The World’s Most Thrilling Elevator Rides
These towering achievements are attractions in themselves.
If you’ve ever wanted to rock climb, but were too afraid to do so, this thrilling elevator ride is the next best thing. The Bailong Elevator, which translates as the “Hundred Dragons Elevator,” is the world’s tallest outdoor elevator, built into the side of a cliff in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, China. Passengers are sure to get a spectacular view as the glass elevator rises up against the steep cliff face to a dizzying height of 330 metres.
The aptly-named SkyView elevator offers an incredible vantage point of not only the sky, but also panoramic views of the entire city of Stockholm, stretching out in every direction. The glass gondolas travel up two curved sets of rails on the exterior of the world’s largest spherical building, the Ericsson Globe, ferrying passengers to the top of the structure at 130 metres above sea level.
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The Hammetschwand Lift is the highest outdoor elevator in Europe, whisking passengers up a 153-metre ascent in less than a minute. The thrilling ride guarantees stunning views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne.
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The Louvre Museum
The open-topped lift at this world-renowned Parisian landmark is hydraulically powered, so guests move in and out of the museum in a smooth and whisper-quiet fashion. What makes it so thrilling, you might ask? How about the fact that it rises and falls like a cylindrical column at the centre of the massive spiral staircase that dominates the Louvre’s pyramid entrance? Once the platform comes to a rest, a slide-out walkway appears for guests to board and disembark. Now, which way to the Mona Lisa?
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London, United Kingdom
Nicknamed the “Inside-Out Building,” the headquarters of insurance institution Lloyd’s of London is a bold architectural design that’s been built specifically with staircases, electrical power conduits and water pipes on the exterior so as to maximize the interior space. Also located on the outside of the building are 12 glass elevators, which were the first of their kind in the United Kingdom. Imagine the pressure Lloyd’s employees must feel to be well-dressed, considering they ride the lifts up and down throughout the day in plain view of everyone in the financial district.
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St. Louis, Missouri, USA
The 192-metre-high stainless steel arch is the tallest man-made monument in the United States, and the world’s tallest arch. What many people don’t realize is that you can actually enjoy a spectacular view of St. Louis by riding to the top of the arch in one of two trams. With one in each “leg” of the arch, the tram consists of a chain of eight egg-shaped compartments that swing like Ferris-wheel cars as they transport passengers, ascending to the top in four minutes and descending to the bottom in three minutes.
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Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai
Lots of today’s mega-skyscrapers have impressive elevators, but Shanghai Tower has a unique edge on the competition: It’s home to the world’s fastest elevator. Travelling at a pulse-pounding 20.5 metres per second, this is an elevator ride that’s enough to test anyone’s need for speed. If you can stomach the journey, you’ll be treated to a gorgeous, unparalleled view of the city from the tower’s 118th floor observatory.
Now that you’ve added these elevator rides to your bucket list, check out 10 achievements in ancient architecture that boggle the mind.