and in the case of Somerset Bridge in Bermuda, it’s the title of the world’s smallest working drawbridge. Located in the western parish of Sandys, Somerset Bridge connects Somerset Island to the mainland.
This stone bridge contains a small section (32 inches, to be precise) of wooden planks that can be manually raised to act as a mini drawbridge that makes way for a sailboat’s mast. Somerset Bridge is featured on a 2009 series of Bermuda’s £5 banknote.
Pons Fabricus - Rome
Year Built: 62 BC
Length: 200 feet
The oldest bridge in Rome that still exists today is Pons Fabricus, named after its designer Lucius Fabricius. This Roman arch bridge spans half of the Tiber River, connecting the left bank of the city to Tiber Island.
It has withstood the test of floods, earthquakes, battles, horse carriages and pedestrians, and is a testament to the timeless skill of ancient Roman engineers.
Dragon Bridge - Da Nang, Vietnam
Year Built: 2013
Length: 2,185 feet
Crossing the Han River in Da Nang is an actual fire-breathing dragon — in bridge form. The Dragon Bridge is laced with a yellow dragon structure, which illuminates at night.
But the main draw comes on weekend evenings when the dragon breathes fire: Flames erupt from the mouth of the dragon for a couple of minutes, with a blast of water spraying after the flames. Visitors can take in the show from a boat or the riverside, but vehicles are not permitted across the bridge during this time for safety reasons.
Confederation Bridge - Prince Edward Island, Canada
Year Built: 1997
Length: 42,323 feet
Connecting Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick, the Confederation Bridge is Canada’s longest bridge and the longest bridge over ice-covered waters (seasonally) in the world.
The concrete bridge spanning the Northumberland Strait is known as the “Fixed Link,” as it connects all of Canada via a vehicle route, a push that has been advocated for since the 1870s. The toll bridge does not allow pedestrians or cyclists across, but there is a shuttle should they wish to traverse it.
Sunniberg Bridge - Klosters, Switzerland
Year Built: 1998
Length: 1,725 feet
Located near the village of Klosters in the Swiss Alps, Sunniberg Bridge is the only highly engineered structure in a mostly rural valley. It is a five-bay, cable-stayed road bridge supported by pylons up to almost 200-feet high.
Sunniberg Bridge has won designs for its innovative design as an extradosed pre-stress bridge, which is a cross between a girder (beam) bridge and a cable-stayed bridge.
Chengyang Bridge - Sanjiang, China
Year Built: 1916
Length: 210 feet
Also known as the Chengyang Bridge, Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge, Yongji Bridge or Panlong Bridge, this multi-named bridge is multi-faceted and extremely pleasing to the eye. It is made up of five stone pillars topped with wooden pavilions, which have eaves intended to resemble the flapping wings of birds.
The covered bridge crosses over the Linxi River and serves to shelter the villagers and tourists as they take in their surroundings.
Zubizuri - Bilbao, Spain
Year Built: 1997
Length: 246 feet
The Zubizuri Bridge, which translates to “white bridge” in Basque, is a tiered arch footbridge crossing the Nervion River. Its sleek white design resembles a sailboat, and it has a curved glass-brick walkway, which has caused accidents in the past. Now, it is covered with a non-slip mat.
It is also known as the Calatrava bridge after the Spanish architect that designed it.
Sheikh Zayed Bridge - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Year Built: 2010
Length: 2,762 feet
In a modern metropolis that is filled with impressive architectural achievements, the Sheikh Zayed Bridge stands out as an icon of Abu Dhabi. Spanning the waters of the Maqta Channel, the bridge connects the mainland to the island of Abu Dhabi.
Asymmetrical steel arches rise and fall out of the road decks, which are said to be curved in a way that symbolizes undulating sand dunes.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge - Kobe to Iwaya, Japan
Year Built: 1998
Length: 12,831 feet
Also called the Akashi Strait Bridge or Pearl Bridge, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge has held the title of the world’s longest suspension bridge since its completion in 1998. It crosses the Akashi Strait and connects Kobe on the mainland to Iwaya on Awaji Island.
With two strong girder systems, the resilient structure has been designed to withstand typhoons, earthquakes and harsh river currents.
Root Bridges - Cherrapunji, India
Year Grown: Various
Mother Nature is the world's very best architect, and her renditions of bridges are not to be left out of this list. Root bridges are found throughout India, but Cherrapunji, a town on the border of Bangladesh, is particularly well known for them.
The area where these bridges reside is known for being one of the wettest environments on Earth, so the roots are easily malleable and the locals shape the roots by pulling, twisting and tying them to form a bridge.
Henderson Waves Bridge - Singapore
Year Built: 2008
Length: 899 feet
Standing out amongst the lush tropical forests of Singapore sits the city’s highest pedestrian bridge: the Henderson Waves Bridge. True to its name, the design undulates through the city and connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park.
The curved rib-like structures are composed of Balau wood, which is found in Southeast Asia.
Nescio Bridge - Amsterdam
Year Built: 2006
Length: 2,600 feet
In a city made up of canals, bridges are paramount, but with its award-winning beauty and form, Nescio Bridge stands out among the rest. With a curved suspension bridge design, this bicycle and pedestrian bridge is the Netherlands’ first suspension bridge and the longest footbridge in the country.
Stretching over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, it connects residents of the suburb Ijburg with the mainland.
Rialto Bridge - Venice, Italy
Year Built: 1181
Length: 158 feet
It’s easy to get lost in Venice, but one of the main points to orient yourself from is the Grand Canal, which is crossed by the charming Rialto Bridge. Since its original creation in the 12th century, the bridge has collapsed and been rebuilt several times, with its current version being made out of stone.
The oldest bridge crossing the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge provides access to the financial center of Venice.
Stari Most - Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Year Built: 1566
Length: 98 feet
Translating to “Old Bridge”, Stari Most is a single arch bridge standing strong in its stone structure over a river dividing the city of Mostar — and it makes for a breathtaking sight. It is one of the most impressive examples of Ottoman architecture in the world.
Every year, young men partake in a diving competition off Stari Most as part of a tradition that symbolizes the transition into manhood.
Kapellbrücke - Lucerne, Switzerland
Year Built: 1333
Length: 672 feet
Translating to “Chapel Bridge”, this wooden footbridge runs diagonally across the River Reuss in the Swiss city of Lucerne. Pedestrians can stroll across the covered bridge and view the roof paintings, which depict events from Swiss history and mythology.
After undergoing a tragic fire in 1993, the bridge was rebuilt to solidify its symbolism of binding the town together, and it remains a popular tourist attraction and photo spot.
Manhattan Bridge - New York
Year Built: 1901
Length: 6,855 feet
While the Brooklyn Bridge claims most of the tourists’ attention, the Manhattan Bridge offers similarly spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline while connecting foot, vehicle, cycle and subway traffic to Brooklyn. With an elaborate stone archway marking the entrance and steel arches set across the suspension bridge, this bridge makes for a beautiful commute in the city that never sleeps.
Pro-tip: Head over to Washington Street in DUMBO for a highly Instagrammable photo-op.
Seri Wawasan Bridge - Putrajaya, Malaysia
Year Built: 2003
Length: 787 feet
Seri Wawasan Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge with a semi-fan system, connecting Core Island with the residential area of the left bank in Putrajaya. Translating to “Bridge of Vision,” this bridge has the appearance of a sailing boat, and its futuristic design makes it a stand-out element of the city.
Don’t miss the bridge at night, when it lights up the sky with colors of blue, purple and pink.
Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge - Brasilia, Brazil
Year Built: 2002
Length: 3,937 feet
The signature bridge of Brazil’s capital offers a unique and eye-catching design.
Set across Lake Paranoá, the Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge (known as the President JK Bridge or simply JK Bridge) features asymmetrical concrete arches, which are designed to mimic the movement of a stone skipping across a water surface.
The Twist - Jevnaker, Norway
Year Built: 2019
Length: 196 feet
The multi-faceted structure known as “The Twist” serves as a bridge, museum and sculpture, featuring a 100-square-foot art installation. As its name suggests, the structure twists across the Randselva River, and it is torqued in the middle to complete its elegant, sleek and innovative design.
Connecting the two forested riverbanks, the bridge completes the walking art tour through Kistefos, northern Europe’s largest sculpture park.