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An ode to 1930s New York, Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan fuses the old and the new, and is at the heart of the city’s annual holiday celebrations.
Built between 1930 and 1939, the sprawling Rockefeller Center was seen as a revolutionary symbol of innovation and progress amid the depression-era slump. A “city within a city”, the center has a sleek, modern design and has housed some of the most progressive companies in America’s history. Today, it’s still a hub of Manhattan with 19 commercial and historic buildings that cover several blocks.
A benchmark for Art Deco architecture, Rockefeller Center boasts many attractions. Take a tour of the famous NBC studios. Get tickets to see the famous Rockettes or a concert at Radio City Music Hall. During the holiday season, check out the enormous 100-foot Christmas tree. The glistening ice-skating rink is open daily October through April.
At any time of year, a trip to the center should start with a visit to the Top of the Rock observation deck for a 360-degree view of the city. Before zooming to the observation decks in the Sky Shuttle elevator, make sure you explore the permanent exhibition of photographs and artifacts on the mezzanine level. (Once you’re at the top, you can’t return to the exhibit.) The 70-story-high viewing platform is open daily offering postcard-perfect views of the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty to the south and Central Park to the north.
Over at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the centerpiece of the complex, television aficionados can join behind-the-scenes NBC studios tours, which run every 15 minutes, to catch a glimpse into what makes shows like “NBC Nightly News” and “Saturday Night Live” tick. Check the Rockefeller Center website for ticket information. For history buffs, ticketed tours through the General Electric building also run regularly every day, with knowledgeable guides sharing insights into the history and artistry of the center.
After your tour, head downstairs to refuel at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the Concourse level or wander outside onto Fifth Avenue.
Rockefeller Plaza is located in Midtown, and is on a number of bus routes and subway lines.
We understand you want to get the most out of your time at Rockefeller Center. So, we've rounded up some of the most popular things you can do here:
Check out our New York things to do page to learn about many more activities while you're in the area.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of 5th Avenue and Grand Central Terminal. Chrysler Building and St. Patrick's Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Grand Central - 42 St. Station is 5 minutes by foot and 5 Av Station (W. 42nd St.) is 5 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Times Square and Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Broadway and Central Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Times Sq. - 42 St. Station is 12 minutes by foot and 34 St. - Penn Station is 14 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Madison Square Garden, Macy's, and Empire State Building. Times Square and Broadway are also within 15 minutes. 34 St. - Penn Station (Fashion Av.) is only a 2-minute walk and 28 St. Station (7th Av.) is 4 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Eugene O'Neill Theatre, Times Square, and Gershwin Theater. Broadway and Broadway Theatre are also within 10 minutes. 49th St. Station is 6 minutes by foot and 50 St. Station (Broadway) is 7 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Carnegie Hall, Central Park, and 5th Avenue. Columbus Circle and Ed Sullivan Theater are also within 10 minutes. 5 Av.-53 St. Station is only a 4-minute walk and 57 St. Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Central Park and Columbus Circle. Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Opera House are also within 10 minutes. 59 St. - Columbus Circle Station is only a 5-minute walk and 57 St. - 7 Av Station is 5 minutes.
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Located in Midtown, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal. 5th Avenue and United Nations Headquarters are also within 10 minutes. Grand Central - 42 St. Station is 9 minutes by foot and New York Grand Central Terminal Station is 9 minutes.