Best Places to View the NYC Skyline

The NYC Skyline is spectacular. Here’s a list of our favorite places to take in the view and maybe snap a selfie or two!

One World Observatory

If you’re only going to visit one observation deck, make it this one. Because of its location downtown, it’s the best land view of the Statue of Liberty. As an added bonus, the iconic Empire State Building will be visible in your photos.

Brooklyn Bridge

By foot, bike, open-top bus or a rented convertible. Nothing else counts. Look up and look behind you -- the closer you get to Brooklyn, the more spectacular the views of Manhattan. Consider taking a bus to the Brooklyn side, then walking or biking back toward Manhattan. It will take you about an hour to leisurely cross the 1.3 mile span by foot, with plenty of time set aside for photos. It can get chilly up on the Bridge, so be sure to take a sweater in spring, fall and winter. Our favorite time of day to make the crossing is just before sunset – you’ll get the daytime view, a sunset view and you’ll get to watch as the lights turn on and the nighttime view comes alive. The bridge is safe in the evenings and commuter and tourist traffic remains high until about 11 pm.

Brooklyn Promenade

Before you head over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan, stroll the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. This one-third-mile stretch of waterfront along the East River is hardly ever crowded, has plenty of benches on which to relax, and is arguably one of the best views you can find, as the Manhattan skyline is framed by the Brooklyn Bridge.

From the Water

Pick a cruise, take a ferry, hop on a jet ski …. The view from the water is not to be missed. Bonus, this is the best ways to see the Statue of Liberty!

Times Square at Night

Not technically a sweeping skyline view, but an iconic New York City experience you must see in person, at least once.

Metropolitan Museum

Come for the art, stay for the view! The Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar atop the MET is our favorite view of Central Park and the Midtown skyline.

Roosevelt Island Tram

Roosevelt Island might not be on your short list of must-do NYC experiences, but taking the tram to get there should be! This ‘sky view’ isn’t quite what you’d get from a helicopter tour, BUT it’s the cost of a subway ride – and you can use a Metro Card. Trams run until 3 AM on the weekends – just avoid rush hour as this is predominately commuter transportation.