From tropical treehouse swings to death-defying bungee jumps, these swings are made for traveling adrenaline junkies.
Swings are fun, whether you’re five or fifty. There’s something freeing about propelling yourself through the air, although nothing beats the familiar tingling tummy rush as you arc back down to earth. Combine that with some spectacular scenery and you’re onto a winner. So, whether you prefer rustic rope swings with impressive views or adrenaline-pumping canyon drops, here’s where to go swinging around the world. (No, not that kind of swinging.)
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WHERE: Cincinnati, Ohio
From the outside, this skinny blue house looks unassuming. Just another residential home on a quiet Cincinnati street. Step inside, however, and you’ll soon see why this art installation-turned-Airbnb rental is called Swing House. Hanging from the ceiling of this totally gutted house—not one, not two, but three stories up—is a solitary swing, the presence of which determined all the subsequent interior design decisions taken by artist Mark deJong. Renting it for the night certainly ain’t cheap, but, realistically, when are you going to get free reign over a three-story tall swing again?
WHERE: Durban, South Africa
Durban’s Big Rush is the bastard child of a bungee jump and a swing. At this adrenaline-pumping attraction in South Africa, you don’t get the cold comfort of two ropes to hold onto as you swing through the air. No, you get one solitary rope (it’s the world’s tallest rope swing) and a harness for good measure, before you throw yourself from the beams of the Moses Mabhida football stadium. Not one for the faint of heart, it’s a brief but nerve-shredding experience.
Swing at the End of the World
WHERE: Baños, Ecuador
Ecuador’s Casa del Árbol—aka the Treehouse—was never meant to be a tourist attraction. It was actually developed to be a seismic monitoring station, plonked on a hill above the tiny, tourist-filled town of Baños. However, once word got out that this quaint treehouse had a built-in “Swing at the End of the World” travelers began arriving (and Instagramming) in droves. Nowadays, mini zip lines and a few other (less photogenic but no less enjoyable) swings are there to keep thrillseekers occupied while they wait for their turn on the star attraction.
The Hjørundfjord Swing
WHERE: Hjørundfjord, Norway
Free experiences are few and far between in picturesque but pricey Norway. However, for travelers who want to get an unspoiled look at Norway’s famous fjords and glistening glaciers, the Hjørundfjord Swing is the place to be. Sure, you have to head to the small town of Trandal to try this swing for yourself, but it’s more than worth the trip.
The Bali Swing
WHERE: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
The Bali Swing—or, more accurately, The Bali Swings, plural—is a destination loved and loathed by influencers and travel bloggers, who both migrate there for the photo op and blast the over-commercialization of this Insta-famous Balinese spot. The impact of mass tourism aside, the fact remains that The Bali Swing, with its wide set ropes and jungle view, doesn’t disappoint.
INSIDER TIPIf the thought of stumping up a whopping $35 to access the OG Bali Swing and snap a photo makes you nauseous, go to literally any other swing in the area. There are dozens to choose from.
WHERE: Tulum, Mexico
There’s no shortage of hammock and lounger-filled beach clubs in Tulum, a once-underrated, now-oversaturated town on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. However, there are few spots on this white-sand stretch which have swing seats right at the bar. One of the best is Coco Tulum, which has photo-ready, perfectly neutral monochrome swings overlooking the ocean.
21 Swings (21 Balançoires)
WHERE: Montreal, Canada
Music and swings come together in perfect harmony each spring in Montreal, thanks to the 21 Swings (or, 21 Balançoires) interactive installation. However, far from promoting a little introspection in the heart of the city, 21 Swings instead works to turn what could be a very solitary activity—swinging—into one of cooperation, as only through working together can the riders create a melody with their movements.
WHERE: Queenstown, New Zealand
You’ve almost certainly seen videos of petrified looking patrons ready to start their turn on the Nevis Swing in New Zealand. Can you blame them? You’d probably look just as horrified if you were about freefall for 70 meters over a canyon before the pendulum motion of the world’s biggest swing kicked in. Ride it alone or as a pair. You can even ride it backwards if you don’t think plunging out over a canyon is terrifying enough on its own. But it’ll cost ya—$200+ New Zealand dollars to be precise. Heart-pounding adrenaline rushes like this one don’t come cheap.
Over the Edge
WHERE: Amsterdam, Netherlands
We all know that size isn’t everything, so if you’re more interested in views than sheer enormity when it comes to swinging, skip the world’s biggest swing in favor of Europe’s highest swing. Located at the A’DAM Lookout in Amsterdam, the Over the Edge swing, a sturdy (if not super comfortable) looking red metal contraption with room for two riders makes for an alternative way to get high in the capital of the Netherlands.
INSIDER TIPGet a €1 discount if you buy your tickets online.
WHERE: Tiburon, California
There are plenty of rope swings in and around the Bay Area, but the Hippie Tree in Tiburon is easily up there as one of the best. It might not offer the adrenaline of a canyon swing, but this rustic swing—which hangs from the branches of a Eucalyptus Tree—makes for a chill spot to hang out. Literally.
Billy Goat Hill
WHERE: San Francisco, USA
For swing-seekers who’d rather stay closer to the San Francisco metropolitan area, the Billy Goat Hill swing has unbeatable views over the downtown—if it’s there, that is. Because while locals and visitors are fans of this rope swing, which dangles out above the slope, others seem intent on cutting it down whenever they get the chance.
The Dive Bar
WHERE: Ambergris Caye, Belize
The Dive Bar, in Ambergris Caye, Belize, is better known for its swings than its drinks. It makes sense. Suspended from a triangular wooden frame, the two swings outside The Dive Bar sit right on the waterline, making them ideal for those aspirational, back-to-the-camera, swinging-out-over-the-water shots. You know the ones.
The Terror-Dactyl Swing
WHERE: Colorado, USA
Any attraction that’s somehow managed to weave the word “terror” into its name is always going to be less of a walk in the park and more a jump scare in the woods. However, in the case of the Terror-Dactyl in Manitou Springs, Colorado, it’s actually a close to 100 miles per hour, 200-foot swing over Williams Canyon. Try and keep your eyes open as you plummet though—the scenery is fantastic.
The Datu Swing
WHERE: Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
Indonesia’s Datu Swing, located at the Hotel Ombak Sunset, is such an established tourist attraction, it warrants its own listing on the hotel’s website. Hell, this swing even has an official photographer. It’s easy to see why, though. The Datu Swing—sometimes known as the Ocean Swing—is made up of a twin swing set, anchored in the ocean by a carved frame, making it more than ideal for those artsy silhouette photos.
WHERE: Phnom Kulen National Park, Cambodia
Cambodia’s Waterfall Swing, situated in the gorgeous Phnom Kulen National Park, is more than your average swing. An egg-shaped wicker basket, decorated with flowers and vines, this swing is probably more accurately described as a swinging seat. Made for the photos rather than the swinging, it’s still worth a visit.