Travelling is time we take to relax, to let go and to have fun. Sometimes, this means finding your inner child and just being a bit silly – and there's no better way to do that than on some of the world’s best slides. If you’re in need of some time out and want to find your silly side, do it while squealing down one of these:
1. Arcelormittal Orbit, London, UK
Anish Kapoor’s 114-metre-tall sculpture was constructed for the London 2012 summer Olympics, but this year, it will be transformed into an enormous helter skelter. Construction is currently underway, but the tube slide, which will encircle Kapoor’s structure five times and which opens in May, will allow adrenaline junkies the opportunity to whiz from top to bottom at a speed of 15mph. The attraction, which will be the world’s longest and tallest tube slide, has been designed by Belgian artist Carsten Höller, who has incorporated glass panels to provide spectacular views of London’s skyline.
2. Human Slide, Discovery Park of America, Tennessee, USA
How many times do you get to slide down the inside of a giant leg? This particular attraction can be found at the Discovery Park of America, a science museum in Tennessee. Visitors enter the chest of the 14-metre-tall sculpture at an entrance on the first floor and, after taking in the spectacular views of the museum’s Grand Hall, can slide down to ground level through the enormous metal limb. The 12 tonne slide is almost as well-travelled as you: its parts were made in Germany, then welded together in Chicago before being shipped to the Discovery Park on flatbed trucks.
3. Lobby Slide, Hotel Barceló Málaga, Spain
How’s this for a novel way of making an entrance? Visitors to Málaga’s Hotel Barceló Málaga can slide straight from the hotel’s first floor into the super stylish B-Lounge Bar, which is one of the Spanish city’s trendiest venues. The slide even has its own name: EDHA, a Spanish acronym for what translates as "sliding structure for daring humans”.
4. The [email protected], Changi Airport, Singapore
Singapore’s Changi Airport is famous for its fantastic amenities, which include a kinetic rain art installation, a rooftop swimming pool and a cinema. But it’s the slide which we love the most. The 12m-high structure is the tallest slide located inside an airport (admittedly there’s not much competition) and travellers who ride it can reach speeds of up to six metres a second. Just don’t try and take your luggage trolley with you.
5. Cittá del Mare waterslide, Sicily, Italy
Opening in late March, this slide is located within the grounds of the beautiful Città del Mare resort in Sicily. The slide is divided into four sections, with pools dividing each one. It’s surprisingly fast and one of the more exciting ways to enter the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean sea. Once you’ve had your adrenaline fix, we recommend nabbing one of the nearby sun loungers for a waterside view of the action.
6. Silver Towers playground, New York City, USA
This beautiful slide is the work of American artist and sculptor Tom Otterness and is part of a playground which was constructed in New York City in 2009. Otterness built his first playground structure in 2004 as part of an art competition, later selling several to private homes throughout the US. Manhattan property developer Larry Silverstein heard about the playgrounds through an art gallery and commissioned Otterness to build this one for the Silver Towers apartment complex.
7. Pod playground slide, National Arboretum Canberra, Australia
If all playgrounds looked like this, children would never want to play indoors. The intricately carved entrances to these Australian playground slides resemble giant acorns – a nod to the 94 forests of 44,000 rare trees planted in Canberra’s National Arboretum. There are two slides to choose from and although they might not be the tallest or fastest slides in the world, we certainly rank them as the most beautiful.
8. Tran Station Slide, Utrecht, the Netherlands
We all know how stressful rush hour can be, but in Utrecht, commuters can exit the train station at lightning speed – via a metal slide which leads to a beautifully landscaped public space. The slide can be found at the city’s Overvecht train station and it’s the work of Netherlands-based design firm HIK-Designers. You’ll probably be surprised to learn that it’s not the first time a slide has turbo-charged the humble commute – in 2010 Volkswagen constructed a temporary “fast line” slide alongside the escalators at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz U-Bahn station.
9. Lobby Slide at Reddot Hotel, Taichung City, Taiwan
Afraid of getting stuck in elevator? The Reddot in Tairchung, Taiwan might just be your ideal hotel, because the general manager, Steven Wu, has designed and installed a 30-metre-long tube slide which whisks guests from their hotel rooms to the reception area. The slide, which comprises 102 stainless steel panels and cost £100,000 to build, is so large that it had to be transported to the Reddot in four pieces.
10. Tube Slide, Technical University of Munich, Germany
Forget about lecture halls, libraries and auditoriums – we reckon giant tube slides should be the must-have facility for today’s universities. The two slides at the Technical University of Munich are located inside the atrium of the Math and Computer Science faculty and span four floors. This is one centre of learning where students have significantly fewer excuses for bad punctuality.
11. City Museum, St Louis, Missouri, USA
The City Museum is housed in what was once the International Shoe Company, and these enormous slides were used by workers to send shoes to different floors – the shoes would be sent down the chutes and workers on the different floors would simply pick off the ones they needed. The owners of the museum converted these chutes into slides for visitors and there are now 34 to choose from. The smallest one has a height of two metres and the tallest one spans seven floors.
Top image © Jaroslav Moravcik/Shutterstock