Empire State Building bei Nacht vor orangenem Sonnenuntergang

Top of the Rock: How to Watch the Best Sunset over Manhattan

Aktualisiert am: 21/11/2023

When you are in New York, you shouldn’t miss a propersunset. From the Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, you’ll have one of the best views over Manhattan. And at sunset, it’s even more spectacular. (Are you looking for the perfect place to see the sunrise in New York? Then head over to my article about the Brooklyn Bridge.) Sunrises and sunsets are always great anyway!

Buy your ticket for Top of the Rock in advance*

Top of the Rock New York Sunset Manhattan
Welcome to my travel blog!

Hey, I’m Tatiana, a German-Brazilian living in Berlin & the author behind The Happy Jetlagger. I’ve been writing about my travels since 2014. In addition to my job as a flight attendant, this blog is my passion project!

Top of the Rock: Best view of New York

Especially with a motif that is so fascinating and surreal at the same time, you can finally see it live from the viewing platform of the Top of the Rock. I’ve seen this skyline thousands of times, in American series, on posters, in movies, on Instagram. Every child knows the Manhattan skyline and without thinking you know immediately: that’s New York. This place was exactly what I needed!

Top of the Rock Sunset New York Empire State Building
From the Top of the Rock you have the perfect postcard view of the Empire State Building and southern Manhattan.

Find more tips in my New York blog!

Top of the Rock: The most beautiful sunset in New York

And if in the end it’s just a collection of huge skyscrapers in an even bigger city, full of people, full of traffic: the sunset in New York on the Top of the Rock is one of the most magical moments in my entire travel career.

Top of the Rock New York Sunset Empire State Building

Evening at the Top of the Rock: Goosebumps at the sight of the Empire State Building.

Top of the Rock Sunset New York Empire State Building
Sunset over Manhattan: magical.

Info & tickets for Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center

The Top of the Rock is the viewing terrace of Rockefeller Center. Located on Fifth Avenue, you can’t miss the statue of Prometheus dragging his globe.

However, the entrance to the Top of the Rock is hidden in a side street (50th Street) between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The tickets are time-stamped, i.e. you can only go up at a predetermined time. There wasn’t much going on in January and as I was only passing by by chance, I bought a ticket straight away and didn’t have to wait long. In more popular months (in New York, pretty much always except January and February), it’s a good idea to buy in advance.

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Top of the Rock: Tips for saving money!

Attention: On site and on the Rockefeller Center website, tickets for sunset are another 10 dollars more expensive! Get Your Guide offers flexible tickets that can be exchanged for a timed ticket on site.

So save money at sunset with the Flexi-Ticket from GetYourGuide!

Flexible Ticket for Top of the Rock at GetYourGuide*

At GetYourGuide there is only one price, at Top of the Rock itself there is a sunset surcharge of a whole 10 US dollars for late afternoon appointments (they know why people like to come late in the afternoon).

Top of the Rock New York Sunset Manhattan

How much time do I need to plan for the Top of the Rock?

Although you are allocated a time, it can still take a while to reach the top. I was down at the counter about an hour before sunset and it was just right. So it’s best to plan enough time if you really want to catch the sunset from the start (it’s worth it!). But once you’re at the top, you can stay as long as you like.

Convenient for me, because I actually only wanted to take a quick photo – and in the end it was just under four hours before I could tear myself away from the spectacular view. Seeing the lights of Manhattan sparkle in the darkness after the perfect sunset was just too beautiful. New York at night: indescribable.

Top of the Rock New York by night Empire State Building Manhattan

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