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“Go early to avoid the lines”

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 1,093 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!
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
71 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Go early to avoid the lines”
Reviewed July 5, 2013

We read that it can take hours of waiting to finally get to the top and the best time is between 8-10am. I would totally agree, we literally walked right up to the top without any waiting and walked through all the space where people would normally queue and it looked painful. Basically two floors of space designated to have people queue with information and facts scattered throughout.

We got there around 9:30, when we left at 10:45 (we did it that fast and spent over 45 min at the observation deck) the lines were starting to build quickly. Nightmare reviews said it took 4 hours to do what we did in just over an hour.

Get there before 9:30 so you do not waste half a day !

I would also recommend going on a sunny clear day. There were more clouds than i would have liked but it was still an amazing view. Nice piece of history as well.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank 1bsmile
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, July 8, 2013
Hi 1bsmile-We’re happy to hear you enjoyed both the views and the historic aspect of the building as well. As you mention we do tend to see fewer crowds between 8-10 a.m. Please note that summer is one of our peak seasons, along with most major holidays, and wait times throughout the day can be as long as 45 minutes to one hour. A good time-saving tip when visiting during these times is to purchase our Express Pass which allows you to skip the ticket and elevator lines. Thank you for coming. –Empire State Building
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English first
Level Contributor
100 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Fantastic View !”
Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

Try to go up there by sunset, you still get the view in daylight but also the night if you stay. It is very crowded but the view is worth it. The staff is kind of rude, but I guess if you see hundreds of people every day and how rude they can be you have to get that attitude to. All in all its great.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank allysomi
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, July 8, 2013
Hi allysomi-We’re glad you found the sunset views to be so fantastic. We take customer service very seriously and would like to know more about why you refer to our staff as kind of rude. Can you please email details to our Observatory Operations Manager Gregg Picon at GPicon@esbny.comc? Thank you. –Empire State Building
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napa Valley, California
Level Contributor
74 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“All you need to know”
Reviewed July 5, 2013

I had the idea of purchasing a Express pass of the Empire State Building. This was the boldest desicion I made. When you get there, you feel like a VIP, you feel like celebrity. If you are going there, dont miss the opportunity and buy online the EXPRESS PASS. Once you arrive in the building, and show your pass, you don't wait in any line, in a matter of very few minutes you are on the top of the building, amazing!! The views are incredibles!! For the ones that are telling go to Top of the Rock in the Rockefeller Center insted, do not listen to them or go to both. If you have to choose, go to the Empire State, it is an icon of the city and is tallest than the Rockefeller centre.
Is difficult to take pictures, so many people, other than that is a great experience. With the express pass you will have priority in everything, elevators, no queues, nothing, if you want in less than 30 minutes you visit the 2 floors, I think is 80th and then floor 102nd.
Money well invested!!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Huarpe77
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, July 8, 2013
Hi Huarpe77-We’re delighted to hear you enjoyed your experience so much with the Express Pass. It really is a great option this time of year, as summer is one of our peak seasons, along with most major holidays. Thank you for your visit. –Empire State Building
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Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Definitely better than Top of the Rock”
Reviewed July 5, 2013

I had seen several sources that said Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center was better than Empire State Building, but I strongly disagree. We did both to see for ourselves and agreed the views from ESB blew those at TOTR away! We also went to ESB around midnight (they're open til 2:00 am). There were still quite a few people visiting, but it was definitely much less crowded. You can stand there and enjoy the view without feeling pressure to move on so someone else could see. You can't be the NYC skyline all lit up at night!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Miranda W
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, July 8, 2013
Hi Miranda-We’re thrilled you found our panoramic views to be so incredible; there really is something special about seeing the skyline lights at night! Thank you for coming and for this review. –Empire State Building
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Tennessee
Level Contributor
82 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Must see the view”
Reviewed July 5, 2013

We used our New York pass and didn't have to pay extra for this. Lots of lines to go through and elevator rides to get to the top, but worth it for the view. It gives you a different perspective on the city and great place for photos. You can stay as long as you want at the top, but it gets crowded and you kind of have to wait to get to the rail. Long lines again when you go down, you may want to check on the stairs!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Barbara P
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, July 8, 2013
Hi Barbara-We’re delighted to hear you consider this a must-do in NYC. If you have a great photo of or from the building you might want to check out the photo contest we’re running on our Facebook page. Thank you for your visit. –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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