Exploring the city on foot and getting lost in a maze of streets is all part of discovering a new city.
However, there’s also nothing quite like seeing a city from above, particularly a huge metropolis like New York, Paris, London, Shanghai or Sydney.
Escape the bustle of the pavements and rise above the urban fabric of the city thanks to an iconic skyscraper with a breath-taking view. If you’re a vertigo sufferer or a sensitive soul, stay away. Here is our selection of the world’s top 10 skyscrapers with breathtaking views.
Dubai – Burj Khalifa Tower
Climb to the top of the world and touch the sky from the top of one of the skyscrapers around the globe, the Burj Khalifa. With a certain excessiveness (830 meters high), you’re in for a treat. Its façade (an arrow) symbolises “the only light in the desert” and gives you an idea of what awaits you.
Once inside, an astonishing trip begins. This skyscraper, which took just 6 years to build, has broken a string of records. There’s no need to aim for the 163rd floor, a stop at the 148th is enough. The tower’s 57 lifts will take you to this floor in record time.
At a speed of 18 m/s, two of them are also the fastest in the world. Up there, at 555 meters above sea level, the largest platform in the world awaits you. At 124 meters tall, At The Top Burj Khalifa Sky offers the most impressive panoramic views of Dubai.
New York – Empire State Building
Like King Kong on one of the skyscrapers around the globe, climb to the top of the Empire State Building, located in Manhattan, between 33rd and 34th Street. The Empire State Building stands before you, just like it does on the silver screen, at 443 meters high. Its Art Deco style has attracted over 110 million visitors, including the Queen of England.
Once inside, you’ll set out to conquer its 102 floors. The more athletic among you will be keen on climbing the 1860 accessible stairs. Otherwise, taking one of the 73 lifts will be the most practical option.
In 45 seconds, you will have ascended 80 floors. At the top, two observatories await you. Whether you’re on the 86th floor or the 102nd floor, they both offer you a 360° view of New York. From the top of the most iconic skyscrapers in the city, you are in the heart of New York.
London – The Shard Tower Bridge
In London, the new symbol of the Skyline measures 310 meters and is called The Shard. Shaped like a shard of glass, it offers a whole new thrill to be harnessed. Your adventure begins on the south bank of the Thames, in the borough of Southwark.
Start slowly with one of the 44 ultra-fast lifts (6m/s) to ascend to the 68th floor, and enjoy the expo that takes place there.
Continue your ascent to the 72nd floor. You are now at the observatory, The View from the Shard, at an altitude of 244 meters. Now you can enjoy a spectacular 360° view of the English capital, up to a radius of 60 km. In one glance, you’ll see all of London. In one glance, you are (almost) at the top of Europe.
Sydney – Sydney Tower Eye
Put your head in the stars of Sydney, at one of our favourite skyscrapers around the globe.
Explore Sydney and its surroundings from the top of Sydney Tower Eye. At 309 meters high, you’ll enjoy a complete view of the city.
You’ll reach an altitude of 260 meters. Its lifts on two levels will propel you up to the top floor in just 40 seconds. Here, you’ll be able to access the observation deck.
The walk takes 45 minutes, during which you walk along a glass floor. Vertigo is guaranteed.
Paris – Montparnasse Tower
Discover the French city’s highest building, standing at 210 meters tall. Head for the Necker district, in front of the station. To reach the top of the Montparnasse tower, you don’t need to climb the façade with your bare hands, like Alain Robert did, here, the lifts do the hard work for you.
There are 25 lifts in total, that will ascend up 56 floors in just 38 seconds, making it a European record. Up this high, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Paris and all its monuments.
However, if you feel like climbing up a bit more, you can go up another three floors, this time on foot. The terrace that you’ll find there will be your ultimate reward.