Seeing the city from above adds a completely new dimension to your understanding of its soul. The skyscrapers stretched across the horizon, the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, or Big Ben piercing the sky as the sunsets and the city lights awaken to fill the night, the experience is unparalleled. There are plenty of places to stand on top of the world. Below we listed a few of the obvious starting points as well as a few alternatives. These are just a sampling. Note that while many of these views are from hotels, you do not necessarily have to stay. Rather grab a bite to eat in their lounges or restaurants that promote their city views.

#1
New York City

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New York has more than its fair share of views. For the quick fix, the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Plaza’s peak will give you a 360 view of the Big Apple, the Empire State building sits at eye level instead of miles high and central park lays sprawled beneath you. During the day, tourists will flood the place, but thankfully, Top of the Rock is open until midnight so the night-lights are available for viewing. For a more intimate experience, the Hotel on Rivington’s designer rooms open the city from your bedside. You’re not renting a room, your renting an observation deck with a mattress. Location is great too as its just blocks from the SoHo district.

#2
Sydney
Australia

Visitors to the land down under cannot call their trip a success without a visit to Sidney’s Opera house. For the perfect view of both the unique architecture of this monument to music and Syndey’s silhouette stamped in the sky, no place comes closer to Sangri-La. This chic location opens up Australia to your designer room with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the harbor. It will cost a pretty penny though, some European Royalty enjoy their Australian excursions here. For a lower priced alternative, try out the Pullman Quay Grand Suites that also boasts a wonderful view of the city from its Q Dining top floor restaurant.

#3
London
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Several locations offer great views of London, but few are as interesting at the London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel. A 443 foot (that’s 135 meters for our metric visitors) Ferris wheel that overlooks the greater part of the massive city of London. It’s no simple sit and ride either. Each “cabin” is big enough to stand in while you take in Big Ben and parliament. While relatively new, the London Eye has already become a city symbol much like the Empire State Building or the Eiffel tower in their respective cities. However, if you would rather look at the Millennium Wheel against the skyline than ride it, The Jumeirah Carlton Tower offers the best of London’s hotel views.

#4
Paris
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Yes, the Eiffel tower offers a great view of Paris. Yes, you should ride to the top. Nevertheless, it lacks one thing: A view of the Eiffel Tower. A striking beauty of human engineering and more gorgeous than several Christmas trees at night, the Eiffel Tower is more beautiful to behold. That leaves you with a few options: The Hotel Duquesne Eiffel and the Hôtel de Crillon are top contenders. Delegates and royalty often stay at the Hôtel de Crillon so expect to pay what they do. If you can afford it though, the interior architecture artistry of the hotel rivals that of the City of Love itself. Hotel Duquesne Eiffel is quainter, simpler and arguably trendier. Though it is no French palace, the views are as good as anywhere you could hope to find.

#5
Hong Kong

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Few skylines can compare to Hong Kong. For the best viewing of this technological city of neon light you can either be Batman and stand on top of the International Finance Center (not recommended) or stay in the glass tower of the InterContinental. Overlooking the Harbor and Kowloon Bay, the ground floor lounge panorama is fantastic but when the sun falls Hong Kong becomes a city of electric wonderment, nothing beats the view from the top floor restaurants.