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“NYC at night”

Empire State Building
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$34.00*
and up
Empire State Building Tickets - Observatory and Optional Skip the Line Tickets
Ranked #11 of 1,077 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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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!
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“NYC at night”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

Yes, it's touristy and the lines are very very long. But on a clear night, the views from the 86th Floor observatory are gorgeous and it's quite an experience. (We didn't pay the extra admission fee to go to the smaller, 102nd floor observatory, so I can't comment on whether that's worth the extra). The building itself has been extensively renovated and is a showpiece of Art Deco style. We did this on a whim at ~ 10pm on a Friday night, and it took us about 30minutes to get up to the observatory. It was crowded, but manageably so, and the staff really know how to keep things moving. Once there, you can spend as much time as you want. The observatory is open until 2am (last admission 1:15am). NOTE: If you hate waiting in line or are pressed for time, consider paying more for an Express pass to by-pass all the lines. If you want to visit during prime-time (weekend days), definitely buy your ticket ahead of time. You'll still have to wait to get up to the observatory, but at least you'll skip the lines waiting to get their tickets.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank DPhilbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Empire State Building at Empire State Building, responded to this review, June 22, 2012
Thank you for visiting the Empire State Building and for writing this review. Wonderful to hear how much you enjoyed the views as well as the building itself! We often tell visitors what a good idea it is to purchase tickets online in advance if they are pressed for time, another tip is to visit during the less crowded times – which are generally 8AM and 3PM. Thanks again, glad you enjoyed your visit!
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Waynesboro
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“WOW”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

This is an amazing experience. We were there right at dusk and got to see a gorgeous sunset. We had purchased our tickets online and went right through. There was no waiting! We couldn't decide if we wanted to go past the observation deck, but were satisfied with the view from there.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank klstebbins1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
62 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Good place for tourists - you can see the entire city”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

We bought the standard tickets to the 86th floor deck, for $23 each. That's all you need. It's an open air observation deck. Tom Cruise was filming a movie there, so half of it was blocked by black panels, and security guards. But, we were able to see most of the city. Note: If someone outside the building offers to sell you tickets, ignore them. They will charge you higher prices than what you would pay inside. And, they will offer you a "special discount" price, if you start walking away. That "discount" price is still higher than the regular price inside the building.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank travellerzToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Empire State Building at Empire State Building, responded to this review, June 22, 2012
Thank you for visiting the Empire State Building and for writing a review here. Happy to hear you were able to enjoy the views of the city! You are correct that visitors do not need to engage with or buy tickets from those outside the building trying to sell them. These are most likely agents with the New York Skyride. 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’s Department of Consumer Affairs. You may also leave them a review on their TripAdvisor review page. Thanks again!
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Albuquerque
Level Contributor
66 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Felt Constantly Squeezed for Money”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

The view is terrific once you get to the top but to get there you are routed through people trying to get you to buy overpriced maps and photographs. Only a single men's room at the 86th floor observatory

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Empire State Building at Empire State Building, responded to this review, June 22, 2012
Thank you for your visit to the Empire State Building and for writing a review. Glad to hear you found the view to be terrific! Please note the maps and souvenirs are offered to visitors as added value but of course visitors are not under any obligation to purchase them. Thanks again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Astoria, New York
Level Contributor
142 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Long lines, often crowded”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

Nice view but for seeing NYC from up-high, the Top of the Rock is so much more worth it! The lines for the ESB can be super long, and once you get to the top of the tiny observation deck, it can be very crowded. Go after 11 PM or early in the day if you must...

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Phebe T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Empire State Building at Empire State Building, responded to this review, June 22, 2012
Glad you enjoyed the views! As one of the world’s most famous landmarks and one of the top sights in New York City, the Empire State Building attracts large numbers of visitors. We do our best to accommodate everyone and to keep the lines moving as quickly as possible. We do encourage visitors who are pressed for time to buy their tickets online and print them in advance as well as schedule their visits for less-crowded times of the day (generally 8AM or 3PM). Thanks again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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