There's something missing from the view atop the Empire State Building: the iconic building itself! That's why it makes a strong case for being the best observation deck in New York City. It provides something the others do not, which is an unobstructed view of the city, including the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center. But, that's not the only thing that sets 30 Rockefeller Plaza apart from its competitors. A Top Of The Rock Tickets also grants access to two exquisite Swarovski art installations, shorter lines, and as many observation decks as its major competitors combined, providing more vantage points than you can get anywhere else in New York.
Layer up. The difference in temperature can vary significantly between the indoor and outdoor observation decks. Hats, scarves, and gloves are best for making a quick adjustment.
One-shot. You only get one chance to view the Mezzanine Exhibit, which explains the history of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the Rockefeller Center. So, take your time before you enter the Sky Shuttle.
Extra pair of eyes. If you own binoculars, don't forget to bring them or you'll be wishing you had.
Good to know
Best time to visit
The Top of the Rock tour is open 365 days a year, regardless of weather conditions. In New York, the humidity and precipitation vary only slightly from month to month; so, it’s all about your temperature preference. Summer typically provides the best visibility. And, keep in mind that throughout the year, you are more likely to face foggy conditions in the morning. Also, you can sometimes avoid the crowd by hitting the Top of the Rock at lunchtime or just before closing time.
The street traffic in New York is notoriously congested. Although buses and taxis are available, we recommend that you walk or take the subway once you’ve entered Manhattan. If the weather is nice and the distance isn’t long, take a stroll. It’s a great way to see things you otherwise wouldn’t notice. Or, go underground and take the orange B, D, F, or M trains to the 47th–50th Streets Rockefeller Center station.
Money saving tips
In a rush? Don't bother picking up your souvenir photograph at the gift shop found on the Concourse Level. Instead, go to the photo counter or self-serve kiosk and get a claim card, which allows you to input a 16-digit redemption code using the link on the Top of the Rock website. But, be quick about it once you get home. You only have 30 days before the image disappears forever!
Did you know?
Act like you've been there before by spouting off these Top of the Rock factoids.
The popular sitcom 30 Rock occasionally filmed the façade and inside the lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. But, most of the show was shot inside Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, Queens
30 Rockefeller Plaza received official landmark status in 1985.
The Joie Chandelier by Swarovski is in the shape of 30 Rock, upside-down.
Rockefeller Family & Associates currently occupies the 54th, 55th, and 56th floors.