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What is the best observation deck in NYC? Here are all the options!

March 1, 2022

If you’re wondering “what is the best observation deck in NYC?”, hopefully this list will give you answers!

If you’re visiting NYC for the first time, you might be wondering “What is the best observation deck in NYC?” and it’s a question you should rightly ask.

You can’t visit NYC without paying a visit to some of the city’s best observation decks. But you might find yourself asking “What is the best observation deck in NYC?” because there are (quite simply) so many to choose from.

Well, hopefully, this list of the best observation decks in NYC, will help answer your question… “What is the best observation deck in NYC?”

So let’s get into it!


So, what is the best observation deck in NYC?

When it comes to asking “What is the best observation deck in NYC?” there’s no definitive answer.

Here’s your answer for which is the best observation deck in NYC: Each observation deck in NYC is good for different reasons, and what’s best for you, might not be the best for someone else.

They’re all very different, and they each offer completely different experiences and outlooks over the city. What we’ll try to do below is outline what each one is like, how good the views are, and whether we recommend it.

It’s worth noting the following though: generally, the most famous observation decks are often considered to be The Empire State and The Top of The Rock – but there are newer observation decks like The Edge that are uniquely fun too.

We’ll go through all of them below! To fully answer your question “What is the best observation deck in NYC for me?”.

Here, we’ll go through each observation deck in NYC, so you can decide which is the best observation deck in NYC for you!


Option 1: The Empire State Building Observation Deck

One of the most well-known observation decks in NYC, is usually considered to be The Empire State Building.

It was one of the first observation decks in NYC, and it’s one of the classic choices that many tourists opt for!

If you’re looking for an iconic tourist attraction in the city, then you can’t really ask for more than The Empire State observation deck.

You really can’t get more NYC than the Empire State Building – and although this may be one of the older observation decks on this list (and not the most shiny!) it’s a great place to visit, with a great view and loads of history. Definitely one of the best observation decks in NYC.

Pros? It’s one of the most famous buildings in the world!

Cons? The view is a little generic (you can’t actually see the Empire State in the cityscape – because you’re stood on it!)

Click here to book skip-the-line tickets

(We always recommend these over normal tickets, because the queues get very LONG).


The Top of the Rock Observation Deck in NYC

Next on our list of the best observation decks in NYC, it’s The Top of The Rock.

Top of the Rock is one of the best observation decks in NYC, for many reasons (which we’ll talk about below in our pros and cons list!).

Top of the Rock is really central, has great views, and it’s relatively reasonably priced too – with good combo tickets available if you want to return in the evening to see the skyline lit up too. It’s certainly one of the best observation decks in NYC (if not THE best, in our opinion).

It’s a classic location, and there’s so much to explore nearby too. If you’re visiting at Christmas time, you could even try ice-skating afterwards!

Pros? Great views of the cityscape (including the Empire State!). One of the best views in the city.

Cons? It’s very popular so does get busy… But there aren’t many cons to this one!

Click here to book timed-entry tickets (which we always recommend over normal tickets, to avoid queing).


The Edge observation deck in NYC

The Edge observation deck is one of the newest additions to this list of the best observation decks in NYC.

The Edge is a really modern, fun and unique observation deck in NYC. It’s a corner viewing ledge at the top of a skyscraper, and there’s even a glass floor so you can look directly down to the city below.

This is a great choice for observation decks in NYC, especially if you’ve already tried the classic choices listed above. It’s always great to try something new!

It’s unique, new to the city, and seriously fun. The views are also slightly different to what you’d expect – which is refreshing! This is a great choice for the best observation decks in NYC, if you’ve been to NYC a few times already and fancy seeing the city from a different angle.

Pros? New to the city and a different, unique perspective! Also lots of Instagram opportunities!

Cons? As it’s new, it may be busy. The view isn’t quite as iconic.

Click here to book skip-the-line tickets (which I always recommend over normal tickets!).


One World Observatory

Next on my list of best observation decks in NYC, it’s the One World Observatory.

The One World Observatory is located at the top of the One World Trade Centre. It’s a new (ish) addition to the NYC tourist attraction list, and it’s certainly one of the best observation decks in NYC.

One thing we love about this choice for the best observation decks in NYC, is that the One World Observatory is located downtown – rather than in midtown.

This means the views are much different, and you get a different perspective on the city.It’s also much higher than the other observation decks on this list of the best observation decks in NYC.

That means you can see more of the city from up there!

Pros? A higher viewpoint, and a different part of the city.

Cons? Located out of midtown (which may include more transit from your hotel).

Click here to book skip-the-line tickets (which I always recommend over normal tickets!).


SUMMIT ONE Observation Deck

Next on our list of the best observation decks in NYC, it’s SUMMIT ONE observation deck. This is a brand new observation deck in the city, and it boasts some pretty unique views and vistas.

One thing that really makes this observation deck stand out, is the design of it. It’s all been put together to maximize getting insanely cool photos – so it’s great if you’re into photography. They use mirrors, balloons, sculpture, angles, to change the way you’ve ever seen the skyline before.

This is a really unique observation deck in NYC, it’s a place that was built quite recently, and it’s unlike anywhere else in NYC, that much is for sure!

Pros? Different, unique and interesting! Plenty of great photo opportunities.

Cons? Full of people wanting lots of Instagram photos. If you don’t mind this – don’t worry about it.

Click here to book tickets to SUMMIT ONE observation deck in NYC.

Editorial credit: emin kuliyev / Shutterstock.com


Hopefully this list of the best observation decks in NYC has been helpful!

Read more NYC recommendations: Top 14 Brooklyn restaurants with a view of NYC

As you can see, there are plenty of contenders for the best observation decks in NYC.

Whichever you choose for your best observation deck in NYC, will depend on what you prioritize and what kind of experience you’re after.

You can click below to book tickets to the best observation decks in NYC!

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