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“Beautiful views but be careful of street ticket sellers”

Empire State Building
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$34.00*
and up
Empire State Building Tickets - Observatory and Optional Skip the Line Tickets
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$100.00*
and up
Viator VIP: Empire State Building Sunrise Experience
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$149.00*
and up
Viator Exclusive: Empire State Building Experience - Top Deck Express Pass...
Ranked #10 of 1,116 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!
Reviewed November 14, 2012

We approached by a ticket seller wearing an orange jacket. It had the NY Skyride insignia so we thought he was pret legit. He sold us a combo ticket and assured us it was an express, no lines to wait in at all. The combo was a tickets to the sky ride / IMAX as well as to the observation deck.
When we got the, we realized there was a sticker on our receipt saying 'this is not an express ticket' :( At $52 per adult, we were certainly expecting it to be!
Having said that, the wait was very short for the IMAX and the staff inside were fabulous. The IMAX movie itself was a bit of fun, but the quality was terrible. The entire movie was slightly blurred, as though it should have been 3D.
We went immediately to line up for the observation deck (again no line, but this is November and it was cold!) and the gentlemen there told us the visibility was zero so if we had time it would be better to go back another time. W really appreciated that as going up and not being able to see would have been so disappointing.
We went back the following night, in time for sunset and stayed to see the lights as well. Perfect visibility :)

Just a hint: take an extra layer of clothes! And if you're in to photography, they don't allow tripods, which is really disappointing.

3  Thank Samm1706
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 reviewResponded November 29, 2012

Hi Sam- We are delighted that you were able to enjoy the views on a clear evening. We would like to point out that 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. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding with our policy on tripods, as they can become obstacles for other guests when the Observatory is crowded. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building

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37,189 - 37,193 of 61,978 reviews

Reviewed November 14, 2012

The view is spectacular at the top - we went off peak so we didn't have to queue to much.

Revolting staff shout at you to "take your belts off" to go through the security section. One poor non-english speaking foreign woman dared to say "pardon" as she didn't hear what the staff member shouted (im english and i wasn't sure as the staff member had an awfull accent) - she was then subjected to the staff member deliberetly talking like a moron, really slow, basically spelling out what she had said...RUDE.

We then got thrust the hand held talking devices to use up on the observation deck. I didn't want it - I would have told the staff member who thrust it at me - however she was too busy having a personnal conversation with another member of staff.

The way to go is poorly signposted - the place is huge so it's easy to lose your way. God forbid you walk the wrong way - expect to be agrressivly shouted at by staff - AND then hear them make snide comments about you behind your back...nice.

By the time we got to the top we felt harrassed and to be honest our whole experience ruined. We wont be returning and will advise all of our friends in future to go to the Rock instead.

1  Thank Sash87
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 reviewResponded November 29, 2012

Hi Sash87- We are sorry to hear about your visit, especially since you enjoyed the views. We take all customer feedback seriously and would like to know more about your experience. Please reach out to Gregg Picon, our Operations Manager, at GPicon@esbnyc.com. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building

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Reviewed November 13, 2012

Pricey to go up, but once you get to the viewpoint everything makes sense. Wow! It is an experience not to be forgotten.
We went to see the sunset, and had to deal with the long line but other than that, it moves fast. Worth to go up to the 102 floor...Spectacular and of course a must do if visiting NYC!

4  Thank B22_A70
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 reviewResponded November 29, 2012

Hi B22_A70- We are happy that you enjoyed your experience on both Observatories. We would like to point out that our ticket prices are in line with similar attractions in NYC, and we offer a variety of ticket options, all of which are available on our website. A good tip for your next visit is to come during one of our off-peak times when we tend to see shorter lines: 8-10 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Thank you for your visit and for writing this review. - Empire State Building

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Reviewed November 13, 2012

It was really cool to go all the way up there to get a full view of the city. My tour group and I were amazed and enthralled. We were travelling with the Topaz Tour group which I highly recommend.

3  Thank Laurie L
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 reviewResponded November 14, 2012

Hi Laurie- We are glad you enjoyed the panoramic views from our Observatory! We'd love to see any photos you took on our Facebook page. Thank you for your visit. -Empire State Building

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Reviewed November 13, 2012

We were lucky that we hardly had any wait time to go up to the top so no need for fasttrack. We timed our visit so we could view the city as the sun went down and WOW what a view. We had a clear evening and saw the city light up before our eyes. We bought tickets through NY City Pass and got audio included which was really great and we would recommend this. Only downside was lack of staff in gift shop

4  Thank Prestonwookie
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 reviewResponded November 14, 2012

Hi Prestonwookie- We are delighted to hear how much you enjoyed the sunset views during your visit. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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