Viewing New York City from one its infamous skyscrapers is a must-do for any visitors. While being on the ground in the hustle and bustle is amazing, peering at it from above gives a true sense of the scale of Manhattan and beyond. It’s also a great way to see many of the iconic New York landmarks.
Here’s my tried and tested round up of the top three ways to grab that coveted view. Have your phones at the ready for some incredible shots.
Empire State Building
The stunning architecture of the Empire State Building, as well as the breathtaking views from the top, make it a bucket-list attraction in New York. There are two viewing platforms, with the 86th floor offering the highest open-air point in the city. There is a protective fence so you can safely get close to the edge to take some fantastic photos.
From the Empire State you’ll be able to get a wonderful view of Central Park. You’ll also see the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty in all their glory. Be sure to make use of the full 360° walkway so you can soak in as many views as possible.
For those who want even more dizzying height, the 102nd floor has floor to ceiling windows offering an awe-inspiring view.
The queues can be quite long but they move quickly, so don’t be put off. It is completely worth the wait too!
One World Observatory
One World Observatory sits atop One World Trade Centre. Your visit begins in the Sky Pod Elevators featuring LED screens showing the story of New York’s changing skyline. You emerge on the 102nd floor, with the view from 1250ft up being incredible enough to take your breath away.
For a small fee, you can rent a HD video monitor. Using this you can focus on a neighbourhood or a landmark. The screen will give you details and information on where it is. It sounds like a gimmick but it is genuinely fascinating to learn more about the city and its iconic buildings and areas.
A variety of interactive exhibits add to the experience. Guides are also on-hand to answer any questions you have about New York.
Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Centre
While it’s not the tallest of viewing points, Top of the Rock is open air and offers some amazing views from a different angle of the city. 70 stories high, you’ll be able to spot the Empire State Building. You can’t obviously see the building when you are up it, so it’s worth doing both! YOu’ll also get glorious views of Central Park, the Hudson River and Times Square.
Before heading outside to the viewing platform, you can watch some short films and interactive displays. They share the story of the Rockerfeller Centre’s construction.
Top of the Rock offers timed ticketing so you don’t have to wait in long lines. What is also great is their weather guarantee; if poor weather or visibility affects your visit, the attraction will reissue your ticket for a future time or date.
If you visit more than one viewing platform, mix up your times of day. Go to one during the daytime hours and one after darkness has fallen. New York is magical when it is all aglow.
Consider pre-booking your tickets if you know when you are going to visit. A tourist pass for the city may also be a good way to save money if you know you’re going to be hitting up several different attractions.