Viewing Cities From Above: A New Perspective - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  


Viewing Cities From Above: A New Perspective

Photo illustrating International Travel - General Travel
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 12/17/2009
  



PassPorter.com > Articles > International Travel > General Travel  

I don't know about you, but I love to visit cities around the world. To me, they've all got their own charms and all have wonderful and unique sights to visit. However, some cities are so huge and sprawling that you just can't grasp their sheer size from ground level and perhaps that's why, given a chance, I love to head upwards to see cities from above.


One of the best cities to view from above has to be New York City and there are two main options for getting up high to see the Big Apple. The most well known and probably best loved is the Empire State Building, where you're whisked up to the 86th floor in a matter of seconds for a view across Manhattan and beyond. It's not a cheap experience though, now setting you back $18.45/adults, $16.61/seniors and $12.92/children, plus tax. It's also not a quick visit, with lengthy lines awaiting you, particularly at busier times of the year. To get around that, you can now buy tickets that bypass the queues for a very substantial flat fee of $41.52 plus tax for everyone, but it does make for a pricey excursion. You'll get some wonderful views of Manhattan and particularly down towards the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. Despite the high prices and long waits, it is something that every visitor to New York should do at least once. It's almost guaranteed that when you return home, people will ask you if you saw the Statue of Liberty and went up to the top of the Empire State Building.

If you make a return visit to the city though, you may want to consider another option for viewing the city, 30 Rockefeller Plaza also offers some superb views from their three-level viewing platform located between the 67th and 70th floors, which is called Top of the Rock. You'll find that you'll probably be whisked up there much more quickly than at the Empire State Building, but you'll also find that you pay for that privilege, with tickets coming in at $21/adults, $19/seniors and $14/children. If you want to visit at sunset or sunrise, tickets will set you back $30 or $15/children.

London - Houses of Parliament photo
London - Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament in London, as seen from the London Eye. - photo by chezp

What we loved from the views up there was that we could actually see the Empire State Building, one of the city's biggest landmarks, and we could also see Central Park. It's only from up here that you can see the huge scale of this park, enveloping a massive area of Manhattan.

Another option in the city is now to climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty. Closed for many years because of security fears, the crown re-opened on July 4, 2009, and for those who are fit and aren't afraid of small spaces, the view from the top is well worth the climb. It is 354 steps to the top and the last few especially are pretty cramped, but to me, when I did it, it was well worthwhile to be able to gaze across to the famous skyline of Manhattan.

Turning to another of the world's most famous cities, if you want to see London from above, you have a couple of different options. Perhaps the easiest ride is on the London Eye, which offers a 35 minute "flight" in one of the 32 capsules for £17.50/adults and £8.75/children. As with the Empire State Building, you can pay extra to avoid waiting in line, although we've only found the waits to be long during the summer months. From there, you get some superb views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, just across the River Thames, Buckingham Palace and many other London landmarks, including St. Paul's Cathedral and the city of London with its distinctive skyscrapers.<br><br>

Further along the River Thames, a more active option is to climb up to the Whispering Gallery, Stone Gallery or even Gold Gallery at St. Paul's Cathedral. Be warned, this is not something for the faint hearted! There are 259 steps to the Whispering Gallery, which looks down at the cathedral below, and you will feel every one of them. I've made this climb on a couple of occasions and each time, I've found it more exhausting than I remembered.

Climb another 100 plus steps and you'll get to the Stone Gallery and the views over London will soon make you forget the exertion to get here, with Tower Bridge, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and the River Thames just some of the sights nearby. The cathedral is located right in the middle of the city. Admission to St. Paul's Cathedral is £11/adults, £10/seniors, £8.50/students and £3.50/children. St. Paul's is open from Mondays to Saturdays, with church services taking place on Sundays.

Head across the Channel to France and the one monument that always comes to mind whenever anyone mentions Paris is, of course, the Eiffel Tower and, just like the Empire State Building, it's something that you have to visit on your first time in the city. The lines here can be hideously long and there's no way of buying your tickets in advance, unless you visit as part of a group on a tour package. Once you have purchased your tickets (€8-13/adults and €6.60-9.40/children, depending which level you go up to), then you get a range of different views, with elevators taking you up to first to the second floor, then to the top floor, if you choose to pay extra. The views from each level are different and it's amazing how much things change, the further you get from ground level.

Paris is literally littered with other places where you can get a bird's eye view of Paris. A unique place is the Arc de Triomphe (Ed: There is currently an error when you try to access the English version of this web site), where you can see all the different roads converging on the arc like a huge star. Seeing the road network like that beneath you is quite something. There's no charge here for children under 18 or for those who are under 26 and EU residents, but for others, the charge is €9 or €5.50 reduced rate.

On a recent trip, we also discovered the Montparnasse Tower, which gave us some beautiful views of the city, and most importantly the Eiffel Tower. If you ever want to go up after dark, make sure you pick a building where you can see the Eiffel Tower, as it puts on a stunning light display every hour after dark and you'll miss that if you're standing on the tower itself. Admission is €10.50/adults, €7.50/students and €4.50/children.

There are many more cities with many more above ground viewing areas, such as the Peak in Hong Kong, Sears Tower or the John Hancock Tower in Chicago, Tokyo Tower in the Japanese capital, the Skywalk Observatory at Boston's Prudential Tower and even the hills that overlook beautiful Florence in Italy. Almost every city in the world offers one way or another of getting above the city, so you can really see it sprawl beneath you. Provided you have a head for heights, then it's something that's well worth seeking out anywhere you go.


Paris - Eiffel Tower photo
Paris - Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower on a beautiful spring day. - photo by chezp




About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!


Recent International Travel Articles:
Bistro Chez Remy at Disneyland Paris - A Disneyland Paris Dining Review last updated 01-15-2015
Ratatouille at Disneyland Paris - A Disneyland Paris Attraction Review last updated 01-08-2015
The Holidays at Disneyland Paris - A Disneyland Paris Review last updated 12-25-2014
One Night in Venice, Italy - A Disney Cruise Line Port Review last updated 10-02-2014
Hong Kong Disneyland - A Disney Parks Review last updated 05-22-2014

More Related Links:
 
Serendipity 3 in New York City - A Dining Review last updated 12/29/2008
Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates - A New Year In A New Disney Park last updated 12/18/2008
Valencia, Spain - Travel Tips last updated 11/27/2008
Bellagio of Las Vegas - Simply Bellissimo! last updated 1/08/2009
Hever Castle - Kent, England last updated 1/15/2009




Reader Comments:


View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 12/17/2009 - Article #398 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by CruisingCo.com


Alaska cruise, cruise and land, or explore on our own?
by Ann2
13 Apr 2015 at 8:32pm
In the beginning of planning Alaskan vacation, and finding this research more overwhelming than my usual planning. I'm trying to determine if going...
(click title above to view replies)

Adventures By Disney Mail Indicates Special Announcement April 14--"A Whole N...
by toddjodybrent
7 Apr 2015 at 8:51pm
Had some Adventures by Disney mail arrive today with information about a "surprise" being announced on April 14 about a "whole new way to travel."...
(click title above to view replies)

DL Hong Kong-advice needed
by jeebugs
5 Apr 2015 at 4:22pm
Anyone have any advice on these things or any other things we need to know?- DH and I are traveling to China in about a week and I have...
(click title above to view replies)

cruising out of nyc
by skateycat
4 Apr 2015 at 8:28am
this will not be a disney cruise, but who better to ask about general travel plans? hubby and i will be sailing out of nyc this october. will...
(click title above to view replies)

Tokyo Disney Questions...
by Meggera
31 Mar 2015 at 9:42am
HEY PASSPORTERS!!! I haven't posted on here in a few...years. Our family dynamics have changed quite a bit since I posted last. I'll have to tell...
(click title above to view replies)

Train excursions American and Canadian?
by Pris
21 Mar 2015 at 9:54pm
I've been doing a little exploring the excursions offered by Amtrak and by the Canadian Railway. I'm particularly interested in the Pacific...
(click title above to view replies)

Disney's Hilton Head Resort
by KathyL
21 Mar 2015 at 8:31pm
DH and I are considering taking a trip to Disney's Hilton Head Resort in late October. For anyone who has been there, what can you tell me about the...
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 5349


PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.