Interesting bridges capture my attention. The blending of engineering genius with creative architecture has created some visually appealing functional structures. In fact, the world-famous bridges we share below range from unique to classic, modern to ancient, and include some record holders.
From the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the Root Bridge in India, these incredible structures span the globe and stand above all as testaments to human ingenuity. Here, we take a look at some of the most unusual and famous bridges from around the world.
While we have walked or driven over many of them, some still remain on our bucket list.
Let’s jump in …
Tower Bridge in London, England
Spanning the River Thames, the Tower Bridge in London is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. Its iconic Gothic revival architectural style features two towers and a drawbridge, allowing ships to pass underneath.
Constructed in 1886, the bridge is 82 metres (800 feet) long with two walkways. It’s a world-famous symbol of London and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tower Bridge is one of many things to see in London.
Python Bridge in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Aptly named, the Python Bridge resembles a giant, writhing red snake. Also called High Bridge, it spans a canal connecting Borneo Island with the Sporenburg in the Eastern Docklands.
At 90 metres (295 feet) long, this award-winning pedestrian bridge has become a symbol of Amsterdam’s modernity.
Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy
The world-famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge, built in the 14th century, spans the Arno River. It is unique in that it features three segmented arches and is lined with shops and small stalls selling jewellery, souvenirs, and art.
The bridge is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Florence, is the oldest bridge in the city, and is the only bridge in the city to survive World War II.
While the bridge itself is a popular tourist destination, both times I visited this Italian city, we viewed it from Piazzale Michelangelo, which is where I shot the image just above.
Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
Dating back to the 14th century, the Chapel Bridge is the oldest surviving wooden bridge in Europe. It spans the Reuss River and contains many triangular paintings depicting local history and legends.
The Chapel Bridge is one of the best-known landmarks in the region and draws visitors from around the world. In addition, we visited the controversial Lion Monument, which is only an 11-minute walk from the Chapel Bridge.
Orb Aqueduct in Béziers, France
The Orb Aqueduct (Pont-canal de l’Orb) is an aqueduct bridge built to carry the Canal du Midi over the Orb River. Essentially, this bridge of water lets boats sail across rather than using the locks.
Built during the 19th century, it was given French National Monument status in 1992. It’s an essential part of Béziers’ history and culture.
For some reason, we couldn’t find it during the daylight – most likely because we don’t speak the language well enough. However, we did get this night shot just before we drove out of town.
Magdeburg Water Bridge in Magdeburg, Germany
Another, more modern version of an aqueduct bridge, the Magdeburg Water Bridge spans the River Elbe. Located in the city of Magdeburg, the bridge is the longest navigable aqueduct in the world at 918 meters (3,011 feet) in length.
Opened in 2003, this instantly iconic bridge has a pedestrian walkway on each side of the 4.25-metre-deep canal.
Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy
The famous Rialto Bridge seamlessly blends with this city’s architecture. The current structure, built in 1588, is the oldest of the four bridges crossing the Venice Grand Canal. Until the 1850s, it was the only option, other than a gondola, to cross the river.
Many consider the Rialto (or the Pon du Gard just below) to be the most famous arch bridge in the world. Either way, the Rialto bridge is arguably one of the most visited, and, as shown above in the image, was very crowded on the day we walked across.
Pont du Gard in Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France
The Pont du Gard in France is the tallest aqueduct in Europe. This incredible structure spans the Gardon River and is an ancient Roman aqueduct built in the first century AD. Moreover, the bridge was constructed without using mortar or cement.
It is one of the best-preserved Roman structures in the world and is made up of three tiers of arches, with the tallest measuring nearly 50 meters. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it draws millions of visitors each year.
Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic
The Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava River and is a testament to the resilience of the city of Prague. Bridge construction began in 1357 and took 45 years to complete.
This stone gothic bridge, with 16 arches and 30 statues, has withstood centuries of wear and tear and is still standing strong today. The first image is our family in Prague on the bridge back in 2012, one of many world-famous bridges we have seen on our travels.
Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
This world-famous bridge is often thought of as the most complicated bridge ever built. The Sheikh Zayed Bridge features an impressive arched design, with two giant symmetrical curves that stretch across the water.
Its modern design blends traditional Arabic elements with contemporary architectural style, making it an eye-catching addition to Abu Dhabi’s skyline. At night, its LED lighting system illuminates the bridge in vibrant colours that reflect off the water, creating a beautiful and unique spectacle for visitors to enjoy.
Langkawi Sky Bridge in Langkawi, Malaysia
Stretching for 125 meters (410 feet) over lush mountains on the island of Langkawi, the pedestrian Sky Bridge is a cable-stayed suspension bridge. The walkway curves over the Gunung Mat Cincang mountain range.
The scenic walks between mountain tops offer spectacular 360º views of the surrounding landscape, and as a result, is a popular tourist attraction. Reserve your private tour, including entrance and cable car here.
Dragon Bridge in Danang, Vietnam
While it was exciting to see the 666-metre-long Dragon Bridge lit up at night, we missed its most interesting feature. Had we arrived at 9pm on a Saturday or Sunday evening, we could have watched the dragon breathing fire.
No kidding, the bridge lights up with an impressive fire show. As the music plays, the dragon’s head and tail spit out real fire and water, making for an incredible sight. The fire-breathing show has become one of the most popular attractions in Danang and has attracted visitors from around the world.
Helix Bridge in Singapore
This pedestrian bridge spans 280 meters and is the first double helix bridge of its kind in the world. The two intertwined helixes are supported by two large curved steel arches and are illuminated with LED lights of different colours.
It connects Marina Centre with Marina South, offering spectacular views of the area, including the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel (which is one of my favourite hotels worldwide). Crossing the bridge is one of many things to do in Singapore.
Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills, Vietnam
The Golden Bridge is an awe-inspiring modern design. Located in the Ba Na Hills of Vietnam, this bridge is 150 meters long and appears as if it’s held up by two giant hands.
Also known as “Hands of God”, it is a pedestrian footpath offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The bridge is world-famous for its unique design and its stunning visual impact. It’s about a one-hour drive from Danang, but if you don’t have a car, reserve this tour with transportation, cable car and bridge entrance, and lunch.
Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney Australia
The Sydney Harbour Bridge spans the world’s largest natural harbour, connecting the central city to the north shore. It is both the world’s tallest steel arch bridge and its widest long-span bridge.
And if that’s not enough, it’s the world’s largest steel arch bridge and is supported by six million hand-driven rivets, weighing a total of 52,800 tonnes. Walking across the bridge is one of many cool free things to do in Sydney.
Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge in Chengyang, China
Constructed in 1912, this impressive structure is made up of five pavilions, all of which are built from wood and stone. It spans over 200 feet and stands at around 30 feet tall.
While it holds no record that we can find, we included it here as an example of traditional covered bridges in China. The photo also shows a tea plantation in the foreground.
Danyang Kunshan Grand Bridge in Jiangsu Province, China
The Danyang Kunshan Grand Bridge is a part of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway system. Spanning 165km (102.4 miles), this bridge currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest bridge in the world and, therefore, is often considered to be the biggest bridge in the world.
It runs between Danyang and Kunshan in the Jiangsu Province. We travelled on this bridge when we took a high-speed train to Suzhou.
Root Bridge in Meghalaya, India
This living root bridge is made from the roots of the Ficus elastica tree and has been in use for hundreds of years. The bridge spans the river in the city of Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on earth, and is an amazing feat of engineering.
The bridge consists of two massive roots that have been woven together and are held in place by rocks and boulders, creating a sturdy yet flexible bridge. Not surprisingly, the Root bridge has become a tourist attraction in the region for its unique design. It’s a testament to the creativity of the local people.
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA
An icon of the city of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge connects the city to Marin County to the North. An engineering accomplishment, it took four years to complete. At the time that the bridge opened in 1937, it was the world’s longest and tallest suspension bridge.
The bridge is recognizable by its rusty orange colour, which compliments the hills and stands out against the ocean and sky. Many consider it to be the most photographed bridge in the world.
Its two signature towers stand at a height of 227 metres (746 feet). Even after living in the city for 15 years, I still make time to see and cross the Golden Gate Bridge every time I visit San Francisco.
Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, USA
The Brooklyn Bridge is a symbol of New York City. It was the first bridge to use steel to create cable wire. Completed in 1883, it connects Manhattan and Brooklyn across the East River and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. The US Department of Interior designated it as a National Historic Landmark.
As such, it is a popular tourist attraction and draws thousands of visitors every year who come to admire its beauty and marvel at its impressive engineering feats. Jeff, a former New York City resident, has crossed the Brooklyn Bridge many times, while I think I have only crossed once.
Women’s Bridge in Buenos Aires, Argentina
I am not sure if this one is actually world-famous, but our guide certainly had a lot to say about the Women’s Bridge in Buenos Aires.
He explained it is the first of its kind in the world, representing a couple dancing tango. The bridge is 170 meters long, featuring an inclined white mast representing a man and the bridge curve representing a woman.
Constructed in Spain, the bridge was donated to Buenos Aires. It swivels to allow boats to pass.
Where to find these world-famous bridges
We added each of the bridges above to the map.
Click the expand / collapse icon in the upper left corner of the map for the details and interactive options.
World famous bridges in Europe
- Tower Bridge (England)
- Python Bridge (Netherlands)
- Ponte Vecchio (Italy)
- Chapel Bridge (Switzerland)
- Pont-canal de l’Orb (France)
- Magdeburg Water Bridge (Germany)
- Rialto Bridge (Italy)
- Pont du Gard Bridge (France)
- Charles Bridge (Czech Republic)
- Millau Viaduct (France)
World famous bridges in South East Asia
- Langkawi Sky Bridge (Malaysia)
- Dragon Bridge (Vietnam)
- Helix Bridge (Singapore)
- Golden Bridge (Vietnam)
World famous bridges in China
- Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge
- Danyang Kunshan Grand Bridge
More world famous bridges
- Sheikh Zayed Bridge (UAE)
- Sydney Harbour Bridge (Australia)
- Root Bridge (India)
- Golden Gate Bridge (USA)
- Brooklyn Bridge (USA)
- Women’s Bridge (Argentina)
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The pin features the Millau Viaduct, the tallest bridge in the world and one of the many beautiful bridges in Europe.
Which is your favourite of these world-famous bridges?
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All photos on this page are either shot by our team and watermarked as such or stock images from Depositphotos.