Top of the Rock NYC

…Hidden Secrets, Best Photos Ops and Tips

What a treat to get a private tour of the Top of the Rock NYC!!! I honestly didn’t think I was going to be impressed, but WOW, was I surprised. John, TOTR Senior Customer Care Representative, gave us some real NYC Insider tips about the TOTR and Rockefeller Center.

Top of the Rock Ticket & Tour Options

Top of the Rock NYC Insider Guide

Top of the Rock Tour

Just as you walk in to TOTR, there is a huge, hanging crystal chandelier, which looks like a suspended waterfall. Now look at it closely…

It is actually an inverted model of the building, also known as 30 Rockefeller Center (30 Rock).

Top of the Rock Swarovski Crystal Chandelier

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This iconic image, known as “Men on Beam,” was taken during the construction of 30 Rockefeller Center. Ask 10 New Yorkers, and I’ll bet, like me, 9 of them thought it was taken at the Empire State Building.

During the tour, sit on the beam and look down through the glass floor to get a virtual sense of what it was like to have lunch at 70 stories high.

Top of the Rock Men on a Beam
TOTR – Men on Beam 1932

Rockefeller Center During Depression
Rockefeller Center – Depression

The tour includes three very interesting 5-minute films about the history of Rockefeller Center, the Rockettes and NBC Studios.

Rockefeller Center was originally intended to house the Metropolitan Opera, but when the Depression hit in 1929, John D. Rockefeller changed direction and chose to create over 70,000 much needed jobs in New York City by building Rockefeller Plaza.

NYC Insider Tip

Pay attention – this is truly insider information given to NYCIG by the Manager of TOTR….

“In addition to our two Swarovski crystal installations, the Joie chandelier and Radiance crystal geode wall, Swarovski also hid several of their crystal animal figurines inside Radiance.”

Can you find all the hidden crystals?

When to Visit Top of the Rock

Sunset is the most popular (ie, busiest) time of day. Watching the sunset over The Empire State Building is breathtaking.

The best time to propose at TOTR is in the morning, the least crowded time. If you’re really, really lucky, you will feel like you have a whole outdoor floor, and all of New York City, to yourself for a short time.

The all glass elevator takes 43 seconds to go from Floor 2 to Floor 67. There is no 13th Floor at 30 Rockefeller Center.

Top of the Rock at Sunset View of Empire State Building
TOTR at Sunset
View of Empire State Building

Top of the Rock Secret Swarovski Crystals in Walls
Hiddens Secrets at TOTR

Watch for the hidden Swarovski crystal animals along the walls of the 67th floor. See if you can find the Cat eating the Mouse or the Rabbit hidden in the wall.

The huge, open space on the 67th Floor of 30 Rock was Don King’s office, before the Observation Deck re-opened in 2005, after a 20 year hiatus.

Top of the Rock Don Kings Office
67th Floor – Don King’s Office

Top of the Rock Observation Deck 1930'S
TOTR Observation Deck 1930’S

The Observation Deck was originally modeled after the lounge deck of a cruise ship, such as the Titanic, complete with wood Adirondeck Chairs and waiters serving cocktails. In the 1930’s, during the Depression, a trip to the Observation Deck of the Top of the Rock NYC was designed to simulate setting sail in the heart of New York City.

At the Top of the Rock NYC gift shop, there is a smaller model of the Swarovski Crystal Star that is always on the Top of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. You can even purchase a replica to take home and put on your Christmas Tree.

NYC Insider Guide Tip – don’t waste your time taking pictures from inside the glass, as I did.

Head straight to the 70th floor, the very top of the outside observation deck, for completely unobstructed, no glass, 360 degree, unbelievable views of Manhattan.

Rockefeller Christmas Tree Star
Rockefeller Christmas Tree Star

TOTR - North View Central Park
TOTR – North View Central Park

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Top of the Rock NYC Tickets

  • Reserved Times – Adults $39, Child (6-12) $32.00, Senior (62+) $28.00
  • Sun & Stars (Sunrise/ Sunset – two visits in one day) – Adults $54, Child $30
  • Rock Pass – Top of the Rock and Rockefeller Center Tour

Best Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

Some of our top value picks near Rockefeller Center include:

Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

See the Insider Guide for dozens more Hotels Near Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center runs from 47th - 50th Streets, between 5th and 6th Aves. Download our free neighborhood maps at Midtown East Hotels and Midtown West Hotels

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Restaurants Near Top of the Rock

Del Frisco’s Grille
Del Frisco’s Grille is a casual destination offering wood oven-baked flatbreads with toppings like pulled rosemary chicken and goat cheese, hearty salads, “two fisted” sandwiches such as the Pastrami & Swiss Reuben, fresh seafood classics ranging from Cioppino to Ahi Tuna Steak and, of course, a range of signature steaks and chops.

Harry’s Italian Pizza Parlor
Restaurateur Peter Poulakakos and award winning pizza Chef Nick Angelis have brought a spinoff of their downtown favorite, Harry’s Italian, to Rockefeller Center. Harry’s Italian Pizza Parlor will offer their old fashioned square pizzas by the slice or pie, as well as salads, Italian ices and hero sandwiches. Visit Harry’s in the Rockefeller Concourse for a delicious meal.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Potbelly, the raved-about sub chain that originated in Chicago, continues to make inroads into Manhattan’s lunch scene. Located in the Concourse, Potbelly is a renowned sandwich shop famous for its toasted subs, freshly-blended milkshakes and folksy décor.

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Annual Events at Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock Starlight Music Series

Almost every February and September, TOTR offers us a special treat with wine, this spectacular view and live jazz music! Visit the 67th floor observation deck at Top of the Rock and enjoy the city at sunset with wine and champagne (for purchase) provided by Morrell Wine Bar & Cafe.

Starlight Music Series | Top of the Rock

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Halloween Spooktacular at Top of the Rock

Some years, TOTR hosts a "Spooktacular," where children can enjoy face painting, magic shows, crafts and sweet treats while the whole family will enjoy the stunning, 360-degree panorama of New York City. Activities are free with admission. See more: Halloween Spooktacular at Top of the Rock

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Rockefeller Center More Info

Top of the Rock NYC More Info

  • Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, NY 10112
  • Website:
  • Main entrance is at 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues
  • Top of the Rock NYC is fully ADA compliant and open 365 days per year.
  • 8am to 12:30am, 7 days a week. The first elevator goes up at 8am, the last one at 11:40pm. Hours of operation may vary on holidays.
  • Neighborhood Guides: Midtown East and Midtown West
  • Nearby Attractions: Rockefeller Center, NBC Studios, The Today Show, Nintendo World, American Girl Place.

Holiday Hours of Operation:

  • Thanksgiving: 8am-Midnight
  • Christmas Eve, December 24: 8am-10pm
  • Christmas Day, December 25: 8am-Midnight
  • New Year’s Eve, December 31: 8am-10pm
  • New Year’s Day, January 1: 10am-12:30am

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Most Popular Ticketed Tourist Attractions

Sightsee from the Sky

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Edge or Summit? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.

Edge NYC Observation Deck

  • Empire State Building - (86 and 102 floors) Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
  • Top of the Rock - (67-70 floors) Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
  • One World Observatory - (100-102 floors) Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
  • Edge - (100-101 floors) Highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building (photo)
  • Summit One Vanderbilt - (91-93 floors) Opens Oct 2021, all glass elevator, indoor and outdoor decks and glass terraces off the side of the building

Free NYC Tourist Attractions

New York City Shopping

New York City Museum Guides

New York City Museums

NYC Insider Guide
NYC Insider Guide
Welcome! I'm Melissa, a fourth generation New Yorker, who has been lucky enough to live in New York for over 30 years. I love just about everything in New York City, the very reason I started this web site, and I look forward to sharing it all with you. Please explore the New York City Insider Guide at your own pace. I hope it helps you plan your New York City Vacation, so you not only go home as a NYC Insider, but plan to visit us again soon.


  1. I have an all night layover on the 22. I land at 10pm and leave at 9:15 am in terminal 5. I wanted to take the the airbus to go to top of the rock and explore that area. Is it safe to walk and would there be anything open at that time?

    • Hi Sheila:
      You don’t say what airport, but since you said Terminal 5, I’ll assume JFK. You also didn’t mention if are you arriving domestic or international (will have to go to through customs). I highly doubt you’ll be able to make TOTR if your flight lands at 10pm. BEST case scenario, if your flight lands and deplanes exactly on time you have no luggage, no customs, you run through the airport and the airtrain is exactly on time, you’ll be in midtown by 11:15. Possible? Yes. Likely? No. As stated above, the last elevator goes up at 11:40pm and TOTR is open until 12:30. Midtown is perfectly safe, but no other shops or attractions will be open at that time. Restaurants and bars will be hit or miss – Midtown appeals to a business crowd and thrives during the day and happy hour. It’s not known as a late night spot.

      I’d recommend checking out the Empire State Building instead as it is open until 2am: (Last elevators go up at 1:15am)

      There will be a bit more to do around Penn Station (especially if there is a concert or game that night @ MSG). And Koreatown stays open ALL THE TIME – tons of food, some shops, 24 hour spas, Karaoke and more.


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