Top 10 Skylines in the World

They say that a city’s skyline is an art by itself. The many skyscrapers create a backdrop along the horizon, with its many windows glisten during the day while its many lights glitter during the night.

Skyline is the city’s silhouette, an artificial horizon created by its overall structure. Skylines also serve as a kind of fingerprint of a particular city, as no two skylines are alike. With many cities emerging with taller and grander structures, we could not help but compare skylines of major cities and have come up with a list of the best in the world.

The list, ranked in no particular order, is based on overall height of the city’s structures, the density and marvel of buildings, organization, uniqueness, and the city’s surroundings.

 hong kong skyline

Hong Kong, China – Officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, this Chinese territory lies on the eastern side of the Pearl River Delta, bordering Guangdong province in the north and facing South China Sea in the east, west, and south. The city has a whopping 43 buildings measuring over 200 meters, 30 of which were built in the year 2000 or later. Four of its skyscrapers are included in the list of top 10 tallest buildings in the world. Hong Kong’s skyline shows a large selection of distinct towers that almost reach the sky, with beautiful night lights and reflection. The mountainous backdrop also adds to city’s beauty.

 chicago skyline

Chicago, USA – It is the largest city in the state of Illinois and the third largest city in the United States. Rich in history and renowned for its architecture, Chicago is classified as an "alpha world city." The city is the birthplace of the modern skyscraper, its first steel high-rise erected in 1885. It may not be the tallest structure in the world back then but it was the first example of a new form of engineering that would change nearly every city in the world. Chicago has 19 buildings that are over 200 meters tall, three of which are among the top 20 tallest buildings in the world.

new york skyline

New York City, USA – Officially called The City of New York, it is the most populous city in the United States as well as the country’s cultural capital. It has been one of the world’s leading business and financial center as well as a hub for international diplomacy. New York City has one of the densest and most diverse skylines. It has a huge collection of buildings and building styles. New York is also the most easily recognizable skyline in the world. The four tallest buildings in the NYC were all built in the early 1930s. New York’s skyline can be considered as the most compact among those listed, with an overwhelming collection of architecture from almost any point in the city.

 shanghai skyline

Shanghai, China – Situated on the banks of the Yangtze River Delta, Shanghai is the largest city of the People’s Republic of China and the eighth largest in the world. It is considered as China’s citadel of modern economy and an important cultural, commercial, financial, industrial and communications centers. At first glance, people may think that they are in a space-age city once they see Shanghai’s uniquely-designed buildings. It was said to be the most modern city at the turn of the 20th century, but has seem to have lost its glory although they are trying to regain its position as one of the world’s economic powerhouses. There are 28 buildings in th city that are over 200 meters, two of which are over 400 meters.

 singapore skyline

Singapore – An island nation located at the southern tip of Asia’s Malay Peninsula, Singapore is one of the few remaining city-states in the world and the smallest country in Southeast Asia. It has one of the best urban plans as well as one of the cleanest metropolitan cities in the world. Although buildings cannot be higher than 280 meters due to air traffic control restrictions, Singapore has a tall and consistent building height and space pattern which makes the city unique. The buildings are mostly light-colored and there is a large expanse of greenery dotted around the city core.

 toyko skyline

Tokyo, Japan – The capital of Japan is the most populous city in the world. Its skyline has several unique characteristics that makes it apart from other big city skylines, one of which is that the city has 15 structures over 200 meters, including the Tokyo Tower. And because of the density and vast size of the city, every corner or district appears to have its own skyline. Tokyo buildings are filled with neon lighting and unique, contemporary architecture.

 toronto skyline

Toronto, Canada – The provincial capital of Ontario is also Canada’s largest city. It is also the fifth most populous city in North America with over 2.5 million residents. As Canada’s economic capital, Toronto is considered a global city, as well as a crossroad for many cultures and ethnicities. The city has seven structures that stand over 200 meters, including the CN Tower that is often referred to as the tallest free-standing structure in the world.

 malaysia skyline

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – It is the capital and the largest city of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is an enclave within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is probably the most impressive city worldwide that has less than 2 million residents. Because the skyline is not too dense, its tall buildings are able to stand out. KL has three of the 25 tallest buildings worldwide, including the Petronas Towers that is considered as the tallest twin buildings as well as the 420 meter-tall Kuala Lumpur Tower.

 seattle skyline

Seattle, United States – The largest city in the USA’s Pacific Northwest region, Seattle is located in the state of Washington between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. It is the commercial, cultural, and advanced technology hub of Northwest USA and a major port city for Pacific and European trade. The city has four buildings over 200 meters as well as the 184-meter Space Needle observation tower. Seattle is surrounded by mountains and water, and offers some picture-perfect views.

 china skyline

Shenzhen, China – The sub-provincial city of Guangdong province in China is known for its proximity with the boundary of Hong Kong. However, Shenzhen-a former fishing village turned special economic zone-has more to be proud of, as it is a center of foreign investment in China and has been one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It is also the busiest port in China after Shanghai. Shenzhen contains 18 buildings that are over 200 meters tall, including the Shun Hing Square-the eighth tallest build
ing in the world). The city also has a spectacle of lights and neo signs after sunset.

 
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