Buildings with the best city views in the world

por Postcards from IvI

 There are so many ways to explore a new city and get under its skin. Every city has a unique skyline and architecture that defines it. So how about exploring the city from above? Going to the top of a building is a great way to get to know a city from a different perspective. I’ve teamed up with other travel bloggers to show you the buildings with the best city views in the world.

You might also like: 10 architecture masterpieces you can virtually visit


Best views in Asia:

1. Al-Zaytuna Mosque – Tunis, Tunisia


This roof is actually hidden in a tourist shop in the haotic medina of Tunis, capital of Tunisia. I was lucky to have a local with me who knew where to find it, otherwise I don’t think I would have find it.  You can see the whole city, “enjoy” the heatwave and make Instagram worthy pictures with the old town. Even though I’ve visited the skyscrappers from NYC, this view is one of my favorite for its capability of making me feel small in such a human way, rather than a huge robotic concrete.

– Daniela from Jump the Lights

2. Moses Mabhida Stadium – Durban, South Africa

Durban - View From SkyCar platform

Moses Mabhida Stadium is one of the 10 stadiums that was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Stadium is a 106m high and has hosted 7 FIFA World Cup matches, including a semi-final attended by the likes of Paris Hilton, Leonoardo DiCaprio and John Travolta. There is a platform on top of the stadium can be reached by a 2min SkyCar ride or an Adventure Walk with 500 steps to the top. The platform offer a 360deg view of the beautiful Durban City below, and the amazing ocean horizons.

– Lisa and Heather from Klipdrifters

Best views in Asia:

3. Burj Khalifa – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa in Dubai is tagged as the tallest structure in the world. Its observation deck at the 124th floor of the building called At The Top was also the highest in the world but they held this title only for a year. The view from this deck is breathtaking with the whole of the Old Town Dubai at the bottom while the rest of the contrasting sights of modern and old Dubai at the horizon.  

– Naomi Espinosa from Pinay Flying High

For more information read: How to visit Dubai on a budget

4. KL Tower – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


I went up at 9am in the morning and was the only person there. I spent some time taking in the view and absorbing the amazing sites of the city. It was my first day in KL so it was nice to be able to see everything from a different view. I would recommend getting there early before the crowds do. 

– Deasha from Travel ‘n’ Fitness

5. Petronas Towers – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The city of Kuala Lumpur is one that has always intrigued me with its culture and feel. Malaysia, an up and coming country, houses what is an incredible city that is clean, vibrant and exciting. There are plenty of hotspots for visiting within KL, and one of the musts is indeed climbing the remarkable twin towers owned and named by PETRONAS. Stopping at the skybridge at level 41 sees the section where the two towers are connected and include incredible views of the city. From there it is up to level 86, the observation deck, which is where the stunning photo above was taken.’

– Lauren from The Traveller’s Guide By #ljojlo

6. Red Sky Bar – Bangkok, Thailand

Red Sky Bangkok View

Some of the best views of Bangkok can be found from the top of a building, and what’s better than happy hour at a skybox in Bangkok. If your spending a day or maybe 3 days in Bangkok make sure to head to a skybar at least once for sunset for some of the best views of Bankok. One of our favorites is Red Sky Bar Bangkok located on the 55th floor of the Centra Grand Hotel in the Central World mall in the Siam area. They have happy hour daily 4-6pm half priced drinks, but come early to get a good seat.

– Hannah & Adam from Getting Stamped.

7. Sky 100 (International Commerce centre) – Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong

Sky 100 is located on the 100th floor of the Hong Kong’s tallest building ‘The International Commerce Centre (ICC)’. It is an indoor observation deck offering 360-degree views of the spectacular Victoria Harbour. You can walk around the deck and explore Hong Kong’s history and culture imbibed on the walls all around. There is also a well-lit miniature model of Hong Kong’s famous skyline perfectly assorted in the floor, inside a glass cubicle on which you can walk! You cannot afford to miss the silhouette sunset view of the Victoria Harbour from here. There is also a café in which you can have a coffee with the best views of Hong Kong. Also in the lower floors of ICC, you can find many high-end shops to satisfy your shopping woes.

– Ashwini from Hopping Miles.

Best views in Europe:

8. Arc de Triomphe – Paris, France


The steps of Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower offer incredible views of Paris, but my favorite views are from Arc de Triomphe. The triumphal arc celebrates those who fought for France in the Napoleonic War and the names of generals and soldiers are inscribed.  After climbing 40 steps, you’re rewarded with 360 degree views at the top of the roof terrace. Twelve avenues all meet at the Arc and it was beautiful seeing Paris’ linear topography.  Even the trees were in a straight line!

– Danielle from The Thought Card.

For more information read: Where to stay in Paris: best areas and hotels

9. Florence Cathedral (Santa María del Fiore) – Florence, Italy


You’ll have to put in a bit of work to get this view. It’s 463 steep steps from the ground to the cupola of the Duomo. You’ll get a brief break from the stairs as you walk around the inside of cupola and can stop to admire the frescoes. Then it’s even narrower stairs as you walk between the two dome structure of the Duomo. The smaller dome helps hold up the larger dome. The last step brings you outside on the cupola, which you can walk all the way around to see Florence in every direction. This is my favorite view with Santa Croce and the mountains in the distance.

– Erin from Travel well with Erin

10. Old Town Hall – Prague, Czech Republic


 Being an avid photographer, I never miss an opportunity to take panoramic shots from high places – even if it means going up steep hills or ten flights of stairs. When I was in Prague last September, I made sure I got to climb every hill and tower (well, almost) to capture the city’s old-world beauty. Every spot offered spectacular views of the city, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the Old Town Hall. 

 Famous for its 600-year-old astronomical clock, the Old Town Hall is located right in the heart of the city’s historic centre, overlooking the imposing Tyn Church. Its 59-metre-tall tower treats visitors to 360 degree views of Prague, but the best thing about the building is that you don’t need to sweat your way to the top – there’s a lift that takes you straight up to the viewpoint!

Daniela from Grumpy Camel

For more information read: What to do in Prague in 2 days

11. Perlan – Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland Reykjavik

Perlan (ThePearl) stands at almost 85 feet tall in Reykjavik and was designed by Ingimundur Sveinsson. It sits on a hill in the city and was originally just a place to store hot water tanks. In 1991 a glass dome was added to the top which is now home to exhibition space, a fancy revolving restaurant and a range of shops. The view of the city is absolutely breath taking, we visited in the midst of Winter and the monochrome landscape and crisp cold air was starkly beautiful and serene.

Cat from Rock and Roll Pussycat.

12. Sky Garden – London, UK


London Sky Garden is the best place to get a 360 view of the city for free!  A trip to the Sky Garden bar is at no cost, and drinks start a 8 pounds. The views of the city are spectacular and not to be missed.  The facility also hosts daily morning yoga and has several restaurants. If you want to visit, you can book a reservation in advance and skip the line.

Megan from Travel Elsewhere

Looking for free things to do in London? Read The best free museums to visit in London.

13. The Shard – London, UK

The Shard London

The Shard is the tallest skyscraper to grace the London skies. It is also the tallest building in the European Union. The spire-like structure appears to emerge from the River Thames and boasts spectacular 360-degree views of London. There is an indoor viewing gallery on Level 69 and an open-air viewing gallery on the 72nd floor. Interactive audio guides and strategically-positioned Tell:Scopes enable guests to see London by day and night and provide information on over 200 landmarks in 10 languages. You can also use the wi-fi “in the sky” to share your experience on social media.

Sara from In Africa and Beyond. 

Best views in North America:

14. Empire State – New York, United States


New York is an amazing city – and you get a true sense of the scale when you look out from the top of the Empire State Building!

Vicki Garside from Make time to see the world

For more information read: Best things to do in New York City

15. Hancock Tower – Chicago, United States

Why wait in line and spend $22 per person to see Chicago from the Willis Tower when you can enjoy a more stunning view and a cocktail at the Hancock Tower?  The Willis Tower observation deck might be 7 floors higher, but the Signature Lounge is free of admission charge and there’s rarely a line.  An express elevator takes you to the 96th floor, where you can enjoy a drink and soak in the view.  There’s also a lovely restaurant if you want to stay longer and have dinner.  From this height, you can see all of Chicago, Lake Michigan and even down to Indiana.
– Richard from Our Family Travel Adventures


16. US Bank Tower Building – Los Angeles, United States

Los Angeles

Both the Skyslide Terrace and the Hollywood Terrace are the tallest open-air observation decks in California. From these terraces one can pick out icons and landmarks bothman-made and natural in all directions. Stand freely in the open air and gaze over the now dwarfed height of city Hall (once the tallest building in Los Angeles), check outthe large parking lot at Dodger Stadium, watch traffic call up to downtown on the 110, this same traffic head west on the 10 or merge with the 5 or the 101. Immediatelyglance down from the Hollywood Terrace onto the beautiful open air plaza next to the Bonaventure Hotel and admire the outdoor pool or those sunbathing here – then move yourself to the Skyslide Terrace and gaze south.

– Dave from Dave’s Travel Corner

17. Top of the Rock – New York, United States

For the most stunning view of NYC, I would definitely go to the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center. At the top of this historic landmark you get a 360-degree panoramic view that actually includes the iconic building of the city: Empire State Building. You’ll get a spectacular view from 70 floors up.

– Ivana from Postcards from Ivi

18. Washington Monument – Washington DC, United States


You can honestly see all of Washington, DC from the top of the Washington Monument. Within seconds, you can go from looking at the White House to looking at the Capitol Building to looking at the Lincoln Memorial and the Tidal Basin. An elevator takes you up and down, but goes slower on the way down so you can see the tiles on the inside which were donated from various cities and organisations. It’s such an incredible experience (and feels patriotic for Americans, too!).
Kelly from A pair of passports

Best views in South America:


19. Galería Güemes – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires

Classical buildings in Buenos Aires are a mix of styles (particularly French and Italian) and the majority of them were built in the neoclassical style. But the real magic of Buenos Aires architecture happens above us! The buildings in Microcentro are usually topped by beautiful cupolas. Galería Güemes is definitely the best spot to admire them, and also see some of the city modern buildings. At the 14th floor of this building you get to the “mirador” (lookout point) with an amazing 360º vista. When you are in BA, remember to look up!

-Ivana from Postcards from Ivi.

20. Martinelli Building – Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo Brazil

The Martinelli Building has amazing views over downtown Sao Paulo in Brasil from its 30th floor.  It was the first skyscraper in Sao Paolo and built by an Italian immigrant in 1934, Giuseppe Martinelli.  When people were afraid such a tall building would be unsafe, Martinelli built himself a villa at the top of the building so he could live there himself.  At one point, it was also the tallest building in South America.  It’s free entrance but the hours are limited to 4 hours a day (weekdays only).  

Shobha from Just Go Places

21. Palacio Barolo – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires

While in Buenos Aires, I visited hell, purgatory and heaven all in one day. For that matter, it was all in one building. The Palacio Barolo building went up in 1923 as a Dante’s Inferno construct. The basement and first floor are Hell. The middle floors are Purgatory. And the top floor lighthouse? Well it’s just Heaven.  The building offers a 360’ view of sprawling Buenos Aires. The view gave me a surprising appreciation for the complex scale of Buenos Aires which I couldn’t have gotten at ground level. Heavenly.

– Carol from Wayfaring Views.

Have you visited any of these buildings? I’d also love to hear what’s your favourite building with the best city view! Leave a comment and let me know 🙂

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Nils April 22, 2020 - 4:47 pm

Great list, Ivi. I’ve only been on 3 of the buildings yet. One thing: I just saw that you still have Notre Dame as part of the list…maybe it’s worth to give it a small update.
Anyways, thanks for the great post though!!

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Rosemary October 27, 2016 - 11:58 am

What amazing views. I’ve enjoyed a couple of spectacular views from the Arc de Triomphe, Hancock Tower, Empire State building, and Notre Dame. I’m currently in Bangkok and will certainly check out the Red Sky Bar. Thanks for the tip about happy hour!!

Melissa Douglas October 27, 2016 - 10:26 am

Great post! I’ve been to a few of these. I really can’t wait to visit Dubai and the Burj Khalifa!

Postcards from IvI November 24, 2016 - 1:51 pm

Can’t wait to visit Dubai too!

Melissa | Parenthood and Passports October 26, 2016 - 6:37 pm

What a cool post! I’ve climbed/visited a lot of these (Florence was my favorite) but so many have now been added to the list. Other great ones include the Scott Monument in Edinburgh, and the Milan Duomo.

Postcards from IvI November 24, 2016 - 1:52 pm

Would have been great to have them included as well! I really want to visit Florence

Brown Gal Trekker October 26, 2016 - 6:01 pm

Beautiful shots from buildings. I am usually trekking up mountains and taking photos from there. Some of these places I’ve been to but didn’t bother to check out the skyline. Awesome collection of cities!

MARINA October 26, 2016 - 3:17 pm

Nice post! I do always try to get a bird view of every city I visit! I think it helps me to understand it better… the way it’s organized, its shame, etc.

I would add a couple more though.. in Paris you have the “Tour Montparnasse”, the most-hated building in Paris where to get the best views from the city. Most say that’s why you can not see the tower itself as you are standing on it! 🙂

Another one is from Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavik, right in the city centre, where to enjoy all the city colored buildings!

Congrats for the article!

Postcards from IvI November 24, 2016 - 1:53 pm

Hallgrimskirkja church views are amazing! I’ve seen pictures from it, can’t wait to visit! Thank you 🙂

Carmy October 26, 2016 - 3:09 pm

Amazing views! Always the higher the better! New York is def my favourite 🙂

Joanna October 26, 2016 - 2:14 pm

I have been lucky to study at the Shard this summer and even if I’ve spent some time there, I couldn’t get bored of that beautiful view. In my opinion, the best view from the Shard is from the lower floors because London is not a tall city and by going to the top you can’t really see that much, especially if the weather is not great.

Postcards from IvI November 24, 2016 - 1:54 pm

That’s true.. London weather doesn’t help with the views. Love The Shard and London’s modern architecture

Sassy October 26, 2016 - 1:05 pm

Such an awesome list! New York’s empire state is at the top for me right now, wish I could visit that spot soon!

Postcards from IvI November 24, 2016 - 1:56 pm

You will for sure! And don’t miss the top of the rock, it has the best Empire State views 😉

Faith Coates October 26, 2016 - 11:18 am

well there’s a few more places to add to my bucket list, I have accomplished some of them but others are just mind blowing and a must do.

Amber October 26, 2016 - 11:14 am

Great collection! New York City is one of my favorite places! I interned in NYC one summer and the office was near Rockefeller Center. I had no idea the viewing deck had such a great view!

Nicole October 26, 2016 - 10:59 am

I love this! Thank you for sharing all the places around the world 🙂

Postcards from IvI November 24, 2016 - 1:56 pm

I’m glad you like it! Thank you 🙂

Vincent Klavetter August 8, 2016 - 6:59 am


Postcards from IvI September 6, 2016 - 11:33 am


Hannah @GettingStamped August 4, 2016 - 12:11 am

So many amazing buildings for me to get on top of yet in the world!!

Postcards from IvI August 9, 2016 - 11:34 am

Yes! Really awesome buildings to see cities. Thanks for the contribution!

Comments are closed.

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