Top of the Rock Observation Deck: Cool Tips, Info and Review
Top of the Rock is one of the most popular attractions in New York, located at the top of Rockefeller Center. You’ll experience a breathtaking and amazing unobstructed 360° view of every corner of Manhattan! One of the best NYC views.
Top of the Rock is a must if this is your first time in New York. On a clear day, you’ll get the best views of Central Park and the Empire State Building. A great place to take stunning pictures of the NYC skyline!
PLEASE NOTE: Top of the Rock remains temporarily closed due to Covid-19 Pandemic. Enjoy virtual views here until they have the permission to open again once it’s safe. Stay healthy 🙂 Follow me on Instagram here and Subscribe to my YouTube channel here 🙂
Top of the Rock Hours
Daily from 8am to 12:30am (midnight), 7 days a week.
Last elevator up at 11:55pm.
- Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 24, 8am-Midnight. Last elevator up at 11:10pm.
- Christmas Eve: Dec. 24, 8am-10pm. Last elevator up at 9:10pm.
- Christmas Day: Dec. 25, 8am-Midnight.Last elevator up at: 11:10pm
- New Year’s Eve: Dec. 31, 8am-10pm. Last elevator up at 9:10pm.
Tickets to Top of the Rock
Click here to purchase your tickets online. Tickets can be purchased online 30 minutes or more in advance.
The last ticket is sold at 11:30pm at the box office.
|Child 6-12 years old||$30|
Yes, It’s pricey! Keep in mind that once you’re up, you can stay there as long as you want!
Sunset times cost an additional $5 per ticket!
Military Discount: covers up to 5 people on the same military ID. $18 each + tax and can only be purchased at the box office.
Sun & Stars: for an additional price you get to see Top of the Rock at 2 different times within 24hs. You can visit during the day and then come back to see the fantastic view at night. Total cost of Sun & Stars is $54 adults, $43 children.
Top of the Rock VIP Access: total cost of $75 for immediate entry upon arrival, skipping lines & getting priority access to the elevator.
Rock Pass: visit Top of the Rock + Rockefeller Center tour for $50.
Tips for purchasing tickets to Top of the Rock
Purchase your tickets in advance to reserve the time slot you want. Especially if you plan to go in peak season like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving weekend or other peak times like sunset or weekends.
It’s better to purchase your tickets online to save time waiting in line on the day of the visit. Click here to buy online.
If you have a City Pass, you’ll need to exchange it for a ticket. Do it in advance to get the time slot you want and save time.
If you purchase your tickets on the day of the visit, keep in mind that immediate entry is not guaranteed and available times may be limited. You’ll need to wait for the next available time slot. Lots of times, you’re able to walk right in. But the waiting time can be about 45 minutes or maybe longer in peak season.
You may experience less lines or no lines at all if you go on weekday mornings.
Rockefeller Center: 30 Rockefeller Plaza. New York, NY 10112.
Main entrance: on 50th St. between 5th & 6th Avenues.
Best Time to go to Top of the Rock
An hour before dusk. You get to see the view during the day (you’ll be able to see Central Park) and then all the city at night. Even though it’s the most crowded time to go up.
During Winter, going at 4pm works great because it gets dark around 5/5:30pm.
If you don’t want long lines, try going in the morning before 10:30am.
Most crowded times to go to Top of the Rock
Sunset is the most crowded time to go up.
From 2pm until sunset is typically more crowded than mornings.
Morning around 10:30am is also a popular time to go to Top of the Rock.
Popular times in Winter: 10:30am, 4pm-5:30pm & 11pm. 4-5pm is the most popular hour in Winter!
There are 3 viewing decks. The elevator takes you up to to the first observation deck on the 67th floor only.
67th FLOOR: The most crowded floor with big glass windows.
69th FLOOR: you need to take the stairs from the 67th floor.
70th FLOOR – THE TOP FLOOR: you need to take another staircase to get here. The higher the better. You’ll enjoy unobstructed views of Manhattan without the big glass windows. Yay! You’ll find some seats to sit down with a great view. The top floor is the less congested floor and has the best views.
Take your time on each floor. Remember that you can stay as long as you want! No rush.
There are restrooms up there!
How long do people stay on the observation decks?
Plan about 45 minutes to an hour to explore the views. Some people stay for 2 hours.
There’s no time limit once you’re up.
Going Up to Top of the Rock: The Process
Enter through the main doors of Rockefeller Center (at 30 Rockefeller Plaza), go down the stairs and follow the signs to the Top of the Rock area.
- If you already have tickets, go straight to security check.
Lines to go up
Be patient! Goin up to Top of the Rock requires to go through many lines.
- Line to purchase your ticket (if you didn’t buy yours already).
- Line to go through security.
- Line to get your picture taken (you can skip this line if you want!).
- Line to get into the elevator that takes you up to the 67th floor: the first observation deck. Keep in mind that there are 2 more floors to go up!
- And yes… one last line when you want to take the elevator to go down!
Time until you get to the top
It can take about 30-45 minutes to go through all the lines and security until you get to the top.
Once You’re Up Make Sure You See…
The Empire State Building
Times Square Area
Taking Pictures at Top of the Rock
- Make sure your phones and cameras are charged up for awesome photos!
- You’ll find people on the observation decks who will take your pictures that you can purchase later on if you want. It’s pricey though… $30 for one picture and $40 for 3.
Top of the Rock Tips
Check the weather the day you wanna go. Skip if the weather is bad. You can change your ticket for a later date and time.
Enjoy the experience without thinking that the ticket was expensive!
Expect lots of people. Be patient and don’t let the crowds and lines ruin your experience to Top of the Rock. Especially in peak season (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Summertime).
Typically, it gets busier during sunset and on weekends.
Weekday mornings are less crowded.
Bring a jacket. Even on a warm day, because it can get windy and cold at the top.
Going during Winter can be very cold. Make sure to bring your winter coat, gloves, scarf, hat and whatever you need to enjoy the experience staying as warm as possible!
Strollers are welcome at the top!
No restaurants or bars at the top. You’ll find food shops at the bottom of Rockefeller Center.
If you miss your time slot, you can get in the next available time slot only on that same day.
TOP OF THE ROCK vs. EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
In my opinion (and many people agree) Top of the Rock is better than the Empire State Building.
- You get to see the Empire State Building from Top of the Rock!
- The views from Top of the Rock are better. You get to truly see a 360-degree view of the entire Manhattan. You get to see more from Top of the Rock.
- Views from Top of the Rock are less obstructed than the Empire State.
- You can get better NYC pictures at Top of the Rock because it’s not as high as the Empire State Building and because you can take a picture of the Empire State Building with a memorable view of the NYC skyline.
DAY vs. NIGHT
It’s tough picking one over the other because both are fantastic!
- You can see Central Park during the day. At night you’ll see a black patch of nothing.
- The city lights are amazing at night! Try to see both views if you can: day and night.
- The night is less crowded than the afternoon but you won’t be able to see Central Park at night, except if you go a little before sunset and stay up there until you can see the city at night.
- It gets cooler at night.
You may want to check out:
Where to Eat close to Rockefeller Center.
Hope you have a wonderful experience at Top of the Rock!