From iconic tall buildings to mind boggling steep steps, we’re taking you on a journey round the world to explore some of the most quirky and unique staircases you’ll ever see!
1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest building – over 828 metres, with 2909 stairs to reach the 160th floor. Thankfully for those visiting it, it also has the tallest elevator in the world! The spiral staircase is made of white oak, spans 100 metres and is surrounded by glass so you can admire the breathtaking views.
2. Niesen Mountain, Switzerland
The Niesen Mountain in Switzerland is recognised in the Guiness Book of World Records as the longest staircase, with 11,674 stairs. That’s over four times as many as the Burj Khalifa!
Although the staircase is usually closed to the public, once a year it opens for the Niesen Treppenlauf (Staircase) Race. If you’re not one of the 500 people who manages to register for the race, or don’t fancy trying to beat the 1 hour 2-minute record, at a 68% gradient, you can take the 30 minute funicular ride to the top, to admire the view - and the staircase!
3. Bridge-Stair, Switzerland
You don’t have to travel far to find another amazing staircase in Switzerland. Designed to replace a rope bridge taken out by a rockslide, this beautifully shaped bridge connects the gorge with a height different of 22 metres. It spans 56 metres over the side valley of Via Mala.
4. Stairs Above the Sea, Gaztelugatxe, Spain
Clementp.fr, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
This spectacular staircase is located on the small island of Gaztelugatxe in the Basque region of Spain. You can follow the narrow path, solid stone bridge and 237 steps to the top of the island where there is a hermitage (where a hermit lives) that dates back to the 9th century. If you do decide to visit - don’t forget to ring the church bell three times and make a wish, as legend says you must!
5. Moses Bridge Stairs, Netherlands
It’s no wonder why this staircase got its name, as the water is parted in the middle and you can walk straight through. This sunken, almost invisible bridge has two dams at either end, to prevent it getting flooded.
6. Schlossberg Stairs, Graz, Austria
Ralf Roletschek, CC BY-SA 3.0 AT <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/at/deed.en>, via Wikimedia Commons
In Austria, you can climb this impressive staircase cut into the rock face, that zigzags all the way to the clock tower at the top. Although 260 steps is a lot more manageable than some of the other staircases we have seen, there is still a lift, so everyone can enjoy the great views over the city.
7. Spiral Staircase in Taihang Mountains, Linzhou, China
One of the most unique staircases can be found in China, where you can take a 300 foot (91.5m) spiral ascent up the mountain face. You don’t need any specialist equipment for this mountaineering adventure, but you do need to be under 60 years of age and free of heart or lung problems, for health and safety reasons.
8. Awaji Hyakudanen, Japan
663highland, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons
Awaji Yumebutai, which translates to ‘Stage of Dreams’, is one of the most picturesque uses of staircases we will see, as they weave in amongst the 100 small terraced gardens. The 100-level garden was built as a memorial of the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995 and remains a beautiful tribute to the 6000 people who lost their lives.
9. Haiku Stairs, Island of Oʻahu, Hawaii, USA
The Haiku Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven, started off as a wooden ladder nailed to the cliff, to access a top secret Navy radio station, but was later replaced by metal steps and ramps. It is now illegal to climb, due to its deadly drops. Locals have even set up traps to prevent climbers attempting it and you may receive a $1000 fine, or be arrested. So it’s definitely no longer recommended!
10. Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan, India
Tapesh Purohit, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
As we continue to head East, we find Chand Baori, a magnificent ‘stepwell’, an intricate, perfectly symmetrical, geometric staircase that leads to water at the bottom (where locals cool off in the heat and conserve water).
Built in the 9th century near Jaipur, it is India’s largest and steepest stepwell, with 3500 narrow steps that descend 13 stories (30 metres). There are also several balconies that enshrine beautiful sculptures, making it the perfect setting for many Bollywood songs and dance routines, and one of the most unusual staircases in the world!
Wherever you take your inspiration, we’ve got you covered and can make bespoke, made to measure, top quality stairs. Get in touch with our team on 01962 712299 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.