A breathtaking skyline is one of the glitzy things which all the major cities love to brag about. However, if you thought it was just iconic cities like New York City or Dubai that have stunning skylines you might be mistaken. In fact, cities all over the world offer magnificent views through their skylines. The true magic of these unparalleled views can only be enjoyed when you experience them in person. Our whole world is filled with amazing skylines, including everything you could ever wish to look at—shining lights, huge buildings and impressive architecture that exist only in that particular part of the globe. But what creates a phenomenal skyline? Is it the towering highrises? The vibrant glowing lights adorning them? Or is it the way the buildings align themselves to create the ultimate picture? We perceive that what really matters is the immediate feeling of mesmerization when you look out across the city. Allow us to be your literary chauffeur as we take you on a sky-high journey featuring the most dramatic skylines these great cities have to offer. From Hong Kong to Rio de Janeiro, Canada to Germany, here is our scenic rundown of the 20 most beautiful skylines in the world.
Hong Kong, China
The magical skyline of Hong Kong definitely reigns on top with its extravagant display of skyscrapers. With a whopping number of towering buildings, these highrises can be viewed from diverse perspectives and every night the city puts on a light display to show off its dazzling skyline. With Hong Kong being the business capital of Asia, its robust and sky-high environment is a bustling paradise for city lovers. The peak factor of the skyline is its location—the juxtaposition between the man-made towers and the surrounding mountain ranges makes this a front-runner in our list.
The most exclusive thing about Dubai is its extensive skyline. There exists a plethora of diverse places to witness its stunning skyscrapers. The city is packed with massive skyscrapers and outrageously tall buildings, featuring the majestic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest hotel and the world’s tallest residential building. Make sure you reach the crown of Burj Khalifa for a panoramic display of Dubai.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This Malaysian skyline may not be the most densely concentrated, but that’s what makes it outshine the rest. Kuala Lumpur is hailed as Asia’s most modern capital city and is home to one of the most spectacular skylines in the world. The city’s most precious jewels, The Petronas Towers, stand tall above the country’s largest city in all their glistening glory.
Singapore offers a splendid example of a great skyline shaped within the cityscape. A well-devised metropolitan plan, confined with a height restriction of 280 metres for all the buildings, paves the way for a stunning skyline view backed with a consistent style not found in other major cities. The ‘Lion City’ hosts a plethora of breathtaking highrise buildings, with a huge chunk of them placed in the city centre of Singapore. With its dreamlike skyline, Singapore is hands down the highlight of South East Asia.
Houston, Texas, the US
Houston is the most densely packed city and also the fourth-largest city in the United States, with a population of approximately 2.3 million people. With dozens of skyscrapers, the city offers a million-dollar view. The term ‘Skyline District’ was formed when downtown Houston was split into a number of small districts: the Houston Theatre District, The Market Square Historic District and The Main Street Corridor. The glitzy collection of highrise buildings in this Skyline District makes one of the largest skylines in America.
London is easily the most iconic skyline with the Houses of Parliament bordering the waterfront, the Tower Bridge, and obviously, the London Eye. The British capital has embraced the modern century while retaining its rich heritage. For centuries, the city of London has been a cultural centre and it’s flawlessly reflected in the city’s skyline. London’s skyline is filled with dozens of skyscrapers and heritage buildings and landmarks that provide an enviable view of the city. A few of these structures have served as iconic backdrops in recent blockbuster movies such as the Tower Bridge featured in Spider-Man: Far From Home and Hellboy.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Blessed in abundance with one of the most monumental natural wonders in the world, Rio never fails to amaze us with its scenic beauty. With an increasing number of highrise buildings emerging all over the city, the magnificent Sugarloaf Mountain still stands majestically on the Brazilian horizon in all its natural glory. Standing by the historic Christ The Redeemer statue situated on the Corcovado peak or at the pinnacle of Sugarloaf Mountain, you will get to witness one of the world’s most exciting skyline views. Rio flaunts a rich amalgamation of tropical vegetation, sandy white beaches hosting the deep blue Atlantic Ocean, and the ever-evolving urbanisation in the mix.
Panama City, Panama
The magnificent skyline of Panama beautifully combines the city’s historic and modern elements. Dotted with towering skyscrapers, the city offers a familiar view of Dubai’s skyline. With an array of spellbinding towers, luxury hotels, a stunning waterfront and the Panama canal nearby, it is hands down one of the most fantastic cities in South America. Enjoy spectacular skyline views sitting on the rooftop bars of the W Hotel and the Hard Rock Panama Hotel.
New York, the US
This sky-high beauty is probably the most recognisable skyline due to its frequent appearances in several Hollywood blockbuster movies; think Home Alone 2 or Spiderman swinging through its towers. This ultimate city of the US also boasts many prominent buildings such as the Chrysler and the iconic Empire State Building and, overseeing them all from offshore, the magnanimous Statue Of Liberty.
Toronto is considered the most photogenic and beautiful skyline in Canada. Although the city is home to one of the coolest streets in the world, you can’t help but marvel at the enchanting skyline that Toronto has to offer. The city owns 11 enormous structures such as the CN Tower that magnificently dominate the skyline. With an architectural mix of classic and contemporary elements, this Canadian city has no plans of slowing down as it is in the midst of a construction revival owing to an uptake in the condo market and many influential buildings including art galleries and museums designed by world-famous architects.
The French capital offers one of the most spectacular skylines for various reasons. The gorgeous sky-high view offered at the City of Love is among the most distinctive skylines in the world. This famed Parisian skyline is majestic and hosts several iconic buildings. One of the reasons that it looks so appealing is the city is constructed on a human scale, unlike other major cities. The unique and creative arrangement of the buildings makes the skyline look even more appealing. The Eiffel Tower is, of course, the most iconic and sought-after building featured on the skyline.
We are well aware that Santorini doesn’t blend with the entire highrise persona as it doesn’t have any skyscrapers or towering buildings but it does have a unique skyline. When talking about this scenic Greek island first thing that comes to mind are the beautiful blue domes placed all over! Santorini is a place where all the architectural beauty comes to life, with its whitewashed buildings clutching the side of the sea cliffs offering a breathtaking skyline view of the island.
San Francisco, California, US
San Francisco is a stunning city to visit. There exist several prominent sites with the Golden Gate Bridge being the centre of attraction. The city offers an extravagant skyline with sparkling lights and highrises that come in eccentric designs, which can not be seen in other places. These towering buildings reflect on the clear waters, exuding an even more splendid view of the Californian city. The San Francisco Skyline is an illustrious example of modern highrises, ancient architecture and vibrant facades seamlessly merged into the city.
The glamorous city of Shanghai has one of the most captivating skylines in the world. With a whopping population of 24 million people, it is one of the most bustling cities. While not all of the buildings are towering skyscrapers, all buildings possess unique designs and colours including the Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower. If you are on the lookout for vibrant skylines with fascinating architecture, then this city is a must-visit. When it comes to scenic skylines, Shanghai appears to be a supreme contender.
Seattle, Washington, US
With the majestic Mount Rainier and the looming Space Needle Observation Tower filling your view, the Seattle skyline is truly one of a kind. The beautiful skyline also hosts various skyscrapers and towering buildings with diverse designs and structures with the night sky commanding its own spectacle. Unlike other skylines, it contains dozens of trees, which add to its beauty making it even more appealing.
This huge Australian city might not possess the heaviest concentration of highrise buildings, but it certainly flaunts one of the world’s most photogenic skylines. Under clear blue skies, the towering skyscrapers stand alongside two of the city’s most iconic buildings: The shell-shaped Sydney Opera House and the majestic curves of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The attractive skyline overlooks several picturesque bays and coves around the Sydney Harbour, which is referred to as the most beautiful natural harbour in the world.
We are all aware of the US and its love for tall buildings. However, Chicago deserves the spotlight for being the birthplace of modern skyscrapers. The city’s structure has undergone an impressive upgradation ever since it unveiled its first modern skyscraper in 1885 that later went down in history. Over the years, Chicago has been on par with the sky-high trend, producing some of the finest high-rise buildings that any city has ever witnessed such as the John Hancock Tower, the Trump Tower and the gigantic Willis Tower facing the beautiful Lake Michigan.
The heavily populated metropolis of Tokyo swarms with flashy neon lights and towering buildings standing tall under the view of the great Mount Fuji. With the mandatory glowing red lights placed on top of all significantly tall buildings, and a squadron of helicopters soaring through the skies to avoid rush hour traffic, Tokyo’s skyline is the real deal! Surrounded by tons of towers, Tokyo Tower shines bright amongst them all in the centre of the city. The city’s skyscrapers are relatively small due to the risks of earthquakes, but their beauty is unparalleled. At night, the city’s skyline appears stunningly vibrant with Tokyo midtown and Roppongi hills nearby.
The flourishing metropolis of Germany is the only city featuring a skyline filled with towering skyscrapers. The Frankfurt skyline flaunts a total of 5 phenomenal structures that surpass the 200-metre mark. Amongst them, is the unconventional design of the Commerzbank Tower, renowned for its ‘sky-gardens’ and use of eco-friendly technologies, the 331-meter Europaturm observation tower or maybe, the visually pleasing Messeturm with its enormous pyramid peak is also noteworthy.
Taipei flaunts the most ultra-modern skyline in the world. One of the most notable characteristics of this skyline is its advanced appeal, and it has continued to fascinate people over the years. The capital city of Taiwan features some of the most captivating skyscrapers in all of Asia such as the Taipei 101 skyscraper, which is among the tallest skyscrapers in the world, making it in the top 10 list. What makes this Taiwanese wonder truly remarkable are the narrow alleys filled with vintage wooden framed houses on Dihua street, the bustling Raohe night market and Taipei 101’s rooftop park. These charming spots help make Taipei one of the world’s most attractive skylines.