What Is A Sightseeing Elevator?

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The sightseeing elevator is a special elevator for tourists who are travelling in a city with tall buildings. The purpose is to show the tourists the beautiful city and its top landmarks. There are many sightseeing elevators around the world. The largest building with the highest elevation is Burj Khalifa (828 meters or 2,717 feet). This structure has a flying elevator that takes tourists directly to see the views from its 124th floor.

Mountaineering Sightseeing Elevator in Chenzhou, Hunan【Curious China】

What Is A Sightseeing Elevator?

A sightseeing elevator is a kind of vertical lift powered by an electric motor and equipped with box-shaped pods for multi-story buildings to carry people or goods. One or several sides of the shaft wall and the car wall are transparent materials so that passengers can view the scenery outside the car when riding in the elevator.

The elevator has transparent windows on at least one side and the passengers can watch the scenery outside the car when they ride. It is mainly installed in hotels, shopping malls, and high-rise office buildings because many sides of the shaft wall and car wall are made of transparent materials, so passengers can see the landscape while they ride.

There are also sightseeing elevators that do not need to dig the bottom pit and have their own shaft screw type. These elevators have no special requirements in civil construction and almost no restrictions on the height of the top floor. They can be installed in duplex buildings and duplex apartments of high-rise buildings, and the installation time is minimal compared to traditional lifts which require deep pits.

sightseeing elevator
sightseeing elevator

The History of Sightseeing Elevators

The history of sightseeing elevators dates back to the year 1852 when an elevator was installed in the Eiffel Tower. The first elevator in a skyscraper was installed in New York City in 1889.

The first modern tourist elevator was installed in the Empire State Building in 1931.

In the 1920s and 1930s, elevators were manufactured by Otis Elevator Company, which patented the first “safety device” for elevators. In this device, if an elevator car stopped between floors, it would not only open its doors but also lower its cab to allow passengers to exit safely.

Elevator manufacturers are constantly working to make their products safer and more efficient for passengers and operators alike. Newer models include safety features such as fire alarms and emergency stop buttons that ensure quick evacuation in case of emergencies.

Types of Sightseeing Elevators

There are three types of sightseeing elevators: the traditional, the modern, and the single-deck.

Traditional sightseeing elevators are similar to those used in hotels and are made up of two sets of platforms that move in opposite directions. They can hold up to 32 people and can take up to 45 minutes to travel from one floor to another.

Modern sightseeing elevators were designed in the 1950s and are made up of one long platform with a number of cars that move along it. They can hold up to 64 people and can take only 25 minutes to travel from one floor to another.

Single-deck sightseeing elevators were designed in the 1990s and are made up of a series of small cars that move along a track. They can hold up to 16 people and can take only six minutes to travel from one floor to another.

Best Uses for Sightseeing Elevators

There are many different types of sightseeing elevators, each with its own unique purpose. Below are some of the most common uses for sightseeing elevators:

1. To move people up and down a tall building quickly and easily.
2. To move large items, like furniture, up and down a staircase.
3. To transport goods or people between floors in a building.
4. To provide easy access to high areas, like rooftops, for photographers and other sightseers.

Best Uses for Sightseeing Elevators
Best Uses for Sightseeing Elevators

How do Sightseeing Elevators work?

Sightseeing elevators are a unique way to get up high in a hurry. These machines take you up quickly and easily so you can get a good view of the city or landscape below. Here’s a look at the different types of sightseeing elevators:

Sightseeing elevator with observation deck: This type of elevator takes passengers to the top of a tall structure, like a skyscraper or mountain, for an unobstructed view of the city below. Many of these observation decks also have restaurants and other amenities for guests.

Sightseeing elevator with glass floor: This type of elevator offers passengers a view straight down onto the city below. The glass floor allows people to see everything from the tops of high-rise buildings to busy streets and parks. These elevators are usually found in tourist areas, such as popular attractions or shopping districts.

Sightseeing elevator with panoramic windows: These elevators offer passengers a 360-degree view of their surroundings, including views from above buildings and scenic vistas. Panoramic windows can be found on both passenger-carrying and freight elevators, making them perfect for use in commercial settings such as offices and factories.

Sightseeing elevators are a convenient way to get a great view of the city or landscape below. They come in a variety of styles, with some featuring panoramic windows and others offering stunning views of tall buildings or landscapes.

How do Sightseeing Elevators work?
How do Sightseeing Elevators work?

Functional Features of Sightseeing Elevator

1. Advanced control technology
2. Universal design for the convenience of passengers
3. all measures are taken to provide a safer and more comfortable ride for all elevator passengers
4. Eye-catching display and door opening button
5. Voice prompting system
6. High-sensitivity buttons
7. Humanized handrail

Advantages of Sightseeing Elevator

1. Blending with the building and the surrounding environment, it not only becomes a part of the building but also adds a beautiful moving scenery to it.

2. The glass steel structure of the sightseeing elevator not only perfectly shows the compact space and the overall beauty. It can also adopt round, semi-circular and square designs according to different civil engineering designs.

3. The smooth and comfortable riding feeling and the view outside the elevator from various angles bring the users pleasure.

4. Widely used in all kinds of public and private buildings, such as shopping malls, hotels, office buildings, tourist attractions, high-end residential buildings, etc.

Disadvantages of Sightseeing Elevators

The main disadvantage of using a sightseeing elevator is that it can be very slow. Additionally, some sightseeing elevators are not wheelchair accessible, so those with mobility restrictions will not be able to use them.

How Much Do Sightseeing Elevators Cost?

The price of observation elevators can vary greatly depending on the brand, style and features. However, most elevators cost between $5,000 and $20,000.

The type of elevator you buy will also have an impact on its cost. You can choose between a standard-sized elevator or an extra-large model that fits in larger spaces. The average cost of a residential elevator is between $5,000 and $8,000 while commercial ones are more expensive at around $7,000 to $10,000.

If you want to install more than one elevator in your home or business, it’s best to hire a professional. This will ensure that everything is installed correctly and safely so that you don’t end up with any problems later down the road.


An Observation Elevator is a type of elevator that allows passengers to see the view from outside the building as they travel up and down. These elevators are typically found in tall buildings and tourist attractions and can provide a unique experience for those who ride them. If you’re looking for a way to see the sights without having to climb stairs or walk long distances, a sightseeing elevator may be just what you need.

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