Why take the stairs when there are elevators this thrilling?

By Becky Pemberton For MailOnline

The formidable Bailong Elevator, also known as the 'hundred dragons sky lift', is situated in Wulingyuan Scenic Area in central China. Photo / iStock
The formidable Bailong Elevator, also known as the 'hundred dragons sky lift', is situated in Wulingyuan Scenic Area in central China. Photo / iStock

Sometimes the journey is more incredible than the destination itself - as these jaw-dropping elevators prove.

Why would you want to take the stairs when there are thrilling rides that could zoom you though an aquarium tank in Germany, up a staggering 326 metre cliff face in China or through the inside of the St Louis Gateway Arch?

MailOnline Travel has rounded up some of the most incredible and exhilarating lifts from around the world, where the ride to the top is as thrilling as the view.

Bailong Elevator, Zhangjiajie, China

The formidable Bailong Elevator, also known as the 'hundred dragons sky lift', is situated in Wulingyuan Scenic Area in central China. Photo / iStock
The formidable Bailong Elevator, also known as the 'hundred dragons sky lift', is situated in Wulingyuan Scenic Area in central China. Photo / iStock

This towering structure, poetically named 'hundred dragons sky lift', is the showpiece of the scenic area in Zhangjiajie Forest Park in China, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

The incredible observation elevator, which is taller than The Shard, can transport visitors to the top of a 326 metre-tall cliff from its base in less two minutes.

According to People's Daily Online, the 120million Yuan ($25.6 million) project claims to be the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world.

To top that, it has set three Guinness World Records - the world's tallest outdoor lift, the world's tallest double-deck sightseeing elevator and the world's fastest passenger elevator with biggest carrying capacity.

The structure is composed of three separate glass elevators, each of which can carry up to 50 people at a time.

This means, up to 1400 tourists get to experience the stomach-churning ride which offers a sweeping views across Zhangjiajie's renowned sandstone pillars, believed by some to be the inspiration for the 'floating peaks' in the film, Avatar.

Hammetschwand Elevator, Ennetbürgen, Switzerland

Vertigo-sufferers should think twice about attempting the Swiss Hammetschwand Elevator, as it is said to be the highest outdoor elevator in Europe. Photo / Flickr
Vertigo-sufferers should think twice about attempting the Swiss Hammetschwand Elevator, as it is said to be the highest outdoor elevator in Europe. Photo / Flickr

Vertigo-sufferers should think twice about attempting the Swiss Hammetschwand Elevator, as it is said to be the highest outdoor elevator in Europe.

The transport system was built in 1905 and since it opened has been the fastest way up to the highest viewing point over the city of Lucerne.

By suspending cabs at 152.4 metres in the air, riders are given a fresh and breath-taking perspective across the city's lake.

St Louis Gateway Arch in Missouri

The St Louis Gateway Arch in Missouri allows tourists to catch a lift inside that travels to the apex of the arch. Photo / iStock
The St Louis Gateway Arch in Missouri allows tourists to catch a lift inside that travels to the apex of the arch. Photo / iStock

The St Louis Gateway Arch in Missouri stands 189 metres-high and here tourists are able to catch a lift inside that travels to the apex of the arch.

The structure houses a lift system that transports visitors up and down the inside of each hollow leg to an observation deck at the top of the arch.

Around four million people visit the spectacular structure each year, with around a quarter making the ascent to the top.

Mercedes-Benz Museum Elevator, Stuttgart, Germany

The lifts may not be the main attractions at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany - but they are definitely eye-catching. Photo / Flickr, Andreas Wecker
The lifts may not be the main attractions at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany - but they are definitely eye-catching. Photo / Flickr, Andreas Wecker

The lifts may not be the main attractions at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany - but they are definitely eye-catching.

Looking like something out of a James Bond villain's lair, the futuristic pods zoom guests up the steel walls of the building.

The unusual lifts are sleek in design, and offer a tiny slither of window for visitors to peer down at the surrounding museum hall.

Skyview Elevator, Stockholm, Sweden

Designers of the world's largest spherically-shaped building, the Ericsson Globe, added glass lifts that travel up and over its large curved walls. Photo / iStock
Designers of the world's largest spherically-shaped building, the Ericsson Globe, added glass lifts that travel up and over its large curved walls. Photo / iStock

Designers of the world's largest spherically-shaped building, the Ericsson Globe, decided to show off its unique design in style - by adding glass lifts that travel up and over its large curved walls.

And in-keeping with the building's entire aesthetic, the SkyView lifts are made from bubble-shaped pods.

Two elevator cabs can take guests for 30-minute rides 129.5 metres up to the top of the building where they can enjoy views over Stockholm

AquaDom, Berlin, Germany

Guests can ride inside the AquaDom's lift to see some of the 1,500 fish (and 97 species) up close. Photo / iStock
Guests can ride inside the AquaDom's lift to see some of the 1,500 fish (and 97 species) up close. Photo / iStock

If you are frightened of being underwater - you may want to give this €12.8 million ($20.4 million) aquatic attraction a miss.

Standing at 25 metres high and containing over one million litres of water, AquaDom inside a Radisson Blu hotel in Berlin is said to be the largest cylindrical tank in the world.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the attraction though is that guests can take a lift that runs through the centre of the tank, giving them the perfect chance to see some of the aquarium's 1500 fish up close.

Lacerda Elevator, Bahia, Brazil

There is no missing the Lacerda Elevator in Brazil which stands out on the Salvador skyline, thanks to its large, vertical column and Art Deco design. Photo / iStock
There is no missing the Lacerda Elevator in Brazil which stands out on the Salvador skyline, thanks to its large, vertical column and Art Deco design. Photo / iStock

There is no missing the Lacerda Elevator in Brazil which stands out on the Salvador skyline, thanks to its large, vertical column and Art Deco design.

The towering lift was first constructed in 1873 and quickly became a popular attraction in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia.

Still in use, visitors are able to jump inside its four historic pods for an elevated glimpse of the picturesque port.

Santa Justa Lift, Lisboa, Portugal

This striking elevator with its Gothic architecture and lights illuminating it at night, stands tall over Portugal's hilly capital. Photo / iStock
This striking elevator with its Gothic architecture and lights illuminating it at night, stands tall over Portugal's hilly capital. Photo / iStock

This striking elevator with its Gothic architecture and lights illuminating it at night, stands tall over Portugal's hilly capital.

There are a number of funiculars, or cable-operated railways, in Lisbon, but the Santa Justa lift is the only conventional elevator that connects the upper and lower sections of the city.

The ornate, ironwork lift was originally introduced in 1905, and can take around 29 guests in each journey to the top.

Eiffel Tower lift, Paris, France

In order to reach the top level of the iconic Eiffel Tower, guests have to tackle two lifts from the ground, and the experience is not for the faint-hearted. Photo / iStock
In order to reach the top level of the iconic Eiffel Tower, guests have to tackle two lifts from the ground, and the experience is not for the faint-hearted. Photo / iStock

In order to reach the top level of the iconic Eiffel Tower, guests have to tackle two lifts from the ground, and the experience is not for the faint-hearted.

The 300 metre tall monument offers breathtaking views over the city, and thankfully for those afraid of riding in lifts, there is also the option of walking to reach the first deck.

The heights don't appear to deter many, as the tourist attraction welcomes around seven million visitors annually.

Louvre lift, Paris, France

The short elevator stretches between a spiral staircase, and disappears into the ground as it transports guests down to a lower level. Photo / Flickr, lets.book
The short elevator stretches between a spiral staircase, and disappears into the ground as it transports guests down to a lower level. Photo / Flickr, lets.book

First you see it, then you don't - a lift in Paris' Louvre has proven that subtlety in design can be just as impressive as large, lofty creations.

The short elevator stretches between a spiral staircase, and disappears into the ground as it transports guests down to a lower level.

Riders have to step onto the spherical pillar, which has guard rails in place for safety.

Rockefeller Center, New York

The lift at the Rockefeller Center in New York travels at 21km/h and lasts 42 seconds. Photo / iStock
The lift at the Rockefeller Center in New York travels at 21km/h and lasts 42 seconds. Photo / iStock

The observation deck at the Rockefeller Center in New York offers one of the best views of the city - and the elevator ride up there is pretty thrilling, too.

The elevator that zooms to the top of the Rockefeller Center in New York has a glass ceiling. Photo / Flickr, Canadian Pacific
The elevator that zooms to the top of the Rockefeller Center in New York has a glass ceiling. Photo / Flickr, Canadian Pacific

The elevator has a glass ceiling, so visitors can gaze up the 800-foot shaft as they ascend at 21 km/h, with multi-coloured lights illuminating the way.

After 42 seconds the doors open at the top to an even more breath-taking view.

- Daily Mail

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