1. Purchase tickets online
While you can purchase tickets at the door, you may have to wait for the next available time slot. Save yourself the hassle by prebooking a timed ticket online or—if you’re really tight on time—a VIP ticket, which provides fast-track access to security screening and elevators.
2. Catch a sunset
If you want to see the sun set on the Big Apple, arrive early to secure a spot on the south side of the deck, overlooking the Empire State Building.
3. Get the perfect picture
Protective glass panels at the 67th- and 69th-floor viewing decks can distort photographs, so head to the open-air viewing area on the 70th floor to get the best shot. Snap a picture of Central Park from the north side—Top of the Rock is one of the closest observation decks to the park and offers relatively unobstructed views.
4. Bring an extra layer
It can feel colder and windier when you’re 850 feet (260 meters) above ground, so unless you’re visiting in the height of summer, you’ll want to take a jacket along.
5. Soak it up
With views this sensational, it’s easy to get caught up in capturing the perfect picture, though photography rarely does it justice. Take a moment to put down the camera and enjoy the view with your own eyes.