The Best Views of New York City and Where to Find Them

When you visit New York City, the most important item you will bring back from your trip is your memories. They’ll be the things you reflect upon – the feeling you got from sailing by the Statue of Liberty, or the fun you had at that play on Broadway – or indeed how stunning the view of the twinkling lights of the Manhattan skyline was. I’m a guide with GrayLine New York City – so when it comes to the views of NYC – I’m pretty well versed. Read on to find out about how you can find some of the best views this incredible city has to offer: 

Brooklyn Bridge walkway 

Brooklyn Bridge itself is an icon of New York City, and an impressive feat of engineering. However, instead of just looking at the bridge, make plans to walk over it because this beautiful old suspension bridge offers some fabulous views of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn from its walkway.  For an extra special experience, on a clear day – head on over the one-mile long crossing just as the sun begins to hit the city and the water below. 

Walk across Brooklyn Bridge – an icon of the built environment – to survey the Manhattan skyline in all its glory. (Picture Credit: @ethanbykerk via Unsplash)

Manhattan Bridge 

The Manhattan Bridge, which runs from Manhattan’s Chinatown over to DUMBO, is a quieter option than the Brooklyn Bridge. It affords a similar view of Manhattan, with the Brooklyn Bridge placed perfectly in front of it – just like the movies! You’ll get a similar vista from Brooklyn Bridge Park, which also offers the perfect combination of the two. 

Empire State Building 

I am pretty sure that visiting the Empire State Building will be on your New York City itinerary. It is well worth the trip up 86 floors because the view of the cityscape from the top sums up New York perfectly. You can see why this has been a go to place for photographers and romantics since it was first built in the 1930s. However, it gives just one perspective – so, don’t let it be your only viewpoint, because you really need to go get a view OF the Empire State Building, too. 

The incredible view from the Empire State building is one of New York’s most popular experiences. But, don’t forget to get a view OF this architectural icon! (Picture Credit: @matthiasmullie via Unsplash)

Top of the Rock 

To get the best glimpse of the Empire State Building – one of New York’s most famous architectural assets – then Top of The Rock at the Rockefeller Center could be your answer. You’ll get a perfect view of the Empire State from up high. 

From the water

Viewing a place from the water gives you a whole different perspective. I think that’s the case with most destinations – and it certainly rings true for New York. For some of the best views of New York’s most famous buildings  – icons like the Rockefeller Center, the Empire State and the One World Observatory, then head to the water on a sightseeing cruise of New York or the hop-on, hop-off ferry. Not only is it relatively relaxing, but also you’ll see our city’s famous skyline in full – as well as getting close to treasures like the State of Liberty. If you stop off on Liberty or Ellis Island – you’ll also get a fabulous vista back towards lower Manhattan and the New York Harbor. 

One World Observatory 

It’s currently the 4th tallest building in the world – so yes, the views from the One World Observatory are spellbinding. As we discussed on our dedicated blog of this incredible NYC attraction, the journey up to the 102nd floor is impressive in its own right as it only takes 60 seconds. As you travel inside the sky pod elevators – you get a view of how Manhattan was transformed from 1600 to today. Then, when you arrive at the top – you’ll find a glorious and never ending 360-degree view. 

From the One World Observatory you can see for miles, and miles. (Picture Credit: @residenttourist via Pixabay)

Long Island City 

In Long Island City’s waterfront Gantry Plaza State Park – you will find the perfect setting to soak up views of midtown Manhattan. From here you’ll see the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building all in the context of that beautiful skyline. 

So  – where do you find the best views of New York City? The answer is – all over town, and the trick is not to focus on just one. Pick a few to give you the best memories (and selfies!) – whether that’s from the water, from up high on an observation deck, or from across the other side of town, looking back at Manhattan – the choice is yours! They all show their unique view of our incredible city.  

Talk to the team at Gray Line New York about our popular sightseeing cruises, or our hop-on, hop-off ferries  – both of which will give you that amazing view of the city. Similarly – get in touch to find out more about our FreeStyle Passes that will give you the best deal on access to the iconic observation decks mentioned above. 

We look forward to helping you enjoy your visit to the Big Apple. 

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