Skylines give the character to a city and with the first glimpse of a skyline, many things of the city can be predicted. I love to admire the skylines of various cities because every city has its characteristics which are truly represented by their skylines. The essence of the city is hidden behind the skyline and through that, we can know the economic development, geography, natural landscape, lifestyle, and history of a city. As I get captivated by beautiful skylines around the world, and therefore from my previous travel across many beautiful cities, I have picked some of the most beautiful and best skylines in the world which are unique for many obvious reasons. Not only I will present these beautiful and best skylines in the world with some interesting facts, but also give some tips on how to draw the city skyline in a very simple manner. So let’s read about some of the stunning skylines in the world and also learn how to draw a skyline or cityscape in just 4 easy steps.
DEFINITION OF SKYLINE – It is an outline of landscape or buildings made against the sky. So more easily you can say that it is a cumulative outline of all buildings in a city or overall structure which is viewed as where structure meets the sky. It can be urban or natural.
MY FAVORITE PICKS – Most Beautiful And Best Skylines In The World
- NEW YORK CITY
Now let’s read about each of them, why they are unique, from where to view them, and also other interesting facts.
SKYLINE OF CHICAGO
CHICAGO – “City of Big Shoulders” or “The Windy City”. Chicago’s skyline is one of the world’s tallest and splendid skyline. Chicago is an architectural city and the birthplace of skyscrapers boasts of possessing four tallest buildings of the USA. Willis Tower with the antenna is the fifth tallest building in the world. So if you are doing a skyline tour or checking the best skylines of the world, then Chicago in this list can’t be missed out.
KEY STRUCTURES OF CHICAGO SKYLINE
Willis Tower, Trump International Hotel & Building, Sears Tower, Wrigley Building, John Hancock Tower, Ferris Wheel of Navy Pier, and many other architectural beauties.
WHERE TO GET THE BEST VIEWS OF CHICAGO SKYLINE?
- Solidarity Drive – Stretch across Grant Park to Adler Planetarium.
- Grounds of Adler Planetarium & Shed Aquarium.
- North End of Navy Pier.
- Grant Park.
- Willis Tower Observatory.
WHY IT IS UNIQUE?
As it is the birthplace of high rises(skyscrapers), you would find many tall buildings with unique shapes.
Draw Chicago’s skyline on your sketch book with simple tips and line drawing tutorial by me –
SKYLINE OF DUBAI
DUBAI – “The City of Gold.” Dubai is home to the tallest building of the world and therefore the skyline of Dubai tops among one of the best skylines in the world rankings. The most unique feature of this city’s skyline is to have the splendid skyline amidst the desert. You can see how a desert region gets converted into a city of the future. Not only Burj Khalifa – the tallest tower but Dubai’s skyline also consists of many other beautiful buildings. Here in Dubai, you can find many skyscrapers taller than 250m(820ft). Also, the buildings here are not very densely constructed and are scattered throughout the city.
KEY STRUCTURES OF DUBAI SKYLINE
Burj Khalifa (Tallest building in the world), Burj Al Arab Hotel – for its unique shape and iconic symbol of Dubai, Atlantis – The Palm, Dubai Marina & Financial District.
WHERE TO GET THE BEST VIEWS OF DUBAI SKYLINE?
- Dubai Frame – get a contrasting view of both Old and New Dubai.
- Top of Burj Khalifa.
- Stroll across The Dubai Canal.
- Drive through Al Jadaf.
- Dubai Creek Harbour.
- Pearl Jumeirah.
- Bluewater Islands for Dubai Marina skyline.
WHY IT IS UNIQUE?
Constructed on sandy or desert region which itself is a unique feature. As to construct a building on sand is very difficult and imagine the tallest towers are built successfully on sand which sounds like a miracle. The shapes of the buildings are very unique.
Draw Dubai’s skyline – outline in your sketch book by simple technique through my video tutorial –
SKYLINE OF ISTANBUL
ISTANBUL – “The city of Seven Hills”.A historic and bi-continental city and so is its skyline. The location of the city on two continents – Europe and Asia make the skyline of this city a unique skyline. You can have a glimpse of Europe and Asia in one frame. The skyline of Istanbul is not modernly urban but a very historic skyline formed 2000 years back to date. This skyline was not constructed within a year or few years but it took several centuries to form such a unique one. Not only the historical structures of this skyline are famous but its location on the Bosporus Peninsula between the Balkans and Anatolia, the Black Sea & Mediterranean makes it very splendid.
KEY STRUCTURES OF ISTANBUL SKYLINE
Haga Sofia, Mosque & Minarets, Galata Tower, Golden Horn, Bosphorus Bridge & colorful houses of Balat.
WHERE TO GET THE BEST VIEWS OF ISTANBUL SKYLINE?
- Observation Deck of Galata Tower
- Eminony Ferry station
- Top of Glamour café
- From Bosphorus Cruise
- Karakoy Bridge
- While driving across Bosphorus Bridge
- Many hotels offer skyline view rooms and so you book this kind of stay. Or you can have dinner with a view at several cafes and restaurants in this city.
- Camlica Hill on the Asian side.
WHY IT IS UNIQUE?
Historic skyline with a glimpse of domes and minarets, Location on two continents, Also the sunset over this skyline makes it a silhouette skyline.
Draw historic skyline of Istanbul by following some simple tips in this online video tutorial by me –
SKYLINE OF NEW YORK CITY – NYC
NEW YORK CITY – “The City that Never Sleeps.” One of the most photogenic and Instagrammable skylines of the world. Not only in the day time, but NYC’s skyline is famous at night too because of its glittering skyline. This skyline consists of world-famous monuments and buildings. NYC houses more than 200 buildings which are 500 ft or taller. It has many tallest towers of the USA and a couple of them ruled as the world’s tallest tower for many centuries, previously. NYC’s skyline is considered to be the world’s most iconic and mesmerizing silhouette & glittering in the whole world.
KEY STRUCTURES OF NEW YORK SKYLINE
Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Skyscrapers of Manhattan
WHERE TO GET THE BEST VIEWS OF NEW YORK CITY SKYLINE?
- Cruising to Statue of Liberty or Staten Island Ferry
- From Brooklyn Bridge Park.
- Empire State Building Observatory.
- Roosevelt Park.
- Liberty State Park.
WHY IT IS UNIQUE?
Many skyscrapers are densely constructed glittering buildings and Vibrant cityscape.
Draw NYC outline in your sketch book –
SKYLINE OF PARIS
Paris – “The City of Love.” In Paris, skyscrapers don’t rule the skyline but architectural beauties are prominently seen. World-famous monuments with wonderful architecture create the magical skyline of Paris. Eiffel Tower is the iconic monument that makes the Paris skyline most recognizable in the world.
KEY STRUCTURES OF PARIS SKYLINE
Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, Basilique Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, and Arc D Triomph
WHERE TO GET THE BEST VIEWS OF PARIS SKYLINE?
- Cruising across the river Seine.
- Parc de Belleville
- Parc de Saint-Cloud.
- Place du Trocadero.
- Palais de Challot
- Observation deck of Eiffel tower, Arc D Triomph, La Basilique.
WHY IT IS UNIQUE?
Glistening Boulevards, Architectural and Historic wonders, Splendid Cathedrals.
Draw City of Love’s (Paris) skyline in your sketch book from this video tutorial by me –
SKYLINE OF PRAGUE
PRAGUE – “A City of a Hundred Spires.” Prague which is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe has wonderful cathedrals, castles, bridges and many historic buildings. Prague is a city of cathedrals, towers, red roofs, spires, and bridges, so can be seen in the skyline of this city. That is why Prague is favorite among travel photographers as it allows capturing this city’s dramatic skyline from various angles. Being located on hills, you can get many viewpoints in the city to capture the best glimpse of the wonderful skyline.
KEY STRUCTURES OF PRAGUE SKYLINE
Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Red roof houses, Hradcany, St. Vitus Cathedral, overlooking river Vltava, & Powder Tower.
WHERE TO GET THE BEST VIEWS OF PRAGUE SKYLINE?
- While hiking up or down to Prague Castle.
- Letna Park
- Observatory decks of Powder tower, Old Town Bridge Tower, and The Lesser Town Bridge Tower.
- Pedestrian Charles Bridge.
WHY IT IS UNIQUE?
Admire the architecture of this city which ranges from Gothic to Baroque to Renaissance & Art Nouveau. Bridges and red-roofed buildings.
Draw outline of Prague’s enchanting skyline by simple video tutorial by me –
I hope you loved reading about the most beautiful and best skylines in the world. I generally love to sketch my travel memories and it is a great way to revive all those travel moments. Do you know the sketching of the skyline is very easy to do and can be done in minutes? So let’s revive our travel moments by drawing some of the best skylines in the world in a very easy drawing method.
HOW TO DRAW SKYLINE or HOW TO DRAW A CITYSCAPE?
Some frequently asked questions regarding drawing a skyline –
Q. – Is it difficult to draw a skyline?
A.- No.. Very easy to make.
Q.- How much time I need to draw a skyline or cityscape?
A.- Few Minutes. I am not joking.
Q.- Do I need expensive art accessories to draw them?
A.- No. You just need a white paper / normal drawing sheets, pencil, eraser and black pen/marker with fine flowing ink.
- – Does this activity requires a prerequisite skill level?
- – Any beginner can do this or those who are not good at drawing can create amazing skyline by simple line techniques.
BASIC THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE DRAWING OR SKETCHING A SKYLINE –
- Keep the outline of unique buildings in your mind.
- You don’t have to create intricate designs of the buildings as the skyline is generally the outline of a cityscape. As the outline of a city depicts the whole characteristics of a city.
- For every city drawing, pick some unique buildings or structures of the city and then club them together in one drawing. For eg. Eiffel Tower for Paris, Burj Khalifa / Burj Al Arab for Dubai, Statue of Liberty for NYC.
- The outline is drawn rugged and irregular, by taking care of not making the buildings of the same size and shape. All buildings should look distinct and special.
- By the inclusion of outlines of these unique buildings, your three-fourth drawing is completed.
- After this just addition of trees, sun, moon, birds, waves of sea or river, clouds, bridges give more depth to your skyline drawing.
- All vertical lines should be drawn parallel.
- Show windows by vertical or horizontal dashes “ – “, domes by semi-circles, water by wavy lines, and top of buildings by triangle or antennas.
- Shading plays an important role in the skyline. Sides of building in 2D drawing or layered drawings should be shaded by diagonal lines.
- If you want to give depth to a building or structure, draw a similar line nearer to it, but shorter than the mainline.
STEPS TO DRAW A SKYLINE OF A CITY – HOW TO DRAW CITYSCAPE
The drawing skyline can be categorized into three styles –
- Simple Skyline Drawing
- Layered Skyline Drawing
- Silhouette Skyline Drawing
STEPS TO DRAW SIMPLE SKYLINE
- Draw a horizontal line lightly with a pencil on white paper. Generally, skylines are made on Landscape mode and not on Portrait mode.
- After drawing this line, draw irregular vertical rectangles above it and also the outline of unique building or structure.
- Give details to your drawing like drawing vertical lines on buildings to depict antennas, bridges, curved lines to show water, or some peculiar shapes like triangle over the buildings to feature the unique features of a city. Make sure every vertical rectangle should have different detailing and no two buildings should look the same.
- After this pencil drawing, you can darken the lines with a marker or black pen ink.
STEPS TO DRAW LAYERED SKYLINE
- Repeat steps 1 & 2 mentioned above in a simple skyline drawing technique.
- The major difference in layered and simple skyline drawing is to have overlapping buildings. Make some vertical rectangles behind the present rectangles and to show them behind, make them finish at the front side buildings. It gives a layer of depth to a Cityscape. Some buildings will appear in front and some will appear behind by variation of sizes in drawing rectangles.
- Add detailing to all buildings by drawing “ – “ as windows. Don’t make the same pattern for every building and with horizontal or vertical “ – “ drawing you can create numerous patterns. Change the look of the building and also the behind ones have smaller windows.
- Now add unique features like clouds, wind, palm trees, or snowflakes. But keep in mind, don’t draw snowflakes for Dubai or Palm trees for Paris as it would look out of place. Drawing a skyline needs attention to the geographic condition of that place too.
- Follow 1 to 3 steps mentioned above.
- The difference between Silhouette skyline drawing is the color of buildings is generally black and windows are made to white. Here you have to fill the black color in rectangles to show the buildings in darker light when the sun is setting. Generally, we get to see the silhouetted skyline during sunset or sunrise, where the background is bright and buildings or structures are darkened.
I have made some video tutorials on how to draw skyline on Youtube, which you can refer to and can draw them easily within few minutes. Skyline drawing can be done at the ease of your couch, or while traveling in a train/plane, relaxing on the bed as it does not need a huge art studio type of set-up. You just bring your favorite pen, paper, and let down your creativity flows with your favorite travel memories.
I hope you loved to know about some of the most beautiful and best skylines in the world with their interesting facts and where to get the best views of them. Also, you can draw them by simple drawing techniques and you can create your handmade travel journal, a travel diary, or travel scrapbook. I would also love to know your favorite skyline from this post or your previous travel visits.
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