Visit these six spots to get impeccable, picture-perfect views of the Manhattan skyline.
Life in Manhattan is a wonderful, fast-paced mix of busy pedestrians, honking taxis, towering skyscrapers, and, when you’re lucky, fragrant street food. It’s a crazy, crazy world in the concrete jungle, and it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos, forgetting how breathtaking the Big Apple truly is.
If you’re worn out from big city living – or you’re checking out NYC for the first time – visit one of these stunning Manhattan skyline viewpoints to immediately fall in love with one of the greatest cities on Earth.
1. DUMBO, Brooklyn
Short for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass,” DUMBO offers gorgeous views of the city and its most popular bridges. Explore the waterfront park for a variety of photo opps, be it the Manhattan Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, or a fancy panoramic of the two!
2. Standard Rooftop, Chelsea
Spoiler alert: This spot is expensive. It’s a ritzy Chelsea hangout that doesn’t fit my usual relaxed craft beer scene. But I agreed to go (hesitantly), and while I wasn’t impressed by the $60 margarita pitcher, I was instantly obsessed with the vantage point.
The Standard Rooftop has glass walls with unobstructed views of the skyline. While the prices and popped collars weren’t my scene, I’d still recommend this spot solely for its expansive city scenes.
Note: If you desperately need a cheaper option, but don’t want to skimp on views, try Mr. Purple in East Village. The vantage point here isn’t quite as gorgeous, but I can forego breathtaking for $7 beers and a rooftop city view.
3. Brooklyn Bridge
While you should go to the Brooklyn Bridge to explore the bridge itself, don’t forget to turn around every once in a while — the skyline shots from the middle of the bridge are splendid. For the best skyline photos, get low to the ground and try a panorama or wide-angle lens.
4. Liberty State Park, New Jersey
Yes, you have to cross the river into Jersey, but hear me out. It’s not that bad. New Jersey actually has some of the best views of Manhattan because it’s – as I mentioned – across the river.
For a view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty with the Manhattan skyline background, stop by Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. Parking is free, and you can even catch a boat (not free, sorry) over to the Statue and Ellis Island.
5. Palisades State Park
For a great view of New York’s mighty George Washington Bridge, head up to Palisades Interstate Park in northern New Jersey. Stop at the Fort Lee Historic Park to get up close and personal with the GW, and, for a view of the bridge and the city, drive up the road to the Englewood Boat & Basin Area, which has a scenic pathway along the Hudson.
6. Hoboken Waterfront, New Jersey
As a Hoboken resident, I may be biased, but the views on this side of the river are beyond amazing. The Hoboken waterfront offers the full skyline scene, from the George Washington Bridge down to the financial district in the south. And, while Hoboken may seem far away, I promise you – it’s a quick (I’m talking five, max 10 minute) ride on the ferry or PATH train. With these one-of-a-kind skyline views, it’s well worth that PATH fare.
Like all cities, Manhattan has its pros and cons, but in my book, that stunning, expansive skyline will always trump the negatives – especially during my favorite time of day, magic hour!