Top of the Rock Observation Deck, a three-tiered deck at the top of the GE Building in Rockefeller Center, offers one distinct advantage over the Empire State Building: views of the Empire State Building. Thanks to this – and its spacious 360-degree decks – Top of the Rock Observation Deck features what many consider to be the finest panoramic vistas of New York City.
And those views? In a word: Breathtaking. Top of the Rock Observation Deck, which officially opened to the public in 2005 after a lavish renovation, offers sweeping vistas from the 67th, 69th and 70th floors. And, because Rockefeller Center is closer to Central Park than the Empire State Building, there are superb views of the iconic park, ringed by skyscrapers. Plus, the observation deck has windows on the two lower levels, and is completely open-air at the top, so there are no security fences to obstruct the view. In other words, it’s ideal for snapping photos.
Top of the Rock Observation Deck crowns the famous GE Building, a 1933 Art Deco skyscraper designed by acclaimed architect Raymond Hood and his team. Formerly the RCA Building, the GE Building rises an impressive 850 feet, making it the 10th tallest in New York City. The building has also figured prominently in American culture through the decades: The famous 1932 photograph “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” by Charles C. Ebbets depicts workers calmly eating lunch on a steel crossbeam during the construction of this building, framed by the city far below. Top of the Rock Observation Deck celebrates this iconic photo by allowing you to recreate the moment with your friends and family (thanks to technology, you won’t have to actually dangle 70 stories above the city to get the effect!).
Top of the Rock Observation Deck experience is bolstered by video presentations about the history and art of Rockefeller Center and glass-topped elevators that zip to the top in less than a minute. Views from the deck include all of Manhattan’s top attractions: Central Park, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, the Hudson River and more. On clear days, you can even see all the way to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Brooklyn. By night, the view is equally impressive. A tip: If you’d like to see the city under varying shades of light, come by just before sunset, when the sky slowly darkens and the urban sprawl begins to glow.
Approximately 45 minutes to an hour
Good for kids?
Top of the Rock Observation Deck is a big hit with the younger set, with its Beam Walk and photos and laser light show across the glass ceiling of the Sky Shuttle elevator (through which you can see the elevator shaft while zooming to the top of the skyscraper in an ear-popping minute).
Did you know?
The original observation deck, which opened in 1933, was designed to look like the grand deck of an ocean liner of that era. The current Top of the Rock Observation Deck continues in that tradition, with an open-air top deck that resembles a cruise ship.
Top of the Rock Observation Deck was closed for nearly 20 years – from 1986 to 2005 – while the famous Rainbow Room restaurant, which was five floors below, was being renovated.
You must bring your printed voucher to the Top of the Rock on the day of your visit to be exchanged for a timed ticket. Guests can visit the Top of the Rock box office to exchange vouchers for either the next available time slot or for the most optimal time in their itinerary.
Top of the Rock Hours and Location Information