A few years ago I wrote about the costs to climb the world’s highest mountains.
Many man-made mountains, or skyscrapers as most people call them, can also be climbed for price.
In many cities the top attractions are tickets to visit the viewing floors of their highest buildings.
It got me thinking, which of the world’s tallest building that are open to the public offer the best ticket price to height value for visiting their viewing decks?
In order to make the comparison as simple as possible I chose the cheapest possible viewing deck ticket price available for an adult in February 2021 direct from each building’s official ticket site.
Prices were converted to local currency into USD using the exchange rate on 19 February provided by XE.com.
Highest Viewing Decks
|RANK (HEIGHT)||NAME||CITY||FLOORS||Height (m)||Public Viewing Floor|
|3||Makkah Royal Clock Tower||Mecca||120||601||FALSE|
|4||Ping An Finance Center||Shenzhen||115||599.1||TRUE|
|5||Lotte World Tower||Seoul||123||554.5||TRUE|
|6||One World Trade Center||New York City||94||541.3||TRUE|
|7||Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre||Guangzhou||111||530||FALSE|
|7||Tianjin CTF Finance Centre||Tianjin||97||530||FALSE|
|11||Shanghai World Financial Center||Shanghai||101||492||TRUE|
|12||International Commerce Centre||Hong Kong||108||484||TRUE|
|13||Central Park Tower||New York City||98||472.4||FALSE|
|14||Lakhta Center||St. Petersburg||87||462||FALSE|
|15||Vincom Landmark 81||Ho Chi Minh City||81||461.2||TRUE|
|16||Changsha IFS Tower T1||Changsha||94||452.1||FALSE|
|17||Petronas Twin Tower 1||Kuala Lumpur||88||451.9||TRUE|
|17||Petronas Twin Tower 2||Kuala Lumpur||88||451.9||TRUE|
11 of the top 20 have public observation decks (I am considering the Petronas Twin Towers as one building).
Most expensive ticket
|RANK (HEIGHT)||NAME||CITY||Cost (USD)||Viewing gallery floor|
|15||Vincom Landmark 81||Ho Chi Minh City||$11.85||81|
|5||Lotte World Tower||Seoul||$16.00||123|
|17||Petronas Twin Tower 1||Kuala Lumpur||$19.47||86|
|17||Petronas Twin Tower 2||Kuala Lumpur||$19.47||86|
|12||International Commerce Centre||Hong Kong||$22.92||100|
|11||Shanghai World Financial Center||Shanghai||$27.65||100|
|4||Ping An Finance Center||Shenzhen||$29.00||116|
|6||One World Trade Center||New York City||$43.00||94|
Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan charges less than $7 USD to visit the observation deck, over 7 times cheaper than One World Trade Center in New York City, United States ($43) (and 7 floors higher).
Best value ticket (by floor)
|RANK (HEIGHT)||NAME||CITY||Mts/floors||Cost USD p/floor|
|5||Lotte World Tower||Seoul||4.51||$0.13|
|15||Vincom Landmark 81||Ho Chi Minh City||5.69||$0.15|
|17||Petronas Twin Tower 1||Kuala Lumpur||5.14||$0.23|
|17||Petronas Twin Tower 2||Kuala Lumpur||5.14||$0.23|
|12||International Commerce Centre||Hong Kong||4.48||$0.23|
|4||Ping An Finance Center||Shenzhen||5.21||$0.25|
|11||Shanghai World Financial Center||Shanghai||4.87||$0.28|
|6||One World Trade Center||New York City||5.76||$0.46|
I divided the ticket cost by the floor number of each building’s viewing deck. As you climb in the elevators, you’re paying $0.07 USD per floor at Taipei 101. Whilst the Burj Khalifa had the second highest ticket cost ($40.57), it is actually fairly reasonably priced for the number of floors you climb ($0.25 p/floor).
Best value ticket (by height)
|RANK (HEIGHT)||NAME||CITY||Est viewing gallery height (m)||Cost USD p/m|
|15||Vincom Landmark 81||Ho Chi Minh City||461||$0.03|
|5||Lotte World Tower||Seoul||555||$0.03|
|17||Petronas Twin Tower 1||Kuala Lumpur||442||$0.04|
|17||Petronas Twin Tower 2||Kuala Lumpur||442||$0.04|
|4||Ping An Finance Center||Shenzhen||604||$0.05|
|12||International Commerce Centre||Hong Kong||448||$0.05|
|11||Shanghai World Financial Center||Shanghai||487||$0.06|
|6||One World Trade Center||New York City||541||$0.08|
Floor heights differ between buildings, so I divided the total building height by number of floors to get an average floor height. This ranged from 4.51 meters in the Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea to 5.76 meters in One World Trade Center in New York City, United States.
Unsurprisingly One World Trade Center was the most expensive again, at $0.08 per meter climbed.
My estimation of the average floor height in each building was calculated in a very crude way, because the height each tower extends beyond its highest floor will skew my figures. It would be good to get measurements of exactly how high each viewing deck is for a more accurate analysis.
Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan offers the best value for money when comparing ticket prices for viewing decks in the worlds tallest buildings.