One of the most common fears worldwide is a fear of heights. Known as “acrophobia”, the fear of heights is ranked as the 5th biggest phobia by LiveScience.com. But, where there are fears, there are those who want to conquer those fears. A lot of risk takers are finding ways to safely stare massive heights in the face using skywalks around the world. For instance, the now famous CN Tower EdgeWalk has done wonders for the site’s tourism, allowing participants to go to the top of the highest structure in North America, where a massive population looks like ants below them. If you come across one of these aerial adventures on your travels, consider it a must do…you may get those shaky legs and your palms might get clammy but it’s sure to be a once in a life-time kind of experience.
10. The Willis Tower – Chicago
Once known as the Sears Tower, The Ledge (a series of glass bays) is part of the structure that was opened in 1974. The Skydeck protrudes out 4.3 feet meaning visitors are able to stand high above (103 floors to be exact) Wacker Drive. Over 1 million tourists grace The Ledge annually, and with Chicago having a magnificent skyline, this makes the ascent of the Willis Tower a special one.
9. OCBC Skyway, Supertree Grove – Singapore
The Supertree’s of Singapore are one of the most remarkable attractions found in the country. The trees rise 80 to 165 feet above the ground, and serve as massive vertical gardens. During the day, the large canopies provide shelter from the sun, and at night they are converted to provide an entertaining light show. The OCBC Skyway provides travelers a chance to get up close to the trees, suspended 72 feet in the air.
8. Skywalk on Tianmen Mountain – Zhangjiajie, Hunan, China
This remote skywalk is 800 miles from Shanghai, 4,700 feet up in the mountains. Despite the spectacular views high up in the peaks, the search for workers willing to clean the glass floor has been unsuccessful, meaning visitors are required to wear sock boots while up on the skywalk. The floor hugs the side of the mountain, providing breathtaking scenery.
7. Top of Tyrol – Austria
The mountains in Austria are already a spectacular sight to take in, but stepping out onto the steel floor at Stubai Glacier means visitors can see through to 10,500 feet below, a frightening realization. From the platform which juts out 30 feet from the rocks of the glacier, tourists can see Italy from where they are standing. While this platform is seldom open in the winter, yoga and meditation can be seen atop the summit during the summer months. Despite this being more of a platform than a skywalk, the views are still just as thrilling.
6. Grand Canyon’s Sky Walk – Arizona
This skywalk was built in 2007 and is a modern and spectacular way to take in what is already a hotspot on any traveler’s cross-country trek through America. Built in a horseshoe shape, the Canyon’s sky walk takes the tourist out into the gap of the Grand Canyon itself, overseeing the Colorado River, and the open mouth of the world-famous natural wonder.
5. SkyPoint Climb – Australia
In a land known best for its barren outback terrain, one would be forgiven for thinking Australia wouldn’t be home to a breathtaking skywalk. Skypoint Climb over the Q1 building sets the record straight with a thrilling skywalk the overlooks Australia’s gorgeous Gold Coast. Visitors can take in an incredible view of the waves as they roll onto the golden sandy beaches, and of the tropical mountains below. While there may be some more famous climbs down under, the SkyPoint Climb is the highest external building climb in the country.
4. SkyWalk – Auckland, New Zealand
The SkyWalk in Auckland, the largest urban area in New Zealand, offers a thrilling walk on a narrow outdoor walkway around the top of the city’s famous Sky Tower. Situated 630 feet above the ground, this skywalk is daring as it is but guests who would rather a bit more intense experience can try the SkyJump. For those brave enough to try, don’t just walk around the tallest building in New Zealand, hurl yourself off it! Jumpers reach speeds up to 85 km per hour as they plummet toward the ground.
3. Glacier Skywalk – Alberta
A brand new attraction in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, the Glacier Skywalk is located on the Icefields Parkway near the border of picturesque Banff and Jasper National Parks. The views of the mountains and glaciers are truly unforgettable, enhanced even more so by the glass-bottom platform that is suspended over 720 feet in the air over the valley below. The whole 1 hour experience is told in an interpretive story-telling format, allowing guests to really connect with the natural world around them.
2. Skywalk X – Macau, China
Situated on a narrow outdoor walkway, some 765 feet in the sky, Skywalk X provides a view from above in Macau, China. If being that high up in the air isn’t enough, there are no handrails to hold on to as visitors are supported by a harness alone. For those who want to push the boundaries of bravery, guests are allowed to sit on the edge or lean over, with night time providing an even more breathtaking experience.
1. EdgeWalk CN Tower – Toronto
The first glass floor of its kind can be attributed to the CN Tower in Toronto Canada, but that wasn’t enough. 13 storeys above that floor (for a total of 126) at 1,465 ft., walk around the entire circumference of the CN tower on the EdgeWalk. This is the world’s highest hands-free walk, and participants can even go home with their own video of the experience, as well as take a peak into the Rogers Centre to see how the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team are doing that night.