The skyline of New York City is one of the best in the world. When you see New York in a movie or on the cover of a magazine, it is instantly identifiable. There are numerous locations from which to enjoy the best New York City vistas, and we’d like to share our favorites. When we visit New York, one of our favorite things to do is seek amazing images. So, if you’re planning a trip to New York, check out these Instagram-worthy vistas of the city.
We used a New York Pass to maximize our time and save money on our several travels to New York. The New York Pass grants admission to several of these New York Views. Examine it and discover whether it works for you.
Openings and closures are subject to change as New York City reopens following COVID. Some activities, bars, restaurants, and attractions may be closed or limited in their availability. Updates, resources, and restrictions in New York can be found on this website.
Top of the Rock Observation Deck
To begin with, travelling up to the Top of the Rock is a lot of fun. Located in Rockefeller Plaza, the Top of the Rock is one of the top attractions in New York City. It has one of the best views in New York since it offers views of midtown, the Empire State Building, and One World Trade Center on one side and breathtaking vistas of Central Park on the other. The viewing deck is on the 67th level and is enclosed by glass panels, giving you a sense of safety and security above the city.
The Top of the Rock admission is free with the New York Pass, and you can learn more about visiting the Top of the Rock on their website. until 11 p.m. (reduced hours for COVID).
Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112.
Bar Sixty-Five at the Rainbow Room
While at the Rockefeller Centre, stop into The Bar 64 at Rainbow Room on the 65th Floor. Make this your splurge night out with a minimum spend of $65 per person. Because it offers a terrace and stunning views of New York City, this is a popular pub, so make a reservation. Rockefeller Plaza, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th Floor, New York, NY 10112 Details and reservations can be found on the website.
Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Ferry
When visiting New York, you’ll almost certainly visit the Statue of Liberty, and the views from the ferry and the island are among the greatest in the city. When leaving, stand on the right side of the ferry, towards the dock, for the finest view of NYC. Most people stare out at the sea on the left, but after the boat moves, the best views of the city skyline are on the right.
The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Ferry are all free with the New York Pass, or you may take this Liberty Island and Ellis Island guided trip. Boarding the ferry to Liberty Island with Reserved Line Access.
The ferry and ticket office for the Statue of Liberty is located in Manhattan’s Battery Park. Ferries depart at 8:30 a.m., so arrive as early as possible.
When you arrive at the Statue of Liberty, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of New York and Manhattan. Take a walk around the island to see the various vistas. Views of Jersey, Brooklyn, and the Manhattan skyline are available from Liberty Island. Another great perspective of New York is from Ellis Island, which includes views of Liberty Island and Lady Liberty herself. Check out our comprehensive guide to seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Staten Island Ferry
If you don’t want to go to the Statue of Liberty, take the Staten Island Ferry instead. Take the ferry to see the Manhattan Skyline, Lower Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty. The ferry operates 24 hours a day, allowing you to capture those city lights shots you’ve always desired. The best part is that the Staten Island ferry is free! Every 25 minutes, the boat travels between St. George and Whitehall.
Book this 90-Minute New York City Cruise – Take a Semi-Circle Cruise to explore the classic locations of midtown and lower Manhattan. Sail down the Hudson, past the Battery, and up the East River to see the Statue of Liberty. To get to the United Nations, you’ll have to cross the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges.
Walking along the Brooklyn Bridge is a must-do activity in New York City, and it also provides spectacular views of the city’s skyline. Take your time and enjoy the views of the East River and New York City’s renowned skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building, the Crysler Building, One World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, and the city’s other two iconic bridges, the Williamsburg Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park is not only a fantastic New York attraction, but it is also one of the best sites to view the Manhattan skyline. There are various locations from which to enjoy the spectacular views of New York over the East River. DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and The Brooklyn Bridge Park provide unrestricted views of the Manhattan skyline. Here are a few spots in Brooklyn where you can glimpse the skyline.
Old Pier One
We learned about Old Pier One from our friend Susan of Insatiable Traveler. We walked along the East River on a cold December evening to find the old wooden pier that overlooked the Manhattan skyline. This is the ideal site in New York City to see the sunset over Manhattan.
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
After you’ve done at the Old Pier One, walk down the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The pedestrian walkway is 557 meters (.3 miles) long and provides unobstructed views of Lower Manhattan and New York Harbor.
Washington and Water Street
You cannot visit Brooklyn without visiting Washington and Water Street. This is the location for the classic Manhattan Bridge view. Stand on the cobblestone street and take in the classic view of New York that you’ve seen so many times in gangster movies.
Empire State Building
Going up the Empire State Building late at night is one of our favorite things to do in New York City. It has the best nighttime view of New York City. We like going after midnight when the crowds are low and we can take our time walking through the first-floor show before riding on the elevator to the 86th floor.
Did you know that this is the world’s highest outdoor observatory? Enjoy views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, Central Park, and the Hudson River while feeling the wind whip through the safety barrier fence. Not only is it one of the best vistas in New York City, but it is also one of the best experiences! With your New York Pass, you can visit the Empire State Building for free.
From the Vessel
The Vessel has become our new favorite spot in New York. The Hudson Yards Shopping Center is located nearby. While the views from The Vessel are spectacular, especially of the Hudson River and the surrounding buildings, the view from within the vessel is spectacular.
The trip up the Vessel is free, however, there may be a significant wait. If you haven’t reserved a ticket in advance, you can do so now at the kiosk for free and pick your time for the day. You can also pay $10 to go inside at any time. If you want to make a reservation in advance (which is strongly advised), you can do so on their website.
The High Line
While at the Vessel, go up the Highline for a new perspective on Manhattan’s buildings. The 1.5-mile-long (2.3-kilometer-long) elevated walkway winds through the West Side, following the Hudson River. It travels through the city’s lofts, towers, and condos, following a former railway line to Chelsea.
Do you intend to stay near the High Line? You might wish to look at this apartment rental if you want to feel like a local.
One World Observatory at One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center, located in Manhattan’s Financial District, should not be missed when visiting the city. On its main floors, the Freedom Tower stands on the site of the former World Trade Center and features a museum devoted to the first responders and victims of the World Trade Center explosions. However, you can take the elevator to the 102nd story for panoramic views of New York. The Sky Portal is a glass floor, and the Forever Theater has an audio-visual display.
The One World Observatory requires an additional fee in addition to your ticket, however, the memorial museum is included in your New York Pass.
From the Plane
The nicest vistas are sometimes as simple as flying into a city. When flying into New York City, glance out the window as you land. When flying, we always have our cameras ready because you never know what to expect. When flying in or out at night, there are stunning vistas of the city as the lights of New York sparkle below.
Take a Helicopter Ride
Are you not flying into New York City? Fly across the sky with this New York City Helicopter Flight. On this narrated journey above New York City, see the splendor of Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Hudson River, and more. Nothing surpasses seeing a city from above, and New York is a must-see.
Time Warner Center Columbus Circle
We had to go up to the Time Warner Building on Columbus Circle about a half-dozen times. We were fortunate that we were speaking at a conference and got the opportunity to visit the Mandarin Hotel. and learned about it The fact that it showcases Central Park in contrast to the skyscrapers in the distance makes this one of the nicest vistas in New York.
Queens has some spectacular vistas of the New York skyline. During one of our trips to New York City, we rented an apartment in Queens and were completely swept away by the views of the Manhattan skyline. Gantry Plaza State Park is one of the best sites in Queens to overlook the skyline. For this view, we had a beachfront condo in Queens, but there are lots more spots to see New York from Queens. Another wonderful rooftop bar with views of New York is the A+ Roof Bar at the Parc Hotel in Flushing, Queens.
The Edge NYC offers the most recent and spectacular view of New York. Was is the Western Hemisphere’s highest outdoor sky deck, and it opened immediately after our final visit to New York before the lockdown. The observation deck is encased by the glass and offers some of the best views of Manhattan. This is an excellent spot for a glass of champagne while admiring the panoramic views. A champagne entry ticket costs $53. The general entrance price is $36. For further information, see the website.
Roosevelt Island Tram
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary to do in New York, take the Roosevelt Island Tram for views of the Manhattan skyline and the East River. Because the Roosevelt Island Tram is part of the Metro system, you can take it with your metro car to view a different aspect of Manhattan. We got drinks at a nice dive bar near the tram on the Manhattan side. I can’t recall the name; if anyone knows what it is, please leave a remark!
With LED billboards lining the vast city plaza, Times Square is the traditional image of New York. Plant yourself on the Red Steps to get a bird’s-eye view of the electric billboards that extend 20 floors in the air. It is alive with activity, street performers, and Broadway lights. If you want to get away from the crowds, visit the R Lounge at the Renaissance Hotel Times Square.
Looking for other hotels with views of Times Square?
230 Fifth Rooftop Bar – New York’s largest outdoor Rooftop Garden with excellent city views is another hotel with views of Times Square. Bar 54 is a rooftop bar on the 54th floor of the Hyatt Centric. The Knickerbocker Hotel Supernova Restaurant and Bar’s St. Cloud Rooftop Bar has such spectacular views that it even provides viewfinders for a closer look at the towers.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
After viewing all of the magnificent exhibits at the Met, make your way to the Cantor Roof Garden Bar on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Views of the Manhattan skyline and Central Park are available from here. Free admission with your New York Pass
New York Rooftop Bars
Speaking about Rooftop Bars, New York boasts some of the best nightlife in the world, and if the weather is nice, head outside to enjoy the city lights. We’ve had the good fortune to visit New York for conferences and speaking engagements, and they’ve always liked to Wine and Dine us as rooftop bars. While drinking our beverages, we were treated to some spectacular vistas.
Some of our favorite New York City Rooftop Bars (reservations required):
Harriet’s Rooftop – Located atop 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Harriet’s Rooftop offers panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Le Bain & The Rooftop at the Standard High Line – Busy bar on the 18th level with spectacular views of the Hudson River. The Press Lounge – On the 16th floor, this is New York’s premier rooftop lounge, with year-round views of the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River.
And these are the nicest vistas we’ve ever seen of New York City and Manhattan. What is your favorite rooftop bar or viewpoint in New York? This is a stunning city with spectacular views from every vantage point. One of our favorite views in Manhattan came from a friend’s balcony. In a city that never sleeps, the magnificent sights are infinite.