When Is The Best Time To Visit The Top Of The Rock
Sunset is the best time to visit Top of the Rock. It may seem a cliché that it is in all the skyscrapers of New York but in the case of the Rockefeller Center observation deck this is true to the letter! In fact, there is a surcharge of about 8 Euros on tickets to the Top of the Rock just to go and watch the sunset there. That’s nothing!
So it’s a super popular time for New Yorkers and visitors to drop by Midtown and close the day in a nice and special way with lots of souvenir photos in between. Keep in mind the opening hours of the Top of the Rock to schedule your climb.
What To Expect At Top Of The Rock
We visited Top of the Rock on the first evening we arrived in NYC and its top of most peoples things to do in New York list for a reason!
It will give you the most spectacular, unobstructed 360 degree views of the New York City skyline.
The views stretch out from the heart of midtown Manhattan to New York harbour, Central Park, as well as the Hudson River and beyond.
Standing at 850 feet high with three observation decks is what gives Top of the Rock its unparalleled views across New York.
Directly in front of you youll find The Empire State Building, as well as SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, and One World Observatory and the Statue Of Liberty in the distance.
An elevator will take you up to the first observation deck on the 67th floor. Following this you can continue up to the other two decks on the 69th and 70th floor by foot.
The first observation deck includes the Radiance Wall and the gift shop. The breathtaking Radiance Wall was created by Swarovski and comprises of glass panels, blown glass, crystal clusters as well as fiberoptic lighting.
The gift shop has an array of beautiful souvenirs and gifts, as well as Christmas decorations and ornaments featuring the iconic Men on a beam photograph.
You Want The Best Views Of Lower Manhattan & The Financial District
Looking south from the top of the Empire State Building gives amazing context to the sheer density of Manhattan: from the shorter buildings of Midtown and the Village all the way to the eruption of height at the southern tip of the island in the Financial District, the view is iconic and unforgettable.
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Best Views Of New York City
For our multiple trips to New York, weve used a New York Pass to make the most of our time and save money. Many of these New York Views are accessible with the New York Pass. Check it out to see if it works for you.
Note: Openings and closures are changing regularly as New York City opens up after COVID. Some activities, bars, restaurants, and attractions may be closed or limited. Check this website for updates, resources and restrictions in New York.
Rooftop Bars Vs Observatories
As I mentioned above, NYC also has plenty of rooftop bars, and particularly those in Manhattan offer excellent views of New York City. None of the rooftop bars are as high as the observatories, however, which means you dont get the same vantage point. You also dont get a full panoramic view, because most of the bars are located on one side of building, rather than covering the entire rooftop.
If you want to check out some of the best rooftop bars, here are some recommendations:
- Bar 54 135 W 45th St, NY 10036
- Monarch rooftop 71 W 35th St, NY 10018,
Thursday 3rd of December 2020
I remember visiting New York and visiting these places. Love the blog post.
Todd at Visit50
Saturday 13th of June 2020
I do the same thing Dani! I love to find the best view of the city in every city I visit!I recommend exploring the different rooftop bars. I’m about to put together a list of them at Visit50.com
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Where To Stay In New York
We have been to New York many times from Manhattan to Queens. These are our favourite New York City Hotels:
- InterContinental Hotel Times Square This is our favourite hotel in New York. Its a little oasis in the middle of Times Square. Great locations and fantastic rooms.
- The Bowery Hotel Gorgeous lobby, loft-style rooms with Hardwood floors & floor to ceiling factory windows and an excellent restaurant. Check out Availability and prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com
- Hotel Beacon Well run and beautifully designed hotel, close to the subway lines in a very family-friendly area. Check out Availability and prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com
For more New York Hotels read our complete guide to Where to Stay in New York City Guide to the Best Neighborhoods
Map Of Empire State Building And Top Of The Rock Locations
Take This Map With You! Click each highlight to pull up the name of the destination. To save this map to Your Places on Google Maps, click the star to the right of the title. Youll then be able to find it under the Maps tab of your Google Maps account! To open the map in a new window, click the button on the top right of the map.
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Is It A Good Idea To Go Up If The Weather Is Bad
If you already have your tickets, even in bad weather it is worth the climb because the overall experience at Top of the Rock goes beyond the views, although, of course, most visitors come to the observation deck to enjoy the New York skyline and test their vertigo.
So if the day of your visit dawns cold or a bit cloudy with rain and moderate wind, you can always enjoy the views from the 67th floor of the observation deck, which is almost completely enclosed and sheltered, in case you don’t feel like going up to the open-air observatories on the upper floors. From here you will also have incredible views of the city and take equally beautiful photos.
And if a bit of bad weather is not a problem for you, don’t hesitate and go out to the open-air observation decks on the 69th and 70th floors because from the top of the observatory you will have the feeling of being on top of the world. A memorable experience!
Only in the hypothetical case of extreme weather conditions , the Top of the Rock could decide at its discretion to close certain areas of the observation deck to the public for safety reasons but visitors would be informed of this.
Tip #: Time Your Top Of The Rock Visit Properly
When’s the best time to visit? Our Top of the Rock insider told us that the best options are either right at opening or late at night any day of the week. Nighttime is gorgeous, but mornings are magical, too. Just after the 9am opening you’ll have a more private experience and can catch the beautiful light illuminating the Empire State Building and Midtown skyscrapers.
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Empire State Vs Top Of The Rock Vs One World Observatory: Whats The Best View Of New York City
One thing I do in every place I visit: I get a birds eye view of the city. If there is a high point in town, a high building, or even better, an observation deck, I head to the top. New York City is especially mesmerizing to see from above, thanks to its unique architecture and island layout, which is why the observation decks are on the list of the ten best New York attractions. But whats the best observation deck in New York City? Do you even need to go up to an observatory or will a rooftop bar suffice for the best view of New York City? NYC is lucky enough to have not only one, but FOUR observation decks the newest one, The Edge, opened in March 2020, but Summit One Vanderbilt is about to become a serious competition .
Seeing the city from the unique vantage point of the best observatory in New York City helps you to better understand the citys layout, helps you to understand how New York is set up, where the other boroughs are, and see how close New Jersey actually is. But not just that: its a truly memorable experience and it will make you appreciate the grandeur of the Big Apple even more.
Statue Of Liberty Ellis Island Ferry
Chances are you will visit the Statue of Liberty when visiting New York, and when on the ferry and the island, youll be treated to one of the best New York City views. For the best NYC view from the ferry, make sure to stand on the right-hand side facing the dock when leaving. Most people go to the left looking out at the water, but once the boat moves, the best views of the city skyline are from the right.
The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Ferry are free with the New York Pass or you can book this guided tour of Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Reserve Line Access boarding on the ferry to Liberty Island.
The statue of Liberty ferry and ticket office is located at Battery Park in Manhattan. Ferries open at 8:30 am and we suggest getting there as early as possible.
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Empire State Building Or Top Of The Rock: 9 Crucial Things To Know
Looking for great views of the New York City skyline? Trying to decide whether to visit the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock ?
Its not an easy decisionboth viewpoints offer major pros and cons, and odds are that your New York travel plans dont allow time or money to visit both .
Weve got you covered here: this guide covers everything you need to know to decide whether Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building is the right viewpoint for you.
Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.
Where To Eat Near The Top Of The Rock What Restaurants Are At The Top Of The Rock
If you want to grab a bite to eat during your visit, the Top of the Rock has a few options to choose from, right in the building, including:
- Auntie Anne’s – For a small snack to hold you over until mealtime, grab a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s, located just outside the Top of the Rock ticketing lobby and souvenir shop.
- SIXTYFIVE – For a cocktail and appetizers before or after your trip to the top, head to SIXTYFIVE Bar and Cocktail Lounge located on the 30th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza and featuring views that are almost as good as the top.
- Rock Center Café – For a sit-down meal right in the building, head to Rock Center Café, the buildings namesake dining destination. In the winter, the restaurant features front row views of the famous ice skating rink and outdoor garden seating in the summer months.
- Cucina & Co. – For more casual fare, check out Cucina & Co. for gourmet Mediterranean sandwiches, pasta, salads, and more. Dine-in or take-out.
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Buy Tickets In Advance Especially During The High Season
I cant emphasize this enough: with limited time in New York City, purchasing a ticket in advance is practically essential to have a good experience at either the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock. These destinations can get extremely crowded, and the lines and security measures are intense, especially at the Empire State Building.
You can purchase tickets in advance via Get Your Guide for either building for just a couple dollars over the base price, and I highly recommend itjust show the screenshot with the barcode on your phone when you arrive.
If youre visiting during the high season , strongly consider purchasing skip-the-line tickets as wellthe Empire State Building offers one that lets you jump to the front of all security and elevator lines, of which there are several throughout the visit.
Made your choice?
Book your tickets to the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock today!
Advantages Of Booking A Ticket
As this is a flexible entry, your ticket will be valid for one month. That is, you can visit the viewpoint on the day you have selected on the calendar or within the following 30 days. That way, you can choose the best day to enjoy the incredible panoramic views of New York. Please note, however, that the ticket is for one-time access.
When you arrive at the building, you’ll be assigned an entry time which, depending on availability, may be immediate or at a later time so that you don’t have to wait in line.
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View From The Top Of The Rock:
Slightly lower than the Empire State Building observation deck, the deck at Top of the Rock is 800-feet above ground. The building is located further north in Manhattan, so offers better views of Central Park. Landmarks you can see from the Top of the Rock:
- Empire State Building, Chrysler Building , One World Trade Center , Central Park , Bank of America Tower, Flatiron Building, and more.
Top Of The Rock Observation Deck
First of all, going up to the Top of the Rock is so much fun, located at the home of NBC studios in Rockefeller Plaza, the Top of the Rock is one of the best attractions in New York City. It is one of the best views of NYC because it offers views of mid-town the Empire State Building and One World Trade Centre one way, and then beautiful views of Central Park the other. The viewing platform is located on the 67th floor and is surrounded by glass panels letting you feel safe and sound above the city.
Top of the Rock entrance is free with the New York Pass or you can get more information on visiting the Top of the Rock at their website. Open until 11pm .
- Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
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Dont Forget To Account For The Wind And Colder Weather At The Top
Even if its a pleasant day on the ground, the wind and colder weather at the top of each skyscraper will be sure to take its toll.
Ladies, learn from my mistakes and consider not wearing a short, flowy dress with a tendency to fly up like I did when visiting Top of the Rock, and for everyone visiting outside of the height of summer, consider bringing a jacket.
Best Time To Visit Top Of The Rock + Tips
If you are looking to visit the observation deck without too many people around, youre probably best visiting early in the morning on a weekday.
Try and visit on a clear day, if possible, for the best views.
Sunset from Top of the Rock is spectacular and very popular with tourists, so get there early to get a good spot if thats your thing!
If you plan to visit in the evening it can get very cold so wrap up warm.
There is an additional $10 charge for visiting at sunset.
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Top Of The Rock Observation Deck At Rockefeller Center
The Top of the Rock Observation Deck is a multi-level observation deck located in the Rockefeller Center that provides breathtaking views of New York City. This observation deck is a must-see attraction due to the spectacular views of New York City that it provides.
The Top of the Rock Observation Deck is a multi-level observation deck located in the Rockefeller Center that provides breathtaking views of New York City. This observation deck is a must-see attraction due to the spectacular views of New York City that it provides. On one side you have an amazing view of Central Park. On the other side you have an amazing view of the Empire State Building with lower Manhattan behind it. On a clear day you can see for miles. Top of the Rock features three stories of stunning views, including a stunning, open air, 360-degree view from the 70th Floor outdoor deck. Top of the Rock is considered by many to have the best and most romantic views of New York City along with the Empire State Building.
The views from all of the observation decks are the best in the city, this is because the skyline includes the Empire State Building, Manhattan, along with central park. Unlike the Empire State Building you dont have to press your head up against a cage to get a view. There are full glass panels that allow you to enjoy the view without feeling caged in.
Elevator At Top Of The Rock
A post shared by Jen Ruiz | #JetWithJen on Sep 11, 2017 at 3:26pm PDT
It takes approximately 42 seconds to ascend 850 feet to the observation decks at Top of the Rock. There are three decks total, with the top one having no barriers and allowing for a clear shot. The elevators hold 16 people each but are rarely filed to capacity.
The elevators at Top of The Rock are unique in that they feature a glass ceiling, which serves as a welcome distraction during the ride. Also, compared to the Empire State Building, theres only one elevator ride instead of 3 so the whole process is more enjoyable overall.
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