I have only been to New York twice before and even if it was more, I would still consider myself a tourist. There is so much to see and do that you might not have done before and going to the top of the Rockefeller Center or ‘Top of the Rock’ was one to do things I can now cross off. I had been to the top of the Empire State Building but never the Rockefeller Center and now I have, I would definitely recommend it, as a bit like in Paris when we went up to the top of the Montparnasse Tower you got a view of the Eiffel Tower rather than being on it and this is the same for the Rockefeller, you can see the Empire State Building in all it’s glory, as well as fantastic views over Central Park, the city and beyond.
Here are some top tips if you are also planning a visit to the Top of the Rock.
When To Visit
I booked tickets for us to visit at sunset, so being May this was at around 8-8.30pm. You can check when the sunset will be when you visit using this handy sunrise/sunset guide online I found. Our tickets were booked for the 7.30pm-7.45pm entrance and this was plenty time to get in, go through security and get to see each different level. This time is VERY busy and so I highly recommend booking ahead, as they sell out very quickly. It’s a fantastic time as you get to see New York whilst it’s light but then also when dark. It was a great time to visit as we had a whole day of exploring and shopping etc, then felt we had plenty time to stay at the top without rushing.
Definitely book in advance. You have to choose your day and time, but to see the sunset over New York City, it’s totally worth it.
What To Expect
When you arrive at the Rockefeller Center, the entrance for the Observation Deck are at the two sides of the building. Don’t arrive too early before your entry time as you will only get told to politely go away. Once through the entrance, you will be taken up a lift to the security floor, once through security there is a bit of a queue to get into the lifts to the top, so do make sure you leave enough time.
There are numerous floors, one inside, one with more glass round it and the best floor is the very top which I recommend definitely going to. This is where you will get your money shot and be able to capture the City so well without glass blocking your view. As I said at this time it can be extremely busy and full of selfie sticks (insert selfie stick rage here), so just be patient and you will be able to get to the front and get your picture. If someone is really hogging the limelight, just ask them politely if you can move in to take a picture.
What To Bring
Camera – There are amazing photo opportunities; the Empire State Building, the One World Trade Center, the Chrysler, Central Park and more. I used my Nikon D5300 with 18-55mm kit lens for these pictures
Comfortable Shoes – There are a few stairs at the very top or you could be standing waiting in the queue, so wear some comfortable shoes
Quarters – For the binoculars
Your love for NYC!
I am so glad we visited Top of the Rock, it was an amazing experience and watching the sunset over New York is one view I will never forget.