Cities With the Most Skyscrapers: Top 10 Global Skylines

June 14, 2024

Skyscrapers are more than just tall buildings; they are a testament to human ingenuity, architectural excellence, and urban development. With cities around the world constantly growing and evolving, skyscrapers have become a defining feature of metropolitan skylines. Here, we explore the top ten cities that boast the highest number of these towering structures.

1. Hong Kong SAR

Hong Kong SAR leads the list with a staggering 480 skyscrapers. The city's skyline is a stunning blend of modern high-rises and historic buildings. The International Commerce Centre and Two International Finance Centre stand as prominent landmarks. An interesting fact is that Hong Kong's dense urban landscape has made vertical growth a necessity, resulting in one of the most visually striking skylines in the world.

2. New York City

New York City, the Big Apple, is next with 287 skyscrapers. Known for its iconic Empire State Building and One World Trade Center, NYC’s skyline is synonymous with ambition and innovation. Fun fact: The Empire State Building, completed in 1931, was the tallest building in the world for nearly 40 years.


3. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai has rapidly transformed itself from a desert outpost to a global city with 200 skyscrapers. The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and Princess Tower are standout examples. The pace of Dubai's construction has been nothing short of phenomenal, often setting records in terms of height and design.

"Skyscrapers" by Takashi(aes256) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

4. Shanghai, China

Shanghai, with 163 skyscrapers, is a symbol of China’s rapid urbanization and economic prowess. The Shanghai Tower and Jin Mao Tower dominate its skyline. Interestingly, the Shanghai Tower, completed in 2015, features the world’s highest observation deck.

city with high-rise buildings during nighttime

5. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo boasts 160 skyscrapers, ranking it fifth. The Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower are highly recognizable structures. A unique aspect of Tokyo's skyscrapers is their ability to withstand earthquakes, reflecting Japan's advanced engineering and safety standards.

photo of people crossing road

6. Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen, with 146 skyscrapers, showcases China's rapid advancement in urban development. Kingkey 100 and Ping An Finance Centre are notable towers. Shenzhen’s rapid growth from a small fishing village to a megacity within four decades is a remarkable development story.

landscape photo of a city skyline

7. Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou has 142 skyscrapers, contributing to its status as a major global city. The Canton Tower and Guangzhou International Finance Center highlight its skyline. Interestingly, the Canton Tower features a unique spiral design and was once the tallest tower in the world.

"Skyscrapers in Izmir - Turkey" by BerkeKayalarr is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.

8. Chicago, United States

Chicago ranks eighth with 126 skyscrapers. The Willis Tower and John Hancock Center are iconic symbols of the city’s architectural heritage. Chicago is often considered the birthplace of the skyscraper, with the Home Insurance Building being one of the first tall buildings using steel-frame construction.

Coming to New York City for only the second time, I knew i couldn’t miss out on the iconic FlyNyon helicopter ride at golden hour. Needless to say....it did not disappoint.

9. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore, a city-state known for its urban planning and cleanliness, has 123 skyscrapers. Marina Bay Sands and Tanjong Pagar Centre are standout structures. An interesting aspect is Singapore’s commitment to greenery, with many skyscrapers featuring vertical gardens.

I was on a layover in Singapore and decided to visit the Super Tree Grove at Gardens by the Bay. I arrived in the late afternoon and the lighting was brilliant. This is taken from the walkway connecting the trees. Just an amazing site to visit, especially at sunset.

10. Toronto, Canada

Toronto rounds out the list with 112 skyscrapers. The CN Tower and First Canadian Place are major landmarks. Toronto's growth and its multicultural diversity make it one of the most dynamic cities in North America.

Polson Pier, Torontocity view during nighttime photography
Rank City Country/Region Number of Skyscrapers Notable Buildings
1 Hong Kong SAR China 480 International Commerce Centre, Two International Finance Centre
2 New York City United States 287 Empire State Building, One World Trade Center
3 Dubai United Arab Emirates 200 Burj Khalifa, Princess Tower
4 Shanghai China 163 Shanghai Tower, Jin Mao Tower
5 Tokyo Japan 160 Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower
6 Shenzhen China 146 Kingkey 100, Ping An Finance Centre
7 Guangzhou China 142 Canton Tower, Guangzhou International Finance Center
8 Chicago United States 126 Willis Tower, John Hancock Center
9 Singapore Singapore 123 Marina Bay Sands, Tanjong Pagar Centre
10 Toronto Canada 112 CN Tower, First Canadian Place

This table provides an informative overview of the cities around the world with the most skyscrapers taller than 150 meters, as of June 2024. It's important to note how each city blends architectural innovation with cultural landmarks, highlighting the distinctive skyline and urban development that shape these global metropolises.

FAQs About Skyscrapers in Major Cities

What city has the most skyscrapers?

The city with the most skyscrapers is Hong Kong SAR, boasting an impressive 480 skyscrapers. The city's dense urban landscape has necessitated vertical growth, creating one of the most visually stunning skylines in the world.

Which city in the United States has the most skyscrapers?

New York City holds the title for the most skyscrapers in the United States, with 287 tall buildings. Iconic structures like the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center are major highlights of its skyline.

How rapidly has Dubai developed its skyscrapers?

Dubai has rapidly transformed from a desert outpost to a global city, now featuring 200 skyscrapers. The city is known for record-setting buildings such as the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

What are some notable skyscrapers in Shanghai?

Shanghai is home to 163 skyscrapers, with notable structures including the Shanghai Tower and the Jin Mao Tower. The Shanghai Tower also features the world’s highest observation deck, completed in 2015.

How does Tokyo manage its skyscraper construction given the earthquake risk?

Tokyo, with 160 skyscrapers, utilizes advanced engineering and safety standards to ensure that its tall buildings, such as the Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower, are earthquake-resistant.

What is notable about Shenzhen's skyscraper growth?

Shenzhen's growth in skyscrapers is remarkable, with 146 tall buildings. From a small fishing village, the city has evolved into a megacity within four decades, exemplified by structures like Kingkey 100 and the Ping An Finance Centre.

What sets Guangzhou’s skyscrapers apart?

Guangzhou, with 142 skyscrapers, features unique architectural designs such as the spiral-shaped Canton Tower. This tower was previously the tallest in the world, highlighting Guangzhou's innovative skyline.

Why is Chicago significant in the history of skyscrapers?

Chicago is often considered the birthplace of the skyscraper with 126 such buildings. The city's architectural heritage includes pioneering structures like the Willis Tower and John Hancock Center.

How does Singapore incorporate greenery into its skyscrapers?

Singapore, a city with 123 skyscrapers, is renowned for its commitment to greenery. Many of its tall buildings, like Marina Bay Sands and Tanjong Pagar Centre, feature vertical gardens, contributing to the city's reputation for urban planning and cleanliness.

What are some key skyscrapers in Toronto?

Toronto, with 112 skyscrapers, is known for landmarks such as the CN Tower and First Canadian Place. The city's growth and multicultural diversity make it a dynamic metropolis in North America.

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JJ Sterling
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter and an architecture graduate from Chicago, I thrive on crafting a digital nexus where architectural innovation intersects with boundless digital opportunity. My academic roots in the Windy City's rich architectural tapestry inspire a unique vision for Urban Splatter's journey into the ever-evolving digital frontier of design. Join us as we navigate the exciting confluence of structure, style, and technology.

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