Discover NYC

Visiting at least one observatory in New York is an almost mandatory choice: the view of New York City from above is absolutely unmissable.

As of October 21, 2021 the choice of observatories available in NYC has increased: now in fact there are no longer 4 (Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Observatory and Edge) but 5.

The long-awaited new entry is called Summit.

READ ALSO: SUMMIT OV Observation Deck: all you need to know

Our article today, however, is not about a particular observatory. 

Instead, today we want to focus on a question we are often asked by our community on Instagram:

What is the best time to visit an observatory?

Answering this question is by no means easy, and we don’t think there is one time that is better than others.

However, there is definitely a time slot that we recommend less than others: the middle of the day (between 11 am and 4 pm). In fact, in this time slot you will find the largest influx of people and your experience could be partly ruined by the long queues.

Our advice is to choose one of these 3 alternatives:

1. Visit an observatory as soon as it opens in the morning. Being among the first to go up to the observatory definitely has some great benefits. These include a smaller influx of people and the possibility of enjoying the view of the city at first light.

2. Going up to an observatory at sunset. Perhaps the most beautiful and exciting experience. Seeing the colors of the sky change from blue to orange or even red is priceless. Most observatories charge an extra $10 on top of the ticket price to go up at sunset time. In our opinion though, it’s well worth it.

3. Choose to visit an observatory at night: The lights of Manhattan and all of New York at night are something difficult to explain in words.

However, our advice is always the same: visit at least 2 observatories during your trip to New York. Do a mix of experiences, for example sunset and early morning or night and sunset.




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