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Empire State Building: Tours & Tickets
The Best Views of the Empire State Building
Manhattan would not be Manhattan without its beloved Empire State Building standing tall above the city. We guarantee you'll fall in love with New York the moment you look up and first see it. Here are the very best vantage points.
1. Top of the Rock
Should you go to Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) or Empire State Building to get the view? At the Top of the Rock, you get to see the Empire State Building as part of the view. Simply the best.
2. From the Streets of the Flatiron District
Head to the Flatiron Building and stroll through Madison Square Park. Stand in the pedestrian island on 5th Avenue at 22nd Street, and you’ll have your picture perfect photo.
3. From a Cruise around Manhattan
Book a cruise around Manhattan, and you’ll get a panoramic view, seeing just how beautifully the Empire State Building stands out among its surrounding skyline.
4. East River State Park, Kent Street, Williamsburg
In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the beautiful East River State Park provides some of the best skyline views of Manhattan. Bonus: the park holds food and flea markets on the weekends.
5. To the Top of the Empire State Building
Head to the Empire State Building itself. Astounding views of Manhattan await you from the observation deck. It will take your breath away, we promise.
Planning Your Visit
How to Get There / Hours
The Empire State Building is located at 350 5th Ave, between 33rd and 34th Street. It opens at 8am and the last elevator to the top leaves at 1:15 AM; the building closes at 2:00 AM. The nearest subway is the 6 train to 33rd Street; B/D/F, Q, or 1/2/3 to 34th Street.
The Best Time to Visit the Empire State Building
The views will be astounding day or night. If you go at night, you get the romantic city lights all around you. But by day, you get to see the geography and outline of the city below. It's up to you!
Skipping the Line
The Empire State Building is known for its lines. Ticket lines, security lines, and then the line for the elevator up to the 86th Floor observatory. The best way to skip the ticket line is to buy one online in advance. You can even buy an express pass and fast track your way up on the elevator. Keep in mind you will need to go through security. No glass, bottles, or cans are allowed.
Good to know
- When should I visit?
- Open daily, 8:00 AM-2:00 AM
Holiday hours may vary
- Is it expensive?
- Between $30-40.
- Will I need a guide?
- How to get there
- The nearest subway station is 33rd Street - keep walking until you get to 5th Avenue.
- Additional information
- No glass, bottles, or cans are allowed through security.
- Don't forget your camera - you'll want to take some of the best photographs ever!
What people are saying about Empire State Building
The online ticket purchase app made going to the Empire State Building a convenience. The whole experience from the initial entry into the building to the walk through leading up to the elevator ride to the observatory was as professional and the employees met with greetings that made me feel like was back home in the south. Overall a very enjoyable and memorable experience!
I live in New york but never went to the Observatory. Because of Covid, we close to the only people who were there. This was great except a few of the exhibits were closed and the large telescopic viewers were nit available. They did a great renovation job and I was glad I went. Don't pay extra for the skip the lines in the near future. That would be a real waste of money.
Provided you with great information in an entertaining way. The guides were informative well beyond the scope of telling what it was. I enjoy the historical perspective with a touch of humour added.
We visited early morning (9am) and there was no queue at all. Breezed through security and we were in. Amazing building, fabulous views. This has to be a must-do on everyone’s list.
Amazing value! Easy to use! The best for me was buying it several months ahead of my trip and getting here to have our excursions already paid for.