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Stari Most at night, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Top Ten Bridges in the World

Disclaimer: I haven't been everywhere or seen everything. This is my top ten, which is almost certainly incomplete and debatable. Please leave a comment at the bottom if you agree, disagree, or have other suggestions for the best bridges in the world! 
Map tips: click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.

10: New River Gorge Bridge – West Virginia, United States

The New River Gorge Bridge is one of the highest and longest bridges in the United States. However, because of its location in not-a-tourist-hotspot West Virginia, it traditionally hasn’t been that well known. New River Gorge’s designation as a National Park in 2020 has changed that a bit and many more people are discovering the bridge and area’s beauty.

One of the things that sticks out the most to be about this bridge is how many different views you can get of it. Straight-on from the Long Trail, from the side at the visitor center, and from below on the river or riverside are a few of my favorite.

9: Szechenyi Chain Bridge – Budapest, Hungary

The elevated view of the Chain Bridge from the Buda side of Budapest is my favorite view in the city. You get to see the entire span of the bridge plus the top of St. Stephen’s Basilica on the other side. It’s also beautiful to look at from the Pest side, as Buda Castle looms large on the hill behind the bridge. If you have time, walk across the bridge to get a close look at the lion statues and try to see it at night and during the day.

Also, the bridge looks really awesome in the movie I Spy with Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson. You probably didn’t come here for movie recommendations, but I think this is an underrated good/bad comedy worth a watch.

I visited Budapest in 2006 and don’t have a Trip Report for it. Let me know if you’ve been there and would like to submit a guest post!

8: Helix Bridge – Singapore

The Helix Bridge leads to one of the most unique hotels in the world: the Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Best viewed at night, this is a pedestrian-only bridge with a spiral pattern that really pops when it’s all lit up.

A couple standing in front of the Helix Bridge and Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore at night

7: St Michael’s Bridge – Ghent, Belgium

This one feels a little bit like cheating because the views from the bridge are what were so special to me. There is a beautiful view of the bridge with St Michael’s church in the background, but it pales in comparison to what you see standing on it. I remember standing on the bridge staring at the canal, spires, and buildings for a long time.

Ghent is a special place. It might be the city that blew me away the most, in terms of places that weren’t really on my radar.

6: Brooklyn Bridge – New York City, New York, United States

The Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, 2 of the most well-known areas in one of the world’s most popular cities. The top level of the bridge is entirely for pedestrians and gives one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline. It does lose some points because of all the wires and fences that can be in the way, however.

A woman holding a small child looking at the Manhattan skyline in New York City

While you wouldn’t be looking at the Brooklyn Bridge, make sure to check out the view of the Manhattan Bridge from Dumbo if you’re on the Brooklyn side. It’s a short walk from the end of the Brooklyn Bridge. Then you can take one of the water ferries back to Manhattan instead of walking the bridge back.

5: Tower Bridge – London, England, United Kingdom

I had to look this one up: Tower Bridge and London Bridge are not the same thing. Tower Bridge is the picturesque, two-story bridge and London Bridge is pretty normal and boring. You can pay to go up to the top of Tower Bridge and walk across the glass-bottom floor of the upper level.

Tower Bridge, a 2-level bridge with prominent towers, lit up at night in London

4: Rialto Bridge – Venice, Italy

There’s probably a decent argument that Venice could have its own Top Ten Bridges list. Rialto is the oldest on the Grand Canal and most recognizable. While there are hordes of people everywhere in Venice, Rialto Bridge was the most crowded area we experienced. You may find the bridge itself not that enjoyable. If you’re there for more than just a day trip, try to get there early in the morning for a quieter experience. Also, make sure to wander along both sides of the bridge, in both directions, for different vantage points. My favorite (pictured below) is near Riva Rialto. You can get the tower of the Church of San Bartolomeo di Rialto in a picture across the canal.

A gondola passing beneath Rialto bridge in Venice, Italy

3: Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California, United States

Maybe the most famous bridge in the world, there’s not much to say about the Golden Gate Bridge. I think the best view is from the Marin Headlands on the north side of the bay, looking back across the bridge to San Francisco. If you have time, I suggest walking across the bridge. You get a truer perspective of how long and high it is, and you can see how thick the cables are that rise and fall between the towers.

A couple kneeling in front of a long view of the Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

2: Charles Bridge – Prague, Czech Republic

The combination of amazing architecture, food, and drink, plus affordability, makes Prague my favorite city in the world. The Charles Bridge is at or near the top of most tourists’ lists of things to see, so it’s pretty much always packed. While that might detract from some experiences, the time-stained gothic statues that line each side and medieval spires at both ends make it unlike any other bridge. Plus, the views of the bridge from Prague Castle or with the castle in the background are amazing.

1: Stari Most – Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Stari Most, or Old Bridge, tops my list because it is so distinctly unique. The rounded bottom and pointed top are unmistakable. There are views looking up or down at the bridge, away from it, or across it. Every angle is special with the stark-green river running beneath it, varied religious buildings around it, and the huge hill beside it.

I can’t believe we had multiple times where we were the only ones on the bridge. However, if you see pictures of it in high season, it’s absolutely packed. My best advice would be to go in off season to enjoy it to the fullest.

Bonus bridge: make sure to see Kriva Cuprija (“Crooked Bridge”), which is a 2 minute walk from Stari Most.

A small stone bridge with stone buildings in the background in Mostar
Kriva Cuprija
Other bridges I’ve been to that almost made the best bridges list
  • Saint Angelo’s Bridge – Rome, Italy
  • Pont Alexandre – Paris, France
  • Pont Vecchio – Florence, Italy
Bridges I haven’t visited, but could see potentially making the list:
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge – Sydney, Australia
  • Ruyi Bridge – Zheijang, China
  • Millau Viaduct – Creissels, France

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