Elevators are a convenient part of daily life, usually meant to usher us through our apartment buildings or to our floor at the office. Some elevators though, go a step beyond. From aquarium immersions to high-speed adventures, these elevators forge a new path, and have become tourist destinations in their own right. As these five bucket list worthy elevators prove, not all lifts are created equal.
This elevator in Berlin, Germany, takes riders through an 82-foot tall aquarium, holding more than 1 million liters of water and 97 different species of fish in a coral reef habitat. Gaze on blowfish, humphead wrasse, clown fish and more as you glide up and down the elevator at a gentle pace. AquaDom, Part of Sea Life in the Radisson Blu Hotel and the largest aquarium of its kind, is a must the next time you’re in Berlin.
The Gateway Arch
The iconic arch in St. Louis, Missouri, is also home to one of the most famous and historical elevators in the world. Hop in the white pod elevator and be transported to the top of America’s tallest monument, where you’ll be ejected onto an observation deck for stunning views of the Mississippi River and city below. While the view from the top is incredible, the ride is half the fun. The glass doors give you panoramic views on the way up, and also highlight the mechanical structure of the elevator, which is almost as impressive as the city lights below.
The Taipei 101 can be summed up in one word: speed. The elevator launches visitors to the 89th-floor observatory in 37 seconds, traveling at speeds of about 40-miles-per-hour. In less than a minute, you’ll be delivered to sweeping views of all of Taipei, from mountains to temples to a sprawling cityscape. Ready to go? The return trip is just as speedy, though not as smooth for those with motion sickness.
Leave it to Vegas to take the familiar and turn it into something unexpected. The city that always has tricks up its sleeve doesn’t disappoint with the Luxor’s inclinator, which moves guests up the side of the hotel’s pyramid at a 39-degree angle. After your tilted trip to the pyramid’s tip, you can enjoy luxurious views of the fake Egyptian city below, which looks especially gold and glittery at night.
The Hammetschwand Lift
This Swiss elevator is the highest elevator in Europe, and a tourist attraction in itself. Visitors can walk along a rock path to reach the base, and then get whooshed up to the top of the Hammetschwand lookout point on the Bürgenstock plateau, where you’ll be standing among the treetops. Below, Lake Lucerne glistens serenely and the surrounding mountains look even more majestic from 500 feet up.