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.

Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

Langley, Canada
Level Contributor
1,291 posts
168 reviews
Save Topic
Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

Going to NY for first time in early August. Are the views from Empire State Building and The Rock much different? If they are different, which is the best overall view? I have read that lines for Empire State can be very lengthy whereas The Rock not so long. If the views are comparable, we would prefer the shorter lines.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
449 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

I prefer Top Of The Rock.

You get good views of Central Park, and also views of the Empire State Building itself.

Edited: 15 July 2012, 05:01
New York City
Level Contributor
17,258 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

Top of the Rock gives you great views of Central Park during the day (although at night Central Park is just a black rectangle...), and you can also see the Empire State Building. In addition, it has a much roomier observation deck.

Empire State, being a mile south, has better views of lower Manhattan, and better views into Times Square at night.

If I were only to do one, I would do Top of the Rock

If I were to do both, I would do TotR in daylight, and ESB at night.

Singapore
Level Contributor
123 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

For me in June this year, ESB for night view. ToTR for day view.

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
95 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

I did ESB last time, but will definitely do TOTR this time. I've had a look on google at views from both and in my opinion those from TOTR are mostr impressive.

Just my two cents.

Steph.

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
3,168 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

I've done them both and if I was only to do one again it would be TOTR. ESB is great if you're dedicated to the iconic "top of the Empire State Building" experience, e.g. in Sleepless in Seattle, etc, but if it's just the city views you're after, TOTR is hard to beat. Plus, it's true, the lines are much shorter.

Boston
Level Contributor
24,542 posts
123 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

I much prefer TOTR, the times we have been there have not been extremely crowded nor did we have to wait in long lines.

Pictures I took in June near Dusk at the TOTR

…photobucket.com/albums/…

Manhattan
Level Contributor
8,952 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

If you search this forum you will get several thousand other posts saying essentially the same thing. The only time I recommend (the 102 floor of) the ESB over Top of the Rock during the day is to people considering a helicopter ride. The ESB is cheaper, safer, and you will a longer time to enjoy a better view than in a helicopter.

Here's a picture of the view from Top of the Rock -

…typepad.com/explorenyc/2011/07/the-beatles-…

new york city
Level Contributor
19,059 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

Sue how is the ESB safer ?

newcastle upon tyne
Level Contributor
10,668 posts
152 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

A helicoptor has more chance of crashing than the ESB falling down I would think, therefore its safer

Manhattan
Level Contributor
8,952 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Best View - Empire State or The Rock?

Bilm it is I would think statistically safer than riding in a helicopter given all the accidents we've had.

Re: 102 - I don't recommend it at night because it isn't open and a flash will reflect in your pictures. I've only been at night. The view is higher than the helicopters and more centrally located. For most people 86 is enough because you are looking through less pollution!