Standing 70 stories tall, the Rockefeller Center is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city of New York. It is home to a range of businesses, shops, restaurants, and the Top of the Rock observatory, attracting millions of visitors every year. Here's a comprehensive guide with everything you need to know to plan your visit to the Rockefeller Center.
Rockefeller Center - In A Nutshell
|⏰ Suggested Duration:||1 to 2 hours|
|☀️ Best Time to Visit:||Weekday morning|
|💜 Must See:||Top of the Rock|
|🚇 Closest Subway:||47th-50th Street Rockefeller Center|
Top of the Rock
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
NBC Studio Tour
Radio City Music Hall
Things to Know
Located in: New York
Established in: 1959
Number of visitors per year: 125 million (approx.)
Opening Hours and Address
Last Admission at 10:10 PM for Top of the Rock
Address: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111, USA
Why is the Rockefeller Center Worth Visiting?
- The Rockefeller Centre offers stunning views of NYC from the Top of the Rock observation deck.
- It's a cultural hub, featuring iconic landmarks and world-class entertainment at Radio City Music Hall.
- The NBC Studio Tour offers behind-the-scenes access to one of America's most popular TV networks.
- The art installations throughout the complex are a must-see, including the famous Atlas statue.
- The ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center was created for a movie, but became a beloved seasonal tradition!
Rockefeller Center Tickets
With the New York Explorer Pass, you can visit the Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock, and many other popular attractions in the city!
History of the Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is integral to the city's history and culture. Built during the Great Depression, it served as a symbol of hope and progress for the city and the nation as a whole. The art and architecture throughout the complex are a blend of Art Deco and Modernist styles, making it a fascinating example of early 20th-century design. Let's not forget about the pop culture references - the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center has been featured in countless movies and TV shows, including Home Alone 2 and Saturday Night Live. One of the main reasons to visit is the stunning views from the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, where you can see the entire city spread out before you. So come visit and see for yourself why the Rockefeller Center is still a must-see destination in New York City.
Architecture of the Rockefeller Center
The architecture of the Rockefeller Center is a fascinating blend of Art Deco and Modernist styles, making it an impressive example of early 20th-century design. Some of the most interesting areas include the GE Building, home to the famous Rainbow Room, and the Atlas statue, a symbol of strength and freedom. The Top of the Rock Observation Deck offers stunning views of the city and is one of the most Instagrammable spots in the complex. Another architectural highlight is the lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, which features a beautiful mural by Diego Rivera. The best time to admire the architectural elements of the building is in the evening, when the iconic art deco towers are lit up, creating a stunning skyline.
Top Highlights at the Rockefeller Center
1Top of the Rock Observation Deck
Enjoy stunning panoramic views of NYC from the 70th floor of the GE Building. The deck features 360-degree views of the city, including Central Park, the Empire State Building, and the Hudson River.
2Rockefeller Center Tour
Take a guided tour of the complex to learn about its rich history and famous landmarks. The tour includes visits to the art deco lobbies, the famous skating rink, and the historic NBC studios.
3 Radio City Music Hall
Catch a show at this iconic venue, which has hosted legendary performers like Frank Sinatra and the Rockettes. The stunning Art Deco architecture and state-of-the-art sound system make for a memorable experience.
4NBC Studio Tour
Go behind the scenes of one of America's most popular TV networks and see how your favorite shows are made. You'll visit the studios where Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, and other iconic shows are produced.
5The Christmas Tree
See the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a symbol of holiday cheer and goodwill. The tree is over 75 feet tall and is decorated with thousands of lights and ornaments, making it a must-see during the holiday season.
6The Skating Rink
Skate in the footsteps of countless movie stars and celebrities on the iconic Rockefeller Center ice skating rink. The rink was initially built for a movie, but became a beloved seasonal activity in the city.
7The Atlas Statue
Marvel at the impressive bronze Atlas statue, which depicts the Titan of Greek mythology holding up the heavens. The statue was created by sculptor Lee Lawrie and is a symbol of strength and freedom.
Experience old-world glamor and sophistication at the Rainbow Room, a historic New York City landmark. The famous restaurant and lounge features stunning Art Deco design, live music, and delicious cuisine.
Enjoy the vibrant and ever-changing art installations throughout the complex, including the famous Love sculpture and the giant metal dog Balto. These pieces add a touch of whimsy and color to the bustling urban environment.
10Diego Rivera Mural
Take in the stunning mural by Mexican artist Diego Rivera in the lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The mural, entitled "Man at the Crossroads," was originally commissioned for the Rockefeller Center, but was controversially destroyed and later recreated.
Best Time to Visit Rockefeller Center
The Rockefeller Center is a popular spot during the holiday season, when the famous Christmas tree and ice skating rink attract large crowds. If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, it's best to visit during the off-season, such as the summer or early fall. Visit early in the morning or later in the evening on weekdays to avoid crowds. Plan to visit the Top of the Rock observation deck just before sunset for spectacular views of the city lights.
Additionally, you can learn more about the Best Time to Visit New York.
The Best Time to Visit New York City - The Ultimate Month on Month Guide
Rockefeller Center Timings
- Monday to Sunday - 24 hours
- Top of the Rock timings: 9 AM to 11 PM
- By Car: The closest parking lot is Rockefeller Center Parking Garage. For two hours of parking, the charges are $35.
- By Bus: 1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7, M27, M50, & Q32
Nearest Stop: W 49 St/5 Av
- By Subway: Lines B, D, F, N, M, Q, & R
Nearest Stop: 47th-50th Streets Rockefeller Center station
- By Train: 1 and 6
Nearest Stop: 5th-6th Avenues Rockefeller Center
Insider Tips for Visiting Rockefeller Center
- Don't miss the lesser-known art installations and sculptures throughout the complex, such as the giant metal dog Balto and the iconic "Love" sculpture.
- Check out the stunning murals by renowned artist Jose Maria Sert in the lobby of Rockefeller Plaza.
- Take a break from the crowds and explore the serene Channel Gardens, a beautiful garden oasis in the heart of the city.
- Visit the Top of the Rock observation deck at night for a breathtaking view of the city lights.
- Explore the underground concourse level, which features a wide variety of shops and restaurants, including the famous Magnolia Bakery.
- Book a VIP tour or experience for behind-the-scenes access to NBC studios or exclusive access to the observation deck.
- During the holiday season, check out the stunningly decorated window displays at nearby department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman.
Interesting Facts About Rockefeller Center
- The Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings built during the Great Depression in the 1930s. It was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. as a "city within a city."
- The famous Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center has been a tradition since 1931. The tree is usually a Norway Spruce, stands over 75 feet tall, and is decorated with over 50,000 LED lights.
- The Rockefeller Center's famous ice skating rink was originally created as a temporary attraction during the Great Depression but became so popular that it was made permanent.
- The famous "30 Rock" building is the headquarters of NBC and was the setting for the popular TV show of the same name.
- The Rockefeller Center is home to several world-famous art installations, including the "Atlas" statue, the "Prometheus" statue, and the "Joie de Vivre" sculpture.
- The Rockefeller Center has a secret underground bunker built during World War II that was designed to house important government officials in the event of a national emergency.
- The observation deck on the 70th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, also known as the "Top of the Rock," offers stunning views of the city and is considered one of the best observation decks in New York.
- The Rockefeller Center is home to several iconic restaurants, including the Rainbow Room, which was once a popular hangout for celebrities and politicians.
- The Rockefeller Center is a prime location for several annual events, including the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, the Summer Garden & Bar, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Located inside the Museum of Modern Art, The Modern is a Michelin-starred restaurant serving French-American cuisine. The elegant space offers a prix-fixe menu, with dishes like roasted duck breast and tuna tartare. The restaurant also features a bar area and a lounge for more casual dining. Recommended for a special occasion or a fine dining experience.
Distance from Rockefeller Center: 0.1 miles
This modern French restaurant offers a seasonal menu of dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. Signature dishes include the Alsatian tart flambe, foie gras terrine, and venison loin. The restaurant also features a bar and lounge area for cocktails and snacks. Recommended for a romantic dinner or a special occasion.
Distance from Rockefeller Center: 0.3 miles
Keens is a historic steakhouse dating back to the 19th century, known for its aged beef and extensive whiskey selection. The restaurant features a cozy atmosphere with wood paneling and vintage decor. Recommended for a classic steakhouse experience.
Distance from Rockefeller Center: 0.5 miles
This upscale Greek restaurant is known for its fresh seafood, including a selection of Mediterranean fish flown in daily. The menu also includes Greek specialties like octopus and lamb chops. The restaurant features an elegant, minimalist design with white walls and light wood accents. Recommended for a seafood lover or a business dinner.
Distance from Rockefeller Center: 0.3 miles
Del Frisco's is a high-end steakhouse chain, known for its dry-aged steaks and extensive wine list. The location features multiple levels, with a bar area, private dining rooms, and outdoor seating overlooking the skating rink. Recommended for a business dinner or a celebratory meal.
Distance from Rockefeller Center: 0.2 miles
Things to do Around the Rockefeller Center
Standing tall at 1,454 feet, the Empire State Building is an iconic New York City landmark. You can take the elevator to the top and enjoy 360-degree views of the city. The building's Art Deco design is also a sight to behold. Get yourself Empire State Building Skip-the-Line Tickets to make the most of your visit.
Distance from Rockefeller Center: 1.9 miles
Located in Hudson Yards, Edge is the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. Step out onto the glass floor and look down 1,100 feet to the street below. The views of the city skyline are stunning, and the experience is unforgettable. Grab your Edge NYC Tickets now!
Distance from Rockefeller Center: 2.9 miles
Known as "The Crossroads of the World," Times Square is a bustling commercial and entertainment hub. Take in the bright lights, billboards, and street performers while grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants around. Explore Times Square and other popular spots with a New York Exlorer Pass.
Distance from Rockefeller Center: 3.4 miles
This popular wax museum features lifelike figures of celebrities, politicians, and historical figures. Take selfies with your favorite Hollywood stars and learn about their lives and accomplishments. The interactive exhibits make for a fun and educational experience. Visit Madame Tussauds and other iconic attractions with a NY Explorer Pass.
Distance from Rockefeller Center: 3.1 miles
The MoMA is one of the world's premier museums of modern and contemporary art. Explore works by artists such as Van Gogh, Warhol, and Picasso, as well as attend special exhibitions and film screenings. The museum's sleek design and stunning collection make it a must-visit destination. Discover a range of fine artworks with Museum of Modern Art Tickets.
Distance from Rockefeller Center: 1.2 miles
Hotels Around Rockefeller Center
The Rockefeller Center is open 24/7, however, the timings of each attraction inside vary.
The Rockefeller Center is easily accessible by subway, bus, taxi, or car. The nearest subway stations are Rockefeller Center/47-50th St. and Fifth Avenue/53rd St.
No, there is no admission fee to enter the Rockefeller Center. However, some attractions, such as the Top of the Rock observation deck, require a fee.
Some of the top attractions to see at the Rockefeller Center include the Top of the Rock observation deck, the ice-skating rink, Radio City Music Hall, and the NBC Studios tour.
You can spend anywhere between a few hours to a whole day exploring the Rockefeller Center and all its attractions!
Yes, the Rockefeller Center is wheelchair accessible. Ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms are available throughout the complex.
Yes, visitors are allowed to take photos at the Rockefeller Center. However, some attractions may have restrictions on photography.
Yes, there is parking available at the Rockefeller Center. The parking garage is located at 127 West 48th Street and is open 24 hours a day.