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Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center

New York City
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Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center, New York City New York

Description

Top of the Rock offers an awe-inspiring view over Manhattan from the top of the 30 Rock building in Rockefeller Center. It is far better at night, so come at night if you can. The Empire State Building looks powerful lit up at night. And the twinkling lights of the city, and colored lights on various buildings are magical. You can see the ball that falls on New Years Eve in Times Square. And you can see the many bridges that lead out to the other boroughs. The Chrysler Building, which is so beautiful, is best seen from the top of the Empire State Building as the view is obstructed from Top of the Rock. Central Park is a large chunk of unlit city right in the middle! 

At Top of the Rock there are three levels. The first two have glass to look through. The third, and highest level, is the best because there is no glass in your way. Here you can take photos to your heart's content. If it's windy, you can retreat to the lower levels where the glass shields you. 
Riding up to the top of 30 Rock is fun in and of itself! The elevator trip is a real thrill. Also, it's very classy at the top with lights in the wall and many groovy details, and the chandelier in the ticket room at the ground floor is glorious. This would make a good place to come as part of a romantic date night.
There are some lines to go up and more to go down, but they move fairly quickly. The guy who works the elevator is a fun guy who makes some comedy to keep you entertained!
Funnily, during the day the view is a bit disappointing. Definitely come at night if you can. If you do go during the day, go early in the morning or at sunset so you at least have some contrast to look at, because in the middle of the day it is unimpressive. 
There are plenty of restrooms at Top of the Rock, on the second floor as you wait in line, and on the 66th floor that you get to by a side elevator once you're at the top. 
Sometimes if the visibility is zero, they won't let you go up. 
Young kids aren't as entertained at the top as they are by the elevator ride. Kids don't really like places where there is nothing to touch or manipulate, and this is one of those places. So count on some whining and a not-so-fun time if you bring kids 6 and under. 
Afterwards, go ice skating at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink!

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Photo Gallery

Click on photo to see large version
The chandelier in the ticket office.
The chandelier in the ticket office.
Visitors look through the glass at the lowest observation deck.
Visitors look through the glass at the lowest observation deck.
Looking through an architectural arch at a church below.
Looking through an architectural arch at a church below.
Rest area at the top.
Rest area at the top.
The second observation deck with its art deco architecture.
The second observation deck with its art deco architecture.
View of Central Park, Cityspire Center, and 9 W.57th Street.
View of Central Park, Cityspire Center, and 9 W.57th Street.
View toward the Bronx: General Motors Bldg, Trump Tower, IBM Building, Sony Building, and Bloomberg Tower.
View toward the Bronx: General Motors Bldg, Trump Tower, IBM Building, Sony Building, and Bloomberg Tower.
The ball that drops on New Year's Eve in Times Square.
The ball that drops on New Year's Eve in Times Square.
View toward Brooklyn: Empire State Building, World Trade Center.
View toward Brooklyn: Empire State Building, World Trade Center.
Elevator ride!
Elevator ride!
Radio City Music Hall, seen as you wait in line to go up the elevator.
Radio City Music Hall, seen as you wait in line to go up the elevator.
30 Rock Building.
30 Rock Building.
30 Rock at night.
30 Rock at night.
   

Directions

Top of the Rock is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY 10112, call (212) 698-2000.

You can buy tickets from the Top of the Rock ticket store amongst all the stores and cafes in the basement of the 30 Rock building, where the subway station is. This is a beautiful subway station with clean restrooms and good cafes. 
Cost is $27 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $17 for children aged 6-12. You can buy Sun and Stars tickets to see it in both the day and night ($40 for adult, $22 for child), which we did, but actually you only need to see it at night. Save your money!
Open 8am-11pm.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.

Last Updated Sun, 15 Dec 2013 22:20:48 GMT