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7 Places to Photograph the NYC Skyline

New York City’s skyline is iconic, and while you can spend days exploring the streets of Manhattan, it really takes a sky-high observation deck, helicopter ride, river cruise, or step back into Brooklyn to capture the towering highrises in all their glory. Rounded up below are seven spots around the city that provide the ideal opportunity for those wanting to shoot the perfect NYC skyline photo, because you can’t leave the city without it.

Best of NYC Skyline Views: Helicopter Flight Services (Manhattan)

There’s no way to better experience the NYC skyline than by flying above it, and thanks to Helicopter Flight Services helicopter tours, that’s entirely possible. With a range of tours to choose between (The New York Tour: 12-15 minutes, The Ultimate Tour: 18-20 minutes, The Deluxe Tour: 25-30 minutes), and can customize your trip above the city. Trust us when we say your friends won’t be able to beat these photos. Pier 6, Downtown Manhattan Heliport, 212-355-0801, heliny.com

Best of NYC Skyline Views: Roosevelt Island Tram (East River)

Roosevelt Island Tram

Doug Letterman/Flickr

If you’re looking to catch some of NYC’s skyline without having to break the bank, the Roosevelt Island Tram costs the same amount as a ride on the subway, taking MTA MetroCards as a form of pavement. Glide above the East River on your way to Roosevelt Island, enjoying an up close and personal view of Midtown East as your journey across the water. E. 59th St., 212-832-4543, rioc.ny.gov

Best of NYC Skyline Views: Top of the Rock (Midtown West) 

Rockefeller Plaza has become one of New York City’s most famed locations, and a trip up to its 67th, 69th, and 70th floors (don’t worry, the elevator is always in service!) at Top of the Rock is a must for anyone wanting to capture the city’s skyline in either its daytime glory or evening glitz. At approximately 850 feet above ground level, you really will feel on top of the world. 30 Rockefeller Ctr., 212-698-2000, topoftherocknyc.com 

Best of NYC Skyline Views: Spirit of NY Cruise (Hudson and East Rivers)

Spirit of New York

Sail up and down the Hudson and East Rivers on one of Spirit Cruises’ tours, enjoying two and a half to three hours of pure bliss with the NYC skyline serving as your backdrop. A delicious dinner buffet is provided for guests, as are some of the best views of Manhattan’s most famous landmarks. Onboard entertainment is also provided with music, interactive games, and shared spaces livening up the atmosphere. Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, 866-483-3866, spiritcruises.com

Best of NYC Skyline Views: One World Observatory (Financial District)

One World Observatory is NYC’s latest addition to the observatory deck fad, and it’s an impressive one to say the least. Visitors can take a ride up in the Sky Pod Elevator which displays over 500 years of the city’s history on its floor-to-ceiling LED screens, and while the ride up is truly impressive, the actual view goes above (literally) and beyond. 285 Fulton St., 844-696-1776, oneworldobservatory.com

Best of NYC Skyline Views: East River State Park (Brooklyn)

East River State Park

Harold Navarro/Flickr

Head over to Williamsburg to enjoy a seven-acre waterfront park that rests along the East River and provides a breathtaking view of Manhattan’s skyline. Along with the dozens of photos you’ll be taking, you can kick off your shoes and let the sand crunch beneath your toes. An enormous green lawn also makes for the perfect picnicking location during the warmer seasons. 90 Kent Ave., 347-297-9470, nysparks.com

Best of NYC Skyline Views: Brooklyn Heights Promenade (Brooklyn)

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Allison Meier/Flickr

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade has had its fair share of cameos, making an iconic appearance in both Annie Hall and Moonstruck. Stretching nearly a third of a mile long, this picturesque point offers views of a towering Lower Manhattan. Take a seat on any of the promenade’s wooden benches, and snap as many photos as your heart desires. Nobody will bug you in this peaceful haven. Pierrepont Pl., 718-722-3214, nyharborparks.org

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