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Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center, an embodiment of New York City’s spirit and grandeur, stands tall as a testament to architectural finesse and a hub of cultural vitality. Celebrated globally, it’s a nexus where history, art, and commerce converge.

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We suggest to plan a 4 days trip to New York to enjoy Rockefeller Center

The “Top of the Rock” observation deck at Rockefeller Center, NY

The “Top of the Rock” observation deck at Rockefeller Center

In the heart of New York City, the Rockefeller Center is more than just an architectural marvel. It is a symbol of the city’s relentless pursuit of excellence, embodying its rich history and vibrant present. An epicenter of art, entertainment, and business, the center is a must-visit for anyone stepping foot in the city.

To grasp the true essence of Rockefeller, it’s recommended to visit during early mornings when the crowd is minimal.

Ensure to wear comfortable footwear; the vastness of Rockefeller requires ample exploration on foot.

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Rockefeller Center: A Testament to New York’s Glory

The Rockefeller Center, named after John D. Rockefeller Jr., is a large complex of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres in the heart of New York City. Inaugurated during the 1930s, this center swiftly became a symbol of ambition, representing American enterprise and innovation. Today, it stands not just as a significant tourist attraction but as an emblem of the city’s enduring spirit. Its art deco style, the Radio City Music Hall, and the famous ice skating rink have made it a magnet for tourists and locals alike.

What to Experience at Rockefeller Center?

The Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Boasting a panoramic view of the city’s skyline, the observation deck is a favorite among visitors, providing a bird’s-eye view of New York’s most iconic landmarks.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center

A classic experience, especially during winters. Skating here, with the golden Prometheus statue overlooking, is a memory many cherish.

Radio City Music Hall

Home to the Rockettes and many memorable performances, this theater offers a peek into the city’s rich cultural tapestry.

Rockefeller’s Yuletide Charm: The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

The annual tree lighting ceremony at the Rockefeller Center is a world-renowned event marking the onset of the holiday season. This festive tradition, spanning over eight decades, witnesses the illumination of a massive Christmas tree, attracting visitors globally. The live performances, cheerful ambiance, and the radiant tree standing tall is an ode to New York’s festive spirit.

Best time to visit Rockefeller Center

The ideal time to visit Rockefeller Center is during fall and early winter, especially during the Christmas season to witness the grandeur of the tree lighting ceremony.

Is Rockefeller Center worth visiting?

Undoubtedly, the Rockefeller Center is worth a visit. A microcosm of New York City itself, the center offers a fusion of history, culture, and modernity. Whether it’s the art deco buildings, the myriad of shops, or the vast historical significance, every corner of the center has a story to tell. An experience at Rockefeller is more than just a tour; it’s a dive into the heart of the city.

General information

Useful information for your visit to Rockefeller Center


Located in Midtown Manhattan, Rockefeller Center is easily accessible and is in proximity to other iconic landmarks like Times Square and Central Park.


45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111, USA

Opening hours

Generally open from 8 AM to 12 AM. However, timings for individual attractions within the center may vary.

How to get to Rockefeller Center


While parking is available nearby, due to Rockefeller Center’s central location, traffic can be dense. Using public transport is often more convenient.

Route Distance Travel time
JFK Airport to Rockefeller Center 16 miles 45 minutes
Central Park to Rockefeller Center 0.5 mile 5 minutes
Statue of Liberty to Rockefeller Center 5 miles 20 minutes
Brooklyn Bridge to Rockefeller Center 6 miles 25 minutes

Public transport

The center is well-connected by buses and subways. The nearest subway station is 47-50 Sts – Rockefeller Center.

Route Distance Travel time
Times Square to Rockefeller 0.5 mile 7 minutes (walk)
Grand Central to Rockefeller 0.6 mile 10 minutes (metro)
Penn Station to Rockefeller 1 mile 15 minutes (bus)
Union Square to Rockefeller 2 miles 20 minutes (metro)

Attractions nearby

  • Times Square (500 meters / 0.3 miles)
  • Central Park (800 meters / 0.5 miles)
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral (300 meters / 0.2 miles)
  • MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) (300 meters / 0.2 miles)
  • Bryant Park (1 km / 0.6 miles)
  • New York Public Library (1.2 km / 0.7 miles)
  • Grand Central Terminal (1.5 km / 0.9 miles)
  • Empire State Building (2 km / 1.2 miles)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2.5 km / 1.5 miles)
  • High Line (3 km / 1.9 miles)
  • Broadway Theatre District (500 meters / 0.3 miles)
  • Madison Square Garden (2 km / 1.2 miles)

Common questions

Is the Rockefeller Center only about the observation deck?

While the “Top of the Rock” observation deck is a major attraction, Rockefeller Center is also home to numerous shops, restaurants, the famous ice rink, Radio City Music Hall, and the studios of NBC. There’s much more to explore beyond the observation deck.

Can I take a tour of the NBC studios at Rockefeller Center?

Yes, you can. The NBC Studios offer behind-the-scenes tours where you can get a glimpse of the production process of some of your favorite shows and might even catch a live taping!

Is there any dress code for visiting the center?

No, there isn’t a strict dress code for general access to Rockefeller Center. However, if you’re attending a specific event or show, it’s advisable to check if there are any dress requirements.

Are there dining options within Rockefeller Center?

Absolutely. Rockefeller Center offers a range of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants. During the winter months, you can also enjoy dining with a view of the iconic ice-skating rink.

Can I buy tickets for 'Top of the Rock' in advance?

Yes, it’s recommended to buy tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Purchasing in advance can help you avoid long lines and ensure a spot at your preferred timing.

Is the Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center open to the public?

The Christmas Tree Lighting is a public event, and thousands gather every year to witness it. However, it’s highly crowded, so it’s advised to arrive early if you’re keen on getting a good view.

Are pets allowed inside the Rockefeller Center?

Pets are generally not allowed, with the exception of service animals. If visiting with a pet, it’s always a good idea to check with specific venues or attractions within the center for their individual policies.

How accessible is Rockefeller Center for visitors with disabilities?

Rockefeller Center is wheelchair accessible, and there are also provisions for visitors with hearing and vision impairments. For specific accessibility needs or queries, it’s best to contact the center directly before your visit.

Are guided tours available for Rockefeller Center?

Yes, there are guided tours that provide insights into the art, architecture, and history of Rockefeller Center. These tours typically last around 75 minutes and offer a comprehensive overview of the center.

Can I ice skate at Rockefeller Center year-round?

No, the iconic ice rink at Rockefeller Center is seasonal. It typically opens in October and closes in April, but these dates can vary slightly each year.

What is the Channel Gardens reference at Rockefeller Center?

The Channel Gardens is a beautiful garden space between the British and French buildings, referring to the English Channel that separates Britain and France. It features seasonal floral displays and offers a serene spot amidst the hustle and bustle.

Are there any art installations at Rockefeller Center?

Yes, Rockefeller Center is renowned for its art deco architecture and numerous art installations, including the famous Prometheus statue, murals, bas-reliefs, and sculptures. It’s a paradise for art and architecture enthusiasts.