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Upside-down train
Photograph: Shutterstock

Four of the most incredible weird commutes around the world

Forget the bus or metro – some workers get swim to the office (or take an upside-town train)

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

The journey to work can feel extremely daunting when your alarm goes off. Ripped out of your toasty duvet-cocoon only to have squeeze up against strangers on the bus? No thanks. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. In cities around the world, urban infrastructure has been adapted to fit the lives of residents. That could mean hopping on a cable car to avoid a particularly steep trip to the office, or swapping a suit for swimming trunks and jumping into the river. Here are four of the most incredible commutes across the globe.

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Most incredible commutes around the world

The gigantic escalator
Photograph: Alexander Canas Arango /

1. The gigantic escalator

Medellín, Colombia’s hilly second city, has been equipped with gigantic orange outdoor escalators, connecting small neighbourhoods with the centre of town. The 1,260ft ascent was previously a pretty laborious climb, so the new tracks mean workers can rock up at the office a whole lot less sweaty.

The river swim
Photograph: silverfox999 /

2. The river swim

Some residents of Bern in Switzerland have an extremely fresh commute. Undeterred by chilly weather, several water-loving citizens swim down the Aare River to get to work. The bracing journey is very much encouraged from the top (swimming costumes apparently used to be hung out to dry from the Swiss Parliament Building).

The upside-down train
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. The upside-down train

Getting the train to work is pretty unremarkable, we know. But what about an upside-down train? In Wuppertal, Germany, commuters are gleefully suspended above busy traffic in a glass pod. It seems pretty futuristic, but the railway line is actually 120 years old. A Wuppertal-born poet said it was like riding on the back of a ‘steely dragon’. 

The cable cars
Photograph: Alexander Canas Arango /

4. The cable cars

Tbilisi is another vertiginous city, with Mount Mtatsminda looming over much of the Georgian capital. The cable-car network has been given a much-needed multi-million renovation, meaning the climb is now very simple (and very scenic, too).

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