Top 10 most beautiful skylines in the world

Top 20 Most Beautiful Skylines In The World

28 mins read

There are cities all over the world with such stunning and Instagrammable skylines that are just so jaw-dropping that the image will stay with you long after you leave. After traveling all over the world, I’ve narrowed down the list to just 20 (and that was a tough choice!), so the countdown is on here and now…

20. Boston, Massachusetts, USA

If you want to get the best glimpse of the Boston skyline, I would suggest seeing it at night! With its tall buildings and colorful lights, the skyline reflects onto the water and paints a picture that most cities can only dream about.

One of the oldest cities in the country, it isn’t that the buildings are huge, it’s that they are gorgeous and well-lit to create a truly picturesque view. In my opinion, seeing this skyline in person should definitely be on your bucket list! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • Head to Prospect Hill Park for viewing without the crowds, especially at sunset.
  • If you want to get views across the harbor and waterfront as well then I would recommend heading to Piers Park in East Boston.

19. Houston, Texas, USA

Houston Skyline

Houston is the most populous city in Texas with roughly 2.3 million people. It is also the fourth largest city in the United States, and I personally think its skyline offers a view that is one in a million! 

With more than 45 high-rise buildings that are more than 425 feet high, the city offers a stunning view regardless of where you are while you’re looking at it. This is a city that proves everything truly is bigger in Texas! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • Head to Eleanor Tinsley Park which is located along Buffalo Bayou for incredible skyline views.
  • For a more intimate and romantic experience, I would recommend viewing from The Raven Grill Rooftop.

18. London, England, UK

London Skyline

London’s skyline is undoubtedly one of the most recognized skylines in the world, and it includes world-famous buildings such as the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, the London Eye, and some less familiar but equally interesting buildings such as Tower 42, the Gherkin, and the Pinnacle.

No matter how many times I visit this amazing skyline, I never get tired of seeing it! It is a combination of tall and not-so-tall buildings that offers just enough variety to keep you interested. Also, check out our post on the best boutique hotels in London

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • I would recommend heading to the Sky Garden located at 1, Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF for some of the most panoramic views.
  • Although it’s a little more distant, I would also say head to Primrose Hill where you can see the skyline with St. Paul’s Cathedral, the BT Tower, and Canary Wharf.

17. Panama City, Panama

Panama City Skyline

If you’re ever in Central America, then I would highly recommend checking out the skyline in Panama City. The city sits on the water and the reflection of the lights on that water will take your breath away! 

The curved shape of the landscape gives it, even more, ambiance, and its skyscrapers offer views that you are certain never to forget. I would also suggest viewing the skyline at night for something a little more special.

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • Head for Ancon Hill Nature Reserve for a peaceful and panoramic view of the city especially when the sun sets.
  • Head to the rooftop bar of Hotel Eurostar Panamá for incredible views of the city.

16. Paris, France

Beautiful Paris skyline

The skyline offered at the City of Love is one of the most recognizable skylines in the world. This iconic skyline is quite large and includes tons of buildings, both familiar and unfamiliar. Even the way the buildings are arranged is unique and interesting, and it causes you to want to look at the skyline even longer.

The Eiffel Tower is, of course, the most familiar building on the skyline, but you’ll see lots of others that are just as bright and curious.

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • While many tourists head to the Eiffel Tower for a view of the skyline I would recommend heading to Montparnasse Tower for the 56th-floor observation deck which offers incredible views of the 360-degree view of the city, including iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre.
  • For a more relaxed setting visit the pretty park Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Here you’ll include a view of my favorite building the Sacré-Cœur Basilica on Montmartre Hill in the background!

15. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro Skyline

Although the Christ the Redeemer statue is the most recognizable part of Rio de Janeiro’s skyline, it is not the only reason this skyline is so fantastic. In my opinion, the city offers a great view thanks to the mountains, the water, and of course, the buildings that light up the sky at night.

It truly offers the best of both man-made architecture and Mother Nature, and it is a skyline you are certain never to forget. Even if you’re not religious, the Christ the Redeemer statue is something you are certain never to forget.

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • I would recommend taking a cable car ride to the summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain for an iconic view including Copacabana Beach, Corcovado Mountain with the Christ the Redeemer statue, and Guanabara Bay.
  • For a more under-the-radar view of the skyline then head for Vista Chinesa. It’s a Chinese-style gazebo located in the Tijuca Forest National Park

14. San Francisco, California, USA

San Francisco Skyline

Everyone recognizes the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, but the adjacent skyline is just as amazing, if not more so. San Francisco is a unique city in many ways, and the lights and tall buildings that come in various designs are something you will never forget.

The buildings reflect on the water for an even more amazing view, and I think the only thing more exciting than San Francisco’s skyline is going into the city and sampling everything it has to offer! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • I would say Treasure Island, situated in the middle of San Francisco Bay, offers a unique and beautiful perspective of the city skyline.
  • Head for Twin Peaks, a famous hill in San Francisco with a pair of summits that provide an excellent vantage point for viewing the city.

13. Seattle, Washington, USA

Beautiful Seattle Skyline

With beautiful Mount Rainier and the ever-looming Space Needle Observation Tower lining your view, the Seattle skyline is truly unique. It offers skyscrapers and buildings of many different designs and sizes, and if you view the city at night, I personally think it’s even more special!

The Seattle skyline is recognized by almost everyone, yet it looks even more amazing when you view it in person. It even has one thing that many city skylines do not have – tons of trees that give the skyline a little oomph and make it even more beautiful! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • I would recommend heading to Kerry Park, located in the Queen Anne neighborhood for incredible skyline views including the Space Needle.
  • Head to Gas Works Park, situated on the north shore of Lake Union for a a unique perspective of the Seattle skyline with a touch of industrial-chic! 

12. Shanghai, China

Shanghai Skyline

Not only is Shanghai the most populous city in the world with shopping for 24 million people, but it also offers one of the most eye-catching skylines in the world. While not all of the buildings are tall, they are all amazing in their designs and colors, and some of these sights include the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower.

If you like skylines with lots of color and interesting architecture, I think you’ll love Shanghai like I did and when it comes to beautiful skylines, this one is hard to beat! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • In my opinion, The Bund (a waterfront promenade along the Huangpu River) is one of the most iconic and popular places to view the Shanghai skyline.
  • I would say head to the Vue Bar a chic rooftop bar located on the 32nd floor of the Hyatt on the Bund hotel for stunning skyline views. 

11. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei Skyline

Taipei is the capital of Taiwan, and its amazing skyline shows it! One of the most interesting aspects of this skyline is its almost futuristic look, which has fascinated always fascinated me! 

It also consists of The Taipei 101 Skyscraper, which was the tallest building in the world until it got beat out by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Still, the 101 is very impressive and extends over 1,600 feet in the air if you measure it to the tip of the building.

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • Head for Taipei 101, formerly the world’s tallest building, for a stunning 369-degree panoramic view of the city from its observatory. The observatory is located on the 89th and 91st floors. 
  • For a more natural and less crowded spot to view, I would recommend hiking up Elephant Mountain, known locally as Xiangshan. The hike is relatively short but steep and can be completed in about 20-30 minutes.

10. Singapore

Singapore Skyline

Singapore is an example of a great skyline formed within the constraints of city-wide planning regulations. A thought-out urban street plan, shackled with a height restriction of 280 meters for all buildings I think gives this city a consistency and style not found in other cities.

With mostly light-colored buildings and great swathes of greenery throughout the city center, I personally think Singapore is a definite highlight of the South East Asian region! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • The Marina Bay Sands SkyPark is an iconic spot in Singapore that offers an incredible view of the city skyline. Located on the rooftop of the Marina Bay Sands resort, it provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the city’s landmarks, including the Singapore River, Gardens by the Bay, and the stunning Supertree Grove.
  • For a stylish and elevated perspective of the Singapore skyline, consider visiting Altitude Gallery & Bar, which is located on the 63rd floor of One Raffles Place.

9. Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt skyline

Frankfurt is flying the flag for Europe with five structures that beat the 200-meter mark. Amongst them, the unorthodox design of the Commerzbank Tower, internationally recognized for its use of ‘sky-gardens’ and environmentally friendly technologies, the 331-meter Europaturm observation tower, and the aesthetically pleasing Messeturm with its 257-meter pyramid peak are also of note.

However, its tall structures are at odds with the ancient low-rise, high-density European architecture below, regardless of this Frankfurt’s skyline never fails to impress me! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • In my opinion, The Main Tower, located in the heart of Frankfurt’s financial district, offers one of the best viewpoints of the city skyline from its observation deck. 
  • Head for the Skyline Plaza rooftop which is located in a shopping mall located in the Europaviertel district of Frankfurt.

8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Skylines, Malaysia

The skyline of Kuala Lumpur may not be the most densely packed on my list, but that only allows what it does have to stand out boldly. Only 10 of its structures stand at over 200 meters tall, but amongst them are the distinctive Petronas Towers (the world’s tallest twin buildings) and the 420-meter Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower.

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • The Petronas Twin Towers, one of Kuala Lumpur’s most iconic landmarks, has the Skybridge, which connects the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors and offers panoramic views of the city skyline.
  • For a more unusual and exclusive view of the skyline, consider visiting the Heli Lounge Bar. This rooftop bar is located on a helipad and offers stunning 360-degree views of the city. 

7. Toronto, Canada

Toronto Skyline

Toronto’s architecture is a true mix of periods and styles, with many dating back to the mid-19th century and I’m a huge fan. The city shows no signs of slowing down either, currently amid an architectural revival that includes a condo boom along the shoreline and several buildings such as the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario being designed by world-renowned architects.

The city has 11 structures that stand over 200 meters, dominating the skyline is the 553.33 meter CN Tower, no longer the tallest tower in the world, but still featuring the highest viewing deck

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • The Toronto Islands, located just offshore in Lake Ontario, offer a peaceful and unique perspective of the city skyline. 
  • Polson Pier, also known as Cherry Beach, is a popular spot for photographers and skyline enthusiasts. 

6. Sydney, Australia

Sydney skyline

Ah lovely Syndey, this city never fails to take my breath away and Sydney’s skyline is about much more than just skyscrapers. Sure the cloud-bothering heights of Centrepoint Tower, the MLC Centre, and the AMP Tower protrude from the inner CBD, but in my opinion, the harbor and the Opera House make it really stunning! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • While Sydney Harbour Bridge is popular I would recommend heading to the Pylon Lookout located on the southeast pylon of the bridge which offers spectacular views of the Sydney skyline, Sydney Opera House, and the harbor.
  • Barangaroo Reserve is a beautiful landscaped park on the western edge of Sydney’s central business district which offers a scenic waterfront view of the city skyline. 

5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Burj Khalifa Dubai

Dubai barges into my list through extravagant ambition and persistence. A mix-matched overlapping sea of indulgence, wealth and architectural accomplishment, the recent growth of the city seems to be without plan or prudence.

All 33 of its structures reaching over 200 meters were built in the last 15 years, and they do appear to be competing with rather than complementing each other. But I think they sure are pretty! 

The Burj Khalifa beat all competition to take the title of the world’s tallest building, at a neck-straining 828 meters. The city shows no signs of stopping either, with the proposed Dubai City Tower, set to break all records with a height of 2,400 meters.

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • Head for Burj Khalifa Observation Deck located on the 124th, 125th, and 148th floors for incredible unobstructed views of the city’s skyline, including the Palm Jumeirah, The World Islands, and the Arabian Gulf.
  • For a different perspective of the Dubai skyline, head to Dubai Creek Harbour which offers fantastic views of the city, including the Burj Khalifa and other modern skyscrapers.

4. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Skylines

The densely populated mega-city of Tokyo is a sea of flashing neon lights and high-rise structures that reaches skyward under the view of the Mount Fuji range. With the required flashing red lights atop every building of significant height, and a fleet of helicopters on hand to avoid the heavy traffic of rush hour, Tokyo is a skyline that means business and it never fails to impress me.

Also while staying make sure you check out some of the best Tokyo hotels while you are in the city too, they are some of the craziest in the world! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • Tokyo Skytree is one of Tokyo’s most iconic landmarks and offers a fantastic view of the city’s skyline via their two observation decks. 
  • Roppongi Hills Mori Tower is another excellent spot to view the Tokyo skyline. The Mori Art Museum on the 52nd floor offers not only contemporary art but also a magnificent view of Tokyo from its observatory. 

3. Chicago, USA

Chicago skyline

We all know the US likes to fill its cities with tall buildings, but I’m conscious not to fill my list with too many US cities. But Chicago gets an honorable mention for being the birthplace of the modern skyscraper. When the city unveiled its first steel high-rise in 1885, no one could have predicted how well the new design would catch on.

Since then Chicago has kept up with the trend, housing 19 buildings over 200 meters and producing some of the finest skyscrapers found in any city; The Trump Tower, John Hancock Tower and the 1451-foot Willis Tower front up along the shoreline of Lake Michigan to form a truly picturesque skyline! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • I would recommend heading to The Skydeck Chicago, located in the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).
  • I’m also a big fan of viewing from Adler Planetarium. Located on Chicago’s Museum Campus, it offers a unique perspective of the Chicago skyline. 

2. New York, USA

New York skyline

In second place is New York which is perhaps the world’s most easily recognizable skyline due to its featuring in so many Hollywood blockbusters, think Spiderman swinging through its towers, bathed in golden sunlight, Home Alone 2 at Christmas or the city shots of Independence Day! 

I love that the city also has so many identifiable, iconic buildings; the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and overlooking them all from offshore, the majestic Statue of Liberty including many very impressive New York hotels and Brooklyn hotels that are just waiting to be explored and stayed in. With 47 buildings over 200 meters New York is the definitive US city, but just misses out on my number one spot! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park, located along the East River in Brooklyn, offers one of the most iconic and picturesque views of the Manhattan skyline.
  • While many people visit the Empire State Building for skyline views, I’d also recommend the top of the Rock Observation Deck at the Rockefeller Center as it offers an excellent perspective of the New York City skyline, including Central Park, Midtown Manhattan, and downtown. 

1. Hong Kong, China

Top 10 most beautiful skylines in the world

Hong Kong earns its place at the top of my list for its sheer commitment to the modern skyscraper. With a whopping 43 buildings measuring over 200 meters tall, 30 of which were built since the year 2000 and with four of the 15 tallest buildings in the world, I think this city has the best skylines in the world.

For me, the tipping factor is the extraordinary location. With the mountain ranges circling the city, the juxtaposition between the shiny man-made structures, the gleaming waterfront occasionally dotted with the odd junk boat and the surrounding mountains make this heady mix my number one! 

My travel tips for the best viewing… 

  • Victoria Peak is one of the most iconic and popular spots for viewing the Hong Kong skyline. You can take the Peak Tram to the top, where you’ll find an observation deck called the “Sky Terrace 428.”
  • My favourite ever skyline views was Hong Kong from the Kowloon Promenade which runs along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront just go and see what I mean – it’s jaw-dropping! 

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