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10 most famous roads in the world

From Route 66 to the Champs-Élysées, here are 10 of the most iconic drives from around the world.

Fancy taking a spin along one of the world’s most famous roads? Want to see the sights from behind the wheel of a shiny new holiday hire car?

Whether you’re a full-on petrol-head, or you just prefer to save your energies for other pursuits – like shopping and dancing ‘til dawn – feel the freedom of the open road the next time you jet off. Here are 10 of the most iconic highways and byways from around the world for you to explore:

1. Lombard Street, San Francisco, USA

Enjoy every twist and turn on Lombard Street in San Francisco, the world’s most crooked lane. Stretching just one block between Hyde and Leavenworth streets, this small section of road contains eight hair pin bends down a pretty steep hill. Perhaps you better leave a drive out along here until after lunch?

©surangasl/ Shutterstock.com

2. Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

Not only is this 150-mile stretch of tarmac one of the most famous tourist routes in the world, it’s also the world’s largest war memorial, built by soldiers returning from World War I. Running between Torquay and Warrnambool in south-eastern Australia, jump in a 4-wheeler and get exploring the natural beauty of this rugged coastline.

See more: Australia – in pictures

See the 12 Apostles, a dramatic limestone formation, along southern Australia's Great Ocean Road.

3. Orchard Road, Singapore

Long gone are the fruit orchards that this famous neon street was named after; nowadays Orchard Road is Singapore’s premiere shopping destination. Beside designer boutiques and big brands, here’s where you’ll find high-end hotels and haute-cuisine. If shopping’s not your bag, pop in to the Istana, the official residence of the President of Singapore, on this glitzy thoroughfare.

©tristan tan/ Shutterstock.com

4. Las Vegas Boulevard South, Nevada, USA

Roll up and enjoy the show, as you cruise along one of the most iconic boulevards in the world, the infamous Vegas strip. From street magicians to the spectacular fountain shows, like the one outside the Bellagio, watch the madness unfold. You won’t even need to leave your ride to grab a burger, a soda refill or even a marriage, everything is drive-thru, from off- licences to wedding chapels.

Cruise along the Vegas strip and take your chances with a flutter in one of the many luxury casinos.

5. Abbey Road, London, UK

Come together, and take a drive down Abbey Road in north London, home to the legendary Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles recorded their 11th album, titled ‘Abbey Road’. The famous photograph of the band on the zebra crossing was taken on the street outside of the studios. Join the fans who flock here all-year-round and recreate the famous pose.

©Claudio divizia/ Shutterstock.com

6. Trollstigen, Norway

You might be forgiven for thinking you’ve landed in Middle Earth when you take off along Trollstigen, which translates as Trolls’ Path. This mountain trail snakes through 11 sharp bends and down a steep incline in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. Stretch your legs and take in the 1,050ft Stigfossen waterfalls from Trollstigen viewing platform.

Watch out for mean monsters of Norse mythology on the Trolls' Path.

7. Champs-Elysées, Paris, France

This wide avenue, with its neatly trimmed trees, luxury shops and cute curb-side cafés, is the place to go for a taste of Parisian chic. One immediately recognisable attraction along the Champs-Élysées is the Arc de Triomphe war memorial, dominating the skyline at the western end of the road. It’s a great ride by car, but if you prefer two wheels to four then visit during the last stage of the Tour de France when riders usually make six to eight lengths of this famous lane.

Read more: 10 best things to do in Paris – a local’s guide

Sip coffee, eat croissants and watch the world go by on the Champs-Élysées.

8. Route 66, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Arizona, USA

America’s Main Street, also affectionately nicknamed Mother Road, Route 66 was actually removed from the United States Highway System in 1985 when it was replaced by the Interstate System. Nevertheless, the sections that remain in Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Arizona now form ‘Historic Route 66’ and still stand as a shrine to all things Americana. Make a stop at Lou Mitchell’s in Chicago for some cracking omelettes before you hit the road, or stop by Shea’s Gas Station Museum in Springfield, Illinois, to see a mass of road related memorabilia.

Get your kicks on Rote 66, or at least some fun Americana memorabilia.

9. The Stelvio Pass, Italy

Once hailed by BBC’s Top Gear gurus as the pinnacle of motoring perfection, the Stelvio Pass runs through the mountains in northern Italy in the Eastern Alps. Hit this 15-mile stretch through snow covered peaks for stunning views, although maybe not one for those without a head for heights.

The greatest driving road in the world? Go for a spin and give us your verdict!

10. Guoliang Tunnel Road, China

You can’t go over it, you can’t go under it so you’ve got to go through it; this was clearly the logic of the 13 villagers from the remote village of Guoliang who pioneered the construction of this famous Tunnel Road in China’s Henan Province. Carved out of the Taihang Mountains, squeeze along this narrow 12ft wide pass, through rock, hugging the cliff edge for a pretty nail-biting ride.

Going underground on the Guoliang Tunnel Road.

Ready for your next road trip? Check out Skyscanner’s car hire search to make sure you get the best bargain on your holiday rental.

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