In a previous post we listed 15 skywalks and high altitude platforms around the world, each offering a one-of-akind experience. In this post we decided to take a more urban approach and see where we can escape when traveling to megacities.

Chicago Sky Deck/Ledge Willis Tower, Photo by Scott Olson

First off, how do you define a megacity? Demographers refer to them as crowded urban centers with populations exceeding 10 million. When visiting a metropolis people often tend to see the attractions on land (whether it is walking in the historic neighborhood, visiting the parks or witnessing a cultural event).

For the ones used to small towns traveling on business, it may be that a giant metropolis can wreak havook on their piece of mind. Noisy, polluted and often disarming in size, cities like New York or Shanghai can be dizzying.

You can check out some more info on megacities and tourist statistics here. Depending on where you are and what city you want to visit, a visa will likely be required. In some cases you may want to check information like your EVUS visa expiration status (valid when traveling to US from China).

The Empire State Building Observatory, New York City

To what extent are these common tourist activities meant to create a genuine connection to the city? Isn’t it true that we can experience something similar in almost any part of the world?

Perhaps you may not be on the same length with us when we say this, but a ‘solution’ to these megacity setbacks is finding that place where you, as a visitor can simply “take power” over the urban racket. And you can do this by literally raising above the city, at an altitude where you will be comfortable enough to objectively witness its high and lows.

Shanghai World Financial Center

Seeing a place from a vantage point is one of our travel “traits”. Whenever in a new city, we try to find that observatory that offers a mesmerizing panoramic view.

This gives us a chance to retrace our steps in the city and discover new neighborhoods. Moreover, it creates that special bond with the place, as it captures it in an unforgettable moment.

So do you often search for viewing platforms in the cities you travel to? And how do you personally cope with massive scale of the cities you visit?