25 Amazing Photos of World Skylines

The shapes of the buildings that cut into the sky define a large part of a city’s character and culture. Some cities compete for bigger and taller towers to represent their financial and political power; others strive to preserve elegant and historic skylines against over-development. This post collects 25 examples of beautiful cityscape photography from around the world, visual records of human endeavour and urban achievement.

1. Hong Kong, China

Image: Trodel
This dramatic panorama captures Hong Kong as seen from Victoria Peak, which rises dramatically above the city and its harbour. The photographer achieves an astonishing level of clarity, offering a sense of the millions of lights that illuminate the bustling centre of commerce.
2. Frankfurt, Germany

Image: Mispahn
This image shows the gleaming glass and steel of Frankfurt’s modern city centre, the largest financial centre in
continental Europe. The city sits on a bend of the River Main, in southwestern Germany.
3. Chicago, USA

Image: a4gpa
The lights of the ‘Windy City’ glow above the shore of Lake Michigan. Chicago is recognised as another of the World’s great financial centres, and is the United State’s third most populous city.
4. Paris, France

Image: Trodel
This gorgeous evening shot takes in Paris at dusk, as seen from the heights of the Maine-Montparnasse Tower. The majestic Eiffel Tower stands above the Champs de Mars and Ecole Militaire; to the right is the dome of Les Invalides, above which the golden shape of the Arc de Triomphe can be seen in the distance.
5. Shanghai, China

Image: Emile Bremmer
Early morning in the Chinese city of Shanghai, with the sun coming up behind the skyline of the ultra-modern Pudong district. The area sits on the edge of the Huangpu River, with landmark buildings including the 468-metre Oriental Pearl Tower, seen on the left of the picture.
6. Tokyo, Japan

Image: Ratamahatta
A nighttime view of Tokyo’s west end, with the Japanese capital’s colourful lights illuminating the overcast clouds; on a clear day the mighty Mount Fuji rises above the cityscape.
7. Lima, Peru

Image: David Baggins
The Miraflores District of Peru’s capital, Lima, has high-rise buildings dramatically perched on the rocky cliffs above the beaches and year-round surf of the Costa Verde.
8. Florence, Italy

This photo shows a snowy winter morning in the Tuscan city of Florence. A centre of Renaissance culture, the city’s skyline features several important and iconic pieces of architecture. From let to right we see the Ponte Vecchio crossing the River Arno; the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s town hall; the red brick dome of Florence Cathedral; and finally to the right is the façade of the Basilica of the Holy Cross.
9. New York, USA

Image: Hyunlab
This atmospherically misty shot of New York’s skyline captures the elegant Art Deco silhouette of the Empire State Building.
10. Taipei City, Taiwan

Image: Orange Tuesday
Elephant Mountain is a forested hill that affords breathtaking views over Taipei City in Taiwan. Here we see the city illuminated at night, with the enormous Taipei 101 landmark skyscraper towering over the financial district. The 509-metre tall tower has advanced protection against typhoons and earthquakes, and a postmodern design incorporating traditional pagoda stylings.
11. Seattle, USA

Image: Bala
This image shows Seattle’s skyline by night, with the iconic Space Needle in the foreground. The tower was completed for the 1962 World’s Fair, and was originally designed around an outlandish flying saucer concept.
12. Moscow, Russia

Image: AlphaTangoBravo Adam
Moscow’s skyline reflects the Russian capital’s varied history, with the contrasting architecture of churches and monasteries from the times of the Tsars, grey Soviet-era edifices and tower blocks, and modern skyscrapers reflecting the new capitalist ambitions in the financial areas.
13. London, UK

Image: Harshil Shah
This picture shows London in bathed in evening sunlight, taken from Tower 42 in the City, looking east beyond the landmark Gherkin, downriver towards the Isle of Dogs and Canary Wharf.
14. Toronto, Canada

Image: Choudhry Saab
This is a view of Toronto’s skyline along the edge of the city’s natural harbour, as seen from Wards Island. High above the other buildings is the CN Tower, which at 553 metres is the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere, a symbol of both Toronto and of Canada.
15. São Paulo, Brazil

This beautiful shot has a tranquil atmosphere with soft light, but that impression is at odds with the reality of São Paulo, a massive bustling metropolis, the largest city in Latin America on Brazil’s southern coast.
16. Sydney, Australia

Image: Dillif
This photo shows Sydney Harbour and skyline at dusk, with lights picking out the distinctive shape of the Opera House to the left.
17. Istanbul, Turkey

Image: Erin Can Spell
This view takes in Istanbul’s confusion of red rooftops, mosques and minarets, looking across the Bosphorus Strait, which both divides the city in two and forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia.
18. Singapore, Republic of Singapore

Image: Yeowatzup
Singapore skyline’s futuristic skyscrapers tower above the Boat Quay district in the city’s Old Port.
19. Prague, Czech Republic

Image: Jlantzy
This vista, photographed from the Charles Bridge on the Vltava River, takes in Prague Castle at night. The castle building was started in the 9th Century, and has undergone so many additions, renovations and restorations that it now represents almost every European architectural style of the last 1000 years.
20. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Image: Garry Loke
The lights of Kuala Lumpur’s staggering skyscrapers blaze above the Malaysian capital, with the massive Petronas Twin Towers to the right and the pinnacle of the KL Tower to the left.
21. Melbourne, Australia

Image: Wikipedia
This spectacular panorama captures Melbourne’s Central Business District, with an impressive collection of skyscrapers sitting along the banks of the Yarra River. The picture was taken from the observation deck of the Rialto Towers.
22. Thane, Mumbai, India

Image: Premshree Pillai
This nighttime skyline is in Thane, a district of Mumbai at the head of the Thane Creek. Here we see a collection of high-rise apartment blocks with stylised architecture, examples of Mumbai’s remarkable urban growth in recent years.
23. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Image: Lima Andruska
Rio de Janeiro’s skyline is defined as much by the surrounding mountains as the city’s buildings, as we see in this view of Botafogo and Flamengo beaches. High above the waterfront, the statue of Christ the Redeemer stands illuminated at the peak of Corcovado Mountain.
24. Dubai, UAE

Image: Attawayjl
Dubai has become synonymous with innovative and unusual building projects such as manmade islands and vast hotel and sports complexes. This shot shows the city’s science-fiction-style skyline; the photographer likened the image to a scene from Battlestar Galactica.
25. Seoul, South Korea

Image: Sakoku
South Korea’s capital city Seoul is a huge conurbation, home to 10 million people. The city sits huddled between eight mountains on the bank of the Han River and the river’s wider plains. This photograph shows the Gangnam-gu District, an area with offices, shopping complexes and the six buildings of the World Trade Center Seoul.


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