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Die Skyline von new York: Welche Aussichtsplattform lohnt sich am meisten? Bild: Isaac Cedercrantz / shutterstock

Skyscrapers in New York

When you have decided to go on holiday to New York, the question automatically arises as to which skyscrapers you definitely want to visit. Because one thing is clear: The Big Apple is expensive and so you may not want to visit all the buildings.

We were on the East Coast in October 2023 and visited Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, The Edge, One World Trade Center and Summit One for you and would like to compare these 5 highlights with each other to give you a better overview.

Empire State Building

Height: 381 meters (incl. antenna 443 meters)
Entrance fee = $44 (adults)

Let’s start with the oldest of the five buildings. The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world between its completion in 1931 and 1972. Everyone knows the pictures of workers sitting at dizzying heights on the steel girders. Back in 1930, 4.5 floors of the steel shell were erected per week at record speed.

It is a special atmosphere when you enter such a historic building. In recent years, the Empire State Building has undergone extensive modernization. In particular, the entrance area differs significantly from the other skyscrapers. Sophisticated and modern, the visitor receives information about the history of the building. From the decision to build the tallest building in the world instead of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to extensive image and video material on the creation of the building.

On the way to the elevator to the viewing platform on the 86th floor, you embark on a cinematic journey through time. It’s unbelievable how many films the Empire State Building has “starred in”.

Highlights:

  • Information about the construction of the Empire State Building
  • The traditional binoculars on the observation deck trigger a very special feeling
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One Vanderbilt (Summit One)

Summit One, Mirror Effects
Mirror effects in Summit One, Image: Reisemagazin Online

Altitude: 427 meters
Admission: Summit One = $42 (adults)

A very special experience awaits visitors in New York’s fourth-largest building, which was completed in 2021: One Vanderbilt.

Unlike other observation decks, Summit not only offers breathtaking views, but also a very different experience. Two areas on three floors, a ground floor with mirrors, glass cantilevers and a glass elevator make the Summit the most breathtaking observation deck in the world. New York City.

Summit also has an outdoor area with a bar where you can have a drink and enjoy the view.

So: Put on your sunglasses (these will be provided to you on site) and enjoy a very special visual experience. All guests must wear appropriate clothing, especially shoes that do not damage the mirrored floors (no stilettos, steel-toed boots, etc.). We recommend that women in particular visit Summit One with suitable clothing and avoid skirts, for example.

Highlights:

  • Mirror effects
  • Glass elevator

One World Trade Center / One World Observatory

One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States
One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the USA, Image: Reisemagazin Online

Altitude: 542 meters
Admission: $39 (adults)

From my point of view, the most spectacular view is from the observation deck of the One World Trade Center, in the One World Observatory. On the one hand, this may be due to the fact that we are here on the 100th floor at 380 meters on the highest observation deck in New York. But also the location of the building in the south of Manhattan provides a wonderful view of the whole of Manhattan in the north as well as the Statue of Liberty in the southwest and the Brooklyn Bridge in the east.

Don’t miss this skyscraper and combine your visit with a visit to the neighboring 9/11 Memorial & Museum. This will leave a lasting impression on you.

Highlights:

  • Welcome after getting off the elevator
  • View

Rockefeller Center / Top of the Rock

Height: 249 meters
Admission: $40 (adults)

Rockefeller Center, Central Park view
View of Central Park from Rockefeller Center, Image: Reisemagazin Online

The Rockefeller Center with the Top of the Rocks observation deck was the first observation deck we visited during our vacation in New York. The building scores first and foremost with the fantastic view of Central Park.

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In retrospect, however, Rockefeller Center would probably be the building I would most likely do without if I had to paint one of the observation decks. Please don’t get me wrong: Even at Top of the Rocks you have a fantastic view over the city, but the offered supporting program is a bit weaker compared to the other buildings. However, if you use a New York Pass, for example, I would also definitely visit Rockefeller Center. In October we were not too long to wait.

Highlights:

  • Central Park view

Edge (30 Hudson Yards)

View of the observation deck
View of the observation deck “The Edge”, Image: John Hanson Pye / shutterstock

Height: 395 metres, viewing platform at 335 metres
Admission: $36 (adults)

One thing in advance: Be sure to combine a visit to “The Edge” with a one-hour walk through the High Line Park. When staying in a city as lively as New York, a little relaxation on a quiet walk is really good. In addition, you will find the Chelsea Market directly at the High Line Park. So the catering is taken care of.

If you now walk from the High Line Park towards the entrance of the 30 Hudson Yard, the path leads past the impressive “Vessel” building. Unfortunately, this is now closed because there were too many suicides on the building. In addition to the highest open viewing platform at 335 meters, the Edge itself scores in particular with the transparent floor that attracts the masses.

Highlights:

  • See-through platform
  • Quiet environment

Result:

All five skyscrapers are always worthwhile. If I had to choose a skyscraper, I would most likely choose One World Trade Center. The Edge scores in particular with its platform protruding from the building. Unlike the other four viewpoints, Summit One is currently (as of October 2023) not included in the New York Pass , but its mirror effects clearly set it apart from the other buildings.

However, for historical reasons and due to the impressive show at the beginning, my second choice would be the Empire State Building. Absolutely worth seeing.