New York at night can be enjoyed in a different way, especially if you can see it in all its splendour in the heart of Manhattan from a place as privileged as the Top of the Rock.
Climbing to the Top of the Rock at night is one of the most exciting experiences you can have during your stay in the Big Apple. Leave vertigo aside and dare to take the pulse of the "city that never sleeps" from above.
You'll see the Empire State Building lit up like never before and much more. Here's why it's worth visiting the Top of the Rock at night.
How much does it cost to see the Top of the Rock at night?
Enjoying the New York skyline at dusk is as easy as buying your tickets to the Top of the Rock and booking a night time slot on the date you decide to visit. From €35 you can buy a skip-the-line ticket for the Rockefeller Plaza observation deck.
The best option is to buy tickets to the Top of the Rock online, as this observatory is one of the most iconic in Manhattan next to the Empire State Building and there are usually long queues at the ticket booths to get tickets.
There you can get tickets from around 35 euros, but given the huge crow ds of people that crowd around it, you run the risk of not being able to book the night time slot as there is no availability. After sunset, dusk is a popular time for tourists to see the Big Apple from above.
When is the Top of the Rock open at night? Evening hours
Top of the Rock is open every day of the week and year from 10 AM to 10 PM. This is a very flexible schedule, which is perfect for tourists as it allows you to go up to the observation deck of Rockefeller Center at almost any time of the day and well into the night. We still recommend that you buy your Top of the Rock tickets online to avoid queues.
However, if you want to see other attractions in the area before visiting the Top of the Rock at night, remember that the last lift available is the 9:10 PM elevator. Keep this in mind when planning your sightseeing for the day so you don't miss out.
If you visit New York at Christmas time, a trip to Rockefeller Center at Christmas time will not only give you the best views of the city, but also plenty to see around it: the skating rink, the Christmas tree...
When does the Top of the Rock open at night?
All skyscrapers in New York City are open at dusk, which means that this time varies throughout the year and seasonally.
So, for example, during the winter in New York it gets dark around 4:30 PM while in the summer in New York the sun doesn't set until 8:30 PM. Knowing this information about sunset and sunset beforehand will help you plan your evening visit to the Top of the Rock in detail.
What are the nighttime views from the Top of the Rock like?
It's hard to find words to describe that moment when you have New York at your feet - you have to experience it! A bird's eye view of New York at night is a marvellous opportunity to get a unique perspective of the city that never sleeps.
As the sun sets, the stars will gradually appear, but it's not the sky that will capture your attention at the top of the Top of the Rock (even if you feel closer to it), but the beautiful cityscape that will spread out before you, dotted with little coloured lights that adorn the Big Apple.
If you decide to buy your tickets for the Top of the Rock, when you go up at night you'll feel like you're in a privileged place. From the observatories on the 67th, 69th and 70th floors you will have magnificent 360º views of Manhattan and discover the soul of New York through the skyscrapers that rise up on the skyline.
One of them is the Empire State Building, whose silhouette can be seen perfectly from here and at night it shines in a special way. It may be a little harder to spot other tourist attractions in the distance at night, but if you pay attention and look carefully, you can also see them from the Top of the Rock observation deck:
All in all, seeing New York at night from the top of this jewel of American Art Deco is magical. The icing on the cake to a sensational day on the streets of the Big Apple.
Can you climb the Top of the Rock at night with children?
Of course they can! The little ones will love this experience. First, take one of the skyscraper's Sky Shuttle lifts that will transport them at the speed of light to the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in less than a minute. 260 metres in less than 60 seconds will seem like magic!
Then, in the observatory, they'll be amazed when they discover how high they are and see the immense New York night landscape lit up by thousands of little coloured lights.
And last but not least, playing a little in the Breezeway room with the LED lights that move as visitors pass by will be a beautiful souvenir of the trip that they won't forget!
Why is it worth going up to the Top of the Rock at night?
- Climbing to the Top of the Rock at night allows you to see the Big Apple as you've never seen it before. You'll feel like you're on top of the world and everything will be tiny and colossal at the same time - it's mind-blowing!
- From the observatory you'll have the best panoramic view of New York at night and you'll be able to see the Empire State Building illuminated in all its splendour. You won't regret buying your tickets to visit this place. Everything looks so beautiful from a privileged place like this! You won't get tired of taking pictures!
- In this sense, going up to the Top of the Rock at night will allow you to record a lot of souvenir videos and take some amazing pictures with all of New York lit up in the distance. It's a very romantic moment.
- Another reason to go to the Top of the Rock at night is that after dark there are usually far fewer visitors to the observatory, as the peak of the day is at sunset. At night there is no hustle and bustle at the observatory. All is quiet and silence reigns. At times you will even feel as if you are alone up there, as if it were a private visit.
- And finally, a night visit to the Top of the Rock is worth it because you'll have the whole day free to make other unhurried plans and finally end a day of sightseeing in New York in style (never better said!).
Top of the Rock Night Climbing Tips
- The Top of the Rock is one of New York's top tourist attractions, so if you want to avoid the queues at the viewing platform's ticket booths, I advise you to buy a skip-the-line ticket to the Top of the Rock online in advance.
- To organise your nighttime visit to the Top of the Rock, when booking your visit, remember that it opens every day and closes at 10 PM, with the last lift going up to the observation deck at 9:10 PM.
- If you've already bought your tickets to go up to the Top of the Rock as a family and the kids are still small, I advise you to do the night tour as early as possible so that they don't get too tired, as they'll have to get up early the next day and be fresh to continue exploring New York.
- Make the most of your visit to the Top of the Rock and have a few drinks afterwards at the Sixty-Five Bar at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. You'll find it on the 65th floor, below the observation deck. It's a great place to continue enjoying the views of Manhattan and cap off a very special day in the city.
- When visiting the Top of the Rock in the evening, you're likely to leave the observation deck late. Don't worry, though, because the New York underground runs 24 hours a day and you'll be able to get back to your hotel in no time. I'll tell you how to get to and from the observatory in the post How to get to the Top of the Rock.
- Taking pictures from the Top of the Rock at night is a temptation you can't resist, but there's a trick to getting them right if you're not an expert photographer. To get beautiful images despite the low light, I advise you to activate the night mode on your camera, use the shutter release to avoid blurred images or set the ISO to 400.
Is it possible to use a tourist card to go up to the Top of the Rock at night?
That's right! If you're thinking about getting a tourist pass to make the most of your trip to New York and you'd like to use it to go up to the Top of the Rock at night, you're in luck because from 65€ you can find options that include the visit to this Rockefeller Center observatory such as the New York Explorer Pass, the New York Pass, the New York CityPASS or the New York Sightseeing Pass.
In the post The best tourist card in New York you have more information about the different tourist passes that exist in the Big Apple. I recommend you take a look at it because I'm sure it will help you choose yours.
How does the Top of the Rock Tourist Card work?
When you go to the Top of the Rock with the Top of the Rock Tourist Card, you will have to go to the ticket office to exchange it for a voucher. You can then choose whether to access the observatory at the next available time or, if it suits you better, choose a date and time for another day. It's as simple as that!
Let's take a look at all the tourist passes that allow you to go up to the Top of the Rock
- New York Explorer Pass
- From £64.
- You will be able to climb to the Top of the Rock
- Access to over 80 attractions
- Duration 60 days
- New York Pass
- From £122
- Access to the Top of the Rock
- Access to over 100 attractions
- Duration from 1 to 10 days
- New York CityPASS
- From £110
- Climb to the Top of the Rock
- Access to 6 attractions
- Duration 9 days
- New York Sightseeing Pass
- From £64
- You will be able to climb the Top of the Rock
- Access to 100 attractions
- Duration from 1 to 10 days
Frequently asked questions
How much do tickets to the Top of the Rock lookout cost?
The price at the box office is usually around 35 euros, but you can also buy tickets online without queuing for around 42 euros.
Are there night tickets?
There are no night tickets. Admission is the same at any time, i.e. there is no night shift. What is recommended is to watch the sunset from this viewpoint to enjoy the lights and the New York skyline at night. It is for this reason that the crowds are much larger at dusk. Note that the Top of the Rock is open every day of the week and year: 10am to 10pm.
Is it possible to go up with children at night?
Of course, it is allowed to go up with children. If you decide to do so and they are still small, it is advisable to make the night visit as early as possible so that they are not too tired.