Humanity always strives for greatness, and that’s reflected in our architecture. Someone is always trying to construct a building that is taller, stronger, and better than the last. To see where the tallest buildings in the world can be found and what they look like, we’ve gathered data on the tallest skyscrapers in 100 different countries.
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Tallest Building in the World
The tallest skyscraper in the world is in the United Arab Emirates. Standing at 828 meters (2,717 feet), the 163 floors of the Burj Khalifa house the Armani Hotel, the At.mosphere restaurant, as well as dozens of floors of residential and corporate suites. The Burj Khalifa is more than twice as tall as 90 of the 100 buildings on this list, and it’s 24% (196 meters) taller than China’s tallest building, Shanghai Towers.
The Burj Khalifa has been the tallest tower in the world as well as the tallest building in Asia since its completion, taking over from the previous record holder, Taipei 101, which had been the first skyscraper to exceed a height of half a kilometer. Construction on the Burj Khalifa began in 2004 and was completed in 2009; the building opened its doors in 2010. It was designed by Adrian Smith of the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the same firm that also designed One World Trade Center and the Willis Tower.
The building is the recipient of many awards, including the “Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa” award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat as well as the best project of the year at the Middle East Architect Awards, both in 2010. This proves that the biggest building in the world is both an architectural feat and a design icon.
Tallest Building in the U.S.
The United States ranks #5 on the list with One World Trade Center. Standing at 541.3 meters (1,776 feet), One World Trade Center surpassed Chicago’s Willis Tower as the tallest building in the U.S. when it was completed in 2014. It’s also the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. While the majority of the floors of One World Trade Center are for office use, there are some restaurants on its upper floors.
In addition to being the tallest building in New York and the tallest building in America, One World Trade Center is one of the top ten tallest buildings in the world. The building was designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. One World Trade Center officially opened on Nov. 3, 2014, and its observatory opened on May 29, 2015. New York City is also home to other impressive buildings like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, making it one of the best skylines in the U.S.
Tallest Building in Europe
The tallest skyscraper in Europe is Lakhta Center in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Standing at 426 meters (1,516 feet), this skyscraper was the first super-tall building in Saint Petersburg, and it is also the northernmost of the tallest buildings in the world. It was designed for public facilities and offices and completed in 2019. Lakhta Center actually consists of multiple buildings, including a smaller multifunctional building that houses a planetarium.
Not only is Lakhta Center the tallest building in Russia and the tallest tower in Europe, but it also boasts some unique traits. It has been certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design as one of the most eco-friendly skyscrapers in the world. And its concrete bottom slab earned a Guinness World Record for the longest continuous concrete pour, as 19,624 cubic meters (693,000 cubic feet) were poured over the course of 49 hours.
Tallest Building in Australia
The Q1 skyscraper, also known as Queensland Number One, is the tallest skyscraper in Australia. Unlike the tallest buildings on the other continents, Q1 is fully residential. Standing at 322.5 meters (1,058 feet) on the Gold Coast, Q1 houses 78 floors with seven high-speed lifts, several pools, and a theater, ballroom, and spa. Upon its completion in 2005, it was the tallest residential tower in the world, though this title was taken by another structure in 2011.
Q1 is one of the most iconic towers in Australia. Building of the structure started in 2002, and its style was inspired by both the Sydney 2000 Olympic torch and the Sydney Opera House. It was developed by the Sunland Group and was the runner-up for 2005’s Emporis Skyscraper Award, which honors structures based on their design and functionality. It was also announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland in 2009 in celebration of Queensland’s 150th birthday.
Tallest Building in Africa
The tallest building in Africa is The Leonardo. Found in Sandton, South Africa, this 227-meter (745-foot) structure was designed by a team of mostly women and includes retail space, office space, and 200 apartments. The penthouse in The Leonardo is considered the most expensive sectional property ever sold in South Africa. Until the completion of The Leonardo in 2019, the nearby Carlton Centre was the tallest building in Africa.
However, we have an update on skyscrapers in Africa: The Iconic Tower, a skyscraper in the New Administrative Capital of Egypt, began construction in 2018 and topped out in 2021, after this graphic was made. This 80-story skyscraper reaches 385.8 meters (1,266 feet), and its design is meant to resemble the obelisks of Luxor. It’s now the largest building in Africa.
Tallest Building in South America
The Gran Torre Santiago, also known as the Great Santiago Tower, is the tallest skyscraper in South America. Part of the Costanera Center along with the country’s largest shopping mall, the 62-story skyscraper was built by engineers to withstand Chile’s many earthquakes. Though the tower has had difficulty finding tenants, its mile-long shadow makes the nearby Andes Mountains seem a bit less intimidating.
In addition to being the tallest tower in South America, it’s also the second-tallest building in Latin America. The only Latin American building that is taller is the 64-story T.Op Torre 1 located in Monterrey, Mexico. The Gran Torre Santiago, which was completed in 2013, also features an observation deck called the “Sky Costanera.” This deck opened to the public in 2015 and features 360-degree views of the city of Santiago. It is the most iconic Santiago skyscraper.
The Tallest Buildings in 100 Countries
These are the tallest buildings in 100 different countries around the world:
|Rank||Country||Building(s)||Location||Height (m)||Height (ft)||Floors|
|1||United Arab Emirates||Burj Khalifa||Dubai||828||2,717||163|
|3||Saudi Arabia||Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel||Mecca||601||1,972||120|
|4||South Korea||Lotte World Tower||Seoul||555.7||1,823||123|
|5||United States||One World Trade Center||New York City||541.3||1,776||104|
|7||Hong Kong||International Commerce Centre||Hong Kong||484||1,588||108|
|8||Russia||Lakhta Center||Saint Petersburg||462||1,516||86|
|9||Vietnam||Landmark 81||Ho Chi Minh City||461.2||1,513||81|
|10||Malaysia||Petronas Towers||Kuala Lumpur||451.9||1,483||88|
|11||Kuwait||Al Hamra Tower||Kuwait City||412.6||1,354||80|
|12||North Korea||Ryugyong Hotel||Pyongyang||330||1,083||105|
|15||Philippines||Grand Hyatt Manila||Taguig||318||1,043||66|
|17||United Kingdom||The Shard||London||309.7||1,016||73|
|18||Mexico||T.Op Torre 1||Monterrey||305.3||1,002||64|
|20||Chile||Gran Torre Costanera||Santiago||300||984||64|
|23||Canada||First Canadian Place||Toronto||298.1||978||72|
|25||Singapore||Tanjong Pagar Centre||Singapore||290||951||64|
|27||Panama||JW Marriott Panama||Panama City||284||932||70|
|28||Brazil||Yachthouse Residence Club – Towers 1 and 2||Balneário Camboriú||281||922||81|
|29||Pakistan||Bahria Icon Tower||Karachi||273||896||62|
|30||Algeria||Djamaâ El Djazaïr||Algiers||270||886||37|
|31||Bahrain||Four Seasons Hotel||Manama||269.7||885||50|
|32||Venezuela||Parque Central Torre Este||Caracas||262.5||861||56|
|33||Spain||Torre de Cristal||Madrid||249||817||53|
|35||Israel||Azrieli Sarona Tower||Tel Aviv||238.5||782||53|
|36||Argentina||Alvear Tower||Buenos Aires||235||771||54|
|38||South Africa||The Leonardo||Sandton||234||745||55|
|39||Austria||DC Tower 1||Vienna||220||722||60|
|41||Colombia||BD Bacatá Torre Sur||Bogotá||216||709||67|
|42||Morocco||Hassan II Mosque||Casablanca||210||690|
|43||Azerbaijan||The Crescent City||Baku||210||689||52|
|44||Kazakhstan||Emerald Towers 1||Astana||210||689||53|
|45||Georgia||Batumi Technological University Tower||Batumi||200||656||35|
|48||Sweden||HSB Turning Torso||Malmö||190||623||57|
|49||Jordan||Amman Rotana Hotel||Amman||188||617||50|
|50||Poland||Palace of Culture and Science||Warsaw||187.68||616||42|
|51||Cambodia||Vattanac Capital||Phnom Penh||187.3||614||38|
|52||New Zealand||PwC Tower at Commercial Bay||Auckland||180.1||591||39|
|54||Bangladesh||City Centre Dhaka||Dhaka||171||561||37|
|55||Dominican Republic||Torre Anacaona 27||Santo Domingo||171||561||41|
|58||Ukraine||Klovski Descent 7||Kiev||162.6||533||47|
|59||Iran||Tehran International Tower||Tehran||162.5||533||54|
|62||Ivory Coast||Basilica of Our Lady of Peace||Yamoussoukro||158||518|
|64||Tanzania||PSPF Towers||Dar es Salaam||152.7||501||35|
|65||Belgium||Tour du Midi||Brussels||150||492||38|
|66||Bolivia||Torre Girasoles||La Paz||150||492||38|
|67||Angola||IMOB Business Tower||Luanda||145||476||35|
|69||Libya||Burj Bulaya Office Tower 1||Tripoli||144||472||34|
|70||Egypt||Ministry of Foreign Affairs||Cairo||143||469||39|
|71||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Avaz Twist Tower||Sarajevo||142||466||39|
|73||Peru||Torre Banco de la Nación||Lima||140.1||460||30|
|74||North Macedonia||Sky City Tower I||Skopje||138||453||40|
|75||Romania||Floreasca City Sky Tower||Bucharest||137||449||37|
|76||Ecuador||Torre The Point||Guayaquil||136.6||448||36|
|77||Vatican City||St. Peter’s Basilica||Vatican City||136.5||448|
|81||Mozambique||Banco de Moçambique Tower 1||Maputo||130||427||31|
|86||Madagascar||Orange Telecommunication Tower||Antananarivo||125||410||33|
|88||Mauritius||Bank of Mauritius Building||Port Louis||124||407||22|
|89||Estonia||St. Olaf’s Church||Tallinn||123.7||406|
|90||Honduras||Torres Igvanas Tara Eco City||San Pedro Sula||122.5||402||34|
|91||Myanmar||Diamond Inya Palace||Yangon||122||400||34|
|93||Brunei||Ministry of Finance Building||Bandar Seri Begawan||120||394||21|
|94||Denmark||Amtssygehuset i Herlev||Herlev||120||394||25|
|95||Mongolia||Shangri-La Wind Valley Wing Hotel||Ulaanbaatar||120||394||34|
|96||Portugal||Torre de Monsanto||Oeiras||120||394||17|
|97||Trinidad and Tobago||International Waterfront Tower C||Port-of-Spain||120||394||27|
|98||Zimbabwe||New Reserve Bank Tower||Harare||120||394||28|
|99||Ethiopia||African Union Headquarters||Addis Ababa||117.7||386||21|
|100||Norway||Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel||Oslo||117||384||37|
Timeline of the World’s Tallest Skyscrapers
How long did each of the world’s tallest skyscrapers hold their titles? The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat keeps track of the tallest skyscrapers based on their highest architectural elements. This is how long each of these buildings held the title of tallest in the world:
|Years Tallest||Building Name||Location||Height|
|2010–present||Burj Khalifa||Dubai||828 meters (2,717 feet)|
|2004–2010||Taipei 101||Taipei||510 meters (1,670 feet)|
|1998–2004||Petronas Towers||Kuala Lumpur||452 meters (1,483 feet)|
|1973–1998||Sears Tower||Chicago||442 meters (1,450 feet)|
|1971–1973||World Trade Center||New York City||417 meters (1,368 feet)|
|1931–1971||Empire State Building||New York City||381 meters (1,250 feet)|
|1930–1931||Chrysler Building||New York City||318.9 meters (1,046 feet)|
|1930||40 Wall Street||New York City||283 meters (928 feet)|
|1913–1930||Woolworth Building||New York City||241 meters (791 feet)|
|1909–1913||Metropolitan Life Tower||New York City||213 meters (699 feet)|
|1908–1909||Singer Building||New York City||192 meters (630 feet)|
|1899–1908||Park Row Building||New York City||119 meters (390 feet)|
It’s likely that countries will continue to build skyscrapers and buildings to overtake the title of the tallest building in the world for years to come.