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New York City is home to some iconic viewpoints and observation decks, but The Edge is the latest and greatest.
The Edge NYC is an open-air observation deck on the 100th floor of the 30 Hudson Yards skyscraper. What sets The Edge apart from all the other observation decks around the city is its glass floor, so you feel like you’re floating over Manhattan. You really do get unobstructed views from up here, although we won’t lie – it is a little scary at first!
If you’re looking for the ultimate view of the city, then The Edge should definitely be on your list of things to do in New York! We’ve put together this guide containing everything you need to know about visiting so that you can enjoy this spectacular attraction.
1. About the Edge NYC
The Edge is a triangular-shaped, open-air observation deck suspended 1,100 ft (335 meters) over New York City. It protrudes from the side of 30 Hudson Yards, a supertall skyscraper that is currently the city’s 6th tallest building. It’s way up on the 100th floor, making it the highest outdoor observation deck in New York City, and the entire western hemisphere! Besides riding in a helicopter, this is the best view you can get of NYC!
The Edge opened in March 2020. As you probably remember, this was just as the covid-19 pandemic hit, and so the observation deck was forced to close just two days after its grand opening. Talk about bad timing!
But although The Edge didn’t really get off to a great start, it’s now a super popular place to visit.
Its design is super modern and it has a glass floor in the middle of the deck, so you get crystal-clear views of the city below. It’s actually a bit scary to walk on, but very cool!
The Edge is encircled by angled glass walls to maximize your views, and you can even lean against them if you’re feeling particularly daring. There’s also an outdoor staircase and seating area, known as the Skyline Seats, where you can sit and see the city from an even higher perspective. You can even enjoy a drink here from their full licensed bar!
2. Where is the Edge NYC?
The Edge NYC is on the 100th floor of the 30 Hudson Yards skyscraper. It’s one of the tallest buildings in New York, so it’s pretty hard to miss!
Hudson Yards is located on the west side of Midtown Manhattan, and you can take the #7 subway here. Penn Station is about a 10-minute walk away. It’s also a 20-25 minute walk from both Times Square and the Empire State Building.
We actually visited the Edge after our Chelsea Market Food Tour. From the Chelsea Market, we walked the famous (and beautiful!) High Line Trail to the Edge. It is only about a 20-minute walk, so doing both the Edge and the Chelsea Market one after each other is a good plan.
Obviously, you need to take an elevator up to The Edge observation deck, and the entrance to this is on Level 4 of the Shops & Restaurants Mall. There’s a ticket booth here, although it’s actually cheaper to buy your tickets online, but more on that in a moment!
3. How much does it cost to visit the Edge Observation Deck?
The price does vary slightly according to where you book! The cheapest way is to book on Viator, which costs $41.37 USD for adults, $39.20 for seniors, and $34.84 for kids.
This is slightly cheaper than booking in person, which would cost $43.55 for an adult ticket. Okay, so you only save two dollars, but still, that could go towards another slice of New York City’s legendary pizza!
Tickets on the website do seem cheaper at first, but that’s only because they don’t add tax on right until the very end. The price you see on Viator is the final amount.
Booking with Viator is super easy as you get the tickets delivered instantly to your phone. You don’t need to queue up at the ticket booth or print anything out, and you can book from anywhere. We actually bought our tickets on Viator on our phones as we were walking to the Edge and it worked out seamlessly.
Another thing to note is that when you book via the official website or in person, you have to pay around $9 USD extra to go up at sunset. However, when you buy tickets via Viator, you can book a sunset slot for no extra charge, so it’s definitely worth double-checking the sunset times before you go.
Besides the price, honestly, the convenience of not having to line up to buy tickets is worth buying your tickets online in advance. Sometimes the queue to purchase tickets can be very long, and with your prepurchased tickets, you skip it entirely! Book the Edge tickets online in advance here to save!
Tickets to the Edge are also included (along with 100+ attractions) in The New York Pass. It’s kind of like an all-inclusive pass to NYC’s top sights! We have a full review on The New York Pass with more info.
4. Do you need to purchase tickets in advance?
Yes. You don’t need to book them weeks in advance, but you do need to choose a date and time when you book since it is a popular New York activity. This is another reason why it’s better to book online, rather than buying tickets in person and then hanging around waiting for your time slot.
The good thing about visiting The Edge is that they’re flexible with the time you choose, so you don’t need to worry about being late. You can’t go up before the time you choose, but you can go afterwards. So, for example, you could book tickets for 11 am but go at 1 pm. That is what we experienced, anyways.
It’s also possible to buy this flexible ticket which lets you go up at any time of day. However, I don’t really think it’s worth the extra $22 USD since they’re pretty relaxed about timings here anyway. If you’re not sure when you’ll arrive, just book an early ticket and then you’ll be able to go up later on!
Related Read: For another epic experience, consider going on a helicopter ride in Manhattan – the views are even better than the Edge!
5. When is the Edge open?
The Edge is open 365 days a year! From Monday to Thursday, it’s open from 9 am until 10 pm. From Friday to Sunday it opens at the same time, but closes at midnight. Going for sunset and staying until after dark would be a really night experience – imagine seeing the city all lit up!
The last elevator ride up to the Edge is 50 minutes before closing time, so do bear that in mind.
6. When is the best time to visit the Edge NYC?
We think that the morning is the best time to go because this is when there are the least crowds. The views of New York City are even better when you don’t have to share them with a ton of other people! The morning also has the best light for photography, so your photos will really pop.
The late afternoon, before sunset, is also a good time to go, and you can even catch the start of golden hour. You can watch a beautiful sunset from up here, but it will be pretty busy, so we personally prefer the morning.
7. What are the highlights of the Edge?
The glass floor is in the middle of the observation platform, and you get a clear view all the way down to the bottom – it’s insane! You can walk, sit, or even lay down here, but we found it pretty hard to set foot on the glass at first. It’s such a big drop that it makes your stomach start doing little flips, but the view is unreal.
Don’t worry if you;re nervous, only a small portion of the floor is glass, so you can completely avoid it if you want.
Glass safety barrier that leans outward
The glass safety barrier at The Edge is pretty cool for a few reasons. For one thing, it doesn’t have any fencing on it, unlike the one at the Empire State Building, so it’s better in terms of photography.
The barrier is also angled outwards, and visitors are actually encouraged so lean on it. It makes you feel like you’re flying over the city. It’s scary, but super unique and the views are very beautiful.
There are two bars on the same floor as the Edge. One is inside and the other is outdoors, so you can enjoy a glass of bubbles as you gaze out over the skyline.
They also serve wine, beer, hot drinks, and soft drinks if you prefer. As you can imagine, it’s pretty expensive at $21 USD for a glass of champagne – but then what do you expect from the highest outdoor observation deck in New York City?
The Skyline Seats
The Skyline Seats is an outdoor seating area where you can view the city from over the top of the glass panels. You can sit and relax here for as long as you like, and you can always grab a drink from one of the bars to enjoy while you do so. This is a great spot to snap photos from, too!
The Eastern Point
The Eastern Point is right at the very tip of the observation deck. There’s space for one person to stand (or sit) here and get the ultimate photo against the stunning backdrop of the New York skyline. Getting a photo here is pretty much guaranteed to make everyone you know super jealous.
The view of the Empire State Building
One of our favorite things about the Edge was that we got an unobstructed view of the Empire State Building. It’s one of the most iconic buildings in the world, so being able to see it from such a high vantage point was really amazing.
We also went up the Empire State Building on our trip, but obviously you can’t see the building while you’re on top of it, so we’re really glad that we did the Edge as well. Getting a view of New York City with the Empire State Building in it was priceless.
8. Facilities at the Edge?
The Champagne Bar is on the 100th floor, which is the same level as the Edge. It’s inside, but you can take your drinks and light bites out onto the viewing platform if you wish. However, there are floor-to-ceiling windows indoors, so you’ll get amazing views either way!
There’s another, smaller bar outside on the Edge observation deck itself. As well as champagne, they offer seasonal drinks here. We went in the summer and they were offering frozen cocktails, like spicy mango margaritas!
The Peak Lounge is on the 101st floor of 30 Hudson Yard, and you can access it via an outdoor staircase. It opens from 11:30 am until 2 pm, and then again from 5 pm until 10 pm. It’s an indoor lounge with a huge drinks menu that includes over 700 wines, local craft beers (our favorite!), and creative cocktails.
They also claim to make the world’s best espresso martini, but we’ll let you be the judge of that.
You can also order main courses at the lounge, but you can’t do the set menu. In terms of price, you’re looking at around $25 – 40 USD dollars, and the menu options include beef tartare, steelhead trout, and roast chicken.
Like the Peak Lounge, the Peak Restaurant is upstairs from the Edge observation deck. It has the same open hours as the lounge, but you need to do the set menu rather than dining a la carte.
At lunch time, you’re looking at $71 USD for two courses or $85 for three, while at dinner the only option is the 3 course menu for $125 USD. This is pretty pricey, but you get spectacular views from up here and a dining reservation at Peak gets you free entry to the Edge observation platform. This only applies to the restaurant, though, not the lounge.
9. What is the City Climb?
The City Climb has to be one of the most adventurous activities on offer in New York City. You get to scale the outside of the skyscraper and visit the Apex viewpoint, which is 1,271 feet (387 meters) above the city. Basically, it’s an insane activity with insane views!
The Apex is actually the highest outdoor platform in New York City and City Climb is the world’s highest building ascent. So basically, if you’re going to scale a building anywhere in the world, it should probably be here.
And not only do you get to see incredible views of New York City from the Apex, your harness also allows you to lean over the edge – without the glass there this time! I’m getting an adrenaline rush just thinking about it.
The whole experience lasts for 2-3 hours, and there are some restrictions involved. You need to be at least 13 years old to participate and at least 4.9 ft tall (149 cm). You can’t be taller than 6.7 ft (207 cm), or weigh more than 310 lbs (140 kg). Under 18s also need to be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets for the City Climb cost $202 USD per person and you’ll need to book a time slot. You should book in advance because there’s a limit on how many people can do this in one day, and it’s understandably a very popular thing to do! Your ticket includes entry to the Edge Observation platform, too so it’s a good deal!
Why We Book Tours with Viator
Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:
- Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
- Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
- Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
- Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.
Check out the Viator website here!
10. How long do you need to visit the Edge?
We recommend allowing at least 2 hours to allow enough time to get up to the platform and take in the views. Make sure that you explore properly and walk around inside the building as well, as you can get a 360 view from indoors, too.
However, that’s a bare minimum. If you want to have food or drinks, then you’ll need to allow extra time. It’s also best to make reservations if you want to dine at the Peak Restaurant or have drinks at the Peak Lounge, but you don’t need them for the bars on the main floor.
11. Is the Edge NYC wheelchair friendly?
Yes, the Edge is completely wheelchair accessible. There are elevators and ramps, and a wheelchair accessible restroom as well. Service animals are also permitted, and if you need auxiliary aids, you can request them online or via the ticket office.
12. Is the Edge suitable for children?
Yes, it’s very family-friendly. Kids love the experience and definitely get a kick out of the glass floor! The elevator ride might be a little scary for them as it goes quite fast, but it’s over in less than a minute.
13. What is better, the Edge or Empire State Building?
Bailey and I went to the top of both the Empire State Building and the Edge, so we able to easily compare the two.
Both are amazing and totally worth doing. However, if you’re only going to do one, I would personally recommend the Empire State Building observation deck. It was my favorite of the two because the building is just so iconic and the exhibition about its history was really interesting.
However, I wanted to do both because when you visit the Empire State Building, you don’t get to see it in the skyline. It’s probably the most famous part of the New York City skyline and it’s such a beautiful, historic building, so it’s definitely worth going up the Edge to see it from up high.
Note: Bailey disagrees with me (Dan) and she actually preferred the Edge. She enjoyed the views more, especially the leaning glass walls! So, you might just need to do both yourself and make up your own opinion.
14. Are there any tours that visit the Edge?
Yes! Most sightseeing tours of New York focus on the Empire State Building but there are a couple of great ones which visit the Edge.
New York Tour of Culture
This walking tour of Midtown Manhattan is a fantastic way to experience one of New York City’s most iconic and interesting areas. You’ll visit so many highlights including Times Square, Madison Square Garden, Grand Central Station, and of course, the Edge!
There’s so much to see in New York that it can be quite overwhelming to do it all on your own, so it’s really nice to have a guide to show you around and make sure that you don’t miss any of midtown’s many highlights.
The tour costs $89 USD, and this price includes admission to the Edge, so we think it’s pretty good value for money. You’ll be able to learn a lot more about the history of Midtown Manhattan – including the recent development of Hudson Yard – and maybe glean a few local secrets, too!
The New York Tour
If a walking tour doesn’t sound like your style, this pedicab tour is such a fun way to see the city, and it’s a pretty unique experience, too!
And don’t worry, it’s an electrical pedicab, so your guide won’t be working too hard!
The tour focuses on Midtown, taking you to famous places like Times Square, the Empire State Building, and along Fifth Avenue. It also includes admission to the Edge, and you can always add additional stops if there’s somewhere nearby that piques your interest.
The tour costs $90 USD per person, including speakers for the pedicabs so you can listen to some tunes while you ride around, as well as blankets and rain covers – although, hopefully you won’t need them!
15. Is visiting the Edge worth it?
Yes, we loved our visit from start to finish. Even the elevator ride is a rush, thanks to all of the cool animations.
The Edge is really sleek and modern, and the views are just amazing, especially because you get a fantastic view of the Empire State Building. The glass floor was also a big highlight for us and it was actually really scary to set foot on it at first! This feature really sets the Edge apart from other observation decks in the city.
Other Things to do While You’re in New York City
As the biggest city in the USA, there is no shortage of things to do in New York! I mean you could spend weeks here and still not see a fraction of what the Big Apple has to offer. But if you only have a few days and want to see the highlights, these are other top attractions and activities we highly recommend checking out.
- Eat pizza! – New York was home to the first pizzeria in the US way back in the early 1900s and it’s still something this city is known for. I dare say the pizza here is legendary! Top pizza joints include John’s of Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, Prince Street Pizza in Nolita, and we also loved 2 Bros Pizza. You can even eat pizza (and lots of other treats!) on a food tour of Chelsea Market which is a foodie’s paradise!
- Visit Central Park – Likely you’ve seen this famous park in movies, so it’s a must while you’re here. Central Park is huge with great spots like a historic carousel, Belvedere Castle, and even a skating rink in the winter. Feel like you’re starring in a rom-com with this horse and carriage ride. It’s 45 minutes around Central Park and a fantastic way to cover more ground in style.
- Fly above NYC – Exploring on the ground is fun, but to truly appreciate the New York skyline, take to the air! Joining a helicopter flight in NYC gives you a front-row seat (or hopefully a window seat!) to all the iconic sights like the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. We chose this 15-minute helicopter flight that flew over Manhattan and it was a highlight, if not THE highlight of our whole trip!
- Cross the Brooklyn Bridge – New York can be expensive, but strolling over the Brooklyn Bridge is completely free! The views of the skyline are stellar and there are lots of vendors if you get hungry. We recommend walking all the way across to Brooklyn Bridge Park for the best views of Manhattan.
- Take a day trip – Not only is NYC full of fun, but it’s close to other amazing destinations you can visit for a day! Head to Washington, DC to check out the White House, try some amazing Philly Cheesesteak and see the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, or take a tour from New York to Niagara Falls.
Where to Stay in New York City
New York City is huge – there is just no other way to put it! Even Manhattan (the area you’ll want to base yourself in) is a lot bigger than you think. That’s why choosing the right hotel in the right location is so important during your stay in New York.
Below, we’ve simplified it all for you by choosing a couple of the very best hotels available in the city. All three of these options have ideal locations close to attractions and the subway system. They all have amazing reviews, too, so just choose the one in your budget category and you’ll be ready to pack your bags!
Motto by Hilton – $$$
Motto by Hilton is a gorgeous hotel located in the Chelsea neighborhood only 600 meters from the Flatiron Building. The hotel features modern decor that has “speakeasy vibes”. In fact, they have a beautiful bar onsite that looks like the perfect place to sip an Old Fashioned. There are a variety of rooms on offer including some that are a little more budget-friendly, and some that are pure luxury with city views! Prices start from about $400 USD per night plus tax.
TBA Times Square – $$
TBA Times Square is where we stayed the last time we visited New York, and honestly, we loved it! This hotel is the perfect combination of comfort and value for money. It was clean, modern, and our room had all of the amenities we needed for an enjoyable stay (air conditioning, k-cup coffee maker, steamer, large shower, big windows, etc). Plus, the location is ideal, it’s only a couple blocks from Times Square! Prices do range, but they do go as low as $200 USD per night plus tax depending on the time of year and day of the week.
Nap York Central Park Sleep Station – $
For those traveling on a tight budget, Nap York is a budget hostel that’s an ideal choice. Although affordable, this property is immaculate and offers a ton of amenities for a great stay including air conditioning and a shared kitchen. The rooms are modern and the location is about as central as it gets! This property only offers dorm rooms, but they are affordable at as little as $150 USD per night.
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
For one of the best vantage points in New York City, the Edge Observation deck is where you need to go! Honestly, we really enjoyed our time up there and we are confident that you will too.
Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other blogs about traveling in the USA, or some related reads below: