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“Upgrade Your Ticket!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Empire State Building

Empire State Building
Book In Advance
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$34.00*
and up
Empire State Building Tickets - Observatory and Optional Skip the Line Tickets
Ranked #10 of 1,068 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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!
Bedford, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Upgrade Your Ticket!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2012

Unless you want to stand in line for an hour plus, upgrade your ticket for a speedy entrance! It costs about $22 per ticket, but there's a lot to see in NY and if this is something you really want to do - go ahead and swing for the upgrade to bypass the LOOONNG line! Either that, or get there before they open in the morning.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank kimba1960
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, October 11, 2012
Hi kimba1960- We're glad you were able to make the most of your time with the Express Pass, which costs $47.50 (so yes, it's approximately $22 to upgrade from the $25 standard adult ticket). As one of the most popular attractions in NYC, our staff does their best to keep the lines moving, but guests can also avoid longer waits by visiting during our off-peak hours, which are 8-10 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building
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buckinghamshire, England
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“One of the Highlights of a trip to NYC”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2012

Went on a sunny day in early October and by-passed the queues by buying an express ticket for $39 each (sold outside on the street). Well worth the cost as we sped past the queues. Didn't bother with the 102nd floor - the niew from the 86th is breathtaking enough

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank bilsbok
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, October 11, 2012
Hi bilsbok- We're delighted that you enjoyed the views and that your experience was a highlight of your trip to NYC! We would like to point out that the Empire State Building Observatory is in no way affiliated with any of the street sales agents located on the sidewalks. The Express Pass is for sale on our website or inside the building. While Express Pass ticketholders still must pass through the security checkpoint (mandatory for all guests), it is indeed a great option for maximizing your time during your visit. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building
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Washington D.C.
Level Contributor
64 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great Attraction”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2012

The attraction was extremely crowded with very long lines. Every corner we turned I thought that we would be closer to the elevator but there was just another long line. Once to the elevator we caught an elevator to the 80th floor, then we either had to stand in another long line to catch the elevator to the 86th floor or walk the stairs. The view is spectacular, I recommend utilizing the audio tour, without that I wouldn't have known half of the landmarks viewed from the observation deck, if you think that the audio tour and memorabilia is too pricey hagle, they will come down. I went at night so I will definitely visit again to check out the view in the daylight. The 102nd floor was so worth it, I loved the old man operated elevator. The 102nd has a small observation area but there weren't that many people on that level and I was pleased that there wasn't a long line to get there.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Cavegirl369
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, October 11, 2012
Hi Cavegirl369- We are glad you enjoyed the views and that the audio tour enhanced your experience! As one of the most popular destinations in NYC, we do our best to keep the lines moving. We recommend visiting during our off-peak hours when the lines tend to be shorter: 8-10 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 9 p.m.-2 a.m. We look forward to seeing you again for your daytime visit. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building
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Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Two hours I will never get back”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

Don't get me wrong - the view from the top is spectacular. What I object to is the advised 40 minute wait being a two hour wait. The lines go from room to room, with nothing to look at till close to the end. By that stage we were so tired of waiting that we bypassed the quite interesting information to line up again. To top matters off, we lined up again to get down. Skip this one, bring your kindle, or pick a quiet time.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Anna S
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, October 11, 2012
Hi Anna S- We are sorry to hear you were frustrated by the wait time, especially since you enjoyed the views. Our staff does their best to keep guests apprised of the approximate wait time. There are a few off-peak times each day when the lines tend to be shorter: 8-10 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 9 p.m.-2 a.m. We hope you will consider another visit during one of these times so you can explore our Dare to Dream exhibit celebrating the building's construction, and our sustainability exhibit about our groundbreaking energy-efficiency retrofit and ReBuilding project. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building
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Dorset
Level Contributor
48 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Amazing Views - well worth visiting the top of this iconic building”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

If you want to go to the top of the Empire State Building, which is recommended just for the breathtaking views, then I would strongly advise that you get there at 8.00am – 8.15am when they first open otherwise you will be waiting for a very long time. This was the advice given to us.

Check the weather before hand and choose your best day, as the better the weather the further the views.

The tip is to purchase your tickets inside and not to buy them from the sellers directly outside. They are official ticket sellers, but they can charge you more off the street and they will probably use an excuse if you challenge them afterwards. So make the sacrifice and get there early aand buy the tickets inside.

The views are breathtaking and the elevators get you to the top very quickly.

Take the advice and get there early. At 9.30am, when we came out the waiting time for entry was 70mins and it was getting longer.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Stan_from_Dorset
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, October 15, 2012
Hi Stan_from_Dorset- We're glad you enjoyed the views. We would like to point out that the Empire State Building and its Observatory are in no way affiliated with any of the street sales agents located on the sidewalks. We recommend that visitors purchase their tickets either from our website or the ticket office inside the building. In addition to our early morning off-peak hours (8-10 a.m.), we also tend to see shorter lines between 2-4 p.m. and 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Thank you for your visit. - Empire State Building
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