The soul of New York lies in the skyscrapers that form its skyline. Contemplating it from the heights offers us a unique and exciting vision of it. It is really impressive to be up there and have the feeling that time stands still before our eyes.
The Top of the Rock is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Big Apple, so I advise you to buy tickets in advance to avoid long lines at the box office. Another possibility is to purchase a New York Pass that includes the Top of the Rock.
The most famous skyscraper of all is undoubtedly the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. For me, it is the one with the best views and the most recommended by travelers. Not only will you have the best panoramic view of New York, but you will be able to see Central Park and Manhattan in all its splendor. With this ticket to the Top of the Rock you can visit its three observation decks on the 67th, 69th and 70th floors to see the fabulous skyline of New York.
Why I like this option: in my opinion, the great advantage of this ticket is that it offers a flexible schedule, that is, the visit time is not limited to the date initially selected but you can plan it according to the weather conditions of the day. In addition, if for weather reasons the activity cannot be carried out on the selected date, another date and time will be offered.
Recommended if... you want to secure your ticket in advance but without giving up the flexibility of being able to go up and do the visit at the time of the day that best suits you.
Top of the Rock ticket prices
You can go up to the Top of the Rock for just over 35 Euros (standard adult ticket) if you book online in advance at Hellotickets. With this ticket you will have access to the incredible observatories of the Top of the Rock and most importantly, you will save the endless queues at the ticket office. If you are organizing the budget of your trip, check all the types and prices of tickets to climb to the Top of the Rock.
Ticket prices according to type of ticket
- Adults $38
- Seniors (62+) $36
- Children (6-12 years old) $32
- Children under 6 years old are free
Where to find Top of the Rock and how to get there
The Top of the Rock is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112. It can be reached by subway with the nearest station being 47th-50th Street Rockefeller Center (B, D, F and M). The entrance to the Top of the Rock is located on 50th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenue. However, thanks to its central location, you can even get there on foot or by bus. Here's how to get to the Top of the Rock wherever you are.
Top of the Rock opening hours
Open from 11AM to 7PM every day of the week. The first elevator goes up at 11AM and the last elevator goes up at 6:10PM. The hours may change on holidays, so I recommend you take a look at this article on Top of the Rock opening hours to make sure the observation deck is open on the day and time you feel like visiting.
How to access the building to climb to the Top of the Rock?
The main entrance to Rockefeller Center's Top of the Rock is located on 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue, indicated as Top of The Rock - Observation Deck with a large unfolded carpet showing the entrance.
Whether you have purchased your ticket or a tourist card that includes admission to the observation deck online, you must go to the ticket booths to have the staff exchange it for an original ticket. Once there you will see that there are two lines, one for visitors who have not purchased a ticket in advance and do not have a New York Pass and a quicker line for those who have.
The Top of The Rock observation deck rises to a height of 260 meters at the top of the 30 Rockefeller Plaza building, between the 67th and 70th floors. In addition to the observatory, it also houses offices and the headquarters of the NBC television network, whose store is on the first floor. The visit to the Top of the Rock is not limited to taking an elevator that leads to the observation deck to see the New York skyline, but is a much more complete and amazing experience.
It begins in the Grand Atrium Lobby where you can appreciate the fantastic Joie Chandelier, a Swarovski crystal chandelier made by Michael Hammers for the reopening of the "Top of The Rock" that took place in 2005 after being closed for decades.
What is the best time to go up to the Top of the Rock?
The views are sensational at any time of the day. Many prefer to visit at sunset to watch the sun go down while the city gradually fills with lights. It's a magical feeling!
However, it is also the busiest time of the day and there is an additional cost of $10 per ticket, so if you want to enjoy this experience in a more intimate way and save that money, it is best to go up early in the morning until noon. Having the Top of the Rock almost to yourself is a luxury. If you are still undecided, you can read more here about the best time to climb Top of the Rock.
How long does it take to see the Top of the Rock?
Normally, the visit takes about 2 hours but once up there is no time limit so you can stay and take as many pictures as you want.
The exhibits inside
In addition to the fabulous views of New York, the Top of the Rock has a lot to offer, from the first moment you set foot in the building. Its elevators, its Lobby, its interior exhibits... Don't miss out on everything you can see and do at the Top of the Rock.
In the Mezzanine Exhibit, for example, an interesting exhibition about the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller Center and the observation deck itself awaits you. All the information on display is very interesting, but did you know that the iconic photograph "Lunch atop a skyscraper" was taken here? Maybe the title doesn't ring a bell, but I'm sure you remember the image that portrays a group of workers having lunch on a steel beam suspended 260 meters above the ground, specifically on the 69th floor of 30 Rock.
When you go up to the Top of the Rock, you can also imitate this photograph because at the entrance they take a photo with which they manage to emulate the original photograph digitally, but this is not included in the price of admission.
The building's elevators
Now it's time to go up to the Top of the Rock. To do so, you will have to enter one of the four Sky Shuttles, state-of-the-art elevators that will take you the 200 meters to the 67th floor in less than a minute. In addition, when the elevator doors close, the lights go out and a short but entertaining video is projected on the ceiling.
The 67th floor observatory
This floor is almost completely enclosed but from its windows and open-air terraces you'll have good views. In addition, here is the gift store and a couple of curious entertainments such as the Breezeway room with LED lights that move as you walk by and the Radiance Wall, another work by artist Michael Hammers.
Take the opportunity to snap a few photos but save your batteries because the good stuff is a little higher up. Look for the escalators leading to the top floor.
The 69th floor observatory
On this floor there is an open-air observation deck that allows you to enjoy the New York skyline through 360-degree glass windows. From here you can get an idea of how incredibly tall these skyscrapers are and you can see north (Harlem, Central Park, etc.) and south of the city (Midtown, the Financial District, etc.).
But there's more! The last stop at the Top of the Rock is one floor up after climbing the last flight of stairs.
The 70th floor observatory
This floor is the icing on the cake. With no windows or other obstructions to the view, on this platform one has the feeling of being on top of the world, everything seems immense and small at the same time. Absolutely marvelous.
Where to eat near the Top of the Rock
If the climb to the best viewpoint in New York gives you an appetite, do not worry: whatever time it is, you will find a good place to eat near the Top of the Rock. Located in the heart of Manhattan, it will be easy to find sophisticated restaurants, fast food stands, healthy menus and some snacks.
Take advantage of the fact that you are touring the area to recharge your batteries and continue your walk through Midtown with a full stomach.
Getting to know Rockefeller Center: a bit of history
The Top of the Rock is located in Rockefeller Center, a huge complex in the heart of midtown consisting of 19 buildings that occupies several blocks between 5th Ave and 6th Ave. Its construction dates back to the Great Depression, when John D. Rockefeller Junior set out to revitalize midtown by creating the largest plaza in New York. However, his initial plans coincided with the crash of 1929, which caused many investors to back out.
The Rockefellers were left alone with the project and, despite this setback, they redirected it towards the construction of a huge art deco commercial and office complex in the heart of Manhattan that employed more than 40,000 workers between 1930 and 1937, a very difficult period. Today it has become a symbol in New York and its facilities include restaurants, bars, stores, offices, theaters, television studios and the Top of the Rock observation deck, among other spaces.
Rockefeller Center at Christmas
If there is a time of the year when this visit takes on special interest, it is at Christmas. If you are lucky enough to travel to New York at Christmas, Rockefeller Center will be a must-see. Why? Because of its wonderful tree, its skating rink, its incredible decorations and if you are lucky, the views of snowy Manhattan. But this is just an appetizer of what awaits you and what you can do at Rockefeller Center at Christmas.
New York City sightseeing cards including the climb to the Top of the Rock
To get the most out of your trip to New York you can buy a tourist card that gives access to the main museums, monuments and points of interest in the City of Skyscrapers. Buying one of these passes has several advantages, but the main one is that if you make the most of it you will save money and time by not having to buy individual tickets for each place you visit. The New York City sightseeing passes that include access to the Top of the Rock are:
But which one to choose?
It may seem like the million dollar question but the key thing to keep in mind is that there are two kinds of New York Pass: by number of attractions and by number of days. Finding the perfect pass depends on the type of trip you are going to make in New York and your budget. In my practical guide to New York City sightseeing passes I help you choose the right one for you. Check it out!
Other interesting skyscrapers in New York
If you feel like seeing the city from above, you're in luck, because New York offers many options for visitors and locals alike. Be sure to read my articles on Empire State Building Tickets, NYC One World Observatory Tickets and Tours, The Edge New York and The Vessel New York to test your vertigo.
I understand that one of the most frequent doubts when organizing a climb to one of Manhattan's skyscrapers is deciding which is better, whether to climb the Top of the Rock or the mythical Empire State Building. Nobody can decide for you, but we can help you: with this comparison between climbing the Empire State and the Top of the Rock I hope to solve some doubts.
And if you're looking for something more innovative, you can take a look at the latest addition to the Manhattan skyline: its incredible SUMMIT observation deck, opening in October 2021.
- Empire State Building
- From $ 49
- Observatory: open air
- Floor: 86
- Views: Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue and from afar One World Building
- Location: Midtown Manhattan
- Book now
- Top of the Rock
- From $ 44
- Observatory: open air
- Floor: 70
- Views: Empire State, Central Park and from afar One World Building
- Location: Midtown Manhattan
- Book now
- One World Observatory
- From $ 45
- Observatory: Indoor
- Floor: 102
- Views: Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and from afar Empire State Building
- Location: South Manhattan
- Book now
- The Edge
- From $ 39
- Observatory: open air and glass floor
- Floor: 110
- Views: Empire State, Midtown and from afar One World Building
- Location: Manhattan West
- Book now
Frequently asked questions
Where is Top of the Rock?
Top of the Rock is the name of one of Rockefeller Center's observation decks. It is a prime location for viewing many of New York's landmarks and skyscrapers, including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and One World Observatory.
How much time do I need to climb and visit the Top of the Rock?
While the average visit lasts about an hour, you can actually stay on the 3 observation platforms for as long as you like.
What is the best time of day to visit Top of the Rock?
Your experience at Top of the Rock depends more on the weather than the time of day, as you will see much more of the city on a sunny day. However, the sunset over New York and the Hudson River is a unique experience and one of the most beautiful ways to see the city.
Is the Top of the Rock included in any of the city's tourist passes?
Yes, you can visit the Top of the Rock with the New York Pass, New York CityPass, New York Explorer Pass and New York Sightseeing Pass.