One of the best ways to feel on top of the world is to head above some of the world’s greatest monuments, cities and natural wonders and get a look of them from above. A bird’s eye view if you will, will give you the type of view only a select few people will ever get to see. It will offer a totally different perspective than what anyone would normally think of and make them appreciate these things even more. Think of the wonders of the world and what they look like from the ground. Well that’s just one view of them and one way of seeing them, and most people don’t even think of taking a look from above.
It can make us feel pretty humble to get the entire scope of size of some of the largest monuments, cities, mountains and parks in the world and what they look like from above. We can learn to appreciate their size, their structure and the engineering it took to build them. So check out this list and these photos and make yourself feel on top of the world by seeing some of the most amazing things this world has to offer from an entirely different angle: from above.
30 Burj Khalifa
If you have any issues looking down and if you are afraid of heights than the Burj Khalifa is definitely not the place to be. But for a humbling look at man-made structures and to really feel on top of the world, then the tallest building in the world is the place to be. The Burj Khalifa opened in 2010 and according to the Wall Street Journal, has been the tallest building in the world since 2008, coming in at over 2,717 feet.
29 Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Mecca is perhaps the most important city in Islam, as it is considered the birthplace of Muhammad. This photo is a stunning shot of the Abraj Al Bait, which has the world’s largest clock face, according to the Daily Telegraph, and is the fifth tallest freestanding structure in the world, coming in at over 1,972 feet. This photo also shows the Great Mosque of Mecca, which is the largest Mosque in the world. If that doesn’t make you feel on top of the world looking down on these two massive structures, we don’t know what will.
28 Blue Lagoon, Iceland
When you see this light blue lagoon from above, you think how nice it would be to be into the hot steamy waters enjoying your best friend’s company. This geothermal spa is located near a lava field near Grindavik. According to Iceland's Energy lessons, the warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur which helps people who have skin diseases. So, if you have the odd rash or skin problem, you might as well fly to Iceland and jump in their blue lagoon.
27 Grand Canyon, Arizona
Looking from above and you take a moment to think, how can a river such as the Colorado River help shape the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long and 18 miles wide. According to the Geologic Formation archives, nearly two billion years ago, the Earth's geological history has been exposed as the famous river helped lift the canyon each time as the river passed through. So, it’s odd to say that one famous landmark helped out another famous landmark and continues to do that today.
Most people don’t get to see Stonehenge from this angle, as most photos are from above, but you get to see the true scope of how large this rock formation is, and what the design is like when you consider the hilltop it is on. It does appear from this angle that some of the rocks have toppled over, but it should make you wonder how they got these massive rocks in place in such a remote area. According to the BBC, the standing stones are each 13 feet high and weigh around 25 tons each.
25 Arc de Triomphe
This stunning photo of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France shows how the Arc is the center of attention in the city of lights, as this part of the city is literally being built around it. The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought for France during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War 1. Today, it is one of the most famous monuments in all of Paris, with an overall height of 164 feet.
24 The Great Pyramids
One of the great wonders of the world are the Great Pyramids, which normally people see in photos from the ground. But in this photo from above, you get a different perspective of the pyramids and can marvel at how big each individual one is beside each other. The largest of the three is known as the Great Pyramid of Giza, and it was built in 2560 BC at over 481 feet high. It was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years, which is amazing to think of, considering they didn’t have the machines we have today. That should be enough to keep anyone humble about the buildings in the world.
23 Central Park
Of all the parks in the United States, Central Park may be the most famous of them all, despite the fact that it is only the fifth largest park in New York City, according to the New York Times, covering over 843 acres of land. In this photo, it is simply beautiful to see the park just placed in the middle of a massive city, with skyscrapers growing around it. The park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, and in 2017 it made the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
22 Venice, Italy
When we picture Venice, Italy, we picture gondolas paddling up the city streets, a romantic spot for any young couple. We see water running alongside houses, but we often don’t consider how that looks across the entire city. In this photo, it’s humbling to see how a city was built, literally around water. According to UNESCO, the city is situated across a grouping of 118 small islands, separated by the canals and linked by over 400 bridges. You don’t need to be down in the canals to think this is a beautiful city.
This majestic monument makes you wonder out of all places in the world why the gods chose Athens as their home away from home. According to the British Museum Magazine, the Acropolis is located on a flattish-topped rock that rises 150 meters above sea level in the city of Athens. It is a known fact that the appearance of this structure and other structures surrounding this historical place have been restored over time. As the restoration continues, millions of visitors visit each year.
20 Mount Everest
This famous mountain has been climbed more times than you can count on a single hand. According to Alpine scents, the current elevation to the mountain is 29,029 feet, making it the highest peak in the world. So, it makes it impressive in the 2017-2018 climbing season, 22 teams were successful in reaching the top of the summit. With all that being said, since the first expedition began back in 1955, there have been many failed attempts as people try and get to the literal, top of the world.
19 Malé, Maldives
The first thing that comes to mind is wow! This city is on an island. Malé, Maldives is not only the capital to this gorgeous country but the most populous city in the Republic of Maldives. With a population of 134,000 people, this city of one of the most densely populated cities in the world. According to Statistics Maldives, this overpopulated city was once called the King’s Island, in which the ancient dynasties ruled and where the palace was located.
Looking down and getting a glimpse from above and all that you see is multiple houses all the same color. White frames and blue roofs, it’s no wonder Santorini, Greece makes you feel like you’re on top the world. Being one of the largest islands just off the southern coast of Greece's mainland, Santorini was once formed by volcanoes which helped formed this single island according to the Greece Ministry of Interior. It’s one of the most visited places in Greece, mostly for their beautiful sunsets.
17 Willis Tower
Once called the Sears Tower, Willis Tower gives you a glimpse of the beauty that Chicago has to offer. Standing at 110 stories high, the tower held its names for the tallest building in the world for nearly 25 years. According to the Independent, Willis tower is now the second tallest building in the United States, passed only by the World Trade Center in New York. It gets more than one million visitors to its observation deck each year, making it one of Chicago’s most popular tourist destination.
16 The Vatican
This photo is from the roof of St. Peter’s Basilica, looking down on St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. It’s amazing to think that the Vatican is not actually a city, but an entire country, located inside the city of Rome, Italy. According to the World Factbook, the Vatican is just 110 acres and has a population of 1,000 people, making it the smallest state in the world in both area and population. It’s home to the pope, and the Square can hold hundreds of thousands of people for prayer. It’s pretty amazing to see from above.
15 Taj Mahal
Normally you see the view of the Taj Mahal from in front of it, but this photo, taken from above, shows the size of the hall and that it is virtually alone in the landscape. The complex is massive on its own, coming in at over 42 acres, and it is made out of ivory-white marble. In 1983, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being the jewel of the Muslim art in India. According to UNESCO, it averages between seven and eight million visitors a year.
14 Christ The Redeemer
This man has perhaps the best view of Rio de Janeiro anyone could ask for, as he is looking down upon the city from the shoulder of the Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the city. The statue, according to the Travel Channel, is 97 feet high and has an arm span of 92 feet, making nearly as long as it is high. On top of that, it sits on the peak of the 2,300-foot Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park.
13 Niagara Falls, Canada and the United States
Thousands of gallons of water run down the Niagara Falls each year. Nothing can make you feel like you are on top of the world when you are looking from above three beautiful waterfalls that separate Canada and the United States. According to the city of Niagara Falls profile, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America that has a vertical drop of more than 160 feet. For both Canadian and American sides of the border, the falls saw over 28 million tourists this year.
12 Denali, Alaska
It is named the highest mountain peak in North America. Delani which is also formerly known as Mount Mckinley stole the hearts of so many climbers who reached the summit and got this amazing view. According to U.S. Government Publishing Office, Denali has an elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. Located in the Alaska Range, the mountain is regularly climbed and over 58 percent of people who have tried to reach the summit has succeeded. Climbers usually take about two to three weeks to complete the journey.
11 Eiffel Tower, Paris France
Paris makes a second appearance on this list, this time from the top of the world-famous Eiffel Tower. This view is from the third-floor observation deck, overlooking the beautiful city of Paris. You can definitely tell that the Eiffel Tower is meant to be the centerpiece of this city, as the large park in front and the houses seem to form a pathway leading to the tower’s face. According to the official Eiffel Tower website, it was built as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, and oddly enough it was criticized for its design, before becoming a cultural icon of France. That should make any feel humble about any design they do, that even if someone doesn’t like it, there is a possibility that it can become the next great icon of a nation.
10 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The view from the side of Victoria Falls doesn’t do it justice. You have to see it from above to get the full impact of just how amazing and beautiful it really is. It isn’t considered the highest or widest waterfall in the world, but according to Reader’s Digest, it is classified as the largest, based on a combination of width and height, as the falls span 5,604 feet long, which is over twice the size of the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls. From above, it looks like the Earth opened up to take in all the water, a humbling, yet beautiful site to see.
9 Machu Picchu, Peru
It’s an interesting place to put a citadel, as Machu Picchu is located 7,970 feet above sea level, above the Sacred Valley in Peru. It is familiar with the Inca civilization and most believe it was built for the emperor at the time. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a lot of the architecture has been restored in order for visitors to come and see. It’s an amazing look at 15th-century architecture, but more importantly, it’s amazing to think that this was built on top of a mountain so many hundreds of years ago. It’s why, according to the World Heritage Council, that it was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
8 Bac Son Valley, Vietnam
Every shade of Green is what you will get when you go to the Bac Son Valley in Vietnam. This small village doesn’t have a lot in terms of physical buildings, but when you look at these peaks looking over the lush green farms, it’s as pretty as any big city with massive skyscrapers is, and would be perfect for a quiet relaxing stay. According to Vietnam census numbers, the area has a population of 65,000 people and covers 689 square kilometers. Photos like this should keep us humble, as they remind us that life can sometimes be simple.
7 Las Vegas
The famous Las Vegas strip stands out pretty easily in this photo, but perhaps what is more interesting is the rows of houses that are around it, showing many people that Las Vegas is more than just a bunch of casinos and tourist traps. In fact, Vegas is the 28th most populated city in the United States, the most populated in the state of Nevada, and obviously, the entertainment capital of the world. The estimated population is over 2.2 million people. In fact, the famous strip isn’t even in Las Vegas, it’s in Clark County and is 4.2 miles in length. All bright lights, hopes, dreams and big mega-casinos.
6 Sun City, Arizona
Sun City could be renamed Pinwheel City, as the four main residential hubs of the city have been made to look like pinwheels. The city, located in Arizona, has a population of 37,500 people as of the 2010 census, and is mostly a retirement community for snowbirds, with plenty of mobile homes. From above, it’s a genius way of planning a city around main hubs and having it look impressive from the air when people fly above. And with buffer zones of green space, it’s a quiet area that more cities should look at when planning future developments.
5 London, England
London, England looks simply amazing from above, but even more so is the Tower Bridge, which crosses the River Thames. As you can see in this photo, it is the only one that crosses the river, although there are four others, but it looks simply grand with its lights on and being the single crossing available over some distance. According to the Tower Bridge website, the bridge consists of two bridge towers tied together by two horizontal walkways. The bridge can lift to allow boats to pass underneath when needed, and each day over 40,000 people cross the bridge.
4 Cape Town
From the southern tip of Africa comes the coast of Cape Town, which in 2014 was named the best place in the world to visit by both the New York Times and the Daily Telegraph. From this photo, do you really need any reason to not go? The shoreline is vast and beautiful, the mountains offer great views and it’s one of the lowest points in Africa. Many ships wishing to sail to India or East Africa have to pass by, and this port city is known for being a multicultural city.
3 Moscow, Russia
This photo is above Moscow, the capital of Russia, and may look a lot different than what you think a capital city of the largest country in the world would look like. It’s lacking the massive skyscrapers all over that you may expect in a large city, except for the cluster in the middle, which is known as the Moscow International Business Center. According to the Design Building Network, between 250,000 and 300,000 people will be working or living in that complex when it is completed, and in total, 17 million people call Moscow home.
2 Chefchaouen, Morocco
Chefchaouen, Morocco is famous for their blue houses, but you really don’t get the full scope of how many houses there are that are this color unless you see it from above. This blue pearl city is a stunning gem in Greece, and according to Vogue, the houses are painted blue because when the city was heavily populated by Jewish people, they maintained the color blue and painted it for religious reasons. Today, it just looks amazing, and it’s so different to see a city that is 50 shades of blue, as opposed to your standard rooftops.
1 Dragon's Backbone Rice Field
The Longsheng Rice Terrace in China are actually man-made, built over 650 years ago, according to People’s Daily, and were built on the riverside of the mountaintop, 2,000 to 2,600 feet above sea level. They have the unique nickname of being called the Dragon’s Backbone, due to their design, which from above, you can fully see is a beautiful sight. These fields are so important, though, to China’s rice production, as rice grows during the spring and summer, as in early June, water is pumped over the entire field for the rice plants to grow.