Spectacular Skyline: Comparing NYC’s Best Observation Decks


When it comes to observation decks, not all are created equal. New York City, with its sprawling skyscrapers and historical landmarks, offers some of the most breathtaking views in the world. For those keen on exploring these majestic viewpoints, understanding your options is crucial. Before diving deep into the comparison, it’s worth noting that for an unparalleled experience, you might want to consider grabbing your Empire State Building tickets. But let’s explore all the city has to offer.

1. Empire State Building

Arguably the most iconic building in New York City, the Empire State Building offers views that are hard to beat. The deck on the 86th floor is the most famous, but the top deck on the 102nd floor is less crowded and offers a more intimate experience. With its central location, it provides a 360-degree panorama of the city.

2. One World Observatory

Located atop the One World Trade Center, the One World Observatory offers three levels of observation from floors 100 to 102. The See Forever Theater and the Sky Portal are unique features that enhance the viewing experience. Its downtown location offers a different perspective of NYC, especially of the Manhattan skyline.

3. Top of the Rock

Rockefeller Center’s “Top of the Rock” is a three-tiered observation deck on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors. It provides clear views of the Empire State Building and Central Park. The deck’s design ensures that it’s never too crowded, allowing for a comfortable viewing experience.

4. Edge at Hudson Yards

Boasting the title of the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere, Edge offers a unique vantage point from its location at Hudson Yards. Its glass floor and angled glass walls provide a thrilling experience.

5. The Vessel

While not a skyscraper, The Vessel at Hudson Yards offers a unique perspective of the city with its spiral staircase. Each level offers a different view, making the climb an adventurous journey.

6. Statue of Liberty’s Crown

This historic symbol of freedom also offers a viewing platform. Though not as high as skyscrapers, the crown provides a unique view of Lower Manhattan and the neighboring islands.

7. Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel

For those seeking a more nostalgic experience, the Wonder Wheel provides a moving view of the city, the ocean, and the amusement park below.

8. High Line

The High Line is an elevated linear park built on a historic freight rail line. While not an observation deck in the traditional sense, it offers stunning vistas of the city’s west side, especially during sunset.

9. Brooklyn Bridge

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge offers not only a physical journey but also mesmerizing views of Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Statue of Liberty.

10. 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar

Combine your love for views with a social experience. This popular rooftop bar offers an unobstructed view of the Empire State Building while you sip on your favorite cocktail.


Which observation deck is the highest?

The One World Observatory in the One World Trade Center is the highest.

Can I purchase tickets for the Empire State Building in advance?

Yes, you can grab your Empire State Building tickets online in advance to avoid the queue.

Is the Edge at Hudson Yards safe for kids?

Absolutely. Safety precautions are in place to ensure visitors of all ages can enjoy the view without any concerns.

Which deck offers the best sunset views?

Many argue that the Top of the Rock, with its clear view of Central Park and the city’s west side, offers the best sunset experience.

In conclusion, New York City offers a plethora of observation decks, each with its unique charm and viewpoint. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a history buff, or someone simply looking to capture the perfect photo, there’s an observation deck in NYC that’s just right for you. The key is to explore multiple viewpoints to truly appreciate the city’s grandeur.