Your guide to the best views of New York’s famous landmarks

New York City is home to some of the most amazing man made wonders that you are likely to find anywhere in the world.  With so many amazing locations it is often hard to find the right place to see these landmarks as the city can sometimes be large and overwhelming.  With the article below, we hope to shed some light on the best places to see these fantastic sites and take photos for that perfect moment to remember your travels.

Freedom Tower:

While the freedom tower can be viewed pretty much anywhere in the New York City since it is the tallest building in the United States you will find that many of the those views are obstructed by the other massive downtown skyscrapers. If you are looking for that iconic and picturesque view of the newest New York Landmark, look no further than the southern most part of the Hudson River Greenway. This tiny park just north of Battery Park and south of the Freedom Tower, is absent of any both cars as well as buildings leading up to the tower.  Combine that with the way the other buildings in the area seem to perfectly frame the Freedom Tower and you will get a view to remember.  While the view from Freedom Plaza does allow you to get a wonderful perspective of how tall the Freedom Tower really is and the photos from the base of the building are spectacular, the Greenway location gives you a perspective like no other.

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Taken from Hudson River Greenway

Empire State Building:

The most iconic building in all of New York is also probably it’s most photographed considering that it soars above the city’s skyline and can be seen in for miles in all directions. With so many options to catch a glimpse of this amazing feat of construction, it can often be difficult to track down the best view once inside Manhattan.  Looking up from its base on 34th street, due to the fact it is built in layered tiers, the top is impossible to see and makes for a terrible angle to see the building.  From the ground, your best viewing location is much farther south on 23rd street where the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park are located. Due to the low height of the buildings in this area as well as the open area the park provides, you get a fantastic view of almost all of the Empire State Building. Yet if you are looking for the best view of this landmark you won’t find it from the ground but from the top of another almost equally as impressive skyscraper in 30 Rockefeller Center.   While you have to pay a ticket to go up to the top of 30 Rock, the view is most definitely worth the price of admission. Nothing beats seeing the Empire State Building with all of lower Manhattan as its backdrop in what makes for a rather magical setting.

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Taken from the top of 30 Rockefeller Center

Chrysler Building:

Another of the iconic New York buildings that strikes an imposing shadow over most of the city’s other massive buildings with its art deco design and instantly recognizable spire, the Chrysler Building is one of New York’s most unique buildings. Unlike many of New York’s other buildings, the Chrysler Building is surrounded by many other tall buildings which block it from being viewed it all of its glory from many places around the city. While the top of the building can be seen from almost anywhere, to see the building from the bottom up you need to travel to a rather specific location. On the east side of 44th street and 3rd avenue you can see almost the entire building from the bottom up and can get a full view of this masterpiece of design.  This is a rather unassuming location to see one of New York’s most beautiful buildings but it still provides an unparalleled view.

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Taken from 44th street and 3rd avenue

Statue of Liberty:

While the best views of the Statue of Liberty are of course from its home on Liberty Island, if you don’t want to spend the money for a ticket there are a few places you can go to get an almost equally spectacular view. You can get a clear picture of the statue from either Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan or by heading over to New Jersey to view the statue from Liberty State Park. If you are looking for a free way to get a fantastic view from the water and don’t mind a 45 minute tour of the cities water ways, you can take the Staten Island Ferry which will take you right in front of Lady Liberty and give you a moment to remember.

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Taken from Battery Park

Brooklyn Bridge:

The Brooklyn Bridge is by far the most famous bridge in all of New York and is a must visit for any tourist visiting the city. This beautiful landmark can be viewed from both the Brooklyn shoreline as well as from Manhattan and there really is not a bad view from either of these locations. Yet if you want the view with the best background then your ideal location is going to be from the Brooklyn side and more specifically from just north of the bridge. The reason this location is best is not just because you avoid any of the construction from the Manhattan side but you also get the backdrop of downtown Manhattan which includes the Financial District skyscrapers as well as the Freedom Tower. There are very few views in the entire city that can boast that kind of backdrop let alone be for one of the cities most enduring manmade wonders.

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Taken from the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge

Sunrise and Sunset Over the City:

The best view of the sunrise and sunset over the city is definitely a very subjective topic and most likely has many right answers. From experience, if you are looking for the best sunrises and still want Manhattan as a backdrop, you need to head over to Hoboken and get a photo from across from the Hudson River. If you don’t feel like heading all the way over to New Jersey, you can get a picturesque shot if you go to the water at the South Street Seaport and see the sunrise over the Brooklyn Bridge. The sunset in Manhattan however, has a whole lot more options but a favorite is from Long Island City Queens due to its central location across from Manhattan as well as the low level of many of its buildings which allows for great views from building rooftops. If you are looking for one in particular or don’t have access to one directly, check out the roof at the Z hotel that is located just south of the Queensboro Bridge for a fantastic New York City sunset.

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Taken from building roof in Long Island City

If you have any comments or locations you want to share, please let us know!