If you have the time and money while you’re in New York, you can take in both of these attractions, but if you’re short on time or short on cash, which one should you choose? The cost is a wash – at the time of writing, an adult ticket for the Top of the Rock is $25; for the Empire State Building main deck (86th floor) it is $23, although if you want to go all the way to the 102nd floor it’ll put you back $40. Comparing the two similarly priced tickets, which one wins?
The Empire State Building has a lot going for it – it is steeped in history; the building itself has some stunning art deco features, and then there are those iconic movies, ‘An Affair to Remember‘, ‘Sleepless in Seattle‘ and, of course, ‘King Kong‘. It offers fantastic views of two of my favourite New York landmarks, the Chrysler Building and the Flatiron Building.
Despite all that, however, my vote still goes to the Top of the Rock, for two main reasons. First of all, looking north, it offers an unparalleled view of Central Park, which in many ways is the heart of this vast metropolis.
The second reason for choosing the Top of the Rock over the Empire State Building is terribly unfair, but valid nonetheless. From the Top of the Rock, looking south, you get to see the iconic Empire State Building.
One final bonus at Top of the Rock is the glass ceiling in the elevator on the way up, onto which images are projected. It feels a lot like being in an elevator in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Win.
Which one do you prefer?