Information and tips on the viewing platform from Rockefeller Center
The Top of the Rock viewing platform in Rockefeller Center is one of New York’s most popular attractions and offers breathtaking views over Manhattan and Central Park. Especially if you want to take the ideal photo of the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock is the best viewing platform in New York!
We love the Rockefeller Center viewing platform, because Top of the Rock has fewer visitors than the Empire State Building, has shorter waiting times and is at least as worth seeing. But what do you need to know before you get to the top? I’ll give you all the valuable tips about Top of the Rock New York here.
The Rockefeller Center observation deck
The Top of the Rock visitor terrace was opened in 1936 on the General Electric Building (GE Building) and was closed in 1986 due to the expansion of the Rainbow Room. Since 2005 it is again possible to enjoy a 360-degree view of the city in the middle of Manhattan at a height of 259.1 meters. It is the 16th tallest building in New York and was built in Art Deco style. The 67th & 69th floors are closed rooms with panoramic windows, which also allow a view of Manhattan.
It gets really interesting on the 70th floor. The visitor is now on the official viewing platform and has a unique view of New York City, Central Park and especially the Empire State Building.
Top of The Rock New York – Our tips
The Rockefeller Center viewing platform is one of our favorite viewing platforms in New York, which is why we have been up there countless times and in all weathers. From experience, we can give you some tips for your visit to the Top of the Rock, so that you will fall in love with this fantastic view as much as we have.
Before you visit Top of the Rock, there are only two things you need to plan: the visiting hours and the best ticket or New York Pass.
The best time to visit Top of the Rock
Basically, one never has to expect really long waiting times at the Top of the Rock, a big advantage to the partly very crowded Empire State Building. From this point of view, you don’t have to make a fixed decision when you want to go to the observation deck. But it is important to consider beforehand if you want to go to the observation deck during the day or in the evening.
FOR US, THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE OBSERVATION DECK IS IN THE LATE AFTERNOON.
During the day, the view from the Top of the Rock extends over Central Park and all of Manhattan, and with very good visibility even as far as New Jersey and Brooklyn. At night, or in the evening, New York’s countless skyscrapers and billboards glitter, which is also its charm. Especially exciting is the visit half an hour before sunset. There, one has then a perfect mix of the daylight, sees a beautiful sunset and afterward a dazzlingly shining New York at night.
Thus, it is purely a matter of taste what exactly one wants to see. I personally recommend the early evening, as it is simply wonderful to watch the city leave an exciting day behind and all the lights slowly come on.
Top of the Rock in the evening
After sunset, you can enjoy New York at nightfall on the Top of the Rock. Since it also fills up a bit in the evening, it is practical to be there already in the afternoon. So you can also see how the city changes.
TO SEE THE CHANGE TO THE SEA OF LIGHT FROM UP THERE IS JUST AMAZING!
Even during the day, it’s really magnificent, but when the lights of the city go on bit by bit as darkness falls – from the skyscrapers to the cars – it’s really beautiful. The atmosphere is completely different then, as you can see on our photos of the Top of the Rock in the evening.
The best discount passes for Top of the Rock
Because the Top of the Rock is so popular in New York, it is conveniently included in the most popular New York discount passes. If you want to use one of these passes in New York, you don’t have to worry about tickets and prices of the Top of the Rock anymore, because you can use your pass directly.
These New York passports contain the Top of the Rock:
- New York Pass
- Go New York Pass
- New York Sightseeing Pass
- New York Freestyle Pass
- New York CityPASS
If you want to visit the Top of the Rock and other attractions in New York and do not know the New York Passes yet, you should definitely check with our Passport Advisor before buying individual tickets to see if a discount pass would be worthwhile for you. You can save a lot of money on admission to almost every popular attraction in New York!
What do you need to know about the Top of the Rock?
Important for the photographers among you: A tripod is not allowed on the viewing platform! Also no glass bottles and no food. Since September 11, 2001, security checks in public buildings like Rockefeller Center are considerable. So don’t even try to take forbidden objects up.
Top of the Rock Tickets & Prices
Tickets for Top of the Rock are available online or with a little waiting time on-site in New York. There are discounts for children and seniors.
Top of the Rock admission:
Adults: $41 per person
Children (6-12 years): $35 per person
Seniors (62 years and older): $39 per person
These prices already include the service fee, which some ticket providers charge additionally.
Top of the Rock Fast Lane tickets or express tickets, as there are at the Empire State Building, are not available for this observation deck – but one does not need them.
Where can I get the cheapest tickets?
As it is often the case, there are the cheapest tickets for Top of the Rock online. Of course, this is doubly convenient, because you can save yourself the waiting time at the ticket counter. The online tickets have a flexible date and are valid up to 1 month before or after the chosen date. With the booked ticket you can decide spontaneously on the spot in New York depending on the weather conditions.
As already mentioned, the entrance fee is even cheaper if you use a New York discount pass, which already includes the viewing platform.
Top of the Rock Timeframe & Opening Hours
The viewing platform Top of the Rock is open 365 days a year from 8:00 am to midnight. The last elevator goes up to the viewing platform at 23:15.
Opening hours on public holidays vary slightly:
- Thanksgiving (November 23rd): 8:00 – Midnight (last elevator leaves at 23:10)
- Christmas (24 December): 8:00 – 22:00 (last lift at 21:10)
- First Christmas Day (25 December): 8:00 – midnight (last lift at 23:10)
- New Year’s Eve (31 December): 8:00 – 22:00 (last lift at 21:10)
- New Year’s Day (1 January): 10:00 – midnight (last lift at 23:10)
- If access to the viewing platform is not possible immediately, a time window will be reserved for you to enter.