Active-types living in high-rises may opt for the stairs as a way to get some exercise, but in Spain’s 47-storey Intempo Tower, many residents have no other option as the building is sans elevator past the 20th floor. Whether you take the stairs for exercise or out of necessity, there’s no denying the value of a good set of steps. Here are 10 photos of some of the most spectacular staircases in the world.

Taihang Mountains, China

Taihang Mountains stairs Climbers must be under 60 years old to hike the 300-foot (91 meters) staircase that runs up the face of China’s Taihang Mountains. Photo: imgur

Vatican Museums, Vatican City 

SONY DSC Designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932, the spiral stairs at the Vatican Museums is among the most famous stairwells in the world. Photo: Wikimedia

Stockholm metro, Sweden

Stockholm subway escalator All 68 miles (110 kilometers) of Stockholm’s subway system is adorned in art, making it the world’s longest art exhibit. The red rock walls surrounding the escalator at this particular station gives one the impression that it may be the stairway to Hell. Photo: Alexander Dragunov

Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Scotland

Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Scotland The staircase at Scotland’s Garden of Cosmic Speculation is called The Universe Cascade. Its 25 sets of steps represent how the universe was created over billions of years. Photo: mudtrax/Flickr

Cubist Museum, Prague

cubist museum staircase prague The light illusion created by the staircase in Prague’s Cubist Museum was a bright idea. (See what we did there?) Photo: imgur

KPMG Building, Germany

Endless stairway The aptly named Endless Stairway at Munich’s KPMG building won’t lead you anywhere — it ends exactly where it begins. Photo: imgur

Awaji Hyakudanen, Japan

Awaji Hyakudanen stairs The stairs through Japan’s Awaji Hyakudanen are located on the side of a mountain in Hyōgo Prefecture, weaving through a collection of squared terrace gardens. Photo: AmazingPlacesOnEarth

Magic Mountain, Germany

Tiger and Turtle stairs The 69 foot long (21 meters) Tiger and Turtle stairway atop Germany’s Magic Mountain may look like a rollercoaster, but unfortunately, the upsidedown sections are impossible to navigate. One, because that would defy gravity, and two, because they’re blocked off to visitors. Photo: Wikimedia

Traversinertobel, Switzerland

Traversinertobe bridge The suspended stair-bridge that spans the Traversinertobel, a side valley of the Via Mala, is 184 feet long (56 meters) and has a difference in height of 72 feet (22 meters) between the two ends. It also looks a bit rickety. Photo: detail-online

Niesenbahn funicular, Switzerland

Niesenbahn funicular stairway We conclude our list with a set of stairs that follow all 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) of the Niesenbahn funicular in Switzerland’s Canton of Bern. The Guiness Book of World Records lists the Niesenbahn funicular stairway as the longest set of stairs on earth. Photo: Neisen.ch

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