Dave and I have seen a lot of the best skylines in the world when visiting the most beautiful cities on earth.
We’ve actually been to all the skylines of the world listed in this post.
We don’t have to use stock photos like the other city skyline lists we’ve seen around the web because we have an album of our own city pictures from our travels. City skylines are one of Dave’s favourite things to photograph.
The Best City Skylines That Dave and Deb have been to
We can attest that the cities below have the most unique, and interesting skylines in the world. How do we know, we’ve been to 110 countries over the past 20 years of travel.
1. Hong Kong – China
Hong Kong is definitely our favourite skyline on earth. There are skyscrapers everywhere.
And highrises can be viewed from several different angles.
The top of the Peak Tram is our favourite city view of Hong Kong followed by the skyline view from Kowloon.
Each night Hong Kong puts on a light display to show off its stunning skyline.
The best places to watch is from the waterfront of Kowloon.
Read more about Hong Kong at:
2. Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Dubai is filled with skyscrapers.
The unique thing about Dubai is that its skyline is very spread out. There are several different pockets, to witness its impressive skyscrapers.
There’s downtown in the business district with the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Marina, and the Beach housing the Burj Al Arab, Dubai’s most iconic 7-star Hotel. .
Dubai has several of the tallest buildings in the world including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest hotel, and the tallest residential building in the world.
When we were in Dubai, we stayed at the JW Marriott which was the tallest hotel in the world, but is now in second place to Dubai’s Gevora Hotel.
Read about : All the Things to do in Dubai
3. Shanghai – China
Shanghai has an out of the world skyline.
The skyscrapers of Pudong were designed to look impressive with the most eye-catching sity skylines in thew world!
It is difficult to choose between Hong Kong or Shanghai. Each time we go back to either city, we fall in love all over again.
The best place to photograph Shanghai is from the Bund.
The Bund is the historic district with impressive colonial buildings and a lovely waterfront walkway offering several different views of The Shanghai business district.
4. New York City, USA
We love The Big Apple.
New York is the most energized city on the planet and yes, it has one of the best skylines in the world.
Many people would say that New York has the best skyline in the world!
We can’t get enough of New York and there are so many great vantage points to take in the New York Skyline.
From DUMBO under the Brooklyn Bridge, from the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building New York’s skyline changes before your eyes.
Our fabourite photograph of the NYC Skyline is from the Statue of Liberty.
5. Tokyo – Japan
Tokyo is massive. It is in fact the largest city in the world by area. There is no one skyline view of Tokyo since it is so spread out. Instead there are several.
It was difficult to choose the best view of Tokyo’s skyline because everywhere we looked there was somewhere more spectacular.
From the Tokyo Sky Tree to the Tokyo Tower and the Shibuya Crossing, I don’t think there is a more dynamic city in the world than Tokyo.
Each district of Tokyo has some sort of impressive skyscraper mixed with countless high rises.
6. Paris – France
We love Paris. It is the city of Love and there is no better city for romance than Paris.
Looking at it from above lets you really see just how big this city is.
What I love about Paris is how there are no skyscrapers in sight. It is a sprawling urban centre featuring the Eiffel Tower peering out from every angle.
Our favourite view of Paris is from the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Couer, or Montparnasse Tower.
7. Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
We had heard amazing things about Rio, but it wasn’t until we saw the city for ourselves that we realized how special it is.
What makes Rio’s skyline so magnificent is the surrounding mountains framing the sky rises and endless beaches.
Christ the Redeemer looks over and can be seen from every vantage point of the city.
Great views of Rio can be found from Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer or by taking a helicopter tour of Rio.
- Check out: Things to do in Rio
8. Florence – Italy
You may not expect Florence, Italy to make the list since it doesn’t have any skyscrapers.
But it is the Duomo and historic buildings that make it stand out among some of the best city skylines on earth.
Viewing Florence from the Piazzale Michaelangelo is the best way to truly take in the city.
9. Toronto – Canada
How can our home town not make the list? We were proud to see that Toronto has been a part of so many “world’s best skyline” lists.
We have since moved, but we think the best view of Toronto was from our balcony on the 63rd floor of Yonge and Bloor.
But the average tourist should go over to Toronto Island for the classic Toronto skyline view.
Toronto is the largest city in Canada and another great view can be seen from the top of the CN Tower, or go to the Manulife Centre at Bay and Bloor (very close to our old apartment) for one of the highest viewpoints in the city.
For more Toronto fun enjoy:
10. Panama City – Panama
Who knew Panama had such a magnificent skyline. We didn’t expect it to be so modern and filled with skyscrapers.
Panama reminded us of Dubai with many similar tall buildings.
With skyscrapers, a fantastic waterfront walk, luxury hotels and the Panama Canal close by, Panama was one of our favourite cities in South America.
Great skyline views can be taken from the bars at the top of the W Hotel and the Hard Rock Panama Hotel.
11. Istanbul – Turkey
We knew Istanbul would be historic. With the Blue Mosque standing proud over the old city.
But we were surprised with how modern and progressive the city is.
With the Istanbul Bridge spanning the Bosphorus linking Europe and Asia together, Istanbul is a city where East meets West.
Istanbul is a mix of old and new.
A beautiful city view can be seen from the skyline of the Galata Tower/
12. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is one of our favourite cities in Europe.
Walking along the river offers the best views of the Budapest skyline.
The Budapest Chain Bridge spans the Danube River connecting the cities of Buda and Pest.
Each city is as different as its skyline but they work together creating a beautiful destination view.
The best views of the skyline can be seen from Gellert Hill, Buddha Castle, and from the waterfront and Chain Bridge looking back at the Parliament building.
13. Brisbane, Australia
We finally had the chance to explore more of Australia this year. We’d been to the “Land Down Under” a couple of times, but we really didn’t explore the cities of Oz.
Australia has done a beautiful job designing their main city skylines.
We loved photographing Brisbane which has it’s own bridge similar to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But Brisbane’s came first!
Want to explore more of Brisbane, check out Everything you need to Know about What to do in Brisbane
14. Sydney – Australia
Sydney has probably one of the most recognizable city skylines in the world with the Sydney Opera House dominating the waterfront.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is another famous structure in the city and this view from underneath offers a unique perspective.
15. Cape Town – South Africa
During our first visit to South Africa, Dave and I spent four days in Cape Town before the sun came out.
We had heard that Cape Town was beautiful, but we didn’t believe it. Until the skies opened up on day four to reveal a breathtaking view.
What makes Cape Town’s skyline so extraordinary is the backdrop of Table Mountain.
With a modern waterfront and colonial architecture mixed framed by Table Mountain, Cape Town truly is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Love Cape Town? You need to read: Awesome Things to do in South Africa
16. Astana – Kazakhstan
Where is Astana you ask? It is in Kazakhstan. Never heard of it? Well you will.
While driving through Kazakhstan during the Mongol Rally, we took a detour to the country’s capital city.
Astana was quite the contrast between the desert landscape and massive spans of land of dirt and mountains.
We were mesmerized by the massive, modern urban center plopped in the middle of nowhere.
With indoor malls complete with an amusement park and skating rink, Astana is poised to become a world city.
17. Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia
The last time we were in Kuala Lumpur was 2003. We didn’t even own a digital camera so you will have to forgive me for taking this scan of an early print above.
Kuala Lumpur had an impressive skyline when we visited and it has grown immensely since.
The Petronas Twin Towers are definitely the centre piece of the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
They are that tallest twin towers in the work, but the nearby KL Tower is actually taller!
The KL Tower is a good place to view the Petronas Towers.
Singapore is certainly one of the most modern cities in South East Asia.
I cannot tell a lie, we had to use this picture form a guest post written for us as when we visited Singapore, we weren’t travel bloggers yet and didn’t take a proper photograph.
We haven’t been back to Singapore since it designed its incredible Marina Bay Sands and the Supertree Groves, but we look forward to seeing it again soon!
With a stunning waterfront and unique modern buildings, the setting for Crazy Rich Asians is definitely a destination of luxury and decadence.
Check out our Singapore guides:
19. Vancouver – Canada
Since our time living in Vancouver, the city has grown immensely.
The waterfront of False Creek has turned into a beautiful residential neighbourhood with walkways and restaurants.
The view of the Vancouver skyline was taken from Stanley Park. If you want to get that great reflection from English Bay, this is the spot.
20. Suzhou – China
There are so many places in China that have amazing skylines.
When I looked around at other skyline articles on the internet, Shenzen is the popular choice since it is close to Hong Kong and has the second tallest building in China – The Ping An Finacnial Tower. But we have neve been there.
So, to choose another beautiful skyline in China, we chose Suzhou. Like Hong Kong, Suzhou has a neon light waterfront and a lightshow in the evenings.
As we have often said, China really does come alive at night.
22. San Francisco
San Francisco is a fantastic city to visit. There are so many iconic sites to see with The Golden Gate Bridge being the star attrractions.
Thanks to Local Photographer Eric Bravo, we learned where to see all of the great views of San Francisco including this view above.
- Check out his San Francisco Photography Guide for more Skyline Views of San Francisco
23. Santorini – Greece
I know Santorini doesn’t really fit with the rest of the city skylines in this article.
It doesn’t have any skyscrapers or high rises but it does have a very distinct skyline.
Everyone knows of the blue domes of Santorini.
When getting out of a taxi and walking to the crater’s edge, we gasped at the beauty of seeing Santorini for the first time.
The whitewashed buildings clinging to the side of the sea cliffs are one of the most extraordinaries views we’ve ever seen.
21. London – England
London is definitely an iconic city skyline thanks to the London Eye, the Tower Bridge, and the Houses of Parliament lining the waterfront.
London has held on to its history while embracing the 21st century.
Walking along the water offers the best views of London.
24. Chicago, Illinois
While going through images on our website, we saw this fantastic shot of Chicago by Lisa Luban of LLWorld Tour.
She shared a great post about the top eats in Chicago, so to leave you, we thought we’d share this city skyline shot of Chicago.
Chicago is a city we’ve merely driven through and haven’t explored enough. We must fix that soon!
Shanghai is definitely the most beautiful skyline we’ve seen during our travels to 110 countries.
We think that New York City is the best and most beautiful of all the skylines we’ve seen in the US.
Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers of all the cities in the world with 355 buildings standing more than 150 m (492 ft)
So what have we missed? Help us plan our next city escape.
Read Next: The Most Beautiful Cities in Europe