3 Epic China Cityscapes Perfect for Photos

china Skylines

People have a variety of reasons for wanting to travel.

Some simply like seeing what other countries have to offer and like to see as many places as they can.  But, others only go for business purposes and rarely travel for pleasure.

And then, we have a select few travel for one reason and one reason alone: skylines.

You may have heard of people that love to travel and see architecture, but there are a few that take it to the next level.

The skyline boom

China skylines have become the hot vacation destination for photographers that can’t get enough of capturing modern cityscapes and skylines.

Photography hobbyists and professionals can see the artistic and commercial appeal skylines can have.

People love having pictures of skylines as a part of their home decor, and it’s easy to see why. They’re modern forms of art that can make people feel like they’re exposed to a new culture or location.

If you’re looking for a new cityscape to photograph, you need to take some shots of China skylines.  After you learn more about the breathtaking views China offers, you’ll wonder why you didn’t take a trip there sooner.

If you’re a “numbers” kind of person, there’s no denying that people have a definite interest in traveling to the country.  In 2016 alone it’s estimated that 67.87 million people traveled to China, and some expect that number to grow.

Some people travel to China for business purposes.  Then there are the people that love to travel for food or to simply meet and see different people.

Photographers may not have China high on their “visit” list, but the country has much to offer the average shutterbug.

Where you need to go to see the best China skylines

China is truly a place like no other.

The country went through a period of rapid modernization over the past few decades.  Aside from making advances in tech and business, the country has seen modern skylines virtually pop up overnight.

China has no shortage of examples of classic architecture with styles that span dynasties.  It also has beautiful natural landscapes that people come from all over to photograph.  But it’s also full of countless new towers, skyscrapers, and modern buildings.

If you want to photograph some breath-taking China skylines, there are some cities that are a must see.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has become a financial capital of the east over the past few decades, and its booming industry and population have created a unique and picturesque skyline that’s rivaled by no other.

If you want to grab a great picture of the skyline, you have to go to Victoria Harbor.  This port has turned into a trading hub for the city and the best place to get a beautiful city picture.

You can find plenty of guided tours you can go on to snap a picture, with some even geared towards photographers that want to get the perfect shot.

If you really want to get a view of the skyline you won’t forget, you need to at least take one picture during the city’s famous Symphony of Lights.

The Guinness Book of World Records has named Hong Kong’s Symphony of Lights the World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show.  Carefully arranged colored lights on buildings along with lasers sync with music every night to put on a beautiful show for city residents and visitors.

Where to stay

There are so many hotels in Hong Kong that have breath-taking views.  A few to keep in mind when you plan your trip include:

  • The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Hotel: This is the perfect place to stay if you want 5-star service and places to snap some pictures.  The hotel stands 490 meters tall and gives you a great view of the West Kowloon waterfront
  • Hotel Icon: Locally renowned architects designed this hotel it can give you the perfect panoramic view of the city.  It isn’t too close to the harbor, but its height can give you a near bird’s eye view of Kowloon and the entire city.


Shanghai is one of the fastest growing cities in China, and their beautiful skyline expertly shows how the city is at the forefront of architectural modernity.

The city alone has an estimated 1,336 high-rise buildings and 337 skyscrapers.

There are so many buildings to see, but there are a few that are a must-see for people interested in China skylines.

The tallest building in the city is the Shanghai Tower.  The mixed used building stands 2, 037 feet tall and took nearly 6 years to build.  Its sleek modern look paired with its gradually twisting design make this building a popular fixture in many China skyline photographs.

The Oriental Pearl Tower may be nothing more than a transmitter, but its interesting design makes it seem like it came from a set of a sci-fi movie.

Its two large spheres and tower shape give it a distinct design that makes it a popular spot for photographers and architects alike.

Where to stay

Shanghai has no shortage of luxury hotels, but there are a few that have perfect views of the city.

  • The Park-Hyatt Shanghai: If you can’t afford to stay at the Park-Hyatt, you have to at least visit one of their world renowned restaurants or bars so you can experience the view.  It’s one of the tallest hotels in the world and can give you an all-encompassing view of the entire city.
  • The Peninsula Shanghai: If you want to snap a picture of the city’s unique Pudong district, book a room at the Peninsula Shanghai.  The terrace has an unbeatable view, making it the perfect place to grab a picture of the Oriental Pearl Tower.


Popular vacation destinations like Shanghai and Hong Kong will make the list, but some “smaller” places like Shenzhen deserve attention.

In one of China’s Special Economic Zones, you’ll find Shenzhen.  It’s one of the wealthiest cities in the entire country, and its recent and rapid economic growth have made this one of the most special China skylines.

The East Pacific Center is easily one of the skyline’s most recognized buildings.  Its unique “H” shape helps it stand out among the other more traditional skyscrapers.

The China Merchants Bank Tower would look like any other skyscraper if it weren’t for its unique roof.  It’s one of the tallest buildings in Shenzhen and is the headquarters of the China Merchants Bank.

Where to stay

Shenzhen is a hidden gem for skyline photography lovers, and these hotels should help you get some great shots.

  • The St. Regis Shenzhen: Need a place to get the perfect shot of the city? St. Regis is your hotel.  The hotel rises high above the rest of the buildings in the city’s financial district.  Check out the view from the 96th floor!
  • The Futian Shangri-La Hotel Shenzhen: If you want to stay in a room that’s guaranteed to give you a good shot, stay at the Futian Shangri-La Hotel.  The hotel’s large windows give each guest amazing views of the city.

Your turn

China: a country that’s so full of beautiful skylines, we couldn’t name everyone in this post.  Is there a China skyline you’ve photographed and fallen in love with? Well, tell us in the comments!

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