The search for a beautiful view sometimes brings us to dizzying heights, for a chance to see the world from high above the clouds. But you don’t necessarily have to put on your climbing gear to get there: around the world, you’ll find a variety of unique and interesting viewing platforms, terraces and bridges, with fitting names to boot. Getting to these beautiful views isn’t dangerous, but standing at the top, each still requires nerves of steel! 

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Aiguille du Midi – Chamonix, France

South of the French city of Chamonix in the Mont Blanc massif, you’ll find the Aiguille du Midi reaching for the sky. The Aiguille du Midi, which translates as the “needle of mid-day” sits at a height of 3,777 meters, and offers sweeping panoramic views of the city and of the French, Italian and Swiss alps. From Chamonix, a cable car will take you comfortably to the summit, where you can enjoy the view from various viewing platforms – among them the 1,000 meter high glass-floored terrace.

The Shard – London, England

The Shard’s sharp edges cut a deep gash into London’s famous skyline. The views that greet anyone brave enough to visit the observation decks is beyond compare: from the 68th, 69th and 72nd stories, you can view some of London’s best-known landmarks, such as the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Big Ben. Views from the tower are improved with good weather, which takes a bit of luck in rainy London.

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Iguazu waterfalls – Brazil/Argentina

On the border between Brazil and Argentina, the “Devil’s Mouth,” the largest of the Iguazu water falls, sends a mass of water 80 meters across tumbling into the depths below. The Iguazu Falls, made up of over 275 individual cascades, is best discovered along an approximately one kilometer hike – but be prepared, you’re likely to get at least a little damp.

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Grand Canyon Skywalk – Hualapai Indian Reserve, USA

The Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona extends 20 meters over the rim of the Grand Canyon, and offers visitors infinite views across the canyon and the Colorado River below. This walkway isn’t for those with a fear of heights, as you’ll be staring through a glass floor to the ground 1,200 meters below. One small drawback: unfortunately, visitors aren’t allowed to take photos on the platform.

Willis Tower – Chicago, USA

It’s no wonder that these 4 capsules, clad completely in glass and suspended 412 meters above the streets of Chicago on the exterior of Willis Tower, is a popular spot for marriage proposals. From the 103rd floor of the second-highest building in the USA, you can glimpse views of downtown Chicago, Lake Michigan and, in good weather, four different states. And newly engaged couples can celebrate more than just their proposals – the glass boxes are a popular spot for wedding ceremonies.

EdgeWalk CN Tower – Toronto, Canada

Not for the faint of heart! Fully equipped with the appropriate harness, you can walk around the exterior of the CN Tower, at a height of 356 meters, with a chance to put your hands in the air and lean gingerly out over the edge, while all of Toronto lies at your feet. If that takes too much nerve for you: a bit lower down, at a height of 342 meters, you can enjoy the view from a comparatively tamer perspective, atop a glass-bottomed platform.

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Peak walk – Swiss Alps

Open all year: even when the wind is blowing at 200km/hour, you can still walk across the suspended bridge connecting the two peaks of the Scex Rouge. Atop the bridge, at a height of 3,000 meters, you might still hope for a bit less wind, as you’ll want to enjoy the panoramic alpine views. From the bridge, you’ll get a free look at two mountain giants, the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc!

Stairway to nothingness, Schladming, Austria

More than 100 meters above the cliffs of the Dachstein massif, you’ll find a viewing platform made of glass, fittingly called the “Stairway to nothingness.” Of course, you don’t have to climb the Alps yourself to enjoy this commanding view – the platform can be reached easily via the Panorama Gondola. As an added bonus, you can combine your trip with a visit to the neighboring “Ice Palace.” Deep within the glacier, you’ll find a world made from ice and snow, with a crystal dome, ice columns and figures carved from ice.

© iStock.com/vichie81
Walk of Faith – Tianmen Mountain, China

A gondola will take you up to the “Walk of Faith,” a walkway hugging the flank of the Tianmen Mountain in the Chinese province of Hunan. When it comes to trust here, the subject of discussion falls to the path’s glass floor, suspended 1,430 meters above the rocky limestone of the subtropical national park where Tianmen is located. Particularly breathtaking is the 60 meter long Skywalk, where you can watch the clouds roll by the mountain underneath your own feet.

© iStock.com/Perszing1982
Preikestolen – Norway

A heavenly scene! The panorama that awaits you atop the Preikestolen (“Preacher’s Pulpit”), a rugged cliff located in the Norwegian municipality of Forsand, will truly bring you to your knees. From this almost-perfectly-square, naturally-formed granite plateau, you’ll enjoy a perfect view 600 meters down to the Lysefjorden below, framed by the surrounding mountains. Access to the Preikestolen is via a hike of around two hours – good hiking boots are a must!

 

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