Looking for the best observation deck to visit in New York? Here is our comparison of the best high-rise view in New York! The high-rise views of New York you are about to experience are spectacular, but each observation deck has pros and cons.
Empire State Building: the mythical and oldest observation deck in New York
For decades, the Empire State Building has been one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world! It was built in 1931! The Empire State Building is one of the must-see places in New York. It is also the most famous tower in New York. Among the 5 observation decks to visit in New York, the Empire State Building is the closest to Central Park (see photo below).
The Empire State Building’s height is 381 meters. The Empire State Building observatories are on the 86th and 102nd floors. The 86th-floor observatory is an open outdoor platform. The 102nd-floor observatory has floor-to-ceiling windows. Find more information on this mythical New York skyscraper in our article: Visit the Empire State Building.
Ticket prices vary according to the floors chosen and the time. Tickets are more expensive at sunset. For more information, see prices and book tickets.
Good to know! Visiting the Empire State Building is often included in city passes.
Top of the Rock: one of the most visited observation decks in New York
Top of the Rock is often considered the best observation deck in New York. This observation deck is between the Empire State Building and Central Park, in the Rockefeller Center Tower.
You can admire an incredible high-rise view of New York and Manhattan from the Top of the Rock, particularly of the Empire State Building and Central Park. The observatory deck is on the 70th floor of the skyscraper.
Unlike the Empire State Building, tickets to the Top of the Rock do not vary depending on the time of day. Moreover, it is cheaper. Find more information: Top of the Rock tickets.
Good to know! The Top of the Rock is often included in New York City passes (for example, the New York CityPASS valid for 5 attractions, including the Statue of Liberty and the Museum of Natural History).
Summit One Vanderbilt in New York: more than an observation deck!
The Summit One Vanderbilt Observatory sits between the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock.
Summit One Vanderbilt is one of New York’s newest observation decks. This observation deck is different from other ones in New York. Summit One Vanderbilt’s mirrors and glass are impressive and create an experience like no other!
Tickets to visit this observation deck in New York are cheaper than those of the Empire State Building. Compare rates here.
One World Observatory and 9/11 Memorial Tour
This observation deck is located in the One World Trade Center skyscraper. This skyscraper was built on the very spot of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Many travelers visit the 9/11 Memorial, which sits at the tower’s base, and New York’s Financial District.
The observation deck is on the tower’s 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors. The One World Observatory’s high-rise view is one of the most spectacular thanks to this height. In addition, the One World Trade Center tower is located south of Manhattan. It offers a different perspective on New York City.
Rates are slightly higher than those of the Top of the Rock but lower than those of the Empire State Building. You can compare prices here: book tickets here.
One World Trade Center is the tallest tower in New York City.
The Edge: the best high-rise view in New York?
The Edge observation deck is on the 100th floor, 335 meters high. This New York skyscraper is located west of midtown Manhattan, 20 minutes from the Empire State Building.
Opened to the public in 2019, The Edge is one of New York’s newest vantage points. The high-rise view from The Edge is magical! The outdoor platform is incredible! And as with other observation decks to visit in New York, the best time is sunset.
Rates are slightly higher than the Top of the Rock but lower than the Empire State Building. You can compare prices here: book tickets here.
What is the best observatory to do in New York?
What is the best high-rise view of New York? It depends on what you would like to see! If Central Park is the place you are particularly interested in, the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock are the best observation decks for you. On the other hand, these two skyscrapers are old.
If you want to climb a modern skyscraper, one of the best options is The Edge or Summit One Vanderbilt.
One World Observatory offers another perspective of New York and the opportunity to visit the 9/11 memorial.
There is not a single best observation deck in New York, but several. The Empire State Building and Top of the Rock are among the oldest and most famous towers in New York. If you want to see a recent tower, the best option is The Edge (opening to the public in 2019), and for a more advanced experience, Summit One Vanderbilt. Whichever you choose, an observation deck is a must-do activity in New York!