There are skyscrapers, and then there are these buildings. The tallest buildings in the world tower over every building around them and some are even higher than the clouds, as they head skyward thousands of feet into the air. They are amazing feats of engineering and design to make sure they don’t collapse, and they seem to keep getting higher and higher every time someone builds something new. But while the buildings themselves are stunning to look at, they also offer some of the best man-made views possible.
Most of these tall buildings have observation outlooks, so it’s perfectly safe for people to ride the escalator up and get an amazing view of the city and beyond from high up in the sky. We definitely suggest taking the escalator and avoid the thousands of stairs up some of the highest buildings in the world. From up high, be above the clouds, see miles into the distance, or if you’re not afraid, look down, and see some of the most amazing sights. There is definitely a reason to head up as high as possible, and with these man-made buildings, it’s possible to get the views only imaginable from a mountain, but in the heart of a major cityscape.
25 Burj Khalifa
The world’s tallest building deserves the top spot on this list and for good reason. The Burj Khalifa is a massive, 2,717-foot building with 163 stories. Located in Dubai, the tower was completed in 2010 and offers an amazing view from anywhere.
It truly is higher than the clouds, but in this photo, it’s also a pretty amazing view of just how tall it is compared to the other buildings around it.
It’s not even close, but still beautiful with the water and cityscape. Getting a panoramic view from this high up could encompass the entire city.
24 Princess Tower
If this doesn’t scare someone, not sure what will. Perhaps the highest selfie, these photographers climbed to the very top of the Princess Tower in Dubai, which is the 29th highest building in the world, and over 101 floors.
It’s simply an amazing scene from this high up, if you’re willing to climb that high that is.
The third highest building in Dubai offers a stunning view of the coastline, the man-made Palm Island, and way in the background on the far right, there is the seven-star hotel, Burj Al Arab.
23 Canton Tower
The Canton Tower is the fourth highest free-standing structure in the world and was China’s tallest structure at one point. The Canton Tower is made for observation, as the public observatory is on the rooftop, which is 449 meters high, making it the highest observation deck in the world, until it was overtaken in 2014.
This photo shows the passenger cars that travel around on top of a track around the tower’s roof, giving a full view of the city. That’s right, it’s pretty much a Ferris wheel on top of a skyscraper.
22 Guangzhou International Finance Center
So far everything on this list has looked outside the tallest buildings in the world, but when it comes to the Guangzhou International Finance Center, it’s worth taking a look inside for a stunning picture. That’s because the center was created with a unique structural system that allowed for column-free floor plates.
This picture is actually of the tower's glass atrium, which can be seen from the bottom of the tower since there are no columns to get in its way. And considering it is the 23rd highest building at 1,440 feet, that’s an amazing feat to accomplish in the design.
21 Abraj Al Bait Towers
The Abraj Al Bait Towers have a few records to their name. It is the world's largest clock face, it is the third-tallest building and it's also the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world. Located in the city of Mecca, the building is clearly the tallest structure in the city, but it’s the spire that gets plenty of attention.
The crescent moon spire sits on top of the building and it adds another 75 feet on its own.
That is where this photo is taken, inside that crescent moon, where there is no observation deck, so it’s truly a stunning photo that was captured by a drone, showing off one of the most amazing cities in the world.
20 Zifeng Tower
The Zifeng Tower located in Nanjing, China is tied for the 18th tallest building in the world at 1,476 feet. Its spire rises up to that level and is where a few people have decided to climb to get some amazing photos, such as this one, that show that nothing rivals it nearby.
What’s even scarier is that someone in that photo seems to be climbing the ledge to try and get to the highest point.
Either way, it’s still an amazing photo showing the point the building comes to, as opposed to a giant rooftop.
19 Shanghai World Financial Center
The Jin Mae Tower was mentioned in another entry, and here is the actual tower standing at 1,380 feet. That’s right, this photo is looking down on it. That’s because it was taken inside the Shanghai World Financial Center, which is the 11th largest building in the world at 1,614 feet and the second highest in Shanghai, whereas the Jin Mao Tower is the third.
It’s always amazing when two of the world’s tallest buildings are side by side, both unique in design, and one towering over the other at these kinds of heights.
18 Shanghai Tower
The third largest structure in the world and the second largest building in the world is the Shanghai Tower, one of only three structures to be over 2,000 feet tall. As the tallest building in Shanghai, China, it’s no question that photos such as these can show the rooftops of neighboring skyscrapers.
Shanghai Tower has 128 floors and the observation deck, in which this photo was taken, is on the 108 floor.
For reference, other than the Shanghai Tower, there are only eight other buildings in the world that have 108 floors or more.
17 Ping An Finance Centre
The fourth tallest building in the world is the Ping An Finance Centre, located in Shenzhen, China. It’s 1,965 feet high and shares the record for the highest observation deck in the world on a building at 562 meters.
This photo is just above the building and not on the observation deck, and it looks as if the building is flat on the roof.
But that is actually a glass pyramid, and it’s amazing to see just how high it is compared the buildings around it.
16 Ostankino Tower
Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Russia was at one point the world’s tallest free-standing structure until overtaken in 1975. Now it ranks 11th on the list at a height of 1,772 feet.
The radio tower includes an observation deck, which allows for stunning views of the Russian capital, including this sunrise photo in the early morning with the sun coming up and snow on the ground.
You can even make out all the chimneys producing smoke, which at the time of this photo, still hadn’t reached as high as the tower does.
15 CN Tower
The CN Tower in Toronto, Canada was at one point, the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years before it was bested in 2007. It then was the world’s largest tower for two more years.
It still remains the ninth tallest free-standing structure in the world and the observation decks and panoramic views are amazing, giving an amazing view of the city.
But it’s this winter photo of Lake Ontario that is the most stunning, with the frozen ice extended far out from the shoreline before turning back into blue water in the distance.
14 Jin Mao Tower
Coming in at 1,380 feet, the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, China is the 28th tallest building in the world, but just the 14th tallest in all of China. Even in Shanghai, it’s just the third tallest building in the city, but that still doesn’t take away from the amazing view this photo shows, showing off just how tall the building is, which at one point, was the tallest hotel in the world.
Considering how many skyscrapers Shanghai has, having over 10 of them lined up in this photo is the perfect showcase for just how tall the building is.
13 Willis Tower
The Willis Tower is perhaps known best as the Sears Tower, but the name was changed when Sears sold the building. It’s the tallest building in Chicago and the second tallest building in the United States, coming in at 1,450 feet.
That puts it at 21st overall in the world.
The Windy City probably has new meaning when up this high, but a look at this photo shows just how beautiful the view down can be, especially at night with Chicago streets and surrounding buildings all lit up.
12 Empire State Building
The Empire State Building in New York City is the 42nd tallest building in the world, coming in at 1,250 feet.
Just for reference, it will take two Empire State Buildings to make up the number-one on this list.
But one thing that makes one of the highest buildings in New York so amazing is the view it gives you of Manhattan, and for that matter, of all of New York City. When people think of New York, they think of the Empire State Building, and as this photo shows, there are plenty of amazing man-made structures to look at in one of the biggest cities in the world.
11 JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Tower
This photo is of the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Tower. This list is supposed to be views from the building, not of the building, but the thing is, this is the view from the building. This view is from Tower 1, facing the twin Tower 2.
The two towers are located in Dubai, a city that is making a name for itself in the tall building world. The two towers are tied for 53rd overall in the world for tallest buildings at 1,166 feet and is the world’s second highest hotel that has over 1,600 rooms.
10 International Commerce Centre
The 12th largest building in the world is the International Commerce Center in Hong Kong at a height of 1,588 feet. It’s the tallest building in Hong Kong, which is evident by this photo from the top of it as it towers over the rest of the skyscrapers in the area.
It showcases the growth of Hong Kong and the number of tall buildings they have, but nothing compares to the International Commerce Center, which at one point, was the fourth highest building in the world.
9 KK 100
Most large buildings are located in the middle of a large city center with nothing but other large buildings around them. KK 100, the 22nd tallest building in the world, which is located in Shenzhen, China, is no different, but the view offers the best of both worlds.
In this picture, the city rises up from the ground, but then like a clean break, the river stops the city in its tracks and then a beautiful mountain range takes over. It’s nice that on KK 100 tourists can get a feel of nature, even when deep inside the city.
8 Petronas Twin Towers
The Petronas Twin Towers are a pair of towers that stand 1,483 feet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They have 88 floors each and were finished in 1998, making them the tallest buildings in the world until 2004.
This picture here is interesting because it is taken on the walkway that connects the two towers together, on floor 41t and 42nd floors, known as the Skyridge for good reason, as it is 558 feet off the ground.
On either side is one of the two twin towers, and in front is a marvelous city landscape that is towered over by the Petronas Twin Towers.
7 One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the United States and the sixth largest building in the world, towering over the lower Manhattan skyline in New York City at 1,776 feet.
In fact, the reason the height is 1,776 is that that is the year the Declaration of Independence was signed.
So it would seem only fitting that such an important building in New York City have an amazing view, as see here, which overlooks the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge that stretches the East River.
6 Al Hamra Tower
This picture may look like a computer rendering, but it isn’t. It’s actually from a drone that is above the 30th highest building in the world, the Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait City, Kuwait. So what is so impressive about this photo?
Well, for starters, the drone had to fly over 1,354 feet to get above t Al Hamra Tower, which has one of the most interesting architectural designs in all the buildings in the world.
Its wrapped glass design was included on the list of top inventions for Time Magazine in 2011. And how often does anyone get to see the top of one of the world’s tallest buildings?