One World Observatory vs. Top of the Rock: what to visit?

One World Observatory vs. Top of the Rock: which one is the best observation deck in New York? Here are the key elements to help you decide which of these two New York observation decks to visit.

One World Observatory vs. Top of the Rock: height

One World Observatory is one of the highest observation decks in New York. It is located on the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors of One World Trade Center (official website). The Top of the Rock, on the other hand, is only on the 70th floor. One World Trade Center is also the tallest skyscraper in New York.

One World observation deck is your best option if you want to climb to the highest point. On the other hand, the high-rise views between Top of the Rock or One World Observatory will not be the same at all.

high-rise view one world observatory
One World Observatory

One World Observatory vs. Top of the Rock: high-rise view

One World Observatory vs. Top of the Rock: who has the best high-rise view?

The Top of the Rock is located in the tower of Rockefeller Center, in the heart of Manhattan. It was built in 1933. This skyscraper is among the oldest and most famous in New York. From the Top of the Rock, you will have a great view of Central Park and lower Manhattan, including the Empire State Building.

The view from One World Observatory will be different. Here you are in the south of Manhattan Island, in the financial district of New York. You will not see Central Park, but you will have a magical view of the entire island of Manhattan and the Bay of New York with the Statue of Liberty.

Good to know! The Top of the Rock offers indoor and outdoor space, whereas at One World Observatory, you will be indoors. Therefore, One World Observatory is probably better if you visit New York when the weather is cold.

high-rise view top of the rock
Top of the Rock

One World Observatory vs. Top of the Rock: history

The Top of the Rock is a mythical observatory in New York. Many international artists worked on the construction of this skyscraper, which explains the presence of mosaics, paintings, and statues. Therefore, visiting the Top of the Rock also has a historical side.

The history of the One World Observatory is linked to a tragic event, the September 11 attacks. The September 11 Memorial and its museum are at the foot of this skyscraper. Therefore, One World Observatory is a much more recent observation deck than Top of the Rock.

One World Observatory vs. Top of the Rock: price

There isn’t a huge price difference. Tickets to visit One World Observatory are more expensive than Top of the Rock tickets. Here are the tickets:

top of the rock observation deck, new york city

In summary

The highest view of New York City is at One World Observatory. And it is also here that you will be able to visit the memorial of September 11, as well as the business district of New York, and in particular, to see the impressive building of the New York Stock Exchange.

If you want to see Central Park and discover a mythical skyscraper of the 20th century, the Top of the Rock is ideal for this visit.

If you are still deciding between One World Observatory and Top of the Rock, read our article: The best observation decks in New York compared.


Whichever you choose, One World Observatory or Top of the Rock, the high-rise views will be stunning, and you’ll love your visit! These two towers are among the best places to visit in New York. Read our article to learn more: TOP 40 things to do in New York.

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