Sometimes there are views where you just have to stop and look. These are the kind of sights where photos just don’t do it justice and need to be seen in real life to be believed. Whether it is atop the largest building in the world, a cityscape on a rooftop bar or snow-capped mountains, we’ve compiled views that will simply take your breath away.
Discover six locations around the world for seeing the most inspiring views below.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Naturally, as the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa enjoys truly jaw-dropping views. The iconic tower holds several records, including having the greatest number of storeys and the highest outdoor observation deck in the world; the At the Top decks can be found on levels 124 and 125, while At the Top SKY also includes the 148th floor.
Each deck offers amazing views of Dubai’s famous skyline, and the journey up there is thrilling too – you’ll be transported at 10m/s in the world’s fastest double-deck elevators! For the ultimate Dubai experience, why not combine a visit to the Burj Khalifa with a stay at the Burj Al Arab; one of the world’s finest hotels, accommodation here is sublime and the afternoon tea is unmissable.
Aurora Sky Station, Sweden
Named by Lonely Planet as the premier location for seeing the Northern Lights, Abisko’s Aurora Sky Station sits 900m above sea level. Clear skies and stunningly fresh air make a visit here incredible in its own right, although the chance to spot the most famous light show on earth is certainly a bonus!
Most travellers dream of seeing the Aurora Borealis in person at least once, and with lights spotted from the Sky Station more or less every night (activity may vary) this is the very best place to head to for one-of-a-kind views. Night-time visits here begin with a chairlift ride through the silently atmospheric Abisko National Park, and there’s also an option to include a traditional Nordic four-course dinner to further enhance your experience of this world-renowned phenomenon.
Banff Glacier Skywalk, Canada
There’s no shortage of spectacular views in Canada, with some of the best found in Banff, Alberta. Characterised by snow-capped mountains and rugged rocky landscapes, here visitors can spot waterfalls, glaciers, ancient fossils and fascinating wildlife.
One of the top ways to take it all in is on the Glacier Skywalk experience, which begins at the incredible Columbia Icefield, continues along the Discovery Trail cliff-edge walkway and culminates in an unforgettable journey along a glass platform that sits 280m above the Sunwapta Valley.
You don’t need any particular experience to head up on the Skywalk, which is wheelchair accessible. For even more breathtaking views, why not travel to Banff aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, for one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world?
Looming over Rio de Janeiro, Corcovado is a colossal 710m granite mountain famously topped by the renowned Christ the Redeemer statue.
Standing almost 40m tall overlooking the city, the art deco sculpture is truly one of the world’s most iconic images, and making a pilgrimage to this distinguished site is a popular feature on many a travel bucket list.
Visitors can hike, take the road or ride the cog train up to the summit of Corcovado, journeying through the lush Tijuca National Park and taking in remarkable views out over the city below en route. No trip to Rio is complete without visiting Corcovado and the statue, along with Copacabana beach and the Sugarloaf Mountain cable car.
Vertigo and Moon Bar, Thailand
Bangkok boasts a selection of rooftop bars, but nothing quite compares to the experience of spending an evening at Vertigo, on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel. Staggered tiers of seating here maximise the sensational views, which are the perfect accompaniment for your gourmet meal or signature cocktail.
Service is friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the backdrop can’t be topped – literally, as there’s no roof or walls above you, offering a panoramic outlook over the twinkling city skyline. Our top tip is to book ahead, and make sure you’ve got a prime seat before sunset to make the most of your experience. Fantastic food, terrific tipples and spectacular scenery… you’ll truly feel on top of the world.
Tsala Treetop Lodge, South Africa
This unique resort is set high amongst the treetops of the Tsitsikamma Forest, offering guests a dramatic bird’s eye view of the canopy below. Located in the heart of the country’s famous Garden Route, here you’ll be ideally situated for exploring, should you be able to tear yourself away from your suite’s window. The lodge is a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux collection, so the staggering views are complemented by outstanding service.
Each of the luxurious treehouse-style suites has its own wraparound deck and private infinity pool – the perfect place for taking in your magical surroundings. Enjoy delicious African cuisine at Zinzi Restaurant, and treat yourself to a bottle or two of South Africa’s finest wines from the hidden wine cellar.
Sarah Roberts is Director of Inspiring Travel Company. The Inspiring Travel Company, established in 1974, offers exceptional tailor-made luxury holidays and experiences to some of the most elegant and desirable destination across the globe.