The Edge is one of New York City’s newest observation decks found on the 100th floor of Hudson Yards in Midtown Manhattan. It features an outdoor viewing platform and a chance for thrill seekers to climb more than 1,200 ft above the ground. This observation deck is open everyday with tickets starting at $36 for adults.
In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know for visiting the Edge observatory including tips we learned during our trip.
Our NYC Experience
Kristen is a New York state native and we lived in NYC for a few months in 2021. We chose to move to the city so we could create the best possible content because you can’t just visit New York City for a weekend and claim to be an expert. Read more about us.
While we no longer live here, we still travel to the city every year because it’s one of the best places to travel in the USA. We’ve visited the Edge multiple times over the years. This is one of the newer decks in the city and our second favorite observation deck in New York.
What Is Edge?
Edge is the highest outdoor sky deck in the western hemisphere and the only one in New York City. Opened to the public on March 11th, 2020, this observatory sits 1,131 ft (345m) above the Manhattan skyline inside Hudson Yards.
This is one of the newer and more modern observation decks in NYC featuring sweeping views of both Midtown and Lower Manhattan. It’s a unique experience because the viewing platform seems to be suspended in mid-air so you’ll feel as if you’re floating among the clouds.
The main attraction is located on the 100th floor, but visitors can also visit the 101st floor or push the limits even further with Edge City Climb. In this experience, you’ll climb a staircase more than 1,200 ft to the crown of Hudson Yards so you can lean out over the edge (pun intended).
Dominating the western Manhattan skyline, the Edge sky deck is located inside of 30 Hudson Yards between W 30th and 33rd Streets on 10th Avenue. It’s open everyday from 10:00am to 9:00pm.
The easiest entrance to find is on Hudson Boulevard at The Public Square and Gardens. This is opposite the Vessel. Enter the Shops at Hudson Yards and head to the 4th floor in order to reach the main entrance for the observation deck.
- Address: 30 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001
- Location: Google Maps
You can get to the Edge in many different ways including subway, bus, train, ferry and car.
- Nearest subway: Take the train to 34th street and the 7 is the main line to Hudson Yards (lines A, C, E, 1, 2, and 3).
- Bus: M34-SBS, M12, and M11 all stop near Hudson Yards.
- Train: Penn Station is two blocks east between West 31st and West 33rd Streets and 7th and 8th Avenues. Use Amtrak, LIRR, New Jersey Transit or PATH.
- Ferry: Use the Midtown terminal at West 39th Street and the West Side Highway.
If you’re visiting with a car, there are multiple parking garages nearby but rates, availability and space may vary. You can also try Uber, Lyft or taxi but this might not be the most cost effective option.
Travel Tip: You can also walk the High Line to visit Edge. We did this and enjoyed the walk. Begin at the corner of Gansevoort St and Washington St in the Meatpacking District. You’ll end at the Vessel and Hudson Yards.
The Edge Tickets
You’ll need a ticket to visit Edge in NYC. There are three main ticket options with day, sunset and evening price categories. Ticket prices fluctuate by a few dollars throughout the day due to supply and demand with dynamic pricing and it will cost $10 more to visit at sunset.
The general admission ticket gives you access to the 100th and 101st floors. You’ll also receive a free digital souvenir photo, but you’ll have to select a date and time to visit at time of purchase.
Here are the three ticket options explained in detail:
- General Admission – Online tickets begin at $36 for adults and $31 for children (ages 6-12).
- Flex Pass – General Admission + Flexible arrival. Online tickets begin at $54 for adults and $49 for children (ages 6-12).
- Express Admission – General Admission + Flexible arrival + Priority elevator access and lanes. Online tickets begin at $81 for adults and $76 for children (ages 6-12).
The Annual Pass is a great option for local New Yorkers because you can come all year long at any time. It costs $99 per year and we wish this was available when we lived in the city!
City Climb is an additional add on with a hefty price of $185 per person. But it includes access to the observation deck and the chance to scale one of the tallest sky scrappers in New York. We discuss more about this later in our guide.
Travel Tip: Play around with the times for the best price. At the time of writing, a Friday visit at 10:00am, cost $37.00, 12:00pm cost $38.00, 4:00pm cost $49.00 and 8:00pm cost $37.00. A Saturday visit almost always cost more no matter what time of day you visit.
Where To Purchase Tickets
There are many ways to purchase Edge observation deck tickets. You can buy directly from the official website here or onsite at 30 Hudson Yards. You can also purchase an entry ticket through:
Travel Tip: If you book with the official website, you’ll pay an additional $3.64 tax. However, this is the only NY observation deck that doesn’t charge an extra processing fee. Click on the orange links to compare prices and reviews to see if you can beat it.
If you plan to visit several of New York City’s top attractions, we recommend purchasing an attraction pass. This will give you instant access to the most iconic museums, landmarks and observation decks at a discounted price.
Having used all of the NYC attraction passes ourselves when we lived here, we recommend the NY Sightseeing Pass because it’s extremely easy to use while offering both flexibility and big savings.
Edge at Hudson Yards is included with the NY Sightseeing Pass and we have an exclusive 5-10% discount just for our readers.
Want To Save Money In NYC?
Use the button below to claim 5-10% off any NY Sightseeing Pass.
You can also read our detailed NY attraction pass comparison to help you decide which New York pass you should purchase for your visit.
The Edge Walkthrough
At Edge, you’ll experience two observation decks. The outdoor viewing platform on the 100th floor and the indoor space on the 101st floor. Similar to Top of the Rock, this is not a one-way system so you can go between both levels as many times as you wish.
If you have a sunset ticket, you might want to think about where you want to watch the sun fall over Manhattan. We personally like the skyline steps, but there are a few other options.
In this next section, we’re going to give you a detailed walkthrough including the best things to do at Edge and exactly what you can expect.
1. Biodiversity Exhibit
Once you show your timed entry ticket or flexible ticket, you’ll be lead through security for quick bag check. We’ve never waited more than 15 minutes in this line because we avoided the peak season of summer. If this is when you plan to visit, the lines might be long so plan for extra time.
After security, you’ll be lead through a series of small exhibits. These don’t take long to see, but we do think they are worth your time. Most of the exhibits focus on energy and sustainability. There are some truly interesting infographics about green energy, how the building works and what happens with waste below ground.
2. Light Display
After making your way through the exhibits, you’ll walk through a hallway filled with cylindrical tubes putting on a dazzling display of lights, colors and patterns. It’s one of the stranger yet exciting displays.
Many people walk right through, but if you can time your shot well, this would be a great photo opportunity. But it’s dark so you’ll need to bump the ISO higher on your camera or use your phone.
3. Elevator Ride
Compared to other observatories in New York, the elevator at Edge is slightly better than average. It will transport you from the 4th to the 100th floor in 52 seconds. As the elevator climbs, you can watch a video showcasing the Hudson Yards exterior.
It feels as though you’re floating up into the sky and as you approach the 100th floor, the elevator speed changes slightly to give the effect that you’re floating and then landing on solid ground.
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4. 100th Floor
Once you make your way out of the elevator, you’ll arrive on the 100th floor. Most visitors make a beeline for the outdoor viewing platform. It offers an impressive view from the banks of the Hudson River across all of Manhattan, Statue of Liberty, New Jersey and even Central Park.
To the left, you’ll be able to see the Empire State Building from the Edge sky deck but the view is not as good as the view of this iconic building from Top of the Rock.
However, the views of Lower Manhattan are absolutely stunning here and you’ll struggle to find a similar view anywhere else in New York. You’ll be able to look directly down the Hudson River to One World Observatory and all of Manhattan. At sunset, all of the buildings illuminate and it’s pure magic.
Further Reading: What to do on a Central Park snow day
5. Eastern Point
As you take in the views from the sky deck, one of the most popular photo spots is against the famous frameless glass panels on the eastern section. There will probably be a very long line so you’ll know exactly where to go.
We think the Eastern Point is the most sought after photo location because visitors are completely surrounded by glass. At this spot, the angled walls come to a point and there is only enough space for one to two people.
6. Skyline Steps
Another great place to take in the views is the skyline steps because you can see the Manhattan skyline without the glass panels obstructing your sight. This is our favorite spot for sunset because you can see all of Manhattan as the sun sets directly behind it.
When we first visited in 2021, you had to purchase a snack or some champagne to sit on these steps. But now you can sit on this amphitheater style seating area for free. We think this is a much better use of the space and it’s also a great spot for people watching.
Photography Tip: There is a great photo opportunity for the Empire State Building from the skyline steps. Position yourself halfway down the stairs where the glass panels align. This will give you a clear line of sight with no glass panels to obstruct your view.
7. Glass Floor
Another major highlight is the glass triangular section of the floor. You’ll be able to see 100 floors down directly to the streets of Manhattan and it’s certainly not for the faint hearted.
Located near the Eastern Point, you’ll see people lying down or standing up to get a fun angle for their photo on the glass floor. If you have a fear of heights, you may want to skip this area. We could only spend a few seconds on this window before our stomachs got the best of us.
8. 101st Floor
If you need a break from the elements or you want to explore further, head inside towards the staircase near the elevators. This will take you to the 101st floor where you can find the Champagne Bar and Peak, a restaurant, bar and popular event space. If you want to eat here, you’ll need to reserve a table.
We like this floor because it has large floor to ceiling windows where you can see additional views of New York City. The outdoor platform is better, but if you’re visiting New York in winter, this is a good place to warm up.
9. Champagne Bar
In addition to Peak, you can also get a small snack or a fancy cocktail at the Champagne Bar. The location for this bar may differ due to inclement weather or planned events.
We also think the prices are a little too steep and we recommend you eat before you visit unless you have a reservation at the restaurant.
10. City Climb
Opened on November 9th, 2021, this experience suspends visitors 1,200 ft above the streets of Manhattan. After meeting your guide, you’ll strap in and climb the rail which will keep you safely attached to the side of building in a double clipped harness.
At the top, you can lean out to feel like the highest person in New York. This has become a popular activity in city and it will cost $185/person. However, there are no additional costs associated with times of the day unlike the general admission tickets.
Each visitor must meet the following restrictions in order to participate:
- Age: 13+
- Height: 4.9ft – 6.7ft
- Max Weight: 310 lbs (140kg, 22 stone)
- Not under the influence of alcohol
- No cameras are allowed and all photos will be taken by City Climb Staff
Travel Tip: We have not personally experienced City Climb because we couldn’t justify the price and we didn’t like that we couldn’t take our own photos. But if this is a once in a lifetime New York trip, you might want to consider this activity.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Edge in New York is about one hour before sunset. This is the perfect time of day because you’ll be able to see the skyline in the daytime, while the sun sets and at night. Golden hour also offers the softest light which will be easier on your eyes.
However, this is also the most expensive and busiest time of day to visit. If you want to avoid the crowds, we recommend you visit early in the morning or after the sun has set. There is no limit to how long you can stay at the observation deck so use this to your advantage.
We’ve visited Edge in the morning right at 10:00am, during sunset and at night. The morning and night times had less visitors which made for a better experience. If you visit mid-day, the sun will be high in the sky at its strongest which doesn’t make for good photos so we avoided this time.
There is something in the air at Edge because even though we’ve visited all of the observation decks in the city multiple times, this is the only one where we’ve seen numerous marriage proposals. We think this is the most romantic observatory and sunset is certainly the best times for couples.
Travel Tip: Stay until the sun has completely set. Everyone will disperse within a matter of minutes right after the sun goes down. But you’ll be able to take in the beautiful colors of the sky with minimal crowds. This will also avoid the mad dash to the elevator so you’ll avoid the long lines too.
Tips For Visiting
We’ve covered everything you need to know in this guide, but here are a few important tips:
- Purchase your tickets in advance – Visiting at sunset means you’ll have to purchase tickets online well in advance to secure your time slot. If you can’t get a sunset ticket, book a time slot slightly ahead of sunset and wait.
- Bad weather – If visibility is bad, the Sky Assurance Weather Guarantee allows you to rebook tickets for a new date.
- Prices vary – Edge uses dynamic prices based off demand. Play around with the times to secure the best deal.
- Bring a jacket – This is an outdoor viewing platform so if you visit in the colder months, you’ll need a jacket to stay comfortable.
- Don’t expect a good hair day – Because you’re suspended 100 floors in the air on an open platform, it can be very windy. Bring a hat or wear your long hair up to avoid the wind.
- Take a yoga class – This is a 45 minutes yoga class on the outdoor sky deck beginning at 6:30am. Tickets cost $70 and can be booked here.
- How to get the best photos – Use a polarizing filter to reduce or remove glare and don’t use flash. You can take photos between the glass walls, but it will take a little maneuvering. Clean the window prior to shooting by wiping off any smudge marks and shoot as straight as possible.
- No tripods allowed – You’ll have to get creative when finding a solid platform for your long exposures if you stay to take photos at night.
Travel Tip: The average visit lasts about 45 minutes so this is observation deck can be visited in under one hour if you’re short on time.
Pros And Cons
We personally enjoyed our visit to this observation deck, but there were a few negatives to visiting too. Here are a few pros and cons to help sway your decision:
- Highest outdoor sky deck in New York and the western hemisphere
- The view is beautiful especially at sunset
- The entire experience felt clean, finessed and polished
- Most interesting and unique design with both indoor and outdoor viewing platforms
- Sweeping views of Midtown and Lower Manhattan along with the Hudson River and New Jersey
- One of the most Instagrammable and best observation decks for photography
- It’s possible to get unobstructed photos without glass panels on the staircase steps
- One of the cheaper observation decks in the city
- City climb offers the highest outdoor point you can visit in NYC
- Crowds will be a common source of frustration, particularly when trying to get the highly sought after photo in the eastern point
- Snacks, champagne and other cocktails are overpriced for what you get
- Timed entry tickets for sunset tickets can sell out extremely quickly
- Many landmarks are partially obstructed or far away like the Empire State Building which is not in direct line of sight from Edge
- The glass panels on the deck can severely limit image quality if you’re going for that perfect instagram photo
We like this observation deck because it’s sleek, modern, elegant and offers a unique panoramic perspective over the NYC skyline. Between the outdoor viewing platform and the City Climb, this is truly a unique experience.
So is the Edge at Hudson Yards worth it?
Yes, Edge is worth it because this is the highest outdoor sky deck in New York. According to TripAdvisor, the observatory is consistently rated a 3.5/5.0 with various reviews. We don’t agree with this rating and think it deserves a higher rating around a 4.5.
One of the best parts about visiting Edge is the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan view. We like being able to watch the sunset over Manhattan, the Empire State Building and One World Observatory. At night, this is one of the best places to see the city come alive.
This is our second favorite observation deck in the city, but one of the biggest complaints is the large crowds because the outdoor viewing platform is not that big. If you’re visiting in summer, it will be extremely busy and this might not be your best choice.
Another thing to note is the outdoor sky deck may close in bad weather such as high winds and thunderstorms. The Sky Assurance Weather Guarantee allows you to rebook for another date, but this might hurt your New York itinerary.
Edge At Hudson Yards Photos
We took many photos at this observation deck because it was such an amazing experience. Here are a few of our favorite images to inspire your visit:
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We hope this guide to the Edge Observatory helps with planning your visit to New York’s highest outdoor sky deck!
Please let us know if you have any questions about this observation deck or New York City in the comments below.
Mark and Kristen
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Mark and Kristen Morgan are travel, hiking and photography experts. Over the last 6 years traveling full time, they have explored more than 40 countries and 30 US states.
Where Are Those Morgans has been featured in USA Today, Gestalten, Get Your Guide, CityPASS and Condé Nast Traveler along with various other publications. Read more about us.