There are amazing structures all over the planet, and in this post, we’re taking a closer look at some of the most famous towers in the world.
Please note, this list solely contains towers, we have another list with some of the world’s most famous skyscrapers. Some of the amazing towers below made our list with their history of tallest buildings in the world as well.
24 Most famous towers in the world
1. Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is arguably the most famous tower in the world. It’s a symbol of the city of Paris and has been one of the most recognizable structures in the world ever since its completion in 1889. The Eiffel Tower has a total height of 324 meters (1,063 feet) measured to the tip.
It was originally constructed to become the centerpiece of the 1889 World Fair and wasn’t actually meant to remain in place. Instead, the plan was to demolish the tower and sell the metal for scrap basically after a couple of years. Luckily, it’s creator, Gustave Eiffel, managed to avoid that and we can still enjoy this remarkable tower today!
2. Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the freestanding bell tower of the Cathedral of Pisa and has been considered one of the 7 miracles since its construction. It’s world-famous because it leans to one side as it was constructed with poor design on unstable soil. The tower stands 55.86 meters (183.3 feet) tall.
One of the most remarkable facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa is that it’s basically a miracle that it hasn’t collapsed yet. Scientists were baffled in the early 1990s because every model they ran ensured that the tower should have collapsed by then. It didn’t and they were able to straighten it back, just enough for it not to collapse and just enough for it not having to lose its worldwide appeal.
3. CN Tower
The CN Tower is one of the tallest concrete communications and observation towers in the world and is located in the Downtown area of Toronto in Canada. It stands 553.3 meters (1,815.3 feet) tall and has been chosen by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the 7 Wonders of the Industrial World.
This amazing tower held the record as the tallest free-standing building in the world from the moment it was completed in 1976 until it was surpassed by the current world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It has been one of the major tourist attractions of Toronto and has become a symbol of the city.
4. Big Ben
Big Ben is the nickname of the biggest bell in the clock tower located on the north end of the Palace of Westminster, also referred to as “The Houses of Parliament,” in the City of Westminster in central London. It’s not quite sure how the bell got its name, but since it was completed in 1859, the name has been used to refer to the entire clock tower as well.
The Clock Tower stands 96 meters (315 feet) tall and was designed in the Gothic Revival Style. Big Ben has become one of the most prominent landmarks in all of London and a symbol of the United Kingdom. Big Ben is located right next to the River Thames and Westminster Bridge as well.
5. Sky Tower
The Sky Tower is another telecommunications and observation tower and is located in Auckland, New Zealand. It was constructed halfway the 1990s between 1994 and 1997 and stands 328 meters (1,076.1 feet) tall. This makes the Sky Tower the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere.
The tower is the centerpiece of the SkyCity Auckland casino complex and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. With its unique design and height, towering over all other buildings in the city, it has become the most prominent landmark of Auckland and all of New Zealand.
6. Space Needle
The Space Needle is one of the most prominent landmarks in the city of Seattle, located in the US State of Washington in the northwest of the country. It has been designated a Seattle Landmark since 1999 and has become a symbol of both Seattle and the entire west of the United States since its completion in the year 1962.
It’s not the tallest tower in the world by any means as it only stands 604 feet (184 meters) tall, but its unique design and location in the city center of Seattle have given it a unique appeal. The Space Needle offers amazing views of Downtown Seattle and the mountains that surround the city.
7. Tokyo Tower
The Tokyo Tower is one of the most significant icons in the city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It was built in the year 1958 and has since become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. Since its opening, over 150 million people have visited the observation decks at the tower.
Originally built to serve as a broadcasting tower (a purpose it still serves) for the Japanese Broadcast Company NHK, it now receives over 3 million yearly visitors who want to get a glimpse of the stunning views the Top Deck provides and enjoy the entertainment facilities at the foot of the tower as well.
8. Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl Tower is one of the most prominent and distinctive landmarks in Shanghai and the most famous towers in the world. And that means something because Shanghai is home to some of the most famous skyscrapers in the world such as the Shanghai Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center.
The tower was built between 1991 and 1995 and with a height of 467.9 meters (1,535 feet) it used to be the tallest building in China. The tower held this record until it was surpassed by the nearby Shanghai World Financial Center, one of 3 mega-tall skyscrapers in the Pudong district of Shanghai.
9. Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower was constructed just after the Mayor of Blackpool in the late 19th century, Sir John Bickerstaffe, had visited the World Fair of 1889 in Paris. He was so impressed with the Eiffel Tower that he commissioned to build a similar tower in his hometown, which had become one of the most prominent resort towns in England.
Construction of the tower started in the year 1891 and it was officially opened on May 14, 1894, making it one of the first replicas of the Eiffel Tower in the world. It stands 518 feet 9 inches (158.12 meters) tall and unlike the Eiffel Tower, isn’t a free-standing building as it’s integrated into the entertainment complex located at its base.
10. Tokyo Skytree
The Tokyo Skytree is the much younger brother of the Tokyo Tower as it was only completed in 2012 after a construction period of fewer than 4 years. It’s nearly double the height of the older tower as it stands 634 meters (2,080 feet) tall, making it the most prominent landmark in a city filled with huge skyscrapers.
This height makes it the tallest tower in the world at the moment and the second-tallest structure in the world as well, with only the Burj Khalifa in Dubai being higher at a height of 829.8 meters (2,722 feet). The Tokyo Skytree combines a traditional Japanese style with a neo-futuristic design and its observation decks made it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
11. Belém Tower
Belém Tower is one of the most famous landmarks in Portugal and has become a symbol of both the country and the city of Lisbon. It was constructed between 1514 and 1519 during the reign of King Manuel I and served its purpose as a military fortification during the Golden Age of the Portuguese Empire, as well as a ceremonial gateway to the city.
The square tower is about 12 meters (39 feet) wide and stands about 30 meters (98 feet) tall. It’s equipped with 17 canons which are pointed towards the river and the tower offers amazing views for tourists from its top floor. It was constructed on a small island located in the Tagus River but has since been moved closer to the shore as the northern bank of the river slowly moves south. Visitors can access the tower via a small bridge.
12. Berlin TV Tower
The Berlin TV Tower, also known as the Berliner Fernsehturm or Fernsehturm Berlin, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Berlin, the capital of Germany. It was constructed between 1965 and 1969 in the eastern part of the city and was constructed to emphasize the strength of Communist East Germany.
The tower stands 368.03 meters (1,207.45 feet) tall which makes it the tallest structure in Germany and the third-tallest free-standing structure in the European Union. It can be seen from all across the city, even its suburbs. It’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, welcoming about 1.2 million visitors every year, as it features an observation deck at a height of 203 meters (666 feet) and a revolving restaurant just above it.
13. Tour Saint-Jacques
The Tour Saint-Jacques, also known as the Saint James’s Tower, is a clock tower of an old church located in the 4th arrondissement in Paris, right in the heart of the historical center of the city. It used to be part of a church that was demolished during the French Revolution and which was called the Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie (“Saint James of the butchers”), referring to the butcher’s area of Paris it was located in.
It was also part of a meeting place for pilgrims on the Way of Saint James, and more specifically, the Tours Route. This brought pilgrims all the way to the northwest of Spain in Santiago de Compostella where it’s believed that the remains of Saint James the Greater, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, are located. The Tour Saint-Jacques stands 52 meters (171 feet) tall and is isolated in a public park that was redesigned in the 19th century, making it a remarkable landmark in Paris.
14. Cairo Tower
The Cairo Tower is one of the most famous towers in the world as it’s the tallest structure in all of North Africa and used to be the tallest tower in Africa until 1971. It was constructed between 1956 and 1961 and stands 187 meters (613.5 feet) tall. It’s located on Gezira Island, which is a river island in the River Nile, right near Downtown Cairo.
The tower was indirectly funded by the United States Government as attempted bribery from the head of the CIA named Kermit Roosevelt backfired and the President of Egypt at the time, Gamal Abdel Nasser, used the $3 million USD to build the tower instead. It’s one of the most popular landmarks in Egypt and its observation deck makes it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Cairo.
15. BT Tower
The BT Tower is a communications tower in the Fitzrovia district in the center of London. It’s located just northwest of the City of London, the historical center of the city, and just north of Westminster, one of the most important places in London. It was constructed by the General Post Office between 1961 and 1964 to increase the reach of microwave signals all across London.
The tower stands 189 meters (620.1 feet) tall and used to be the tallest building in London and the entire United Kingdom until it was surpassed by the NatWest Tower in the year 1980. It originally served as a tourist attraction as well and even had a rotating restaurant near the top, but it permanently closed to the public in the year 1981. It still serves its purpose as a communication hub in the UK.
16. Victoria Tower
The Victoria Tower is an English Gothic Tower located on the opposite end of the Palace of Westminster in London and of one of the most famous towers in the world, Big Ben, now referred to as the Elizabeth Tower. It was built between 1843 and 1860 and was built for a dual purpose as it both houses the Parliamentary Archives and also serves as the official entrance to the Palace of Westminster for the Monarch, referred to as the “Sovereign’s Entrance.”
The tower stands just a little taller than Big Ben at a height of 98.5 meters (323 feet) and was the tallest square tower in the world upon completion. It was originally referred to as the “King’s Tower” but officially renamed to the “Victoria Tower” in honor of Queen Victoria in her Diamond Jubilee year in 1897. This is the same as how Big Ben was renamed to the “Elizabeth Tower” during the Diamond Jubilee year of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.
17. The Giralda
The Giralda is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville in the city in the south of Spain. It was originally built as the minaret of the Mosque of Seville which was completed in the late 11th century, but eventually became part of the Christian building after the Christian Reconquest of Andalusia in 1248.
The tower has a height of 104.1 meters (342 feet) and the top part was added during the Renaissance in the 16th century. It’s decorated with a statue referred to as “el Giraldillo,” from which the tower got its name. As part of the Cathedral, the tower is also registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987 and has been one of the most prominent landmarks in Seville, dominating the city’s skyline for over 800 years.
18. Calgary Tower
The Calgary Tower is located in the downtown area of Calgary, a city in the province of Alberta in the western part of Canada. It was constructed in just 15 months in 1967 and 1968 and was the tallest tower of its kind in North America upon completion with a height of 190.8 meters (626 feet).
The tower was constructed as a joint venture of two companies, Marathon Realty, and Husky Oil. Because of this, the tower was originally referred to as the “Husky Tower” but was changed to Calgary Tower in 1971 when Husky Oil’s shares in the tower were bought. It was built in honor of the Centennial of Canada in the year 1967 and has been a prominent landmark and popular tourist attraction in the city ever since.
19. Galata Tower
The Galata Tower located in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey. It’s situated just north of where the Golden Horn drains into the Bosphorus, the natural border between Europe and Asia, and is therefore located in a very strategic position. It was originally built by the Genoese in 1348. The Republic of Genoa had established a colony in the city of Constantinople until they were driven out after the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453.
The tower stands 66.90 meters (219.5 feet) above the ground and the base is located at 61 meters (200 feet) above sea-level. This made it the tallest building in the city upon completion. Now it’s still one of the most prominent landmarks in the Galata district of Istanbul and houses both a restaurant and observation deck at the top floors.
20. Skylon Tower
The Skylon Tower is one of the most famous towers in the world because it’s located right next to some of the world’s most amazing waterfalls, the Niagara Falls. These waterfalls, which are located on the Canada and United States Border, are a collection of 3 major waterfalls on the Niagara River, and the tower offers stunning views of both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls, also referred to as the Canadian Falls.
The tower stands 160 meters (520 feet) tall and 236 meters (775 feet) above the bottom of the falls. It’s located in the Canadian city of Niagara Falls which is right across the city with the same name in the US state of New York. The tower features a rotating restaurant at the top levels and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area!
21. Spinnaker Tower
The Spinnaker Tower is an observation tower located in the city of Portsmouth in the south of England. It was originally intended to be a tower dedicated to the celebration of the new millennium, but the construction of the tower only started in the year 2001 and was officially opened in October of 2005. Its design was created to represent a spinnaker, a type of sail that balloons when the wind blows into it. The design is similar to that of Burj Al-Arab in Dubai.
The tower has 3 floors of observation decks and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the south of England, welcoming over half a million visitors every year. The tower stands 170 meters (560 feet) tall and the top observation deck is located at a height of 105 meters (344 feet), offering astounding views of the city of Portsmouth and its surroundings.
22. Ostankino Tower
The Ostankino Tower is a television and radio tower located just north of the historical center of Moscow, the capital of Russia. It was named after the district that it’s located in and was built to commemorate the October Revolution of 1917 in Saint Petersburg, the event that sparked the Russian Civil War which eventually culminated with the Bolsheviks seizing power and forming the Soviet Union in 1923.
Because the tower was built to emphasize the power of the USSR and become a symbol of the nation, it was built to become the tallest building in the world between 1963 and 1967. It has a total height of 540.1 meters (1,772.0 feet) and the equivalent of 120 floors. It features a revolving restaurant, coffee bar, and cafe at the top 3 levels, as well as an observation deck that provides magnificent views of Moscow.
23. Tower of the Americas
The Tower of the Americas is located at the southeastern edge of Downtown San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas in the United States. It was completed in 1968 to become the centerpiece of the “HemisFair ’68,” the official World Fair of the year 1968 which was held in San Antonio back then and which had the theme of the “Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas.”
The tower stands 622 feet (190 meters) tall and reaches a total height of 750 feet (230 meters) to the tip of its antenna spire. This made it the tallest observation tower in the United States for nearly 3 decades between 1968 and 1996 when it was surpassed by the Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower. The tower features a revolving restaurant and observation deck and is still one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city!
24. Juche Tower
The Juche Tower is perhaps the least-known of our list of famous towers in the world, and the main reason for that is because it’s located in the most secretive country in the world, North Korea. It’s situated right in the heart of the country’s capital, Pyongyang, and has dominated the city’s skyline since 1982.
This was the year that the founder of the country, Kim Il-sung, turned 70, and the birthday of the so-called “Supreme Leader” was commemorated with a tower consisting of 25,500 granite blocks, one for each day of his life at the age of 70. The tower stands 170 meters (560 feet) tall and is decorated with a massive torch that is continuously lit. At the foot of the tower, there’s a huge statue that honors the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.
This concludes our list of the most famous towers in the world. Make sure to keep on the lookout for more towers to be added to this list soon!