select - City views
Written by Oryx
What traveller doesn’t like a good view, whether from mountaintop or skyscraper? Here are five superb urban outlooks that provide sweeping views of some of the world’s most famous cityscapes.
In 1973, Chicago’s Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) was momentarily the world’s tallest, reaching 442m and boasting 108 floors. Early visitors ascending to the observation deck on the 103rd floor were once alarmed to feel the building sway on windy days. These days, more intrepid visitors test themselves on the Skydeck’s glass boxes, which extend out from the building, allowing you to see the footpath 412m below your feet. On the clearest days, you can also see all of Chicago and as far as four states.
Distance: 11,473 km
Flight Time: 14 hour, 35 minutes
Despite the effects of time, tourist crowds, and ongoing renovations, these ruins remain one of the world’s most impressive cultural sites. But the views are a showstopper too, stretching as far as the Saronic Gulf in one direction and the mountains of the Peloponnese in the other if you stand on the Acropoliss highest point, crowned by the Parthenon. Superb.
Distance: 2,973 km
Flight Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes
Frequency: 3 flights a day
Arc de Triomphe, Paris
The world’s most famous avenue the Champs-Élysées runs from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, both iconic landmarks of the French capital. At its lower end, green gardens and avenues of trees flank palatial buildings on either side. The 19th-century baroque-influenced architecture is impressive, if only all eyes weren’t fixed on that celebration of Napoleon, the Arc de Triomphe (from the summit of which unfold more impressive views). This is one of the grandest urban views, as seen from the Arc de Triomphe, best seen on Bastille Day (July 14), when Europe’s grandest military parade provides a red, white, and blue spectacle.
Distance: 4,980 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 15 minutes
Frequency: 3 flights a day
The Shard, London
Move over London Eye: The View from The Shard offers an even more wow-worthy panorama, and there’s no time limit as you gaze from 244m over one of the planet’s most recognisable cityscapes. The upper level of the two-storey viewing area is partly open to the elements. Ultra high-tech digital telescopes ‘Tell:scopes’ allow you to see a real-time view as it would appear at different times of the day or night.
Distance: 5,219 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Frequency: 6 flights a day
Canton Tower, Guangzhou
Although 600m in height is not nearly enough to reign supreme in the skyscraper stakes, Canton Tower boasts the world’s second-highest outdoor observation deck at a windy 488m above Haizhu district. Not surprisingly, views over the city are stupendous. Evening is the time to go, when LED lights set the structure’s exterior aglow in changing colours and patterns, and the city is a sprawl of twinkling lights.
Distance: 6,218 km
Flight Time: 8 hours, 5 minutes
Frequency: 5 flights a week