Not a fashion one today (and yes, I’m still ploughing through my New York posts, almost three months later!) but NYC provided me with so much writing material that I couldn’t help but share it! Today I’m looking at The Best View of Manhattan! That’s right, I read so many posts with people asking about which view is the best between the One World Observatory, The Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, so I thought I’d review them all and let you know which was my favourite, so hopefully then if you’re visiting NYC, you’ll know which one to go for! We had ten days in NYC, and a New York Pass which covered entry for Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building, so the only one we actually paid extra for was the OWO, which is why we ended up at the top of all three. So here we go, let’s find out which was the best!
One World Observatory
Also known as the Freedom Tower or One World Trade Centre, One World Observatory was the first building that we went up whilst we were in New York. Situated in Lower Manhattan in the finance district, it is currently the tallest building in New York and the USA, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the seventh-tallest building in the world. Standing at the foot of it and looking up, it’s really very impressive and super, super tall! Built on the site of the original World Trade Centre buildings that were taken down by terrorists in 2001, it stands proud and is a real testament to everything New York stands for. With 360 degree panoramic views from the top, on a clear day you can see NYC for miles and all of the major landmarks. The view is amazing from the top and it was a great place to spot all of the famous buildings on our first day in NYC.
Pros: amazing views, good visuals on the way up, clear visibility makes for a long-reaching view
Cons: no open air viewing platform, so all of you photos will be taken through glass windows meaning there’ll be some glare. Not great if you have a fear of heights (but then I guess that’s the same for all three!)
Top of the Rock
Top of the Rockefeller Centre was next on our list to visit, and we went there in the middle of our holiday. Rockefeller Centre is famous worldwide and is a beautiful building with fountains outside and a real feeling of grandeur. When going to get your ticket, I’d definitely recommend a wander around the shops there and if you’re feeling peckish, there’s a great foodcourt too. If you’re visiting in the winter, Rockefeller Centre also has a famous ice rink, but as we were there in summer time it was all about sunny days instead!
Because you’re right slap bang in the middle of Manhattan for this one, the views of the buildings are absolutely amazing, and you can also see Central Park clearly from here too! With one viewing platform behind glass, but a second level with clear, open air views, you certainly get the best of both worlds on this one.
Pros: Great views of Manhattan, amazing views of Central Park, two levels of viewing, interesting history, great place to building spot
Cons: View not as long reaching to the natural eye as OWO but there are telescopes on hand so you can look further
Empire State Building
I don’t want to sound biased before I’ve even written a word, but I LOVE the Empire State Building! A famous landmark from so many of my favourite films (and also the view from my hotel window during my stay) it was the building of the three that I was most excited to visit. Call me a traditionalist, but I love an older building and whilst it may not reach the heights of some of the tallest NYC buildings, it’s 1930’s art deco charm is what I love most about it. This was the only building of the three that I visited at night and boy, I’m so glad I did!
Pros: lots of fun things to do inside of the building on the way up, amazing views of Manhattan, art deco style interior, as Empire State isn’t as tall you can pick out views of the streets below
Cons: Not as tall, view not as far reaching.
The Best View of Manhattan NYC: The Verdict
If you’re visiting New York for more than a few days and can fit in all three views, then I’d definitely recommend the views from all three buildings. All three offer a slightly different experience, but I’d definitely suggest visiting at least one in the day time and one in the evening as the views are completely different, and the evening lights are spectacular! My personal favourite of the three was the Empire State Building not only for its views, but for its iconic status too, so I’d definitely add that to your list!
Until next time,
PS-if you enjoyed reading this, you might want to read another of my New York posts here