New York from Above: The 6 Best Views of the Big Apple

Have you ever considered visiting New York from above and enjoy the splendid panorama meters and meters high?

New York is famous for its skyscrapers and its buildings, for its verticality and for the incessant propensity to push itself further towards the sky, where very few cities in the world have arrived.

New York from Above: The 6 Best Views of the Big Apple

The big Apple has a timeless charm, a unique frenzy and a crazy attraction.

Visiting New York means entering the authentic East Coast mood, landing in New York means breathing, still on board the plane, the air of one of the most famous metropolises in the world, perhaps, let's venture to say, the most famous!

If you are wondering how it is possible to visit New York from a different perspective or if it is the first time you visit the Big Apple and you do not want to miss even a glimpse, here are some tips to observe New York from above and dominate, at least with the look, this immense and wonderful city.

If you are visiting New York for the first time, be prepared: you will literally be overwhelmed by a multitude of people, cultures, things to see and activities to organize.

You will have plenty to see: you will find yourself surrounded by streets, museums, theaters, an amazing Central Park, towering skyscrapers and an infinite number of ways to enjoy yourself.

If it is not the first time and you are a New York addicted, by reading this post you can find some ideas to visit New York from above and appreciate a new tourist perspective.

If you are wondering what are the best attractions to visit New York from above, here is a list created especially for you:

  • 1 One World Observatory
  • 2. Empire State Building
  • 3. Top of The Rock
  • 4. Helicopter tour
  • 5. Terrace of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • 6. The Edge

1 – One World Observatory

New York from Above: The 6 Best Views of the Big Apple

Imagine a real multipurpose center dedicated to New York, over 100 floors high!

Il One World Observatory it is part of the One World Trade Center - also called Freedom tower - the skyscraper built after the attack on the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001 and which has become the tallest in New York.

Thanks to the many activities of the Observatory, you can discover the Big Apple from different points of view.

On board the elevators, which travel 102 floors in 47 seconds, you will experience the birth of the city, from the dawn of a barren and desolate land, to the incredible advanced construction of Manhattan.

You will be captivated by an audiovisual experience, unique of its kind, to appreciate the skyline of the city and experience the thrill of being literally "above" the New York streets by treading the floor of the Sky Portal, a disk with a diameter of 4 meters which, in addition to offering a spectacular view, offers a real-time video of the streets of the Big Apple at the base.

Inside the One World Observatory there are highly trained guides ready to answer any question you want to ask; Tour Ambassadors will take you to the heart of the city and, supported by interactive presentations, will allow you to learn a lot about this beautiful metropolis.

You will also have the chance to enjoy one of the fabulous ones cocktail di New York enjoying a breathtaking view and, why not, book a gourmet dinner.

How to get there

The One WTC box office is located at 285 Fulton Street ma the entrance is located in West Plaza.

The closest metro stations are:

  • World Trade Center line E (270 meters);
  • Cortland Street line N, R, W (400 meters);
  • Park Place lines 2 and 3 (550 meters).

Tourist tickets and passes

If you plan to visit so many attractions in New York, the One World Observatory is included in one of the following passes (which save you money):

  • Sightseeing DAY Pass (also includes Top of the Rock, but not Empire State Building)
  • Sightseeing Flex Pass (also includes Top of the Rock, but not Empire State Building)
  • Freestyle Pass (also includes Top of the Rock, but not Empire State Building).

Buy your online ticket in advance here, with skip-the-line admission!

There are also affordable combined tickets for the Observatory. I'll point out some of them below:

⇒ New York: 9/11 Memorial e biglietto One World Observatory

⇒ One World Observatory and Statue of Liberty combined ticket

2 – Empire State Building

New York from Above: The 6 Best Views of the Big Apple

Paper Cat /

THEEmpire State Building it is probably one of the most famous skyscrapers in New York, a real landmark of the city. It is in fact categorized as a national monument and consists of 102 floors, with a panoramic terrace on the 86th floor and an observatory on the top floor.

In short, King Kong, the famous film made him a real symbol of New York.

Both the terrace and the observatory attract millions of visitors a year and both offer fantastic views over the city.

The panoramic terrace located on the 86th floor is called Main deck and is placed at a height of 320 meters; the observatory, called Top Deck, offers a view of Central Park from the XNUMXnd floor.

The terrace is very famous all over the world and very suggestive: here, on Thursday - Friday - Saturday evenings, a saxophonist performs, which makes everything even more magical and incredibly cinematic. The advice is to take advantage of the sunset hours to enjoy all the charm of New York from above.

As for the Top Deck, it is protected by a glass window, but the view is guaranteed.

How to reach us

the most convenient subway stop to reach the Empire State Building is 34 Street – Herald Sq Station because it is reached by eight underground lines, including four yellow lines (N, Q, R, W) and four orange lines (B, D, F, M. A). A few meters away there is also 34 Street – Penn Station where the red lines 1, 2 and 3 stop.

The entrance to the observatory is located along Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Street.

Online tickets and tourist passes

There are two types of tickets: standard entrance and vip entrance. With the entrance VIP all lines are skipped, including those for security checks and elevators. Needless to say, it's the best for me (I hate queuing).

⇒See Standard Skip-the-Line Best Selling Ticket

⇒ See here the SKIP THE LINE Ticket for the TOP DECK (day or night)

Tickets for the observatory are included in almost all passes, which save you money compared to buying tickets for individual attractions:

  • New York CityPASS
  • New York Pass (admission to over 100 attractions and tours)
  • Explorer Pass (also includes Ellis Island ferry and more)

3 – Top of The Rock

Another famous vantage point to look at New York from above is that of the very famous Rockefeller Center, a complex of commercial buildings on the famous Fifth Avenue, more precisely the rooftop of the General Elettric skyscraper.

Il Top of The Rock, which is spread over three floors, can be visited by reaching the seventieth floor of one of the most famous skyscrapers in America: waiting for you will find a splendid panoramic view of the city.

You can schedule your visit at a set time, so you don't have to wait in long queues.

From here during the day you can enjoy exceptional views of Central Park and the waterways of New York City. If, on the other hand, you want to see the sunset, you should buy your ticket to enter about 30 minutes earlier.

Do you want to be enchanted by the glitter of New York City at night instead? Plan to come after dinner like I did (last admission 23pm).

You can also buy your tickets at the box office or at one of the kiosks that sell tickets at Rockefeller Center, but I advise you not to wait until the last minute, it is always very crowded. Of course, I recommend that you buy your ticket online.

⇒ See here the online ticket for TOP OF THE ROCK

Here you can find the Top of The Rock ticket with FLEXIBLE DATE!

Once you step up to the Observation Deck, you will have the feeling of conquering New York from the beautiful terrace of the Rockefeller. For some Big Apple aficionados, this it is the best vantage point from which to observe the city thanks to its fantastic view of the Empire State Building!

How to reach us

It is recommended to reach it on foot or by public transport from the NYC MTA. Orange B, D, F and M lines stop at 47th-50th Streets Rockefeller Center station.

Tourist tickets and passes

Tickets for the observatory are included in the following passes, which allow you to save compared to the purchase of individual tickets.

  • New York City Pass (also includes the Empire State Building)
  • New York Pass (also includes the Empire State Building)
  • Sightseeing Pass (also includes One World Observatory)
  • Explorer Pass (also includes the Empire State Building)
  • Build your own Pass (also includes the Empire State Building)
  • Freestyle Pass (also includes One World Observatory)

 ⇒ Here you can find the online ticket for TOP OF THE ROCK

4 - Helicopter ride

New York from Above: The 6 Best Views of the Big Apple

If you don't want to spare yourself and a terrace is not enough to observe New York from above, you can always book a helicopter ride to see the Big Apple as only a few can do!

You will appreciate the immensity of Central Park, the incredible agglomeration of buildings and skyscrapers, the majesty of the New York skyline: everything will literally be at your feet!

You will admire the Statue of Liberty from above, fly over Upper Bay and the Brooklyn Bridge, for an exciting journey that is truly unforgettable. However, you will not be able to fly over Manhattan: after the events of 11 September, air traffic is prohibited.

Despite this, the view will be superb and the tour really exciting.

This type of activity starts from 12/15 minutes of ride up: obviously, the longer the tour will be, the more the helicopter ride will cost you.

It will be a unique experience of its kind and you will not regret it: even if expensive they are money well spent!

Below you will find the best helicopter tours I have chosen for you. I was based on the quality / price / reviews ratio!

  • 1 - Helicopter tour (the best, highly recommended)
  • 2 - Night helicopter tour (and see all the lights of Manhattan!)

Didn't find what you were looking for?

See HERE all the helicopter tours over New York and beyond!

5 - Terrace of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York from Above: The 6 Best Views of the Big Apple

By Susanne Pommer /

After an interesting cultural visit to the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art), one of the most important museums in the United States that contains over 2 million works from the permanent collection, why not take a relaxing break on the building's rooftop terrace?

In fact, in addition to a breathtaking view, on the terrace you can find installations by various artists and enrich yourself with additional splendid works of art.

You will be able to sip something while enjoying the splendid panorama and savoring the power of art.

Of course, you can admire the view and let yourself be carried away by your muse to take unique and unforgettable photos.

How to reach us

Il Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art is located in New York at 1000 Fifth Avenue, 82nd Street.

Dall'East Side in Manhattan: take bus lines 4, 5 or 6 to 86th street and walk to Fifth Avenue. A walk of about half a kilometer which takes about 10 minutes on foot. Then take the M1, M2, M3 or M4 bus along Fifth Avenue.

From the West Side: Take train 1 to 86th Street, then the M6 ​​to Central Park or Line C to 81st Street, then the M79 line from Central Park to Fifth Avenue.

From Penn Station: take the M4; line C towards 81st and transfer to bus M79.

Tourist tickets and passes

Buy tickets online, for faster access than buying tickets on the spot. Admission to the Met is also included with all discounted New York passes.


from the 1 March 2018 foreign tourists
They can NO longer enter with a free offer
they have to pay the full price of the tickets

NB the ticket is valid 3 consecutive days and also gives access to two branch offices of the Metropolitan: Cloisters e Breuer.

Buy your skip-the-line ticket for the MET here

If you want to visit the Metropolitan along with other New York attractions you better buy a pass: you will save a lot.

These are the best passes in New York that also include the MET:

  • New York CityPASS
  • The New York Pass
  • SightSeeing flex pass
  • Build Your Own Pass

6 – The Edge

New York from Above: The 6 Best Views of the Big Apple

It 'sthe latest in terms of panoramic terraces: New York's exciting new lookout point is located in the neighborhood of Hudson Yards and with its 345 meters high it is the highest not only in the Big Apple but also in the whole West.

The sensation will be that of being literally suspended in the sky and, thanks to the windows also placed on the pavement, you will have the feeling of enjoying the city to the full.

You can lie down "in the void" thanks to the glass at the end of the terrace and experience the thrill of flying over the city.

Deciding to visit The Edge it will certainly be an exciting choice, a destination that will allow you to access a neighborhood in full revolution and in full redevelopment project, Hudson Yards.

How to reach us

The Edge is located on the hundredth floor of the building 30 Hudson Yards, on the whole great Hudson Yards, west of Manhattan.

It can be easily reached by metro, getting off at the station 34th Street-Hudson Yards, served by line 7.

Tourist tickets and passes

Tickets are for sale directly on the official website at this link.

There is also the possibility to buy tickets on the spot, but the price goes up slightly (about 2 dollars more) and you also risk being left out if the availability is exhausted.

Once you have made your purchase, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to download tickets in electronic format on your smartphone.

You can also print it and present it at the entrance, but the electronic one is much more convenient (and you save paper)

The visit to Edge is included in the two versions of the Sightseeing Pass (Sightseeing Day Pass e Sightseeing Flex Pass)

Combined tours also often offer excellent opportunities. I report you this tour which includes the Edge, Rockefeller Center and Time Square.

Admiring New York from above will be a splendid way to grasp the uniqueness of the city, the set of its peculiar characteristics that make it one of the most popular metropolises in the world, a dream for many and a destination for millions of tourists a year.

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