There is something about a skyline that just captivates the human spirit. Maybe it’s the way they change and evolve as new buildings go up, or the way they reflect the sunsets and sunrises.
Whatever it is, skylines have a special allure that draws people to them.
Here are 20 of the most beautiful skylines in the world.
An astonishing mix of supertall skyscrapers and steep, verdant hills make the skyline of Hong Kong something truly beautiful.
The city is packed with skyscrapers, but none can compare to the majesty of the International Commerce Center (ICC), which at 1,588 feet is the tallest in the city. It’s also home to a record-breaking hotel, perched on top of the ICC.
Houston mixes up its skylines with an ever-evolving array of skyscrapers and water features that create a beautiful monument to Texas’ biggest city.
The tallest building in Texas is right here in Houston: the iconic skyscraper, the JPMorgan Chase Tower. A revolving restaurant on top means you’re never too far from a meal with a view in this city.
Panama City, Panama
A combination of history and modernity combine to create one of the most beautiful skylines in the world in Panama City.
The modern skyscrapers of the Paitilla district sit side-by-side with historic government buildings like Casa de las Bóvedas, an old bank in the center of Panama’s financial district.
New York, USA
The Big Apple literally shines at night when all its skyscrapers are lit up.
The colors alone make New York City one of the most beautiful skylines in the world, but those lights also reflect off the Hudson and East Rivers to give Manhattan a magical feeling at night.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
A warm climate means Rio’s skyline is ever-evolving, with new buildings being built every year to keep up with the growing population.
New high-rises are sprouting all over Rio, but nothing can top Sugarloaf Mountain which looms majestically on the horizon like a hulking beast of concrete and steel.
Chicago is known for its amazing architecture, and its skyline is the proof. A diverse range of buildings all come together to create one of the most beautiful skylines in the world here.
Highlights include 360 CHICAGO at the John Hancock Center, with its awe-inspiring views over Lake Michigan; and Trump International Hotel & Tower, which is glimmering with gold glass.
China’s largest city has a skyline that stretches as far as the eye can see. The cityscape here mixes old and new to great effect, with charming traditional pagodas standing next to sleek skyscrapers.
One of Shanghai’s most iconic buildings is Oriental Pearl Tower, which towers over the city and can be seen from miles away.
San Francisco, USA
San Francisco’s skyline is a rare mix of beauty and whimsy that makes it one of the most beautiful skylines in the world.
The Golden Gate Bridge is an international icon for its incredible architecture, while Alcatraz Island sits in the San Francisco Bay, a reminder of the city’s history as a place of incarceration.
Australia’s largest city is home to one of the most beautiful skylines in the world. The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are two of Sydney’s top tourist attractions here, and for good reason: They’re two of the most stunning structures on earth.
Sydney’s skyline is equally as stunning, with the city’s newest high-rises shooting up over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge to create one of Australia’s most beautiful skylines.
With its glass skyscrapers reaching toward black skies filled with stars, Frankfurt has one of the most beautiful skylines in the world.
The city’s banking district on the Main River is home to some of Frankfurt’s most beautiful buildings, including St. Paul’s Church which stands tall on the opposite side of the river from skyscrapers like Taunusturm and Commerzbank Tower.
The United Kingdom’s capital city has been a cultural hub for centuries, and its skyline shows it.
The Elizabeth Tower on the northern side of Westminster Palace is one of London’s most iconic structures, while skyscrapers like 30 St Mary Axe (nicknamed “The Gherkin”) can be seen from miles around.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Asia’s most modern capital city is home to one of the world’s most stunning skylines.
The Petronas Towers are Kuala Lumpur’s crown jewels, rising high above Malaysia’s largest city in all their glittering splendor. The whole city sparkles at night when the towers are lit up against the dark sky, making Kuala Lumpur one of Asia’s most beautiful skylines.
Canada’s biggest city is a study in contrasts between old and new, with skyscrapers shooting up among historic buildings like the Romanesque-style St. Lawrence Hall and the iconic Toronto City Hall.
And then there’s CN Tower which can be seen from all around Toronto as it towers over the city, offering breathtaking views from its glass-fronted observation decks.
France’s most beautiful city is an ancient one, but that doesn’t stop it from having one of the world’s most stunning skylines.
With landmarks like Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower dominating Paris’ landscape, skyscrapers like Montparnasse Tower and Paris-Le Seine add a modern touch that makes Paris one of the world’s most beautiful skylines.
Asia’s wealthiest city is filled with towering skyscrapers, but what really makes Singapore one of the world’s most stunning skylines are the gardens, parks, and other natural beauty that make the cityscape even more beautiful.
Kranji Reservoir is a beautiful spot for a stroll, as are places like Gardens by the Bay and Singapore Botanic Gardens which add touches of green to the gleaming skyscrapers that line other parts of this island nation’s skyline.
The capital city of Taiwan has some of the most beautiful skyscrapers in all of Asia, including Taipei 101.
But what really makes Taipei one of the world’s most beautiful skylines are spots like Dihua Street with its old wood-frame houses on narrow alleys, Raohe night market that buzzes with activity into the wee hours of the morning, and Taipei 101’s own rooftop park.
With all their beauty, these spots help make Taipei one of the world’s most stunning skylines.
Asia’s biggest (and most crowded) city is home to one of the world’s most iconic skylines. Tokyo Tower may be an older structure, but it’s still one of the best spots in Tokyo to get a panoramic view of the city.
With skyscrapers like Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills nearby, that view is beautiful indeed.
The Emerald City may be famous for its rainy days, but on those rare sunny days when Seattle is bathed in golden light, the city is a truly beautiful sight.
The Space Needle and majestic Mt. Rainier provide a classic backdrop to the gleaming skyscrapers that line Seattle’s skyline, making this city one of America’s most beautiful skylines.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The “City of Gold” has one of the world’s most unique skylines.
Home to some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers including Burj Khalifa, Dubai has earned a reputation as the “City of Superlatives.”
The skyline is gorgeous at sunset, but it also looks great at any time of day from many different spots around the city.
Europe’s biggest city is a cultural and historical wonder, and the skyline which stretches across the Bosporus strait between Europe and Asia adds to Istanbul’s beauty.
Galata Tower is one of the most popular attractions in the area, while nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque (aka The Blue Mosque) is one of Istanbul’s most breathtaking sights.
There are some beautiful skylines in the world. From the brightly lit skyscrapers that dominate Hong Kong to Singapore’s lush greenery amidst its gleaming towers, these 20 skylines have earned their place on our list of the most beautiful skylines in the world.
Think I missed one? Share your favorite skyline in the comments section.