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One World Observatory NYC Views

Only 47 seconds by elevator separate you from the highest peak in New York: the One World Observatory! Discover everything you can see from there.

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

6 min read

One World Observatory NYC Views

Views from the One World Observatory | ©Udayaditya B.

Located at the top of the skyscraper One World Trade Center, the One World Observatory is the highest observation deck in New York with a height of 386 meters and is certainly one of the plans that you can not miss in New York.

Its design will allow you to enjoy breathtaking 360º panoramic views and contemplate up to 80 kilometers of the city in all directions: Manhattan, Brooklyn, DUMBO, New Jersey... but what tourist attractions will you see from the One World Observatory?

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1. Empire State Building

View from One World Trade Center toward the Empire State Building| ©Nathania Johnson
View from One World Trade Center toward the Empire State Building| ©Nathania Johnson

From the top of One World Trade Center you will be able to contemplate in the distance the silhouette of the Empire State Building, one of the most emblematic skyscrapers of New York that you will find in Midtown Manhattan, in the heart of the city.

Look out the windows of the One World Observatory to catch a glimpse of the Empire State spire to the north, a jewel of the Art Deco movement that had a great impact on New York architecture in the early twentieth century.

If you have the chance, go to One World Observatory at sunset to enjoy the different colors of the sky as it fades and to see the lights of the city, including those of the Empire State Building at night, come on.

2. Chrysler Building

View toward the Chrysler Building| ©Susan Jane Golding
View toward the Chrysler Building| ©Susan Jane Golding

Another of the most iconic skyscrapers you can see from the One World Observatory is the Chrysler Building, one of the most beautiful and majestic in New York also located in Midtown Manhattan, very close to Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park.

Looking north of the city, from the One World Observatory you can also distinguish the spire of the Chrysler Building, another building framed within the Art Deco movement that was so successful in the Big Apple in the 30s of last century.

At the top of One World Trade Center you can see the Chrysler Building from the heights but I recommend you to approach this building to enter its lobby, the only part open to the public since the rest is occupied by offices.

It's beautiful! Inside follows the Art Deco aesthetics of the exterior and is full of details such as the reddish marble that lines the walls, the mural that adorns the ceiling by Edward Trumbull or the decoration of the elevators.

3. Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty| ©Hellotickets
Statue of Liberty| ©Hellotickets

From the windows of the One World Observatory you will have a magnificent view of Lady Liberty towering over the Hudson River to light up the world with her torch.

In New York there are many places to see the Statue of Liberty but this observatory is special because being located in Lower Manhattan, it is the closest to this iconic monument and therefore you will enjoy one of the most intimate and beautiful perspectives of the Big Apple.

However, if you have always dreamed of seeing it up close, a trip to the Statue of Liberty is a must. Embark at Battery Park on the ferry to Liberty Island and you can even see it from the inside! It will be an experience you won't forget.

4. Governor's Island

Aerial view of Governor's Island| ©Lonely Planet
Aerial view of Governor's Island| ©Lonely Planet

Another of the coolest places in the city that you will see from the top of One World Trade Center is Governor's Island, one of the islands near the Statue of Liberty with which it shares space in New York Bay.

Governor's Island is full of gardens and meadows, where New Yorkers often go to disconnect from the routine and spend a nice time outdoors doing different activities such as biking, walking, kayaking, taking pictures of "Lady Liberty" from The Hills or just having a picnic lying on the lawn or in one of the hammocks of Hammocks Grove.

To get to know this island you can board one of the ferries that depart from Manhattan (here is the practical guide to New York ferries) every day from the Battery Maritime Building, located at 10 South Street.

5. Ellis Island

View from the One World Observatory to Liberty Island and Ellis Island.| ©schizoforml
View from the One World Observatory to Liberty Island and Ellis Island.| ©schizoforml

From the One World Observatory there are fantastic views of New York Bay. Not only to the already mentioned Governor's Island and the Statue of Liberty but also to another small island called Ellis Island, famous for being the gateway to the United States during the migratory waves of the late nineteenth century.

Ellis Island and its Immigration Museum is a very interesting place that I recommend you to visit to discover a little better the multicultural roots of the country.

In addition, on this island there is also an abandoned hospital where sick immigrants were admitted, which can be visited with a guide through a special helmet tour that can be booked at Statue Cruises. It is a different and original tour to understand the other side of the migratory phenomenon with a ghostly and somber air that will catch your attention. Do you dare to do it?

6. Financial District

Towers of New York's Financial District| ©JJBers
Towers of New York's Financial District| ©JJBers

From the top of the One World Trade Center skyscraper, you can also see New York's Financial District, home to the city's powerful stock exchange.

At the One World Observatory you will have the opportunity to see it in miniature but when you leave the observatory I recommend a short walking tour of the neighborhood to see popular attractions such as Wall Street, Federal Hall, the statue of George Washington, City Hall, the Federal Reserve or Charging Bull.

7. Ground Zero

Strolling around Ground Zero| ©Hellotickets
Strolling around Ground Zero| ©Hellotickets

If you look out the windows of the One World Observatory and look down perpendicularly you can see Ground Zero, the scene of the 9/11 attacks that has been converted into a space for the remembrance of the victims.

It is another place I recommend you visit after climbing the One World Trade Center observatory. In the hollow where the Twin Towers were erected today is the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the surviving tree, the Glade Memorial, the Chapel of Saint Paul or The Oculus shopping center.

8. Battery Park

Battery Park in New York| © JJBers
Battery Park in New York| © JJBers

From the top of One World Trade Center you will also have the chance to see Battery Park, one of New York's green lungs that lies south of Lower Manhattan and borders the Financial District.

This park is known for having great unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty. Most tourists come to the Battery Park Boardwalk to watch the sunset over New York Harbor or to catch a ferry to view the Statue of Liberty but there are also other tourist attractions to discover here such as a host of monuments and memorials, the
Jewish Heritage Museum or Fort Castle Clinton.

However, New Yorkers choose this park to disconnect from the hectic pace of the city by practicing sports, having a picnic on the grass or going with the kids to The Battery Fountain or The SeaGlass Carousel. If you want to know which are the best parks in New York, this is one of them.

9. Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges

Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge from the Observatory| ©sponki25
Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge from the Observatory| ©sponki25

Another reason why it is worth going up to One World Observatory is because from here there is an atypical view of the cityscape that other observatories in New York do not have: the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges over the East River with the borough of Brooklyn in the background.

In any self-respecting tourist route through the Big Apple can never miss crossing these bridges. The views and architecture of these structures are amazing and provide an excellent opportunity to add new photos to your travel album.

  • Brooklyn Bridge: Connects Civic Center (Manhattan) with DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights (Brooklyn).
  • Manhattan Bridge: Connects Chinatown (Manhattan) with DUMBO (Brooklyn).
  • Williamsburg Bridge: Connects the Lower East Side (Manhattan) with Williamsburg (Brooklyn).

10. East River and Hudson River

View of the East River| ©Alexander Lorenz
View of the East River| ©Alexander Lorenz

Finally, from the One World Observatory you will have beautiful views of the East River, the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean.

Watching the sunset from this viewpoint is a very special moment as the light reflects on the water creating a really beautiful and relaxing effect. As much as watching the wake of the boats sailing on the water.

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