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“Nice view but should visit at clear weather” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Empire State Building

Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue, Between 33rd and 34th Streets, New York City, NY 10118 (Manhattan)
+1 212-736-3100
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Skip the Line
$29*
and up
Empire State Building Tickets - Observatory and...
Ranked #50 of 633 Attractions in New York City
Type: Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks/ Towers, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The world-famous Empire State Building offers unobstructed panoramic views of New York City and beyond from 8 a.M. Until 2 a.M. Daily. Our 86th and 102nd floor Observation Decks offer the two highest vantage points in New York City. Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan from base to antenna, the Empire State Building is the World's Most Famous Office Building. Named America's favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, the Empire State Building is one of New York City's top tourist destinations. On a clear day, you can see up to five states from our Observation Decks - New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Guests can enjoy our outdoor viewing area on our open-air 86th floor Observatory, or our indoor climate-controlled viewing areas on the 86th and 102nd floors. We recently launched our new Multimedia Experience as well, which guides visitors through the extraordinary exhibits and breathtaking views with additional depth on the building's history in eight languages - including English, Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Japanese and Korean. The Empire State Building aims to provide entertainment for guests of all ages. Bringing children? Have their picture taken with King Kong himself on our 80th floor from Thursdays through Mondays (12 p.M. Until 9 p.M.). Celebrating a first date or an anniversary? Enjoy romantic tunes from our saxophone player from 9 p.M. Until midnight every Thursday through Saturday night. Tickets can be purchased through our website. Our celebrated tower lights are often illuminated to commemorate holidays, events and special causes. In the Fall of 2012, we upgraded our tower lighting system from floodlights to one-of-a-kind LED tower lights. The state-of-the-art system allows customized lighting capabilities from a palette of over 16 million colors! To watch some of our recent light shows, visit our YouTube page. Reigning as the world's tallest building from 1931 to 1970, the Empire State Building is known for its distinct Art Deco style. Construction of the renowned icon only took one year and 45 days, and logged more than 7 million man hours. This is the fastest construction to date for a project of its scale. Additionally, from classics like An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle to recent hits such as Oblivion and Elf, our place in pop culture has been solidified since our early days. In fact, over 200 movies and TV shows have featured the Empire State Building in them!
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Nice view but should visit at clear weather”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

We came there at late winter that is why light snow still around there. But we came from Asian country, so it is quite exciting with us. Anyway, we should buy full ticket to see the top floor than save money and feel a pity. Empire State is good experience in USA

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empire_State_Bldg, Empire State Building at Empire State Building, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Hi ThienThao- We are glad you had a good experience during your visit. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building
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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Incredible. Absolutely worth the trip.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

The view from the observation deck at the Empire State Building is like nothing I've ever seen before. I have a tip, though. Go late, like really late. The tower is open until 2:00 AM, so a trip after midnight is definitely possible. The reason for this is threefold:

1. There won't be as many people, you'll zip right through and go straight to the top, which leads me to reason number two.

2. The relative lack of people makes for a lack of long lines and wait times. This will make the $45 express pass unnecessary. If there were long lines, you might consider this, but since there won't be many people, you can pay the standard $25 and get the same end result.

3. The view from the top at that hour is incredible. Sure it's beautiful at any time, but the shining lights of New York City and its environs against the black night sky make for one of, if not the most beautiful sight that I have ever seen. Your breath will be taken away, and depending on your level of sentimentality, you may even shed a tear (I'll level with you- I did).

So definitely go, and definitely go shortly after midnight. You won't regret it, I promise.

Visited March 2013
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Empire_State_Bldg, Empire State Building at Empire State Building, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Hi Andrew- We are delighted to hear how moved you were by the evening views. Visiting late at night is a great tip, as we tend to see shorter lines after 10 p.m., as well as between 8-10 a.m. As you mention, we do offer an Express Pass for $47.50 that allows you to skip the ticket and elevator lines—a great time-saving option for our peak seasons (summer, December and most major holidays). Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building
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Northumberland
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Amazing building- but 3 hours of mind-blowing dullness”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

We went from the lovely entrance lobby, up the escalators to the hall and queued- all of these areas are now like a warehouse- no grandeur or features, the 'waiting time' indicator said 39 minutes- and the queue was moving well. As we moved closer to security (full on airport style!) it became apparent that there was a whole huge room of queueing- we went into that knowing that we'd already been there over an hour (there were a lot of people dropping out in that line and leaving)

In this second queue there was an energy efficiency exhibition- four stands showing that they're double glazing and making the offices efficient and more comfortable. I was truly grateful for the distraction by this time- it was nothing much at all but it passed 5 minutes. We paid and then joined another queue- (see a theme here!)

After about an hour and a half we were on our way to the 80th floor. THEN we queued again- This queue was as large as the initial ticket hall queue and by the time we were in the lift to 86th floor we had been in the building for 2 and a half hours. We got the lift to 102 (thankfully there was only a ten minute wait for this!) Somewhere along one of these queues- (my mind was truly dead by this time) we were passed through a photo 'concession' -which we politely declined

I enjoyed the view from floor 102, stayed less than 5 minutes then left (MORE QUEUES- but nowhere near as long)

Truly it is not something I will ever do again. The wait times are huge and the only result you get is saying you went up there.

I understand the problem and the logistical nightmare- there must be 30,000 people a day wanting to use a few small lifts and cram into the viewing deck. You cannot simply add more elevators and march people off the viewing deck after a few minutes. It copes but there must be more entertainment and distraction for the really seriously numbed customers (and i mean NOT selling stuff)

The viewing deck brings in more money than all of the office space- money should be spent on entertaining and showing people on the infrastructure or architectural features of this fascinating building (there were some fabulous features totally left ignored such as the 'air mail' pipes) You need plenty of interactive displays- the queue time is shockingly poorly represented and I even saw people leaving after buying tickets for four of $200. If they can't spend on the waiting halls they need to allow you to leave and use your ticket another time. "No refunds" is their policy.

My advice would be to spend your money on a helicopter tour instead. Its better and easier. more pricey but not if you count 3 hours of queue in dark blank halls and loss of the will to live!

(I was REALLY worried about the number of fire doors wedged open through that place!)

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empire_State_Bldg, Empire State Building at Empire State Building, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Hi hollinsider- We are sorry to hear you were not pleased with your visit. We appreciate customer feedback and take your comments to heart. We would like to note that tickets purchased at the building may be used any time within 14 days of purchase and tickets purchased online are valid any time within one year of purchase. Furthermore, it is important to note that the spring holidays are one of our busiest times of year. We recommend purchasing our Express Pass when visiting during our peak seasons, as it allows you to skip the ticket and elevator lines. Thank you. - Empire State Building
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Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Breath taking views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

We had already bought our e voucher ticket in the UK..We ended up buying these fast track passes from the guys outside, who said it would lessen the wait................ it didnt we ended up in an huge queue to redeem our original voucher, you have to pay extra to go right to the top. Totally amazing views we went at night time...well worth the visit.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empire_State_Bldg, Empire State Building at Empire State Building, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Hi candles22- We are happy to hear you found the views to be so amazing. It is important to note that the "fast track" tickets you purchased were from New York Skyride, and the Empire State Building and its Observatories are not in any way affiliated with the New York Skyride or its agents who approach visitors outside the building. New York Skyride is an independently owned and operated business. We recommend you file a complaint either directly with the New York Skyride operators at info@skyride.com or with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. You may also leave them a review on their TripAdvisor review page. Please also note that the only true express ticket is our Express Pass, which can be purchased online or inside the building. Thank you for your visit. - Empire State Building
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Selah, WA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Quintessential New York”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

The Empire State Building has so much history, great views and is such a part of the New York experience. Sure it is crowded but plan ahead. Order the express ticket online before you go and bypass lines. The New York Pass prepays for this attraction but you will STILL have to wait to get a voucher. Painful. Go in the morning if you can to avoid large crowds but night time is also beautiful...the later, the better. This won't take a long time. I recommend the skyride before going up to the observatory if you have kids. No kids? I would skip this. If it is cold or rainy, you can still see beautiful views from inside. The main entrance is also worthing stopping to see even if you don't go up to the top. If you are into beautiful views, another option is the rooftop of The Met which is open from late Spring to Fall with no iron bars.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Empire_State_Bldg, Empire State Building at Empire State Building, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Hi jennyfalk- We are happy to hear you found the views to be great and appreciate the history of the building. Please note the Empire State Building and its Observatories are not in any way affiliated with the New York Skyride or its agents who approach visitors outside the building. New York Skyride is an independently owned and operated business. As you suggest, visiting early in the morning or late at night is a good way to avoid the crowds while still enjoying the spectacular views. Our off-peak times throughout the year are 8-10 a.m. or after 10 p.m. Thank you for your visit. - Empire State Building
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