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“Even on a rainy day, it's a beautiful view”

Empire State Building
Ranked #15 of 1,138 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!
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Went on a Saturday afternoon, arrived about 3:30pm. There is a wait, from what I understand, there's always a wait. Ours was maybe 30 minutes total from the time we walked into the building to when we walked out onto the deck.
Expect to be surrounded by people, many who don't realize how rude it is to push in line or try to cut. While waiting in line, (me, a Chicagoan, my friend, the New Yorker), we decided that in other countries they must not wait in any kind of a line EVER. It was frustrating to watch these people ignorantly push past little kids to get to the elevator first.
Once out on the deck, none of it matters. If you have any kind of appreciation for the architecture of NYC, you'll love the view. Every direction is breath-taking. Bring a good camera, and be sure to take MANY pictures.
Also recommended to either bring a New Yorker with you to point out landmarks, or pay the $10 for the audio guided tour. I was lucky enough to have my own tour guide.

1  Thank Jen 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 July 24, 2013

Hi Jen- We're glad you found the views to be so breathtaking. Please note that summer is one of our peak seasons when we tend to see quite an increase in the number of visitors. A few good time-saving tips are to purchase and print out your tickets from our website ahead of time, arrive either around the time we open (8 a.m.) or after 10 p.m., and finally, consider purchasing our Express Pass, which is a premium ticket that allows you to skip the ticket and elevator lines. If you have any great photos, you may want to consider entering our Facebook photo contest. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building

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Reviewed July 23, 2013

Anybody visiting New York City must take the time to see this treasure I would recommend going in the morning as it does get quite busy but the building is a marvel. Buying tickets online can save some time. The pictures do not do this building justice must be experienced first-hand.

Thank 325JimB
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 July 24, 2013

Hi Jim- We're thrilled you consider this to be a must-do in NYC and something that must be experienced in person (we agree!). Thank you for your visit 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.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

If you want an overview of Manhattan , start here for a ariel view. I love history, so my husband and myself got the earphone tour where you push the buttons at each number and it tells you what you are looking at, and we done this at the top floor where you have to pay extra. My son and his wife went and did not enjoy it as much because they did not do the earphone recordings.
Trust me it is alot more fun if you know what you are looking at!

1  Thank Kathieh9
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 July 25, 2013

Hi Kathleh9- We're delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your visit and that the audio-visual guide added valuable context to the stunning views. Thank you for coming. - Empire State Building

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Reviewed July 22, 2013

Visited both veiwing decks and enjoyed Tony our Tour guides take on the whole View he picks out what's there and which districts your looking at and they ave and street too

Thank Claire D
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 July 24, 2013

Hi CLaire- We're happy you enjoyed the views and the audio-visual guide. Thank you for your visit. - Empire State Building

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Reviewed July 22, 2013

If you live in New York you probably take this landmark for granted...but don't. It is breathtaking with a 360 view of New York. You can see all of the bridges and rivers. Highly recommend taking advantage of a great historic landmark.

Thank Pear B
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 July 24, 2013

Hi Pear- We're thrilled that you found the panoramic views to be so breathtaking. 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.

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