Travel Tips

The Best Views of the Manhattan Skyline For Free

Locations in this article:  Brooklyn, NY New York City, NY

Brooklyn bridgeAnyone who has paid $30 to enter Rockefeller Center’s observation deck to view Manhattan’s skyline at sunset can attest to this: Sometimes the most hyped-up events are deflating.

But as contrarian travelers know, often times the best travel experiences come from veering away from the tried-and-true.

In New York City, that sentiment is especially accurate.

Our friends at figured out that skipping town can provide some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline … without the pricey entrance fee.

There are hotels in New Jersey,  Queens and Brooklyn that offer sweeping city views, cocktails and live music. No need to book a room to enjoy the scenery, and best of all, each journey out of Manhattan is easily accessible via public transportation.

Manhattan skyline from New JerseyFor example, the new W Hoboken, located on the New Jersey waterfront, has plenty of spaces to dine and unwind. But scenery-junkies should head straight to the Chandelier Room’s expansive outside terrace for its city views.

And if you never associated Long Island City in Queens with trendy nightlife, think again.

In May, the boutique Ravel Hotel is going South Beach style with a 3,500-square-foot outdoor bar, with a rooftop menu and a DJ. Even if the weather doesn’t hold up, indoor seating with heaters still allows visitors to soak in the scenery.

For more top picks for views and subway instructions, visit the related article on

Check out the rest of our articles on New York City: