Empire State of Building or Rockefeller Center?

Have you ever dreamed about travelling to New York?

New York is one of the top destinations among travellers. I don’t know why but everybody (maybe not everybody, but lot of people) dreams or has dreamed about travelling to the Big Apple. This is a really interesting post for you if you’re one of those I said before or if you’re already organizing a trip to New York.

Imagine you’re in New York already, and you’re ready to discover what this amazing city hides. Then you realize that one of the things you want to see are the views of the city from the top of some of the high skyscrapers.

As you know, the two most famous buildings that there are in New York, if you want to go to the top of them, are: Empire State of Building and Rockefeller Center. The bad thing is that the ticket price for this places is quite expensive, so if you don’t have time or budged enough, you may have to choose one of them.  The question is: which one should I choose?

Today I’m going to explain you, according to my experience, the advantages and disadvantages of each one of these great buildings. So you can choose the one you think is better.



This is a really good option if you have enough time and budget.

The CityPass is, of course, a pass, that allows you to enter in six of the most famous attractions in New York. The price is 116$ per adult and you can go to the top of the Empire State of Building (twice) and the Rockefeller Center (once).

This way you’ll save some money and you’ll be able to enter this two amazing buildings and enjoy the views from the top during the day and at night.

You’ll find more information about this pass here.


If this is not the best option for you, don’t worry, here you have the advantages and disadvantages of each of the buildings.



The Empire State of Building is one of the most famous buildings in New York. It’s located in the Midtown of Manhattan, in the 338-350, 5th Avenue.

The schedule is from 8am to 2 am. It’s open the whole day and the last elevator is going up at 1:15am. There are two observatories, one at the 86th floor and the other one at the 102nd floor.



One of the advantages is that it’s one of the most famous buildings in the city, and it’s located in the city centre.

There’s a 360º view of New York. The views from there are incredible amazing and you can see all the skyscrapers in Manhattan from a really high place. You can also see the “back” side of the island, this means, where the Statue of Liberty is.

Another of the advantages of the Empire State is that, because it’s an old building, once you’re inside, it’s really beautiful and it looks like you’re back in the 20’s.



There are too many people. It’s a pity, but it’s one of the most famous places in New York so it’s always full of people and you’ll have queue to climb to the top, for a long time.

Once in the 86th floor, the space is so small, so you’ll have to wait until you’ll find a gap to take a good picture. Furthermore, all the borders are surrounded by spikes.

One of the things I don’t like about the top of the Empire State, so I thing it’s a disadvantage, is that you can’t see Central Park from there.

Other information

The price is one of the things you have to keep in mind. To go to the 86th floor you have to pay 34$ per adult. And the price to go to the 102nd floor is 54$ per adult.

The day that Spain won the FIFA World Cup in 2010



The Rockefeller Center is not as famous as the Empire State of building but, as the time passes by, it’s getting more and more famous. It’s located in Rockefeller Square New York, and the entrance is placed in the 50th avenue, between the 5th and the 6th.

It’s open from 8am to 12pm, but the last elevator goes up to the top at 11:45pm. There’s only one observatory with two floors called Top of the Rock.



One of the advantages about this building is that, with the Citypass, you can queue less time if you book for another day. Moreover, before you start going up to the top, there’s a mini tour where you can learn how the Rockefeller Center was built.

Another of the advantages is that the observatory is bigger than the one in the Empire State, so you have more space to take photos. Furthermore, it’s surrounded by glasses so the views are clear and amazing. As if that wasn’t enough, there is no glass or spikes at the second floor of the observatory!!

The last thing I think it’s an advantage is that, from the Top of the Rock, you can see, at the north the huge Central Park, and at the south the stunning Empire State. It’s worth it!



This building is not as famous and important as The Empire State (but I already said that it’s getting more famous). Moreover, it’s difficult to see all the south part of Manhattan, where the Wall Street buildings are, because it’s so far from there.

There are no 360º views, so the western part of Manhattan is quite difficult to see.


In short, both buildings are incredible and the views from the top of them are amazing. If you’ve the opportunity of going to the top of the Empire State and the Rockefeller Center, I really recommend you to do it, it’s worth it (despite the queues). But, if you have to choose only one, according to my experience, I recommend you The Top of the Rock. The observatory is big enough for all the people that want to go, so it’s less crowded, and, in my opinion, the views are much more spectacular.

Finally, if you want to make you trip to New York the best, and you’ve decided to go to the top of both buildings, I recommend you to go upstairs twice: once during the day and the other at night. It’s incredible amazing and you won’t forget it.


What about you? Which do you like the most?

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