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Discover the Best View of NYC At The Top of The Rock
August 6, 2019 By CityPASS
New York City has it all: Broadway shows, top museums, shopping opportunities galore, and, of course, stunning views from the city’s tallest skyscrapers. One of the most popular spots for gazing across the iconic metropolitan is the Top of the Rock Observatory, the three tiers of observation decks on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors of the Rockefeller Center. At 850 feet above ground level, you’ll be able to soak in an unobstructed view of the Big Apple’s most emblematic architecture. Get a breathtaking 360-degree view of the art deco Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Central Park.
Rockefeller Center Observation Decks
There are three viewing decks for you to explore at Rockefeller center. You can take the elevator to the 67th floor and get a glimpse of the city from the giant glass windows. Take the stairs to the 69th floor to get a different view from inside. After you’ve spent some time enjoying the sights, take the staircase to the 70th floor to experience unobstructed views of Manhattan. Although you will love all three observation decks, the 70th floor arguably has the best view.
The Best Time To Visit The Rockefeller Center Top Of The Rock Observation Decks
As with most popular New York City attractions, the Top of the Rock can get busy pretty quickly. Timed entries help to mitigate the crowding, but weekends and sunset are the most popular times. However, here’s some good news: the Top of the Rock is open from early morning to almost midnight seven days a week. That means if you’ve got time at 10pm on a Wednesday evening, you can stop by and expect to encounter thinner crowds. While earlier is better (try to aim to arrive before 10am), you can expect this top-rated attraction to be teeming with visitors at virtually all times.
If you’re not worried about crowds, visit the Top of the Rock at dusk for an unforgettable experience. The sinking sun turns the majestic steel and glass NYC buildings into gilt-plated edifices that seem to glow by their own accord. The Top of the Rock at night is also a thrilling time to visit. You’ll get to observe the city as a living, breathing, organism, pulsing with human activity at all hours.
How Long Do You Get at the Top of the Rock?
You can stay on the Top of the Rock Observation Deck for as long as you want, and you can explore all three decks, so take your time. Most people generally spend about 45 minutes to an hour checking out the sights.
Rockefeller Observation Deck Tickets
You can purchase tickets for the Top of the Rock in a few ways. For a spontaneous trip, there’s always the option to buy tickets the day of your visit. However, since access is contingent on available slots, you may not get the time you want, or you may end up waiting for the next available opening.
If you prefer to plan ahead, you can buy tickets at the official Top of the Rock website, where you’ll also have the opportunity to buy a package deal. Choose from a VIP Access option, tickets for a guided tour of Rockefeller Center, or a combination of the Rockefeller Center tour and Top of the Rock admission. Prices for the Top of the Rock are also available on the website.
If you’re keen on landing a discount for Top of the Rock tickets (and you’re looking to visit a few more of NYC’s most memorable attractions over a week or a few days), consider snagging a New York CityPASS® or New York C3® tickets. With either option, you’ll be able to experience the most popular haunts in this gothic city at a great discount.
Tips for Visiting Top of the Rock
Although it can get crowded, this popular sightseeing spot is family friendly, and you can even bring the little ones in a stroller. Make sure to bring a jacket, especially at night or in the early morning; it can get cold on the 70th floor! There is no food or drink at The Top of The Rock, but Rockefeller Center offers plenty of options for eating and drinking.
Snap all the pictures you want of Times Square, Central Park, the Chrysler Building, and the Empire State Building. You can also have your photo taken on the observation deck for an additional fee.
There’s nothing quite as awe-inspiring as seeing the world from a birds-eye view. Admiring a microcosm of human existence over 200 years in the making from above is a bonus. For breathtaking views of the city that never sleeps, you simply cannot do better than the Top of the Rock.
To get the most out of your stay in New York City, we recommend finding lodging near New York City's top attractions like Top of the Rock. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:
Score Discounted Tickets to the Top of the Rock With CityPASS® Tickets
Purchase New York CityPASS® tickets to get up to off on NYC’s top attractions including the Top of the Rock, the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more! New York CityPASS® ticket holders also get an additional discount on tickets for the Rockefeller Center Guided Tour. CityPASS® tickets let you see the best view in town for the best deal in town!