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Amazing Sets of …Stairs

I have always thought that traveling is the best weight loss regime you could possibly undertake.   While I have an irrational fear of the gym, and refuse to put my body through unnecessary exercise when at home, I have a love of the outdoors, a love for adventure, and when I travel I travel to destinations which naturally lend themselves to physical exercise.

Forcing myself to run on a treadmill for an hour is the worst kind of torture I can possibly imagine, however I would happily hike for 7 days above the clouds to summit Mt Kilimanjaro, or stroll between towns in the Cinque Terre, being able to take in the stunning views of Italy’s coastline at the same time.  This kind of physical activity is far from forced – the scenery and intrigue of being in a new place distracts your mind from realizing you’ve been walking for 5 hours!

As such, here are 10 locations around the world which offer wondrous views, while doing wonders for your waistline at the same time!  I present, ten amazing sets of…stairs!  Looking to loose weight?  Put the money you were going to spend on a personal gym into a plane ticket to one of these amazing locations.

Chand Bori

“Where are they going? These steps lead down to a huge pool, built in the tenth century to overcome the lack of rainfall in the region and store water for long periods.

The structure has a total of 3,500 steps, down to a depth of 30 metres — then up again with the water.”

Stairs Elbe Sandstone Mountains Dresden

“Where are they going? Stairs carved into the stone of the mountain itself. They date from the 13th century and have been eroded by wind and water, but are still being used daily by tourists.

487 steps, though not enough, were restored and expanded in the eighteenth century to facilitate transit.”

The Rock of Guatapé

Peñón de Guatapé-5

Attribution Some rights reserved by Nigel Burgher

“Where are they going? The rock is a stone monolith 220 metres high.

The steps are constructed with cement, directly on the rock, making use of a natural cleavage. 702 steps must be climbed to reach the peak.”

The ladder Haiku: Oahu, Hawaii


Attribution Some rights reserved by syntheticaperture

“Where are they going? On the small island of Oahu there is this tremendous journey of 3922 steps,climbing, across and down a hill of 850 metres.

They were created to facilitate the installation of a satellite in 1942. Originally of  wood, they were modernized in the ’50s, but since 1987 have been closed to the public.”

The Inca Trail, Peru


Attribution Some rights reserved by MyFavoritePetSitter

“Where are they going?  An ancient trade route linking the city of Cuzco to Machu Pichu.

The rugged topography of the area forced the Inca Trail to make detours around hills and between mountains. The result: miles and miles of stairs, in some cases very precarious, as the famous floating staircases.”

Wayna Pichu: Machu Picchu, Peru


Attribution Some rights reserved by Alicia0928

“Where are they going? Stairs carved into the rock that crowns a climb of about 360 metres from MachuPicchu itself.   In some parts, the ascent is complicated to pass through narrow sections, with small step and eroded steps.

Climbing time is calculated to be between one hour and 90 minutes: 90 minutes climbing stairs! Only 400 tourists a day are allowed, and access is closed from 1pm, just in case.”

Robson Square, Vancouver, British Columbia

Robson Square

Attribution Some rights reserved by Too Tall Paul

“With disabled people in mind this architect designed the most awesome stairs with full wheelchair access! It is the perfect set up and most likely the future of staircases.”

Do you have any locations to add to this list?


  1. Those are some cool sets of stairs! We wanted to sneak on the ones in Oahu but we weren’t quite daring enough–they did look fun though!

    • We’re heading to Peru next year so really want to try the Wayna Pichu! Will build courage over the next few months :D

  2. This is a really neat post! My friend just hiked the “Stairway to Heaven” in O’ahu! You have to start at like 3am to see the sunrise. I may still do it while I’m here in Hawaii!

    • Thanks Anna! I’m not a morning person in the slightest but I have been known to drag myself out of bed if it means an amazing sunrise!

  3. Holy crap! Those are awesome. Another weird set of things I’d like to climb in my lifetime.

    • My thouhgts as well!! Lol which other weird sets of things to climb are on your list? Maybe I’ll add some of your ideas to my bucket list too :D

  4. Different from the ones on this post, but certainly photogenetic and worthy on your list: plenty of impressive and colorful staircases in the Amphitheater of Valparaiso, Chile – yet another destination on your xxl list!

    Saludos from down south in Valparaiso,

    • Thanks for the tip! We’re heading to South America next year and hoping to take in Chile – will have to add the Amphitheater to our list!


  5. What a weird but cool article topic! Love some of these photos! The Escadaria Selarón steps in Rio were cool too, with a mosaic of tiles from many different countries.

    • I’ll have to add those to our bucket list – we have Rio on the cards when the next Olympics roll around!

  6. Thanks Megan
    I have never seen most of those stairs I think my over 50s groups might ‘faint’ at the thought of climbing them though!!
    Warm wishes

    • Well they say that 50 is the new 40!! Don’t worry, I have a strong feeling people of many ages would probably faint at the thought of some of these – definitely not for the feint of heart!!

  7. I should have photographed the stairs up from the absesses montmarte station in Paris. It is something like 200 winding steps with art the whole way!

    • I think I have a photo of me nearly passed out half way up those steps lol! Great place to photograph!!

  8. Tonight I decided I want to try Kalavantin’s Fort in India next year. 2300 feet of steps.

    • WOW that’s an awesome goal to have!! Will be following your blog for the photos and updates!! Best of luck – safe and happy travels!

    • Thanks Megan!

    • Are you contemplating a book! I hope so?

    • Myself or Jennifer? A book of amazing stairs would indeed be a good one! :)

  9. The Moorish Castle in Sintra, Portugal had some pretty nice stairs as well.

    • Ooooh thanks! Will check this one out!

  10. Oh I can feel the calves burning now!! X-D You should totally add on the worlds “most dangerous trail in China that leads to a teahouse at the top of Mt. Hua Shan. This is something BIG on my bucket list!

    • I know right!! I actually just learned of the Mt Huashan teahouse – I can’t wait to get on out there and walk to the top myself. Scary as hell but I hear the tea is wonderful :D!

    • I know right!! I actually just recently learned of the Mt Huashan teahouse myself. I would also love to get there! Sure it would be scary as hell, but apparently the tea is wonderful!!!

  11. I feel the same way as you – always am active when traveling but I really dislike the gym…just another excuse for sharing.

    I haven’t been to any of the staircases you mentioned above, but the photos look stunning!

    • Hope you manage to work a few of them into your upcoming trips then! I really feel like traveling distracts you from the fact that you’re exercising which is why I love it so much more than the gym lol!

  12. What about the 3,750 Steps of Penitence up the side of Mt Sinai? That’s a very good climb, carved into the side of the mountain from St Katherine’s monastery to the top.

    • Oooh sounds amazing! Thanks for the tip Jane; will have to start compiling a follow-up post!

  13. Hello mam I belongs to this city where the Chand baori is. And I also visited it many times?

    • Fabulous to hear Ravi – how incredible to have Chand Bori right in your backyard … better than the gym!! Thanks for reading :)

  14. I would absolutely love to see the Incan Trail .

    • One of the best walks on this list in my opinion! Hope you do have the chance to plan the trek soon :)

  15. Have you checked out the stairs (down and then up again) to get to Tintagel Castle, Cornwall, UK? Each down step is so tall you can only climb one step at a time. They’ve installed a bridge spanning from the mainland to the island since I did it, though, so you don’t have to do it as it was meant to be done.

    • Sounds cool! Thanks for the tip, Tintagel Castle hadn’t been on my radar before now, but I’ll definitely check them out on our next trip over to the UK. Will see if I can find a photo in the meantime to add to the list here :)

      Thanks for reading!

  16. I would like to send you video of ladders in Asia of ways people have to travel to get their destination. But have it on WhatsApp. Can’t find a way to convert it. Please send no to address below. Will delete it after I have sent it.

    • Hi Dot, we don’t have Whatsapp, but thanks for reading out post :) If you find the video available online publicly feel free to share the link.


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