The best cityscapes in New York City

New York City… the city of skyscrapers and many skyline views. It’s a photographer’s dream when it comes to cityscapes! We thought we’d feature some of our favorite locations to capture New York cityscapes

Let’s start with observatories, as it’s always great to see the city from above. The Top of the Rock, at the Rockefeller Center, is one of our favorites, because you can see both the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center.

Top of the Rock

One World Observatory opened a couple of years ago at the top of 1 World Trade Center. Its 360 views are amazing, from Midtown to the Financial District, to Brooklyn and Jersey City.

One World Observatory
One World Observatory

To get nice skyline views, you need to get out of Manhattan. First stop, Brooklyn, which has several good spots. Brooklyn Bridge Park is the best place for views of the Financial District. The south end has a nice foreground with the pylons. The north end of the park allows  you to include the Brooklyn Bridge in the frame.

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park

Just north of the Brooklyn Bridge is the Empire Fulton Ferry Park, which has amazing views of the bridge.

Empire Fulton Ferry Park

If you’re OK with a little walking, the views from the Manhattan Bridge are pretty stunning. From the Brooklyn side, you have a nice elevated view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Financial District.

Manhattan Bridge

Closer to Manhattan, FDR Drive provides great leading lines, especially at night. Tip: if you’re shooting long exposures, be mindful of the bridge shake, especially when the subway is passing through.

Manhattan Bridge

Now, let’s move on to Queens and Hunter’s Point. It’s a great place to capture Midtown and its many iconic buildings (Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, United Nations, American Copper Building, etc.). During our workshop, we got lucky as the water was very still during blue hour, providing some great reflections!

Hunter’s Point

Now, let’s go to New Jersey! First stop: Weehawken. There are several places to shoot the skyline from Weehawken along the Waterfront, but the best location is from Hamilton Park, along J F Kennedy Drive. It’s elevated and the skyline looks even better. It’s a little tricky to access (Uber is probably your best bet) but worth the view!


Next up, Jersey City and J. Owen Grundy Park. Easy to access from NYC with the PATH, the view over the Financial District and the World Trade Center are just amazing!

J. Owen Grundy Park

Finally, the views from Liberty Island are worth capturing. It’s also a good idea to shoot while on the boat, especially when they position the boat to have the Statue of Liberty in the foreground.

Liberty Island

As you can see, there are a lot of New York cityscapes! Which ones did we miss? Which views are your favorites?  Let us know in the comments!



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