No matter which country you have chosen for your next vacation, you must add a viewing platform to your travel checklist. These are well-engineered observation platforms located on the top of mountains or tall skyscrapers offering unobstructed views of the expansive landscapes and surroundings. Largely these are open-air viewing platforms but there are places where such structures are built indoors with large glass window panes.
There are a number of breathtaking viewing platforms around the world, and we will be apprising you with the most unique ones here, have a look below.
TOP OF TYROL, Austria
This breathtaking observation deck is constructed by Astearchitecture 3,210 meters above sea level at the Stubai glacier, Austria. It is built using weathering steel to handle extreme weather conditions. The visitors get unobstructed views of the glacier and other mountain peaks in the vicinity.
AlpspiX in Grainau, Germany
Located at an altitude of 2050 meters at the summit of Osterfelderkopf, the AlpspiX consists of two steel girders in a cool, X shape anchored on the edge of a mountain cliff. The 25-meter-long walkways provide deep views of the Zugspitze, the Waxensteine, the Alpspitz north face and Höllental.
Stegastein Viewpoint, Norway
Designed by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen, this 30-meter long and 4-meter wide platform of steel and laminated pine provides views of the Aurlandsvangen and the Aurlandsfjord. It was built as part of a national program of tourist routes commissioned by the Norwegian Highway Department.
Five Fingers in Obertraun, Austria
Erected 500 meters above the ground, this viewing platform is built in the shape of a hand with 5 fingers, each measuring four by one meter. The fingers are equipped with different features such as a telescope and a glass floor. It can be reached by a 15-minute walk from the Dachstein Krippenstein cable car summit station. The visitors can enjoy the stunning views of Lake Hallstatt and the Inner Salzkammergut from up here.
Shilingxia Resort Glass Viewing Platform in Beijing, China
Located on the main peak of Shilin Gorge, this circular glass viewing platform looks like a UFO hanging in mid-air. It is 32.8 meters above the cliff and covers an area of 415 square meters.
Utsikten Viewpoint, Norway
It is a triangular concrete slab built over the cliff of Gaularfjellet in Norway. The viewing platform offers different points of view from 2,000 feet up. The cliff-hanging structure can be accessed easily by car.
Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona
Enjoy the views of one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders from the Grand Canyon Skywalk. It is a 10-foot wide, horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that protrudes 70 feet out from the edge of the canyon. It stands 4,000 feet above the Canyon floor.
Tip-Box Hut in Belvedere, France
Designed by Christophe Benichou, this tilted mountain hut is located at the top of the Pic Saint-Loup. Its stepped structure and inclined envelope provides expansive views to visitors. There are perforations on two sides that create a visual link between Montpellier and the Mediterranean. The ground floor even has overnight accommodation for campers.
Stairs to Nowhere in Dachstein, Austria
The Dachstein Skywalk stands on a rock face 400m above the base of the wall. It is made using 58 mm thick steel cables, 63 tons of steel, and concrete. The platform can accommodate a maximum of four people at a time.
Cardada Panoramic View Point in Locarno, Switzerland
Switzerland’s Cardada observation platform is built on the Cimetta mountain summit and is 1,671m above the land. This observation platform offers a view of the entire region of Lake Maggiore, the Centovalli, and the Maggie valley.
Panorama Platform at Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano, Italy
This viewing platform built by Matteo Thun Architects has a mesh-like floor that is about 90 percent transparent. It makes people standing on it feel as if they were floating over the Botanic Garden. Visitors can also enjoy beautiful views of the mountains of Meran from here.
360 Chicago Tilted Observation Deck, Chicago
Watch speeding cars on the road below and the longest possible view of Chicago while leaning outward on a glass window of the high-rise skyline in Chicago. The 360 Chicago observation deck ensures safety by only allowing eight visitors at a time who get to lean over a 1,030 feet fall.
Melbourne Skydeck in Southbank, Australia
It is a public observatory located on the top of 300 meters high residential skyscraper named Eureka Tower. The amazing part of the observatory is its glass walls which provide an amazing view of the city at night. Thrill seekers can also opt for the ‘Edge’ experience that suspends guests in a transparent glass cube out from the Skydeck.
The Ledge at Skydeck, Chicago
Located at the top of the Willis Tower, The Ledge is a part of the Skydeck Chicago, the highest observation deck in the United States. Built by SOM, it provides a unique experience for daring visitors with glass floors and walls. It is like a glass box window that extends 4.3 feet from the building offering a heart-sinking view of the city directly under you and around.
Step into the Void, France
This five-sided glass structure located on the top of the Aiguille du Midi mountain peak is not for an acrophobic. The structure is built from three-layer tempered glass and can withstand winds of 220 kmh and a maximum temperature of 60-degree Celsius. You can enjoy awesome views of the surrounding valley and the world under your feet, through the transparent floor.
The Gap Lookout Platform in Torndirrup National Park, Western Australia
This cantilevered 15-ton lookout platform extends 10 meters beyond the cliff, providing beautiful views of the Southern Ocean. The shape of the viewing structure is designed to blend with the surrounding landscape. The grated floor panels offer a see-through view of the crashing waves 40m below.
Messner Mountain Museum Corones, Italy
These astonishing viewing platforms embedded within the summit of Mount Kronplatz 2,275m above sea level are constructed by Zaha Hadid Architects. The platforms are surrounded by the alpine peaks of the Zillertal, Ortler and Dolomites.
Cliffwalk in British Columbia, Canada
It is a cantilevered adventure walkway winding above the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Cliffwalk spans 213 meters along Capilano Canyon. It can safely support 45 tons of weight safely. If you are looking for thrilling activities in Vancouver, add this one to the list.
Ørnesvingen Viewpoint, Norway
This viewing platform by 3RW Architects offers picturesque views of the Geiranger fjord and its steep hillsides as well as a waterfall. The Ørnesvingen Viewpoint was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
Columbia Icefield Skywalk, Canada
The Glacier Skywalk by Sturgess Architecture is a one-kilometer long walkway that leads to a glass-floor viewing platform, standing about 280m from the ground. The glasswalk is situated above a deep canyon, midway between Jasper and Banff National Parks. Its U-shape gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the glacier.
Quilotoa Shalalá Overlook, Ecuador
This wood-covered viewing platform with glass railings is located on the top edge of the crater of an active volcano with a lake inside of it. It is a beautiful piece of architecture, built especially to experience the incredible view of the lake.