New York City Observatories
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What are the different observatories in New York City?
There are three observatories: the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock and One World Observatory.
2) Which one is better?
There is no "better" observatory. They all offer a different experience and view of NYC.
a) From Top of the Rock, you will be able to take fabulous photos of Central Park as well as photos of the Empire State Building with Manhattan in the background. Top of the Rock also has an indoor and outdoor deck.
b) From the Empire State Building, you will be able to take amazing photos of the Manhattan skyline but you will not see Central Park (except if you get tickets to the 102nd floor observatory). The Empire State Building also has an indoor and outdoor deck.
c) From One World Observatory, you will be able to take fantastic photos of Manhattan but also of New York harbor, Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty, etc. One World Observatory does not have an outdoor deck.
3) What are the tickets' options for each observatory?
Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock offers timed ticket entrance to prevent visitors from having to wait in line too long. Skip-the-line tickets are not available.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building offers 4 different kinds of tickets: standard tickets to the 86th floor, VIP tickets to the 86th floor, standard tickets to both the 86th and 102nd floors and, VIP tickets to both the 86th and 102nd floors.
Tickets are not timed and therefore, if you do choose to obtain standard tickets, you might have to wait in line to access the chosen floor (up to 2 hours). We strongly recommend getting VIP tickets. That way you will skip the general line (you will still have to go through security).
One World Observatory
The two most popular kinds of tickets for One World Observatory are standard timed tickets and Day Flex tickets. With a standard timed ticket, you will need to choose a date and a time of entrance for your visit. With a Day Flex ticket, you will only have to choose the date but you will be free to visit the observatory at any time on this specific day.
4) One of the family members is afraid of heights. Should she/he wait while the rest of the party is visiting the observatory?
It depends on how afraid of heights your client is. An option that has worked before is to go to One World Observatory since it is the only observatory that is completely indoors.
5) Are the three observatories wheelchair accessible?
All three observatories are fully accessible.
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