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The best Lego Architecture sets of 2021

Lego architecture: NYC
(Image credit: Lego)

The best Lego Architecture sets celebrate both the iconic designs of famous buildings, and the modular nature of Lego. And with the range ever expanding, you're sure to find a set of some of your favourite destinations. 

Like the best Lego sets for adults, Lego Architecture make for a brilliant present, especially at this time of year. Maybe you celebrated a birthday in Rome, or got engaged by the Eiffel Tower? If there's a special occasion you want to remember, chances are, Lego has a set that will act as a wonderful reminder. 

In this guide we've listed our pick of the best Lego Architecture sets available now, all of which honour the original structures and inspire us. Looking for more Lego sets? Don't miss our pick of the best Lego City sets too. 

The best Lego Architecture sets available now

Best Lego Architecture sets: Statue of Liberty

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

01. Lego Architecture Statue of Liberty

A detailed set that shows off genius Lego design

Set no.: 21024 | Pieces: 1685 | Age: 16+

Remarkable level of detail
Excellent showpiece
Nice involved build

This set is a double design masterpiece, not only giving an astoundingly faithful recreation of the architecture at the base of the Statue of Liberty, but also somehow mimicking the flowing shape of her copper cloak in smooth plastic. Standing 44cm/17in tall when complete, it looks eye-grabbing in the best possible way on the shelf. The colours have been carefully matched to the real thing. Plus, if you're going to have an impressive Lego showpiece, it's nice to have one with Lady Liberty's welcoming principles.

Best Lego Architecture sets: San Francisco

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

02. Lego Architecture San Francisco

Adding a bit of perspective and whimsy to skyline Lego

Set no.: 21043 | Pieces: 565 | Age: 12+

Very clever perspective design
Lots of clever little touches

This is our favourite of all Lego's skyline Architecture sets because it feels like does the most with the medium. On the left, you have a series of great buildings from the city, including the old of Coit Tower, the modern of the Transamerica Pyramid, and the medium of 555 California Street. Adorably, though, you've also got the steep hill of San Francisco's famous streets, complete with a little red brick evoking the trams.

But the really clever part is the Golden Gate bridge, which has its two towers at different heights, to give a it the look of stretching off into the distance (even going to far as to put the second bridge tower behind the little Alcatraz island in the middle). It looks absolutely brilliant, and brings a smile every time we see it.

Best Lego Architecture sets: Trafalgar Square

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

03. Lego Architecture Trafalgar Square

Impressive architectural detail in London's square

Set no.: 21045 | Pieces: 1197 | Age: 12+

So many recognisable mini builds
Great National Gallery facade
…which has art inside!

It's like, how much more loving architectural detail could you cram into this space? And the answer is: none. From the intricate front of the National Gallery (which has a hidden interior, incidentally, with art in!), to the fountains and sculpture plinths, to the four lions, to the trees and lampposts and double decker buses, all to scale, this set has it all. It looks so busy, in the best way – it looks full. Bustling, even with no figures in it. As mini dioramas go, it's one of our favourites Lego has ever done.

Best Lego Architecture sets: New York

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

04. Lego Architecture New York

If you came for iconic building, you came to the right place

Set no.: 21028 | Pieces: 598 | Age: 12+

Truly iconic buildings
Fantastic look
We wish the Statue had a torch

You want great buildings? Here's New York. We've got the second appearance of the Statue of Liberty, this time in clever micro-figure form (without a torch, alas, the only failing of this set). The other buildings look excellent – there's the instantly recognisable texture of the Empire Statue, the Chrysler's iconic peak, and we love the scale you get of One World Trade Center's size. The Flatiron Building is maybe the cleverest design here, using round single-stud pieces at the front to create its wedge shape. This is maybe the Lego Architecture skyline set that best captures the looks of the buildings with little compromise, though there is some very hot competition.

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

05. Lego Architecture Tokyo

The most inventive of all the Architecture sets, and a lot of fun

Set no.: 21051 | Pieces: 547 | Age: 16+

Cherry blossoms!
Mount Fuji!
Very cool-looking buildings!

Much like the San Francisco set above, this really has fun with its concept, mixing buildings and locales in a way that's deeply satisfying. Again, it's also a lovely mix of the new (the Tokyo Skytree, Cocoon Tower and Tokyo Big Sight) and the traditional (cherry trees and a pagoda). And with Mount Fuji looking over it all, which is the kind of thoughtful touch that really elevates the best of these sets.

The final flourish is the collection of vibrant, translucent Lego for Shibuya Crossing, bring the jungle of neon to your desk in spirit.

Best Lego Architecture sets: Shanghai

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

06. Lego Architecture Shanghai

Deep aesthetic satisfaction, and some very cool buildings

Set no.: 21039 | Pieces: 597 | Age: 12+

Satisfying design
Great mix of buildings

With its orderly and pleasing increase in the size of the building, a rich mix of architectural styles, and a nice set of colours, this has a good claim to be the most aesthetically pleasing of the skyline sets. It certainly comes across that way in photos and from a distance – the only reason it's not higher on the list is that it doesn't look quite as good in person – the joins are just a little too prominent (as compared to the fidelity of the New York set, say).

But it's still an excellent set, for all the reasons given above, and then more if you love Shanghai. Again, the combination of traditional buildings (Longhua Pagoda, Chenghuang Miao Temple), the modern (World Financial Center, Shanhai Tower), and the unique (Oriental Pearl Tower). It's a bit of a shame than Jin Mao Tower didn't make it in, considering its neighbours did, but you can't have it all.

Best Lego Architecture sets: Empire State Building

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07. Lego Architecture Empire State Building

A beautiful giant of a Lego set

Set no.: 21046 | Pieces: 1767 | Age: 16+

The biggest set here
Fabulous recreation of the building
Has a little 5th Avenue with taxis

This thing is monolithic. It's impressive in a way that few Lego sets achieve. It's imposing, at 55cm/21in tall – the tallest Lego Architecture set so far. And it's a beautiful, faultless recreation of the building. 

So why isn’t it higher on this list? As stunning as it is, the clever part of using Lego to mirror the look of the real thing is the ‘grille’ pieces, and this is the same trick used in the New York skyline set further up this list, just on a much larger scale.

Now, obviously, we're not saying you shouldn't get it. If you look at it and desire it, you will not be disappointed one iota. But when the deals are right, you can get two of the skyline sets for the same price (including New York), and we'd be tempted to do that. Though we would still desperately covet it.

Best Lego Architecture sets: Paris

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

08. Lego Architecture Paris

C'est magnifique! Mostly…

Set no.: 21044 | Pieces: 649 | Age: 12+

Some extremely impressive recreations
Lovely cross section of the sights
Not sure about all the building choices

This set absolutely nails its smaller buildings, and we really love it for that. The Grand Palais' clear roof and intricate front are ingeniously made, the Louvre's pyramid is perfect, the little Parisien houses are adorable, the Arc is a triumph, and there's even a hint of Champs Elysees.

The Eiffel Tower is a little divisive – we think it's actually a really impressive bit of Lego engineering to make it look good at this scale, but in real life, it does look a little bitty, which it honestly pains us to say. As with all the sets here, though, not bad by any means – just not quite the verisimilitude of others. We're not convinced by the inclusion of Tour Montparnasse, though – Tour First and Tour Majunga are both much more interesting designs.

Best Lego Architecture sets: Dubai

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

09. Lego Architecture Dubai

Bringing the desert to your desk

Set no.: 21052 | Pieces: 740 | Age: 16+

Some seriously impressive buildings
Great showcase of modern architecture
Burj Khalifa not as good in person

The only reason this isn’t higher is that, again, it’s one that looks better in pictures than in real life. The Burj Al Arab is fantastic, as are the Jumeirah Emirates Towers. The Frame feels like a bit of a cheat given that it's simply a Lego door frame finished in fold, but you can hardly fault the result, so touché.

But while the Burj Khalifa is a show-stopper in pictures or from across the room, it looks a little bitty as you get close. The construction of it quite ingenious, and we hold our hands up (as ever) to the skill of Lego’s designers, but we just find other sets here more pleasing in practice.

Best Lego Architecture sets: London

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

10. Lego Architecture London

The big smoke goes plastic

Set no.: 21034 | Pieces: 468 | Age: 12+

Great Elizabeth Tower and Tower Bridge
Nice background design for the Eye
We wish more buildings had made it

While the miniature versions of all the buildings here are excellent, we can’t help feeling that while many other sets celebrate buildings old and new, here we’ve only got some (admitted) classics, and with just the London Eye representing the new. You might say that the Paris set does this as well, but that has more buildings in it, whereas this is limited to only four (we're counting Nelson's Column and the National Gallery as one). A Lego Gherkin or Shard feels like a slam dunk.

Still, this is one that actually looks better in person than it does in pictures, though, so if you like what's visible here, definitely don't hesitate to buy – it also tends to be one of the cheapest here. 

Fun note: if you were lucky enough to grab the Creator Expert Big Ben and Creator Expert Tower Bridge when they were available, and the Trafalgar Square from further up this list, you could recreate most of this little setup in giant scale. You would need to devote half a room to that, though.

Best Lego Architecture sets: Las Vegas

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

11. Lego Architecture Las Vegas

What happens on your desk, stays on your desk

Set no.: 21047 | Pieces: 501 | Age: 12+

Evocative Bellagio and fountain design
Luxor and Las Vegas sign look great
We're not sure about some of the other building choices

We love 50 per cent of this set, but the other half leaves us relatively cold compared to the other skylines in this list. Listen, Bellagio and its fountains? YES Luxor's ridiculous, opulent monuments? YES. Las Vegas sign? YES, OF COURSE.

Wynn Encore? Hmmm. Stratosphere Tower? Like, okay, but in a city of bonkers buildings, it's not the most interesting design. And isn’t the Freemont Street Experience really more of an indoors thing? 

We know recreating Frank Gehry's Lou Ruvo Centre this scale would be… challenging, to say the least, but we just feel that there are more inspiring buildings in Las Vegas, even if the brown look of the Wynn is certainly recognisable. It’s still more than worth it for that lovely Bellagio front, and its little fountains.

Bonus! More beautiful real Lego buildings

These may not technically be Lego Architecture sets, but if you have an interest in Lego making beautiful versions of real buildings, these can't be ignored.

Best Lego Architecture sets: Taj Mahal

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

Lego Creator Expert Taj Mahal

One of the biggest and most famous Lego sets of all time

Set no.: 10256 | Pieces: 5923 | Age: 16+

Absolutely stunning design
Meticulous detail and scale
Pretty expensive

This is of the most famous Lego sets among collectors, because it was the largest set ever made in terms of number of pieces for a long time – until the Lego Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series Millenium Falcon beat it a couple of years ago.

It's a huge set that goes to great lengths to recreate the curved windows and domes, and transparent elements give light the right 'glow' through it. If you've got the space (and the time – it's a real monster of a build), this is a great exploration of how bitty pieces come together to form a beautiful final result.

Best Lego Architecture: Old trafford

(Image credit: LEGO Group)

Lego Creator Expert Old Trafford

It may be divisive, but it's an unparalleled architecture set

Set no.: 10272 | Pieces: 3898 | Age: 16+

Astoundingly detailed
Comes apart gracefully to see inside
Well, it IS Man Utd…

Stadiums have always been places that include incredible structural engineering, and often wear it on their metaphorical sleeves, and that's the case here too – not only does this 1:600 scale set pack in details that are important to fans of Manchester United, but it includes all the visible architecture that makes this 110-year-old marvel hold together.

We admit, it may not carry quite as much majesty for non-United fans, but the care that's gone into its details is still a marvel, from the players' tunnel to the statues to the careful placement of every beam, to the mini team coach that sits outside.

Buy Lego Creator Expert Old Trafford from the Lego Store online for £249.99

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