In this article we are going to try to help you to select the paid viewpoints that you will visit during your stay in New York. As all classification is always subjective and is based on our experience in all the viewpoints described, this is the list of our favorites and we will try to give you several alternatives to choose the one that most catches your attention.
In this list, we have tried to mix a little bit of everything, not only give you information about the viewpoints in the skyscrapers, which are the most famous, but also give you other kinds of paid viewpoints and unknown sites to which you can go at a good price. And without more, here we leave you our list with those that for me are the best payment viewpoints in New York.
Top of the Rock
My favorite viewpoint in altitude of New York is Top of the Rock, for my a must-see visit especially if it is the first time you visit New York. The best thing about this viewpoint is that it’s very well organized, so it doesn’t usually take long to get there. When you buy the ticket, both at Rockefeller Plaza and at the ticket offices located at (those who have a tourist card must go to the ticket offices, but have a quick queue exclusively for them, so the procedure is very fast), you are given an hour to get into the elevators, if you are at the time specified in a quarter of an hour, at most, you are enjoying the spectacular view of Manhattan that you get. It certainly has the best view of Central Park in the city, and the photo you take with the Empire State Building in the background is one of New York’s icons, although some buildings, such as the Chrysler, are barely noticeable because they are covered by other buildings around them.
Empire State Building
There is no doubt that the most famous viewpoint in town is the Empire State Building, its view over New York is spectacular. Its fame is the reason that the queues to enter are generally quite long, especially when it comes to going through the box office, so it is quite recommended to have some of the tourist cards that allow us to skip the box office queue, that is, if you have the tourist card carry it highly visible and ask the staff of the Empire State once passed the security check to avoid delays.
One World Observatory
The last one to arrive and probably the one with the best audios and videos before reaching the viewpoint is the One World Observatory. It is located right in the tallest skyscraper in the United States, the One World Trade Center, right next to where the Twin Towers were located. This observatory is complementary to the first two, because instead of seeing Midtown it allows us to enjoy beautiful views of Brooklyn, Financial District and the entire bay, especially the Governor Island area, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. If I were you, I would certainly choose to go up to the Top of the Rock or the Empire State and go up to it for a global view of all New York.
Also included in most tourist cards, the cruise I find worthwhile is the sunset cruise, which lasts about an hour and a half. The best thing is that it is a scheduled cruise to enjoy the Statue of Liberty at sunset and to see all Manhattan illuminated at night from the sea, a special and different view of New York. If you have the New York Pass or the Sightseeing Pass, you can make this cruise even in an old sailboat.
Roosevelt Island tram
Only a few people know before going to New York that there is a cable car that crosses the river and allows you to go to Roosevelt Island, the Roosevelt Island tram. It’s the cheapest option I put in as it’s included in your 7-day metrocard and gives you a good view of the rooftops of New York and the East River. If you take the cable car, you can also take the time to go to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park and you will get a beautiful walk with amazing views of New York.
Although rooftop bars are in trend, and the best known are probably 230 Fifth Avenue and the Standard Hotel terrace on the High Line, I like Bar 54 because it’s not usually so crowded and it’s located just above Times Square, with excellent views over the plaza, the Chrysler Building and Midtown-Downtown Manhattan. The bar is located in the Hyatt Times Square Hotel, also a very recommendable place to stay in New York, and the cost of the viewpoint is the drink you must order in the bar.
In the new headquarters of the Whitney Museum of American Art, located just at the beginning of the High Line, in Gansevoort Street, the building has been designed by Renzo Piano and it has terraces from the fifth to the eighth floor from where we get stunning views of Manhattan. I recommend you to take advantage of Friday afternoon-night, you pay the will to access this museum, and you can see a beautiful Manhattan sunset.
How to save on these viewpoints
Most of these viewpoints and observatories can be found in the main tourist cards of New York, so if your idea is to visit a museum and enjoy the views from any of these points you may be interested in buying one. For more information on the different tourist cards in New York and which includes I suggest you to visit our article on the best tourist card for your trip to New York, where we show you the different possibilities and give you some tips and recommendations for buying it.
Video of my favorite paid viewpoints
Here I leave you a video, where you can enjoy the views you can have in my 5 favorite paid viewpoints in New York:
For more information
And with this I end pointing out my preferences of what for me are the best paid viewpoints in New York, but I would like to know yours, what are your favorite viewpoints? Post a comment on this page and we will comment on it. If you’ve come this far, you might be interested in reading what for us are the best free viewpoints in New York.