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The best spots for admiring the dreamy New York skyline

New York

Shivya Nath profile picture

By Shivya Nath

7th March 2016

I vividly remember my first glimpse of New York City. As my flight began its descent, the mesmerizing skyline of Manhattan rose from the shores of the Hudson River as though reaching out to welcome me!

No trip to the Big Apple feels complete without stopping to marvel at the breathtaking skyline that has made the city famous the world over. To help you make the most of your time in NYC, I’ve put together a list of diverse spots to make the most of that incredible view:

The Statue of Liberty

Boat trip on the Hudson River: Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is a free cargo ferry that carries locals across the New York harbor to Staten Island and back every half an hour. Hop aboard just before sunset for an unforgettable view of the Statue of Liberty against the backdrop of a crimson sky.

While you’re there, check out the vibrant Sri Lankan dining scene of Staten Island, and board the ferry back in time to see the moon rise over the majestic lower Manhattan skyline!

Departs every 30 minutes from South Ferry in Manhattan;

The Empire State Building

70 floors above Manhattan: Top of the Rock

Although the Empire State Building is a more popular choice for views across Manhattan, the Top of the Rock with its seventy floors high, 360-degree, open-air observation deck, offers amazing views of the Empire State.

Buy a Sun & Stars Ticket to go up twice within the same day, so you can relish both a panoramic day view and the skyline bathed in night lights.

Rockefeller Center; tickets starts at $32 / adult;

A drink at an iconic Manhattan hotel: The Standard

What’s better than panoramic views over midtown Manhattan, all the way to the night lights of New Jersey and the moonlit Hudson River? Those views with a Manhattan cocktail in hand and a rooftop plunge pool of course!

Le Bain, the rooftop bar of The Standard, has become something of an institution and for good reason. Be sure to call ahead to make a reservation in advance, or you may not be seated.

Washinton Street;

Governor's Island

Cycle through New York’s Dutch history: Governor’s Island

If you’re a history buff, take the ferry to Governor’s Island (accessible only in summer) and cycle along the promenade as Lady Liberty watches over you.

Take in the views of lower Manhattan and Wall Street on the bike ride up to Castle Williams, which remained an active military base for over 200 years. Pack a picnic basket to complete the perfect New York summer day.

The ferry leaves from Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan and costs $2; the island is only accessible from late May to late September;

Brooklyn Bridge

Tread on America’s oldest suspension bridge: Brooklyn Bridge

The iconic Brooklyn Bridge has connected Manhattan to Brooklyn over the New York harbor since 1883. As you tread along, the vistas transform from Wall Street skyscrapers to midtown panoramas with Lady Liberty always in the distance.

Start your walk just before sunset, so you can watch the city glow with the golden light of the setting sun and come alive with the dazzling night lights that New York does best.

New York City skyline

Up in the air: Helicopter tour

As you might have guessed, you need a bird’s eye view of the Big Apple to take in all its glory at once – and a chartered helicopter ride above the harbor, Wall Street, midtown and Central Park is the best way to get it.

For a more affordable alternative to a helicopter, consider choosing a window seat on your flight at the end of your trip. Keep your eyes peeled at take-off for a priceless view of the dreamy New York skyline that so many visitors have fallen in love with.

Helicopter tour prices start at $140

Want tips on how to prepare for your trip to New York City? Read our get ready guide.

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