Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center

The Rock, located at the Rockefeller Center in New York (W 52th Street / 6th Avenue) is home to many offices such as NBC studios and Radio City Music Hall.
The Top of the Rock is a 69-story building with an observatory deck on the last three floors.
It’s my favorite place to admire New York City from above!

What to see from the Top of the Rock?

Even if Rockefeller Center isn’t the highest building in New York (this title goes to the One World Observatory), it remains the best place to enjoy a magnificent view of the city and it offers a great view of the Empire State Building 😉

It features a panoramic terrace on three levels with a completely unobstructed view of the city. It allows you to see different mythical places in New York. You’ll have a good time recognizing them!
You can see Central Park . However a series of new skyscrapers are being built just in the middle of the following view. I’m afraid that it will be impossible to see Central Park from the Top of the Rock in a couple of years…

You can try to recognize other landmarks, like the Chrysler Building.

The view from the Empire State Building is different than the Top of the Rock, so I recommend in this article that you visit both places at a different time of the day!

For photography lovers, be aware that tripods are prohibited. Only small tripods (~ 20 cm) are allowed.

How to visit the Top of the Rock?

You have several options to visit the Top Of the Rock:
Buy on the spot: in this case, you can buy your ticket on-site for the first available schedule (sometimes immediately as I did).

Book in advance on the Internet: it is convenient to go up to the observatory in less than half an hour.
You can pick up your tickets at one of the e-kiosks without going through the traditional ticket desks by having booked in advance. I recommend that you come 1 or 2 days before if you want a specific schedule because the Top of the Rock turned to be increasingly popular in recent months and therefore there are more and more people!

Purchase here your tickets

Buy a pass: it is the most economical and practical option, because you will save on the entrances of several attractions!
On the other hand, know that if you take a pass and want to visit the Top of the Rock in a busy time slot (mid-morning but especially afternoon and sunset), I suggest that you come on the spot the day before or two days before to book the schedule that better suits your plan. You can use the e-kiosks pictured above to do so.

If you get a New York CityPASS

Now you can reserve a timed ticket in advance with a New York CityPASS. After purchasing your pass, visit the Top of the Rock website and enter the number of your pass to receive your e-ticket !

Purchase your Pass

When is the best time to visit the Top of the Rock?

As I tell you in this article, in my opinion, the best time is in the morning because there are fewer people than during the day. You will be able to quickly pass the queues because with or without a pass, and with or without a reservation, you will have to stand on the same line to take one of the elevators that will take you to the top of the building.

Now it’s true that visiting the Top of The Rock by the end of the day to see the sunset over New Jersey is also fantastic!

On the other hand, you will see that the observation decks are large enough so you can walk around and take pretty pictures at your ease.

What more can you do at Rockefeller Center?

During winter, this is where you can see the mythical ice rink that is also a popular meeting place for New Yorkers. Yes, I’m talking about the famous ice rink you can see in several movies taking place in New York City!

During the holiday season, Rockefeller Center is also home to New York’s largest Christmas tree, usually from early December to early January.

Finally, do not forget to stroll through Rockefeller Center’s main building, the Comcast Building, and Rockefeller Plaza where you’ll find some of the must-see stores like Nintendo and Lego.

Then you just have to cross the 5th Avenue to visit St Patrick Cathedral!

Where is the Top of the Rock located?

The Rockefeller Center is located on W 52nd St between the 6th and 5th ave.


On a first trip to New York, the Top of the Rock is truly a visit you can’t miss! This is one of the best places to take pictures of the city with an unobstructed view! By the way, it’s such an amazing place that I go back there almost every time I go to New York, I love it!


My fist trip to New York was in 2007 when I was working for an airline company. I was born in the US, I lived in Mexico, in Europe in between Belgium, Spain and France… Well, let’s say I know about travelling! I bring my experience of NYC to the blog, to provide the best travel tips you could imagine!

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Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center

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  1. Nicki says:
    This was my favourite thing that I did during my first visit to NY. I am revisiting in June and will be doing this again with my hubby.