A place where you could sit and see something like this (with a fall if you step further):

Sorry, since I don

(Not looking for a technical term, just a common one).

  • View property. Apr 5 '14 at 16:06
  • janoChen, do you remember my comment under your question at this link? english.stackexchange.com/questions/160110/…
    – Tristan r
    Apr 5 '14 at 16:29
  • 1
    @Tristan r Oh, sorry. I was never a good student. I'll try to remember from now on.
    – janoChen
    Apr 5 '14 at 16:31
  • janoChen, that's a good effort from you.
    – Tristan r
    Apr 5 '14 at 16:33
  • '80s movie staple: "The Point". Things happen there
    – kolossus
    Apr 5 '14 at 20:03

10 Answers 10


A common term for a place that affords such a view would be a scenic overlook or simply a scenic view:

A scenic overlook, or just an overlook, observation point, lookout, viewing point or vista point is a high place where people can gather to view scenery (often with binoculars), and to photograph it. Scenic overlooks are typically created alongside mountain roads, often as a simple turnouts where motorists can pull over onto pavement, gravel, or grass on the right-of-way. Many are larger, having parking areas, while some (typically on larger highways) are off the road completely.

Here are some signs to such:

scenic overlook

scenic view

I-80 view

An older word, now more restricted to a piece of architecture meant for such purposes, is a belvidere or belvedere.


  • 2
    Hey that is a picture of the Hotel Monte Vista. Apr 5 '14 at 16:35
  • @RyeɃreḁd Yup, good name for it, eh? :)
    – tchrist
    Apr 5 '14 at 16:38
  • 2
    In AE it is overlook or vista. Vista would be more used for beautiful scenery and overlook for utilitarian views. Apr 5 '14 at 16:45
  • 1
    @RyeɃreḁd: Which dialect is "AE"? If "American English", then -- I disagree. I've always understood "vista" to be the beautiful view itself, not the place from which to view it.
    – ruakh
    Apr 5 '14 at 17:29
  • 2
    "Overlook" isn't used to mean this in BrE. (To British people, it's just a verb meaning to forget to consider something.) Apr 6 '14 at 8:08

It is called a viewpoint. (single word for viewing point)

Sometimes called vantage point as well.

viewpoint: a place from which something can be viewed

All the synonyms are mentioned in this article also:


"Overlook" and "scenic overlook" is usually used for natural and mountain views. But to be more specific, you can always say "city overlook" or "city viewpoint".

Additions from Andrew Leach:

There is even a viewpoint sign:

enter image description here

Source: http://www.followthebrownsigns.com/viewpoint/

Viewpoint road sign:

enter image description here

Source: http://latterdaymusings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/road-trip-oregon-jewel-mist-fishawk.html

It is also called a scenic viewpoint. It is used in USA too. When you say scenic view, it is the view that you are going to see but the viewpoint is the point where you see that view from.

enter image description here Source: http://portlandwomensforum.com/photos.html

enter image description here Source: http://www.milespointsandmaitais.com/category/uncategorized/

  • Those don’t sound quite right. People would think a viewpoint would be one’s point of view. The OED does not have an entry for viewpoint, and crowd-sourced references like Urban Dictionary are barely worth referencing.
    – tchrist
    Apr 5 '14 at 16:08
  • 1
    @tchrist: No, in the UK there are roadsigns to Viewpoints. There's even a symbol for them. And OED does have entry, and a 150-year-old citation: "1858 W. Arnot Laws from Heaven 2nd Ser. xxv. 200 Change the view-point, and the scene will change."
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 5 '14 at 16:11
  • @AndrewLeach Our signs are for Scenic View or for Scenic Overlook. And we actually use English not hieroglyphics. :)
    – tchrist
    Apr 5 '14 at 16:14
  • 1
    Viewpoint on Highway 26
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 5 '14 at 16:16
  • 1
    Viewpoint on OSGB maps
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 5 '14 at 16:21

A Lookout.

"On that hill over there there is a lookout overseeing the whole city."

"Mary said she would come with me to point lookout this saturday."


A common AE term for this type of view would be vista. You would also see this name attached to hotels with great views.

a large and beautiful view of an area of land or water

enter image description here

  • 2
    Isn't that what you actually see rather than the place you see it from? That's how I would use it anyway and your definition seems to agree.
    – terdon
    Apr 5 '14 at 16:49
  • 2
    Yeah, exactly, the Hotel Great Vista, has a vista, it isn't one though.
    – terdon
    Apr 5 '14 at 17:05
  • 1
    The place is called a "vista point".
    – 0..
    Apr 5 '14 at 17:27
  • 1
    @ermanen - It can be referred to as just vista. Maybe that is shortened for vista point, whatever. It is referred to as just vista from where I am from in the US. Apr 5 '14 at 17:29
  • 2
    In your picture the place to see the Vista is called a Vista Point, cognate with the spanish Punto de Vista, and the correct english phrase Viewpoint for such a location.
    – James
    Apr 5 '14 at 18:40

You could say : "a room/balcony with a view..."

  • If the place in question was a room or balcony. The photo in the question appears to have been taken from a hill. Apr 6 '14 at 8:12

Not an extremely common word, but a nice one: promontory.



Since you mentioned "with a fall if you step further", I offer something "with precipitous sides":

An acropolis (from akros or akron, "highest", "topmost", "outermost" and polis, "city"; plural in English: acropoles, acropoleis or acropolises) is a settlement, especially a citadel, built upon an area of elevated ground—frequently a hill with precipitous sides, chosen for purposes of defense.



You might want to consider "high point."


When we were almost at camp, we arrived at a high point looking out onto an incredible Incan city.

  • 1
    0kay. The expression "high point" should fit better then.
    – Elian
    Apr 6 '14 at 8:50

In Australia we would call it a Lookout.

  • already proposed
    – Martin F
    Apr 7 '14 at 1:14

Since you asked for a "common" expression, another is "bird's eye view."

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