Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top of the Rock vs the Empire State Building

December 2013/January 2014

Its the question that everyone asks when visiting NYC. Which do I do, Top of the Rock at Rockefella or The Empire State. We visited both, one during the day and one during the night, so they aren't a true comparison, but the experiences of both were very different.

Top of the Rock
We visited the Top of the Rock at 3 pm on a sunny afternoon.


  • Your ticket is timed - meaning the queue's are non-existent at best and short at worst
  • You can see the Crystler building and the Empire State
  • You get a great view of Central Park


  • Your ticket is timed - meaning that no mater the weather if you've pre-purchased your ticket you must go up at that time

The Empire State Building
We visited the Empire State Building at 8 pm on a clear and crisp night.


  • Its an iconic building, its in movies, its mentioned in music, it seems to signify that you are in NYC
  • The building itself is interesting inside due to it being art deco


  • You cannot see the Empire State from the Empire State
  • The queue's are horrendous, even if you have pre-purchased a ticket, unless its VIP, you must wait in line and they are long lines (even at 8 pm at night)

Recommendation: If your short on time, Top of the Rock is my choice. To be honest I'm not sure if I would bother with The Empire State unless there was no queue or you really had your heart set on going.

1 comment:

  1. I went to the top of the ESB numerous times as a wee one but never recently versus I did visit Top of the Rock in 2006 (it's relatively new as a tourist attraction, I think the viewing platform opened in the mid 2000s). I don't remember the ESB enough to comment but was pleased with Top of the Rock. You can't beat the views.