The Best NYC Observation Deck
New York City is best seen from above! Each NYC observation deck offers spectacular views over the city plus some bonus immersive experiences.
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
More than just an observation deck, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is an immersive, multi-sensory art experience with breathtaking views over Manhattan. The newest viewing platform at time of writing, SUMMIT opened in October 21, 2021, and has the best and closest views of the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building compared to any other observation deck in the city.
With mirrored walls reflecting the skyline, an installation by Yayoi Kusama, a floating orb ball room, a glass box that juts over the edge of the building and the world’s largest external glass bottomed elevator, SUMMIT has well and truly upped the game for observation decks in NYC by giving visitors endless unique photo ops as well. No binoculars.
Read more about visiting SUMMIT One Vanderbilt here.
Top of the Rock Observatory
Top of the Rock Observatory sits at the top of the Rockefeller Center in the heart of New York City. From this incredible location, the Observatory offers breathtaking views of the city including the Empire State Building and Central Park.
Top of the Rock offers outdoor viewing areas with and without glass. It’s the only NYC observation deck with an outdoor area and no glass or mesh to capture reflection and barrier-free photo ops. Binoculars are coin operated.
Read more about visiting Top of the Rock Observatory here.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, is an Art Deco masterpiece. Built in 1931, the skyscraper is 102-stories tall and features the highest open-air observatory in New York City.
The 86th Floor Observatory offers 360-degree views of New York and beyond. On a clear day you can see views of Central Park, The Hudson River and East River, The Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and even the tiny The Statue of Liberty, way off in the distance.
Empire State Building has outside and inside NYC viewing platforms. Their outside observation deck has a metal grid surrounding it. Head upstairs to the next level for indoor glassed viewing area. Binoculars are free!
Read more about visiting the Empire State Building here.
One World Observatory
Climb to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the One World Trade Center, in New York City. The One World Observatory is located on the 100-102 floors with breathtaking views, restaurants and exhibits on offer.
The One World Trade Center is located in Downtown Manhattan, near where the original Twin Towers in the World Trade Center complex used to stand. After the Twin Towers collapsed during the 2001 terrorist attack, the new One World Trade Center was build near to where the old towers used to stand. The footprints of the old Twin Towers have been turned into 9/11 Memorial Pool outside the new building.
There is no outside area at the Observatory, however the floor to ceiling glass windows offer are spectacular view. No Binoculars.
Read more about visiting One World Observatory here.
Read about more things to do in NYC with or without kids.
Get more tips on visiting New York City.