In terms of iconic landmarks, the CN Tower and the Space Needle are both impressive, but which one should you explore?
If you're looking for an adrenaline rush and a fine dining experience, the CN Tower's Edgewalk and 360 Restaurant have you covered.
But, if you'd rather chill with a cocktail and enjoy the world's only rotating glass floor, the Space Needle in Seattle is the perfect destination.
In this showdown of towers, we overcame our crippling fear of heights to check out their measurements, views, and features. You're welcome!
CN Tower vs Space Needle: Which is better?
CN Tower’s Height vs Space Needle’s Height
The CN Tower in Toronto is considerably higher than the Space Needle, standing at approximately 553.3 metres (1,815 feet), including its antenna.
In contrast, the Space Needle in Seattle has a height of approximately 184 metres (605 feet).
CN Tower’s Height
In this showdown, CN Tower wins by a long shot, standing tall at over three times the height of the Space Needle! In fact, for more than 30 years, it held the title of the world’s tallest freestanding structure until 2010, when the Burj Khalifa in Dubai surpassed it.
One of the tower’s unique attractions is its Glass Floor Level, located at a height of 342 metres (1,122 feet) above the ground. This allows visitors to stand on a transparent floor and peer directly down onto the city streets below.
Due to its imposing height, it often gets struck by lightning – around 75 times a year, in fact. Watching lightning hit the CN Tower during a storm is a remarkable sight, showcasing the tower’s engineering and the forces of nature.
We know that CN Tower is the tallest tower in Toronto, but let’s compare it to its local counterparts to see where it stands:
|Towers in Toronto
|1. CN Tower
|2. First Canadian Place
|3. The St. Regis Toronto
|4. Scotia Plaza
Space Needle’s Height
While the Space Needle might have lost the height round, it’s still a beloved and iconic landmark with its own unique charm. Fun fact: It was built for the 1962 World’s Fair, and its futuristic design continues to captivate visitors to this day.
To ensure its safety and stability during significant earthquakes, the tall Space Needle is engineered to withstand tremors with a magnitude of up to 9.1 on the Richter scale.
Plus, the lightning-fast ascent to its observation deck is a must-try. The tower’s elevators are both efficient and exhilarating, reaching the top at a brisk 16 kilometres (10 miles) per hour, making the journey to the top a brief and exciting 41-second ride!
When compared to other towers in Seattle, the Space Needle takes the Top 9 spot. Not as good as Top 1 but still quite respectable:
|Towers in Seattle
|1. Columbia Center
|2. Rainier Tower
|3. 1201 Third Avenue
|4. Two Union Square
|5. Seattle Municipal Tower
|6. F5 Tower
|7. Safeco Plaza
|8. U.S. Bank Center
|9. Space Needle
|10. Russell Investments Center
CN Tower’s Views vs Space Needle’s Views
The CN Tower boasts sights of New York and Niagara Falls as well as gorgeous city views during dusk.
The Space Needle in Seattle provides stunning 360-degree panoramic downtown skyline sights and refreshing coastal and mountain views.
CN Tower’s Views
The CN Tower boasts the highest observation platform in the Western Hemisphere – the Skypod. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a clear day, you can see up to 160 km (100 miles), offering an incredible view all the way to New York and even Niagara Falls!
On the other hand, we highly recommend planning your visit around dusk. Observing the city’s transformation as it lights up after dark is a truly breathtaking experience.
Space Needle’s Views
The Space Needle in Seattle offers stunning 360-degree panoramic views of the city, showcasing the downtown skyline, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, and Mount Baker. Plus, you’ll be treated to breathtaking sights of Elliott Bay.
Whether you’re indoors or outdoors on the observation deck, it also provides an unobstructed view of Mount Rainier and the glistening waters of Puget Sound. It’s an experience that truly immerses you in the natural and urban wonders of the region.
CN Tower’s Dining Options vs Space Needle’s Dining Options
CN Tower provides a variety of dining options, including a restaurant, bistro, and cafe, while the Space Needle doesn’t offer full-service dining to the public. Instead, it features a cafe, a wine bar, and a cocktail bar for visitors to enjoy.
CN Tower’s Dining Options
— From: @tourcntower360
|Mon-Sun: 11:30 AM–10 PM
At 360, you can savour a beautiful meal with a view, celebrating Canada’s diverse flavors – whether it’s a special occasion or a casual outing in downtown Toronto. Don’t miss the Harissa chicken supreme and the delectable dark chocolate lava cake.
To dine at 360, there is a minimum spend of $75 per adult ($40 for children aged 4 to 12). This covers both your dining experience and entry to the CN Tower’s Main Observation Level, saving you the need for a separate admission ticket!
— From: @cntower
|Mon-Sun: 10 AM-8 PM
While you’re enjoying CN Tower’s Main Observation Level, you can stop by VUE Bistros for a taste of classic Canadian cuisine. We recommend their iconic poutine, best enjoyed with a local craft beer.
If you’re visiting from abroad, don’t miss out on Canadian classics like fish and chips, served with coleslaw and tartar sauce. This humble meal is inspired by Atlantic Canada.
Space Needle’s Dining Options
The Loupe Lounge
— From: @theloupelounge
The Loupe Lounge is where you can enjoy a one-of-a-kind cocktail experience on the world’s first revolving glass floor, as long as you’re 21 and up. This exclusive destination offers breathtaking views and serves up amazing cocktails.
Not only do they serve innovative signature cocktails, but they also offer delectable pairings personally crafted by their Executive Chef. This may include a curated assortment of seafood, cheeses, and delectable treats.
We recommend trying their wine flights, sliders, and cheeseboard.
— From: @spacecowgxrl
|Mon-Sun: 8AM - 12AM
Atmos Café is ideal for those looking for mouthwatering treats from Pinkabella Cupcakes and Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Located on the upper observation level, they’ve got a cosy espresso bar, beer and wine, and a selection of local goodies.
While you’re there, don’t miss out on the scrumptious salmon sandwich. Plus, they offer generous portions of mouthwatering hotdogs, sandwiches, and sliders.
The best part? It’s open all day and night during regular building hours, so you can enjoy your favourites whenever you like.
CN Tower’s Activities vs Space Needle’s Activities
CN Tower’s Activities
Imagine standing 116 stories above Toronto, harnessed to the world’s highest full-circle hands-free walk: the EdgeWalk. It’s not just an adrenaline rush; it’s a unique way to celebrate major milestones, from graduations to parties and team-building sessions.
Visitors can also explore their famous Glass Floor, a pioneering feature that has been wowing guests for years. The Glass Floor is not just any ordinary floor; it claims to hold the weight of 35 moose or more than three orcas!
CN Tower’s The EdgeWalk
— From: @cntower
|Mon-Sun: 10 AM–7 PM
Your EdgeWalk journey begins at the base camp with a comprehensive orientation. Then, you’ll ascend to the Summit Room, two storeys above the Main Observation Level, where your harness is securely fastened to the rail.
From there, you’ll embark on your walk, starting on the south side of the Tower above the 360 Restaurant. The entire experience takes about 90 minutes, with an awe-inspiring 30 minutes spent on the EdgeWalk.
As a memento, you’ll receive a certificate of achievement, a video of your adventure, two printed photos of your walk, and a ticket to explore the rest of the Tower, including SkyPod. EdgeWalk is not just an adventure; it’s a journey you’ll remember for a lifetime.
CN Tower’s Glass Floor
— From: @joshua.ljh
The Glass Floor, which spans 256 square feet, adds an extra dimension to your CN Tower visit. As you walk or sit directly above the city streets, 342 metres (1,122 feet) below, the sensation of floating is nothing short of exhilarating.
This innovative Glass Floor was a global first when it opened in 1994. Covering an area of 258 square feet and designed with exceptional durability, it can withstand a pressure of 595 psi or in layman’s terms, about 14 hippos.
Also, this iconic feature is so spotless that you’ll want it for your own windows at home. The CN Tower’s Glass Floor is a testament to engineering excellence and provides an awe-inspiring view like no other.
Space Needle’s Activities
Perched 520 feet above Seattle, the Space Needle has taken its $100 million renovation to new heights with the Skyrisers. Restrictive walls have now been replaced with tilted open-air glass walls and 24 glass benches that redefine the visitor experience.
Additionally, the Space Needle’s new rotating glass floor, called the Loupe, is a mesmerising experience like no other. Suspended 500 feet above the ground, this attraction slowly turns, offering a one-of-a-kind perspective of Seattle.
Space Needle’s Skyrisers
— From: @spaceneedle
As you take your seat on a Skyriser and gaze out over the Seattle skyline, it’s like finding yourself in a breathtaking illusion, suspended in mid-air. For those seeking that perfect Instagram-worthy shot, the Skyrisers offer a rare photo opportunity.
The innovative redesign goes beyond aesthetics, focusing on enhancing accessibility and crowd flow. The addition of an ADA lift, double-sized doors, and spacious stairways ensures that everyone can enjoy the Space Needle experience to the fullest.
This two-floor makeover is part of the “Century Project,” a multi-year endeavour aimed at capturing the essence of the Needle’s original concept sketches. The 11-foot-high glass walls and 24 Skyrisers provide an immersive setting for creating memories.
Space Needle’s the Loupe
— From: @spaceneedle
Reopened in August 2018 as the Loupe, the indoor observation deck features a revolutionary glass floor. It takes a leisurely 45 minutes for the observation deck to complete a full rotation.
The Space Needle offers the city’s only 360-degree indoor and outdoor panoramic views. These include the beauty of downtown, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the majestic Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges.
To make the most of your visit, consider purchasing a CityPASS, a money-saving option that includes access to this marvel. It’s advisable to plan your trip on clear days, opt for an early morning visit to beat the crowds, or choose sunset hours.
CN Tower vs Space Needle: How They Stack Up
Each has its unique advantages and features, but both the CN Tower and the Space Needle offer unforgettable experiences. The better choice for you ultimately hinges on what you value most in a landmark visit.
To sum it up, your decision on which tower to visit depends on the factors we’ve discussed above, summarised here:
|The Better Tower
|The CN Tower, at over 553 meters, boasts the title of the world's tallest free-standing structure and tower for over three decades.
|While the CN Tower's Skypod offers vistas up to 160 km all the way to Niagara Falls, the Space Needle provides stunning 360-degree panoramic views that include the downtown Seattle skyline, mountain ranges, and the waters of Puget Sound.
|Families seeking a full dining experience will likely find the CN Tower more appealing. On the other hand, adults in search of an ambiance with wine and cocktails might favour the Space Needle.
|CN Tower outshines the Space Needle in terms of activities, notably with its thrilling EdgeWalk experience. This is where visitors can walk on the world's highest full-circle hands-free walk – an adventure that the Space Needle doesn't offer.