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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.
You could easily spend a whole morning or afternoon at Rockefeller Center. The list below provides a selection of the things you can try here:
For many more things to do, have a look at our New York things to do page.
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 romantic hotel is steps away from Richard Rodgers Theatre, Times Square and Music Box Theatre. Broadway and Minskoff Theater are also within 5 minutes. 49th St. Station is only a 3-minute walk and Times Sq. - 42 St. Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is steps away from Central Park and 5th Avenue. Madison Avenue and Tiffany & Co. are also within 5 minutes. 57 St. Station is only a 3-minute walk and 5 Av.-53 St. Station is 6 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Carnegie Hall, Central Park and Broadway Theatre. Columbus Circle and 5th Avenue are also within 10 minutes. 7 Av. Station (E 53rd St.) and 50 St. Station (Broadway) are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of 5th Avenue and Grand Central Terminal. St. Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center 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.
This family-friendly New York hotel is located in the entertainment district, steps away from Walter Kerr Theatre, Ambassador Theatre and Circle in the Square Theater. Duffy Square and Eugene O'Neill Theatre are also within 5 minutes. 49th St. Station is only a 2-minute walk and 47 - 50 Sts - Rockefeller Center Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is steps away from The Majestic Theater, Music Box Theatre and St. James Theatre. Times Square and Broadway are also within 5 minutes. 49th St. Station is 6 minutes by foot and Times Sq. - 42 St. Station is 7 minutes.