Abstract This paper presents field measurement results of boundary layer wind characteristics over typical open country and urban terrains and wind-induced responses of two super-tall buildings during the passages of windstorms. The field data such as wind speed, wind direction and acceleration responses, etc., were measured from an observation tower with height of 17.5 m at a coastal region in Lufeng and two super-tall buildings in urban districts, CITIC Plaza Tower (391 m, 80 floors) in Guangzhou and Di Wang Tower (384 m, 78 floors) in Shenzhen. Detailed analysis of the field data and comparative study are conducted to investigate the boundary layer wind characteristics and wind effects on the super-tall buildings. The measured wind data are analyzed to obtain the information on ground roughness, mean wind speed and direction, turbulence intensity, gust factor, turbulence integral length scale and spectra of wind speed fluctuations. The dynamic characteristics of the tall buildings are determined on the basis of the field measurements and comparisons with those calculated from the computational models of the tall buildings are made. The damping ratios of the buildings are estimated by the random decrement method and the amplitude-dependent damping characteristics are presented and discussed. Furthermore, the full-scale measurement results are compared with wind tunnel test data to examine the accuracy of the model test results and the adequacy of the techniques used in wind tunnel tests. The results presented in this paper are expected to be of interest and of use to researchers and engineers involved in analysis and design of tall buildings.