Visiting The Empire State Building? Here’s Exactly What You Need To Know November 13 2017

empire state building tickets

The Empire State Building first lit up the New York City skyline on May 1, 1931. At the time, this 1,250-foot, 102-story building was the tallest in the world. It was built in traditional Art Deco style, and today it represents one of the best examples of this influential period in American architecture.

The Empire State Building is open to the public 365 days a year, so there’s no excuse not to incorporate this classic New York City landmark into your vacation! Here’s what you need to know to have an enjoyable visit:

Getting There:

The Empire State Building is located in Midtown Manhattan, at 350 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10118,  between 33rd Street and 34th Street. There are five entrances on 33rd Street, Fifth Avenue and 34th Street

If you going directly form our concierge center please see below:

There are several different subway stations nearby:


  • 1, 2, 3, A, C, E to 34th Street/Penn Station
  • B, D, F, N, R, Q or PATH Train to 34th Street and 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas
  • 4, 5, 6 Train to 33rd Street-Lexington Avenue

The three subway stations are circled in green on the map below:

visit of empire state building

New to the New York City subway system? The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s website has plenty of information to help you use the Subway and buy your Subway pass.

Nearby Attractions:

The Empire State Building is located smack-dab in the middle of Manhattan, so naturally it’s surrounded by loads of other amazing New York City landmarks. You may want to consider including one or two of these historic sites on your itinerary the day you visit the Empire State Building:

  1. New York Public Library - 476 Fifth Avenue (42nd St and Fifth Ave)
  2. The Morgan Library and Museum - 225 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
  3. Herald Square - 1 Herald Sq, New York, NY 10001

Planning Your Visit

The Empire State Building is one of New York City’s most beloved tourist locations, attracting over 3.5 million visitors every single year! Visitors flock to the 86th floor observatory, where they can observe New York City from 1,050 feet in the air.

In order to skip the ticket line get your tickets at our concierge center or on our homepage for the same price before.


The Empire State Building is open every single day, including holidays, 365 days a year, rain or shine. Hours are from 8AM to 2AM.

The last elevator ride up is at 1:15AM

Tips on Best Visiting Hours:

  • Hoping for a little bit of elbow room? Visit during the light hours, between 8AM and 11AM.
  • If you’re planning to pop the question atop the Empire State Building, visit on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, (9PM to 12AM from September-May, 10PM to 1AM from May-September.) when a saxophonist plays romantic tunes.
  • Visit the tower at night and watch it light up in LED lights that are constantly changing color.

Ticket Information

There are several different ticket options to choose from. Factors to consider include which floors you want to visit, and whether you’re willing to wait in line. Some ticket package comes with a “VIP Express Pass” option, which allows you to skip all the lines during your visit.

All tickets are valid for any day within one year of their purchase.

Here are the options:

Main Deck (86th Floor)

Standard Pass

This gets you a ride to the 86th Floor Observatory.

Prices start at:

Adult - $34

Child - $27

Senior - $31

Standard VIP Express Pass

Skip all lines on your way up to the 86th Floor.


Top And Main Deck (102nd & 86th Floors)

Standard Pass

Visit both of the famous observatories.

Prices start at:

Adult - $54

Child - $47

Senior - $51

VIP Express Pass

VIsit both observatories… without a single minute wasted in line!

Prices start at:

$80 for all visitors

Sunrise at the Empire State Building (86th Floor)

Express Pass

Watch the sun rise at the beautiful 86th Floor observatory

Prices start at:

$100 for all visitors

Premium Experience  (102nd & 86th Floors)

Express Pass
Includes a 90-minute guided tour, VIP priority access, and a souvenir photo of you at the top of the building.

Prices start at:

$175 for all visitors

AM/PM Experience (86th Floor)

Standard Pass

Look out at the city in the daylight, then come back and watch the skyline light up on the same night! (Night ticket redeemable after 9 PM)

Prices start at:

Adult: $49

Child: $39

Ticket Tips:

  • Be warned: As you walk down 5th Avenue, you’ll pass dozens of salesmen with brochures offering you a cheap ride to the top of the ESB. Don’t be fooled! These people are not employed by the Empire State Building Authority.
  • Visiting with a group? The tower offers discount tickets to groups of 20 or more.
  • If you have questions, look for an Empire State Building employee. They’ll be dressed like this:

empire state building visit

When You Arrive:

Going Through Security:

There is 24/7 security at the building, and every visitor must undergo a security screening. It will feel similar to your typical airport security ordeal. You’ll need to empty your pockets, remove your belt and any jewelry, and walk through a metal detector. Any bags or belongings that you bring with you must go through an x-ray machine.

What not to bring on your trip:

Any of the following items are prohibited from entering the building and will be confiscated. There are no lockers on the premises to store any prohibited items, so plan ahead by removing any of the following items from your backpack:

  • All weapons (firearms, licensed firearms, knives, scissors, etc.)
  • Glass items
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Cans, bottles, flasks
  • Professional cameras and camera stands
  • Sports equipment
  • Spray paint/Paint markers
  • Musical instruments
  • Large packages or suitcases
  • Costumes or masks

Baby strollers are permitted, but must remain folded while on the observation decks.

Once You’re Inside:


Explore the lobby, which is one of the few interiors of a building in New York City to be designated a historic landmark. Look up and you’ll see the 24-karat gold and aluminum leaf ceiling murals.

Visitors Center

Head up to the second floor to check out the Visitor’s Center, where you can buy tickets, go through security, and ask staff members any questions.


Sustainability Exhibit

Located on the 2nd Floor

This installation teaches visitors about the innovative technology that went into the Empire State Building’s sustainability efforts, which have reduced its carbon emissions and saved in energy costs.

Dare to Dream Exhibit

Located on the 80th Floor

This exhibit documents the engineering and construction of the Empire State Building through archives like photographs, architectural designs, daily notes during construction, and mementos from the workers who build this incredible structure.

Main Deck

Located on the 86th Floor

There’s a reason this famous observatory has been a filming location for so many movies and TV shows: It’s absolutely stunning. From the observation deck, you’ll be able to spot Times Square, The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and more. The Main Deck is equipped with a glass-enclosed pavilion and an open-air promenade.

Top Deck

Located on the 102nd Floor

This newer, Top Deck provides an even more dramatic view of New York City, with a particularly great perspective on Central Park.

Gift Shop

Located on the 80th Floor

Stop by to check out the huge variety of memorabilia, most of which is exclusive to the store.

Shops & Restaurants

The Empire State Building if full of fun shops and restaurants to make your trip even more enjoyable, including:

State Grill and Bar

This is a modern American-style restaurant with a classy bar and three private dining rooms.

If you’re looking for delicious sushi on the go, this is the spot for you.


The classic women’s department store.

Visitors With Disabilities:

The Empire State Building is wheelchair accessible, with handicapped restrooms on the 86th Floor Observatory, and accessible viewing walls and binoculars for those in wheelchairs. The 86th Floor also has ramps to make maneuvering easier. Service dogs are permitted to enter the building.

Tips for your trip:


  • Visitor restrooms are located on the 86th Floor only.
  • Visitor binoculars are available across the 86th Floor Observatory.
  • A free multimedia tour App is included with every ticket purchase to the building. You can download it on Apple Store or Google Pay.

Fun Facts about the Empire State Building:

  1. Thes 200-foot tower at the top was originally designed as a docking port for “airships,” according to the History Channel. At the time, scientists believed that transatlantic “airship” travel, aboard light-small vessels, was going to be the mode of transportation in the future. However, it quickly became clear that the high winds near the tower made it essentially impossible to realize this dream.
  2. When it first opened, the tower earned the nickname “Empty State Building” because only 25 percent of the building's retail space was being used when it first opened due to the economic collapse. The building owner’s launched tons of desperate publicity stunts to attract new renters, including a 1932 seance in which they tried to contact the ghost of Thomas Edison.
  3. Every year, the Empire State Building holds a Valentine’s Day Wedding Contest in which 14 lucky couples win the chance to get married on the Observation Deck on the 86th Floor!