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“Manhattan skyline”

Empire State Building
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Viator Exclusive: Empire State Building Experience - Top Deck Express Pass...
Ranked #11 of 1,079 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!
Droitwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Manhattan skyline”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2005

So it has been a while since we last went up the ESB, but this time we had a 9 year old to marvel at the view.
Everyone tells you to pre purchase the tickets but we got there at 9.30am and walked straight through to the ticket booths. We chose not to go for the SkyRide (tripadvisor reviews give it a nono) and therefore claimed our 'discount' from the NYC visitor guide.
It took no time at all before we were there looking out at the amazing skyline. Yes it was cold, very bloody cold but it was February so what do you expect?
But the sight. It just blows your mind!
Our 9 year old was amazed by being able to see Central Park, Queens, Brooklyn and New Jersey all from one vantage point.
Everyone should visit day or night!

6 Thank spatan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
“A Must do if Visiting NY....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2005

We visited the ESB on the 1st day of our trip and it was lovely was there at bout 10am and it was straight up without delay - so i advise get there early and avoid crowds.

It is well worth a visit the Views a fantastic from the top of it and you wil get a good over view of the city and how big it is....

The Shop that are there are over priced - so what you wil get them cheaper downtown.......

2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
38 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Its all in the timing!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2005

The first thing I did was read all of the reviews on this site to see if a trip to the ESB (see I even use the right terminology!) was worthwhile. I talked to friends who had gone and I worked out that you absolutely must pre-buy the tickets on the ESBNYC site. I figured there is a gentle migration towards the building throughout the day, with a big focus on the undisputed spectacle of dusk. So we timed the visit to about two hours before dusk. Granted that it was February and we were lucky to miss the tour groups that were assembling in the lobby, but from the moment we walked into the building to standing on the observation deck was 20 minutes, and you can’t argue with that!
What isn’t really clear from the other reviews is the sequence that you follow from when you first walk through the door. Everyone is security screened together, but this felt cursory after the personal violation you experience going to the Statue of Liberty. Once through security you line up for tickets. Obviously it is this line that can be skipped if you pre-buy your tickets. From there you join your third line, this time for the elevators to the 80th floor. From there you join your fourth line to get the elevator to the observation deck on the 86th floor. When you leave the deck you have to stand in your final line for the elevator down. You get the idea. It only takes one hold up in any of the five lines and you are camping out for the day.
I will again echo other reviewers in saying this is one of the few visit-once-if-you-do-nothing-else attractions in NYC. If the day is clear the view is awesome. If it’s cloudy or you can see the line through the lobby then don’t bother as the views aren’t worth a 3 hour wait.
The souvenirs are expensive and they will try to sell you a cheesy photograph. I bought a fridge magnet for $7 so I am not really qualified to comment on the merchandising!

19 Thank Doctor_MGWH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, UK
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“ESB and NYC”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2005

Visited New York in feb 2004. Decided to pop up the ESB for a look-see. Had been up once before on a previous trip. Queues were small, but what got my goat was two separate security checkpoints, both manned by ignorant and rude staff. Others in the queue seemed equally miffed by the treatment from the security guards.
The views up top were fine and dandy, as was expected. But my overall feeling about the city was one of annoyance at their treatment of non-Americans as potential terrorists. I'd been numerous times before 11/9/2001, and found New Yorkers rude but endearing.
Now they're just rude.

4 Thank Cavannaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“A definate Tourist Thing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2005

When you go to NYC for the first time, one of the first things you will want to do is visit the Empire State. I know this was the first thing I did.
I went to at about 10.00 am in December 2002. It was not incredibly busy but we were told if we purchased the Sky Ride ticket as well you would jump the queue. This was not entirely true.
I did actually want to go on the Sky Ride so I thought this was ok.
Now the Sky Ride you may have heard of it or been on it.
If not it's a simulator ride that makes you think you are flying over NY.
This was total waste of money!! Honestly we thought it was rubbish and un-realistic, granted some of the people thought it was amazing.
While waiting to go on this so called ride. We were shown a video about the Empire State building, and how in the past people have tried to bomb it. Then they showed you about the Twin towers.
Now this I was not happy about. I was about to go up 86 floors in a rackety old lift and I personally felt a bit unsafe.
Anyway all that aside, I guess it took about an hour from start to get to the observation deck.
The views were great, like others said extremly windy though.
It is really nice, especially if it is one of your first tourist things to do in NYC. I mean you get to see pretty much the whole of NY and it is amazing. You will get some great photo's.
I will admit though I did feel a bit unsafe while I was up there. More to do with watching that stupid video of the Twin Towers. It ruined it slightly for me as I could not relax as much as I would like.

Would I go up the Empire Estate again 2 Years on?
Yes I would.
Next time though I would love to go just before twilight and watch all the city lights come on.

Hope you found this review somewhat helpful.

13 Thank Traveller113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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