I Can See My House from Here: The World’s Tallest Observation Decks
There’s nothing more exhilarating than looking out at the world from some of the highest peaks. Although you can achieve this perspective from an airplane, nothing beats the view you get from an observation deck. Whether you’re looking down from a mesmerizing glass floor or staring out at the skyline from a luxury skyscraper, the view is certainly one to cherish.
Here’s our list of the world’s tallest observation decks. From New York to Dubai, let’s explore how much height you’ll find at each.
Soaring to the sky at 2,722 feet, the Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest manmade structure in the world. Here’s some perspective: Toronto’s CN Tower, which once held this proud title, is nearly a thousand feet shorter. Just as impressive, the Burj Khalifa is three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Dubai proudly opened the Burj Khalifa in 2010. Since then, visitors from around the world have come to marvel at its views. An outdoor observation deck is accessible to the public at 1,483 feet. Go a little higher and you can get an even more spectacular view of this glamorous desert city from the Sky Deck, located on the 148th floor.
Ticket prices vary depending on which level you want to see and the time of day you visit. The Burj Khalifa also houses a luxury hotel, designed by Italian fashion icon Georgio Armani.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
You haven’t experienced the legendary Grand Canyon until you’ve stepped foot onto the Skywalk. Shaped like a horseshoe, this glass-floored walkway overlooks the Grand Canyon West as it juts out 70 feet from the edge. Commissioned and owned by the Hualapai Tribe, it opened to the general public in March 2007.
Visitors can access the Skywalk from Las Vegas using Highway 93. Tourism packages are also available for purchase at the airport terminal. Right now, the Skywalk is a simple observation deck. However, there are plans to build a massive complex, which would include a museum, movie theatre, and numerous restaurants.
Empire State Building
This iconic skyscraper held the title of world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years. Built in 1931, New York’s Empire State Building stands at a proud 1,211 feet.
There are two observation decks located on the 86th and 102nd floors. From these decks, visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the city that never sleeps. On a clear day, you can see about 128 kilometers into New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.
A standard pass will get you 360-degree views from the 86th Floor Observatory, which features indoor and outdoor promenades.
The Space Needle
Not quite as high up as the Empire State Building, but definitely worth a look is the Space Needle. Located in Seattle, Washington, this 520-foot marvel was built in 1962 for the World Fair. The Space Needle remains a favorite landmark among Americans because of its space-inspired architecture.
In August 2018, a new addition to the Space Needle’s observation deck was revealed. Known as “The Loupe”, this new deck is the world’s first and only revolving glass floor, overlooking Seattle at 50 stories high. You can expect to see the downtown Seattle skyline, as well as the Olympic and Cascade Mountains from this platform.
The View from The Shard
This famous tourist attraction is located inside London’s tallest building, The Shard. A set of speedy elevators will take you up to two different viewing levels. The platforms offer visitors a chance to experience England’s capital from incredible heights.
Drink in the view at London’s highest bar or feel the breeze in your hair as you kick back on the open-air Skydeck 72 floors up. While the entrance fee is a bit pricey, it includes a coffee and croissant. Be sure to book your tickets in advance as the lineups can be quite long.
The Shard also offers a “Landmark Guarantee”. If you can’t see at least three pre-specified London landmarks due to bad weather, visitors can return within three months for free.
Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower
This TV tower is a colorful spectacle of pearl-like spheres, standing tall at 1,148 feet. Located along Shanghai’s Huangpu River, the entire structure is supported by three gigantic columns dug deep underground.
The tower consists of 11 spheres, one of which houses the 25-suite Space Hotel and a revolving restaurant in another. Every night, the building is awash in a mesmerizing LED light show.
Inside, visitors can enjoy stunning views of Shanghai from 15 observatory decks located on various floors. There’s also an outside terrace with a 1.5-inch glass floor at the highest deck, known as the Space Module.
The Tokyo Skytree is Japan’s tallest structure, standing proudly at 1,456 feet. Located in bustling Tokyo, the Skytree is a broadcasting tower with incredible views of the city. Its architecture is a fusion of neo-futuristic design and traditional Japanese aesthetics.
Visitors are welcome to explore the observation deck, located at the very top. It features a transparent spiral staircase, which gives guests a direct downward view of the busy streets below.
At the base of the tower, tourists can go shopping at the Tokyo Solamachi, which features over 300 stores. On the 7th floor, there’s a planetarium offering a stunning display of stars, planets, and constellations. Afterward, enjoy dinner and drinks — with an incredible view — at the Tembo Deck restaurant and cafe.