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Viewing platforms

Platform views

To mark the opening of The View from The Shard, we look at the tallest viewing platforms around the world


1st

Canton Tower
Guangzhou, China

Formerly known as Guangzhou TV Astronomical and Sightseeing Tower, the 600m (2,000ft)-high multi-purpose observation tower, Canton Tower, is located in the Haizhu District of Guangzhou, China.

The tower was topped out in 2009 and became operational on 29th September 2010 for the 2010 Asian Games. It’s the tallest structure in China and the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in the world. The tower has the highest observation deck in the world, with a height of 488m (1,601ft) above ground level.

Canton Tower has the highest observation deck in the world, with a height of 488m (1,601ft) above ground level / Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com
Canton Tower has the highest observation deck in the world, with a height of 488m (1,601ft) above ground level Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com
Canton Tower has the highest observation deck in the world, with a height of 488m (1,601ft) above ground level / Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com
Canton Tower has the highest observation deck in the world, with a height of 488m (1,601ft) above ground level Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com

2nd

Shanghai World Financial Center
Shanghai, China

Opened in 2008, the 492m (1,614.2ft) skyscraper located in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China is a mixed-use skyscraper, consisting of offices, hotels, conference rooms and observation decks as well as ground-floor shopping malls.

The Shanghai World Financial Center’s observation deck offers views from 474m (1,555ft) above ground level.

At a total height of 492m, the Shanghai World Financial Center has the second highest viewing platform at 474m / Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com/chuyu
At a total height of 492m, the Shanghai World Financial Center has the second highest viewing platform at 474m Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com/chuyu

3rd

Burj Khalifa
Dubai, UAE

The world’s tallest articficially-made structure is the 829.8 m (2,722ft)-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE.

The building gained the official title of Tallest Building in the World at its opening on January 4th, 2010. The building has an outdoor observation deck on the 124th floor at 452.1m (1,483.27ft)-high.

At 829.8m-high, Burj Khalifa has held the title of Tallest Building in the World since it opened in January 2010 / Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com/Kjersti Joergensen
At 829.8m-high, Burj Khalifa has held the title of Tallest Building in the World since it opened in January 2010 Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com/Kjersti Joergensen

4th

CN Tower
Toronto, Canada

Toronto’s CN Tower opened in 1976 and at 553m (1,815ft)-high, was the world’s tallest building until Burj Dubai was built. In 2011, EdgeWalk opened – an extreme walk leading thrill-seekers around the outside ledge of the tower at 356m (1,168ft).

CN Tower / Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com
CN Tower Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com
EdgeWalk was introduced to the CN Tower in 2011 and enables visitors to walk around the tower’s outside ledge / Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com
EdgeWalk was introduced to the CN Tower in 2011 and enables visitors to walk around the tower’s outside ledge Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com

5th

Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting and observation tower with a restaurant in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan. At 634m (2,080 ft)-tall, it’s the tallest tower in the world and the second tallest structure in the world after Burj Khalifa. Opened in May 2012, the tower has four observation decks, the highest at 451.2m (1,480ft)-high.

Tokyo Skytree’s tallest of four observation deck is 451.2m-high / Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com/ Videowokart
Tokyo Skytree’s tallest of four observation deck is 451.2m-high Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com/ Videowokart

6th

Willis Tower
Chicago, USA

Willis Tower (formerly named Sears Tower) is a 108-storey, 1,451ft (442 m) skyscraper in Chicago, which was completed in 1973. At the time it was the tallest building in the world and is still the tallest building in the United States and the seventh-tallest freestanding structure in the world. It’s observation deck is on the 103rd floor at 412.7m (1,354ft)-high.

The tower’s Skydeck viewing offer includes glass boxes that extend out 4.3ft (1.3m) from the building / PhotoS: ©www.shutterstock.com
The tower’s Skydeck viewing offer includes glass boxes that extend out 4.3ft (1.3m) from the building PhotoS: ©www.shutterstock.com
The tower’s Skydeck viewing offer includes glass boxes that extend out 4.3ft (1.3m) from the building / PhotoS: ©www.shutterstock.com
The tower’s Skydeck viewing offer includes glass boxes that extend out 4.3ft (1.3m) from the building PhotoS: ©www.shutterstock.com

7th

Sky100
Hong Kong, China

Sky100 is a 360-degree indoor observation deck on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong. Since its opening in April 2011 it has been the highest observation deck in Hong Kong, at 393m (1,290ft) above sea level.

Sky100’s observation deck is the highest in Hong Kong at 393m (1,290ft) above sea level
Sky100’s observation deck is the highest in Hong Kong at 393m (1,290ft) above sea level
Sky100’s observation deck is the highest in Hong Kong at 393m (1,290ft) above sea level
Sky100’s observation deck is the highest in Hong Kong at 393m (1,290ft) above sea level

8th

Taipei 101
Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei 101 was the world’s tallest inhabited building at 509.2m (1,671 ft), including its spire, when it opened in 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. Its outdoor observatory stands at 391.6m (1,285ft)-high on the 91st floor with an indoor observatory at 383.2m (1,257 ft) on the 89th floor.

Taipei 101 has an outdoor observatory on the 91st floor and an indoor on the 89th / Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com/Jeffrey Liao
Taipei 101 has an outdoor observatory on the 91st floor and an indoor on the 89th Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com/Jeffrey Liao

Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, the twin skyscrapers are the landmark of Kuala Lumpur with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.

As well as an observatory on the 86th floor of tower two at 370m (1,214ft), there’s a skybridge between the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors at 170m (558ft).

The Petronas Towers have a skybridge between the skyscrapers at 170m-high / Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com/Edwin Verin
The Petronas Towers have a skybridge between the skyscrapers at 170m-high Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com/Edwin Verin

10th

The Empire State Building
New York, USA

The American, Art Deco-style, cultural icon was built in 1931 and is named after New York’s nickname – the Empire State.
The 102-storey skyscraper has a roof height of 1,250ft (381m), with a total height of 1,454ft (443.2m) including its antenna spire. The building has a viewing platform at 369m (1,210ft)-high plus an observation deck on the 86th floor deck at 320m (1,050ft).

The Empire State Building is currently undergoing a $550m (£342m, E419m) renovation, with $120m (£75m, E91m) already spent in an effort to transform the building into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure.

The Empire State Building is considered to be an American cultural icon / Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com
The Empire State Building is considered to be an American cultural icon Photo: ©www.shutterstock.com

18th

The Eiffel Tower
Paris, France

One of the world’s most recognisable structures, the iron lattice tower is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889, the tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most visited paid for monument in the world.

The tower is 320m (1,050 ft)-tall, with three levels for visitors, the highest of which is 279.11 m (916ft)-high.

The Eiffel Tower was originally the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair / PhotoS: ©www.shutterstock.com
The Eiffel Tower was originally the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair PhotoS: ©www.shutterstock.com
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