Top of the Rock Observation Deck, located at the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center, offers visitors stunning views of New York City and beyond. Consisting of three unique decks, each with its own memorable vibe, Top of the Rock Observation Deck lets guests gaze out 360 degrees on the city that never sleeps. Have your phone ready, because this popular attraction is one of New York’s most photogenic spots.
History of Top of the Rock Observation Deck
Rockefeller Center, home to Top of the Rock Observation Deck, is one of midtown Manhattan’s major landmarks. Its nearly two-dozen acre campus is comprised of some 19 buildings, the majority of them designed in the classic Art Deco style. Rockefeller Center began to take shape in 1928, when John D. Rockefeller acquired the land on which the complex stands today from Columbia University. Over the next decade he would lead a building boom in the area, completing the majority of the project by 1939.
Rockefeller Center was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. It remains world-renowned as a popular destination rich in shopping, dining, and entertainment, as well as being the home of Radio City Music Hall and NBC Studios. During the winter months, its famous for its festive ice-skating rink and lavish Christmas tree.
What’s at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck
The headliner here, of course, is the spectacular view from the Observation Deck, but that’s not all there is to see and do at Top of the Rock. An informative mezzanine exhibit greets you before you take the elevator 70 floors to your destination. The Observation Deck itself consists of three distinct decks. The first deck contains a gift shop and the Radiance Wall. The second deck is known as the “Breezeway,” and is remarkable for being outdoors. The third deck is also open-air.
There are multiple different experiences available at Top of the Rock Observation Deck. In addition to general admission, visitors may purchase a number of special packages. The most popular of these is the “Sunset” option, which will grant you unparalleled views near day’s close, and cost you an additional $10 per ticket. Other popular options include the VIP ticket, which combines admission to Top of the Rock with a 45-minute guided tour and a 20% discount at the gift shop; the Express ticket, which provides you with immediate Observation Deck entry, expedited security, and priority elevator access; and the “Rock Pass,” which combines your Top of the Rock visit with a guided tour of the Rockefeller Center.
You won’t find anything to eat at Top of The Rock, but there are literally dozens of dining options available elsewhere in Rockefeller Center. From major casual chain brands like Chipotle and Potbelly Sandwich Shop to local favorites like Dough and Other Half Brewing Company, you name it, you’ll find it here. You’re just steps from coffee, pizza, Italian, fine dining, sushi, burgers, bagels, and so much more.
If you’re looking to turn your visit to Top of the Rock Observation Deck into an entire day, it’s not difficult to do, as Rockefeller Center has plenty of amenities for everyone. World-class shopping is all around you—Rockefeller Center is home to iconic international brands, New York favorites, and innovative boutiques—but that’s just scratching the surface of things. You’ll also find here barbers, florists, salons, and a whole host of other services catering to a wide range of needs and interests.
Tips for Visiting the Top of the Rock Observation Deck
- The Top of the Rock is included on several money saving tourist passes including the New York Pass, NY Explorer Pass, Sightseeing Pass and New York CityPASS.
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck is open daily between the hours of 10:00am and 10:00pm. General Admission tickets cost $40 for adults, $38 for seniors, and $34 for children ages 6 through 12 years old. Children under the age of 6 are admitted at no cost.
- You don’t need to buy tickets in advance here, but it’s a really good idea to do so. Lines to enter Top of the Rock Observation Deck can get pretty intense at times, especially when it’s busy, but if you already have your ticket in hand you can head straight to the mezzanine exhibit and start your journey upward.
- Though Top of the Rock is open until 10:00pm, it’s crucial to note that the last elevator taking guests to the Observation Deck actually departs at 9:10pm.
- Most visitors report that their favorite spot for pictures at Top of the Rock is the 70th floor’s third deck area. It’s set entirely outside, with no obstructions. As a result, it’s hard to beat if you want to snap a magical shot high in the clouds above Manhattan.