Explore New York City

Best Views in New York City

New York City has no shortage of skyscrapers and stunning skyline views.

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A trip to New York City wouldn't be complete without a picture perfect shot of the NYC skyline. While there are skyscrapers aplenty in the Big Apple, you might not be able to access them all. Here are five of our favorite observation decks that provide sweeping views of the concrete jungle below. 

New York City's Most Stunning Views

Top of the Rock

One of the best views in New York City (and easily the world) can be found at Top of the Rock. You’ll spot the red carpet entry to the observation deck right away, and you won’t want to miss a single moment of the journey. Stop by the Mezzanine Exhibit to learn all about the history of Rockefeller Center and, of course, Top of the Rock, then get your photo taken at the Beam Walk next on your way to the Theatre. The Sky Shuttle is next and whisks you up 850 feet in under 60 seconds. Your first stop is the 67th floor, with a viewing area and the Swarovski Radiance Wall. Your next stop will be the 69th floor which is home to viewing areas and the Breezeway. Top of the Rock saves the best for last with the 70th-floor rooftop viewing, which offers 360° views with no obstructions. 

View From Top of the Rock New York | WhereTraveler
View From Top of the Rock (©Matthew Jones)

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

Located high above the city atop an iconic skyscraper, you’ll find SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. Perch over a thousand feet above the city with the glass ledges of “Levitation.” Those searching for a thrill can visit “Ascent” and take the exterior elevators to the top of Summit One Vanderbilt—the floors are made of glass. From here, visitors are rewarded with panoramic views of New York City. The newly opened attraction also features “Air” by Kenzo Digital, an art installation designed to make visitors feel as though they are suspended in midair. “Air” is one of the world’s largest art installations. Enjoy a meal at Après with stunning panoramic views of the city below. 

Inside SUMMIT One Vanderbilt New York | WhereTraveler
Inside SUMMIT One Vanderbilt (©Aline Sales)

Empire State Building

Even if you’ve never been to New York City, you’ve seen the Empire State Building in television and movies over the years. Heralded as the “world’s most famous building,” this iconic skyscraper built in 1930 has been making headlines and breaking records since its inception. Learn all about the history of the building on the second and 80th floors, and then journey to the two observation decks, where you’re almost guaranteed the perfect skyline view from the 86th and 102nd floors. Guests can even utilize a free self-guided tour they can download to their phones. Enjoy the numerous dining and shopping options at the Empire State Building and make a full day of your visit. 

Empire State Building Sunset New York | WhereTraveler
Empire State Building Sunset (©Pedro Kummel)

Edge

If you’re at Hudson Yards, visit Edge for some spectacular sights. Enjoy the NYC skyline from a fully suspended skydeck—it’s the highest one in the Western Hemisphere. Edge is also perfect for thrillseekers with glass floors that allow you to look down 100 stories and angled glass walls allowing you to lean out against the skyline. For the biggest adrenaline rush, guests can book the City Climb, an experience that enables guests to safely scale the outside of the deck for unobstructed city views from the sky. Visitors can also book the Sky-High Yoga and enjoy an early morning workout at Edge. 

Edge at Hudson Yards New York | WhereTraveler
Edge at Hudson Yards (©Mitch Hodiono)

One World Observatory

One World Observatory offers guests fantastic 360-degree views every day of the year from a comfortable indoor space. Start your experience by adding your hometown to the Global Welcome Center before visiting the Horizon Grid. The 102-story ride that comes next takes only 47 seconds via the Skypod Elevators. From here, you can take in the sights (upgraded tickets, you can even learn more about the surrounding buildings from the Digital Skyline Guide via iPad). Enjoy a meal or a libation from high above at ONE Dine and ONE Mix, the onsite restaurant and bar. Make sure to visit the “See Forever Theater” for a presentation of the city unlike any you’ve seen before. 

View From One World Observatory New York | WhereTraveler
View From One World Observatory (©Yuya Hata)