The best way to take in a new city is to find one of its tallest statues, buildings, or towers and climb it. You’ll literally see everything the city has to offer from an amazing vantage point. Here are 7 incredible views you don’t want to miss:
1) Tianmen Mountain, China
Tianmen Mountain is located in Zhangjiajie in the northwestern part of Hunan province in China. It’s name literally means “Heavenly Gate Mountain” because of a huge natural cave that is found halfway up to the summit. There are two ways great ways to take in the view: from the 7,455 metre-long cable car, or from the glass walkway that winds up the mountain. The cable car begins at the nearby Zhangjiajie railway station and ascends all the way to the top of the mountain. The walkway has large sections made of glass, is only three feet wide and situated 4,700 feet above sea level, so you will have to be brave to walk along it. The view will be unbelievable no matter which route you take.
Flickr photo via Reza Ahmeds
2) Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janeiro
This statue in Brazil is one of the world’s best known monuments. It’s 98 feet high, more than 2,326 feet above sea level and is located at the peak of the Corcovado mountains in the Tijuca Forest National Park. The monument overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro and was recently named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Tourists visit the statue year-round and you can reach the summit by tram, by car or by foot. You’ll see some of Rio’s best attractions from the top.
Flickr photo via Porto Bay Trade
3) Montparnasse Tower, Paris
Many people assume the best view in Paris is from the top of the Eiffel Tower. While it is an incredible view, you don’t actually get to see the Tower standing tall above the rest of the city. Instead, why not check out Montparnasse Tower. You can take in all the monuments of Paris from the roof terrace of Montparnasse Tower. You’ll be able to see the entire city from there, including the Eiffel Tower and many of Paris’ most popular attractions. If you go at night, you’ll get a great view of the Eiffel Tower’s bright lights.
Flickr photo via Trodel
4) Table Mountain, Cape Town
The view from Table Mountain in Cape Town is often described as one of the most amazing in South Africa. The flat-topped mountain has been through six million years of erosion and its peak reaches 1,086 metres above sea level. If you climb to the top, you’ll find that the mountain is home to one of the richest (but smallest) floral kingdoms in the world. You might also spot some of the rare and endangered species that live on the mountain. The mountain overlooks the city of Cape Town and from the top, you’ll see where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.
Flickr photo via warrenski
Flickr photo via TravelingOtter
5) Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center, New York City
New York City is full of skyscrapers that you can ascend to get an amazing view of the city. Two of the most popular are the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center. The Empire State Building is the tallest building in New York and its observation deck (found on the 86th floor) is located 1,050 feet above the city. From there, you’ll get a 360 degree view of the incredibly tall buildings around you.
The Rockefeller Center is not quite as high up – it ranks 10th on the list of New York’s tallest buildings. However, a view from the “Top of the Rock” definitely won’t disappoint. You’ll actually get to see the Empire State Building from Rockefeller Centre, and their timed entry system means shorter wait times.
Flickr photo via Dimitry B
6) Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon sees more than five million visitors each year, and with good reason. It was formed over a period of around three to six million years, and is an incredible 445.7 kilometres long and 29 kilometres wide. While at the Grand Canyon, make sure you check out the Skywalk. This see-through platform extends over the Canyon and gives you the chance to look straight down below you. Or, you can just stand on the edge and admire the view. Looking at a photograph of the Grand Canyon simply doesn’t do it justice; it really is something you should experience in person.
Flickr photo via Moyan_Brenn_be_back_on_Jan_20th
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