The Empire State Building observation deck is one of the most iconic and visited attractions in New York City, offering unparalleled panoramic views of the city’s skyline from its 86th and 102nd floors.
Completed in 1931, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world for nearly 40 years and remains one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. The Empire State Building observation deck provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the breathtaking beauty of unparalleled New York views. It has become an essential and classic part of any visit to New York City.
Empire State Observation Deck-Quick Tips
Location: The Empire State Building is located at 350 5th Ave, New York, NY 10118, USA.
2. Empire State Tickets: You can purchase tickets to the Empire State Building online (highly recommended) or at the ticket booths located on the 2nd floor of the building. There are several types of tickets available, including general admission, express tickets, and VIP tickets, see below.
3. Empire State Observation Deck: The main attraction of the Empire State Building is the observation deck, which offers panoramic views of the city. The observation deck is located on the 86th floor, and you can reach it by taking one of the high-speed elevators. From the observation deck, you can see landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge. If you want an even more breathtaking view of the city, you can purchase an additional ticket to the 102nd-floor observatory. This observatory is smaller and offers an unobstructed view of the city from a higher altitude.
5. History and Artifacts: The Empire State Building has a rich history and many interesting artifacts on display, including original photographs, architectural sketches, and vintage tools. You can learn more about the building’s history by visiting the exhibits on the 2nd floor.
6. Dining Options: There are several dining options available in the Empire State Building, including the STATE Grill and Bar. This restaurant offers delicious cuisine, cocktails, and amazing views of the city.
7. Gift Shops: There are several gift shops located throughout the Empire State Building, offering souvenirs and memorabilia for visitors to take home.
8. Tips: To avoid long lines, it’s best to visit the Empire State Building early in the morning or late in the evening. You should also dress appropriately for the weather, as the observation deck on the 86th floor can be windy and cold.
The 102nd-floor deck is enclosed. The best time to go to the Empire State Building is sunset. Photo opportunities are amazing and you can stay until dark to see New York at night.
Observation Decks in NYC: This is a list of the five observation decks in NYC, the classics, and the modern. There might be a deck that entices you more. Each one has unique characteristics, views, and qualities. You can find the article HERE.
Empire State Tickets
Step back in time and experience the rich history of one of New York’s most iconic landmarks at the Empire State Building’s newly renovated interactive galleries on the 102nd floor.
Standing proudly in the Grand Staircase is a stunning two-story architectural model of the towering skyscraper. As you immerse yourself in the exhibits, you’ll be taken on a captivating journey that begins with the building’s construction, and the many challenges that were overcome during this monumental achievement.
From there, you’ll be transported through time to explore the opening day, marvel at the modern-day engineering that makes it all possible, and even learn about the famous Otis Elevators that whisked passengers up to the world-famous Empire State Building 86th floor. But that’s not all, as you continue on this incredible journey, you’ll discover exhibits dedicated to exploring the building’s place in pop culture, and iconic moments such as King Kong scaling its towering heights.
This is an experience not to be missed, and with the added bonus of downloadable multimedia experiences available in nine different languages, there’s no excuse not to come and explore the Empire State Building’s magnificent Fifth Avenue lobby.
Summit One NYC: This is New York City’s other modern and newest observation deck. It’s an art installation, in addition to three levels of experiences, New York views, glass elevators, and observation decks. Summit One NYC is well worth checking out in addition to The Edge. Read the Summit One NYC guide HERE.
Note: Reservations are required at the Empire State Building Observation Deck. Tickets are only valid for the date and time window selected at purchase. We recommend skip-the-line and highly recommend skip-the-line express tickets.
General Admission: The main deck is on the Empire State Building 86th floor. Here you will find Enjoy 360-degree unobstructed, open-air views of New York City from the 86th-floor Observation Deck – located in the heart of NYC. You can purchase refundable general admission skip-the-line tickets to the Empire State Building Observation Deck (highly recommended).
Combo Ticket: The Empire State Building’s new 102nd floor is a true masterpiece of architecture and design. Guests are in for a treat as they enter an all-glass elevator on the 86th floor, which takes them on a mesmerizing journey through a newly-renovated glass shaft to the 102nd floor.
En route, they not only get an unprecedented look at the inside of the tower’s mast but also a glimpse of its world-famous tower lights. As the elevator nears its destination, guests are treated to a sneak peek at the breathtaking views awaiting them on the Observatory.
The 102nd floor is an entirely enclosed, climate-controlled, all-weather observation deck with 24 crystal-clear, eight-foot-tall windows offering 360-degree views of the city and beyond. It is, without a doubt, the best vantage point to admire the heart of New York City. Find refundable, skip-the-line combo tickets here.
Express Combo Ticket: This ticket option lets you skip all of the lines including security, ticket, and elevator lines up and down. This option is highly recommended especially during peak hours. Find refundable express tickets here.
Day and Night Ticket: There’s no better way than with a visit to the highest open-air observatory twice in one day. During the daytime, endless views under the sun will leave you awestruck as you gaze out at the city that never sleeps.
But the real magic begins when the sun goes down, and the city starts sparkling beneath your feet. The twinkling city lights create a magical atmosphere, and you can feel the energy of New York City in a way that is unmatched. Visit twice, and you’ll feel like you’ve had two completely different experiences, both equally stunning and unforgettable. Find refundable day and night combo tickets here.
More New York Travel Guides
Top Of The Rock NYC: Take in the views of the city skyline at the classic Top of the Rock NYC! Check out and grab skip-the-line tickets with this guide here!
The Edge NYC: This New York City is another new observation deck that is modern and thrilling. Don’t forget to check out City Climb while you are there. Read about climbing the side of a skyscraper HERE.
Unique Things to Do in NYC: Looking for some ideas outside of tourist traps in New York City? We have some fun, innovative, quirky, weird ideas in New York City to consider HERE!
NYC Rooftop Brunch. Brunch in NYC is always a good idea but level it with a rooftop and a view, oh, and bottomless mimosas! Find your NYC rooftop brunch guide HERE.
New York City Travel Guide: This is the end-all-be-all New York City Travel Guide. It has everything you possibly need to know for your trip to NYC. Read the guide HERE.
New York City Travel Tips: Want to know why you dock your CitiBike properly or why you should not get on a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park? Read these Tips for New York City HERE.Things to do with Teens In NYC. I have taken my 16-year-old to New York City a billion times with me because she shares my passion for it. We have done all the things there is to do with kids and teens in New York City. This is a great guide on where to go with your kids or teens so you’re cool for a couple of days! You can check it out HERE.
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