Catch Heart-Pumping Views (If You Dare) From the 10 Scariest Observation Decks on Earth

Only the brave get the Instagram gold.

Get the lay of the land from high in the sky with these 10 heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping, sightseeing exploits at dizzying heights. From glass floors to open air-platforms, to sky walking, free-falling fun, these are the wildest and most exciting city views on earth.

1.  Skyslide at Skyspace, Los Angeles

For your consideration: A brand new 1,000-foot-high slide made entirely of glass. The tallest tower west of the Mississippi is now home to the world’s highest slide. Skyspace at downtown’s U.S. Bank Tower just opened and stands almost 1,000 feet above the city, offering 360-degree views of Los Angeles from multiple outdoor observation decks, facing towards the ocean as well as toward the mountain vistas. The truly brave can face Skyslide, an actual slide made entirely of glass extending 45 feet from the 70th to the 69th floor. Bragging rights are the real reward.

2.  Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, Singapore

Absorb the cityscape from 57 levels above Singapore on the public observation deck at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Guests of the hotel can swim in the world’s largest infinity pool while soaking in the vistas of Marina Bay and Supertree Grove. Grab a bite from Spago or a glass of champagne from the bar and catch the Wonder Full" light and water show in the evenings.

3.  Insanity at the Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas

If you are feeling lucky, head to the north end of the Las Vegas strip to the Stratosphere hotel, where the scariest view can be had on the coaster Insanity. The ride's mechanical arm extends 64 feet over the edge of Stratosphere, which holds the record for tallest freestanding observation tower in the U.S. Take in views of the entire Las Vegas valley when your body is tilted at a 70 degree angle leaving you facing straight down, all while spinning in the open air at speeds up to three G's.  

4.  The View from the Shard, London

The tallest building in the European Union, the Shard has become a defining point of London’s skyline. See up to 40 miles in 360 degrees from London’s highest viewing platform. Situated on the 68th, 69th, and 72nd floor of the Shard tower, the interactive exhibit provides details on over 200 visible landmarks, and in the summer creates an immersive living garden in the sky. If London’s trademark clouds block your view of three or more of these major sites — the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Gherkin, Tower Bridge, or One Canada Square — your return visit is free. 

5.  The Ledge at Skydeck, Chicago

Travel straight up to the 103rd floor of Willis Tower in Chicago and see if you are fearless enough to step out onto the Ledge. This glass box extends out from the sky deck at 1,353 feet high, with a clear view straight down. If your legs don’t turn to rubber and your eyes stay open, then you’ll get to enjoy a truly 360-degree view of Chicago and the magnificent Lake Michigan.

6.  At the Top, Burj Khalifa Sky, Dubai

The highest outdoor observatory on earth can be experienced at Burj Kalifah in Dubai. At 1,820 feet above the ground, visitors can relish a stunning 360-degree view of the surrounding city and desert. The high-speed elevator alone is a thrilling journey at 10 meters per second up 124 floors. Take in the scenery through floor-to-ceiling glass windows and high-tech telescopes, or head to the 125th floor for sweeping views from the open-air observation deck. Once your one-and-a-half-hour experience is over, take the “travelator” back down to earth and look up at the world’s tallest building in awe.

7.  SkyWalk, Auckland

Towering 630 feet above Auckland, there is a walkway with a stunning view of the city, the hills, the harbor, and the islands in the distance. But this walkway is missing something — namely handrails. To take the walk, you’ll need to suit up, harness in, and steel your nerves, for there is nothing but your hands and thin air to hold onto. Those seeking an even bigger adrenaline rush can book a separate chance to SkyJump right off the building.

8.  Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo

The highest panoramic view of Tokyo can be had from the tallest building in Japan, the Tokyo Skytree in Sumida City Ward. The Skytree features two observation decks, the Tembo Deck at 1,150 feet, and the Tembo Gallery at 1,475 feet. The Tembo Deck reveals 360-degree views through floor-to-ceiling glass windows that angle outwards, making it feel as though you could fall right out onto the street below. The Tembo Gallery is a unique spiraling walkway that gains altitude as you circle the building; it’s like traveling through a futuristic tunnel, with the highest point in Tokyo at the end.

9.  CN Tower, Toronto

Make a reservation for a fine-dining experience at the rotating restaurant atop Toronto’s CN Tower, or if you want something a little more exciting, stand or sit on the glass floor with views to the street below. For more thrills, head up to Sky Pod at 1,465 feet up, to take in the views below and 360 degrees around. If all of this doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping enoygh, then go ahead and take a walk on the roof of the 360 restaurant with EdgeWalk. Your stroll can only happen in the summer months, and lasts about 20 to 30 minutes in the open air, arms dangling 116 stories (1,168 feet) above Toronto while your feet tiptoe on the edge of a five-foot-wide ledge. 

10.  Canton Tower, Guangzhou

From the top of the tallest building in China, visitors can find thrills in the panoramic views of Guangzhou from several observation decks, or take it one step closer to the edge with several heart-racing activities. Sky Walk is for the physically fit and brave of heart — 1,000 meters of stairs ascend in a spiral from the 32nd to the 64th floor, and every stair is transparent. Atop the tower you’ll find SkyDrop — a carnival-style ride that drops you several floors with your legs dangling, the lookout tower, and the world’s largest horizontal Ferris wheel, the bubble tram. Spherical glass “bubbles” travel 360 degrees around the tower at 1,492 feet.

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