lego city modular buildings

LEGO City modular buildings are some of the most fun sets to build. When you've dedicated yourself to building an entire city made of LEGO, it's safe to say you're in pretty deep (welcome to the club!).

But deciding which modular building to add to your city next can be difficult. After all, there are so many choices from LEGO alone, and then when you add in LEGO modular buildings MOCs, well, then you start to see there's an entire world of modular buildings out there for you to explore.

So, to help make your decisions easier, read our post today: the 7 best LEGO modular buildings ranked!

People also read: How To Light Up LEGO Modular Buildings Sets/MOCs

LEGO Modular Buildings List By Year

Let us just talk about LEGO City modular buildings and how they're released.

Typically, LEGO releases one modular building for your LEGO City per year (although there are occasions where they'll release 2 - such as when they first started releasing modular buildings in 2007, and later in 2012). Currently, there's 18 official LEGO City modular buildings, but with MOCs and alternate builds, there are obviously far more.

Once released, you can usually pick up the set for 3-4 years at retail price, but eventually LEGO pulls the stock from their stores and online stores, and you'll then need to look elsewhere online to find the modular building you're looking for. In today's 7 best LEGO modular buildings list, we've tried to include a variety - some you can buy right now at retail price, and others you might have to pay a little more for online.

Before we get started, here's the full list of official LEGO modular buildings for your city layout:

  1. LEGO Cafe Corner (10182) - 2007
  2. LEGO Factory Market Street (10190) - 2007
  3. LEGO Green Grocer (10185) - 2008
  4. LEGO Fire Brigade (10197) - 2009
  5. LEGO Grand Emporium (10211) - 2010
  6. LEGO Pet Shop (10218) - 2011
  7. LEGO Town Hall (10224) - 2012
  8. LEGO Mini Modulars Collection (10230) - 2012
  9. LEGO Creator Expert Palace Cinema (10232) - 2013
  10. LEGO Creator Expert Parisian Restaurant (10243) - 2014
  11. LEGO Creator Expert Detective's Office (10246) - 2015
  12. LEGO Creator Expert Brick Bank (10251) - 2016
  13. LEGO Creator Expert Assembly Square (10255) - 2017
  14. LEGO Creator Expert Downtown Diner (10260) - 2018
  15. LEGO Creator Expert Corner Garage (10264) - 2019
  16. LEGO Creator Expert Book Shop (10270) - 2020
  17. LEGO Creator Expert Police Station (10278) - 2021
  18. LEGO Creator Expert Boutique Hotel (10297) - 2022

Top 7 Best LEGO Modular Building Sets

7. LEGO Creator Expert Book Shop (10270)

At first look, this 2504 piece Book Shop released in 2020 might not be the most exciting (although we love it), but the reason we include this on our list today is that it's so versatile. If you head over to Rebrickable and search for alternate build MOCs for this set, you'll see some impressive variations.

Of course, the set itself is still great on its own. The brown building with its 'Birch Books' sign looks old, and everybody knows a bookshop steeped in history is the best kind of bookshop.

Lego Bookshop 10270 light kit

6. LEGO Fire Brigade (10197)

Next up is the LEGO Fire Brigade set. With 2231 pieces, this set released way back in 2009 still has all the details you'd expect from a more modern LEGO set. The 1932 sign on top of the building with the bell gives this set age, and the fire truck adds a fun element when playing or displaying.

This set makes our list for two reasons. First, it's a truly impressive building that looks great in any city, even in 2022. And second, it adds so much storytelling opportunity that you won't be able to stay away from your LEGO City for long when this building is up!

Light Kit For Fire Brigade 10197

5. LEGO Town Hall (10224)

LEGO Town Hall is still the 4th largest set of the LEGO modular buildings range at 2766 pieces, despite being released in 2012. What does that mean? Well, it means when you add this fun set to your City you'll have a seriously impressive 3 story building that looks the part, and will probably take you a while to build - meaning more bang for your buck.

The 1891 sign, and all the minifigures included in this set, make it feel special. There's a bride and groom, and even a town mayor, so you really get to add a lot to your City with the Town Hall set.

4. LEGO Creator Expert Detective's Office (10246)

We love this Detective's Office set. With its 2262 pieces, it's still a sizeable set, although maybe you'd expect a bigger set for one that was released in 2018. Still, it's a lot of fun, adds a huge amount of storytelling possibility, and it looks amazing. Not only does it add 'Ace Brickman's' private detective agency, but also barber buildings below too!

This set is exciting, but we also have a Lightailing light kit available for it that we believe makes it extra special. It lights up the street below and the different buildings, and we think it's the extra touch this set needs to become even more unique and exciting!

Light Kit For Lego Detective's Office 10246

3. LEGO Creator Expert Police Station (10278)

Much like the Fire Brigade set, the Police Station set also adds a lot to your LEGO City. 2923 pieces and released in 2021 - this set really is exciting. The large, imposing building stands out on any street in the city, and there are a number of unique minifigures included - from criminals to police officers - this set has it all.

So whether you're looking for a cool display piece, or you simply want a modern building to add to your city, you can't go wrong with the LEGO Police Station.

2. LEGO Cafe Corner (10182)

Choosing our top 2 was almost impossible. How do you choose between the set where it all began and the latest LEGO 2022 modular building? In the end, we settled on LEGO Cafe Corner - the 2056 piece set first released in 2007 (the first modular building ever) - being in second place. Don't get us wrong, though, this set is as exciting as any of the more modern ones.

The corner setup is something that's very unique and adds a lot of character to your city streets. The large hotel building attached to the top is unusable, but still adds an exciting height element to your city too.

Make & Create Cafe Corner 10182 light kit

1. LEGO Creator Expert Boutique Hotel (10297)

Finally, we have 2022's offering. No, newer is not always better, but in this case LEGO has added a modular building that's sorely needed. The hotel above cafe corner looks great, but the Boutique Hotel adds 3066 bricks that are solely dedicated to a hotel, and the result is stunning! It's an exciting set that, for us, deserves the top spot on our list today.

The boutique design makes it a unique building on any city street, and it stands out among many of the other buildings because it's so different. Take a look at this set for yourselves, because we're certain you'll love it too.

LEGO Creator Expert Boutique Hotel (10297)

Lighting Up Your City

Of the 18 LEGO modular building sets available, the 7 above are our favorites. But if you want to see them in all their glory, then consider purchasing a Lightailing light kit for the relevant sets.

We always find that LEGO City modular buildings work best when they're designed to look as real as possible. All of our Lightailing light kits add atmosphere to any modular building, and it helps your LEGO City come alive.

So, when you pick up your next modular building set, consider buying a light kit from us - the difference it will make to your building is special, and your LEGO City will look better than ever!


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