Ever since man walked upon the face of the Earth we have been trying to build things as high as we possibly can. Although sometimes it may be because we genuinely run out of horizontal space and are left with no options, it seems that for the most part our primary motivation stems from our egos. Over the course of the last century the title for worlds tallest building has changed hands numerous times and cities today are still trying to one up each other (at the times of this writing the title belongs to Dubai with the Burj Khalifa). This isn’t always a bad thing though especially for those of you who enjoy sightseeing. And if you include yourself in that category this your lucky day because from New York to Hong Kong these are the 25 most beautiful skylines in the world.
25. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
You may be tempted to think you’re seeing a mirage as some of the most modern architecture in the world emerges out of the desert before you and although it has one of the youngest skylines in the world it is also one of the most unique.
24. Shanghai, China
Along with China’s economy, it’s largest city is expanding…rapidly.
23. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Although it doesn’t have the densest skyline in the world but it holds several other records including the tallest twin buildings with the Petronas Towers.
22. Frankfurt, Germany
Unlike other European cities, Frankfurt manages to combine its old school, low rise European architecture with a modern, high rise downtown district .
21. Taipei, Taiwan
As the capital of the Republic of China (commonly referred to as Taiwan) the world’s second tallest building, Taipai 101, rises from the city’s streets.
20. Boston, USA
From a distance, Boston’s skyline is often overlooked due to the fact that it doesn’t have any really tall skyscrapers. Up close though, it’s easy to see why one of America’s oldest cities would be on this list.
19. Panama City, Panama
Without a doubt the most prominent skyline in Central America, Panama City is dotted with modern high rise condos and hotels along its waterfront.
18. Paris, France
With the iconic Eiffel Tower rising out of the background Paris has one of the most recognizable skylines in the world.
17. London, United Kingdom
Although it doesn’t have many high rises, between Parliament, the London Eye, and St. Paul’s Cathedral London has its fair share of distinct features dotting its low profile skyline.
16. Jakarta, Indonesia
On the border of east and west, Jakarta is a land of contrasts with western style skyscrapers and high rises scattered throughout a city that is dominated by traditional Indonesian culture.
15. San Fransisco, USA
Set against a backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge spanning the San Fransisco Bay, San Fran has some of the best nature/city views in North America.
14. Bangkok, Thailand
This rapidly growing city is very similar to Jakarta in that it has a scattered skyline that reflects its chaotic and expanding nature.
13. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the case of Rio de Janeiro it’s not so much the buildings that give it an incredible skyline as much as it is the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue overlooking the city with Sugar Loaf Mountain in the background.
12. Beijing, China
Largely due to hosting the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Beijing underwent a lot of renovation, which included some impressive changes to its skyline.
11. Sydney, Australia
Home to the world famous Sydney Opera House, this city has one of the world’s most famous skylines.
10. Houston, USA
Due to its lack of zoning restrictions, high rises in Houston can be built all over town giving it a slightly more scattered look.
9. Shenzhen, China
In 1970 it was just a tiny fishing village near Hong Kong. Today it is a bustling metropolis with over 6 million residents. With a skyline that is expanding as fast as its population, it shows no sign of slowing.
8. Seattle, USA
With the famous Space Needle Observation Tower silhouetted against the backdrop of Mount Rainier, the Emerald City has a very memorable skyline.
7. Tokyo, Japan
As the financial capital of the eastern world the Tokyo metropolitan area has twice as many people as New York City and it’s skyline reflects it.
6. Toronto, Canada
Dominated by the distinct shape of the CN Tower, Toronto’s skyline is one of the most easily identifiable in the world.
5. Chicago, USA
With three of the tallest twenty buildings in the world, Chicago was one of the first cities to start building towards the sky in the late 1800s.
As one of the cleanest and best-planned cities in the world, Singapore can sometimes seem to be a bit too perfect. Although it has air traffic control restrictions that limit buildings to less than 280 meters in height, it still has one of the most amazing skylines in the world.
3. Seoul, South Korea
More than anywhere else on Earth, Seoul sits right on the border of east and west and its central business district consists of row upon row of high rises.
2. New York City, USA
With 48 buildings rising above 200 meters New York City doesn’t just have the most skyscrapers in the world but they are also some of the most diverse and densely packed.
1. Hong Kong
With four of the tallest 20 skyscrapers in the world set against a mountainous background, Hong Kong’s skyline is a sight to behold. It has even been labeled the “tallest city in the world”.