It’s a no-brainer that the best views are often seen when standing on higher ground. So skyscrapers around the world - including the world’s tallest building - would naturally draw millions of visitors to their observation decks with the promise of spectacular views. We decided to take this a step further and compile a list of five observation decks around the world that offer the most jaw-dropping views - not necessarily from the top of a skyscraper, but definitely with a unique experience of its own and a good reason to be left in awe. So grab your camera and get ready to be amazed.
Source: Hallstatt.net © Kraft
The world’s best observation deck with a mountain view has got to be the Skywalk at Hallstatt, Austria which stands at 360 meters from ground level and extends 12 meters out. Under the protection of its title as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this magnificent view of Lake Hallstatt’s deep blue hues against a dramatic backdrop of the Eastern Alps ain’t going anywhere for awhile. From the Skydeck that is built right below the Rudolfsturm (Rudolf tower), you can see the little town of Hallstatt which prides itself in the history of salt mining that dates way back to medieval times. Funicular services are available at the foot of the mountain, making the ascend to the top a delightfully pleasant one as you can begin enjoying the view even in transit. To take the funicular to the Skydeck alone will cost about RM41 (Euro 9). Tickets that include a tour around the famous salt mine just behind the skywalk are about RM157 (Euro 34). The Rudolfsturm also houses a restaurant that serves traditional Austrian-German dishes so you can enjoy the taste of the region while taking the view.
Source: Visit Norway
The Nordic lands are appreciated for its raw and untouched natural beauty and is a coveted travel destination among many Game of Thrones fans. The architects at Snøhetta recognised this value of the land and built their version of an observation deck at ground-level - a tastefully-designed viewing pavilion “in the middle of nowhere” at Hjerkinn, Norway. Viewpoint Snøhetta, as its called, is a boxed-steel construction with a full glass side that overlooks the great Norwegian plains of Dovre National Park, also giving you a good view of Tverrfjellet mountain.
The structure’s organically designed wood interior creates a warm and calming effect for the viewer upon stepping in. A modern fireplace hangs to the side of the ro, making the atmosphere cosy and comfortable for enjoying a spectacular day view that lies perfectly within the frame of the room. On a clear night, you can see the stars appear at dusk, void of any light pollution as the viewpoint is located an hour and a half from the nearest city. To get here from Dovre city, going by car would be the fastest way to get here. If not take the public bus and train route to Hjerkinn Station, and it's a 50 minute walk to the viewpoint. Pack your lunch and enough water to drink and it’ll be worth the effort if you come at your favourite season.
Image by grandcanyonwest
Yes, the view from the Grand Canyon Skywalk, Arizona is grand indeed, standing 800 feet above ground level - with a glass floor! (cue jelly legs) Opened in 2007, the Skywalk at Eagle Point is aptly structured like a horseshoe, overlooking one of the United States’ natural star attractions in the west which is often traversed on horseback. It was built to hold seventy fully loaded Boeing 747 passenger jets and supports the Hualapai Indian community who are native to Arizona with its other attractions such as an open village tour and a gift shop of their handcrafted items. Full fare adult tickets are priced at RM338 (USD 80.94) which includes a meal but not the other attractions in the area. The Skywalk’s opening hours are from 7am to 4.30pm, with crowds building up by 11am. We recommend coming early to watch the sunrise for a little peace and quiet.
Image by skygardenlondon
The view from the top of 20 Fenchurch Street may not be the highest in the city, but it certainly offers visitors an experience quite different from any other observation deck. A 360 view of the metropolitan awaits visitors at the 43rd floor of the building which is split into three floors, known as the Sky Garden. Living up to its name, towering fern trees and an assortment of plant species make up exquisite landscape features within, while floor to ceiling glass windows allow in plenty of natural light and a dramatic display of the sunset each day. Dining and having a few good drinks up here is a popular activity, and you’ll be pleased to know the entrance is free! The only catch is, you need to book your visit at least three weeks in advance, or make it in time for the special walk-in slots as spaces are limited for crowd control. For bookings and more information visit the website here.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the world’s (current) tallest tower of course. Standing at 829.8 meters high, is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Views from the lounge at level 154 (585 meters high) are almost god-like and understandably can have quite a dizzy effect for mere mortals. Being a star attraction in Dubai, the skyscraper proudly holds the world record for a number of things including having the highest number of stories a building can have, the second highest outdoor observation deck (after the one at the Shanghai Tower), and the tallest and fastest elevator service that cruises at 10 meters per second! Get ready to pop your ears a few times as you ascend to the top! The observation deck has been named “At The Top” and opens daily from 8.30am to 11pm. Tickets start at RM692 (608 AED) and can be purchased at the official website here. Other attractions include the Dubai Fountain that is Illuminated by 6,600 lights and 50 coloured projectors and the 11-hectare park which surrounds the building at ground level.
And there we have it! Five of many incredibly jaw-dropping observation deck views from around the world. The pursuit of the world’s best observation deck views will always be a matter of perspective especially if height isn’t the only factor with skin in the game. Travel more and you’ll soon be able to compile your own preferred list of spectacular views that give you a glimpse of how wonderful our world is - city, country, and beyond. Book your next travel destination flight with us already!