Controlling the electromagnetic properties of materials, going beyond the limit that is attainable with naturally existing substances, has become a reality with the advent of metamaterials(1-3). The range of various structured artificial 'atoms' has promised a vast variety of otherwise unexpected physical phenomena(3-17), among which the experimental realization of a negative refractive index has been one of the main foci thus far. Expanding the refractive index into a high positive regime will complete the spectrum of achievable refractive index and provide more design flexibility for transformation optics(9-14). Naturally existing transparent materials possess small positive indices of refraction, except for a few semiconductors and insulators, such as lead sulphide or strontium titanate, that exhibit a rather high peak refractive index at mid- and far-infrared frequencies(18). Previous approaches using metamaterials were not successful in realizing broadband high refractive indices(19-21). A broadband high-refractive-index metamaterial structure was theoretically investigated only recently(22), but the proposed structure does not lend itself to easy implementation. Here we demonstrate that a broadband, extremely high index of refraction can be realized from large-area, free-standing, flexible terahertz metamaterials composed of strongly coupled unit cells. By drastically increasing the effective permittivity through strong capacitive coupling and decreasing the diamagnetic response with a thin metallic structure in the unit cell, a peak refractive index of 38.6 along with a low-frequency quasi-static value of over 20 were experimentally realized for a single-layer terahertz metamaterial, while maintaining low losses. As a natural extension of these single-layer metamaterials, we fabricated quasi-three-dimensional high-refractive-index metamaterials, and obtained a maximum bulk refractive index of 33.2 along with a value of around 8 at the quasi-static limit.