As always, when determining beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. When ranking the most beautiful skylines in the world, the number one city skyline is said to be Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. It is followed by Toronto in Canada, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and New York in the United States.
The only European city among the Top 10 is London. What do all the cities at the top of the list all have in common: plenty of high-rise buildings? Which most likely contributed to their top positions.
The Petronas Twin Towers is probably the most recognizable building on the amazing skyline of Kuala Lumpur. The 88-story structure is 452 meters (1,483 ft.) tall. A recent addition to the Kuala Lumpur skyline is The Exchange 106, previously known as the TRX Signature Tower. It has already surpassed the Petronas Twin Towers in height and is currently 470 meters (1,542 ft.) tall.
The plan is for the building to have 106 stories with a 48-meter, 12-storey-high, illuminated crown at its peak, reaching a maximum height of 492 meters when completed. Other noticeable buildings on the skyline are the Ilham Tower and the Kuala Lumpur Tower, the latter communications tower offering stunning views all around the city.
Head for the top for an open-air view and then look at the surroundings from one of the lower floors. Don’t forget the binoculars and camera.
For fantastic views of the Toronto skyline, aim for Chester Hill Lookout or one of the many parks, e.g., Humber Bay Park, Trillium Park or Riverdale Park.
The CN Tower, which reaches 553 meters (1,814 ft.), is the tallest structure in Toronto. It is not a building as such, but rather a communications and observation tower, with only seven habitable floors in the SkyPod. The First Canadian Place (or First Bank Tower as it previously was known) in the financial district, is Toronto’s and Canada’s tallest building with its 298 meters (978 ft.).
The Adelaide Toronto is the tallest mixed-use building in Canada, followed by Scotia Plaza and the TD Canada Trust Tower. Aura is the tallest and largest residential building/condominium in Canada.
The eye-catching 321-meter (1,053 ft.) tall Burj al Arab, in the shape of a sail of a dhow ship, claims to be the only seven-star hotel in the world. Among other things, it features an underwater restaurant and outdoor tennis court.
The 828-meter tall Burj Khalifa is recognized as the tallest building and manmade structure in the world. It features a swimming pool on the 76th floor and a viewing platform on the 124th floor.
With the Dubai skyline changing almost on a daily basis, and new buildings shooting up, it’s almost impossible suggesting the optimal spot for skyline watching. The two places already mentioned are, of course, excellent for views, but otherwise, head to the Dubai Marina for a walk or a jog, as well as some delicious food and coffee, while taking in the views.
In fourth place is New York. As one returned New Yorker puts it: you can never get bored of the city. When in New York, take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, stop halfway and admire the fantastic skyline in front of you.
One World Trade Center is the tallest building, with its 541 meters (1,776 ft.). It has the same footprint as the Twin Towers. In the second place, comes the 426-meter (1,396 ft.) tall 432 Park Avenue, followed by the Empire State Building with 381 meters (1,250 ft.) — excluding the antenna. Other tall buildings in New York include the Bank of America Tower, the Chrysler Building and the New York Times Building.
Aiming for the Sky
Humankind seems keen on iconic structures, starting as far back as the Great Pyramid of Giza, which was the tallest structure for over 4,000 years before the Lincoln Cathedral was built in the 14th century. At 145 meters and 160 meters, respectively, these are still tiny compared to the current tallest structure in the world: the Burj Khalifa at 828 meters. The Jeddah Tower is currently under construction and if everything goes according to the plans, it should be over 1,000 meters (3,280 ft.) when finished, adding a significant impact to the Jeddah skyline.