Lonely Planet Writer

World's fifth-tallest skyscraper has opened in Seoul with a seven-star hotel and the world's fastest elevator

The world’s fifth-tallest skyscraper has opened in South Korea, and it has some record-setting amenities including the world’s fastest elevator, highest swimming pool and highest observation deck. The 1819-foot-high Lotte World Tower in Seoul has 123 floors and it houses a seven-star hotel. The glass tower’s design was inspired by traditional South Korean ceramics and calligraphy and tapers towards the top of the building.

The Lotte World Tower has opened in South Korea. Image: Topic Images
The Lotte World Tower has opened in Seoul in South Korea. Image: Topic Images

The £2.8 billion tower is built on the banks of the river Han, and it also houses office and residential space, a 2000-seat concert hall and an aquarium, cinema and food court. The elevator can whisk visitors to the top in just one minute, making it the fastest in the world. The swimming pool is on the 85th floor, and it is claimed to be the world’s highest swimming pool in a building.

The Lotte World Tower has opened in South Korea. Image: Mlenny
The Lotte World Tower has opened in Seoul in South Korea. Image: Mlenny

A tunnel carries visitors to the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck on the 118th floor, which is 1640 feet above the ground and allows visitors to walk above a busy Seoul intersection. The building was designed to be as eco-friendly as possible, so it includes solar panels, wind turbines and water-harvesting systems.

The Lotte World Tower has opened in Korea. Image: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
The Lotte World Tower has opened in Seoul in South Korea. Image: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

After seven years planning, the skyscraper’s official opening this week was marked by a dazzling display of 30,000 fireworks. The Lotte company believes that the new tower and accompanying Lotte World Mall will attract 50 million tourists, and judging by what it has to offer, we can see why it would be a hugely popular attraction.

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