You think you’re tall? These buildings have got you beat. Plus, five bonus towers and skyscrapers that almost made the tall list.
Travel the world and behold the impressive and occasionally imposing structures that comprise the five tallest freestanding buildings in the world, as well as those that nearly made the list. It’s a competitive category because, hey, as we all know: bigger is better.
Located in Dubai and completed in 2010, this mixed-use office, residence and hotel with 160 floors comes in at 2,716.5 feet, and also holds the title for tallest building in the world. It also boasts 57 elevators, it’s own park, lake, the world’s highest observation deck (on the 148th floor), restaurant (122nd floor) and nightclub (144th floor).
To book tickets for At the Top, the Burj Khalifa observation decks, visit: http://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en/index.aspx.
Tokyo Sky Tree
With a neofuturistic design in keeping with Tokyo’s otherwise dynamic and exciting skyline, this 2,722-foot-tall television tower has become a tourist attraction since opening in 2012. Easy to get to (it has its own a train station), take in views of the city, mountains and river from one of two observation decks—we like the upper, where you can pass through a spiralled, glass skywalk to ascend to the highest point of the upper platform.
Visit http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/ to book tickets.
This is a mega tall skyscraper with a twist—literally: The design of this residential and office tower in Shanghai, completed in 2014, features an outer layer that spirals whimsically as it stretches to the sky. Somewhere within its 2,073 feet and 121 floors, there are gardens, cafés, restaurants, shopping, a luxury hotel, the world’s fastest elevator and the Guanfu museum, featuring renowned antiques and art.
Abraj Al Bait Towers
Opened in 2011, this postmodern marvel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, has a five story mall, two heliports, an Islamic museum and Lunar Observation Center, as well as a Fairmont hotel located within a clock tower that holds its own usual title for largest clock faces in the world.
Make reservations at the Fairmont Makkah Clock Tower at http://www.fairmont.com/makkah/.
Perhaps the most awe-inspiring view from this 1,969 foot transmission tower in Guangzhou, China, is that observed from the Sky Drop, a thrilling (depending on how you feel about experiencing vertigo at warp speed) vertical free fall ride, allowing you to take in the city while plummeting from 1,591 feet to 1,493 feet down the side of the building. Though the bubble tram—a horizontal ferris wheel in which 16 enclosed sightseeing carriages that rotate around the tower at 1,493 feet—is a close second.
For information, hours and tickets, visit http://www.cantontower.com/en/.
The Long List
These tall buildings almost made the cut. Here are the sixth to tenth entries, many of which were, in their own time, the tallest building in the world.
One World Trade Center
New York, New York
CTF Finance Centre
Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)