I’m sure anyone who has ever been to New York City will agree with me when I say there are very few cities in the world that can rival its skyline. Some other cities like London, Paris, and Los Angeles have great skylines too, but you don’t really notice it until you’re in the city center. On the other hand, as soon as you’re within a half hour of Manhattan (whether you’re in New Jersey, the Bronx, or Queens), you can start to see the huge skyscrapers looming before you! It’s really amazing when you’re seeing New York for the first time, and even after seeing the skyline hundreds of times, I still find it so impressive.

I’ve been able to experience the NYC skyline from a bunch of different angles, but I have narrowed it down to my top 5 free spots to see the New York skyline! (I say free, because from what I’ve heard the Top of the Rock has the best view, but I haven’t experienced it yet, and that will cost you about $30.) You’ll also notice that none of my spots are in Manhattan. That’s because when you’re in Manhattan, you’re surrounded by so many huge buildings that it’s hard to really see anything past those 🙂

Empire Fulton Ferry Park, DUMBO, Brooklyn

I experienced this park for the first time a couple weekends ago. I watched the sunset there, and it was completely breathtaking. It was so relaxing too, so I will definitely be returning with friends or a good book this spring! And out of frame to the right, you can also see the Empire State Building and the Manhattan Bridge from this park.

The Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is free to ride, so there’s no reason to miss this view! The ferry takes about a half hour to get to Staten Island and then another half hour to get back to Manhattan. From the ferry you also get the best views of the Statue of Liberty!

Hunter’s Point, Long Island City, Queens

For a view of Manhattan from the East, this is the perfect spot. You can see the Empire State Building and my favourite, the Chrysler Building. And this photo was taken on a cloudy night, but when it’s clear out the view is even more stunning!

Maxwell Place Park, Hoboken, NJ

Hoboken is such a cute town to explore, and it’s a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can get to Hoboken by ferry, or even cheaper, you can take the PATH train (New Jersey’s version of the subway) from several spots in Manhattan, including 33rd Street near Penn Station and 14th Street.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn

Another Brooklyn gem near the Brooklyn Bridge! I stumbled upon this promenade completely by accident when I first moved to NYC in October, and fell in love with the views. Next to the promenade there is a big park where you can relax, and there are lots of shops and food vendors nearby. When I was here, I even saw a show filming! I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I recently found out it was the new show Younger with Hilary Duff!

There are still so many places I want to visit in NYC to check out the skyline and watch the sun set. I want to experience Astoria, Battery Park, and of course the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on any more great places I discover in NYC!

**all photos are my own