Out of curiosity, I went to search for "world's largest elevator", but all the results were for grain elevators.

Now obviously, you can't ride in a grain elevator. What I meant was, what is the largest commercial elevator that humans can use? Large as in terms of square feet. I couldn't find anything of the sort.

  • 1
    I got several relevant results searching for "largest passenger elevator", which might help narrow down your search. May 12, 2014 at 3:52

5 Answers 5


If you don't mind floating on a boat, I guess the largest lift would be the Strépy-Thieu boat lift. Using it costs 5.50 one way on one of their tourist boats.


Fujitec claims that its 120-passenger lifts at Dubai International Airport are “the world’s largest passenger capacity observation elevator model”. The airport media gallery has some photos.

Goods lifts/freight elevators can be much larger than passenger lifts, though probably less accessible to the travelling public. For example, there are two at Barclays Center in Brooklyn that you can drive a bus in to.


Normally it is measured in the number of passengers that an elevator can carry.

There is a 80 passenger elevator installed in Japan.

  • he did specifically ask in terms of square footage tho (although I agree with your definition)
    – Mark Mayo
    May 12, 2014 at 4:02
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    Technically you can consider the elevator on an aircraft carrier to be the largest since a human can ride on them. blogs.howstuffworks.com/brainstuff/…
    – Karlson
    May 12, 2014 at 4:05
  • Yeah, I figure that most elevators aren't measured in sqft, but was curious.
    – geoff
    May 12, 2014 at 4:07
  • @Karlson I am not sure if you can call an Aircraft carrier's elevator "commercial"...
    – uncovery
    May 12, 2014 at 6:35
  • @uncovery Potato - tomato considering that some aircraft carriers are now museums that is open to debate. :)
    – Karlson
    May 12, 2014 at 17:24

The 3 Gorges dam boat lift is now operational. It can lift ships up to 3,000 tons up by 113 meters.


There are freight elevators capable of lifting army tanks. One such was used during WWII in Kansas City. It's still in operation.

  • 1
    This feels more like an anecdote than an actual answer. Can you give more detail and some kind of citation? May 6, 2016 at 17:49

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