New York City 's impressive skyline is famous throughout the world. It is instantly recognizable, no matter where you're from. Majestic in its grandeur, the Big Apple boasts one of the most breathtaking skylines on the planet. In sheer quantity of buildings alone, it is almost unmatched, second only to Hong Kong. It boasts nearly 6,500 high rises of at least 115 feet. Of those, it ranks first in the nation in number of skyscrapers (defined as at least 500 feet tall) at a count of 241, more than double any other city in the U.S. Nearly half of those skyscrapers stand taller than 600 feet. The vast majority of these magnificent buildings reside in the island of Manhattan, the hub of New York City's architectural dominance.
At night, the silhouette of the city's skyline makes for a strikingly beautiful backdrop that lights up the sky for what seems to stretch for an eternity. The ever-so-familiar view of the city's skyscrapers has become synonymous with the city itself, forming one of the most stunning landscapes in the country, while being imposing in its colossal nature. Here are 25 beautiful photos of New York City's awe-inspiring skyline.
25 Aerial View of All of Manhattan's Impressive Landscape
This shot doesn't necessarily give you a good view of any one of New York's famous buildings. Instead, it provides a fascinating glimpse into the number of buildings that call The Big Apple their home, more specifically, the island of Manhattan.
As can be clearly seen from this stunning aerial image, the entire length of Manhattan is covered in skyscrapers, all the way from Lower Manhattan on the southern end of the island, where the Freedom Tower's length pokes out above the rest, all the way towards the northern end of Central Park, where The Upper East Side and Upper West Side are full of high end residential buildings.
24 Lower Manhattan Punctuated by The World Trade Center's Majestic Freedom Tower
This beautiful image of Lower Manhattan, also known as Downtown NYC, is punctuated by the World Trade Center Complex. With 5 buildings scheduled to make up the complex, 3 of which are already completed, they boast an impressive size, beefing up downtown's skyline, replacing the emptiness that was once there after the 9/11 attacks.
The Freedom Tower, the tallest skyscraper, not only in the city, but in the entire western hemisphere, soars into the sky at 1,776 feet. It is a symbolic length, representing the year of our country's independence.
23 The Empire State Building Towering Above The City
The most well-known building in the city, maybe even in the entire United States, is still a sight to behold. With its massive size at 1,454 feet, it is the 3rd tallest in New York City and the 5th tallest in the country. Although long passed as the tallest tower in the city, it is still New York's most beloved and recognizable. Appearing in countless films, the Empire State Building's distinct Art Deco style architecture makes it beautiful and imposing. On any given night, it is lit up in different colors, often commemorating significant events taking place throughout the world.
22 Sunset of the Brooklyn Bridge with Lower Manhattan in the Backdrop
One of the most visited landmarks in a city full of famous locations, the Brooklyn Bridge has withstood the test of time. Its impressive length of over 1 mile spans over the East River, connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Still as graceful as ever, this photo capture New York's most famous bridge in the foreground, while Lower Manhattan's silhouette appears in the backdrop. The sunset makes for the perfect setting for anyone taking an evening stroll. This view is often the most sought after tourist photo because of its undeniable beauty.
21 Times Square's Lights Form a Dizzying, Yet Captivating Illumination
The City That Never Sleeps likely got its nickname because of Times Square. One of the most famous and visited landmarks in all of New York, it is always full of life, no matter the time of day or night.
Times Square's lights make for a dazzling display of chaos, all while still being captivating in its bright glamor. With its buildings lined up with giant advertising screens lighting up over 10 blocks, it is one of the most visited landmarks in the world, with over 50 million annual visitors. It's no wonder it has come to be known as "The Center of the Universe".
20 Midtown's Famous Rockefeller Center Soars Above The Rest
Located in the heart of Manhattan, at the center of midtown, only a few blocks from Times Square and Central Park, the Rockefeller Center is one of the city's most treasured landmarks. As the home of NBC Studios, it's the filming headquarters for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Saturday Night Live. It was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller during the Great Depression and its construction was an effort to boost the city's morale.
Today, it is home to New York's most famous Christmas tree during the holidays and gives New Yorkers and tourists unmatched views of the entire city from its observation deck because of its location and size.
19 Bird's Eye View of Central Park's Massive Size
Central Park is New York City's most famous park, home to countless film scenes in cinema history. At nearly 850 acres, it takes up almost 10% of all of Manhattan's size. Seen from the sky, this photo highlights its impressive size flanked by midtown's skyscrapers all around.
Famous for its perfectly rectangular shape and bountiful activities, Central Park is visited by over 40 million people a year. With more activities to do than you can count, the park is a never ending berth of fun, but is also one of the most breathtaking locations in the city with its idyllic and gorgeous landscapes.
18 Stunning Nighttime View of Midtown Manhattan
New York is full of many buildings and no other place in the city has more stretching into the sky than midtown Manhattan. Home to more buildings of over 600 feet tall than anywhere else in the country, midtown lights up the sky with stunning elegance.
This shot of midtown at night includes some of the Big Apple's most famous towers which include the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center and Times Square, to name just a few.
17 Aerial Shot of Yankee Stadium Lighting Up The Nighttime Sky
In this aerial shot of the nighttime sky over New York City, the famous Yankee Stadium can be seen glowing from the Bronx. Located north of Manhattan Island, Yankee Stadium lights up the sky in this beautiful shot.
Home to the city's most beloved sports team, the New York Yankees, fans from around the world sell out the stadium on a nightly basis, traveling from all boroughs of the city to watch them play.
16 The George Washington Bridge's Monumental Beauty with the NYC Skyline in the Backdrop
The George Washington Bridge, one of the city's lesser known, often overlooked by its more famous sister, the Brooklyn Bridge, stands tall in this stunning shot with Manhattan's skyline in the backdrop.
Standing hundreds of feet in the air and spanning nearly a mile, the George Washington Bridge connects the state of New Jersey to New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood. Amazingly, it carries over 103 million vehicles per year between the 2 cities, making it the most used bridge in the world.
15 Stunning Nighttime View From Top of the Rock
This magnificent view of New York's most famous buildings glowing in the setting sun, as night takes over was taken from Top of the Rock (the observation deck from Rockefeller Center). With the best view of the city, this image is facing toward the southern part of the city looking to Lower Manhattan.
In your line of sight stands the Empire State Building and even further south, the World Trade Center's Freedom Tower. If you look closely, in the Hudson River, to the right of the Freedom Tower, stands the Statue of Liberty off in the distance. Although barely visible, because of its distance, her seemingly small stature is a testament to the size of the city's colossal skyscrapers.
14 The Statue of Liberty Elegantly Poised Accentuated By Lower Manhattan's Skyline
Speaking of the Statue of Liberty, although modest in size compared to New York's monumental towers, she still stands 305 feet. One of the country's most famous landmarks, once known for welcoming the city's migrants from around the globe, today she is a reminder of New York's diversity and American pride.
As beautiful as any monument ever constructed, the statue stands tall in New York Harbor, making for one of the most stunning shots any photographer can take.
13 View of The Charming Flat Iron Building
This elegant shot from the Empire State Building highlights one of New York's most historic and charming buildings. Known for its peculiar, triangular shape, it came to be known as the Flatiron. Once one of the tallest buildings in the city at the time of its completion in the early 1900's, its appeal has withstood over a century.
In this photo, its location emphasizes its significance in the city, where its corner shape separates into two of New York's most trafficked streets, Broadway and Fifth Avenue.
12 The Chrysler Building's Beauty Overwhelming The Night Sky
Much like its taller sister, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building also boasts an Art Deco Style, making them very similar in appearance. Although not as imposing because of its more narrow girth, the Chrysler Building is still New York's 6th tallest tower at an impressive height of 1,046 feet.
Once the tallest building in the world after its completion, passing Paris' Eiffel Tower, it is famously known for its beautiful spire, highlighted in this nighttime photo.
11 The City's Lights Stretch for Miles Punctuated by Times Square and Downtown
Fewer images are more magnificent than a nighttime aerial view of New York City's lights stretching into the heavens. In this gorgeous shot, all of Manhattan Island can be seen from tip to tip, including the Bronx, north of the island.
In the southernmost part of the island, in Lower Manhattan, the World Trade Center complex and the surrounding buildings are clearly visible with Freedom Tower making its mark on the skyline. Further north in midtown Manhattan, the overwhelming lights from Town Square brighten the city's already lit up sky. Still further north, Central Park's patch of greenery can be seen in the distance with Yankee Stadium's glow across the river in the Bronx.
10 This Magnificent Sunset Over Manhattan
On the exact opposite end of the spectrum of the previous picture, this shot shows all of Manhattan from the other side of the city, starting at the north near Central Park. Moving further south, Midtown and Lower Manhattan's skyscrapers in the distant make for a captivating view.
Central Park's beauty is magnified by the setting sun over New York City in this magnificent photograph. To the left and right of the park are Upper West Side and Upper East Side, full of residential towers, home to the city’s more prominent citizens.
9 New York City's Size is Accentuated from This Photo Taken From The Heavens
A bird's eye nighttime view from nearly as high as space offers a stark testament to the magnitude of New York's metro area. In this exquisite photo from high in the sky, the island of Manhattan can be seen clearly. To the north are the lights from the Bronx in the distance. To the right across the East River, part of Brooklyn and Queens can be seen with their many bridges connecting them to the city. To the left across the Hudson River, New Jersey's busy glow is in sight as well.
8 Lower Manhattan's Magnficent Glow From Above
Another picture highlighting the city's bright lights in darkness, stunningly capture downtown New York City. The city's glow of brilliant lights emphasizes its busy night life and frenetic pace. With lights that never dim, New York earns its moniker, The City That Never Sleeps, even in the "more tame" business and financial districts of Lower Manhattan.
7 The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island
One of the lesser known bridges in the city, the Verrazano Bridge is New York's longest. With a span stretching over 2.5 miles long and a height topping out at 650 feet, it is massive in size. In fact, it is the longest bridge in the country, even surpassing the more well-known Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Connecting the southern end of Brooklyn to the borough of Staten Island, the Verrazano Bridge, is often left out of New York's infamous pop culture lore, despite having one of the highest volumes of traffic in the country. It is simply too far from the mainland to be remembered as often as its smaller peers.
6 Central Park's Stunning Autumn Beauty
In this stunning aerial view of Central Park from midtown facing northwest, its beauty in the fall time is evident. Famous for its sprawling nature in a city so full of brick and steel, Central Park becomes an oasis of peace unto itself.
In this remarkable contrast between nature and concrete, Central Park's plentiful trees in autumn colors sit side by side with the Upper West Side's perfect linear row of imposing towers.
5 The Lesser Known Brooklyn Also Offers Impressive High Rises
Although not typically known for buildings that tower into the sky, Brooklyn still has more than its fair share of buildings. With the vast majority of them not considered skyscrapers, there are still hundreds of buildings, most of them dedicated to residential use, housing nearly 2.7 million residents.
Still home to more than 40 high rises reaching taller than 300 feet, Brooklyn boasts a formidable skyline with Manhattan's ever-impressive towers in the background.
4 Sprawling Views of the City From the Bronx
The Bronx, not well known for its tall buildings, similar to Brooklyn, can be seen from this image. In the foreground, the Bronx's array of buildings are overshadowed by Manhattan's impressive skyline to the south.
To the left of the image, one of the more remarkable architectural feats, are the many bridges that connect it to the island of Manhattan. It is through these numerous bridges that the Bronx’s residents travel in and out of Manhattan.
3 The World Famous Madison Square Garden Sits At The Center of Midtown
Home to many of New York's sports team, but more famously known for the New York Knicks, Madison Square Garden rests in busy midtown Manhattan blocks away from the Empire State Building. With little parking for a venue that seats nearly 20,000 fans, most of its visitors travel by train, taxi, or simply walk.
Featured in countless movies and TV shows, Madison Square Garden is often considered the mecca of sports venues in the country. Known to sports fans as “The Garden”, it has been the highlight of many lasting sports memories.
2 Sunrise From The Queensboro Bridge
This captivating shot features the imposing steel of The Queensboro Bridge in the setting sun with midtown Manhattan serving as a stunning backdrop. At nearly 1,200 feet long, over 170,00 residents traverse the bridge daily, traveling from the borough of Queens into the Upper East Side of Manhattan, only blocks away from Central Park.
Featured in many films like the Dark Knight Rises, the bridge offers one of the most impressive panoramic views of Manhattan. Those crossing over get unobstructed views of Manhattan’s entire skyline.
1 432 Park Avenue Towers Above All Other Skyscrapers
Named after its street address, located at 432 Park Avenue, this tower stretches into the nighttime sky in this striking photo. At nearly 1,400 feet tall, it is the 2nd tallest skyscraper in the city. It is actually the tallest if you eliminate the Freedom Tower’s spire, making it higher when only accounting for the height of the rooftop.
Impressive in its height, 432 Park Avenue is also famously known for its slenderness, making it appear to stretch even higher into the sky. This stunning shot of it towering above all of Manhattan’s skyscrapers highlight its beauty and majestic nature.