Skip to main content

Often, it’s the massive, mountain or gorge spanning, technically advanced transport bridges that draw the civil engineering oohs and ahhs.

But around the world there are some architecturally stunning pedestrian bridges capable of holding just as much imagination and beauty in far fewer metres. In no particular order, here are some of our favourites.

The Cirklebroen (Circle) Bridge in Copenhagen opened in 2015 and was designed by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson to look, from afar, like the masts of sailing ships nestled together. The five interlinked circular platforms span the Christianshavn Canal at its southern end, and their offset shape is intended to momentarily slow walkers and cyclists, so they pause to take in the view. While most craft can pass under its 2.75 metres clearance height, two of the circular platforms swing open to allow taller ships through.

Aerial drone view of the modern Circle Bridge, a pedestrian bridge in the harbour area.

Melbourne’s Webb Bridge takes pedestrians across the Yarra River, and was designed by Denton Corker Marshall and Australian artist Robert Owen. Its latticed nature and sinuous curves are modelled, in a tribute to Aboriginal history and culture, on a traditional Koorie fishing trap used to catch eels. The steel construction is covered in thousands of laser-cut perforated panels that were designed to provide shade for pedestrians while still revealing views of the river and its Docklands and Southbank precincts. Opened in 2003. The bridge’s rainwater harvesting systems are used to irrigate local gardens.

View across the marina and modern apartment blocks by the Webb Bridge in Melbourne, Australia

The Cầu Vàng (Golden Bridge) in Vietnam is possibly one of the most distinctive in this collection, apparently supported by two giant hands. (Though they have the appearance of stone, they’re actually made of fibreglass and wire mesh.) The 150-metre-long bridge, often packed with site see-ers, loops back on itself, and sits atop Vietnam’s Nui Chua Mountain, connecting nearby gardens to a cable car station. (Fact fans: the Ba Na Cable Car holds the Guinness World Record for the longest, non-stop, single-track cable car – 5,801 metres). Designed by TA Landscape Architecture. Became a huge internet hit when it opened in 2018 because of its dramatic appearance.

Aerial view of the Golden Bridge is lifted by two giant hands in the tourist resort on Ba Na Hill in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Something with a little more history. The Chengyang ‘Wind and Rain’ Bridge in China is part bridge, part veranda, part pagoda, built on stone piers and connecting two tea plantation villages across the Linxi River. Not only is it built entirely of wood, but no nails or rivets were used in its construction; just dovetail joints. It took 12 years to construct in the early 1900s and includes benches and verandas to sit and admire the view, a long corridor (the bridge is more than 60 metres in length) and towers with upturned eaves where travellers can congregate and shelter from the elements. In total, five pavilions, 19 verandas and three floors. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Chicago’s BP Pedestrian Bridge is (so far) the only bridge to have been created by famous Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry (once described by Vanity Fair as “the most important architect of our age”). The twisting, snake-like shape takes pedestrians across Columbus Drive (muting the traffic noise thanks to its high parapets that take the place of handrails) to connect to the nearby Millennium Park. Won awards for its use of stainless steel, with construction including more than 10,000 brushed stainless-steel panels and rot-resistant Brazilian hardwood for the deck. 285 metres long. Opened in 2004. While a remarkable design, the bridge is not without issues, including keeping the hardwood planks clear of snow and ice during Chicago’s bitter winters.

BP Pedestrian Bridge connecting Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park.

And in 2022 we saw the opening of Sky Bridge 721. While not radical in look or design, it is the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge and, if you are someone of faint heart and altitudinous nerves, is the stuff of nightmares. It stretches for 721 metres (the clue’s in the name) and dangles 95 metres above the Mlýnský Stream in the Czech Republic’s Králický Sněžník mountains – from one ridge to another. The walkway is just 1.2 metres wide, has six main supporting ropes, plus another 60 of various diameters. While just wide enough for walkers to pass each other in the opposite direction, it’s one way only in the winter, and the height is such that you take a chairlift to get to it.

Suspension bridge iron piers of Sky Bridge 721, Dolni Morava, Czech Republic, close up.

Henderson Waves is Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge (36m in the air), its curved, wooden ribs undulating across Henderson Road, as part of the local Southern Ridges walking trail. The 270m long wave-like canopy creates spots where walkers can take a rest from the sun, while offering a panorama of Keppel Bay marina.