Rockefeller Center

Culture / Landmark / Market / Outdoor Activity / Plaza / Shopping Area
Rockefeller Center Sprawling from 48th to 51st Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, the world-famous Rockefeller Center is a bustling nerve center that welcomes millions of local and foreign visitors every year. New York United States 40.759038 -73.978511
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Rockefeller Center - Culture | Landmark | Market | Outdoor Activity | Plaza | Shopping Area in New York.
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Party Earth Review Sprawling from 48th to 51st Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, the world-famous Rockefeller Center is a bustling nerve center that welcomes millions of local and foreign visitors every year. Weekdays see the... ... read full review

  • Neighborhood:

  • Address:

    48th to 51st Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
    New York, NY 10112

    Get Directions

  • Subway:

    B, D, F, M: 47th-50th Streets-Rockefeller Center-6th Avenue; 1: 50th Street-Broadway; E, M: 5th Avenue-53rd Street

  • Phone:

    212-332-6868

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Hours vary by store, restaurant, and event

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Rockefeller Center Review

The Scene

Sprawling from 48th to 51st Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, the world-famous Rockefeller Center is a bustling nerve center that welcomes millions of local and foreign visitors every year.

Sprawling from 48th to 51st Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, the world-famous Rockefeller Center is a bustling nerve center that welcomes millions of local and foreign visitors every year.

Weekdays see the area abuzz with everyone from business people and ad execs hurrying off to lunch meetings to the more leisurely visitors window shopping at stores like J. Crew, Anthropologie, and Movado, the nearby flagship Saks Fifth Avenue, or in the below-ground shops in the concourse level.

On warm summer days, tourists gravitate to the Rockefeller Center Farmers Market or to the beautifully manicured Channel Gardens with its exotic plants and series of reflecting pools, while summer nights bring both prominent locals and vacationers out to enjoy an evening of cocktails and lounging at patio tables at the outdoor Rink Bar or in one of the cabanas at Bar 30.

For some of the best panoramic views of the city, visitors will want to check out Top of the Rock Observation Deck on the 70th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, while those in search of some NYC-style showbiz glamour can take tours of NBC Studios and the fabled Radio City Music Hall – home of the Rockettes and the annual Christmas Spectacular – or watch The Today Show on the concourse and try their luck at getting into a taping of Saturday Night Live.

Although the plaza has much to offer year round, there’s no doubt that Rockefeller Center is truly at its best on cold winter nights when a festive air prevails as droves of city dwellers and travelers alike come together to promenade through the Channel Gardens twinkling with white lights, marvel at the celebrated Christmas tree, sip hot chocolate from Dean & Deluca, and take a few turns around the sunken ice rink beneath the golden statue of Prometheus.

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Tip from Emma:

Before taking in the sunset from the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, spend the afternoon contemplating modern art at the MoMa (11 West 53rd Street). You can even get a combined Rock-MoMa pass for $30!

  • Crowd

    Business people, affluent locals, shoppers, families, and tourists of all ages.

  • Entertainment / Music

    A plethora of shops and restaurants are located both in the plaza and below ground in the concourse.

    Sightseeing includes many art and architectural landmarks, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck on the 70th floor of the GE Building, the Channel Gardens, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and guided tours for several venues such as NBC Studios.

    Seasonal sights include the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and ice rink and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. Check the website for a listing of events year round.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Many restaurants and cafés around the plaza and in the concourse, including Dean & Deluca, Brasserie Ruhlmann, Rock Center Café, and seasonal eateries like Bar 30 and Rink Bar.

  • Prices

    Prices vary by store, restaurant, and event. Top of the Rock tour $22/adults. NBC Studios tour $20/adults. Radio City Music Hall tour $19.25/adults.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    In the winter to see the Christmas tree and watch the ice skaters, or in summer for dining al fresco and relaxing in the plaza. Weekend afternoons tend to get very crowded.

  • Close By

    Pulse Restaurant and Bar (45 Rockefeller Plaza), which overlooks the ice rink and Christmas tree, offers delicious cocktails with a great view.

Rockefeller Center User Reviews

Average rating:
An incredible experience on top of the world
Matias C. Aug 12, 2013
You just can't leave New York without visiting the Rockefeller Center. A fairy tale place with the most impressive Christmas Tree I've ever seen, and shops and some other places that are truly magnificent. In summer you can enjoy the great Rock Center Café and in winter the ice skate park, in that very same place. I strongly recommend to visit this place at night so you can truly enjoy the lights spectacle, there are lights even in the trees surrounding the Plaza. Dreamy. Don't forget to visit the Teuscher Chocolatier and, of course, the Top of the Rock, one of the cities top experiences. Even a better experience than the Empire State building if you are looking forward to take pictures and enjoy the best view available in Manhattan.
Top of New York
rosanna l. May 14, 2013
Great place to see, be ready to dodge the tourists. I visited during Easter time and there were lots of people around, there was Ice skating still and a giant Easter bunny on display. But my favourite experience was going to the top of the Rock as the lights of Manhattan came out, it was spectacular! Definitely recommend and even though there were many people there, I felt a sense of peacefulness over looking the city from above.
It's more than just The Tree
Stacy C. Mar 29, 2013
Yes, everyone will tell you to get to Rockefeller Center in December to see The Tree -- and you should, at least once in this lifetime. Stand across the street from Saks Fifth Avenue, right where 30 Rock frames The Tree, which frames Prometheus, which frames the skating rink, which is flanked by trumpeting angels on both sides (it's the angels who set it off -- trust me on this), and I defy you not to be a bit awed by the spectacle. Take the pictures. But take them quickly! There are a ton of tourists, and they're all trying to get the same shot. Rockefeller Center is worth your time during the other 11 months of the year, as well. First of all, it's an art lover's paradise, with all the Art Deco murals, statues, and carvings all over the place. Be sure to look up into every entrance and archway, because you're sure to see something fab. And take some time in the lobby at 30 Rock, where the walls and the ceilings are a marvel. Once you've done all that looking up, get on the escalators and head down -- there's an entire city underground Rock Center. The corridors are fully heated in the winter and fully air-conditioned in the summer, and they boast a bevy of high to medium-brow restaurants, coffeeshops (Starbucks and Blue Bottle have you covered), food courts, retail stores, and the entrance to Top of the Rock. The underground runs from 48th to 50th Streets, so it's an ideal place to recharge before heading back outside. Should you wish to indulge your sweet tooth before leaving the complex...yes, I know you heard there's a Magnolia on 6th Avenue and 49th Street. Go if you must. Save some money for the real deal, however -- the La Maison du Chocolat on 49th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues. Unless you're visiting from Paris, they don't have chocolate like this where you're from. No, they don't. Just go and indulge.
Holidays
Flash S. Mar 29, 2013
I love going into the city and watching the shows. During the winter time it was always a family tradition to see the the tree and enjoy the shows. I love it
Unexpected romance
Paola E. Mar 27, 2013
During winter time, when the Christmas tree lights are on, the atmosphere even if its one of the most common places to feel love, romance seems to be in the air. Take a sit next to the ice rink and watch the people enjoying their time while you take the best of an unexpected international mate in the world's capital city.
Many Vists!
Roslyn G. Mar 25, 2013
I grew up outside of New York City but a good family tradition is to go see the Christmas tree and also try to fit in some ice skating during the holidays! Though it can get pretty packed with tourists, they come from all over the world to see this amazing display! Also, I was inside the building when my mom got made over for the Today Show with Kathy Lee and Hoda and I was able to see where they filmed Saturday Night Live where they have been doing it for so many years. I was also able to see the Top of the Rock with amazing views and a great place to take the perfect family picture!
The Christmas Tree of course!
Xandra B. Mar 12, 2013
The Christmas Tree gets more beautiful every year, it is so bright and full of life! The tree is very tall and it is a magnificent architecture in itself, it really feels like its part of the city. Rockefeller Center is so beautifully lighted throughout the Christmas season, it's very captivating! They have light movies on the buildings, it's a great place for kids to visit by far! If you go make sure there is enough space in your camera, you won't be able to stop taking pictures!
Rockefeller Live
Zannie J. Jan 27, 2013
Rockefeller Center is an energetic landscape 24/7. However, being present at Rockefeller Center during a live performance is the ultimate experience. Thousands of great artists have performed at the center and crowds of people gather around to watch. There is nothing like a live show in the center of New York City!
Beautiful but PUSHY
Katie G. Dec 12, 2012
This is one of the top tourist places in NYC, and everyone always wants to go during Christmas time - but DON'T! I mean, I can't say to "not" go - but bring extra patience and wear a bubbly jacket - you end up getting pushed around like bumper cars/pinball machine. I go almost every year (reluctantly) and although I get the famed picture in front of the tree - I am always leaving there annoyed at how people are so pushy and unforgiving. You might want to make sure you eat dinner beforehand so that you're not annoyed AND hungry!
classic new york!
Elyse H. Dec 11, 2012
I love Rockefeller Square!!! I love 30 Rock, and this place is perfect if you like the show! Last time it felt like you’re about to run into Tina Fey in the subterranean Starbucks. I know Rockefeller plaza is full of tourists, but coming here for Christmas is a tradition! Skating in the square is amazing in winter, even if there are a ton of people and it’s really hard not to run into anyone! I love skating and then going for coffee at Starbucks or a cupcake at Crumbs! Try it!!
Ice skate and leave
Tara R. Dec 7, 2012
I think of Midtown as a kind of waste of space catering to tourists between 21st and Central Park. There’s the Empire State building, Fifth Avenue’s stores, and Rockefeller Center—tourist central. Still, when it’s around Christmastime, there isn’t anything quite like going skating in Rockefeller Center, even if that means getting away with not being able to skate by being so crammed in you literally can’t fall over. Being around all the Christmas spirit—the lights around Rockefeller Plaza and the big tree, and the department store windows on Fifth Avenue—definitely puts you in the holiday mood. Besides, if you don't go, you'll regret it...so go, just don't stay too long.
Holidays Time
Risa C. Dec 4, 2012
Personally, Rockefeller center is not one of the first places I recommend to out of town guests unless it's the holiday season so that what I'll base my review on. During the holidays the area is very festively dressed up and is close to 5th avenue where there are a ton of iconic window displays. For not super expensive you can also skate at the legendary ice rink under the world famous tree, or grab dinner at a restaurant overlooking the rink. The other allure would be visiting "the top of the rock" particularly if you're a 30 rock fan, but other than that I'd leave the area alone outside of the holiday season.
Oh Christmas Tree
Jaclyn W. Dec 4, 2012
I feel like I am super spoiled or just really like to rag on Midtown. I used to work here, so I had the opportunity to come to Rockefeller Center anytime I pleased (hence why I was spoiled). They are actually really decent for lunch with shops ranging from Hale & Hearty to Blue Bottle Coffee to Bouchon to Potbelly Deli. There are so many options to choose from that whether you're a tourist or an employee in the area, you won't be disappointed. My favorite part about going into the food court is that if you're coming from outside, you can ride down the tiny elevator that looks like something out of Willy Wonka. The place is clearly always packed. Come in the winter where you can hang out over the balcony or view all of the ice skaters from a window inside. If you like to ice skate, I suggest skating the rink a few times as well. The tree is obviously the biggest draw here along with Good Morning America's concerts that take place at like 6am for taping. I went to Coldplay one summer. Wasn't exactly worth it because of the crowd and how many times they had to play, "Viva La Vida," but I was extremely close to the stage, so that was cool. The place itself is majestic for the area. The buildings are clean and the area is well kempt. Grab a hot chocolate from Jacques Torres inside, head on out to the skaters, and take in the winter wonderland with a lover or an intimate gathering of friends. It will get you in the holiday spirit in no time. As for the rest of the year, eh just wait until December.
An obvious must-see in NYC
Jody P. Dec 1, 2012
The best time to go see Rockefeller Center is in the winter. They have their famous Christmas tree which is simple but stunning, and the ice skating rink where it is fun to watch the ice skaters or venture out and ice skate yourself. There are some restaurants in Rockefeller Center but the highlight is definitely the Top of the Rock. It is very touristy but offers amazing views of the city and an interesting exhibit about the city and Rockefeller Center itself. I will say that once you have done it once, you won't be dying to go back again and again, but it is something you have to do that one time.
Fun to visit
Rachel S. Dec 1, 2012
Rockefeller Center is just amazing. Any time of the year is a blast here. I love coming here during the winter to ice skate!! It is one of a kind. The holiday season is so much fun and gorgeous here. There are so many great places to eat here. One of my favorites is Magnolia Bakery. Definitely try a cupcake!! Also there is unlimited shopping to be done here. I know you can find shopping everywhere in NYC but rockefeller center has great shopping too. The place is very historic and has plenty of events you can go to all year round.
Touristy
Caroline c. Dec 1, 2012
Rockefeller Center is amazing to visit while in New York City during the holidays. It is decorated with a tree, they decorate and light up the stores, and they have a ice-skaing rink. If you want to see Rockefeller Center during the holidays, give yourself plenty of time because it gets pretty crowded. During the rest of the year, Rockefeller is mostly visited by tourists who are also visiting Times Square. For that reason it gets overlooked as a touristy place in New York City, but it is still worth seeing. I would recommend Rockefeller Center to those who have extra time while visiting New York City.
Must-see during the holidays, although a tad overrated
Carolina R. Nov 28, 2012
For the average tourist, Rockefeller Center is a must-hit. This becomes even more true during the Christmas season, when it seems like all of New York has had the same idea as you and decided to go ice skating by the giant Christmas tree. And I must admit that, even I, a lifelong New Yorker, always try to stop by Rockefeller Center at least once during the holiday season. I just can't help it; it's too pretty! However, the ice skating is extremely overpriced, naturally to take advantage of the poor tourists that will pay anything to do everything those travel guides tell them to do. If you don't like crowds, I highly discourage you from going, and I guarantee you that you're really not missing a great deal. The giant Christmas tree is pretty, yes, and ice skating is always fun. But a tree in your own house can be prettier, and ice skating can be done in countless other venues. Although I love Rockefeller Center, I must admit that the hype around it is a tad overrated.
Festive during the holidays, eh otherwise
Chris K. Nov 26, 2012
During the holidays, nothing beats Rockefeller Center. The tree, the ice-skating rink, the lit-up stores, the statue of Atlas with the light shining up under it, all of these are so iconic in the American understanding of Christmas that to miss them is truly a shame. However, for the rest of the year, Rockefeller Center is really just kind of a spill-over neighbor of Times Square, leading tourists and rich midtowners from the 42nd Street hub to Central Park and back again, without much personality to call its own. Don't get me wrong, between November and February, this hood should be checked out at all cost. But during the rest of the year, it's just another busy area in the world's greatest city, and isn't much of a loss if missed.
Must do over holidays / Today Show
Anonymous Sep 27, 2012
As noted earlier, Rockefeller Center is a free, fabulous, and fun thing to do for anyone at any age. It is a relaxing way to walk and talk with friends Or family. Watching NBC studios is truly fun and the signs and crowds ? NBC Today Show is from 7-10 AM. And they do pay a lot of attention to the crowds outside at The Center. Say hi to Matt. Christmas is a very special time at Rockefeller Center. In 2012 the Christmas tree will be lite on November 28 and stay lite each night ( all day on Christmas Day) until the final night of January 7, 2013. Crowds can be crushing....so get your Zen mood in gear as it is well worth the effort.
Beautiful and Festive!
Sara G. Sep 6, 2012
If you're already doing the touristy thing and window shopping along Fifth Avenue, stop off and make sure you see Rockefeller Center. And do the ultimate tourist act and actually go to the Observation Deck - either because you are new to New York, or because you have friends in town, or just because you've never done it. I was surprised at the amount of interesting history I learned about the Rockefellers, and other movers-and-shakers in New York from that time period. While this area is even more packed during the holidays - it's hard not to feel festive around the holidays after the annual tree lighting. The stores are nothing to write home about - except Dean & Deluca if you want the experience. My advice is to skip the ice skating - if you have your heart set on it, continue up north to Central Park and go ice skating at that rink. The rink is larger, and you actually have a shot of running into some locals (and probably will witness about six wedding proposals).
One of the best tourist destinations in NYC
Nick T. Aug 29, 2012
As far as a touristy activity that the whole family can find something to enjoy - Rockefeller Center is hard to beat. Basically if you've ever seen an NBC show in your life, the tours of the studios are worth it. Just seeing how small of a space all of the famous shows that are/have been shot there is amazing. The observation deck is a more than adequate way to get a grasp on how massive and expansive NYC actually is. It is also very conveniently located in that you can have lunch, grab a drink or shop all in the immediate vicinity. Also - the tree and skate rink in the Winter is too classic to pass up.
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