Empire State Building, New York City

4 out of 5 stars 370 Reviews

350 5th Avenue (212) 947-1360

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  • etfromnc's Profile Photo

    Still Sleepless in Matthews

    by etfromnc Written Aug 24, 2012

    Although I did not find Meg Ryan, nor even a reasonable facsimile, up there, I will nevertheless attest to the fact that from the 102nd floor of this majestic architectural (and cinematic) icon you will have magical views of New York and surrounding states, from the concrete canyons of Midtown to the myriad islands in the harbour. Buy your tickets online to avoid long queues. For a little less you can end your ascent at the 86th floor, but you only go round once in life so, please go for the top.
    I miss the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center but, in my mind, the Empire State Building will always be the skyscraper star of New York City.

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    Once again, New York's tallest building

    by Tom_Fields Updated Aug 3, 2012

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    This grand old building was begun in 1930. The architect, William Lamb, broke new ground with his then-revolutionary design. President Herbert Hoover officially opened in a year later. For many years, it was the world's tallest building.

    It's still a big favorite. If you wish to take the elevator to the top, I recommend buying tickets well in advance--especially during summer and on weekends. The view is among the best.

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  • Benson35's Profile Photo

    View New York City from 86 floors up!

    by Benson35 Written Feb 6, 2012

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    To enter the Empire State Building there is a cost. You travel up to to the observation deck on the 86th floor by lift. The views are amazing. You can have a 360 degree view of Manhattan. You don't realise how many buildings have been fitted on the island!

    If you want the best views of New York City, this is the place to get them!

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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    Braving the cold wind for some nighttime snaps

    by Tijavi Updated Nov 30, 2011
    Sunset looking into the tip of Manhattan
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    One of the best times to see NYC from the Empire State Building is just before sunset. The magnificent views are made more memorable by the change in the city's mood - from boring daytime scenes to that rush hour when everyone seems to be in a bit of a rush to get out of the island. But the most spectacular change occurs when the lights within the buildings become more visible, as the city's skyline transforms into a forest of structures with mesmerizing twinkling lights.

    Of course, this is only possible if the weather cooperates, so it's advisable to check the weather bulletin. Good weather, however, does not guarantee that you're going to be warm and comfortable up there in the observatory, 86 storeys high. I learned this the hard way: it could really get cold up there with the wind factor, but I was determined to capture the city's changing mood with my lens. I hope the pictures were well worth the effort - and the numbed fingers.

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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    The glorious details

    by Tijavi Updated Nov 26, 2011
    The building in Halloween mood
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    The Empire State Building is not just famous for its observatory - it is a destination by itself. While you're in it, take a few moments to admire the buildings art deco style like the bronze art deco medallions at the lobby, as well as the relief image of the building. Architecturally, the building had earned a place in numerous lists of the world's greatest skyscrapers.

    Given its well-earned status as symbol of the city (among many other symbols), the colors of the building's floodlights are changed either in celebration of a festival, or sometimes to honor other countries - sometimes controversially, like when it splashed red and yellow lights to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Chinese revolution in September 2009. A bit interesting for one of the symbols of free enterprise to honor one of communism's most historic events.

    Whether one is in agreement with the choice of colors for the tower lights or not, the sight of the tallest building in the city lit up in some interesting colors - in effect making a statement - is one of those memorable (and free) NY experience for the visitors.

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    Surveying the lay of the land

    by Tijavi Updated Nov 26, 2011
    Have coin, will view.
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    One of the best vantage points to start your NYC visit - in truly iconic fashion, sans King Kong, but 20 dollars poorer - is the from the observatory of the Empire State Building. Its location between Midtown and Lower Manhattan affords visitors a magnificent views of the Manhattan itself as well as the surrounding landscapes (and seascapes), including the Liberty and Ellis Islands.

    If you're not in a rush (and if you wish to maximize the 20-dollar ticket), allot a few hours at the observatory, preferably around sunset when the city's mood changes. I did just that and it's well worth seeing the city at daytime and at dusk when the buildings start to reveal their lights. Quite a sight.

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  • mickeyboy07's Profile Photo

    Empire State Building

    by mickeyboy07 Written Nov 16, 2011

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    Looking West from Observation deck
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    The Empire State Building is a 102-storey landmark skyscraper and American cultural icon in Manhattan,New York City.It is located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th st.It has a roof height of 1,250 ft and with its Antenna spire included stands a total of 1,454 ft high.Its name is derived from the nickname for New York,the Empire State.It stood as the worlds tallest building for 40 years,from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Centre's North Tower was completed in 1972.Following the destruction of the World Trade centre in 2001,The Empire State Building was once again the tallest building in New York City.Designed in the destinctive Art Deco style it is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.It was designed by 'William F.Lamb'.Over the years there have been several incidents such as a plane crash in 1945,A terrorist shooting in 1979 and more than thirty suicides.Open all year 8am till 2am(holidays vary),Prices for obsevation deck-Adult:$20.21,Children:$14.70,Senior:$18.37,for more details see website below.

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  • Sight Seeing

    by SeanFarr1 Updated Oct 3, 2011

    I loved the Empire State Building. Before I arrived in New York, it was probbaly the main attraction that I was looking forward to seeing. So when I arrived in New York, I was set up for a fall BUT the Empire State Building delivers. I loved every minute of my trip to the Empire State Building. It lived up to my billing of it. Soemofthe best views of New York and you genuinely feel on top of the world.

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  • MINOSUKE's Profile Photo

    Night View from Empire State Building

    by MINOSUKE Updated Aug 30, 2010

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    Night View In July, 2010
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    Going up to the observatory of Empire State Building is a must-do item for tourists. From there, you can enjoy really splendid view of NYC. I went there at night, as I prefered night view of the city.
    The entrance to the building is on 5th Ave. The ticket office is on the 2nd floor. Tell at the office whether you want to go up to the 102nd floor or you just want to go to the 86th floor. The ticket to the 86th floor is 20 dollars. If you want to go to the 102nd, you must pay extra 15 dollars.
    The elevator takes you up to the 86th floor. To go up to the 102nd, you should get into another elevator at the 86th. You are supposed to go up to the 102nd first.
    At the observatory on the 86th, you can go out of the door and enjoy the view from the terrace. The breeze was so nice on a summer night. (In winter? No way!)

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Great views

    by rexvaughan Written Aug 16, 2010
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    I don’t have much to add to general knowledge and available information about the Empire State Building and my one suggestion has doubtless been made by others. However, we planned to go late afternoon but the lines were so long we decided to postpone until the next morning. We arrived just after 8:00 which is their opening time and had no wait to get to the observation deck. I think the view at night would be spectacular but I don’t know how long the lines would be. Of course if you went late enough, you would probably avoid them. It is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Adults $20, Children 6-12 $14, Seniors $18.

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  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo

    Celebrating Irving R. Feldman's Birthday

    by travelfrosch Updated Aug 1, 2010

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    Sara and me on the 102nd Floor observatory
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    The Weather Lady said it was going to be a beautiful day, so we went to the Empire State Building.

    The one thing you need to be prepared to do when you go: wait. You will need to wait in line to go through security, then wait to get tickets, then wait to get on not one but two elevators, to get to the 86th Floor Observatory. You also have the opportunity to go up to the 102nd Floor, but that involves an additional cost and another wait to get on yet another elevator.

    Cost of a ticket to the 86th Floor (including taxes and "surcharge") is $22 for adults, $20 for Seniors and children 12-17 years old, $16 for children under 12. You can save a bit of time by purchasing tickets online and printing them out yourself. This allows you to skip the ticket line after you pass security. If you have more money than time, you can purchase an "Express Pass," which also allows you to cut in front of the elevator lines. Cost for this option is $49 for all ages, including taxes and "surcharge."

    Despite all of the waiting, the view from the 86th floor is definitely worth it if the weather is good. You can also shorten your wait times a bit by arriving early in the morning. If you want to go higher, you can purchase tickets to the 102nd Floor outside the elevator on the 86th Floor (credit cards only, cost $15 per person). It's fun, but the observatory is enclosed in plexiglass marred by "scratchiti." As such, it's probably not worth the extra cost and time.

    The Empire State Building is open 365 days a year, from 8AM to 2AM. Last elevator up is at 1:15 AM.

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Empire State Building

    by richiecdisc Written May 24, 2010

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    Empire State Building at dusk from Brooklyn Bridge
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    While you can't truly call the Empire State Building a free NYC attraction, you can enjoy the iconic building for free on a number of levels. It's true that to go to the top it will cost you $20 a pop, you can go into its lobby for free and obviously view if from afar from many vantage points around the city. One of the best is from the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk. Noted for being the world's tallest building for over 40 years, the famed Art Deco skyscraper gained perhaps its greatest notoriety when Hollywood's mythic King Kong climbed to its top forever cementing its being not only NYC's icon but perhaps the symbol of the entire United States.

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  • clueless83's Profile Photo

    Empire State of mind

    by clueless83 Updated Apr 30, 2010

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    View from the Empire State Building
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    Chances are if you're visiting the Big Apple then you're going to want to visit the Empire State building.

    Personally (I'm sure some would disagree) I didn't find the Empire State Building very impressive from the outside - I saw it and thought "is that it?" it was alot smaller than I imagined. Going inside is different though, the entrance is quite grand but the views are even better.

    We went quite late at night in the hope of beating some of the mad day time queues. Its really windy up there but the photos you will get will be great. I just wish I had my slr camera at the time!

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  • clareabee's Profile Photo

    great views...not so great crowds!

    by clareabee Written Dec 7, 2009

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    This is such an iconic landmark of new york it would be a sin to visit the city but not visit ESB. The views are fantastic from up here and the building itself is beautiful - including the amazing lobby when you first come in - excellent photo opps here!

    It seemed to take an age to get up to the viewing platform - not at all like the experience Meg Ryan had in sleepless in Seatle! but was worth it.

    I would advise anybody wanting to go up to firstly buy your tickets before you go. I bought mine on the website and printed off my own tickets - so at least avoided the first queue! (and the tickets are valid for 2 years i believe - so you are not time or date tied)

    Secondly if you want to see the views in the day go as soon as it opens, or if you want to see it all lit up go later on...the last lift up is 11.15pm.

    If you have childen it may be better to do this as it gets VERY crowded!

    It is worth just walking past at night to see the upper floors all lit up. On special dates it is lit up in certain colourways...if you look on the website it will tell you the dates and colourways. When we were there it was all lit for thanksgiving. - Amazing!

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    The Empire State Building

    by MM212 Updated Oct 27, 2009

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    The Empire State Building - Oct 09
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    Completed in 1931 and named after New York State's nickname, the Empire State Building is one of the symbols of New York City. It was the world's highest building for forty years and until the construction of New York's World Trade Centre. Since 2001, the Empire State Building has returned to being New York's highest structure. The 381-metre building occupies a prominent position in central Manhattan and is a magnificent example of Art Déco architecture. The observation deck at the top offers the best views over New York - definitely a must when visiting the city.

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