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Bridges unite countries, states and cultures and behold beauty that is both timeless and magnetic. Wherever we travel they draw us to them, transport us to our destination and magically transform and shape the landscape or skyline. They have long played a key role in historic events and the human experience. Unlike most architecture, bridges change the way we live and travel each and every day.
Here are 10 of the most beautiful bridges in the world:
Tower Bridge, London, England
Whenever I think of London, I think of Tower Bridge. It’s easily one of the most loved and beautiful bridges in the world. The high-level walkway offers stunning panoramic views across the city at night. For a different view, see it from the water by booking one of the many river cruises.
Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy
The backdrop for many Venice postcards, the Rialto Bridge is probably the most recognized bridge that crosses the Grand Canal. Yes, it gets crowded with everyone snapping photos, but you’ll enjoy one of the best views of the canals and waterside attractions in the heart of Venice.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
There is so much to love about San Francisco, and the Golden Gate Bridge is at the top of my list. You can bike (my favorite) or walk across to Sausalito, have a nice lunch, and then return by ferry or bus. The views from anywhere along the bridge are breathtaking. There’s a reason it’s one of the most photographed bridges in the world.
Cornish-Windsor Bridge, New Hampshire/Vermont
Covered bridges have always held an attraction for me. They remind me of simpler times when people traveled by horse and carriage. So it’s no surprise the Cornish-Windsor Bridge made it on my list. Gorgeous in any season, but especially dazzling in the fall, it spans the Connecticut River between New Hampshire and Vermont. It’s one of the longest covered bridges in the United States.
Brooklyn Bridge, New York
I would probably get run out of town if I did not choose the much-loved and very handsome Brooklyn Bridge. With its steel cables strung high above the East River and massive granite towers reaching 277 feet into the sky, the bridge changed the course of the history of New York forever by linking together Brooklyn and Manhattan. Try walking across at dusk to see the city skyline light up at night.
Millau Viaduct, Millau, France
When it comes to the marvels of engineering category, I immediately think of the Millau Viaduct in France. Opened in 2004, the bridge is the tallest in the world (over 1100 feet) and spans the entire valley of the River Tarn in Southern France. Unfortunately, the bridge is not open to bikes or pedestrians so you will need to drive across. The views are definitely worth it, so plan on going during off-peak hours.
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
The “Old Bridge” in Florence is so unique and fits into the city in a seamless and timeless fashion. Built during Roman times it is one of the oldest and most visited bridges in Florence. You have to marvel that the bridge has pretty much been in constant use for centuries and its rich history and amazing views make it very special indeed.
The Singapore Helix Bridge, Singapore
As a stark contrast to some of the other bridges listed here, I present to you the recently opened (2010) Helix Bridge in Singapore. It’s the only pedestrian bridge on the list, but clearly a landmark in the making. The bridge is a unique and artistic structure that really lights up at night. You’ll enjoy a nice walk and take some incredible photos.
Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, California
The mixture of the stunning Pacific Ocean landscape with the rugged California coastline is the perfect setting for the Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur. While the bridge is made of simple materials and not the least bit flashy, it’s a must-stop on your way down Highway 1. The views from the bridge are nothing short of amazing and you’ll feel really good about that expensive camera you bought. [Related Post: Weekend in Big Sur]
Chain Bridge, Budapest
Seeing the Chain Bridge on my list, you may start to think I have a thing for suspension bridges. That might just be true; I find their towers and cables make a bold and attractive statement against any city or landscape. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is definitely a beauty, reaching across the River Danube and made of iron and stone. With the royal castle looming in the background, it is one of the most poetic scenes in the Hungarian capital.
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