Setting foot in New York City, visitors are often struck by the size and scale of the its eclectic architecture. Tall, jagged and even Jenga-like silhouettes combine to create the most iconic skyline in the world. But as many locals will tell you, the best part about the soaring skyscrapers isn’t simply looking at them from the ground, but enjoying them from the top. Whether you’re in the mood for a rooftop bar, a serene lookout, or something in between, here are the best places to enjoy the Big Apple from above.
Top of the Rock Observatory
Located at Rockefeller Plaza, just north of Times Square, visitors of this iconic lookout can peer straight down the island, catching Times Square, The Empire State Building and One World Trade Center in one fell swoop. Open-air and enclosed viewing areas ensure you’ll be able to enjoy the sights no matter the weather. .
Top of the Rock Observatory. 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York. (212) 698-2000
230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
Palm trees and, in the colder months, igloos line the rooftop of this Flatiron oasis. Not only will you find some of the best views of Midtown Manhattan in the entire city, but 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar’s diverse cocktail menu devotes an entire section to hot drinks for those chilly city nights that last until the early morning.
230 Fifth. 230 5th Ave, New York. (212) 725-4300
One World Observatory
The latest addition to New York’s field of skyscraper hangouts, One World Observatory brings sweeping 360-degree views of the greater New York City area and Downtown Manhattan. Sights like the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and even Jersey City are all crystal clear. And at 1,250ft, on the 100th floor of One World Trade Center, you even begin to see the curvature of the Earth.
One World Trade Center. 285 Fulton Street, New York. (844) 696-1776
Empire State Building Observation Deck
Any collection of NYC observation decks would be remiss without mention of the one located in the landmark of landmarks, where King Kong himself once enjoyed the 360 panoramic views of the city— The Empire State Building Observation Deck. The 86th floor open-air deck attracts over 4 million people each year, and offers uninhibited southern views of Downtown Manhattan. The best sight however, is its north facing shot, which includes all the lights and luster of Midtown’s high-rise scene along with Uptown and Central Park.
Empire State Building. 350 5th Ave, New York. (212) 736-3100