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“You can't not go up”

Empire State Building
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Ranked #10 of 1,120 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The world-famous Empire State Building offers unobstructed panoramic views of New York City and beyond from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. daily. Our 86th and 102nd floor Observation Decks offer the two highest vantage points in New York City. Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan from base to antenna, the Empire State Building is the World's Most Famous Office Building. Named America's favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, the Empire State Building is one of New York City's top tourist destinations. On a clear day, you can see up to five states from our Observation Decks - New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Guests can enjoy our outdoor viewing area on our open-air 86th floor Observatory, or our indoor climate-controlled viewing areas on the 86th and 102nd floors. We recently launched our new Multimedia Experience as well, which guides visitors through the extraordinary exhibits and breathtaking views with additional depth on the building's history in eight languages - including English, Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Japanese and Korean. The Empire State Building aims to provide entertainment for guests of all ages. Bringing children? Have their picture taken with King Kong himself on our 80th floor from Thursdays through Mondays (12 p.m. until 9 p.m.). Celebrating a first date or an anniversary? Enjoy romantic tunes from our saxophone player from 9 p.m. until midnight every Thursday through Saturday night. Tickets can be purchased through our website. Our celebrated tower lights are often illuminated to commemorate holidays, events and special causes. In the Fall of 2012, we upgraded our tower lighting system from floodlights to one-of-a-kind LED tower lights. The state-of-the-art system allows customized lighting capabilities from a palette of over 16 million colors! To watch some of our recent light shows, visit our YouTube page. Reigning as the world's tallest building from 1931 to 1970, the Empire State Building is known for its distinct Art Deco style. Construction of the renowned icon only took one year and 45 days, and logged more than 7 million man hours. This is the fastest construction to date for a project of its scale. Additionally, from classics like An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle to recent hits such as Oblivion and Elf, our place in pop culture has been solidified since our early days. In fact, over 200 movies and TV shows have featured the Empire State Building in them!
Reviewed 4 May 2012

This was our first trip to New York and so this visit was a must do. We had entry through purchasing a New York Explorer Pass to the 86th floor but had decided to pay the extra to go up to the 102nd floor. We visited on what we were told by staff was a steady but not busy day, but oh lord the queuing to get in! I'm not an impatient person but I really felt the system employed here was designed to make you pay for the express entry. It took over an hour to get through the security then ticket kiosks. Unusually for the USA, I found some of the staff surly and abrupt, particularly the security staff who clearly have been given a uniform, along with an inflated sense of ego and power. Once you are beyond the ticket kiosk things do improve, with the usual standards of American customer service being resumed. We found that it was not long before we were in the elevator being whisked up towards the views. Once there the views are everything you expect but for me somehow the New York skyline just doesn't look right without the Empire State being in view; and you obviously can't see it when you're on it! On the 86th floor you are outside, going up to the 102nd you are inside behind glass in a very limited space. All in all I'm pleased we went, would I go again, personally no, I'd always choose Top of the Rock as the views and whole experience are just so much better. My score is based on the views & the must do factor would be a very good. It is the queuing and staff which brings a much lower score.

Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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38,879 - 38,883 of 62,911 reviews

Reviewed 4 May 2012

I am a disabled traveller and everywhere we went in NYC I was treated like a star and the ESB was no exception.

I didn't have to queue, although when we visited it wasn't that busy which was great.

I think we made the right decision to be there at about 9am. As we were leaving at about 11am it was getting much busier.

The gift shop is relatively inexpensive, which is a bonus as they had some lovely things.

Staff were brilliant - thank you

Thank Cornwallandypandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

This is a must do if you are ever in NYC. The views from above the empire state are just magnificent. The cost is $23 per person, i was there on a Saturday afternoon and the wait time was 1hr, there were so many people that they were allowing people go threw the stairs, instead of taking the second elevator, that was a five minute hike up but it was better than waiting for the elevator to take us six floors up. Please don’t bring any tripods to the Empire State building because they are not going to be allowed passed security.

Thank Jose G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

The view at the top was absoloutely beautiful! We visited twice one in the day and the view was amazing then once at night and the view...well I was just speechless it is truly worth the price!. The security and line to get to the top was very quick but to get back down was a while wait. Inside the elavator to get to the top was quite enjoyable but your ears pop alot!.

Thank MissXoX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

The first real skyscraper! I think it's all a bit of a palaver to get to the viewing deck but such a gorgeous building, stop a while in the foyer and look around before you hop on the esclaator and elevator to the observation area. Might be a bit crowded so allow time to have a good look and get the spot you want for photos (remember your manners and move on so others can also get the good shots). The history of the building is as fascinating as the view so pick up a book at the book shop (there's a lovely little one of photos of the construction) and learn all about it. Once you've been you can always say 'I was there'! everytime you see it in a movie.

Thank TNalder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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