The Best Skylines in China

The sprawling skyline of Chongqing, China.
The sprawling skyline of Chongqing, China.

China is growing at a very notable pace and with this growth comes the construction of tall buildings which measure over 200 meters tall. In the last two decades (from 1990) alone, China has given the world magnificent skylines. Apart from well-known boom towns like Shanghai and Hong Kong, there are other cities in China with horizons that are worth discussing.

10. Shanghai

Shanghai is the most populated city in the world with a population of 24 million people. Over a span of the 20 past years, the city has seen the construction of more than 7,000 buildings that are taller than 11 stories high. The city is home to the tallest skyscrapers in the world, including the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial center which stands at 492 meters (1,614 ft). Also present is the Shanghai Tower at 632 meters (2,073 ft), making it the tallest building in China and second tallest in the world.

9. Chongqing

Chongqing is located in southwest China at the convergence of two rivers, the Yangtze and the Jialing. Chongqing is home to 18 million people in its urban region. The city has been categorized among the thirteen emerging megacities in China. Chongqing possesses more than 26 buildings that are 200 meters or taller. With such structures, the skyline is rising rapidly. The tallest building is the Chongqing World Financial Centre, which stands at 339 m (1112 feet).

8. Guangzhou

Historically known as Canton, Guangzhou is one of China’s biggest centres of trade. As such, most of this city’s skyscrapers are for commercial purposes. The Guangzhou International Centre is the tallest building measuring 530 m (1,740 ft). This structure is the 3rd tallest in China and seventh tallest building in the world. The Canton Tower, used as an observation tower and a TV booster, is the tallest structure in the city. The booster that stands at 2,000ft, is lit by thousands of LED lights.

7. Beijing

Beijing is an urbanite's paradise. The tallest building in the city is the China World Trade Center III which stands at 330 meters (1,083 ft). Coming in at second tallest building is the Fortune Plaza Office Building 1 which is 260 meters (853 ft) tall. The third tallest is the Park Hyatt Tower, standing at 250 m (820 ft). Despite the many tall buildings, critics feel that the skyline is not iconic due to the lack of a water body that separates the city and other parts. The presence of a water body also offers a better-unobstructed view.

6. Wuhan

Wuhan is found in Hubei Province. It is the most populous City in Central China. The city is located where the Yangtze and Han Rivers intersect. Wuhan offers remarkable views for lovers of skyscrapers, thanks nonetheless to the tall buildings and their reflection on the water. Currently, the tallest building dominating Wuhan’s skyline is the Wuhan Centre at 438 m (1,437 ft). The Wuhan Skyline is bound to become taller later this year with the completion of the Wuhan Greenland Centre which is set to be 636 m (2,087 ft). At completion this will be the tallest building in China.

5. Chengdu

The second largest city in Western China, Chengdu has a urban population of over 11 million people. The tallest building in this town is the Tianfu Times Tower which stands at 180 m (590 feet) tall. Despite lacking the extreme volume of skyscrapers like its neighboring Chongqing, Chengdu itself has more than 28 skyscrapers completed and decorating its skyline. At night, the Chengdu skyline looks magnificent with the millions of lights contrasting against the dark sky.

4. Hangzhou

Home to two world heritage features, The West Lake and the Grand Canal, Hangzhou is well-known as one of China's most picturesque urban areas. Although smaller than some other entires on this list, Hangzhou's skyline deserves an honorable mention. The city is home to the Bodi Centre Tower 1 which stands at 310 meters (1017ft). The illuminated skyline of several buildings offers an impressive sight.

3. Tianjin

This city, located along the west coast of the Bohai Gulf, has numerous skyscrapers - even more than its nearby neighbor of Beijing. There are three extremely tall skyscrapers in the city with the tallest measuring 597 meters tall. Punctuating the skyline is a telecom tower and ten other skyscrapers which are upcoming.

2. Shenzhen

Shenzhen is an economic hub found in the province of Guangdong. The city boasts of 1108 high-rises with the tallest being the Ping An Finance Centre which is 599 m (1,965 ft) tall. Shenzhen’s skyline is growing rapidly, and is considered to be among the best in the world. At the moment Shenzhen is home to 59 buildings over 200 meters tall.

1. Harbin

Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province. The city’s skyline started developing in the 19th century when Russian engineers visited the town to build the Trans-Siberian Rail. Many buildings in Harbin are Russian-inspired in design. The tallest buildings include the Agricultural Science and Technology International Centre standing at 226 meters, the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Tower which is 201 meters tall and the Office Building standing at 190 meters.


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