World Facts

The Best City Skylines in Europe

What is it that makes a skyline great?

Europe’s architecture is often associated with medieval architecture and ancient buildings from centuries ago. But this is beginning to change with the new futuristic building designs that are shaping the skylines of Europe’s biggest cosmopolitan cities. These new skyscrapers possess typical European design and building style. They rise as high as those found in countries such as China, Japan, Canada, and the United States. This new architectural taste is redefining the skyline of most European cities such as Frankfurt, London, and Rotterdam while preserving the old treasures of the cities.

10. Paris

Editorial credit: Luciano Mortula - LGM / Shutterstock.com

The French capital is one of the most renowned cities in the world, known for its enchanting romance and alluring attraction sites. The city of Paris is home to some of the world’s most important business centers and as such, skyscrapers are on the rise. Historically, this has not been the case with the authorities prohibiting the construction of high rise buildings due to Paris’ many underground tunnels which would interfere with construction. A new business suburb known as La Defense is home to the tallest buildings in the city. The First Tower in Paris is the tallest, rising to 231 meters. The Montparnasse Tower was the first to be constructed and rises to 210 meters high.

9. Frankfurt

#9 Frankfurt

Frankfurt has the most impressive skyline of any city in Europe and has earned itself nicknames such as Manhattan (New York suburb in the United States) and Bankfurt for this reason. It is also one of the most livable cities and an economic powerhouse for Germany. The city was obliterated during the Second World War and this instigated a new approach to redevelopment. It incorporates futuristic building designs dominating the skyline. Frankfurt architecture is different from the rest of German cities and Europe. It is home to important business centers such as Commerzbank (259 meters), Deutsche Bank, and the European Central Bank.

8. Liverpool

#8 Liverpool

Liverpool, located on the northwestern coast of England has one of the most impressive skylines in Britain and Europe. Since 1911, Liverpool had the tallest buildings in the United Kingdom specifically the Royal Liver Building which stood at 90 meters. Today, the West Tower is the tallest skyscraper in the city rising to 140 meters. The Radio City Tower follows close at 138 meters tall and the Liverpool Cathedral takes the third spot at 101 meters tall.

7. Budapest

#7 Budapest

Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is one of the biggest cities in Europe. It has important historical buildings and structures that represent the Hungarian political and cultural past. The city is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has magnificent buildings which occupy its skyline although most are located outside the city’s historic center. St. Stephen’s Basilica is the tallest building in Budapest at 96m high together with the Hungarian Parliament building.

6. London

#6 London

London, regarded as the world’s most important financial center, has some of the tallest skyscrapers in Europe. Most of the tallest buildings are in the former old docks on one of the large meanders of Thames River. The tallest skyscraper is the Shard rising to 306 meters high. The second-tallest building is the One Canada Square (236 meters) which was completed in 1991 and long occupied the top spot until 2012. The British capital is home to some futuristic building designs as depicted in the Gherkin building. This building rises to 180 meters high but represents an innovative style of construction.

5. Barcelona

#5 Barcelona

Barcelona is a top tourist city with its sunny Mediterranean skyline occupied by some iconic buildings such as the tower of Torre Mapfe and Hotel Arts. These magnificent buildings rise to 154 meters high. Other high-rise buildings are located outside the city center and near the beach front. In recent years, the skyline of Barcelona has been dominated by modern buildings used for commercial purposes giving the city a futuristic appeal.

4. Istanbul

#4 Istanbul

Istanbul is the capital city of Turkey and the largest city in Europe. It is home to an impressive skyline consisting of modern architecture buildings that form a beautiful urban silhouette. The main business center of Istanbul is Levent Business District which is also home to the most iconic skyscrapers. The tallest building in the district is Sapphire Istanbul towering at 238 meters high. Most skyscrapers in the city are multifunctional housing a variety of commercial banks and luxury residential apartments.

3. Warsaw

#3 Warsaw

The Polish capital has an impressive number of skyscrapers that alter the city’s skyline. Iconic buildings such as the Palace of Culture and Science, built as early as 1955, set the city as an important architectural center. The Palace of Culture and Science building represents a different design and architectural approach from most of the modern skyscrapers. It is, however, one of the tallest structures at 231 meters tall. The Warsaw Trade Center is the second tallest building in the city rising to 208 meters high.

2. Rotterdam

#2 Rotterdam

Rotterdam is an architecturally diverse city with one of the most distinguished skylines in Europe. After the Second World War in which the city was adversely affected and damaged, the city spent decades rebuilding itself. Today, it pays host to the Netherlands tallest buildings, including the Maastoren, the twin towers of Gebouw Delftse Poort, Millenium Tower, and Montevideo. The city has an alluring silhouette and an impressive skyline that continues to expand as more tall buildings are constructed.

1. Moscow

#1 Moscow

Since the 1990s, Moscow has undergone a complete transformation from city occupied by typical Soviet architecture to a modern cosmopolitan with futuristic building designs. There is a high concentration of skyscrapers on the west side of the city. An archetype of the city’s new architectural taste is the Moscow International Business Center located next to the Moscow River. The Federation Tower is the tallest building at 374 meters tall. It is also the tallest building in Europe. The OKO, South Tower is the second tallest in the city at 354 meters high and the second tallest in Europe.

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