The choice of the locations and the rooftops where to see New York from the top is definitely wide and variegated.
Nyc is a city rich in hidden elevated corners, viewpoints and rooftops, besides its three most famous observatories, of course: The Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock and the very new One World Observatory.
The best moment to enjoy the view of the Big Apple is certainly at sunset.
How to plan the tours at their best and don’t miss the highlights when it’s getting dark (or it’s rising, why not?) behind the skyscrapers in Manhattan or at the back of the Statue of Liberty?
You can use the website “Time Date” to calculate the precise time of sunset in advance –according to the day of your visit – so that you can go up on time enough to enjoy the experience fully.
Find down here a list – almost completed (Nyc is a non-stop reality) – of all the iconic and famous sites more or less where to see New York from the top– with some particular tips in addition.
Where to see New York from the top: Empire State Building, Freedom Tower, Top of the Rock
As already mentioned above, the Empire State Building Observatory, the Top of the Rock (the observatory of the Rockefeller Center) and the One World Observatory located at 102nd floor of the Freedom Tower – the skyscraper which replaced the Twin Towers razed by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 – are the three big observatories of the city.
It’s difficult to go up to all of them in once since the tourist offer of Nyc is wide and the time in one’s hand is always too less, unfortunately.
The first two are included in the New York City Pass: it is scheduled a double climbing (by day and night) for the Empire State Building Observatory – my favorite one, by far, a real historic city icon – and it gives the chance to enter also the Top of the Rock, preferring it to the Guggenheim Museum.
Admission to the One World Observatory is not included in any pass and so it has to be bought separately. Find here major info.
“And New York is the most beautiful city in the world?
It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there…
I have looked down across the city from high windows and it is then that the great buildings lose reality
and take on their magical powers, they are immaterial; that is to say, one sees but the lighted window”
Where to see New York from the top: the most beautiful rooftops
Another way to enjoy very calmly New York from the top tasting a cocktail maybe in venues crowded by locals is going up to a Rooftop.
You can really pick and choose in New York, from Manhattan to Brooklyn, passing by the rooftops of some famous museums – among them the MET Cantor Rooftop Garden Bar.
Find here a detailed article with the best rooftops of the city.
“The rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum is a challenge to the visible stereotypes of Manhattan:
the park is no longer the most typical green rectangle of the aerial photographs,
nor the orderly forest seen from the bottom by who walk inside.
Seen from the Metropolitan rooftop, Central Park is a sort of enormous emerald pillow embellish with diamonds,
downtown’s skyscrapers. It’s one of the New York views where art meets nature and architecture”
Where to see New York from the top: Roosevelt Island Tramway
There is a surprisingly cheap way to literally fly over a trait of Manhattan and enjoy a really amazing view: have a run on the Roosevelt Island Tramway.
It’s enough to reach the crossroad between 60th Street and Second Ave and take the Roosevelt Island Tramway – using your MetroCard or buying a ticket ($2,50 each way) – leaving every 10 minutes for Roosevelt Island.
The route is short, but extremely suggestive, above all if you find a place next to the front windows of the cabin.
My tip is to get on shortly before it’s getting dark to watch the sunset behind Manhattan skyscrapers directly from Roosevelt Island. It is an island (a former penal colony, today residential district for leisure) in the middle of the East River, another heaven of peace and relax where to walk or simply enjoy the passage of the barges and tourist ferryboats sit on a bench along the riverside.
Where to see New York form the top: fly over the city by helicopter
Fly over Manhattan and its skyscrapers by helicopter it is an exciting experience. And unforgettable without any doubt.
There’s only one small flaw. Price.
These are 15 and 20 minutes’ tours ranging from $170 to $280 each. Port charges (about $40) are not included.
Click here for further info and bookings. Tour leave from lower Manhattan, 6E River Bikeway.
Where to see New York from the top: other tips and cues
Find down here other further cues and tips about particular places and views where to see New York from the top.
High Line – going along it entirely on foot you can have a suggestive view of a good part of Chelsea and Meatpacking District, besides views of the Hudson River and – in the distance, in the southern part of the path – of the Statue of Liberty.
Hudson Yards Vessel, Hudson Yards – a very new building planned by Thomas Heatherwick, a complex and articulated system of 154 stairs linked to each other and over 2500 steps. Views of the Hudson River and the Hudson Yards. Free admission, but however you have to book the tickets for the tour here.
Burlington, Union Square Park – from the second and third floor of this department store you can enjoy the view of Union Square Park and many skyscrapers of Midtown
Aeropostal, Times Square – from the front corner of the first floor of this big store you have an amazing view of Times Square
Crown of the Statue of Liberty – an iconic and special view from the crown of Lady Liberty of a good part of Lower Manhattan and the most representative skyscrapers.
Find here further info about it.