Best View in NYC: Top of the Rock v. Empire State Building

Every year, people flock to New York City hoping to get the best view of the magnificent skyline. There are plenty of places to stop and look. The number one choice is the Empire State Building. Few people realize that the Rockefeller Center also offers stunning views for tourists. While some are able to see both during their trips, most tourists have to choose between the two. Use this guide to help you make up your mind and discover which historical landmark you would like to tour.

Empire State Building

The Observation Deck of the Empire State Building is a stop on almost any historical tour because of its great view, higher than any other observation deck at about 1200 feet. It really has a top of the world feeling where you are looking down on other skyscrapers. The outdoors Observatory is open every day of the week, making it easy to incorporate into plans. Late hours also offer tourists the opportunity to view stunning sunsets and see the city come alive at night. Tickets for general admission are just under $30 for adults, making it an inexpensive stop in the city. Special premium tickets, which allow for direct access to the 102nd floor with no waiting, are also available.

Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center is also located in the heart of New York City. While the 850-foot building is shorter than the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock observation deck views are not any less breathtaking and ironically gives you the best view of the monumental Empire State Building which is a building that dwarfs other buildings in height and size. Also, Top of the Rock enables you to see Central Park in all its glory from both inside and out. The stop can also be combined with other tourist attractions, such as a tour of the 19-building complex. Tickets are also just under $30 each for adults. While this may seem like less of a value than the Empire State Building, most people find themselves going to Rockefeller Center for one of their many events, making it a very convenient stop.

Choosing One Over the Other

Both spots have their advantages and it can be difficult to choose between the two. The Empire State Building was once the world’s tallest building, making it more well-known to tourists around the world. This can make for a great highlight of your trip, but the lines are often longer. The Top of the Rock is quickly growing as a tourist favorite because of the beautiful scenery and great location, but it isn’t as high as the Empire State Building. Because each observation deck is equally as magnificent, your choice will come down to personal preference.