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The world's best city skylines

Some city skylines are enough to take your breath away. From mystical minarets peeking up out of a rolling sea mist, to row upon row of glittering skyscrapers.

For those who are fond of spectacular city panoramas, these destinations are the highest-rated by Booking.com customers. *

All of these skyline cities offer a full itinerary of lookout points, observation towers, and rooftop bars.

View of the Downtown Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge Park

View of the Downtown Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge Park

New York

Probably the most instantly recognisable skyline in the world, Manhattan does not disappoint. Clusters of historic skyscrapers cut a stark silhouette, whether lit up at night or glinting in the midday sun. You don’t have to be a typical tourist and climb the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center for a photo op; there are several vantage points that offer great views from ground level, including the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Looking for a sky-high hotel room? Booking.com recommends: The Bowery Hotel

Rio de Janeiro from Sugarloaf Mountain

Rio de Janeiro from Sugarloaf Mountain

Rio de Janeiro

Built so spectacularly around mountains, jungle, and beach, Rio de Janeiro is really unlike any other city on Earth. The city’s distinctive skyline takes in the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer, the rounded, lush green peak of Sugarloaf Mountain, the complex patchwork of favelas, skyscrapers, and the white sandy strip of Copacabana beach. Catch the cable car travelling up to the top of Sugarloaf or visit a rooftop bar for the best panoramic views.

Looking for a sky-high hotel room? Booking.com recommends: Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro

Dusk over the Danube river delta

Dusk over the Danube river delta

Budapest

All along the Hungarian capital’s skyline you’ll see buildings and monuments of fanciful proportions. The intimidatingly grand Gothic Parliament Building, the Chain Bridge, Buda Castle, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the romantic, white stone turrets, parapets, and terrace of the Fisherman’s Bastion fortress.

Looking for a sky-high hotel room? Booking.com recommends: Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge

A Tokyo evening view from the World Trade Center building

A Tokyo evening view from the World Trade Center building

Tokyo

One of the world’s most fast-paced and advanced metropolis’, Tokyo’s skyline contains more skyscrapers than most other cities on Earth. With high-speed trains, elevators, and other technological delights, the city can feel and look a little like a futuristic theme park. If you reach a sufficient height, at the top of Tokyo’s World Trade Center, for example, the neon glow and traffic surrounding you from below guarantees quite a buzz.

Looking for a sky-high hotel room? Booking.com recommends: Park Hotel Tokyo

Edinburgh was built on and around an ancient volcano

Edinburgh was built on and around an ancient volcano

Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s skyline is extraordinary. This is one place where a grey stormy sky can add something extra. With the castle built standing above the rest of the city, a choppy sea in the background, and the mountain of Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park. This mountain provides unparalleled panoramic views of Edinburgh and is an easy climb.

Looking for a sky-high hotel room? Booking.com recommends: Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian

Panorama of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong

Panorama of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is celebrated for its dense, high-rise skyline bordered by national park on one side and the ocean on the other. At night, the view is incandescent, reflected beautifully on the water. Each and every skyscraper is lit a different shade of neon, and many emit shards of light out onto the bay.

Looking for a sky-high hotel room? Booking.com recommends: The Peninsula Hong Kong

**The data analysts at Booking.com used a z-score analysis to find the destinations most endorsed by Booking.com travellers for ‘skyline’.