It doesn't matter where the Empire State Building falls on any "tallest buildings" lists, because it's an icon in its own right. It has been featured in hundreds of films and TV shows, most famously King Kong and An Affair to Remember. Sure, tickets to the observation decks and museum are outrageously expensive and involve a lot of waiting in line, but that's hardly the only way to experience the skyscraper.
“Not New York City's only observation deck, but it might as well be”
The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet, and with its antenna spire included, it 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 world's tallest building for 40 years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center's North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York (although it was no longer the tallest in the US or the world). The Empire State Building was once again demoted to second-tallest building in New York on April 30, 2012, when the new One World Trade Center reached a greater height. The Empire State Building is currently the third-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States (after the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower, both in Chicago), and the 15th-tallest in the world (the tallest now is Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai). It is also the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in the Americas. The Empire State Building is generally thought of as an American cultural icon. It is designed in the distinctive Art Deco style and has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The building and its street floor interior are designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and confirmed by the New York City Board of Estimate. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. In 2007, it was ranked number one on the List of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA.
This place is pretty fantastic, but the wait is going to be PHENOMENALLY long, gang. When I went, there were four of us, and it took us 3 hours and change and 80+ floors to get up to the top. HAVING SAID THAT: it is super freaking majestic, and you won't have enough room on your phone for all the pictures you'll want to take. I would personally recommend the Top of the Rock at 30 Rockefeller Center for ease and view, but the Empire State Building does have the pedigree, after all.
Don't buy tickets from the pushers in the street. They try to sell you stuff you don't need. Just go in on 5th. The lines won't be that bad if you go at sensible times and not on major holidays
The line moves pretty quick for the volume of people going through there on a daily basis. Great view of the city, so get your money's worth and spend some time up there.
I've found another good time to go is about 2 or 3 hours before sunset. Sunset brings the throngs, and if you time it just right, you can catch the mid afternoon lull. Also you can avoid waiting if you walk up the last few flights (an option other than taking the last elevator). You can take pictures in the stairwell and make your FB friends think you walked the entire thing! Ha!
I've never been up to the top, but just looking at it from street level is overwhelming. It is such an iconic building, it helps define the NYC skyline.
If you get there between 8AM and 11AM you have your best chance at avoiding the heavy crowds. This means less waiting time and more space to enjoy your visit. There's also online Express Pass tickets you can order. You can bring kids, but if you have a stroller you need to fold it up before riding the elevator. Restrooms are on the second floor.
I recently went up in ESB on my last trip to really SEE New York in its beauty. The tickets are a bit expensive to see a sight, but since I'm rarely in NYC, I thought it was worth it. I'll warm that lines can be long, elevators take a while and are trafficked by employees of the building, and the top will be crowded at all times a day. They will also try to upsell your base ticket to go up 16 more floors and I personally didn't find it worth it. When you finally get to the viewing platform, fight your way to get a photogenic spot.
Went late at night after having a bite to eat in the brewery located in ground floor. Sax player added to the abiance and gorgeous views.
Get tickets ahead online with the skip the line feature!!! It was great to skip a ton of the line! Views are great of the city. Tickets are good for 1 year from.the date on the ticket, so you can go when the weather is decent within your trip.
We didn’t go up but did look up at this Icon. It is amazing!!
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The Empire State Building
- Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 2:00 am
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Good for cultural-travelers. Has a historic vibe.
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