Africa & The Middle East | Destination Guides

12 Incredible views from the world’s biggest skyscrapers

The view is always better from above… especially if that view is from a skyscraper. These sky-high giants offer breathtaking panoramic vistas no vacation is complete without. So to celebrate the vast beauty of the not-so-humble skyscraper, we’re showing you 12 incredible views from the world’s biggest skyscrapers. And what better day to do it on than National Skyscraper Day!

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

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Photo by ZQ Lee on Unsplash

The Burj Khalifa is ubiquitous when discussing the world’s biggest skyscrapers. Ranking as the world’s tallest skyscraper, this monumental pillar is an ear-popping 828 metres tall. As, quite literally, the top attraction to visit in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa offers stunning views over the desert city below. The two observation decks housed in this legendary monument will have you feeling as though you’re standing on top of the world.

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Shanghai Tower, Shanghai

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Photo by 丁亦然 on Unsplash

Second place is no shabby feat for Shanghai Tower, the next tallest skyscraper in the world. As the tallest building in China at 632 metres, this twisting tower overlooks a spectacular vista of Shanghai’s iconic cityscape. From the world’s highest observation deck, visitors can see 360-degree views of the winding rivers, sprawling city and landmarks below. The most recognisable of these is the Oriental Pearl Tower, a space-age spire of grey and purple. As if this skyscraper wasn’t record-breaking enough, the elevators travel at highs of 29kmph – making them the fastest in the world. When it takes only 55 seconds to reach the best vantage point in the entire city, how could you resist a visit?

Explore the best destinations in China when you travel with Trafalgar on the Best of China with Yangtze River Cruise tour

Ping An Finance Center, Shenzen

China continues to espouse its architectural brilliance over in Shenzen, 599 metres off the ground. In the Ping An Finance Center, the incredible views begin in the elevators. As visitors shoot up to the 116th-floor observation decks, the walls simulate outdoor scenery in anticipation of the views from above. The observation deck there is an impressive four times larger than that of the Burj Khalifa. What’s even more incredible, however, is the sweeping view of the city below. Visitors can see stunning skyscraper views of the Luohu District skyline, the green splash of Lotus Hill Park, and the calm waters of Shenzen Bay. 

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Lotte World Tower, Seoul

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Photo by Nikky W. on Unsplash

In the Gangnam area of Seoul, the Lotte World Tower stands at 555 metres tall, the first skyscraper in South Korea over 100 levels. From the viewing platforms above, visitors can see the icons of the city below. The best skyscraper views of the Han River threading through the Mountain-edged city are seen from here. On the 119th floor, the Skydeck delivers a dizzying experience. The transparent glass flooring of this unique viewing area gives visitors a direct downward view of the streets below. As one of the world’s biggest skyscrapers, the views from every angle of Lotte World Tower do not disappoint.

One World Trade Center, New York

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The One World Trade Centre, also known as Freedom Tower, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 541 metres tall. The nearby Empire State Building might be the most iconic and historic tower in New York, but One World Trade Center takes the prize for the best views in the city. Located in downtown Manhattan, the observation decks offer views over the Hudson River, Brooklyn, and beyond. The stunning skyscraper views don’t end there. 100 floors above the streets, visitors can enjoy the Sky Portal. This four-metre wide glass disc presents real-time, high-definition footage of the city below.

You can see the best of the Big Apple with Trafalgar on the New York Explorer tour

Taipei 101, Taipei

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Photo by Lisanto 李奕良 on Unsplash

The views from Taipei 101, the world’s tallest skyscraper from 2004 – 2010, are breathtaking. From the 91st-floor observatory, visitors can see the streets below teeming with the hustle and bustle of Taiwanese life. This urban sprawl stretches out into the distant mountains, which tumble into the horizon. The design of the building represents a pillar of bamboo shooting skyward to connect the earth and the heavens. This artful blend of symbolism with architecture makes Taipei 101 one of the world’s most beautiful skyscrapers.

International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong

A visit to the tallest building in Hong Kong is essential to see the best views of the lively city. Some like to see the enchanting sights from the 100th level sky deck. Others prefer a more relaxed approach, from a table in the restaurant on the 101st floor. Either way, visitors will enjoy sweeping views over Victoria Harbour and the far-reaching mountains that roll in the distance.

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Vincom Landmark 81, Ho Chi Minh City

Vincom landmark 81 is the tallest building in Southeast Asia. Standard observation decks are located on the 79th floor, fitted with benches and a coffee lounge overlooking the city. On levels 80 and 81, thrill-seekers will love the virtual reality simulation called ‘Top of Vietnam’. This game emulates a parachute jump from 461 metres above the city. On the very top floor is Skytouch, an open-air space boxed in by transparent glass for unobstructed views. At each of these levels, visitors will enjoy views of the winding rivers that lace through Ho Chi Minh City. The design of Vincom Landmark 81 resembles a bundle of bamboo. This symbolises strength and unity in Vietnamese culture, making it one of the world’s most beautiful skyscrapers.

Discover the wild beauty of Vietnam when you travel with Trafalgar on the Highlights of Vietnam tour

Petronas Tower, Kuala Lumpur

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Photo by Sadie Teper on Unsplash

Standing at 452 metres, the Petronas Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world. Their iconic silhouette stems from the bridge that stretches between them at the 41st and 42nd floors. The phenomenal views get even better early in the morning when heavy-bellied storm clouds roll in from the horizon and engulf the city below. The other claim to fame held by these twin towers is a base jumping record. It was set in 1999 by Felix Baumgartner, a German man who leapt from a crane near the towers’ peak.

Willis Tower, Chicago

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Photo by Sebastian Arroyo on Unsplash

In the heart of downtown Chicago, visitors can take in a birds-eye view of the Windy City from 442 metres above the streets. On the 103rd floor lies the Willis Tower Skydeck, the highest public viewing area in the USA. But the most incredible views from this skyscraper can actually be found at The Ledge. This series of windows extends outwards from the main walls, offering clear views directly downward. When visibility is high, visitors can see up to 80 kilometres away across four states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. 

Mercury City Tower, Moscow

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Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

For the best skyscraper views over Moscow, look no further than the eccentric Mercury City Tower. The self-proclaimed “Gold of Moscow City” offers views from an art gallery instead of an observation deck. Forty floors above ground, the Ilona-K Artspace hosts modern Russian art alongside panoramic views of the Moskva River, Poklonnaya Hill, and the rest of Moscow.

The Shard, London

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Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash

Though it might be the shortest on this list, all 306 metres of The Shard offer stunning skyscraper views. This structure is iconic in many ways. Its shard-like design is symbolic of modern London, and the views from the 72nd floor capture the famous skyline below. Spot the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Gherkin, St Paul’s Cathedral and many other well-known landmarks. As one of the newest attractions in London and the tallest skyscraper in Western Europe, a visit to the top of The Shard is unmissable.

You can get up close and personal with the icons of London on the London Explorer tour with Trafalgar.

Planning for an iconic 2022 trip? Request the latest Trafalgar brochure and start dreaming

Do you have a favourite skyscraper view? Let us know in the comments below! Or,  head to our website so you can read more about how you can discover the best views from the world’s biggest skyscrapers when you travel with Trafalgar.

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