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Is The Edge in New York worth the money?

Sunset view at The Edge in New York

For most first-time visitors to New York, a trip to one of the observation decks is a must. They offer amazing views over the city. But they’re not cheap! And how do you decide which one is the best? On our last trip to New York we did The Edge, New York’s newest observation decks, in Hudson Yards – and the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western hemisphere. But was The Edge in New York worth the money?

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The Edge versus other observation decks

On one of our first visits to New York we did Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center – and it was great. At 70 floors it’s certainly not the highest but you do get panoramic views and there are both indoor and outdoor observation decks. Plus, it’s really iconic!

We’ve not done the Empire State Building observatory, mainly because we wanted to see it from another observation deck, given it’s one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. Their outdoor observation deck is at 86 floors so is higher up than Top of the Rock. Their indoor observation deck is at 103 floors so is slightly higher up than The Edge – however The Edge is outdoors at 100 floors. And yes, you have an amazing view of The Empire State Building from The Edge!

Kirsty stands in front of the New York skyline from The Edge observation deck

How much does The Edge cost?

How much The Edge costs will depend on when you read this but at the time of publishing this post, the cheapest tickets are $36 per person for 13 years and over, $31 for children under 13 and $34 for seniors aged 62 and over. We booked our tickets to The Edge through Booking.com and it was about 30% cheaper than buying on their own website.

What’s the best time to book The Edge?

The Edge is open from 10 am until 9 pm so you’ll never be able to visit for sunrise. On a clear day, the absolute best time to visit is for sunset, but of course it means it’s very busy. What time sunset is will depend on what time of the year you visit. Helpfully The Edge has the time of sunset on their homepage. Or just consult a weather app!

We visited in early January and sunset was at around 4:30 pm so I booked the 4 pm time slot. We actually only got on to the observation deck at around 4:40 pm but it was in time for sunset. The light at that time of day was absolutely INCREDIBLE.

Sunset at The Edge in New York

What to expect when you visit The Edge

The entrance to The Edge is located on the 4th floor of the shopping centre at Hudson Yards. They are very strict about your entry time so there is absolutely no point in arriving early. Just arrive at the time stated on your ticket because they will just turn you away if you’re early.

As we chose 4 pm to see the sunset it was very busy. It took around 40 minutes just to get to the observation deck! I don’t know if it would be quicker at other times of the day but factor in at least 40 minutes to actually get up to the deck. It also doesn’t help that there are only two lifts…

One thing that I personally found quite challenging was that there were absolutely no windows at all from when you queue until you get to the deck. It felt a bit claustrophobic to me. There was also never any indication of how far you were from the lifts. At times it felt never ending! I feel like they should install digital displays that give you an estimated time, at whatever point you’re currently at, until you reach the deck.

There was only one part where there was actually something to watch, which was a digital display of the building of Hudson Yards and its history. It was quite interesting. I wish there had been more things to see whilst you wait, to help pass the time.

Installation of Hudson Yards being built at The Edge

The view from The Edge

Once you actually get up to The Edge there’s a fairly big indoor space, which has a bar where you can buy drinks – including champagne. There was also a small ice rink when we visited, but I’m not sure if it’s there all year round.

The view was spectacular! The light at that time, and because it was such a clear day (not a cloud in the sky) it made the 40 minutes worth it. BUT…. it was really busy. You had to wait your turn to get a decent photo without having a million people in your photo.

There’s also tiered seating where you can sit and admire the view. At the top of the stairs there is also a rather small terrace. As you can see, it was very crowded!

View from above of The Edge observation deck in New York

Is The Edge worth the money?

With my discount of just under $53 – around £42 – I think it is worth the money. Even if you pay full price it’s almost half the cost of The Empire State Building and also cheaper than Top of the Rock.

I absolutely hated the waiting time to actually get on to the deck but once I was there it was great – even with the crowds.

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Is The Edge in New York worth the money

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.

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