Photography, Travel, USA

New York City – Rockefeller Center

June 23, 2015

Not only did we have an incredible honeymoon in the dreamiest resort in Mexico, but we were lucky enough to spend the five days before that exploring The Big Apple, New York City.

We flew with United Airlines, who while considered the Ryan Air of transatlanic flights, they offer flights from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, meaning no London diversion. This is great news for long haul flights as flying via London can easily add 3-4 hours onto the journey time. Not to mention the risk of missing flight connections.

It also meant we managed to get a good bit of exploring done on the first day. We flew out of Edinburgh first thing in the morning and we checked into out hotel in New York by noon. Awesome! This included, flying into Newark and getting a taxi to our hotel.

We dumped our luggage in our hotel room and out we went.

We stayed in the Hotel Metro, which was located on 35th street and we even had a view of the Empire State Building from our room! As we were already spending a considerable amount on the second leg of the honeymoon we settled on a more reasonable hotel in New York and I would highly recommend Hotel Metro to anyone.

The view from the room was one bonus, but it also had a roof terrace with an even better view and it was so centrally located. Plus it was on a relatively quiet street so we never had any problem with noise. The room was very reasonable priced plus it came with the added bonus of offering breakfast, a rarity in New York and unless you eat at Starbucks every morning you risk paying a fortune to eat breakfast out every morning. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t great, just a selection of bagels (of course) and muffins but it gave us the energy we needed.

The day we arrived was forecast to be the nicest day so we headed north to the Top of the Rock, the observation deck of the Rockefeller Center.

New York is such an incredible city and every street led to something new.

Including the incredible Magnolia bakery. Just window shopping here but I did return a few days later to make a purchase.

If you take one thing away from these New York posts, please let it be that you go up the Rockefeller Centre and not the Empire State Building.

Okay, go up the Empire State Building if you like but at least go up the Rockefeller Center too.

Here’s why:

  • It’s a lot cheaper $30 compared with $52 to get to the top deck of the Empire State Building.
  • It’s a lot quieter. We did not have to queue, I repeat, we did not have to queue, and unlike the Empire State Building we didn’t have to fork out an addiitional $20 for this luxury. We didn’t even pre book our tickets.
  • You can book time slots, meaning you can buy your tickets for sunset, go get dinner, then head back at your alloted time. We went about 5pm, bought our tickets for sunset (you can check sunset times on this handy website), went out for dinner then headed back at the time on our ticket. Then we just walked right in and onto the lift. I seriously couldn’t believe it!
  • You can go up twice in one day for an extra $15 in their sun and stars package so you can see the beauty of the New York City skyline in all lights.
  • Unlike the Empire State Building there are no barriers, most of the railings are quite low or are covered in glass so you get uninterrupted views of the city skyline.
  • And the most important reason of all, you get to see the Empire State Building. Probably the most iconic building of the New York skyline, yet you can’t photograph it when you are standing in it. Hence, going up the Rockefeller Center was the only option for me.

You can buy tickets online here however we decided just to wait and purchase there. Mainly because we wanted to suss out the weather. We headed down into the basement and bought tickets using the self service machines – can you believe there wasn’t even a queue here – which were very easy to use but there is someone on hand to help.

So while we were waiting on our tickets we wandered round the shops nearby and grabbed a delicious burger from Bill’s Bar & Burger. Just what we needed after a LONG day. You are also pretty close to Radio City so make sure to swing by for a photo.

Once you are up there you can stay as long as you like. We purposefully booked a little before sunset as I wanted to see it in daylight as well as the changing light. It definitely started to get busier as the sunset but it was easiest to move around the top deck to get new angles.

I’ll let the pictures do all the talking now.

Now if only I could have gotten my tripod up there!

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  • Charlotte Oates

    I completely agree with you about the Rockefeller centre. I’ve been the New York twice and I insisted we go back the 2nd time as the view is amazing. Like you said, it gives you the best view of the Empire State building. It’s also got a much cooler lift! It would definitely be on my list to go up if I ever go back again.

    I’m glad you liked you hotel, when we went ours was full of dogs that barked all night – not good!

    • Laura @ a girl & her home

      Oh dear that’s not good! Well at least you got to see some amazing views of New York!