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Best Places to View New York Skyline


Walking on the streets of New York always feel magical especially for tourists, for how can a foreign land feel so familiar and yet you have never seen anything like it either.


Whatever reason you are here, you’ve never really seen anything until you have visited some of these iconic spots:


911 One World Observatory

The One World Observatory occupies the 100th – 102nd floor of One World Trade Center. The newest skyscraper in New York stands at 1,776ft, the tallest in the whole of the western hemisphere.

The whole building is a reminder of that dark September day in 2001.Rising from the ashes of 911, the view of New York will certainly take your breath away.

See forever, with the observatory’s 30ft high windows that go all the way around to give you fantastic 360 degree views of the city up to 80 meters away.


Top of the Rock

For me, this offers the best view of the city even if it does not go higher than the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Plaza. Crowning one of the city’s iconic buildings is the Top of the Rock, an outdoor viewing deck inspired by an ocean liner’s grand deck in the1930s.

Its proximity to Central Park, vintage looking binoculars and glass panel surrounding the deck gives this observatory the most astounding views that is almost magical.

Indoor observation decks with open windows are on the 68th and 69th floors.


Empire State Building

Empire State Building
Photo by Gil Delos Santos from the Empire State Building

This may be the most famous landmark of the city after the Statue of Liberty itself. Located at the center of midtown Manhattan, it is considered as the 8th wonder of the modern world – Empire State Building.

Its observation deck is located on the 86th and 102nd floors. Visitors can have an unobstructed view that can even be up to 80 miles, well outside the city limits, on a clear day.

Metropolitan Museum of Arts


More popularly known as the MET, this museum has the largest collection of art works in all of America and is one of the most viewed all over the world. But aside from all the beautiful pieces of art in the museum, MET also offers a skyline view of the city from its rooftop café and bar – and entrance is free.

The rooftop may not be towering like the first tree, but it offers the same skyline view of the Empire State building with the Empire in it.

Liberty Island via Statue Cruises


If height is not your thing, then do not worry. You do not always have to go way up high to see spectacular views. You can go around the island on a cruise instead.

See the city’s concrete jungle outline and be filled with its magnificence from a distance via Hudson River. The cruise can give you a view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York Harbor– and it’s plenty of good backdrop for amazing selfies.

The tour leads visitors to Liberty and Ellis Island.


Liberty State Park


Get a different view of the City skyline by visiting Liberty State Park in New Jersey. The view from here is simply unforgettable especially at night when all of the city lights are on.

The park is historically significant as it was the gateway for English immigrants to the US from 1892-1954. New Jersey‘s 1,122 acre gift to the nation allotted 300 acres of the land dedicated for public recreation.



230 fifth ave nyc

Another picture worthy skyline is that from Brooklyn’s DUMBO (stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). This place was once abandoned before some artists started a renaissance in the area attracting both artistic people and tech savvy ones creating a different vibe for the area.

For best views go to Pier One of Brooklyn Bridge Park or go to a small park by Plymouth Street.


230 Fifth

230 fifth nyc
Photo by Gino Mirasol

Concrete is everywhere here but there is one spot in all the city that offers a rooftop garden.

The garden itself is a breath of fresh air but the best part is the view of the Empire State building and the whole city. It’s most spectacular at night.


Hudson River Boats and Sails

Photo by Jessie on a Journey

View the city from the Hudson River aboard a boat. The view from here of the city scape including the impressive Empire State building will not fail you. Plus, you get up close to Lady Liberty while enjoying the wind on your hair as you sail away.


Ides from Brooklyn


Experience an astounding view of Manhattan while having some drinks at The Ides, 80th floor of Whythe Hotel.

Ides may be the best spot for the younger and trendier crowd who enjoys the night life and the view of the city as it is.

Brooklyn Barge

Perfect for sunset views. Photo Taken by Gil Delos Santos

The Brooklyn Barge is a “waterfront community” with the main objective of conserving and restoring the East River. But it’s not all studious at the barge, it also happens to be a bar serving good food and drinks, and an awesome look of Manhattan’s skyline at sunset.

Brooklyn Bridge

Photo by Gino Mirasol

A trip to the Big Apple will not be complete without experiencing the Brooklyn Bridge. Take a walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan and take in the sights of a million windows lighting up as the sun goes down.

The world’s first suspension bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan built back in 1869 also happens to be one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century.

It is one of the iconic landmarks of the city that allows a view of the city’s promise for all new comers as clearly as the bright lights of downtown Manhattan.

The skyscraper city is home to many different cultures all here to chase their dreams. On these dreams the city was made – each and every building and in turn, inspiring new comers to dream on as they encourage you to look up.


24 thoughts on “Best Places to View New York Skyline

  1. I remember loving the views from the Empire State Building. I had no idea there were so many other places to get these great views! Love the tip for the MET rooftop café and bar. I think I’d go there next time – see the art and then enjoy a drink admiring the skyline!

  2. We loved the view from the “Top of the Rock’ , we were lucky to get a really clear day and had some great views although it was -11 degrees outside. But the cold kept the crowds away!

  3. These are some great shots! I love to take the free ferry to Staten Island to take some great shots of the southern tip of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

  4. The Empire Estate and DUMBO looks like the best vantage point of NYC. Stunning views and photos in all!

  5. New York is one of my favorite cities to explore. You’ve highlighted some great locations to take in that epic skyline. I wouldn’t have thought of to visit the MET for the skyline view. Next time I’m there, I’m not leaving until I have a cocktail at The Ideas.
    Thanks for the great recommendations!

  6. Love it! NYC is one of my dream destinations specifically because of the wonderful skyline filled with skyscrapers. Hope to be able to travel there someday with my loved ones! 😀

  7. I love the way you describe New York. I think NYC is so photogenic you can almost always get a great shot. My own favorite spot to watch NY skyline is from New Port, Jersey City, across the Hudson.

  8. Top of the Rock has always been my favorite, it’s so easy to walk there from Times Square! I also love taking the Staten Island Ferry as it’s free and you get such an incredible view of downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

  9. You’ve caught some of the most special locations in this amazing city. There are so many aren’t there when you put them all together. The only place I have not been to is the MET and the rooftop bars. When I was last in NYC the rooftop bars were not really “the thing”. Looking forward to getting back to spend some time in them.

  10. Aww this brought back some happy memories of New York. I didn’t realise about DUMBO I want to go their just because of its name lol. Your pictures are amazing and now I might have to book a trip back to New York so I can try out these advantage points.

  11. I have been to NYC 5 times and I have never been to the MET- ahhh I need to go here! (In my defence 3 of the times it was closed…) I completely agree that DUMBO has amazing views and my personal favourite is top of the rock at Christmas time!

  12. Love this! My favorite spot to view the skyline was from the free Staten Island ferry … got some fantastic photos after I manage to elbow through the crowds to the front of the ferry! And great views of the statue of liberty too! 🙂

  13. NYC has long been on our list of travel and the more we read about it the more we wish to go there. I am sure with your guideline, we’d be able to get a good view of NYC skyline.

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