Most New Yorkers have never been to Top Of The Rock. We New Yorkers are known to steer clear of tourist attractions unless we have out-of-town visitors in tow.
And Top Of The Rock is most certainly a tourist attraction, but the views are amazing enough to delight even the most jaded New Yorker. However, like everywhere else in New York, great views come at a premium ($20 for an adult ticket).
Visiting Top Of The Rock at Rockefeller CenterLocation: The exclusive Top Of The Rock entrance to 30 Rockefeller Plaza is on West 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Tickets: Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $13for kids ages 6-12. You can purchase tickets online or by calling 212-698-2000 or 1-877-NYC-ROCK (1-877-692-7625).
Hours Of Operation: 8AM to Midnight, 365 days a year. The last elevator ascends to the top at 11PM. Holiday hours can vary.
- Take the B,D,F,V to Rockefeller Center/47-50th Street station
- Take the N,R,W to 49th Street and Seventh Avenue
- Take the E to Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street
The views from Top Of The Rock are extraordinary at any time of day or night. During the day, the views of Central Park are picture-postcard-perfect. The downtown views at sunset are also beautiful. At night, the lit-up city skyline is awe-inspiring from all angles.
To avoid the biggest crowds, don't plan your visit during November or December. If you are visiting during the holiday season, try getting tickets for a weekday morning or evening.
Tips For Visitors To Top Of The Rock:
When you visit Top Of The Rock, you will purchase tickets with assigned entrance times. This system reduces the time spent waiting in line.
You should plan to arrive shortly before your designated entrance time. Upon entering at the Top Of The Rock entrance at 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, you will be directed upstairs and through a security check. All bags are subject to search and vistors and their belongings must pass through a metal detector.
After clearing security, you can stop to purchase or pick up tickets or head directly into the Top Of The Rock exhibit area. The exhibits here tell the story of the history of Rockefeller Center and Top Of The Rock.
From the exhibit area, visitors file into lines and are then dispersed into elevators in groups. The elevators to the top of Rockefeller Center have transparent ceilings. The view up the 70-story elevator shaft, along with fun light and image displays, add a bit of fun to the high-speed elevator ride.
Upon reaching the top, visitors are directed out to the first of three levels of observation decks. The bottom level offers 365 degrees of views of the New York City skyline. An escalator leads up to views from even higher perspectives. There are binoculars for close-up views(bring quarters to feed into the binoculars).
Some Rockefeller Center Gift Ideas
The Art of Rockefeller Center by Christine Roussel -- This full-color art guide provides an in-depth look at the art and architecture of Rockefeller Center. Also available in paperback.
Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center -- by Daniel Okrent. Learn about the whole story leading to Rock Center's creation. There's nothing like the seedy intrigue of 1930s New York real estate.
Redbird at Rockefeller Center by Peter Maloney and Felicia Zekauskas -- Kids will love this beautifully illustrated story about tiny Redbird, who wakes up in Rockefeller Center after the giant spruce he calls home is transported to New York for the holidays.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree by Nancy Armstrong -- Read all about the history and lore of the world's most famous Christmas tree.
Rockefeller Center 1932 (Resting on a Girder) by Ebbets -- Display an art print of the iconic photograph by Ebbets that depicts 1932 construction workers napping on a girder dangling high above Rockefeller Center.