up, up and away… on the world’s highest spiral escalator

The highest, biggest, largest, curviest escalator in the world.

One would imagine that would be something spectacular, right?

I mean.. it sounds impressive. Spiral escalators apparently, are quite difficult to construct, as they weave around vertical space.

largest spiral escalator in the world

The largest spiral escalator in the world was unveiled some months back in Shanghai, so we took the fast speed train down to see it.

We had to find the building first – turns out the largest spiral escalator is in a rather small building, for Shanghai. The building itself, with a kind of pseudo-european façade plonked at the tail end of Nanjing Xi Lu ( Shanghai’s famous shopping street), looked somewhat out of place amongst the highrise buildings housing GAP, H&M, M&S and other quite non-Chinese brands.

Exterior of building with world’s largest spiral escalator

Once inside the building, the escalator looked somewhat impressive, at first.

curvy escalator

Next step – onto the escalator itself.


Up we go…



to the first floor.

Turns out the biggest curviest escalator isn’t all in one piece. It’s said to be seven stories high – but it’s not, really. Its just seven one storey-high curvy escalors. In between,  you will need to walk around the shopping mall to get to the next level, just like any other shopping centre.

Skylight atop world’s biggest curvy elevator

There is the retractable skylight from the seventh floor – but we had to walk up the last leg. The biggest spiral escalator in the world wasn’t all working, yet.

Elevator is on the right hand side, curvy escalator in the middle.

We got the lift down. You can see the lift on the right hand side of the picture.

Verdict? A huge disappointment. The biggest spiral escalator in the world was just another brashy Shanghai fad. All glitz and advertising, no substance.

Even the shops inside were boring. We crossed the road and went back down Nanjing Xi Lu, to pass the time at GAP.—-