One thing is clear: the panoramic view of New York City from the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at the top of the GE Building in Rockefeller Center is unbeatable, day or night. This one isn’t for tourists only. This spot is on our short list for every visit to NYC.
The famous skyscraper is the 10th tallest building in New York. No where else can you look down on all things Manhattan quite like this. If you’re visiting New York City on a clear day, the place is worth a long, liesurely look.
Here’s what you need to know before you go. (Skip down to just see the deals.) You can get tickets at the door, but the savvy way to go is to get ticket ahead of time. You can get tickets for less and skip the ticket line.
Although other venues, like the Empire State Building, offer similar views, Rockefeller Center is my favorite. I especially like seeing the view of Central Park surrounded by skyscrapers. You can enjoy the view through the large windows on the two lower levels, but the you’ll want to brave the open-air deck at the top, sans security fences and other obstructions.
The trip to the top is half the fun for art and architecture aficionados because the GE Building itself is a 1933 Art Deco creation designed by Raymond Hood.
WHAT: Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center (see tours & tickets).
WHERE: Rockefeller Center, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112. Entrance on 50th Street between 5th & 6th avenues.
WHEN: Open Daily 8am – 12 Midnight every day 365 days a year. The last elevator goes up at 11pm. Hours vary on holidays — Christmas Eve 12/24 (8am-11pm last elevator at 10:10pm); Christmas Day 12/25 (8am-Midnight last elevator at 11:10pm); New Year’s Eve 12/3 (8am-10pm last elevator at 9:10pm); New Year’s Day 1/1 (10am-Midnight last elevator at 11:10pm).
- A famous photo from 1932 by Charles C. Ebbets, called “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” shows construction workers taking their lunch break on a steel crossbeam. On your visit you can recreate the image with your friends and family (safely, of course).
- They designed the original observation deck in 1933 to resemble a cruise ship’s deck. During renovations, they kept that theme alive with the open-air upper deck.
- Rockefeller Center was President John D. Rockefeller’s gift to Manhattan — a place for locals and visitors to admire the city he loved.
- What to expect — Landmarks you’ll see from the Observation Deck include Central Park, the Chrysler Building, Times Square, the Hudson River, the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building. Inside the building you’ll see interactive displays showing the construction of the Rockefeller Center, along with three short films.
- Families — Top of the Rock Observation Deck is popular with kids, too, for the Beam Walk and laser light show across the glass ceiling of the Sky Shuttle elevator. You can bring a stroller if it is collapsible.
- Restaurants — There are no restaurants or bars at Top of the Rock, but the concourse level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza (just off the elevators) offer a few dining options.
- Subway — The closest MTA subway station: 47-50 Streets. Rockefeller Center MTA subway station is on the concourse level. You can access the B, D, F, and M trains from this station.
- Parking — The Rockefeller Center Garage is located at 25 West 48th Street, and is always open.
TOP OF THE ROCK Observation Deck Ticket Deals
When you go, you can always get tickets online here. But sometimes you can get ticket deals. Here’s what’s available now. Three trusted sources offer tickets to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck for around 15% off, some with coupon codes, some even simpler. Each ticket source listed below offers slightly different terms. Take a look and tell me what you think. Note: these offers are subject to change without notice.
DEAL 1: Top of the Rock Observation Deck Discount Tickets 15% Off (10% Off + 5% Off Coupon) — Use coupon code NYTO5 for the extra 5% off at checkout. No fees will be added. Note: Tickets from this source may not be available yet via mobile phone (but the other deals are). Do check the expirations date on this offer when you order.
- Adult (ages 13-61) $24 + 5% off with code NYTO5
- Senior (ages 62+) $22 + 5% off with code NYTO5
- Child (ages 6-12) $15 + 5% off with code NYTO5
DEAL 2: Top of the Rock Observation Deck Discount Tickets 15% Off — The price includes fees and taxes. Flexible voucher redemption policy means your visiting time is not restricted to date originally selected.
- Adult (ages 13-61) $23.99
- Child (ages 6-12) $15.99
- Senior (ages 62+) $21.99
UPGRADE: Want your ticket to include a Rockefeller Center Guided Tour? An extra $10 gets you admission to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck and a 75-minute tour of the Rockefeller Center. (Same source as deal 1.) Tours depart hourly between 10am and 7pm (with exception of 6pm).
DEAL 3: New York CityPASS saves you 43% off tickets to New York’s 6 best attractions, plus you can skip the lines — The pass is valid for nine days. Along with Top Of The Rock, New York CityPASS includes admission to: Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island OR Circle Line Cruise. (You’ll choose between Top of the Rock and Guggenheim Museum). CityPASS is valid for 9-days beginning with the first day of use.