We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

top of the rock or empire state bldg?

New England
Level Contributor
138 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
top of the rock or empire state bldg?

I've been to the top of the Empire State Bldg & love it - esp at sunset. We'll be in NYC in a few weeks & thought I'd bring my travel companion there (never seen it), but now I'm considered the top of Rockefeller Center. Any thoughts?

Sterling, VA
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
12,147 posts
140 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: top of the rock or empire state bldg?

Since you've already done the ESB, by all means do TOTR. The views are wonderful, there are no lines like the ESB thus it's less crowded. However, IMO the ESB is worth doing once so if your friend really wants to see it--why not do both?

Maidstone, United...
Level Contributor
4,409 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: top of the rock or empire state bldg?

Got to agree with Sue - everyone should see the view from ESB at least once.

Here's a thought, send your friend off to ESB which would give you at least one hour's shopping on 5th Avenue, a quick look inside St Patricks then up TOTR to waive across to your travelling companion!

Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
1,308 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: top of the rock or empire state bldg?

I thought the views from ESB were better. Just go early ( 9-9.30 am) and you wont face any queues at all. It took us only about 15 min from the moment we arrived to get to the observatory.

Maidstone, United...
Level Contributor
4,409 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: top of the rock or empire state bldg?

Evan, that's too much of a generalisation I'm afraid. You were very fortunate on your trip but other posters have turned up at the same time of day and found the queue round the block!

You can phone for waiting time and visibility information. The number is: 212-736-3100

Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
1,308 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: top of the rock or empire state bldg?

Really ? ... wow, I guess we were lucky then.

London
Level Contributor
13 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: top of the rock or empire state bldg?

we are thinking of going to the ESB on sunday but we have to leave by 11.30. What recommendations for time of gettign there? How long do we have to allow for a trip there and is it really worth $40 to buy the express ticket?

Maidstone, United...
Level Contributor
4,409 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: top of the rock or empire state bldg?

Firstly, weekends will always be busier but if you aim to get there soon after they open (08:00) you stand the best chance of getting up there quickly. You might find no queue and be up in 15 mins or it could take 2 hours!

Once you're at the top allow a minimum of 1 hour to take it all in.

Algonquin, Illinois
Level Contributor
119 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: top of the rock or empire state bldg?

I vote for TOTR. Not only are there no lines but you can SEE the ESB from TOTR. Nice to see it mixed in with the rest of the skyline, as opposed to being IN it!

South Australia...
Level Contributor
9 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: top of the rock or empire state bldg?

We did ESB by night and TOTR by day. My sister who had done ESB several times was most impressed with TOTR by day as the view to Central Park was great. We had no wait in May so was very lucky.

Tel
Great Yarmouth U.K
Level Contributor
663 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: top of the rock or empire state bldg?

We also did ESB by night and TOTR by day. TOTR was much the better choice for us just for the great view of Central Park. Also the lift ride to the top was fantastic. Will be doing it again in November.