Not everyone likes heights. We get it! But those of you that suffer from acrophobia need to know that some of us adrenaline junkies LOVE being up high, gazing across a great view. Europe is one of the best places to say sayonara to the ground and climb, swing or jump your way to a gravity-defying experience. These are the best of the best in Europe…
Have drinks at TV tower in Berlin
The Fernsehturm, AKA the Television Tower, offers 360-degree views of Berlin from it’s lofty height of 203 metres. Built in the 1950s, the tower is a city landmark like the Brandenburg Gate that represents a reunified Germany. With a chic bar and revolving restaurant at the top, TV tower is the gravity-defying experience for people who don’t want to hurl themselves through the air and prefer to just chill above it all.
Image source:Wouter de Koster / Unsplash
Have a go on the A’DAM Lookout Swing
Think swings are just for kids? Think again! Amsterdam’s A’DAM lookout swing allows you to swing off, over the edge and get a birds eye view of the city. The sky deck offers panoramic views and the swing propels you out in the open, 100 metres in the air for unparalleled sights. Once the adrenaline has stopped flowing, stick around at the top for a beverage in the bar.
Climb to Porto’s ‘secret’ view
The climb up the arch of Ponte da Arrábida, the premier bridge in Portugal’s Porto, is a must for any photography lover. The 262-step climb is 65 metres above the river and has only been open for a few years, so it’s a relatively new experience for Europe travellers. It’s predicted to rival the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb in terms of popularity thanks to its jaw-dropping views. It’s not a super-hard climb and you’ll have all the safety gear, so if you’re scared of heights but want to challenge yourself, this is a great one to start with.
Try base jump flying in Germany
Base jumping or base flying is a truly palm-sweating experience and there’s a perfectly safe way to do it in Berlin. Feel the unique thrill of flying through the air as you leap off the 125m-high roof of the Park Inn Hotel. As you free fall, you’ll have peerless views of sprawling Berlin before your harness pulls you back. Do you dare surrender to gravity?
Image source:Base Flying in Berlin von Jochen Schweizer
Soar over the Austrian Alps
The closest experience to flying like a bird is paragliding. Smoother sailing than skydiving, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the views of the gorgeous area Tyrol in the Austrian Alps. The experience gives you the freedom of flight as well as amazing views of the spectacular alps. Soaring over the canyons and lakes will give you a unique feeling of both adrenaline and tranquility.
Check out Sevilla Tower
It’s hard to miss Sevilla Tower on Seville’s skyline. The giant skyscraper soars 180.5 metres and is the seventh tallest building in Spain, so pretty hard to not spot. While it’s quite different from the stunning historic architecture, the draw to the tower is the controversy surrounding it. It’s rumoured that the UNSECO World Heritage team asked the builders to reduce the height because it detracted from Seville’s more famous sights, but building went ahead as planned. Getting up the tower is sure to be a tourist attraction in the future, but right now the rooftop and observation decks are by invite only.
Walk over valleys in Switzerland
Switzerland’s landscapes are unforgettable. Naturally, the Swiss have found a way to get people up close – and even above – these views! There’s a few slightly-terrifying glass walkways that cling perilously to the side of soaring mountains in Switzerland, but one of their best claims to fame is the world’s longest suspension bridge. Take a deep breath and walk almost 500 metres across a beautiful valley on a thin bridge. Worth it for the views!
Image source:Gemeinde Randa
Go cliff diving in Eastern Europe
Cliff diving is one of those classic Europe summer experiences that looks amazing, but gives you jelly legs when you think about doing it. If you do work up the courage, there are some great (and safe) places to do it in Croatia, Italy and possibly the most famous, in Bosnia and Herzegovina off the famous Stari Most bridge. Here’s a roundup of the best places to dive into the deep blue.
Disclaimer: Before attempting any kind of Cliff Diving or Bridge Jumping, Contiki recommends thoroughly preparing, researching the safety of locations and speaking to local experts to ensure the absolute minimum risk to your personal safety. That goes for any adventurous experience!