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Top of the Rock

By Jane LernerMar 25 2015

Top of the Rock offers the best views of NYC from on high. Seventy floors up in the sky and it's like you can see forever—or at least to the Bronx (and to a New Yorker, that's as far as the world needs to go). How to obtain these incredible vistas? It's as easy as buying a ticket and traveling to Rockefeller Center. Here are a handful of helpful hints, links and tips to navigate your way to the roof with ease. Have fun up there, send photos!

Buy tickets ahead of time
The Internet is your friend! Purchasing tickets to Top of the Rock in advance is the most efficient way to visit. Your best bet is to visit the website, peruse your ticket options and select the date and time of your visit. Once you arrive IRL at Top of the Rock's main entrance on 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, you can waltz right in at your appointed time. Cool!

If you're here at Rockefeller Center and your visit to Top of the Rock is more of a spontaneous one, look for the red-jacketed members of the Mobile Team, who can help you purchase tickets right on the spot, or head straight downstairs to the ticket kiosks located midway down the lower-level Concourse. (Both of those options are credit card only, so if you are paying cash, you'll have to go up to the counter.) If you have obtained tickets through a third-party voucher, or if you're having any issues with your already-purchased tickets, head straight to the Will Call desk, which is located just inside the main entrance on 50th Street. Don't worry, Top of the Rock staff are available to direct you to all of these locations and guide you through the various ticket options.

When's the best time to visit? Our ToTR insider told us that the best options are either right at opening (8am) or late at night (10pm) any day of the week. You'll find sunset to be the busiest time of day—everyone wants to watch the sun go down and the lights come up over the city, so plan accordingly.

Enter on 50th Street
With tickets in hand, head to the main Top of the Rock entrance on 50th Street at your appointed time. Top of the Rock is stroller friendly (as long as it's collapsible), and fully wheelchair accessible. Look for the Radio City Music Hall marquee, and then for the red carpet outside the main doors. You found it! Make sure to admire the sparkling chandelier that's the centerpiece of the grand atrium lobby.

You're in!
Be prepared for a short elevator ride and a security checkpoint, which might take a few minutes. (No need to take off your shoes.) As you begin the show, you'll walk through an exhibition all about Rockefeller Center's rich and storied development, you'll be given a few photo opportunities, and even get to see a short film. Now it's time to head upstairs! Hold on for the elevator ride of your life—no spoilers here, but make sure to look up as you ascend.

Go all the way up
Top of the Rock is a three-level observation deck that consists of the 67th, 69th and 70th floors of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The lower two floors have protective glass (phew!) while the topmost level offers 360-degree, unobstructed views. No vertigo allowed. There are also indoor viewing spaces with seating, art and light installations and gift shops on the 67th and 69th floors. (Bathrooms too.) Give yourself at least 45 minutes to enjoy the views in all directions—bring quarters for the viewfinders. When you're done, factor in a few extra minutes to get back down to the lobby. You'll be dropped off at the Concourse lower level, where you can head right out for food, shopping, skating and more.

Top of the Rock has all the answers, along with photos, tips, directions, ticket information, and everything else you need to know to get the most out of your visit.

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