New York City: No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something exciting happening. Home to 8.5 million people, NYC is filled with many exciting things to do and places to see, which can cause anyone to feel overwhelmed. But don’t let New York pass you by with its sensory overload, you can view it from above!
New York boasts three sky-high observation decks, all offering their own unique views of the metropolis. If you are afraid of heights, these might not be for you (although they all have indoor areas where you can cling to a wall, if that makes you feel more safe). With admission prices in the $30-$40 range, visiting all three might be overkill (for both your wallet and your itinerary), so we’ve put together the highlights of eac
Empire State Building
This iconic Art Deco marvel of architecture stands at a height of 1454 feet and was for many years the tallest building in the world. For many first time visitors to New York, it is impossible to leave the city without going to the top of the Empire State Building. The first observation deck in the city, it is also the most popular, which means the wait time in line can be very long during peak periods. To save time, opt for the Express Pass if money is not an issue.
GO FOR THE:
Most all-around view of the city and tri-state area.
Top of the Rock
Situated in the heart of Manhattan, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck is located on top of the iconic “30 Rock” building in Rockefeller Center, built in the 1930’s. Their tickets are for timed entry, which keeps the crowds down and reduces a lot of time spent waiting in line. It also makes it a little easier to plan the rest of your day so that you can get the maximum amount of time for sightseeing.
Views of Central Park and the Empire State Building.
One World Observatory
The newest observation deck in the city, One World is located in the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, adjacent to the site of the former World Trade Center. Get a visually immersive knowledge on how NYC came to life and the history of its buildings. The floor-to-ceiling LED screens in the elevators present a time-lapse development of New York’s skyline from the 1500s to today, and welcome you to the 360-degree view of Manhattan skyline once you reach the observation deck.
The Sky Portal, a 14-foot wide floor which shows real-time video footage of the streets directly below you.
But which one is best? That really comes down to what kind of traveler you are. If short on time, the long wait to get up to Empire State Building can be an issue, unless you can pay the extra $15 for the Express Pass. On the other hand, Top of the Rock offers scheduled entry, and an amazing view of Empire State Building, which makes for the perfect selfie photo backdrop. However, if you plan to visit Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial, One World will be the most convenient and offers an amazing view.