Cheap and (Sometimes) Free Thrill Rides

This isn’t your grandmother’s elevator anymore. All around the world, there are displays of man’s endless imagination and ingenuity found in our architecture. That includes elevators. Some of the most incredible thrill rides seem amateurish in comparison to these amazing elevators. Don’t be surprised to see people lining up to get on board, just like they do for theme park thrill rides.

If you’re hesitant to try one of these thrilling rides because of elevator phobia, don’t despair. Overcoming that fear can be as simple as reading a newspaper. Start Elevator offers up some simple and effective means of taking control of your elevator hesitation.

There are a lot of fantastic elevators to choose from, but we’ve narrowed it down to five of the best. These are the ones you’ll want to ride again and again.

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri

The ride starts in a white pod at the base of America’s tallest monument. This futuristic ride seems like something straight out of Star Wars, but thanks to the ingenious addition of glass doors, anyone riding to the pinnacle of the Arch can see the mechanically complex workings of the structure’s interior. This fascinating display holds your attention as you ascend to the 630-foot high marvel that stands over the mighty Mississippi River far below.

Bailong Elevator in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan Province, China

If you think that unforgettable elevator rides can only be had in large metropolitan areas, you’re missing out on one of the best lifts out there. The Bailong Elevator in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park proves you don’t need a large building around to have a fantastic elevator. When you step into the Bailong Elevator, glass cars will take you up nearly 1070 feet, straight up the face of a sheer cliff. When you get to the top, you’re treated to a stunning view overlooking the lush valley below.

Empire State Building, New York, New York

You don’t have to get to the top of the Empire State Building in New York to be amazed. The Art Deco interior of the building itself is stunning and includes no less than 68 elevators in its network. These vintage elevators have been upgraded to increase the speed at which they whisk you upward to the iconic observation decks. It now takes less than a minute to get from the ground floor to the 86th floor. If you want to continue to the 102nd floor, you’re treated to a manually operated Otis elevator ride that lets you see each floor as you pass it by.

AquaDom, Berlin, Germany

If you venture to the lobby of Berlin’s Radisson Blu Hotel, you’ll find one of the world’s most fascinating elevators. The AuqaDom takes its passengers on an amazing ride upward through the hollow center of an 82-foot tall cylindrical aquarium. As you’re ascending, you’re treated to a full panoramic view of nearly a hundred different tropical species.

SkyView, Stockholm, Sweden
When visiting Stockholm, you can’t say you’ve seen it all if you haven’t taken a ride along with the Ericsson Globe. The track for this elevator runs along the exterior of the Globe, a full 361 feet in diameter. Glass gondolas glide along the tracks for a 20-minute ride along the curve to the top of the Globe and back down. Riders are treated to a constantly changing view of the city’s skyline.

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