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Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

Sydney
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213 posts
3 reviews
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Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

Hi,

I'll be visiting NYC for the first time in April 2008 and have always wanted to go to the empire state building, however in my research I've come across the top of the rock - which is the better one to do? or should I go to both?

Also, I've read online & heard from friends that the empire state building has very very long lines... what is the best time to visit to avoid massive lines??

Thanks,

Vanessa

Sterling, VA
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
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12,152 posts
141 reviews
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1. Re: Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

While I prefer TOTR to the ESB, I would say that, if possible, try to do both. The ESB is one of those NYC attractions that everyone, IMO, should visit at least once. Yes, the lines at ESB are long. Many posters have found that by buying your tickets in advance you do less waiting. Recently someone mentioned in their trip report that they went to the ESB when it first opened for the day and encountered no line.

Australia
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78 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

I did both last week - TOTR during the day, and the ESB at night..

I much preferred TOTR, but like the previous poster said, I think it's important to do at least once.

My fiancè and I had express passes for the ESB, so bypassed a *very* long line, at 11pm at night! We also bought our tickets in advance for TOTR, and were upstairs in under 10 minutes!

K.

Melbourne, Australia
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230 posts
26 reviews
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3. Re: Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

Hi vanessa

Like specialk85 we did both, and yes, TOTR is the better one, But you must do both.

We went to ESB at about 11 pm and walked right up, the staff said that earlier that day they had a 3 hour wait...no thanks..

enjoy NYC

mrsdj

Halifax, United...
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555 posts
22 reviews
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4. Re: Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

Now you see if you moved the Met Life building we wouldn't have to go up the ESB at all because all we really go for is the unobscured photo of the Chrysler

I hated the ESB, I queued for over an hour (even thoug hthe helpful sign said wait time was only 20 minutes), got to the top and stayed for 15 minutes - there were queues 3 deep to take a picture and that's just wrong

While I hated I know I'll be back up there in March, might go when it's dark this time

Durham
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3,931 posts
50 reviews
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5. Re: Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

The TOTR is a better visiting experience but in my opinion the ESB is a better viewing experience and it just has to be done. If I could only do one I'd put up with the queues (and that's saying something cause I'm really not a patient person) and do the ESB. Buy tickets online before you go to save a little bit of time. I went up in Sept at about 10pm and queued for about 45 mins/1hr - longest I've queued was a couple of years ago in Nov when we tried to go up for sunset and it took just over 2 hours.

Caerphilly, United...
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1,552 posts
33 reviews
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6. Re: Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

We did both TOTR by day to see the views of Central Park and ESB at night. We were lucky in that there were minimal queues for both, we got to the ESB at around 4.15pm and watched the sunset.

Although I'm very glad that I did both, TOTR was by far the better experience with a better viewing platform with more space to move around and nicer more "visitor friendly" staff who don't give you the hard sell for photographs etc.

My advice would be do both if you can, if can only do one choose TOTR.

wales
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80 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

i would suggest doing TOTR as it has much better views than the ESB. We went to both and we queued 2 hours for ESB and was quite disapointed. we didnt have to wait to go up to TOTR at all.

Montreal, Canada
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1,666 posts
31 reviews
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8. Re: Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

If I had to choose between the two, I'd do TOTR. And as an added bonus, you can get great pics of the ESB.

Sydney
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213 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR INFO!!!!

I think I might end up doing both but will definitly go to TOTR!!

:O)

dublin,ireland
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1,155 posts
54 reviews
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10. Re: Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock

I preferred TOTR. I think that the views were amazing, there was no queue and the staff were very friendly and helpful. We went at sunset and it was great.