What's the most famous bridge in the world?

Go ahead and answer. So as not to influence the results, I’ll tell you what I think in the next post.

I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge last weekend. Though I’ve lived in San Francisco for four years, I don’t use the GGB very often, so I’m not yet blasé about it. Every time I’m on it I think, “I’m on the most famous bridge in the world! Cool!”

Then I got to thinking, what other famous bridges are there, anyway? I thought of the Brooklyn Bridge, of course, which to me is the only one that might rival Golden Gate as most famous – but that might just be an America-centric point of view. Outside of the U.S., I thought of the Tower Bridge in London, but wasn’t even sure what it was called. (The London Bridge is something else entirely.) I couldn’t come up with any others.

Based on various web searches, these seem to be the top four (I listed them alphabetically). What say you, and why?

Tough choice, as all four are icons of their towns. I chose London over Frisco and Brooklyn…I dunno…because of the Disney Peter Pan?. It was a gut instinct. (I don’t tend to think about Australia all that much, as it is on the wrong side of the planet.)

Most famous? It’s a close tie between the Brooklyn Bridge and Golden Gate bridge. I’d pick the Brooklyn Bridge because it’s in a bigger city and older.

Mackinac Bridge is my personal favorite certainly ranks in the top five in the world. It’s on my bucket list to cross one day.

We detoured sixty miles to return home via the Lake Pontchartrain bridge. 23 miles long! Awesome experience.

London Bridge is easily the first one I thought of, not because of the bridge itself but because of the song about it falling down.

I like the Menai Bridge because the White Knight mentions it during his Song in Alice Through the Looking Glass. When I finally got up to North Wales a few years back, I made a point of driving back and forth over it several times.

“…I heard him then, for I had just
Completed my design
To keep the Menai Bridge from rust,
By boiling it in wine.”

Hard to say (especially when you include the whole world) but my first thought was the San Fransisco Bay Bridge.

Also very fond of Florida’s Seven Mile Bridge, which connects Knight’s Key with Little Duck Key. Robber baron Henry Flagler built it in 1912 as part of his railroad extension connecting Key West with the mainland, and the US govt repurposed it as an auto roadway after the hurricane of '35.

Everyone should try the drive from Miami to Key West before they die, especially in a convertible. Playing rockabilly music on th’ stereo is good, too. The Seven Mile Bridge is the lengthiest of the expanses.

Speaking for myself, until 10 or so years ago I like a lot of other people thought that Tower Bridge was London Bridge and it’s understandable because not only is it more iconic but also the motions you go through when playing London Bridge are more similar in both look and dynamicness to Tower Bridge than London Bridge since Tower Bridge has tall sections that can rise and lower and London Bridge doesn’t.

It’s the Brooklyn Bridge. I should know. I bought it.

The Brooklyn Bridge has all those stories about rubes trying to buy it from con men, but I think when someone says, “Quick! Think of a bridge!”, almost everyone pictures the Golden Gate.

I know I do.

The Golden Gate, for a couple reasons.

Its size. Though it no longer holds the record, it was the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world from its opening in 1937 until 1964, and the highest above the waterline until 1988.

Its color. Officially called “International Orange” it may or may not be unique among bridges, but it certainly makes it stand out.

Views like this, and this.

I think you are going down the wrong path here–not many people anywhere put much effort into knowing about world records in architecture or engineering. What makes things widely famous is if they are often used in popular media. People don’t know about the Empire State Building because it was once the tallest building in the world–people know the Empire State Building because King Kong once climbed it. So you want a visually distinct bridge that is found in movies and TV shows that are popular internationally.

What is the definition of “most famous”? The one most people have heard of? he one most important people (i.e. Americans) have heard of? The one most semi-important people (i.e. white) people have heard of?" The one most Christians have heard of?" The one most people in one of the above categories knows at least something about? Or knows the most about? Are fictional or imaginary or metaphorical bridges included? Or historical bridges longer in existence? How are different criteria of “fame” weighted?

Don’t overthink the question. Just tell us the first bridge that comes to mind when someone asks you to name a bridge.

The first bridge that always pops into my mind is the Golden Gate Bridge. I have lived my whole in Northern California and every time I see it I am blown away by it’s beauty. I have seen both the Brooklyn Bridge and Tower Bridge in real life a couple of times. They are fantastic, but the sheer beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge and it’s surroundings are breathtaking.


I had totally forgotten London Bridge got sold and moved long ago. It’s in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

I agree when people say London Bridge; they really mean Tower Bridge.

And playing Jimmy Buffett is better! :slight_smile:

It’s fairly silly since most people will choose a national bridge related to their own patriotism.

What of Venice’s Bridge of Sighs ? The Pont Neuf ? It is only 16th century, but that makes it older than the present London Bridge — which is not Tower Bridge — but nothing as old or great as the proper London Bridge with a hundred houses built on top, and Morice’s Waterwheels throwing up water for use which lasted from 1176–1832. The oldest still-used bridge in the world is Meles in Smyrna nearly 3000 years old; Ponte Fabricio in Rome is pre-Christ; what of the Iron Bridge used by the Crusaders near Antioch ? For that matter, what of the bridge mighty Trajan built over the Iron Gates, slighted by his successor to stop the northern barbarians breaking across ? *
Most of these will still be in use when the less famous ones listed in the OP are shattered and rent.

  • One does not simply swim across the Iron Gates.

Note, when the Parisian police had to handcuff and drown people in the Seine during the 1960s it was not the Pont Neuf as far as I am aware, but usually the Saint-Michel.