New York City is full of skyscrapers, and on top of every skyscraper there is a rooftop. Parties at rooftop bars in NYC have become the city’s most quintessential outdoor experience. You don’t truly visit New York until you’ve had a crisp glass of champagne 20 stories above the street, while you admire the never-ending glow of the most famous skyline in the world.
The best part is that, though the view never changes, the experience is vastly different from every angle. Whether you’re on the roof of a warehouse nightclub in Brooklyn on a Sunday afternoon, or looking down over the Hudson River from the top of your five-star hotel in the Meatpacking District, the view just never gets old.
With so many to choose from, picking the best ones can seem daunting. From rooftop beer gardens to pool parties, these are three rooftops in the city you don’t want to miss.
The McKittrick Hotel is well known in NYC for many things, but most notably for their flagship show, Sleep No More. One step inside the building and you’ll be lost, as the layout of the McKittrick more resembles that of a labyrinth than a navigable hotel. But if you find your way to the roof, that’s where the real treasure lies. Gallow Green is a casual, wood-paneled rooftop bar beset with endless shrubbery and dim lights. It’s closer to a beer garden than other rooftop bars in NYC, which are often more on the swanky side, so you’re sure to feel comfortable in an atmosphere conducive to talking the night away with your companions. Gallow Green is an NYC institution, so if it’s warm in the city, you definitely don’t want to miss this outdoor experience.
Gansevoort Park Rooftop
Just a couple of blocks up from Madison Square Park, the Gansevoort Park Ave hotel is one of the city’s finest accommodation options, and their rooftop, as you can imagine, matches the rest of it. This tri-level rooftop sanctuary is not just one bar, but six different venues, each with an impeccable view of New York City’s most famous skyscraper, the Empire State Building. At the Gansevoort Park Rooftop, you’ll find everything from a rooftop pool to a swanky cocktail bar to a beach-inspired sun deck to a private room reserved only for A-listers (just to name a few). One of the best rooftop bars in NYC, Gansevoort Park Rooftop is definitely worth your Saturday evening and, since they’re open until 4 a.m., maybe even your Sunday morning.
Top of the Standard and Le Bain
A step inside The Standard Hotel is like a step outside of New York City. Swarming with beautiful people and built with clean, modern lines, this venue is bustling from the ground floor to the very top. Take the glass elevator to the summit and you’ll find two venues, The Top of the Standard and the penthouse nightclub Le Bain. Visit the ever-swanky Top for a cocktail at sunset while smooth jazz plays in the background, and later graduate to the more lively Le Bain, one of the city’s hottest nightspots with a pool in the middle of the dance floor.