Top 10 most beautiful skylines in the world

Top 20 of the most beautiful skylines in the world

A gorgeous skyline is often one of the things that big cities can boast about, but the fact is, it isn’t just Hong Kong and New York City that have amazing skylines. Indeed, all over the world, there are cities with stunning skylines that you won’t forget once you see them in person, and not all of them are in huge cities. In fact, our world is filled with skylines that have everything you could want when you’re looking at skylines – bright lights, tall buildings, and stunning architecture that is often unique to that particular area of the world.

But what makes a great skyline? Is it the height of the skyscrapers? The shade of neon used to light them? Or is it the way the buildings work together to form one complete picture?

We think what really matters is you look out across a city and think –‘Wow!’ We’ve looked across the globe to count down what we think are the ten most impressive skylines our great cities have to offer. From the US to China, Canada to Australia, here is our rundown of the very best – our Top 20 of the most beautiful skylines in the world…

20. Boston, Massachusetts, USA – one of the best US skylines

Boston - best skylines in the world

If you want to get the best glimpse of the Boston skyline, come see 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 picturesque view that everyone will love. Seeing this skyline in person should definitely be on your bucket list.

19. Houston, Texas, USA – one of the best city skylines in the world

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 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.

18. London, England

London Skyline

London’s skyline is undoubtedly one of the most recognized skylines in the world, and it includes infamous 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 you visit this amazing city, you’ll never get tired of seeing its skyline. 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

17. Panama City, Panama

Panama City Skyline

If you’re ever in Central America, you need to check 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. A friendly city, you’ll enjoy your time here even more if you take the time to view the skyline at night.

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 in the skyline, but you’ll see lots of others that are just as bright and curious. Paris offers one of the best city skylines for numerous reasons.

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. 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 that from 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.

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 the only thing more exciting than San Francisco’s skyline is going into the city and sampling everything it has to offer. We also have a post on the most romantic hotels in San Francisco

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. But it also offers skyscrapers and buildings of many different designs and sizes, and if you view the city at night, you’ll get the best view ever.

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.

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, Shanghai is a city you have to visit. When it comes to beautiful skylines, you can’t beat this one.

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 people for decades.

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.

10. Singapore, Singapore – a stunning skyline in Asia

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 metres for all buildings gives this city a consistency and style not found in other cities.

With mostly light-coloured buildings and great swathes of greenery throughout the city centre, Singapore is a definite highlight of the South East Asian region.

9. Frankfurt, Germany – a gorgeous skyline in Europe

Frankfurt skyline

As Europe’s only entry in our list, Frankfurt is flying the flag for the continent with five structures that beat the 200 metre mark.

Amongst them, the unorthodox design of the Commerzbank Tower, internationally recognised for its use of ‘sky-gardens’ and environmentally friendly technologies, the 331 metre Europaturm observation tower, or the aesthetically pleasing Messeturm with its 257 metre 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 nudges its way into our list.

8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – often known as one of the most beautiful skylines in the world

The skyline of Kuala Lumpur may not be the most densely packed in our list, but that only allows what it does have to stand out boldly.

Only 10 of its structures stand at over 200 metres tall, but amongst them are the distinctive Petronas Towers (the world’s tallest twin buildings) and the 420 metre Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower.

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. The city shows no signs of slowing down either, currently in the midst of 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 metres, dominating the skyline is the 553.33 metre CN Tower, no longer the tallest tower in the world, but still featuring the highest viewing deck

6. Sydney, Australia

Sydney skyline

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 the world-famous harbour with its iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge are what people really book flights to Australia to see, best viewed from a ferry on the shore of Sydney Harbour to take in the full view.

5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates – one of the biggest skylines in the world

Burj Khalifa Dubai

Dubai barges into our 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 metres were built in the last 15 years, and they do appear to be competing with rather than complementing each other. But 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 metres. 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 metres.

4. Tokyo, Japan

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.

3. Chicago, USA

Chicago skyline

We all know the US likes to fill its cities with tall buildings, so we’re conscious not to fill our rundown with US cities. But Chicago gets an honourable 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 metres 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.

2. New York, USA

New York skyline

In at second place is New York. Perhaps the world’s most easily recognisable 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.

The city also has so many identifiable, iconic buildings; the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and overlooking them all from offshore, the majestic Statue of Liberty. With 47 buildings over 200 metres New York is the definitive US city, but just misses out on the number one spot.

1. Hong Kong, China

Top 10 most beautiful skylines in the world

Hong Kong earns its place at the top of our list for its sheer commitment to the modern skyscraper. With a whopping 43 buildings measuring over 200 metres tall, 30 of which were built since the year 2000 and with four of the 15 tallest buildings in the world, the city has the best skyline to have ever had a camera pointed at it.

With a high population density of 6,943,600 people, Hong Kong is a major seaport, financial centre and the business hub of Asia. The concentrated, high-rise environment of the city won’t be to everyone’s taste, but for city lovers, this is paradise.

The tipping factor that makes this city is its location; with the mountain ranges circling the city, the juxtaposition between man-made structures and the surrounding mountains make this jarring proposition our number one.

8 Comments

  • Avatar

    Terry Cooke

    26 April, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Amazing photography. Somehow, Frankfurt manages to look both drab and glamorous at the same time. The sky tone above Tokyo is also pretty spectacular.

    Reply
  • Avatar

    The Language Journal

    20 June, 2012 at 9:07 am

    How lovely are those skylines.Those featured country’s are truly have their excellency in terms of technology because they can make thgose things more impressive to the society. My question is are those skylines are too expensive that the government can afford to support upon the making?

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Exotic Travels And Vacations

    15 June, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Thanks for sharing the top 10 skylines in the world.. Really really awesome.. Excellent post and photos.. love it!

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Arianwen

    11 June, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    The sky in that Frankfurt one is incredible – very dramatic! I fly via Frankfurt in a few weeks. Hoping the weather’s not that threatening or my landing anxiety will hit the roof!

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Erik Winther Cancel reply