The One Vanderbilt is a skyscraper in midtown Manhattan that was completed in September 2019, and is now the 4th tallest building in New York City. The SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Observatory opened on 21 October 2021, to offer its visitors a viewing experience unique in the world.
Here's a sneak peek of what Summit One Vanderbilt has to offer, knowing that it could very well become one of New York's newest must-see attractions 😁
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt: more than just an observation platform
How would you like to see Midtown, Manhattan and more from a unique vantage point more than 300 metres above the ground? That's what this new observation platform atop the One Vanderbilt offers!
The Summit One Vanderbilt is part of the Air installation, created by Kenzo Digital.
Today, this installation offers unique experiences in 7 rooms, an outdoor space and even an outdoor lift. You will find 4 main attractions: the Air exhibition, the Ascent lifts, the Levitation glass boxes, and the Après bar.
- Air: this is the main indoor experience created by artist Kenzo Digital. You will discover 3 spaces in which you will live a real multi-sensorial experience. In the first two spaces, Transcendance, you will discover rooms filled with reflective surfaces, highlighting the New York skyline. As you move through the rooms, you will discover new perspectives at every turn! And in the final room, Affinity, you'll be able to interact with silver helium balloons – this will give you a whole new perspective! 😍
- Ascent is the name of the two lifts at Summit One Vanderbilt. Fully glazed and transparent (even the floor), they glide along the building and allow you to reach the terrace located at 364 metres high. These glass lifts are located on the outside of the building, along the wall, and provide a particularly impressive panoramic view during the entire ascent.
- Levitation is a thrill ride that allows visitors to sit in glass boxes that can move away from the building, giving the bravest visitors the feeling of floating in the void 324 metres above Madison Avenue.
- Afterwards is a bar where you can enjoy a cocktail or a light meal while taking in the spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. These drinks can be enjoyed on the SUMMIT Terrace, the large outdoor terrace atop the building. The terrace runs along the south and west sides of One Vanderbilt, and offers absolutely incredible views of New York City.
Summit One Vanderbilt is more than just a viewing platform, it is a large entertainment space that spans four floors and over 6,000 square metres. The mix of art, light and technology offers visitors an entirely new sensory experience that showcases the vastness of New York City more than ever before.
What is the view from the SUMMIT?
From the various vantage points of the One Vanderbilt, you'll be able to discover landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building in a whole new light.
Looking down, you will also see Times Square and Bryant Park. That’s the perfect opportunity to take original photos, playing with the reflections in the mirrors! 🤩
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt entrance fees
To enter the One Vanderbilt, you will need an admission ticket. These tickets are available online. You can also buy them on site, but I strongly recommend buying them online – they sell out really quickly and you may arrive at the venue only to hear that there’s no more tickets available!
When you buy your ticket, you will need to choose a date and time slot for your visit. You will have the choice between a daytime visit, or an evening visit at sunset. All in all, there are three experiences available, each with its own special features:
Gives access to
Adult day ticket prices
Children's day ticket prices
Adults and children evening ticket prices
Air exhibition + Levitation + Bar
(no access to the lifts)
(£47 for children)
SUMMIT Ultimate experience
Air exhibition + Levitation + Bar (with a cocktail)
+ glass lifts
SUMMIT Ascent experience
Air exhibition +
Levitation + Bar + glass lifts
Things to know before visiting the SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
If you want to experience this new attraction in New York, there are a few things you should know beforehand to make sure you fully enjoy the experience. There are also some rules to follow.
First of all, take your time during your visit! If you are curious, you will probably want to explore the rooms quickly then return to the ones you liked best afterwards and explore them more deeply. However, once you have passed from one floor to another, you will not be able to go back! So make sure to fully discover each and every room 😉
Another thing, remember to bring sunglasses 😎 The Summit One Vanderbilt's countless windows and reflective materials make it particularly bright during the day.
Dress appropriately. If you visit Summit One Vanderbilt, you will be walking through several floors – and on clear glass floors. Because the floors are transparent, some of the ceilings are transparent too! People below you will be able to see you by looking up, and those walking above you will only have to look down to see you. Moreover, some floors even have a mirror effect – so I'll let you guess why it's not necessarily advisable to wear a skirt or a deep neckline... 😅
Last thing: wear shoes with classic soles. Shoes with stiletto heels, boots with steel toe caps or any other type of shoe that could damage the floor surfaces are not allowed.
Drinks and snacks may only be consumed in the designated areas. They are not allowed in the outdoor areas.
Finally, children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
These hours are subject to change, but for now, Summit One Vanderbilt is open all days of the week from 9 am to 12 am – though it is sometimes closed on Tuesday. Best thing to do is to check the official website to make sure!
A good plan to visit New York City 🍏
If you want to spend time in Central Park and see some of New York's most iconic sites, I recommend the Central Park Pass. This pass combines your visit to the SUMMIT with a visit to the American Museum of Natural History! This will save you time and money on these two activities, as well as give you a great cultural experience in New York. Remember to book in advance so you don't miss out on this pass! 😉
How to get to the SUMMIT?
The SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is located at the intersection of Vanderbilt Avenue and 42nd Street, directly across from Grand Central Terminal. The entrance to the building is on the main concourse level of Grand Central, in the RuVanderbilt Passage.
You can get there via the New York City Underground by taking lines 4, 5, 6, 7 to Grand Central — 42nd Street.
The M1, M2, M3, M4, M101, M102, M103, Q32 and M42 buses also pass near One Vanderbilt.
What to do around the SUMMIT One Vanderbilt?
Located in the heart of Manhattan, take advantage of your visit to the SUMMIT to see other very famous sites around!
Visit the Empire State Building
This is of course a must-see in New York. You’ve got to plan a visit to the Empire State Building! I personally recommend going in the evening. Indeed, the view is breathtaking at sunset: the sky takes on a reddish-golden hue and the city sparkles with a thousand lights! 🤩
Different experiences are available, including a double admission ticket to go both during the day and at sunset, or a ticket with dinner at STATE Grill and Bar, the building's restaurant where you can eat a three-course menu. Tickets sell out really fast, so be sure to book early if you’re interested!
Spend some time in Grand Central Terminal
If you go visit the SUMMIT and happen to pass by Grand Central Terminal take the opportunity to visit the building – it is the largest train station in the world and certainly doesn’t disappoint! Between its shopping mall, its restaurants, its shops and even its magnificent starry ceiling, don't miss this place full of history 😉
If you want to learn more, why not discover the many secrets of this station during a guided tour with a local? Don't forget to book in advance! 👍
Enjoy a break in Byrant Park
If you're looking for a little break after your visit, why not swing by Bryant Park? You can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere while having a delicious snack on the terrace of a café. It may be one of the smallest parks in Manhattan, but it is extremely well located – you will be just a stone's throw from Times Square and the New York Library.
Discover Madame Tussauds' wax statues
You want to meet some stars on your trip to New York City? You can round off your day with a visit to Madame Tussauds, where you can see wax statues of the world's greatest stars. Of course, there is one in London, but the statues and collections are different and worth the visit!
Moreover, entrance to this museum is often included in city passes. You have to know that these passes can help you save on average up to 30% on your activities! There are 4 passes available today – take a look at my New York pass comparison article to know which one to go for! 😄
Do some shopping on 5th Avenue
You feel like ending your day with a little shopping surrounded by skyscrapers? It would be a shame not to go to 5th Avenue – one of the most famous avenues in the world. Whether you're looking for luxury boutiques or more affordable shops, you’re sure to find what you're looking for! Other than shopping, you will also see museums such as the MET, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and even the must-see St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, or the Flatiron Building.
We are coming to the end of this article! I hope you have enjoyed it, and that you now know more about the SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. Anyway, if you are still wondering what to do in New York City, you must go there at least once 😊