You’re a wanderer. A traveler. Someone who loves to see different cities and the architecture they hold. Not content to stay put, you love to create detailed itineraries that take you across the world.
And the truth is, while there are hundreds of natural wonders to be seen, humans create some of the most astonishing feats of architecture. And with that being said, there are certain cities that top the charts when it comes to architecture.
These destinations are some of the world’s best for architecture buffs, showcasing brilliant structures that are unrivaled anywhere else in the world.
Let us set an itinerary for you. If you want to see the most beautiful cities in the world, make sure these are included on your list.
When people think of this city, they tend think of its magnificent riches and deep oil money. But the architecture is seriously impressive.
The city boasts the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and the design of the building is comparable to a rocket ship. This magnificent building has held the title since its construction in 2010.
The most iconic hotel found in Dubai is the Burj Al Arab, and standing at 321 meters, this is the world’s fourth tallest hotel. Sitting atop a private island, saying this architecture is stunning is a severe understatement.
Combining these two, the skyline is unlike anywhere else in the world, boasting not only the world’s tallest building but the world’s tallest hotel.
Athens, Greece showcases some of the most breathtaking architecture in existence. Ancient Athens was millenniums ahead of its time.
The Parthenon, located on the Acropolis Hill, was built in 448 BC and is made completely out of marble using Doric order, an ancient architectural style. While part of this temple was destroyed, this incredible piece of architecture is just one of many found in this ancient city.
The combination of modern European architecture with the ancient Roman buildings creates a stunning contrast.
With over 3,000 years of history, this city is home to thousands of magnificent historical buildings. And yet every day, the cityscape evolves further.
The New CCTV Tower is the equivalent of two giant inverted “L’s” being connected, bringing a wildly designed building that is 234 meters tall. There are 52 above ground floors along with three floors hidden underground. The area it covers is a massive 470,000 square meters.
The city also has China’s second-biggest museum, the Capital Museum in the Xicheng District, covering over 60,000 square meters and featuring over 5,622 culture relics. You’ll also find the National Stadium that was built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The steel bands come together to create the dome it has become so famous for.
As one of the centers of American architecture, Chicago is breathtaking. The multicultural heritage paired with the history of the city creates a potpourri of styles found in few other locations.
On a single trip through the city, you can see the grand Graystones found along Lawndale and Logan Boulevard, the skyscrapers located at the Loop, Chicago Bungalows, Two-Flats, and the Polish Cathedrals.
The city began building steel-frame skyscrapers beginning in the 1890s, and in the 120 years since, the skyline has become a thing of beauty.
This Islamic city, founded in 634, has transformed over the years from being an Islamic military outpost into a center of marvelous architectural beauty. Throughout this city, you’ll find Fatimid architecture, as well as surviving tombs, gates, walls, and mosques. You’ll discover architectural feats such as the Al-Azhar Mosque, Al-Hakim Mosque, Juyushi, and the Great Mosque of Mahdiya.
You’ll also find the three Fatimid-era gates in this city, including Bab al-Nasr, Bab Zuweila, and Bab al-Futuh, making for an architectural experience that isn’t found in any other city in the world.
And perhaps to top it all off, you’ll find the pyramids close by, which truly are one of the few architectural wonders of world.
The structures found throughout Shanghai are unrivaled across the globe, including the Laszlo Hudec’s Park Hotel and the Longhua Temple, Shanghai’s oldest and largest monastery. The Jin Mao Tower, an 88-story skyscraper, models the the Art Deco Modern style , and the Nanpu Bridge is another must-see as it is the fourth longest cable-stayed bridge on this planet.
Rome contains everything from Classical to Imperial Roman architecture styles, as well as the modern Fascist architecture. You’ll find historically innovative forms of classical architecture, including the dome, the vault, and the arch.
The architecture is a walk through history, including the Romanesque style from the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, moving to the Renaissance and Baroque styles, and finally progressing to Fascist and Neo-Classical architecture styles. The city truly is a must-see for any traveler.
The various governments that have ruled Berlin throughout history have created a gorgeous blend of architectural styles. The Kingdom of Prussia, the reunified Federal Republic of Germany, Nazi Germany, East Germany, the 1871 German Empire, and the Weimar Republic each added their own unique flavor to the city.
One of the most astounding feats is the 368-meter tall Fernsehturm at Alexanderplatz in Mitte. Able to be seen from multiple Berlin central districts, it boasts an impressive view of the city, with an observation floor located 204 meters off the ground
The city that never sleeps also boasts some of the most breathtaking architecture in the world. With numerous commercial and residential districts, the contrast of the low- and high-rise areas makes this city rather unique.
One of the jewels of the city is the Woolworth Building. It was constructed in 1913 and acts as a reminder of a time when Gothic architecture was popularized. The building possesses steel spires and tapered tops, showcasing the unique zoning requirements of the time.
You’ll also see the Art Deco design of both the Empire State Building, which was constructed in 1931, and the Chrysler Building, which was built in 1930. The Chrysler Building is noted as one of the most impressive structures in city, with incredible details in its V-shaped lighting inserts and a steel spire to top it off. This city brings impressive sky-kissing buildings that attract attention from across the globe.
Istanbul is a melting pot of various influences from various points in history. Within the ancient city, you’ll find the Walls of Constantinople which Emperor Theodosius had constructed during the 5th century as a precaution to protect his people from invaders.
Buildings and statues coming from Genoese, Ottoman, modern Turkish, and Byzantine influences are scattered throughout the city as well. With the multiple cultures and ethnicities merging together in Istanbul, it’s not hard to understand why there are so many architectural feats in the form of castles, towers, synagogues, churches, and mosques.
The architecture found in this famous French city is beyond breathtaking. People flock from across the globe to gather in the city of romance, but the architecture is what they stay for.
Gothic style architecture was born in this city, and you’ll find monuments derived from the French Renaissance as well as the Classical revival eras. The reign of Napoleon III is remembered through the flamboyant style that he incorporated, including the Art Nouveau and the Belle Epoque styles. Paris landmarks include the Grand Palais and the Eiffel Tower, which came with the great Paris Universal Expositions of 1889 and 1900. You’ll also find the Art Deco style that first came to the city during the 20th century.
Your itinerary is now set. You know the most beautiful cities in the world, as well as what makes them so beautiful. And with the cities on this list, you really do have years of travel to look forward to.
Tom Freston said:
Travel early and travel often. Live abroad, if you can. Understand cultures other than your own. As your understanding of other cultures increases, your understanding of yourself and your own culture will increase exponentially.