NYC's Best Observation Decks

New York City has a lot of cool things going for it, from its ever-expanding restaurant list and pop-up shop culture to its rich history and impressive repertoire of museums. Want to take it all in at once? Then you’ve got to head to one of these seven stellar observation decks. The city can look daunting when you’re in the heart of it with skyscrapers towering over you, but the moment you get a leg-up you’ll realize how breathtaking this city really is. Go on, see for yourself.

Best of NYC Observation Decks: The Standard (Meatpacking District) 

If you’re feeling fancy, the legendary Top of The Standard is the perfect destination for you to both enjoy a mouth-watering meal and take in the sights of the Big Apple. Not in the mood to get dressed up? Le Bain, also located on The Standard’s rooftop, offers a more casual environment with the same great view. One hotel, two views! 848 Washington St., 212-645-4646, 

Best of NYC Observation Decks: Top of the Rock (Midtown West)


Photo: Ivan Velazco/Flickr

Head over to Rockefeller Plaza to get a stunning view of the Big Apple. The Top of the Rock tour takes you up to the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors of one of the city’s most iconic buildings. Visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view of Manhattan both during the day or late in the evening. Another huge perk about taking pictures from the Top of the Rock? The Empire State Building will actually be in your photo! 30 Rockefeller Ctr., 212-698-2000,

Best of NYC Observation Decks: Whitney Museum of American Art (Meatpacking District)

The new Whitey building located between the High Line and the Hudson River is one worth visiting for the architecture alone. Add on the fact that it offers spectacular views of the city and a full collection of modern and contemporary art, and you’ve got yourself an impressive destination. The Whitney’s colorful outdoor seating adds to the playful and imaginative atmosphere making for an explorative experience you’ll never forget. 99 Gansevoort St., 212-570-3600,

Best of NYC Observation Decks: One World Observatory (Financial District)

One World Observatory  

Photo: Anthony Quintano/Flickr

One World Observatory is one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere, and it makes for one spectacular view of Manhattan from the famed Financial District. Take an elevator up to the 100th, 101st, and 102nd levels to enjoy a picture-perfect,  panoramic moment. At 1776 feet in the sky, you’re bound to feel like a million bucks standing atop this symbolic landmark. 285 Fulton St., 866-731-3862, 

Best of NYC Observation Decks: Brooklyn Heights Promenade (Brooklyn)

The only way to capture the entire Manhattan skyline in all its glory is to step out of it. On the edge of Brooklyn you’ll find the family-friendly Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Filled with park benches and one stellar view of lower Manhattan, this popular spot is the perfect place to find yourself on a clear day or night. Who ever said Brooklyn wasn’t as cool as Manhattan?

Best of NYC Observation Decks: Empire State Building (Midtown West)

 Empire State Building view

Photo: Jody Claborn/Flickr

There are few buildings to be found in New York City that are more well-known than the Empire State Building. Along with its breathtaking light shows, visitors can take a ride up to both the 86th and 102nd floor of the building to take in unforgettable views of Manhattan and beyond. Whether you’re looking for a daytime photo that captures the city in all its glory or a nighttime shot filled with glittering buildings, the Empire State Building’s observatory decks won’t let you down. 350 5th Ave., 212-736-3100, 

Best of NYC Observation Decks: Belvedere Castle (Central Park) 

Belvedere might be considered a miniature castle, but its views are anything but miniature. Created in 1869, this stunning structure can be found in the center of Central Park, looking out on the famous Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and both the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. If you’re looking for a tranquil, scenic location in NYC, Belvedere Castle is your spot. Central Park, 212-772-0210,

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