Oh the uniqueness of a New York City rooftop: in any other place, it would provide some of the best bird’s-eye views of a location. But in the Big Apple, rooftops soar above the streets while still standing in the shadows of steel sentinels, reflecting the city in all its glory. The diversity of the five boroughs will dazzle you at every altitude, and the coolest way to gaze upon this sky-high city is with a drink in hand at one of these amazing hotels with rooftop views in NYC – all bookable with Culture Trip.
This eco-friendly hotel proves that the best views of Manhattan’s skyline are not in Manhattan. Located just across the East River in Brooklyn Heights, the hotel’s Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge offers a dazzling panorama of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan skyscrapers – there’s also a stylish rooftop plunge pool. Enjoy classic cocktails and nibble on seasonal snacks such as edamame hummus or crispy noodle salad. The hotel is just as impressive inside, and it favors the local and the natural: recycled wood from the Coney Island boardwalk is used in the furnishings, lush foliage brings the outside into every room, and the Bamford Haybarn Spa uses all-natural products.
This Lower East Side boutique hotel is the perfect spot to see and be seen. Soak up the rock ‘n’ roll vibe among the hip clientele up on the terrace, while taking in the imposing architecture of the Financial District and soaring One World Trade Center just to the south. When darkness falls, the view is truly magical, as the city that never sleeps is illuminated by thousands of lights. Come morning, the rooftop itself is a welcoming space with plenty of lounge chairs for tanning, plus an indoor gym. And if it’s non-stop panoramas you’re after, the sensational Skybox Loft rooms feature floor-to-ceiling industrial windows with balconies for a private piece of paradise.
Just steps away from Bryant Park and many more stories up, the Refinery Rooftop bar puts you right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan’s urban jungle of skyscrapers, with an especially awe-inspiring perspective of the Empire State Building. The rustic-chic restaurant and bar – with lots of exposed brick, reclaimed wood and a retractable glass roof – features Jeff Haskell’s contemporary American menu, Cocktail Caddies (four servings of handcrafted cocktails), truffle fries and Jacques Torres bonbons.
Located in fashionable NoMad (North of Madison Square Park), the Arlo NoMad rooftop provides tantalizing, up-close views of the Empire State Building and surrounding skyscrapers from its buzzy, 31st-floor bar, A.R.T. NoMad (Arlo Roof Top). Take a stroll over the skywalk glass floor, sip craft cocktails (the Frosé is justly popular) and nibble Middle Eastern-inspired snacks while mingling with the youthful crowd. The hotel itself is known for its reasonably priced micro rooms, which feature floor-to-ceiling windows and artfully designed storage to maximize the space.
Perched on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, 11th-floor rooftop bar and lounge A.R.T. SoHo offers ravishing views of the Hudson River and the towers of Jersey City beyond. The Arlo rooftop’s spacious outdoor terrace also provides a vista of One World Trade Center and the visually arresting 56 Leonard in Tribeca – also known as the Jenga Building. The bar serves craft beer, a huge menu of cocktails and small plates, and has a great happy hour on weeknights.
On the edge of Manhattan’s Flatiron District, Broken Shaker rooftop bar tops art deco gem Freehand New York. From up here, the spires of Midtown punctuate the skyline to the north, and you’ll catch enchanting views of world-famous architectural landmarks including the Chrysler Building and the MetLife Tower. The bar has a beachy and slightly kitsch globetrotter theme, with lots of lush greenery and an abundance of rattan chairs and artworks from around the world. Stay for the handcrafted cocktails, DJ nights and drunk yoga (a 45-minute beginner-friendly yoga class with wine in-hand).
This modern boutique hotel stands in the hip Brooklyn enclave of Williamsburg. Offering truly hypnotic views of the whole Manhattan skyline – across the East River from Downtown to Midtown – it’s an especially captivating spot at night. The seasonal Rooftop & Pool stays open late, with daily rooftop yoga for those sun salutations, and lounge chairs for those who’d rather just bask in the rays. Higher still is the exclusive turret-shaped Water Tower Bar, fashioned from a former water tank, which boasts the same eye-popping views, plus craft cocktails and rare spirits; book ahead as it’s reservation only.
The ink may have dried on this 1930s printing press, but the hotel is now penning a new chapter within its iconic home. Up on the roof, the 16-story-high Press Lounge is no ordinary affair, granting you an amazing all-season view of Hell’s Kitchen. Indoor and outdoor 360-degree cityscapes extend to Union City’s skyline across the Hudson, as well as the legendary buildings paving the way to Midtown, such as the art deco Chrysler and Empire State. Order a cheese board and a glass of New York-made sauvignon by Gotham Project to really bottle the mood.
The 22nd-floor rooftop bar at the William Vale proves once again that the best views of the Big Apple are from Brooklyn. Make your way to Westlight to drink in 360-degree views of NYC and the cocktails that make New York nights come alive. Cozy up with a winter sunset and rare spirit or gaze at the East River while feasting on finger foods and playing cornhole in the summertime. Choose a room with a balcony to transport the views to your suite.
Nick Dauk contributed additional reporting.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.