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Think of Dubai and the first image that your mind conjures up is of the astonishing Burj Khalifa, the tallest artificial structure in the world. Similarly, Petronas Towers lightens up the Malaysian capital’s skies while the Eiffel Tower stands as a towering presence on the Parisian horizon. These structures are not just mere landmarks but they define the skylines of these cities and create a picture so fragrant that you relate to the city in a moment’s glance.

Skylines offer a glimpse into the evolving architecture and urban landscape of a city, typically dominated by high-rises, tall buildings and unique landmarks which stand as a beacon in the soaring sky. Similar to a fingerprint, each skyline is unique; and will awaken the wanderlust in you more than any other man-made marvel. They give a certain shape and identity to a city that makes it easily recognisable around the world.

Here are just some of the most stunning skylines around the world.

Shanghai, China

One of the most stunning factors about Shanghai is its unique skyline. Its soaring skyscrapers crown the city skies no matter in which direction you look, making it an interesting composition between new and old buildings. The recently opened Shanghai Tower is the tallest building, with a towering presence at 632 m (2,073 feet) and is also the tallest building in China.

The Best View: From the top of the Shanghai World Financial Centre, which has the second-highest observation deck in the world, you will get mesmerizing views from all sides, at any time of day or night. And if this view doesn’t quite satisfy you, why not head to the Observatory Hall on the 119th floor of the Shanghai Tower.

Dubai, U.A.E

Few landscapes on earth have been as utterly transformed as the slice of coastal Arabian Desert, i.e. Dubai. It has been rightly called the city of the future because of its sweeping landscape and futuristic architecture.

The Best View: The soaring peak of Burj Khalifa – the tallest tower in the world, stands above the brilliantly lit city of Dubai with an observation deck on the 124th floor at 452 metres is the third highest in the world.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Although it doesn’t have the densest skyline in the world but it holds several other records including the tallest twin buildings with the Petronas Towers and KL Tower nearly visible from anywhere in the city. Standing on the 86th floor of 1,453 feet shimmering Petronas Twin Tower will provide you the best view of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline.

The Best view: Heli Lounge Bar, on the rooftop of Menara KH building is one of Kuala Lumpur’s best kept secret. You can get a stunning open-air sunset view of two of the city’s most iconic architecture Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower from here.

Paris, France

You won’t find many skyscrapers in Paris, and that’s why the city’s skyline is amongst the most unique. With the iconic Eiffel Tower rising out in the background, Paris has one of the most recognizable skylines in the world. Everyone finds love at the top of the Eiffel Tower, even those who go up alone, because the view of the ‘City of Love’ is simply adorable.

The Best View: From the top deck of the Eiffel Tower, you can see most of the city’s famed landmarks. Just for fun, you can enjoy watching the crowds below the tower who appear like tiny ants.

London, UK

Once you are done with the amazing views of London on the ground level, it’s time to head upwards and look down on the cities many famous buildings and attractions and take in the panoramic views of the cities stunning skyline. Apart from the most famous London Eye and Tower Bridge, you can now catch the amazing views of the British capital from The Shard. The 360-degree public observation deck is the highest lookout point in Western Europe.

The Best View: At Level 72 of the Shard, an open-air viewing platform allows you to peer out through giant shards of glass and you can think of how very, very high you are.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney’s skyline is dominated by the white sails of the Sydney Opera House rising majestically above a calm Sydney Harbour. Flanked by the Sydney Harbour Bridge and set alongside the waterway itself, the skyline is often ranked amongst the most attractive in the world.

The Best View: Sydney Harbour Bridge, You can’t experience Sydney in a better manner than walking over the Harbour Bridge itself.

Hong Kong

Housing more high-rises than any other city in the world, Hong Kong is forever lit by a forest of glowing skyscrapers. It also boasts more than 7800 buildings with at least 52 completed skyscrapers of more than 200 meters in height while an astonishing 272 skyscrapers of over 150 meters. Hong Kong’s cityscape is a breath-taking combination of imposing towers, majestic hills and the scores of islands that dot the bay.

The Best View: A ride to Victoria Peak on the funicular tram provides visitors a breath-taking panoramic view of the Hong Kong skyline and its harbour.

New York, USA

New York City characterizes the skyscraper glamour at every twist and turn, and currently houses more than 6000 completed architectural marvels, the most notable of which is the Empire State Building. Diverse and densely packed, it held the record for the world’s tallest building for almost a century.

The Best View: The Empire State Building’s observation deck on the 102nd floor, about 369 metres up, is still an unbeatable classic.

Toronto, Canada

When it comes to stunning city skylines – towers, skyscrapers, domes, — nothing stands in comparison to Toronto, the largest city in Canada. The Toronto skyline is transforming at an unprecedented pace and is best distinguished by its 1815 ft. CN Tower and the 72-story First Canadian Place.

The Best View: On a short ride to the Toronto Island Ferry, you will find the bustling skyscrapers and the beautiful parkland behind you.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul’s setting alone gives the city a winning skyline, with hills highlighted by architectural gems like the Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower and crowned by minaret-ringed mosques. The domes and minarets of Istanbul’s two iconic mosques, the Sultan Ahmed and the Suleymaniye, rule the city like a pair of crowns that reminds us of the city’s erstwhile grandeur at the time of the Ottoman Empire.

The Best View:  if you haven’t fell in love with Istanbul already, then the domes and minarets of the Old City will definitely do it. Topkapı Palace, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are a few prominent ones among them.

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