Bridges have always fascinated me, from ropes stretching across rushing rivers and deep canyons to great feats of modern engineering linking entire countries together. There are some incredible bridges in all corners of the world and I’ve put together my top 5 from the ones I’ve had the pleasure of seeing first hand.
1. Stari Most (Old Bridge), Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
This beautiful reconstruction of a 16th century Ottoman bridge overlooks the Neretva River and the mountains surrounding Bosnia’s fifth-largest city. A popular tourist destination, the bridge is famous for divers that flock to Mostar to take part in the annual diving competition. The original bridge was destroyed during heavy bombing in the Balkan War but was reopened in 2004 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is even possible to jump from the bridge for a fee or watch the local pros by giving them a few euros.
2. Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia
You can’t deny Sydney Harbour Bridge its status as a symbol of Sydney and, for some, even Australia. A genuine feat of engineering, it was completed in 1932 and remains the tallest steel arch bridge in the world. Affectionately known as “The Coathanger”, it is a must-see on any trip to Sydney. I recommend taking a stroll past the Opera House to the Botanic Gardens for great views of the harbour and its two most famous landmarks. Or if you are feeling brave, try the famous Bridge Climb for unparalleled views of the city.
3. Karluv Most (Charles Bridge), Prague, Czech Republic
One of the most iconic sights in Prague, the gothic-style Karluv Most spans over half a kilometre across the Vltava River. The cobblestone path across is shared by tourists and vendors selling beautiful art and souvenirs while the views of the old city on one side and the Prague Castle on the other are spectacular. Take an early morning stroll for a more peaceful experience.
4. Pont des Arts, Paris, France
This bridge over the Seine was famous for thousands of ‘love locks’ that adorned its rails, left by loved-up couples and tourists. Since Parisians strongly opposed the practice, the locks are being regularly removed and glass panels installed to discourage visitors. However, the sight of Institut de France on one side and the Louvre on the other are worth it alone. With unmistakeable green painted boxes of the book sellers on each side of the river, this is one of my favourite parts of Paris.
5. Tower Bridge, London, UK
I couldn’t complete this list without mentioning one of my hometown’s finest places. Tower Bridge, constructed in the late 19th century, played an important part in London’s expansion and remains one of the world’s most iconic landmarks. I love to stroll all the way from Westminster on a warm summer’s day, stopping off at some of the many pubs and restaurants lining the banks of the Thames before gazing up at the bridge’s towers. Interestingly, boats still have priority over road traffic and can request the bridge to be raised with 24 hours notice!
What do you think? It was a tough decision leaving some bridges out! What bridges would be in your Top 5? Let me know!