Our New York tour guides are always being asked about popular attractions such as Top of the Rock, the observation deck at Rockefeller Center.
In addition to covering ticket prices in this post, we've also included information on discounted admission.
As local tour guides who offer pay-what-you-wish walking tours, we know a thing or two about saving money.
And, in the video below, Katie, a tour guide with us, Free Tours by Foot, gives you a preview of a visit to the Top of the Rock.
TICKETS AND PRICES
Top of the Rock observation deck offers timed ticket reservations, which usually means that it is less likely that you will encounter huge crowds and long waits.
All major tourist attraction discount passes include free or discounted entry to Top of the Rock.
Before you pay full price though, be sure to read our section on discounts just below.
- Adults - $40 + tax
- Seniors (62+ with ID) - $38 + tax
- Children (6-12) - $34 + tax
- Children under 6 - Free
- Add an additional $10 per ticket to visit during sunset hours.
TIP: If you want to avoid getting a timed ticket, our guides recommend getting a flexible date ticket which allows you to cancel up to 24 hours before your date of choice.
This skip-the-line admission ticket will allow you to visit at any time within one month of the date listed.
This is a great way to plan around the weather and pick the perfect time for your visit. There is no extra charge for this ticket.
That being said, some reviewers indicate that they were allowed to just walk right in without any issues (read reviews here).
10 WAYS TO GET DISCOUNTED TICKETS TO TOP OF THE ROCK
Our tour guides know all the best ways to save money on popular attractions in NYC, and they have a lot of recommendations.
There are multiple discounts available to help you save money on tickets to Top of the Rock.
(1) Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
Access to the observation deck is included for free or at a discount with the purchase of any of the following 4 tourist attraction discount passes.
These passes work by bundling together several popular NYC attractions and tours, such as Top of the Rock into one low price.
Here are just a handful of the additional activities and locations you can enjoy at no extra cost with one of these tourist passes:
- Empire State Building
- One World Observatory
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
- Statue of Liberty Ferry
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum
- Rockefeller Center Tour
- Radio City Music Hall Tour
- Circle Line Cruises
- Madame Tussauds
- And more!
You can potentially save up to 55% off each attraction's cost.
They also can save you time with skip-the-line privileges at various locations.
We break down which tourist pass might be good for you if any.
(2) Rock Pass
This is Rockefeller Center's own pass which includes a ticket for Top of the Rock and also the Rockefeller Center Tour (a $27 value).
This pass costs $56 per person, regardless of age.
If you bought each attraction separately you would pay a total of $67 for an adult and $61 per child.
If you buy the Rock Pass, you will save $11 per adult and $5 per child. That is a substantial saving!
(3) AAA Discount
Triple-A members get $3 off tickets. Must present a valid AAA card when purchasing.
The $3 isn't as much as the Trusted Tours discount mentioned above, but there's no commitment if you have the card.
(4) Military Discount
Although not published, Top of the Rock offers a great military discount.
The price for military tickets is $19 + tax per person with a valid military ID. Each member of the military can bring an additional 4 people, who can also enjoy the discount.
This option is only available at the box office, so you won't be able to skip the line.
That said, $19 is literally 50% off the general admission price, so it's definitely worth waiting in line.
We recommend calling Top of the Rock to confirm.
(5) Bar 65
Bar 65 is a very nice bar/restaurant located on the 65th floor. This is literally two floors below the first observation deck for Top of the Rock.
Although they have a dress code (at least business casual), adult visitors who want to get a drink might want to consider a stop at Bar 65 for a very similar view of New York City.
They serve excellent cocktails, and at $20/drink, it's almost half the price of Top of the Rock.
If you’re not interested in the exhibits and attractions at Top of the Rock, this could be a good alternative.
(6) Combo Packages
City Sights NY offers a combo deal with the Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour which includes admission to 1 additional attraction.
Top of the Rock is one of the attractions you can choose from.
This combo package is $75/adult and $65/child. Considering their bus tour alone is $60 per person, that means you'd only be paying $15 for Top of the Rock tickets.
This is definitely one of the best deals available, especially if you're already planning to go on a Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour in New York.
They also offer this combo package with 3 additional attractions, but the price for that deal is $129/for adults and $119/for children.
This would make your Top of the Rock tickets $23 or less depending on the other activities you choose.
Other attraction options include:
- Circle Line Cruise
- Madame Tussauds
- Edge Observation Deck
- Empire State Building
- One World Observatory
- Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
While it's not as big of a discount, it's still a decent saving on admission to this popular attraction.
(7) Group Discount
Top of the Rock offers special discounted pricing for groups of 20 or more guests.
If you're planning to visit with a lot of other people, this is a good way to save money.
(8) Student Discounts
There don't appear to be any student discounts available at Top of the Rock, at least they aren't publicly mentioned.
However, it's not likely that the discount would be more than 15% off, so consider the Trusted Tours discount a student discount.
(9) Discount Sites
Depending on when you check, they might also offer an extra coupon code to help you save even more money!
(10) Promo Codes
There aren't currently any promo codes for Top of the Rock, but there are a lot of other ways to save money on tickets to this attraction!
Tips From Locals and Travelers
When it comes to purchasing tickets for Top of the Rock, our New York Travel Tips group on Facebook actually provides quite a lot of excellent advice.
Here are a few examples of the types of suggestions you can expect to find.
If you're wondering whether or not you need to pay the extra cost for a flexible date or skip-the-line ticket, these two group members both indicate general admission should be more than good enough.
Both note that when they went to Top of the Rock, they were allowed in immediately and went up to the top right away.
Sometimes these big attractions will try to upsell you on specialty tickets, but it seems most locals and travelers feel the regular ticket options are the best.
When asked about visiting at sunset, Lisa notes that you can check when the sunset will happen on a weather app or website.
She also indicates that you'll need to set aside at least 15 minutes to go through the line and get to the viewing area.
In other words, if the sunset is scheduled for 4:42, it might make sense to get a ticket for 4:15 just to make sure you have enough time to get to the observation deck.
Phillip suggests wearing a jacket if you're visiting in the winter, as the viewing deck can be colder than other areas of the building.
Of course, chances are that if you're visiting at this time of year, you'll already have a jacket or coat of some kind. That said, it helps to know you might need it even when you get to the top!
If you're trying to enjoy multiple activities in one day, it'll be important to consider when you visit each attraction.
While Karolina is correct that Shannon technically could have done both Top of the Rock at sunset and a Broadway show afterward, it's certainly easier to pull this off during the winter than during the summer.
The sun sets much earlier in the day during the winter months, typically well before 7 pm, allowing guests to experience the sunset and make it to the theater in time quite easily!
For more advice, make sure to check our New York Travel Tips group on Facebook and read more helpful suggestions in our post covering additional tips from locals and recent visitors.