Burj Khalifa is the greatest architectural achievement of Dubai and a benchmark for other skyscrapers in the world standing at a height of 2,723 feet. In addition, its revolutionary design makes visiting this iconic building a must on your trip.
How to visit the Burj Khalifa?
The Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper that houses luxury residences, offices of the world's largest companies, and the exquisite Armani Hotel. However, you can only visit the 124th, 125th, and 148th floors and their respective observation decks, where you will enjoy spectacular views. Here's the different ticket options for Burj Khalifa:
2. VIP Tickets for Burj Khalifa At the Top Sky: 148th, 124th, and 125th Floors
Buying your tickets for the Burj Khalifa in advance is a must when organizing your trip to Dubai. Mainly, to avoid an unbearable queue at the ticket office to buy your tickets once you arrive at the building, but even more important, to make sure you have your tickets for the exact time you would like to go up the Burj Khalifa, as the tickets have a slotted time.
The good thing about buying your tickets in advance and avoiding the queue is that you can go directly to the Sky Lounge and enter the code on your tickets to access the Burj Khalifa observatory.
The sunset at the Burj Khalifa
Whichever type of ticket you buy, my recommendation is to check at what time the sunset will be when visiting Dubai and buy your tickets for an hour before. In case you are going to buy the VIP tickets, you won't have to worry about crowds as they are virtually non-existent in At the Top Sky.
The most popular hours are between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., when most visitors go up to the Burj Khalifa to get ready to watch the sunset. Tickets tend to vary in price depending on the time of day, being more expensive for peak hours, but an advantage of this ticket is that the price is fixed as it includes access to the 148th floor.
When to go up
The Burj Khalifa is open every day but is usually crowded with tourists from Thursday to Saturday, so I recommend you visit between Wednesday and Sunday. To give you an idea, the cheapest tickets are usually between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., and the least crowded time at the Burj Khalifa is after 8:30 p.m.
3. Dubai Tour and tickets for Burj Khalifa
Since going up the Burj Khalifa is on the bucket list of almost everyone visiting Dubai, you might want to combine a guided city tour with tickets for the Burj Khalifa for a complete experience.
On this 9-hour Dubai tour, you will see the main sights of the city with an English-speaking guide, combining the historic center and the more modern side of Dubai. In addition, you will be picked up from your hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle.
- Dubai Creek
- Dubai Museum & Al Fahidi Fortress
- Gold Souk and Spice Souk
- Jumeirah Mosque
- Dubai Mall
- Burj Khalifa
- Palm Jumeirah
- Dubai Marina
- Burj Al Arab
4. Private tour of Dubai and tickets for Burj Khalifa
In case you want to do a private tour of Dubai, you have the option to do a similar tour but with private transportation only for your group. I only recommend it if you are traveling to Dubai with a group of 6 people, otherwise, it is not worth it due to its somewhat high price.
One of the great advantages of doing this tour privately is that you will have the guide at your full disposal, you can ask any questions or inquire about anything that crosses your mind and you can even customize part of the tour, asking your guide to extend the duration of any stop if you feel like it.
Tickets for Burj Khalifa At the Top: 125th floor and fountain music show
At the Burj Khalifa Lake, located in front of the Burj Khalifa, you can see a water and light show that is quite impressive from the ground, but is a jaw-dropping experience when you see it from At the Top. We recommend booking your tickets for the Burj Khalifa and the fountain show together to save a bit of money.
Like much of what you will find in Dubai, this fountain is the tallest fountain in the world. But that's not all! Its extension occupies the size of two soccer fields. Seeing the fountain's water in motion is undoubtedly one of the big attractions of the city. To contemplate the magnificent display of water and light, there is a walkway at the feet of the fountain, but as I've mentioned, seeing the show from At the Top is an incredible experience.
Fountain show schedule
- Every day from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., every half hour.
- In the mornings, at 13:00 p.m. and 13:30 p.m. (on Fridays, 13:30 p.m. and 14:00 p.m.).
6. What to expect from your visit to the Burj Khalifa
The architectural design of the Burj Khalifa is a tribute to the city of Dubai, as it is inspired by the white Hymenocallis, a flower that grows around the city and is one of its symbols. As you ascend the building in its elevator (the world's fastest elevator, at more than 30 feet per second, as you would expect in the tallest building on Earth), you will see how the flower shape of Burj Khalifa develops into the spire at the top.
At the Top Sky (148th floor)
With the entrance to the 148th floor, you will have access to the Sky Lounge where you can enjoy freshly-pressed juice, coffee, Arabic sweets, and exquisite dates. This is an experience to take it easy and relax before going up to the observation deck.
After cocktails, you will be escorted to the VIP elevator where you will ascend to platform 148 in just over a minute. You'll have 30 minutes to enjoy the breathtaking views on an exclusive platform far from the crowds, before descending to the lower platforms.
At the Top (124th and 125th floors)
If you have only purchased tickets for the 124th floor, you can go directly to the elevator and validate your ticket. In less than a minute, you will ascend to the top of the Burj Khalifa and find a gift store where you will have to avoid some tourist traps, and then get to the observatory and look out over Dubai and the vast desert beyond its skyscrapers.
With the telescopes scattered around the observation deck you can see Dubai from up close, but if you really want to feel the vertigo of being in the tallest building in the world, lean out of the observatory windows and look up to see the top of the Burj Khalifa.
There is no time limit to enjoy your visit to At the Top, although most people stay for about an hour. On the 125th floor, you'll find the interactive 'A Falcon's Eye View' experience, where you'll see real-time footage of life in Dubai in the style of the screens at New York's One World Observatory.
7. What you will see from the Burj Khalifa
The views from the top of the Burj Khalifa, from either the lower or upper observation decks, take in the whole of Dubai and part of Abu Dhabi thanks to a 360-degree perspective. Here's some of Dubai's iconic buildings you will be able to see:
- Burj al Arab
- Atlantis Hotel
- Palm Jumeirah
- Dubai Frame
- Dubai Eye
As is the case with almost every observatory in the world, the views at sunrise and sunset are totally mesmerizing, with the difference that thanks to the height of the Burj Khalifa you will be able to see up close the reflection of the sun on the clouds and witness an impossibly beautiful palette of colors.
8. Plan your visit to the Burj Khalifa
How to get to the Burj Khalifa
To get to the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, you need to head to the Dubai Mall. The entrance to the skyscraper is located on the first floor. You can also access the Burj Khalifa through the Armani Hotel, but only if you are staying at one of their exclusive rooms.
One of the best ways to get to the Dubai Mall is by taxi. They are quite cheap for Dubai prices and it is one of the most popular forms of transportation due to the unbearable heat of the city, so you will always be able to find one at the door of your hotel.
The other option is to go by metro, which I recommend if you are going to visit the Burj Khalifa at rush hour. Take the red line to the Burj Khalifa stop, and from there take the F13 bus and get off at the next stop, Dubai Mall. You can also walk from the metro, but it is not the best idea again due to the extreme temperatures.
9. Where to eat in Burj Khalifa
If you're going to climb to the top of the Burj Khalifa at sunset, chances are being up high will make you a little hungry. When it comes to dining near the Burj Khalifa you have the luxury option at the At. Mosphere restaurant or a variety of more affordable restaurants in Dubai Mall.
Located on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, At. Mosphere restaurant is known for its luxury menu and cocktails. As you can imagine, it has exquisite decor and the views are definitely worth it, as seeing Dubai lit up at night while you dine will be a great addition to the sunset views you will have had during your visit.
However, the price is simply prohibitive and my recommendation is to spend that money visiting other Dubai attractions if you're traveling on a budget.
In the mall under the Burj Khalifa, you will find food of every kind: burger joints, Italian food, Chinese food, BBQ, and also Arabic food. The places with the best reviews are PF Chang's, where you will find a fusion of different Asian cuisines, Texas Roadhouse, a rib and steak place, and the world-famous burger chain Shake Shack.
10. Other fun activities in Dubai
If you want to make the most out of the city of Dubai, the best you can do is to take a guided tour around the city. This will help you, not only to better find your bearings but also to find all the hidden corners of the city and learn their story and local anecdotes, which you can find many in Dubai.). Here are the best options: Dubai Tours.
If on the other hand, you want to take your trip to the next level and live an authentic experience in the desert, you can go on a desert experience that includes incredible activities such as dune bashing, sandboarding, and a barbecue party underneath the stars. I have made a list of the best ones here: Al Maha Desert Resort Day Trips.
Frequently asked questions
How can I customize my visit to Burj Khalifa?
You can combine your visit with a wide array of experiences, such as an entrance to the Dubai Aquarium, dinner at the Armani Hotel, tea at At.Mosphere, the restaurant at the top of Burj Khalifa, as well as private transfers, monorail rides, and tours of the city.
What is the best time of the day to visit Burj Khalifa?
The Burj Khalifa's At The Top observation deck gets quite crowded during sunset and twilight, so a good idea is to book your tickets for an hour before sunset and bypass the long queues. Also, the iconic building also offers sunrise viewing sessions from At The Top, starting at 05:30 until 08:00, and they are a peaceful option to experience the best views of Dubai.
When does the Burj Khalifa's LED show happen?
The show begins at 18:00 and happen every half hour until 23:00. The light performance lasts for 5 minutes. Best place to see it happen is at the outside of the Dubai Mall.