The Belvedere Castle in Central Park is arguably one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in the famous NYC park.
Plus, the views from the castle are unparalleled.
Luckily it’s easy to get to, free to check out and open whenever the park is (more on that below). Here’s what we’ll look at in this quick guide (click to jump to a section):
- A quick history of Belvedere Castle
- Can you go inside Belvedere Castle?
- Is Belvedere Castle free?
- How to get to Belvedere Castle in Central Park
Let’s dive into it. 👇
Video of Belvedere Castle in Central Park – Beautiful Views & Vantage Point
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words and a video is worth 1,000 pictures.
So… watch the video below to see the amazing views from the castle!
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Belvedere Castle Quick History
Belvedere Castle finished construction in 1871. The castle began housing weather equipment used by the United States Weather Bureau in the 1920s.
While Belvedere Castle doesn’t house most of the weather equipment anymore, there is still some equipment for wind readings in the main tower.
After falling into disarray (like much of Central Park) in the ’70s and ’80s, the castle was renovated and reopened in May 1983.
Today, there is a gift shop inside Belvedere Castle. It also houses the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, including some exhibits about nature and animals in the area.
Related Reading: Central Park Audio Guide
Can You Go Inside Belvedere Castle?
While the views from outside are fantastic on their own, you can go inside Belvedere Castle during open hours.
The gift shop and other sections of the castle are open Wendesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm.
Luckily, even if the inside is closed you can still walk around the outside area and catch amazing views all the same!
Is Belvedere Castle Free?
Belvedere Castle is 100% free to explore!
While Central Park Conservancy used to do tours of the castle, there aren’t currently any on their schedule (as of August 2023).
Even if the inside is closed, you can still explore the surrounding viewing decks and areas at any time. As long as the park is open!
How to Get to Belvedere Castle in Central Park
Belvedere Castle is located right in the middle of Central Park, just north of the 79th St Traverse.
You can get to Belvedere Castle by entering from either side of the park. It is slightly more West, but is about in the middle!
It is easy to get to from either the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) or the Museum of Natural History.
Whichever side you enter the park from, just make sure you do so north of the 79th St Traverse. You can of course still get there from the southern part of the park, too!
For best results, head to the Google Maps link and click directions from wherever you are.
If you’re coming from the Times Square area (or anywhere south of the park), it’s easiest to take the B or C train and get off at the 81st Street -Museum of Natural History stop.
On your trip to the castle, I’d recommend checking out The Obelisk, the Great Lawn, and the Shakespeare Garden (links open Google Maps listings). They are all within about 10 minute’s walk from each other and are worth your time!
This section of the park is home to iconic views, and seeing them from the 2nd highest natural point (aka Belvedere Castle) in Central Park is the best way to do it!
Belvedere Castle Recap
Belvedere Castle is beautiful, free, and home to some of the best views in all of Central Park!
This spot gives you an expansive view of the Great Lawn, the buildings that line 5th Ave and the Upper East Side, and Turtle Pond (right below the castle).
Tell me what you thought of the castle in the comments!
Want to have a picnic after seeing it?! Check out our Best Central Park Picnic Spots (hint, one is right next to Belvedere Castle).
Here’s a bonus picture of our dogs enjoying Belvedere Castle!