On top of the world: 3 Skyscrapers

by WouterVertogen

If there is something you need to know about me, it’s that I’m not a big fan of heights. 

But as much as heights give me straight up anxiety, I do find the views from atop a skyscraper breath taking. So therefor, I will always be the first one in line to get up to a hundred of meters high observatory.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I’ll be totally okay riding these crazy fast elevators, in order to actually get to the observatory. Luckily, the people who built these magnificent high rises know that people will pay for the views and they put some attention towards the journey up. The whole thing is just one big experience, one tower crazier than the other. I’m talking about elevators being fully accommodated with HD screens, ceilings projecting the universe and even a sky bridge from one side to the other side of the tower. Oh, and yes, your ears WILL pop getting up with these elevators, it’s literally like take off!   

Throughout my travels, I’ve been in three different skyscrapers. I’m sure in a few years this list will be much longer! But in this post, I wanted to talk about my experience and to give you some fun facts about the towers! So here we go…

Taipei 101 (Taipei, Tawai)

The Taipei 101 was my first ever skyscraper experience and also the highest I’ve been in, yet. Technically not the highest but the observatory is the highest out of my three.

I think architecturally it is by far my favorite. The Taipei 101 is a gorgeous building and has one of world’s fastest elevators. The ceiling is filled with star projections and there’s a calming music playing while you basically get shot up in the air. 

I went up to the observatory during the night. The endless sea of lights was just breath taking. I really had to force myself to get closer to the windows as I felt the tower slightly moving in the wind, which is perfectly normal though! 

If you like heights and are in Taipei, I say definitely check it out! Especially the mall down below is great and at the food court they have this one dish I ate, I don’t remember the name anymore but it was delicious! 

Heights: 509.2 meters 

Observatory: 449,2 meters

Ticket price: NT$ 600 (20$)

Fact: Tallest building of the world from 2004 until 2010

One Trade World Centre (New York City, USA)

When you are in New York City you go up the Empire State Building… but not me. I wanted to go higher and then have you go to the One Trade World Centre, previously known as the Freedom Tower. But there’s much more to it than just getting a beautiful view of New York City. 

Next to this immense building there is the 9/11 memorial, something that most definitely won’t escape your eyes. It is beautiful and a very loaded place and made me think of all the terror, hate and dividedness in the world. 

Getting up the tower is a full experience; I mean you’re in America!


The elevators are fully accommodated with HD screens that show you the architectural history of the city, as you rise, the city’s skyline rises virtually with you. Really beautifully done! Once you get up to the observatory, you enter a dark room. There’s more virtual footage covering New York’s views and then it happens, the shutters slowly open and you immediately look out over Manhattan. It is beautiful and definitely worth the entry fee, which is a little bit on the expensive side. But hey, it’s New York City, right?

The 9/11 Memorial, the One Trade World Centre and the mall connected to the tower are just one big experience. It’s definitely something that you should not miss when you get to NYC

Height: 541,3 meters

Observatory: 386,5 meters 

Ticket price: 38$

Fact: Tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the seventh tallest in the world

Kingdom Centre (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

Located in the heart of Riyadh you’ll find the Kingdom Centre, or actually it finds you from great distance! The building looks like some kind of massive wine opener and lights up at night. The Freedom Centre practically splits up in two different sides somewhere in the middle of its height. To connect the East and West side of the building, they built a skybridge. Something that totally terrified my, because it confronts me with the fact that there’s nothing underneath me!

Luckily the building isn’t so tall, and I could get my nerves under control. 

We went up around sundown, which was truly a perfect time to get up. Sadly, because the skybridge is built from East to West, you unfortunately can’t really see the sun go down. But the golden glow it gives this dessert like city, was absolutely mesmerizing! 

Height: 302,3 meters

Observatory: 290,4 meters

Ticket price: 60 SAR (16$)

Fact: 2nd tallest building in Saudi Arabia but will be third when the Jeddah Tower is finished. 

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