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“Avoid NY Skyride”

Empire State Building
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$36.00*
and up
Empire State Building Tickets - Observatory and...
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$100.00*
and up
Viator VIP: Empire State Building Sunrise...
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$149.00*
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Viator Exclusive: Empire State Building Experience - Top Deck Express Pass...
Ranked #10 of 1,138 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 March 28, 2013 via mobile

Go inside the building and buy your tickets inside. DO NOT BUY THEM FROM THE NY SKYRIDE PEOPLE OUTSIDE!!!!! They lie to you. They told me I was buying an express ticket. But once inside I learned that I paid for a stupid ride NOT an express ticket as promise. I complained to a manager a d he had me fill out a refund slip. Have not seen a refund yet.

The views are amazing!!!!

1  Thank 103ChrisH103
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 April 2, 2013

Hi Chris- We are glad you found the views to be amazing! It is important to note 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. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building

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38,507 - 38,511 of 64,919 reviews

Reviewed March 28, 2013 via mobile

Oh dear, oh dear! View great but what a horrible queuing experience!! The only thing that improved it was the heartland brewery beer and food afterwards!!

1  Thank Baldcactus72
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Empire_State_Bldg, Empire State Building at Empire State Building, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2013

Hi Baldcactus72- We are sorry to hear how frustrated you were by the queues during the busy spring holiday season, especially since you found the views to be great. A good tip for visitors with flexible schedules is to visit between 8-10 a.m. or after 10 p.m. Thank you for your visit. - Empire State Building

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Reviewed March 28, 2013

The history and the views make this a must-see. The never ending maze of ticket lines, 5-6 people deep at the viewing areas, and the over-worked staff members having to herd people who don't listen make this a must-see that requires a considerable amount of patience. Can't imagine not doing the Empire State Bldg tour, but be ready.

The package deals, like the NY Pass, make the fees a little more reasonable (otherwise ~$200 for a family of 4).

Thank BoCoMoTiger
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 April 2, 2013

Hi BoCoMoTiger- We are glad you consider this to be a must-do in NYC. As one of the most popular attractions in NYC, we see a large number of visitors and do our best to keep things moving. Please note we do have times when we tend to see fewer crowds: 8-10 a.m. and after 10 p.m. In addition we would like to point out that at $25 for a standard ticket (making the cost for a family of 4 $100 vs. $200), our prices are comparable to similar NYC attractions. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building

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Reviewed March 28, 2013

The lines to go to the observation deck can take hours, between the ticket counters, security, the different elevator banks, etc, so don't try and squeeze in a quick trip to the top. If you want to express past everyone, you can pay a surcharge, but its already over $20 for the slow version.

Please don't forget... While this is one of the largest tourist attractions in the city, it is still also an office building, where people are trying to get to and from work, so be aware of the natives.

2  Thank GodDammitLindsay
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 April 2, 2013

Hi GodDammitLindsay- We are sorry to hear you were frustrated by the lines during one of the busiest periods of the year. Please keep in mind that summer is one of our peak seasons, in addition to December and most major holidays. As you mention, a good time-saving tip for those times of year is to purchase our Express Pass, which allows you to skip the ticket and elevator lines. Please note that our standard ticket price is $25 and the Express Pass option $47.50. Thank you. - Empire State Building

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Reviewed March 28, 2013

The Empire State Building is a must see attraction for any visitor to New York City. Because of this, thousands of people visit the site every day and it takes a long time of being in line to get to the viewing deck. In fact it takes longer to get to the top than the time it takes to view the city from the observation floor. The views are spectacular and I suppose that they are worth the wait. Keep in mind that there is also a long line and wait to exit the building. Devote at least three hours for this visit, most of which will be waiting in line.

Thank MOG808
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 April 2, 2013

Hi MOG808- We are glad you consider this to be a must-do in NYC. You bring up a good point that because many people want to visit the building, we see a large number of guests, especially around most major holidays. A good tip for those with flexible schedules is to visit either between 8-10 a.m. or after 10 p.m., when we tend to see shorter lines. 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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