A bridge can be an attractive sight for a number of reasons. People usually recommend traveling across a certain bridge because of the views of the surrounding landscapes, natural or urban, that can be enjoyed while walking across the span. Other bridges are well-known for their overall length or height, or perhaps even their design and architectural beauty. Some of the world’s best bridges are part of travelers’ sightseeing itineraries. People come to well-known bridges either because they want to see the views surrounding the bridge or want to appreciate the design of the bridge up close.

Here are the world’s most exceptional bridges and the reasons why they belong on your sightseeing itinerary.

A bridge can be an attractive sight for a number of reasons. People usually recommend traveling across a certain bridge because of the views of the surrounding landscapes, natural or urban, that can be enjoyed while walking across the span. Other bridges are well-known for their overall length or height, or perhaps even their design and architectural beauty. Some of the world’s best bridges are part of travelers’ sightseeing itineraries. People come to well-known bridges either because they want to see the views surrounding the bridge or want to appreciate the design of the bridge up close.

Here are the world’s most exceptional bridges and the reasons why they belong on your sightseeing itinerary.

Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio
Photo: angelocesare / Flickr

This is classic stone bridge that has a history that dates back more than 1,000 years. Spanning the Arno River in Florence, Ponte Vecchio is a major stop on the city’s tourist trail. The bridge is well known because it is covered with shophouses. Bridge-top shops were very common in Medieval times, and this is one of the few remaining bridges that still has active retail spaces on it. People come to see the shops, and also to take pictures of the bridge while standing on the banks of the Arno River.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge
Photo: siddhu2020 / Flickr

London’s Tower Bridge is a an iconic structure that is easily recognizable. Built late in the 19 th Century, it features two trademark towers that are often seen in snapshots of the Thames. This bridge is so famous that it is sometimes referred to as the London Bridge, which is a mistake, since the span that is officially dubbed the London Bridge is actually located upstream from the Tower Bridge. Pedestrian can cross a higher-level walkway on the bridge, where they can get better views of the Thames and the surrounding city-scape.

Vasco de Gama Bridge

Vasco de Gama Bridge
Photo: bradleypjohnson / Flickr

The lengthy Vasco de Gama Bridge spans the Tagus River near the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. This is one of the world’s longest bridges, spanning over ten miles. A full seven miles of the bridge is located over the water. This is a relatively young bridge compared to most of the classic structures on this list. It was finished in 1998. The de Gama bridge is impressive for its size and for the 150 meter-high pillars that support the sweeping sail-like collection of cables that hold up the bridge.

Seven Miles Bridge

Seven Miles Bridge
Photo: vxla / Flickr

Seven Mile Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the Southern US. It connects the popular tourist islands of the Florida Keys. When it was built in the early 1980s, this bridge was one of the longest in the world. It is part of a network of bridges that are located along the Keys on a road called Highway One (sometimes referred to as the Overseas Highway because of the amount of time that drivers spend on bridges rather than on land-based roads). The bridge is mainly flat, though it does arch in its middle for a brief time to provide a passage for water-craft.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge
Photo: kevincole / Flickr

Arguably the world’s most famous (and most photographed) bridge, the Golden Gate is an iconic symbol of San Francisco and the California Bay Area. Some people consider it one of the most famous structures in the world overall, setting it next to the likes of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. Pedestrians and cyclists can cross the bridge, though there is a toll for cars and other vehicles. Those who want to ride across can take one of the buses that have routes that cross the bridge. There are several places along the bayshore where people can take pictures of the bridge.

Khaju Bridge

Khaju Bridge
Photo: Jeff McNeill / Flickr

This bridge, originally constructed in the 17th Century, is both a beautiful structure and one that has an impressively useful design. Located in the city of Isfahan, this bridge is characterized by many arches that bring to mind the type of design that was once the hallmark of Persia, at one point the most advanced and powerful civilization on earth. Not only is this a bridge, it is also a dam. When the gates below each arch are closed, the water on one side of the bridge rises in order to irrigate the remnants of a classical Persian garden.

Do you know of a bridge that you think belongs on our list of the world’s most exceptional bridges? Tell us about it in the comments section.

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