The best Lego Architecture sets celebrate both the iconic designs of famous buildings and the modular nature of Lego. As the line continues to expand, you're sure to find block versions of your favourite destinations.
Like the best Lego sets for adults, Lego Architecture sets make great gifts — especially if there's a special occasion you want to commemorate, like the time you got engaged by the Eiffel Tower. You can also purchase Lego Architecture sets to serve as inspiration for future holidays, like that trip to Tokyo you've always wanted to take.
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.
The best Lego Architecture sets of 2021
The Lego Architecture Statue of Liberty set is a double design masterpiece, not only giving an astoundingly faithful recreation of the architecture at the base 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.
The Lego Architecture San Francisco set is our favourite of all the Skyline sets because it does the most with the medium. On the left, you have a series of San Fran's iconic buildings, including the Coit Tower's Art Deco style, the modern Transamerica Pyramid, and the mid-century 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 it the look of stretching off into the distance — even going as 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.
How much more loving architectural detail could you cram into the Lego Architecture Trafalgar Square set? None. It features the National Gallery — which has a hidden interior with art inside! — plus Nelson's Column flanked by four lions. That's in addition to the trees, lampposts, and double-decker buses, all to scale. It looks so busy but in the best way. Like the real deal, this set is full and bustling, even with no figures. As mini dioramas go, it's one of our favourite Lego Architecture sets.
You want great buildings? Here's the Lego Architecture New York set. 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's some hot competition.
Much like the San Francisco set above, the Lego Architecture Tokyo set 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). Mount Fuji looking over it all 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, bringing the jungle of neon to your desk in spirit.
With its orderly and pleasing increase in the size of the building, a rich mix of architectural styles, and a nice set of colours, the Lego Architecture Shanghai set 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 compared to the fidelity of the New York set.
But it's still an excellent set, for all the reasons given above, and then more if you love Shanghai. We appreciate the combination of traditional buildings (Longhua Pagoda, Chenghuang Miao Temple), the modern (World Financial Center, Shanghai Tower), and the unique (Oriental Pearl Tower). It's a bit of a shame that Jin Mao Tower didn't make it, but you can't have it all.
The Lego Architecture Empire State Building is monolithic. It's imposing at 55cm/21in tall, making it 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. 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 — although we would still desperately covet it.
The Lego Architecture Paris 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 bitty, which 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.
The only reason the Lego Architecture Dubai set 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.
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.
While the miniature versions of all the buildings in the Lego Architecture London set are excellent, we can’t help feeling that we’ve only got some (admitted) classics 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.
However, Lego Architecture's London set actually looks better in person than it does in pictures. 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.
We love 50 per cent of the Lego Architecture Las Vegas set, but the other half leaves us relatively cold compared to the other skylines in this list. Bellagio and its fountains? Check. Luxor's ridiculous, opulent monuments? Check. Las Vegas sign? Big check there.
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:
The Lego Creator Expert Taj Mahal is of the most famous Lego sets among collectors because it was the largest ever made in terms of the number of pieces 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.
Stadiums have always been places that include incredible structural engineering, and often wear it on their metaphorical sleeves. That's the case here with the Lego Creator Expert Old Trafford set. 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.