18 of the best views in the world

From buzzing city sprawls to natural beauty as far as the eye can see, we're shaping up the very best views in the world. How many have you seen?
Hot air balloons above Bagan in Myanmar
Hot air balloons above Bagan in Myanmar

Updated: 2 June 2023

If any of these destinations are on your travel wish list, you're in for a treat; in our book, they're among the most jaw-dropping views on the globe. From mountainous terrain to seaside wonder and glitzy cityscapes, you'll want to keep your camera at the ready for these 18 best views in the world.

The information in this article is inspired by the Inside Guides - your essential guides for visiting the world.

1. Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Victoria Peak easily takes the cake as Hong Kong's most celebrated attraction – and with views like these, we can't say we disagree. The highest point on the island is linked to the city through the famous Peak Tramway, which delights visitors with downright epic views of the glitzy metropolis below (it also happens to be the world's steepest funicular railway). 

Make your way to the top on Insight Guides' Hong Kong Highlights vacation – as soon as it's safe to do so, once coronavirus has passed. On particularly clear days, you may even catch a glimpse of mainland China. 

View from Victoria Peak.View from Victoria Peak. Photo: Shutterstock

2. Tokyo Skytree

For knockout views of Tokyo, the Skytree certainly tops the list. The magnificent structure towers over 2,000 feet in the air, serving as the highest observatory in the city. The views – all at once sweeping and panoramic – are as stellar as they come, offering a one-of-a-kind look at the urban sprawl below. When it's safe to travel, pencil in a visit on Insight Guides Completely Japan holiday.

Fun fact: The Skytree's name was actually selected through a nationwide competition. 

 View from Tokyo Skytree. Photo: Shutterstock

3. Lipton's Seat, Sri Lanka

Misty, cloud-kissed hills are the landscape of Lipton's Seat, an unrivalled swathe of Sri Lankan beauty. You'll find the perch, which was named after the famous Victorian tea mogul Thomas Lipton, just east of Haputale. The area is perhaps best known for playing host to the lovely Dambatenne tea factory.

But it's beyond the delightful tea gardens, up through the charming country lanes, that you'll find jaw-dropping views of the Sri Lankan countryside. Majestic and serene, the vistas at Lipton's Seat remain among the best on this beautiful, exotic island. Venture out to this off-the-beaten-path destination on Insight Guides' Insight Guides' Sri Lanka Deluxe trip package.

Dawn at tea plantation -Lipton's Seat, Sri Lanka. Photo: Shutterstock

4. Corcovado, Rio 

Chances are, you recognise this iconic landmark – known the world over for its astounding views of colourful Rio de Janeiro. The summit of Corcovado is home to the historic Christ the Redeemer statue; the site was deemed a New Wonder of the World in 2007, and it brings in two million visitors each year. The ones who make it to the top are rewarded with 360-degree views of Rio. 

If you venture into the rainforest hiding behind Corcovado, you'll be in for another treat. The gazebo at the Chinese View platform is a premier spot for catching the gorgeous Rio sunset. Reach out to an Insight Guides travel expert to plan your next private trip to Brazil, when travel resumes to the Latin American beauty.

Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, standing on top of Corcovado Hill.Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, standing on top of Corcovado Hill. Photo: Shutterstock

5. Tignale, Lake Garda, Italy

Lake Garda, a beloved part of the Italian Lakes, is known for its dreamlike blue water and picturesque cliffs. The lovely town of Tignale is a quiet escape that offers up unsurpassed views of the Lake. Boundless greenery, jagged hills, and the sparkling water come together to create an absolute delight for sightseers. 

Tignale is Mother Nature at her best, a striking display of alpine wonder and wide expanses of untouched beauty. Italy is opening to visitors in June in the wake of coronavirus; you can discover Lake Garda on an ultra-luxe Italian vacation: Insight Guides can create your perfect trip for you.

 Eremo di Montecastello (Tignale), a small church at the top of a mountain on Garda Lake. Photo: Shutterstock

6. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia's crowning architectural jewel are the Petronas Twin Towers – an impressive display of human ingenuity and creative vision. It also has a reputation for offering some of the absolute best views of Kuala Lumpur. The towers are among the tallest in the world, a shimmering marriage of glass and steel; softness and strength.

Make your way to the Skybridge, which settles in just over 40 levels high and provides a sneak peek of some tantalising panoramas. But it's really level 86 that'll knock your socks off. This is where you'll be graced with the most commanding views of the city. 

Add it to your itinerary on Insight Guides' Traditional Malaysia and Wild Borneo getaway for that bucket-list trip once the coronavirus pandemic is passed.

Aerial view of Kuala Lumpur from Petronas Towers, Malaysia. Photo: Shutterstock

7. Burj Khalifa, Dubai

When most people think of Dubai, it's an epic skyline that usually springs to mind first. The larger-than-life Burj Khalifa certainly adds to the magic. This extraordinary building pierces the sky over 2,700 feet above the ground, making it the tallest building in the world

If you don't suffer from a fear of heights, check out the outdoor observatory. Level 148 provides awe-inspiring views of Dubai in miniature. Give it a whirl during a luxury stopover in the UAE with Insight Guides.

Burj Khalifa over Dubai.Burj Khalifa over Dubai. Photo: Shutterstock

8. Bagan, Myanmar

In need of some quiet introspection? The views above Bagan, Myanmar, set the stage like nowhere else. This picturesque bit of Southeast Asia is peppered with ancient pagodas and sacred temples, which dot the landscape like a blanket of metallic jewels. A sunrise hot-air balloon ride is the vantage point of choice. 

The greenery and temples set against the hilltops in the distance is a sight to behold. Take it all in on Insight Guides' Myanmar Dreams vacation – once it's safe to travel, of course.

 A group of Bagan pagodas in Myanmar. Photo: Shutterstock

9. Printemps Haussmann, Paris

The City of Light is definitely packed with ultra-inspiring viewpoints, making it all the more difficult to pin down just one. We did our digging here, uncovering one of the very best places to enjoy Paris's enchanting views: Printemps Haussmann. This department  store, it turns out, is known for more than fashion – the city views are said to be superb. 

The store's terrace offers grand views of the Eiffel Tower and beyond. The best part? It's free and generally less crowded. When coronavirus has passed, see it between shopping sprees on Insight Guides' Luxury Paris holiday.

Boulevard Haussman from Printemps Haussman, Paris. Photo: Shutterstock

10. Carlton Centre observation deck, Johannesburg

Anyone who's been to Cape Town can vouch for South Africa's majestic views. Johannesburg certainly follows suit. The city's historic Carlton Centre observation deck, located on the 50th floor, is where it's at for witnessing the City of Gold from up above. 

From this vantage point, the sprawling city looks like a surreal artist's rendering. Browse Insight Guides' holidays to South Africa here; and add Johannesburg to your itinerary.

Johannesburg skyline seen from the Top of Africa viewpoint in the Carlton Center. Photo: Shutterstock

11. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay regularly plays host to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. The national performing arts centre is also a truly stunning sight, earning a spot on our list of best views in the world. 

This striking piece of modern architecture features massive dome-shaped structures that burst to life come nightfall thanks to a seemingly endless number of sparkling lights – all of which gorgeously reflect off the mirror-like Marina Bay. 

For a dose of culture while abroad, be sure to add this one to your list. When it is safe to travel once more, Insight Guides can whisk you away to this knockout destination with our Indulgent Singapore trip.

Esplanade and Marina Bay in Singapore. Photo: Shutterstock

12. Arch of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The image of the limestone arch of Cabo San Lucas is an iconic one. The millennia-old structure is the result of the delicate relationship between wind and tides. The final result is a landmark of epic proportions; a towering archway rising up out of the sea. By day, it's difficult to tell where the aquamarine water ends and the sky begins. 

Day's end is another story; catching the sunset in this bit of paradise is a once-in-a-lifetime treat as soft blazes of amber descend through the archway itself. Insight Guides' Baja: Pacific Coast Paradise trip can take you there.

Arch of Cabo San Lucas.Arch of Cabo San Lucas - one of the best views in the world. Photo: Shutterstock

13. Málaga Port, Andalucia, Spain

There's a reason writer Joanna Styles chose Málaga Port as her favourite urban view in all of Andalucia. It affords stunning, panoramic vistas of Málaga in all its splendour. The city's biggest draw, aside from being the birthplace of Picasso, is its position along Costa del Sol. Absorb top-notch views of Málaga's celebrated cathedral. 

Venture out to the eastern end of the city, and you'll stumble upon historical ruins including the 11th-century Alcazaba. But it's the port views you'll likely remember most. Spain is planning to open to tourists this summer, so – provided UK quarantine rules are relaxed – you might be able to steal a glimpse on Insight Guides' luxury Andalucia Explored trip.

Malaga port view from Gibralfaro. Photo: Shutterstock

14. Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan

Perched on the edge of a cliff some 2,900 feet above the Paro Valley is the sacred Tiger's Nest monastery (aka Taktsang Dzong). If seeing unreal Himalayan beauty up close is on your bucket list, look no further than Bhutan. Not surprisingly, pilgrims have been making their way to Tiger's Nest for years. 

Wonderfully remote and overflowing with wonder, this destination (which looks as if it's hugging the cliff to keep from falling to its demise) provides cascading views of the valley below. Lush, mountaintop vegetation sits in the distance. Explore this mesmerising site on your next luxury Himalayan adventure: Our Insight Guides' Splendour in Bhutan trip package ticks all the boxes here.

Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan. Photo: Shutterstock

15. Machu Picchu, Peru

Some tourist attractions are all hype and nothing more. But according to our experts, the Inca city of Machu Picchu is absolutely deserving of the buzz. This historical hotspot is seemingly frozen in time, providing a peek into what life might have been like when it was constructed more than 500 years ago. 

Positioned nearly 8,000 feet high in the rugged Andes, the views are astounding, to say the least. If you're up for a challenge, consider trekking the Inca Trail; the surrounding ruins and exotic plant life make it a worthy experience. Ready to plan a trip for when coronavirus has passed? Insight Guides' Peru Express holiday has you covered.

Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo: Shutterstock

16. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park (also known as Parque Nacional Torres del Paine) is easily the most prized park in all of South America. The landscape is incredibly diverse, covering everything from crystal-blue glaciers to jagged mountain peaks to wide expanses of wild greenery and more. 

In other words, the breathtaking natural views here are positively show-stopping. Attention all view-chasers with a penchant for untamed, remote wilderness: prepare to be dazzled. Explore it – when it's safe to do so – on Insight Guides' Wild Patagonia adventure.

Towering cliffs in Torres del Paine National Park.Towering cliffs in Torres del Paine National Park. Photo: Shutterstock

17. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

At twice the height of Canada’s Niagara, Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River is one of Africa’s, if not the Earth’s, most spectacular natural wonders as the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Called "Mosi-oa-Tunya" (“the Smoke that Thunders”) by local people, its epic rumbling and iridescent mist clouds can be seen from 50km away, and are truly awe-inspiring in closer quarters.

This World Heritage Site captivates visitors as much today as it did explorer David Livingstone in the nineteenth century, and its surrounding area has been declared a National Park to protect against excessive commercialisation.

Over the last ten years many visitors have limited their Zimbabwe experience to Victoria Falls alone, but hopefully now, as the tourism industry expands, they will continue to branch out to witness Zimbabwe’s full array of natural and historical wonders, and breathe life into its healing economy. It’s nothing less than its people deserve.

Victoria Falls view. Photo: Shutterstock

18. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is to Australia what rolling savannahs are to Africa. Calling it “another world”, as the commonest cliché has it, doesn’t begin to describe the feeling of donning masks and fins and coming face to face with its extraordinary animals, shapes and colours.

There’s so little relationship to life above the surface that the distinctions one usually takes for granted – for example between animal, vegetable and mineral – seem blurred. While the respective roles of observer and observed are constantly inverted as shoals of curious fish follow the human interlopers about.Aerial view of Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Shutterstock

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