An observation deck, observation platform or viewing platform is an elevated sightseeing platform usually situated upon a tall architectural structure such as a skyscraper or observation tower. Fitted with railings or fencing for safety, observation decks are sometimes enclosed from weather, as many skyscraper decks, and may include coin operated telescopes for viewing distant features.
1. Grand Canyon Skywalk (United States)
This steel and glass, horseshoe-shaped walkway extends 70 feet (21 meters) over the lip of the Grand Canyon, almost one mile above the valley floor. Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin was the first person to step onto the Skywalk, which cost $30 million to build.
2. Dachstein Glacier Skywalk (Austria)
The Dachstein Glacier actually comprises eight glaciers and a visit to this high-altitude, glass-bottomed walkway is a great way to see them all. On a clear day, the Triglav mountains of Slovenia and the forests of the Czech Republic can be seen.
3. AlpspiX viewing platform (Germany)
The Alpspitze viewing platform comprises two steel beams, both of which measure 79 feet (24 meters) in length. Visitors brave enough to walk to the end of the glass-walled platforms can look 3,281 feet (1,000 meters) down into the valley.
4. EdgeWalk CN Tower (Canada)
Located on the roof of the CN Tower’s restaurant at a height of 1,168 feet (356 meters), the EdgeWalk in Toronto allows visitors to slip into climbing harnesses and walk around the edge of Canada’s tallest structure. There’s also a glass floor 1,122 feet (342 meters) above ground level, and although this glass is only 2.5 inches thick, it’s strong enough to hold 14 hippos — if they could fit in the elevator.
5. The View from The Shard (England)
The Shard in London is the tallest building in Western Europe. The View From The Shard is located on floors 68, 69 and 72. The best panoramas are from floor 72, at a height of 800 feet (244 meters). This open-air observation deck offers 360-degree views of the city.