Empire State v’s Rockefeller

New York is well known for it’s skyscrapers and many of these you can go to the top of, to see spectacular views of the city. None are more famous than the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Tower. We were lucky enough to go to the top of both, we had done some research and we decided it was best to do the Empire State building at night and Rockefeller during the day. So which is best …

Empire State Building

The Empire State building has 103 floors and is 381m tall (443.2m tall including the antenna). We arrived at around 8pm and then we queued and we queued and we queued forever it was packed ! Every time we turned a corner and we thought we were almost at the top we joined yet another queue. As we finally got near the top (by this time it was almost 10pm) there was one last queue or you could decide to do the last 6 floors via the stairs, foolishly we decided the stairs would be a good idea it nearly finished us off!


When we got to the top and onto the observation deck it was a little disappointing  because it was so crowded it was difficult to get near the edge to see the views. As we fought our way to the edge the views were spectacular but you had very little time to take it all in before you were jostled out of the way.



Rockefeller Tower

Part of the Rockefeller centre (well known for its Christmas tree and skating rink) It was built in 1931 and is 260m tall (much smaller than the Empire state building) and has 70 floors. We had decided to visit the Rockefeller centre during the day and given how busy the Empire State building was we were prepared for the worst.However as soon as we got there it felt much calmer and less crowded we went straight up in the first lift it was amazing as it has a glass roof with lights and images of the tower being shown and it was really fast 43 seconds to go 67 floors – it really makes your tummy flip!

When we got on to the observation deck  we couldn’t have been more surprised – there was hardly anyone there it made all the difference as you could take your time and look from every side of the tower.  Although not as high as the Empire the views are certainly no less breathtaking you can all the way across Central Park and you can see how huge it is, you can see the whole of New York from every direction.

So which tower is the best?

Because of the crowds at the Empire State building it’s hard to compare the two fairly. I did however prefer the views from Rockefeller as I enjoyed looking out over Central Park and the lift was fun too!

Should you visit?

We used our New York passes so they were included in the price of our pass. I would recommend doing both towers. But if you only have the chance of doing one I would suggest the Rockefeller and I would say it is best to do it during the day.

Where’s Abbie Rating

Empire State Building 7/10

Rockefeller Tower 9/10







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