Where to admire the greatest skylines

A gorgeous nighttime skyline is a mysterious joy. It evokes excitement and beauty and the feeling of constant movement. When watching the glittering city lights and hearing the soothing hum, one can’t help but think of the life and culture taking place before one’s eyes. There are brushes hitting canvases, hands guiding lumps of clay, bows drawing out beautiful melodies from the strings of violins. A skyline is an invitation to dive headfirst into a city.

Here are three of the best views in Europe, views that summon the beholder onto their creative streets, into their cafes, and deep inside their cultures. What’s more, the fact that Europe has very few cities with skyscrapers makes these three places unique in the experience they offer.

Benidorm, Spain

Benidorm is referred to as the New York City of the Mediterranean. And no wonder! Its skyline of tall buildings is certainly unusual for Europe. Yet Benidorm has something the big apple does not: it stands at one of the most pristine and gorgeous beaches you’ll ever encounter (take that, East River!). Given that Benidorm comes in second as the city with the most skyscrapers per square meter in Europe, the views are incredible. Because of its unique design and luxurious facade, we suggest taking in the amazing Spanish views from the top of the . From its high floors, look out at the warm sea, and inviting. Then look north to examine the ancient hills to your back, lands of olive groves and lemon trees. One of the best things about Benidorm is that overseas tourists have yet to discover it. Without a doubt, this place’s population peaks during summer (so consider a spring or fall visit!), yet most of the arrivals come from Spain, which means the culture and beauty of this country are maintained. All this is to say that if you want a place with unparalleled views, clear waters and a strong presence of Spanish culture, visit Benidorm.

Aerial view of Benidorm, Spain
Aerial view of Benidorm, Spain.

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Next on the list is Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. This city rose triumphant after the Second World War, drawing on early post-modernists to transform it into something truly unique: a bastion of fascinating architecture, from the quirky to the stunning. Though this city is known for its square apartments and central food hall, there are a few gems that don’t make the pages of your average guidebook and also make for excellent viewpoints for the city. Hotel New York, which sits on one of the city’s many peninsulas, was once the point of departure for Europeans headed for new horizons in North America. Though ships of emigrants no longer depart from this dock, the building is now home to one of the Netherlands’ best hotels. It also happens to be the ideal spot to take in the city from above. From the high terrace, you can see the Markthal, the cube apartments, the Euromast and just about every other important building in Rotterdam. Once you’ve taken in the view, return to the city center. As a rule, Rotterdam is one of the most creative cities in Europe. Home to many young people in search of affordable rent and cultural character, this place is known for its world-class galleries, restaurants, and philharmonic, which performs in another architectural gem: De Doelen, a modernist concert hall from the 1930s.

Rotterdam city skyline at dusk.
Rotterdam city skyline at dusk.

Frankfurt, Germany

Last but certainly not least, Frankfurt demands your attention. Known for its unique mixture of beautiful old town streets and towering skyscrapers, this city has endured great booms and busts over the centuries only to emerge strong, resilient, and one of the world’s financial capitals (did you know that it’s the home of the European Central Bank?). Though breathing in the history of this town is easy while treading down its many streets, there’s nothing quite like admiring it from above, especially once the sun sets and the city truly glitters with life. The best way to do that is to visit Main Tower, which gives a person an exceptional view of the city’s unique architecture which spans styles and schools and presents a mélange of taste and sophistication that’s riveled by few competitors. Named after the nearby Main River, the tower has 56 stories and stands 200m (656 feet) high. That makes it the 4th tallest building in both Frankfurt and all of Germany. The other enticing thing is that the observation deck on the tower is bare save for a simple railing. Standing on this platform makes you feel like you can touch the sky.

So there you have it, three creative, youthful cities with amazing views. One last tip: if you do a little online research, you’ll surely find rooftop bars or restaurants where you can admire one of the three cities above, all the while sipping a refreshing beverage or snacking on a delicious appetizer.

Frankfurt am Main, Cityscape during sunset
Frankfurt am Main, Cityscape during sunset.

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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