Dreamt up by Central Park landscape designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Belvedere Castle is a turreted, Victorian-era landmark that sits atop Vista Rock, the second-highest point in Central Park. From its perch, the castle offers some of the best views of the Great Lawn and the wooded Ramble.
Belvedere Castle serves as a scenic lookout for park visitors. Climb to the top of the castle tower and gaze out over the Ramble, Great Lawn, Turtle Pond, and the open-air Delacorte Theater. Belvedere Castle is most commonly seen from afar and is often included as a stop on bike tours, e-bike tours, walking tours, running tours, and pedicab tours of Central Park.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Belvedere Castle is a must for travelers looking for a reprieve from the urban bustle of NYC.
- The lookout at the top of the castle tower is accessible only via a narrow spiral staircase and is therefore not stroller- or wheelchair-accessible.
- Turtle Park, situated at the base of Belvedere Castle, is a designated quiet zone and offers scenic views of the castle.
How to Get There
Find Belvedere Castle in the center of Central Park, north of the 79th Street Transverse and south of the Great Lawn. To get here by public transit, ride the subway (B or C trains) to 81st Street–Museum of Natural History. The castle is 5-10 minutes from the station on foot.
When to Get There
Central Park is busiest on sunny weekends, though its large size means it’s able to cope well with crowds. You may, however, have to wait to climb up the twisting stairway of the castle’s tower, as it can only accommodate limited numbers. To avoid waiting in line, come midweek when Belvedere Castle is typically quieter.
What Else to See in Central Park
Belvedere Castle is just one of many major attractions contained within the 843-acre (341-hectare) sprawl of Central Park. Go creature-spotting at the Central Park Zoo, pay homage to John Lennon at the Strawberry Fields memorial, go boating on the Lake, or—from late October to April—skate on the Wollman Rink.