6 of the world’s best lookouts


Sometimes there are views where you just have to stop and look. These are the kind of sights where photos just don’t do it justice and need to be seen in real life to be believed. Whether it is atop the largest building in the world, a cityscape on a rooftop bar or snow-capped mountains, we’ve compiled views that will simply take your breath away.

Discover six locations around the world for seeing the most inspiring views below.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Naturally, as the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa enjoys truly jaw-dropping views. The iconic tower holds several records, including having the greatest number of storeys and the highest outdoor observation deck in the world; the At the Top decks can be found on levels 124 and 125, while At the Top SKY also includes the 148th floor.

Each deck offers amazing views of Dubai’s famous skyline, and the journey up there is thrilling too – you’ll be transported at 10m/s in the world’s fastest double-deck elevators! For the ultimate Dubai experience, why not combine a visit to the Burj Khalifa with a stay at the Burj Al Arab; one of the world’s finest hotels, accommodation here is sublime and the afternoon tea is unmissable.

Aurora Sky Station, Sweden

Named by Lonely Planet as the premier location for seeing the Northern Lights, Abisko’s Aurora Sky Station sits 900m above sea level. Clear skies and stunningly fresh air make a visit here incredible in its own right, although the chance to spot the most famous light show on earth is certainly a bonus!

Most travellers dream of seeing the Aurora Borealis in person at least once, and with lights spotted from the Sky Station more or less every night (activity may vary) this is the very best place to head to for one-of-a-kind views. Night-time visits here begin with a chairlift ride through the silently atmospheric Abisko National Park, and there’s also an option to include a traditional Nordic four-course dinner to further enhance your experience of this world-renowned phenomenon.

Banff Glacier Skywalk, Canada

There’s no shortage of spectacular views in Canada, with some of the best found in Banff, Alberta. Characterised by snow-capped mountains and rugged rocky landscapes, here visitors can spot waterfalls, glaciers, ancient fossils and fascinating wildlife.

One of the top ways to take it all in is on the Glacier Skywalk experience, which begins at the incredible Columbia Icefield, continues along the Discovery Trail cliff-edge walkway and culminates in an unforgettable journey along a glass platform that sits 280m above the Sunwapta Valley.

You don’t need any particular experience to head up on the Skywalk, which is wheelchair accessible. For even more breathtaking views, why not travel to Banff aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, for one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world?

Corcovado, Brazil

Looming over Rio de Janeiro, Corcovado is a colossal 710m granite mountain famously topped by the renowned Christ the Redeemer statue.

Standing almost 40m tall overlooking the city, the art deco sculpture is truly one of the world’s most iconic images, and making a pilgrimage to this distinguished site is a popular feature on many a travel bucket list.

Visitors can hike, take the road or ride the cog train up to the summit of Corcovado, journeying through the lush Tijuca National Park and taking in remarkable views out over the city below en route. No trip to Rio is complete without visiting Corcovado and the statue, along with Copacabana beach and the Sugarloaf Mountain cable car.

Vertigo and Moon Bar, Thailand

Bangkok boasts a selection of rooftop bars, but nothing quite compares to the experience of spending an evening at Vertigo, on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel. Staggered tiers of seating here maximise the sensational views, which are the perfect accompaniment for your gourmet meal or signature cocktail.

Service is friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the backdrop can’t be topped – literally, as there’s no roof or walls above you, offering a panoramic outlook over the twinkling city skyline. Our top tip is to book ahead, and make sure you’ve got a prime seat before sunset to make the most of your experience. Fantastic food, terrific tipples and spectacular scenery… you’ll truly feel on top of the world.

Tsala Treetop Lodge, South Africa

This unique resort is set high amongst the treetops of the Tsitsikamma Forest, offering guests a dramatic bird’s eye view of the canopy below. Located in the heart of the country’s famous Garden Route, here you’ll be ideally situated for exploring, should you be able to tear yourself away from your suite’s window. The lodge is a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux collection, so the staggering views are complemented by outstanding service.

Each of the luxurious treehouse-style suites has its own wraparound deck and private infinity pool – the perfect place for taking in your magical surroundings. Enjoy delicious African cuisine at Zinzi Restaurant, and treat yourself to a bottle or two of South Africa’s finest wines from the hidden wine cellar.

Sarah Roberts is Director of Inspiring Travel Company. The Inspiring Travel Company, established in 1974, offers exceptional tailor-made luxury holidays and experiences to some of the most elegant and desirable destination across the globe.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blogin order to raise your profile, please contact us.


Comments (12)

  1. John Talbot says:

    What an astounding catalogue of bucket-list places. Also what I like is the range of views shown from the city through coastal and wild. For me the African lodge would be my first choice.

    • Sarah Roberts says:

      Thanks John, I agree, definitely places that can take your breath away. I love the African lodge too!

  2. Lydia Haigh says:

    I think most people have the ambition of seeing the Northern Lights. I’ve got to say that if you’re searching out the Northern Lights then a trip to the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko has got to be the way to go. Even if weather conditions are against you then there’s still the consolation of a 4 course meal.

    • Sarah Roberts says:

      I agree – searching for the Northern Lights is one of the reasons Iceland has become such a popular holiday destination. Another place I would recommend is the Treehotel – and, like the Aurora Sky Station, even if you don’t see the Northern Lights, the scenery and accommodation alone would make it extra special.

  3. Nick says:

    I envy people who work in the travel industry and it must be great to have all of this knowledge of the world’s greatest attractions at their fingertips. It must mean that people like this are always being invited to dinner parties. People always love to talk about their own travel and get ideas from other people too on where to go to next.

    • Sarah Roberts says:

      It is definitely a privilege working in this industry. Although, I’ve not been invited to any dinner parties recently!

  4. Oscar says:

    I’ve done the Burj Khalifa. Looking down on Dubai it really is like looking down on a toy town. I spent five minutes watching a train on the metro as it headed out of the city centre up towards the Marina. You are supposed to be able to see across the Gulf to Iran but the air quality wasn’t great when I visited so coudn’t see that far.

    • Sarah Roberts says:

      That’s a shame about the air quality – it must have been quite surreal seeing everything like it was a toy town.

  5. Claire Marston says:

    These are stunning! I would love to see the Aurora Borealis, that’s one of my bucket list hopes. Seeing the Christ the Redeemer statue from a higher vantage point and looking out over the water and city scape would be very impressive, too. I’d add the Grand Canyon to this list, though I think viewing it from a helicopter would probably be the best way to take in the scope of it.

    • Sarah Roberts says:

      The Grand Canyon is definitely a view that takes your breath away. I remember going there and even though I had high expectations, they were still met.

  6. Sally Arnold says:

    I’ve not been to Brazil and you put together a compelling case for visiting Rio de Janiero. I didn’t know that you access that awesome statue through tropical parkland. When the journey is an adventure in itself that’s another good reason to tick off one of the world’s most iconic sights.

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