Here are 10 highly ranked skyscrapers that are famous not for their dizzying heights but for the iconic status that it bestows on its city making them hot tourist destinations.

1. Empire State Building, New York

Empire State Building, New York

One of the iconic buildings of America, the Empire state building took just 1 year and 45 days to be built, way back in 1931. This is a great achievement even by any standards and hence we rank it the most iconic buildings of the world.

2. CCTV headquarters, Beijing

CCTV headquarters, Beijing

This is an iconic building because it defies all laws of architecture and stands tall to prove the point. However, for a skyscraper, this is just about 234 meters tall.

3. Commerzbank headquarters, Frankfurt

Commerzbank headquarters, Frankfurt

Having the distinction of the tallest skyscraper in Germany, this building is the first one to use natural systems of light and ventilation and hence reducing power consumption. Thus this takes top spot in the iconic buildings list.

4. Elephant tower, Bangkok

Elephant tower, Bangkok

Though not a pretty sight to behold, the elephant tower still represents the importance of elephants in Thai culture. It is designed complete with tusks and eyes and can be viewed from any place in the city.

5. Bitexco Financial tower, Ho Chi Minh City

Bitexco Financial tower, Ho Chi Minh City

Built very recently, the tower boasts of high speed elevators that zip through at speeds of 7 meters per second. The lotus structure, an observatory and a helipad make this the most adorable tower in HCMC.

6. Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco

Being one of the early skyscrapers to be built in the city is in itself a distinction. The fact that it uses natural lighting systems and an unconventional design makes it more noteworthy especially because it was built way back in 1972.

7. Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong

Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong

Being among the firsts in breaching the 300 meter mark, this is a skyscraper that attracted controversy even before it started. Feng shui experts said that the sharp structures could spell doom to the nearby HSBC building. It was later modified and the resultant structure that stands today is definitely an icon to recon.

8. Kingdom centre, Riyadh

Kingdom Centre, Riyadh

Built a decade ago, this building is an icon because it houses the Ladies Kingdom – where for the first time in Saudi Arabia, one whole floor of a mega skyscraper is dedicated to women, where they could shop without covering up in the ‘burqah’.

9. Petronas Twin towers, Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Twin towers, Kuala Lumpur

Being the world’s tallest twin tower is a distinction that makes this tower land on this page automatically. It is an epitome of Islamic architecture and puts this otherwise tourist nation in the lime light.

10. Cocoon tower, Tokyo

Cocoon tower, Tokyo

Being the second tallest education tower is the distinction that makes this tower an icon. The skyscraper houses many schools of higher education that impart the highest form of education to the young of Japan.


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