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How many steps does it take?
Something about the human spirit makes us want to climb and conquer, and making it to the top of these 10 iconic places would certainly give you bragging rights.
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Willis Tower - 2,109 stairs
If you were to opt for the stairs in Chicago's Willis Tower – one of the tallest buildings in the United States – you'd be faced with 2,109 stairs from the base to the 103rd floor Skydeck. Within the realm of steel buildings, it's the tallest in the world.
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Eiffel Tower - 1,665 stairs
If 1,665 steps sounds like a lot, don't worry. Visitors to the Eiffel Tower in Paris are only allowed to climb the staircases to the second floor observation platform. To get there, you'll have to climb 674 steps through this iconic metallic structure. It's great exercise and you won't have to wait in line for the lifts!
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Empire State Building - 1,860 stairs
It's 1,860 steps to the 102nd floor observatory of the Empire State Building in New York, but only 1,576 to the observatory on the 86th floor. Usually, it's better to take the elevator that gets you there in less than one minute. Each year, the building hosts a Run-Up event where runners from around the globe race to the top.
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Washington Monument - 896 stairs
The Washington Monument obelisk in Washington, DC rises about 555 feet above the National Mall, offering visitors to the top views that extend some 30 miles in any direction. Forgoing the elevator (which isn't allowed) would require climbing 50 landings of stairs to the observation level Washington Monument obelisk – almost 900 steps!
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Christ the Redeemer - 220 stairs
Visitors to Rio de Janeiro's most iconic attraction, Christ the Redeemer, will first have to take a 20-minute train ride to the top of Corcovado Mountain, then climb an additional 220 steps to the base of the statue. For those who would rather not make the climb, there's the option of elevators or an escalator.
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Chimney Rock - 491 stairs
Most visitors to Chimney Rock State Park choose to take the 26-story elevator to the top to enjoy the sweeping views, but ambitious travelers – or those looking for bragging rights – can take Outcroppings Trail to the top instead. This option involves climbing up 491 steps, and you'll be rewarded with views of Kings Mountain some 75 miles away.
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Statue of Liberty - 354 stairs
To get from the pedestal to the head of the Statue of Liberty in New York, you have to climb 354 steps up a corkscrew staircase with small, triangular steps. From the observation level inside her crown, you'll be rewarded with 180-degree views of the Big Apple below.
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Big Ben - 334 stairs
The Elizabeth Tower of Parliament, home of Big Ben, is one of London's most iconic landmarks. On a climbing tour, you'll ascend 334 steps to the belfry where you can stand behind the clock face, hear Big Ben strike the hour and see the inner workings of the clock in the mechanism room.
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Niesen Mountain - 11,674 stairs
The Guinness Book of World Records-recognized longest staircase can be found on Niesen Mountain with a whopping 11,674 stairs – that's more than three times as many as in the Burj Khalifa. The staircase was built for maintenance workers to have access to the train tracks, but once a year, the steps are opened for the Niesen Staircase Race.
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Burj Khalifa - 2,909 stairs
It's no wonder that the world's tallest building (for the moment anyway) has such a staggering number of steps to the top – nearly 3,000 to reach the 160th floor. It's probably a good thing that visitors aren't allowed to take the stairs in Dubai's Burj Khalifa; instead, they must ride an elevator to the 124th floor observation deck.