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21 Best Views In NYC At Night To Take In A Manhattan Skyline View

By Jessie Festa. This guide to the best views of the NYC skyline at night is written by a local and contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Looking for the best views in NYC at night?

There’s no denying that New York City is incredible at any time of day. From early morning sunrises over the East River to those Hudson River sunsets, there’s always something to see in the five boroughs.

That being said, evenings are when New York really sparkles.

The city lights at night are really something to see and a sight you don’t want to miss if you’re visiting for the first time.

There are as many ways to take in a stunning New York City night view. From lavish observation decks to trendy rooftop bars to lush riverside parks, you can enjoy the vista on any budget — even for free!

Keep reading to discover some of the best free NYC views, written by a local New Yorker!

🎉 Quickt tip: There are loads of local tours that help you experience the best views in NYC after dark. A few recommendations include a Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise, a New York City at Night Bus Tour, a New York at Night Bike Tour, and an NYC After Dark Photography Tour.

🏨 Want to book a hotel that offers epic skyline views at night? My top recommendations include 1 Hotel Brooklyn (DUMBO), The William Vale Hotel (Williamsburg), citizenM New York Bowery Hotel (Lower East Side), and The Langham (Midtown).

Table of Contents

Best Views In NYC At Night

Not sure where to start?

Here are 21 of the most beautiful views of New York City at night. Check them out the next time you’re exploring the city!

The list is separated by borough, allowing you to plan a scenic trip to NYC no matter where you’re staying.

Note: This post contains affiliate links to trusted partners we think you’ll love!

One quick tip before we dive into the experience:

Grab my free Ultimate Travel Planning Kit — which also includes a Google Map of a scenic New York City itinerary.

Add the map to your phone to have it ready to go!

See the best NYC views at night on a Private Photo Journey

Need help capturing the best views in NYC — with you in the photos? Book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or step your game up even further with an NYC Influencer Shoot or Custom New York Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Best Views In Manhattan At Night

best views in NYC at night at the One World Trade Center Observatory
The new One World Observatory has quickly become one of NYC’s top tourist attractions. Photo courtesy of One World Trade Center.

1. Take in historic views at One World Observatory.

No trip to New York City would be complete without a visit to One World Trade Center — one of the top NYC photo spots and the best place to see NYC skyline at night.

A major highlight is the observation deck at the top, which offers more than just incredible panoramic views of Manhattan and the five boroughs.

A trip to One World is a full multimedia experience where you’ll learn about the history of New York City and see the city transformed from a quiet island to the metropolis it is today.

At the top, learn more about the city from Licensed Tour Ambassadors or savor a delicious cocktail at ONE Dine.

It’s a great spot to explore whether you’re visiting New York for the first time or call the city home. Moreover, it’s a top attraction whether you’re exploring in a group or are looking for fun things to do in NYC by yourself.

See the New York skyline at night from the Empire State Building
The views from the Empire State Building at night are second to none! Photo via Needpix.

2. Enjoy a classic view at the Empire State Building.

The Empire State Building may have a reputation for being a tourist trap; but, one advantage it has over the other Manhattan observation decks is its hours. Plus, it offers a fantastic New York view at night.

While most other observation decks close around 7pm, ESB’s elevators run until 11pm, giving you plenty of time to catch some nighttime views of the NYC skyline.

Plus, if you visit after dark you’ll get to see the building’s colorful tower lights dancing up close for one of the best NYC views at night!

Prefer to have a view of the Empire State Building itself? Consider a limousine tour of New York City, many of which include photo ops of popular local landmarks!

Take in a New York night view from Top of the Rock
See even more iconic New York landmarks from the Top of the Rock.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

3. Have your own 30 Rock experience at Top of the Rock.

Want great views of Central Park and NYC’s most famous skyscrapers?

Head to the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza to experience Top of the Rock!

This is one observation deck you can visit any time of year.

Enjoy unobstructed indoor views from the building’s 67th and 69th floors, or head all the way up to the 70th floor for the open-air roof deck.

After your visit, explore the rest of the iconic Rockefeller Center area, featuring great restaurants, shops, and more iconic views.

You can also click here to view a list of interesting Rockefeller Center tours!

Enjoy the NYC skyline at night from The Edge
See New York from a whole new angle at The Edge. Photo courtesy of New York Edge.

4. Test your fear of heights at The Edge.

Be one of the first to check out the newest addition to the Manhattan skyline at The Edge — one of the best places to take pictures in NYC!

This observation deck is not for the faint of heart.

Rising 1,100 feet over the city, this skydeck juts out from the rest of the building, making you feel like you’re on top of the world.

There’s even a glass floor at the center of the deck where you can see 100 stories straight down to the streets below!

Need to take the edge off after that harrowing experience — pun intended? Or to muster up the courage to tackle the glass floor? Head to the Champagne Bar for cocktails with a beautiful Manhattan night view.

By the way, if you want to continue exploring beautiful views and buildings, check out these top-rated New York City architectural tours and Manhattan skyline tours!

Enjoy a New York City night view at Columbus Circle
Stop into The Shops at Columbus Circle for a reprieve from the crowds.
Image via Jim Pennucci.

5. Shop with a view at The Shops at Columbus Circle.

One reason why NYC is so popular is its fashion culture and numerous shopping opportunities.

This high-end shopping destination in the Time Warner Building is home to some of the best indoor views of Manhattan you can access for free.

The center’s floor to ceiling windows look out over the iconic Columbus Circle as well as the southwest corner of Central Park.

Head up to the third floor for some of the best views!

Planning to travel to NYC in the winter?

Escape the crowds of nearby Times Square and enjoy the views here with a nice hot beverage.

When wondering what to do in NYC at night visit The High Line
The High Line is a great place for an evening stroll. Photo via Lauri Väin.

6. Check out the sunset on The High Line.

Pass through some of New York’s hottest neighborhoods with a walk on the High Line, one of the most unique things to do in NYC.

This park, built out of an old elevated train line, stretches from the Meatpacking District to Midtown and offers great spots to view Manhattan’s west side from a new angle.

The entrance and exit point at 34th Street offers particularly great views of the Hudson River.

Stop by in the early evening for some of the best sunset views in the city.

Dear Irving On Hudson lets you see New York City at night
Lounge at the luxurious Dear Irving on Hudson while taking in amazing views of Times Square! Photo courtesy of Dear Irving on Hudson.

7. Sip a cocktail steps from Times Square at Dear Irving on Hudson.

Rooftop bars are a staple of Manhattan’s culinary scene and offer some of the best views of NYC at night.

Located just steps from Times Square, Dear Irving on Hudson offers plush interiors, delicious handcrafted cocktails, and amazing views of Manhattan’s west side.

By the way, the Balto Old Fashioned is a must-sip, featuring local single-barrel bourbon, barrel-aged apple liqueur, maple, and Angostura Bitters.

Hungry?

The bar also offers small plates to share like wild mushroom croquettes, avocado toast, and rock shrimp tempura.

Enjoy late night NYC activities at The Crown bar patio
Sip under the stars and enjoy a stunning night view of NYC at The Crown. Photo courtesy of The Crown.

8. Experience Lower East Side cool at The Crown.

Rising above Lower Manhattan is The Crown, a rooftop bar with incredible Manhattan skyline views.

The Crown, located atop the Hotel 50 Bowery, offers both a spacious outdoor deck and a modern indoor lounge so you can take in the views no matter the weather.

Enjoy a classic cocktail or celebrate an occasion with The Crown’s wide selection of sparkling wines. This is great spot to enjoy the fun of being out in NYC at night.

Night time New York City in Central Park
NYC views at night in Central Park over the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Photo via Jessie Festa.

9. Watch the sunset over the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park.

For a more grounded view of NYC at night, head to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, located toward the northern end of Central Park from 86th to 96th Streets.

Standing on the east side to take in a dramatic view of the Upper West Side skyline — including stunning art deco luxury buildings like The Eldorado and its notable matching towers — against a beautiful fountain in the center of this 40-foot-deep lake.

If visiting NYC in spring, you’ll have the added bonus of taking in the beauty of 200 Yoshino cherry trees.

Evening in New York on the Roosevelt Island Tram
The sunset view from the Roosevelt Island Tram can’t be beat.
Photo courtesy of Brett Saffer Images.

10. Fly high above the East River on the Roosevelt Island Tram.

You may know this little red tram as one of the best ways to get to Manhattan’s next-door neighbor, Roosevelt Island. But did you know that it’s one of the best ways to take in an incredible New York view late at night?

The Roosevelt Island Tram runs every seven to 15 minutes until 2am — or 3:30am on Fridays and Saturdays — so you can soar above the East River until the wee hours of the morning.

This aerial tramway offers some of the best views of the bridges connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn and Queens, a sight that’s even more breathtaking after dark.

Local tip:

When visiting Long island City in Queens, it’s fun to walk over the Queensborough Bridge into Manhattan and then take the tram to Roosevelt Island. The experience offers an incredible combination of views!

See New York at night time including the Empire State Building from Refinery Rooftop deck
The view from Refinery Rooftop’s deck is classic New York. Photo via Charlotte Dow.

11. Get up close to the Empire State Building at Refinery Rooftop.

This bar atop the Refinery Hotel in Midtown is right at the heart of it all.

It offers some of the best close up views of the Empire State Building and other Midtown landmarks that look even more spectacular at night.

And with both indoor and outdoor seating options, it’s one of the best spots for a drink under the stars any time of year.

Visiting Randall's Island is one of the coolest things to do in NYC at night
Randall’s Island’s location makes it the perfect oasis from Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

12. Get some fresh air at Randall’s Island Park.

Governors Island may get all the love when it comes to New York City’s islands, but Randall’s Island — sandwiched between Manhattan, Queens, and The Bronx — offers some of the best views in the city year-round.

Hop on a bus or take a walk across the pedestrian bridge from Manhattan’s Upper East Side to enjoy 480 acres of open space, greenways, and athletic fields.

Best of all, the park is open until midnight, giving you plenty of opportunities to catch some great views of Manhattan and Queens at night. It’s truly one of my favorite Upper East Side hidden gems!

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? Book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Best Views In Queens At Night

One of the best things to do in NYC at night is visiting the gantries
The gantries (ferry slips) in Long Island City at Gantry Plaza State Park

13. Snap photos next to landmarks at Gantry Plaza State Park.

You’ll find some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline at night right across the East River in Queens!

Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City is one of the top attractions in Queens. It’s quickly become a favorite spot of both New Yorkers and visitors alike for its amazing views, iconic landmarks (like the famous Pepsi-Cola sign), and many spots to relax and chat with friends.

Looking for a great evening photo spot?

The park is open from dawn until dusk!

See the New York skyline at night from Hunters Point South Park, Long Island City, Queens, New York
Watch the ferries come and go from Hunters Point South Park. Photo via Julienne Schaer/NYC & Company.

14. See some glow-in-the-dark art at Hunter’s Point South Park.

Looking for a little more space to roam?

Be sure to check out Hunter’s Point South Park, also located in Long Island City.

Along with showcasing the NYC skyline from Queens, Hunter’s Point is home to “Luminescence,” a permanent art installation by local artist Nobuho Nagasawa featuring domes that portray the phases of the moon.

Night is the best time to check out this installation, as the domes absorb light and glow in the evening!

Some of the best views in NYC at night are from Queensbridge Park, Long Island City, New York
Get great views of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island from Queensbridge Park. Photo via Alex Lopez.

15. Get your Simon & Garfunkel on at Queensbridge Park.

Feelin’ groovy?

Head to Queensbridge Park and check out the bridge that inspired one of Simon & Garfunkel’s biggest hits!

Situated right under the 59th Street Bridge, Queensbridge Park offers great views of Upper Manhattan and Roosevelt Island as well as the mighty East River.

Stop by at sunset to get some unforgettable views of NYC at night.

Best Views In Brooklyn At Night

The Brooklyn Bridge offers one of the best place to see the New York skyline at night
The Brooklyn Bridge is even more incredible at night. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

16. Walk across a piece of history at the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Whether you’re a lifelong New Yorker or just visiting for a few days, you must take a walk across the historic Brooklyn Bridge at some point! This night view in New York is worth seeing.

The bridge is a landmark in and of itself but a walk across it offers great views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and New York Harbor.

It essentially offers a virtual tour of the city in one spot!

While you’re on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, spend some time in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which may just offer the best free view of the NYC skyline. It’s also one of the top spots for taking Brooklyn Bridge photos.

No Brooklyn travel guide would be complete without mentioning it, as the park showcases skyline views as well as plenty of photo opportunities with the Brooklyn Brooklyn as well as the Manhattan Bridge.

Pro tip:

Both the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge Park are popular stops on a private NYC Photo Journey of NYC Influencer Shoot!

Take in a night view in New York from Domino Park
Watch the sunset among Brooklyn history at Domino Park. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

17. Enjoy tacos under the stars at Domino Park.

Nestled up against the East River in Williamsburg is one of Brooklyn’s newest parks.

Built on the site of a former Domino Sugar refinery, Domino Park offers gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline and Williamsburg Bridge as well as an elevated walkway so you can see both from different angles.

While you’re enjoying the view, stop by Tacocino for cocktails, tacos, and other Mexican-inspired treats.

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? Book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

18. Jam out with craft cocktails at Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge.

Located on the 10th floor of 1 Hotel Brooklyn, Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge offers delicious Asian-inspired eats, unique cocktails, and impeccable views of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

With both indoor and outdoor dining and sipping spaces, Harriet’s is available to enjoy year round.

Sip Mezcal Palomas late into the evening while local DJs spin custom tunes. You’ll feel extremely Brooklyn Cool.

Harriet’s just may offer the best view of Manhattan from Brooklyn!

New York City at night is beautiful from WNYC Transmitter Park
Street art in WNYC Transmitter Park. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

19. Do some stargazing at WNYC Transmitter Park.

Opened in 2012, this riverside park pays tribute to a New York media institution, WNYC.

The park was once home to the radio station’s transmission towers and now offers plenty of space to enjoy a Manhattan skyline view.

Transmitter Park is also a great spot for stargazing and many amateur astronomers set up their telescopes in the park.

Best Views In Staten Island

Staten Island ferry views at night
NYC night view from the Staten Island Ferry. Photo via Canva.

20. Go for a budget-friendly cruise on the Staten Island Ferry.

One of the best ways to see New York City is by boat, and the easiest way to do that is to hop on the Staten Island Ferry. It also offers a different New York City view at night!

This free ferry between Lower Manhattan and Staten Island is a great way to see New York landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade on the cheap.

Bonus:

You can bring alcoholic beverages onboard! Stop by the shops in Whitehall Terminal to grab some drinks and snacks for your ride.

A glass of wine paired with epic Staten Island ferry views at night is a great way to enjoy one of the best cheap things to do in NYC.

Best Views In New Jersey At Night

best view of the NYC skyline from NJ at Liberty State Park
Beautiful view of NYC from Liberty State Park via Canva

21. Check out symbols of freedom at Liberty State Park.

Want the Hudson view of New York City?

Head across the river to Liberty State Park to take in the best view of the NYC skyline from NJ.

While not in NYC itself, this waterfront park offers incredible views of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, and is also home to the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal.

The best part?

The park is open until 10pm, giving you plenty of time to get in your evening views of the city.

New York Night View Tours & Experiences

Looking to book an evening tour that lets you take in the NYC skyline at night?

Don’t miss…

Click here for a full list of NYC tours.

Best Hotels In New York

Looking to stay overnight in NYC? There are so many hotels offering epic skyline views at night, like 1 Hotel Brooklyn (DUMBO), The William Vale Hotel (Williamsburg), citizenM New York Bowery Hotel (Lower East Side), and The Langham (Midtown).

🏨 Click here for a full list of New York City hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays? 

🔑 Click here to check out unique local rentals! 

You can also use this map to search for local stays:

Like the idea of hotel living? There are also many live in hotels in NYC that offer extended stays.

Frequently Asked Questions about Views of New York at Night

Q) How can I see the New York skyline at night?

You can get some of the best views in NYC at night from One World Observatory, the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock.

Q) Where is the best free view of the skyline in New York?

Some of the best free skyline views in New York are Governor’s Island, Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

What would you add to this list of best views in NYC at night?

Enjoyed this post on seeing the NYC skyline at night? Pin it for later!

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About Jessie Festa

Jessie Festa is an New York-based travel content creator who is passionate about empowering her audience to experience new places and live a life of adventure. She is the founder of the solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and is editor-in-chief of Epicure & Culture, an online conscious tourism magazine. Along with writing, Jessie is a professional photographer and is the owner of NYC Photo Journeys, which offers New York photo tours, photo shoots, and wedding photography. Her work has appeared in publications like USA Today, CNN, Business Insider, Thrillist, and WestJet Magazine.

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Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

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7 Comments

  1. Aman Singh on at 8:46 am

    Hi Jessie, it is always pleasing to read about NYC and I enjoyed the blog through out. Night life of NYC is something every one love to experience once in life time. I always dream about NYC night life and whenever i get a chance to be there I will definitely explore some of the places you have mentioned. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Catherine Kaiser on at 12:51 pm

    Oh, I really love this post of yours. I’ve always been so in love with places with stunning views especially skyscrapers. My husband and I are big fond of magical views, cocktail sipping, jazz, sunset, and best views like the ones you’ve mentioned. When we’re hopefully heading to New York City next year when everything’s work well, I am going back to this article. Actually, I’m saving it! It’s so nice to know! Also, New York has always been a dream place for me. Cheers,

  3. Taylor on at 3:10 pm

    All of these views are so magical, especially at night. One of the best views of the NYC skyline at night is a dinner cruise on the East River. So pretty! 🙂

  4. Jyoti on at 9:43 pm

    Wow! What amazing views of NYC! I’m looking forward to traveling to NYC in a few months. So this is perfect reference for night time photography and fun.

  5. Talia on at 11:25 pm

    SO many cool spots in NYC. I really am looking forward to travel to NYC again!

  6. Seema on at 5:50 am

    Have always loved visiting New York and these new viewing spots have made me eager for my next visit. I Will definitely try to check a few of them. Thanks for the list

  7. isla mujeres tour on at 5:30 pm

    Many of the sights remind me of several iconic movies, without a doubt it is the great city to sign up for.

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