Travel Guide

Rockefeller center

Rockefeller Center

This architectural marvel isn't just a place; it's an experience wrapped in the glamor of Art Deco designs and filled with the pulse of American pop culture. From the famous ice skating rink seen in numerous films to the sweeping city views from the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, the Rockefeller Center is a quintessential NYC landmark that beckons visitors from around the globe.

Rockefeller Center in a nutshell…

Rockefeller Center is a dynamic hub of culture, commerce, and entertainment in the heart of New York City.

Location: Situated in Midtown Manhattan, spanning from 48th to 51st Streets and between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Transportation: Easily accessible by subway (47th-50th Streets Rockefeller Center station on the B, D, F, M, N, Q, and R lines), bus (routes M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M7, M50), or hop-on hop-off tour buses. Limited parking is available for those driving.

Tickets: Purchase tickets in advance for Top of the Rock and Radio City Music Hall. Consider discount passes like the New York Pass or Sightseeing Day Pass for comprehensive access.

Visiting Hours: Open 24/7, with specific attractions like Top of the Rock and Radio City Music Hall having individual operating hours. Top of the Rock is open from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, with the last admission at 10:10 pm.

Established by John D. Rockefeller Jr. during the challenging times of the Great Depression, this complex is a symbol of resilience and ambition. Stretching from 48th to 51st Street and encompassing 19 majestic buildings, Rockefeller Center is a universe in its own right, offering everything from high-stakes business to high-scale entertainment.

Imagine skating under the twinkling lights of the city at the iconic ice rink or catching a live show at the historic Radio City Music Hall. Home to the NBC Studios, this place buzzes with the excitement of live television and offers a behind-the-scenes look at your favorite shows. Meanwhile, art enthusiasts will appreciate the exquisite blend of Art Deco and Modernist styles that define the area’s architecture, with artworks integrated seamlessly into its urban fabric.

No visit to New York is complete without experiencing the breathtaking views from the Top of the Rock. The observation deck provides a panoramic spectacle of the sprawling urban landscape, making it a must-see for anyone wanting to capture the essence of the city. Remember, every corner of Rockefeller Center offers a unique story and experience, so why not book your tickets online with us now and ensure your spot in this landmark adventure?

Practical information

Planning your visit to Rockefeller Center is easy, and we’re here to help you make the most of your trip! Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned traveler, knowing the basics can enhance your experience.


The Rockefeller Center is nestled in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, between 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

How to get there

Getting to Rockefeller Center is convenient, thanks to its central location in Midtown Manhattan. Whether you’re coming by subway, bus, or even a hop-on hop-off tour bus, you’ll find that all roads lead to this iconic landmark.


The closest subway station is the 47th-50th Street Rockefeller Center stop, served by lines B, D, F, M, N, Q, and R. This station drops you right at the heart of the action, making it the most efficient way to reach the Center.


Several bus lines, including the 1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7, M27, M50, and Q32, stop near Rockefeller Center. The nearest stop is at W 49 St/5 Av, just a short walk from all the attractions.

Hop-on Hop-off Buses

Opting for a hop-on hop-off bus tour is a fantastic way to explore Rockefeller Center and other NYC attractions. These buses provide flexibility and comprehensive access to the city’s key sites, allowing you to hop off at your desired locations and spend as much time as you wish.

View more sightseeing bus options


While driving in New York City can be challenging due to traffic and limited parking, those who choose to drive can find convenient parking at the Rockefeller Center Parking Garage. However, public transport is generally the more hassle-free option for visiting this busy area.

Enjoying the Rockefeller Center with Discount Passes

Leveraging discount passes can significantly enhance your visit to Rockefeller Center. These passes not only offer access to the Top of the Rock but also include a guided tour of the area.

The New York Sightseeing Pass

Embrace the full New York experience with the New York Sightseeing Day Pass. This pass grants you access to the city’s most famed attractions over a set number of days, making it an ideal choice for those who want to explore extensively without breaking the bank.

GoCity Explorer Pass

The Go New York Explorer Pass is perfect for those who prefer flexibility. Choose from over 90 attractions and tailor your itinerary to your interests, all while enjoying significant savings.

The New York Pass

For culture vultures, the New York Pass is a must. Offering entry to over 100 attractions, this pass covers everything from museums to bike rentals, ensuring a rich and varied experience of NYC’s vibrant cultural landscape.

Visiting Hours

Rockefeller Center is accessible 24/7, with specific attractions like the Top of the Rock operating from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm. The last admission to the Top of the Rock is at 10:10 pm, allowing you to enjoy stunning nighttime views.

Best time to visit

The holiday season is a magical time at Rockefeller Center, especially with the famous Christmas tree and ice skating rink drawing crowds. For a quieter visit, consider the summer or early fall, or aim for early mornings or late evenings during the weekdays.

Planning your visit to the Top of the Rock just before sunset offers a breathtaking view of the city transitioning from day to night.

Tours and Experiences

Rockefeller Center is not just about sightseeing, it’s about immersive experiences that bring its history and culture to life. Whether you’re exploring its architectural grandeur or delving into the world of American television, there’s a tour to match your interest.

Rockefeller Center Architecture and Art Walking Tour

Explore the rich artistic heritage of Rockefeller Center with our Architecture and Art Walking Tour. This guided exploration takes you up close to the center’s most impressive artworks, including murals, sculptures, and bas-reliefs. Learn about the vision behind this iconic complex and its influential owner through engaging commentary and insights. This tour is an enriching way to deepen your appreciation of one of New York’s most storied landmarks.

Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square Horse Carriage Private Tour

Experience the romance and charm of New York with our exclusive horse-drawn carriage tour. Starting in Central Park, you’ll journey along Fifth Avenue, passing landmarks like Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center, before concluding in the vibrant Times Square. This private tour offers a personalized touch, with your driver providing historical insights and stopping for photos upon request. It’s a picturesque and unforgettable way to experience the heart of the city.

New York Christmas Holiday Small-Group Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the festive spirit of New York during the holiday season with our Christmas Holiday Walking Tour. This intimate group tour takes you to the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, as well as the enchanting holiday market in Bryant Park. Enjoy the festive window displays along Fifth Avenue and capture the magic of the season in photographs that you’ll treasure forever.

View more experiences at the Rockefeller Center

What to Expect at Rockefeller Center

Delve into the diversity of experiences that Rockefeller Center has to offer. From high above the city streets to the vibrant pulse of its landmark venues, every corner of this iconic complex promises a unique slice of the Big Apple. Here’s what awaits you at this must-visit destination.

Top of the Rock

The journey begins at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where the Top of the Rock observation deck offers breathtaking views from the 70th floor. Gaze across the expanse of Central Park and catch a stunning perspective of the Empire State Building among the city’s sprawling skyline. With your tickets to Top of the Rock, swiftly ascend by elevator and step into a panorama that captures the essence of New York City.

Learn more about the Top of the Rock

Radio City Music Hall

Step into the splendor of Radio City Music Hall, the largest indoor theater in the world. Hosting a variety of events throughout the year, from concerts to stage shows, the hall is renowned for its superb acoustics and elegant Art Deco design. Seating up to 5,900 people, every seat promises a great auditory experience, drawing audiences and performers alike to this iconic venue.

Learn more about Radio City Music Hall

Rockefeller Plaza

At the heart of Rockefeller Center lies Rockefeller Plaza, a lively promenade between 49th and 50th Streets, also known as the Channel Gardens. Here, the seasons come alive with a winter ice skating rink and summer roller-skating fun. It’s a popular gathering spot for both tourists and local businessmen enjoying an outdoor lunch break, offering a lively street scene in the midst of the bustling city.

NBC Studios

Get a behind-the-scenes look at some of America’s favorite shows at the NBC Studios, located within the Rockefeller Center. Home to the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live, the studios offer a chance to see where television magic happens. While tickets are needed for show tapings, you can catch a glimpse of the Today show broadcast live each morning from Rockefeller Plaza without a reservation.

Under 30 Rock

Beneath the towering facade of 30 Rockefeller Plaza lies a vibrant dining scene known as Under 30 Rock. Revitalized in 2023, this area features a variety of eateries from chic restaurants to casual takeaway counters. Whether you’re grabbing a classic New York bagel, a slice of pizza, or a fresh salad, it’s the perfect spot to refuel during your Rockefeller Center adventure.

The Atlas Statue

Don’t miss the striking bronze Atlas statue, a symbol of strength and endurance, located at the center. This impressive sculpture portrays the Titan of Greek mythology, holding up the heavens, and stands as a testament to the artistic and cultural heritage of Rockefeller Center.

Diego Rivera Mural

Witness the powerful “Man at the Crossroads”, a mural by the renowned Mexican artist Diego Rivera, in the lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Originally commissioned for this very location, the mural’s controversial history and subsequent recreation add layers of intrigue and cultural dialogue to your visit.

Rainbow Room

Ascend to the Rainbow Room, where sophistication and elegance meet. This historic venue, known for its stunning Art Deco design and sweeping city views, offers an upscale dining experience with live music. It’s a perfect setting for those seeking a taste of New York’s glamorous past.

Shops at Rockefeller Center

Explore the diverse shopping options at Rockefeller Center, from iconic toy stores like FAO Schwarz and the LEGO Store to The Shop at NBC Studios, where you can find merchandise from your favorite shows. With additional shops located underground, it’s a shopper’s paradise in the heart of New York City.

Christmas at Rockefeller Center

Experience the enchantment of Christmas at Rockefeller Center, a winter wonderland that transforms the cityscape with festive cheer.

Rockefeller Christmas Tree

The lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas tree marks the beginning of the holiday season in New York. With over 50,000 LED lights illuminating the towering tree, this iconic event draws visitors from around the world, creating a spectacle of light and joy that’s not to be missed.

Ice Skating

Beneath the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink offers a magical skating experience from November to March. Glide across the ice and take in the festive atmosphere, a quintessential New York holiday tradition.

Christmas Spectacular

Join the celebration at Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular, starring the Rockettes. This beloved holiday show dazzles with its precision dance routines and festive spirit, capturing the heart of the holiday season in spectacular style.

Tips to Visit Rockefeller Center

Here are some insider tips to help you make the most of your visit to this iconic New York landmark:

  • Explore the underground concourse to discover a range of shops and eateries, perfect for rainy days.
  • Don’t miss the various art installations and sculptures throughout the complex, including lesser-known gems.
  • Visit the Top of the Rock at night for a stunning view of the city lights.
  • During the holiday season, make sure to check out the beautifully decorated window displays at nearby stores like Saks Fifth Avenue.


Rockefeller Center is committed to accessibility for all visitors. The complex is equipped with ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms, ensuring that everyone can enjoy their visit without hindrance.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Top of the Rock is open from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm daily, with the last admission at 10:10 pm. It’s a perfect spot to witness the sunrise or sunset over New York City.

The Rainbow Room operates as an event space and dining room on specific dates. It’s best to check their schedule online or book in advance to enjoy its historic charm and panoramic views.

Yes, it is advisable to book NBC Studio tour tickets in advance, especially for popular shows like the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live to ensure your spot.

To fully enjoy the Christmas Spectacular, consider booking tickets early and arriving at least 45 minutes before showtime to absorb the festive atmosphere and secure good seating.

Yes, Rockefeller Center offers a variety of dining options ranging from fine dining at the Rainbow Room to casual eateries in the concourse level, including new spots in Under 30 Rock.

Joining a guided tour like the Rockefeller Center Art and Architecture tour is an excellent way to learn about the intricate details and historical context of the site’s design and art installations.

Yes, both the Atlas Statue and Diego Rivera’s mural are accessible to the public. You can view them on your own or as part of a guided tour for a more enriched experience.

Rockefeller Center hosts a range of shops including high-end boutiques, popular retail stores like the LEGO Store and FAO Schwarz, and NBC Studios merchandise store, all within walking distance around and underneath the plaza.

Absolutely, the entire complex is wheelchair accessible, with ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms available to ensure a comfortable visit for everyone.

The must-see attractions include the Rockefeller Christmas tree, the ice skating rink, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, all of which offer a quintessential New York holiday experience.

Consider purchasing a discount pass like the New York Pass or the Sightseeing Day Pass, which includes entry to multiple attractions including the Top of the Rock, offering great savings on individual ticket prices.

Visiting early in the morning or late in the evening, especially during weekdays, can help you avoid larger crowds and enjoy a more relaxed experience.

Photography of the public spaces and installations is generally allowed, but professional photography might require permission. Photography during shows, especially at Radio City Music Hall, is usually restricted.

The best viewing spot for the Atlas Statue is directly in front of the International Building on Fifth Avenue, where you can appreciate its imposing presence and detailed artistry.

Yes, there are seasonal guided tours that focus specifically on the Christmas decorations and lights around Rockefeller Center, offering insights into the history and traditions of the holiday displays.

Where to Stay Near Rockefeller Center

Staying near Rockefeller Center is an excellent choice for visitors looking to immerse themselves in the vibrancy of New York City. The area is not only a hub of entertainment and shopping but also places you in the heart of Manhattan, close to other major attractions.

Hotels like The Jewel Hotel offer views directly onto Rockefeller Plaza, allowing guests to enjoy the festive decorations during the holiday season from the comfort of their rooms. Other nearby options include the DoubleTree by Hilton New York Midtown Fifth Ave and New York Hilton Midtown, which provide convenient access to both the business district and tourist attractions.

For a touch of luxury, consider staying at the Lotte New York Palace, which combines upscale comfort with proximity to the best of New York City.

Other Interesting Landmarks in New York City

Explore beyond Rockefeller Center to discover more of what New York City has to offer. Here’s a glimpse of other must-visit landmarks within the city.

The Statue of Liberty

A symbol of freedom and democracy, the Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most iconic landmarks. A gift from France to the United States, it stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, welcoming visitors with its majestic presence. Tours include access to the pedestal and museum, where you can learn about the history and significance of this monument.

View details

Columbus Circle

At the southwest corner of Central Park, Columbus Circle acts as a bustling gateway to both the park and the cultural attractions nearby. It features the iconic statue of Christopher Columbus and is surrounded by architectural marvels like the Time Warner Center. The area is known for its luxury shopping, fine dining, and the proximity to Lincoln Center, making it a central spot for entertainment and leisure in the city.

Wall Street

Known as the financial heart of the United States, Wall Street is home to the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A stroll down Wall Street offers insights into the workings of American finance and opportunities to see landmarks like the Charging Bull sculpture and Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States.

9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial at the site of the World Trade Center commemorates the lives lost in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The memorial features two reflecting pools set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers. It is a powerful tribute to the past and a place of reflection.

View details

Other Nearby Attractions

Rockefeller Center’s prime location in Midtown Manhattan makes it an excellent starting point for exploring other notable attractions in New York City. This area is a hub of cultural, historical, and entertainment venues, making it perfect for visitors who want to soak up the vibrant city life and discover more iconic spots.

Nearby, you’ll find a collection of attractions that showcase the diversity and excitement of New York City, from historical landmarks to modern art museums and lush urban parks. Here’s a look at some must-visit places within a short distance from Rockefeller Center:

Top of the Rock Observation Deck

While you’re already at Rockefeller Center, don’t miss another visit to the Top of the Rock. This observation deck offers panoramic views of Central Park and the New York City skyline. It’s particularly stunning at sunset when the city lights begin to twinkle.

View details

Radio City Music Hall

Just steps from the Rockefeller Plaza, Radio City Music Hall is an iconic entertainment venue known for its striking interior and historical significance. It hosts a variety of live performances, including the famous Christmas Spectacular.

View details

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Across from Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue, St. Patrick’s Cathedral stands as a beacon of architectural beauty and serenity in the bustling city. This Neo-Gothic structure is not only a place of worship but also a profound cultural landmark open to the public.

View details

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Just a short walk from Rockefeller Center, MoMA offers one of the world’s foremost collections of modern and contemporary art. From paintings and sculptures to films and performances, the museum provides an enriching experience for art lovers.

View details

Fifth Avenue Shopping

Known for its luxurious boutiques and flagship stores, Fifth Avenue is a paradise for shoppers. From high-end fashion to iconic bookstores, it offers a diverse shopping experience near Rockefeller Center.

Bryant Park

A few blocks away, Bryant Park is a beloved green space in Midtown. Known for its seasonal markets, free activities, and spacious lawn, it provides a pleasant retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.

View details

New York Public Library

Adjacent to Bryant Park, the New York Public Library is an iconic building with stunning architecture and a vast collection of books. It offers tours, exhibitions, and a quiet escape into the world of literature.

Times Square

A short walk from Rockefeller Center, Times Square is the pulsating heart of New York’s theater district, known for its bright lights, big screens, and Broadway shows. It’s a must-visit for first-time tourists and a vibrant spectacle of urban life.

View details

Other Recommended Experiences in New York City

View all tours & experiences

You Might Also Like...

Explore Our Comprehensive Travel Guide

On this page

  1. Introduction
  2. Practical information
  3. Tours and Experiences
  4. What to Expect at Rockefeller Center
  5. Christmas at Rockefeller Center
  6. Tips to Visit Rockefeller Center
  7. Accessibility
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Where to Stay Near Rockefeller Center
  10. Other Interesting Landmarks in New York City
  11. Other Nearby Attractions