VACATION IDEAS

Photos: 12 Unbelievable Elevators

When it comes to elevators, function usually trumps form and the ride is utterly forgettable. Not so with these lifts—some look like they belong in sci-fi thrillers, others could be theme park attractions, but a trip on any one of them will earn you a lifetime of bragging rights.

  1. The elevator at the AquaDom in Berlin travels up the middle of the 82-foot tall aquarium.

    (Caro/Alamy)
  2. There are almost 100 different species of sea life in Berlin's AquaDom, which you can see through the elevator's glass walls.

    (Juergen Henkelmann Photography/Alamy)
  3. The elevator at the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, takes just 40 seconds to reach the observation level, 610 feet in the air.

    (Steve Vidler/SuperStock )
  4. Watch the ground zoom away from you through the glass floor of the elevators at the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand.

    (Exactostock / SuperStock )
  5. The glass-walled elevators at the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, give you a bird's-eye view of the city's harbor.

    (Exactostock/SuperStock )
  6. The four-minute elevator ride up the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, brings you to the top of the 630-foot-tall wonder.

    (Jiong Dai / Dreamstime.com)
  7. The mod elevator cars at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri look like something straight out of The Jetsons.

    (Courtesy Robert Lawton/Wikimedia Commons)
  8. The elevator ride at St. Louis, Missouri's Gateway Arch is one of the most exciting in the world, so book tickets in advance to skip the long lines.

    (Courtesy Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia Commons)
  9. The 50-minute gondola tours at Scotland's Falkirk Wheel traverse two canals and include two rides on the elevator.

    (Tomzoy / Dreamstime.com)
  10. Visitors marvel at the bucolic Scottish countryside from the top of the 115-foot tall Falkirk Wheel.

    (Collpicto / Dreamstime.com)
  11. Take in the views of Lake Lucerne and the Alps as you ride up Switzerland's Hammetschwand Lift.

    (Courtesy citypicture.ru)
  12. The spiderweb latticework of the Hammetschwand Lift in Switzerland climbs up the side of Hammetschwand Alp.

    (Courtesy baumanns/Wikimedia Commons)
  13. At 499 feet, Switzerland's Hammetschwand Lift is the tallest outdoor lift in Europe

    (Courtesy baumanns/Wikimedia Commons)
  14. There is no better way to take in the sights of Stockholm, Sweden, than a ride on the SkyView at the Ericsson Globe.

    (Martin Maun / Dreamstime.com)
  15. The glass lifts at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden trace a 20-minute curve to the top of the globe and back down.

    (Courtesy CHG/Wikimedia Commons)
  16. Gondolas attached to a track run along the exterior of the spherical Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.

    (Quanthem / Dreamstime.com)
  17. The Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden, is massive at 361 feet in diameter. Ride the SkyView elevator to the top of the landmark for spectacular views over the city.

    (Courtesy Fredrik Posse/Stryngford Photo/Wikimedia Commons)
  18. The Lloyd's building in London was designed inside out, and the 12 glass elevators travel along the exterior.

    (Julio Etchart / Alamy)
  19. Office workers may be jaded, but you will be thrilled by the views of the Thames and the spire at St. Paul's during a ride on the glass elevators at the Lloyd's building in London.

    (Photononstop / SuperStock)
  20. Take in views of the city's parks, temples, and skyscrapers from the 89th-floor observatory at Taipei 101 in Taiwan.

    (age fotostock / SuperStock )
  21. The observation deck at Taipei 101 in Taiwan is well more than a thousand feet above the city.

    (Darby Sawchuk / Alamy)
  22. Elevators at the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas travel at a sharp 39-degree angle.

    (Courtesy jaytilston/Flickr)
  23. An exterior look at the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas.

    (Photoquest / Dreamstime.com)
  24. The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, contains info on 125 years of automotive history—and some really cool elevators.

    (Salih Külcü / Dreamstime.com)
  25. The elevators at the Mercedes-Benz Museum have curving metallic exteriors and visor-shaped windows.

    (Courtesy Thyssen Krupp)
  26. The unassuming doors of this elevator in the Long Island City Business Center building in Queens, New York, open to reveal a one-of-a-kind interior.

    (Courtesy scoutingny/Flickr)
  27. The fish-eye mirror at the back of this elevator at the Long Island City Business Center, makes the ride even more disorienting.

    (Courtesy scoutingny/Flickr)
  28. The red dragon painted on the interior of this elevator in the Long Island City Business Center building has 3-D beasts bursting from its eye sockets.

    (Courtesy scoutingny/Flickr)
  29. The Bailong Elevator in Hunan, China's Zhangjiajia Forest Park travels nearly 1,070 feet up a sheer cliff.

    (Courtesy Derek郝♥中華CHINA/Panoramio)
  30. The Bailong Elevator brings riders to the sky walk along the Zhangjiajie mountain cliff.

    (Sudalim / Dreamstime.com)
  31. The glass walls of the Bailong Elevator in Hunan, China's Zhangjiajie National Forest allow riders to take in the green-swathed valley below.

    (Courtesy WICE)

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