The 10 most famous pedestrian bridges in the world

The works that usually draw the attention of both engineering and construction enthusiasts and the general public are typically the longest bridges or the highest: those that enable cars or trains to cross valleys, gorges, rivers, lakes, stretches of sea or even urban areas where necessary. So we often hear about the longest bridge in the world, that is, the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge in China, that runs for 165 kilometres; or about the highest bridgein Europe, the Millau Viaduct, in France, that reaches an amazing 343 metres in height. But when you consider that bridges for trains and cars are fairly recent structures in the extremely long history of humanity, and that we are all supposed to be moving around – as much as possible – on foot or by bicycle, it seems a good idea to consider another type of bridgepedestrian bridges.

The list of the 10 most famous pedestrian bridges in the world

Pedestrian bridges can compete on equal terms with the most famous road or rail viaducts around the world in terms of architectural, engineering, aesthetic, cultural or historical value. So let’s take a look at a selection of the 10 most famous pedestrian bridges in the world, in the knowledge that this top ten will inevitably exclude many well-known and much-admired pedestrian bridges.

1- Segunda Circular Bridge

We’ll start with this famous pedestrian bridge in LisbonPortugal, designed by Maximina Almeida and Telmo Cruz of MXT Studio, and built in 2015. The bridge spans the Segunda Circular road, creating an unusual, branching network of connections for pedestrians and cyclists – since the ramps make it accessible for bicycles too – like a gigantic spider crouching on the ground. With the striking bright orange colour of the paintwork, this large structure succeeds in adding a touch of refinement and elegance to the crossing. The designers have explained that the unusual design of the spans and ramps was inspired by the farmland paths that once criss-crossed the local countryside.

2- Helix Bridge

We now move on to Singapore, home to a pedestrian bridge that is 228 metres long. But it isn’t the length that makes this bridge famous: the Helix Bridge is best known for the net-like structure enveloping it, that evokes the structure of DNA. This pedestrian bridge is particularly spectacular when darkness falls, when it lights up in red and green. The bridge links the Marina Center with Marina South, and it was designed by Arup, together with Cox Architecture. The material used for the bridge is stainless steel.

3- Python Bridge

The Python Bridge is a decidedly eccentric bridge in Amsterdam that spans the canal between Sporenburg and Borneo Island. This curvy red structure resembling a python extends for a total of 93 metres; it was originally named Hoge Brug (or “high bridge”) but it is more commonly known by its nickname of Python bridge as a result of its unusual design. We should point out that the nearby Lage Brug (or “low bridge”), similar in design but without the “humps”, can also be crossed by bicycle.

4- Sky bridge

This pedestrian bridge is located in TartanoItaly, in the province of Sondrio. It is in fact the highest rope bridge in Europe. While this bridge cannot compete architecturally with the other bridges in this list, it is certainly an exceptional bridge of its kind: at 234 metres long and 140 metres wide, it links thetwo sides of theTartano Valley, and spans the Tartano torrent at a height of about 1,000 metres.

5- Denver Millennium Bridge

Any list of the most famous pedestrian bridges in the world must include the Denver Millennium Bridge, a key symbol of the city. This unusual cable-stayed bridge – inaugurated in 2002 – was designed from the start to be the lowest and thinnest bridge possible, so as to keep the number of stairs that pedestrians had to climb up and down to a minimum. The cables connect the bridge to a single inclined mast, which, at a height of61 metres, makes this a dramatic and spectacular crossing.

6- Chengyang Bridge

Now let’s turn to a completely different type of pedestrian bridge. This Chinese bridge was completed in 1912, and has a truly remarkable structure: the covered bridge is made up of 19 verandas, each one linked to the next, built on stone piers. And that’s not all: this pedestrian bridge has 3 floors, thanks to its structure made of wood. From the outside, the bridge looks like a long suspended house and it is 64.4 metres long in total.

7- Bridge of Peace

The Mtkwari River, in TbilisiGeorgia, is spanned by a pedestrian bridge designed by Italian architect Michele De Lucchi, that links the historic old town to the West with the new Tbilisi to the East. So it is a monument to the dialogue between past and present, underlining the importance of this connection with its elegant sinusoidal roof, which seems as though it is suspended in the void. The only supports for this extremely long roof are at either end of the pedestrian bridge.

8- Chapel Bridge

Known as the oldest covered bridge in Europe, this bridge spans the river Reuss, and has served the citizens of Lucerne in Switzerland since 1333: it was originally part of the city’s defensive fortifications.

9- Gateshead Millennium Bridge

This pedestrian bridge is amazing for a number of reasons. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian cyclist tilt bridge that spans the river Tyne in England. The bridge is particularly striking because of its curved shape, taking pedestrians and cyclists on a panoramic excursion over the river; but it is also notable for its unusual lifting system, with the whole structure tilting sideways to allow boats to pass underneath. It is 126 metres long, and was inaugurated in 2001.

10- Scale Lane Bridge

There are many other fascinating bridges that could have continued this list of the most famous pedestrian bridges in the world, but our choice for the last pedestrian bridge to include in this top 10 fell on the Scale Lane Footbridge: a swing bridge with an unmistakeable apostrophe shape, located in the English city of Hull. One of the unusual features of this bridge is that it allows pedestrians to move with it, when it opens and closes for boats to pass by.