Manhattan Skyline

The Manhattan skyline truly has to be seen to be appreciated. It’s sheer size alone is enough to impress the observer. A verifiable sea of buildings, Manhattan is basically an island city. The tallest structure on the extensive horizon that is the Manhattan skyline is the One World Trade Center building, or 1 WTC, as it is also known. Including the spire, this newer landmark edifice tops out at 1,776 feet, which actually makes it the third-tallest building on the planet by pinnacle height. Another structure that is easy to pick out on the Manhattan skyline is the Empire State Building. This famous skyscraper tops out at 1,250 feet and held the title of world’s tallest building for quite some time after it was completed in 1931. A few other notable Manhattan landmarks also top the 1,000-foot mark, and countless other buildings are at least 600 feet or taller. No wonder so many first time visitors to the Big Apple can often be seen stopping and looking up in awe as they make their ways along the busy Manhattan streets.

Midtown Manhattan Skyline

Midtown Manhattan Skyline

Midtown Manhattan Skyline

While virtually all of Manhattan is awash in rather tall edifices, there are two main areas where the bulk of the borough’s tallest skyscrapers are concentrated. One of these areas is Midtown Manhattan. Among the many tall and famous buildings that are found in Midtown Manhattan are the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. This district is also where you will find the Bank of America Tower and the New York Times Building. After One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Bank of America Tower (1,200 feet), the Chrysler Building (1,046 feet), and the New York Times Building (1,046 feet) figure among the tallest buildings in all of New York City. In addition to being home to a high number of skyscrapers, Midtown Manhattan features many notable attractions. These attractions include Broadway, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and the United Nations Headquarters, to name just a few. Add in Grand Central Station and all the Midtown Manhattan hotels, and it is easy to understand why the district is a popular NYC base for tourists.

Lower Manhattan Skyline

Lower Manhattan Skyline

Lower Manhattan Skyline

The other main area of Manhattan that is home to the highest concentration of skyscrapers is Lower Manhattan. Perhaps the most renowned landmark in this southernmost part of the island is the 16-acre World Trade Center site. Once home to the iconic World Trade Center towers, this site is being rebuilt with a new collection of skyscrapers. It will also serve as the home for the 9/11 Memorial. The lead building in the new World Trade Center complex is One World Trade Center. When the complex is completed, which is supposed to happen before 2020, this tallest skyscraper in the land will be complemented by either four or five other buildings. The potential sixth building is awaiting confirmation. Another cluster of highly notable buildings can be found across West Street from the World Trade Center site. This complex is known as the World Financial Center, and its four main buildings range in height from 500 to 739 feet. As is true of Midtown Manhattan, there is more to the Lower Manhattan district that just its notable skyscrapers. Home to Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, Lower Manhattan is the financial capital of the world. Also adding considerable substance to the area is the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge.

Cruises

Cruises

Cruises

One of the best ways to take in the Manhattan skyline is from a boat. Several companies offer New York City sightseeing cruises, and some of these cruises take passengers all the way around Manhattan. In addition to focusing on Manhattan and all of its great landmarks, these cruises highlight such other things as portions of the Brooklyn and Queens skylines, the city’s famous bridges, and Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Depending on the New York City cruise in question, there might be opportunities to make landfall on Ellis Island and/or Governor’s Island. In addition to boasting their own attractions, these islands can serve as excellent Manhattan observation points.

Helicopter Tours & Observation Points

Helicopter Tours & Observation Points

Helicopter Tours & Observation Points

Helicopter tours also provide an interesting means of taking in the amazing Manhattan skyline. You don’t have to focus exclusively on Manhattan when taking a NYC helicopter tour, however. There are some that also fly over the city’s other four boroughs. Either way, the experience is sure to be something that won’t soon be forgotten. Passengers have the opportunity to enjoy both eye-to-eye and bird’s eye views of the world’s most famous metropolis. Most of the New York City helicopter tours range from 12 to 60 minutes in length, and advance booking is usually required.

When Big Apple visitors aren’t taking in the skyline from a boat or a helicopter, they can head to any number of observation points that offer sumptuous skyline views. Among the best of these observation points are the Empire State Building’s 86th-floor observation deck, the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

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