Located in Sochi, Russia's new record-breaking SkyBridge is 439 meters long
Travelers can view France, Switzerland and Italy from the Aiguille du Midi bridge
More animals than people use the Hanging Bridge of Ghasa in Nepal
Footbridges, once built simply to provide passage over challenging obstacles, are increasingly being designed with thrill seekers in mind.
Here’s a closer look at some of the most spectacular footbridges in destinations around the world:
1. Peak Walk by Tissot
(Bernese Oberland, Switzerland)
In October 2014, the world’s first pedestrian suspension bridge to connect two mountain peaks opened on Glacier 3000 in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland.
The 107-meter (351 feet) bridge connects View Point peak with Scex Rouge peak.
Famed alpine peaks Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau can be all be seen from the bridge’s observation deck. The bridge, which cost $2 million dollars to build, will stay open all year around.
Peak Walk by Tissot, Glacier 3000, Route du Pillon 253, Les Diablerets, Switzerland
2. Sochi SkyBridge
One of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges forms part of Sochi’s SkyPark attraction, which includes a 700-meter-long zip wire.
The 439-meter-long bridge has two observation platforms, both offering spectacular views of the Black Sea. There’s also a bungee jumping platform from the center of the structure.
SkyPark Russia, Cossack Ford Street, Krasnoflotskay, Sochi, Russia
3. Aiguille du Midi Bridge
(Mont Blanc massif, France)
This bridge links the north and south peaks of the Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps, and is located 3,842 meters (12,604 feet) above sea level.
Getting here involves a ride on a vertical ascent cable car. From the top, visitors can see into France, Switzerland and Italy.
Aiguille du Midi, Mont Blanc massif, France
4. Tigbao Hanging Bridge
This structure looks flimsier than it is – it’s actually made of metal, but a bamboo top layer was added to give it an authentic – or, depending on your perspective, scary – look.
It hangs 25 meters (82 feet) above the river. Visitors wanting to do their best Indiana Jones impression can even buy a facsimile hat at a stall on the riverbank.
Loboc River, Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
5. Taman Negara National Park Bridge
(Titiwangsa Mountains, Malaysia)
At 530 meters long (1,650 feet), this suspension bridge is a popular attraction in Malaysia..
The narrow bridge stretches across the top of the trees of Taman Negara, Malaysia’s largest national park. Visitors with a fear of heights will be reassured to know that the ropes are checked every morning.
Taman Negara National Park, Titiwangsa Mountains, Malaysia
6. Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Capilano suspension bridge stretches 137 meters (450 feet) across and 70 meters (230 feet) above Vancouver’s Capilano River. It was originally built by Scottish engineer George Grant Mackay in 1889, but was completely rebuilt in 1956.
Today, it’s Vancouver’s oldest and most popular attraction, receiving more than 700,000 visitors per year.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
7. Hanging Bridge of Ghasa
It’s not just humans who use this bridge – donkeys, cows and goats use it, as well. In fact, it was built specifically for animals, as a solution to the congestion caused by cattle being herded up and down Ghasa’s narrow roads.
Today, animals remain the biggest users of the Hanging Bridge of Ghasa, prodded along by the farmers who also use it to deliver produce to local families.
Ghasa, Annapurna circuit, Nepal
8. Trift Bridge
This Swiss suspension bridge, which can only be accessed via a cable car, hangs above the Trift Glacier and has a length of 170 meters (557 feet).
It was built as a response to global warming – until recently, the mountaineering hut at the top of the glacier could be reached on foot, but when the glacier started to shrink, the bridge became the only route of access.
The structure is based on traditional Nepalese rope bridges.
Trift Bridge, Grimselworld Trail, Gadmen, Switzerland
9. El Caminito Del Rey
One of many bridges on the El Caminito Del Rey (meaning “the king’s little pathway”), this cliff-hugging path in Spain was built to provide workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls with a way to cross between them.
It quickly became a tourist attraction. The entire walkway is just 1 meter wide and rises to over 100 meters (328 feet) above the river below.
El Caminito Del Rey, El Chorro-Alora, Malaga, Spain
10. The Marienbrucke
Marienbrucke (or Mary’s Bridge) is located just a few meters from Bavaria’s beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle and spans the Pollat Gorge.
It was named after Marie of Prussia, wife of King Maximilian II and mother of King Ludwig II, who built the castle.
There was already a wooden bridge spanning the gorge, but King Ludwig II wanted something more substantial from which to watch his castle’s construction, so he replaced the wooden railings with iron ones.
Pollat Gorge, Neuschwanstein, Bavaria, Germany
11. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
(County Antrim, Northern Ireland)
This bridge was originally constructed so that fishermen could cross the 30-meter-deep and 20-meter-wide gorge to check their salmon nets, but it’s since become one of Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions.
The nearby Sheep Island View Hostel has a collection of photographs depicting people performing various stunts on the bridge, including one local doing a handstand on a chair in the middle of the structure.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Whitepark Road, Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
12. Kokonoe ‘Yume’ Grand Suspension Bridge
This bridge stands at 173 meters (567 feet) above the Naruko-gawa River. It’s 390-meters long (1,279 feet) and was built in 2006.
Visitors flock to it for the views of the Shindonotaki falls.
After a hike across the bridge you can soak in the nearby hot springs – almost a fifth of Japan’s hot springs can be found in Oita Prefecture.
Kokonoe “Yume” Grand Suspension Bridge, 1208 Tano, Kokonoe-machi, Kusu-gun, Oita, Japan
Highline179 connects the Ehrenberg Castle ruins with Fort Claudia in Reutte, Austria.
The bridge has a length of 403 meters (1,322 feet) and a height of 110 meters (360 feet). The Highline179 is named after the tourist route that winds through this part of the Austrian state of Tryol.
Highline179, Ehenbichl, 6600 Reutte, Austria
Tamara Hinson is a freelance travel writer based in the UK. Originally published in November 2014, this article was updated in March 2019.