This is the most emblematic and well-known building and viewpoint of New York City, the observatory of the Empire State Building.
After the attack of the 11-S, the Empire State remained as the highest observatory of the city of New York, till the construction of the One World Observatory, that has been opened in the One World Trade Center, the building that has been built right next to where the Twin Towers were.
The experience of the Empire State Building
Located on the 86 floor, which is accessed after taking an elevator that takes just a minute to take you to the 80 floor, and then another one that takes you to the 86 floor, after the typical souvenir photo, the Observatory of the Empire State Building is undoubtedly the best known of New York, so you will find large crowds especially on clear days.
From the Empire State Viewpoint we have an excellent view of Manhattan, especially of the most emblematic buildings of Midtown like the Chrysler building, Metlife, Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park, Union Square, the financial district of New York and Times Square, being somewhat further and more visible at night the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.
The view of Times Square, Chrysler building, the Flatiron Building and Fifth Avenue and the new World Trade Center with the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, have a special charm, although on the other side the surrounding buildings prevent you from having a better view on Uptown and Central Park, which is barely noticeable mostly because of the Rockefeller Center and the surrounding buildings.
Tips for the Empire State
It is especially recommended to go upstairs with a good camera, with a couple of batteries just in case, and to go upstairs late in the afternoon to enjoy both the day and night views of the city. At the entrance to the building there is a sign that indicates the average time of waiting to take the elevator and the distance in miles that can be covered, and paying an extra you can use the express queue to avoid having to wait in our up and down elevator, but I do not recommend it. Instead, I recommend using, if you have buy it, any of the New York tourist cards, because all of them allow you to skip the line, once past the security arch, and go directly to the entrance of the elevator.
- If you buy a New York CityPASS, you have the possibility to get two times on the same day to the Empire State. In that case, a good way to avoid the queues is to get on the observatory early in the morning and late at night, and so you can see the two visions of New York, day and night
Finally, indicate that access to the viewpoint of the Empire State Building is not allowed with any type of tripod, gorillapod or mini-tripod, which will be confiscated at the entrance and returned to the exit, so if you want to avoid more waiting, I recommend you go to the hotel where you are staying in the city and leave it in the room to avoid problems before going to the observatory.
Views from the Observatory
These are the views that you will get from the Empire State Observatory:
Empire State Building Hours
- Open the 365 days of the year from 8 AM to 2 AM, the last lift to the observatory goes up at 1: 15 AM
Fares (year 2019)
- Adult: From $ 36 to $ 40
- Mayor of 62 years: From $ 35 to $ 38
- Children (between 6 and 12 years): From $ 31 to $ 35
- Children under 6 years: Free
- Express Pass (priority in the ascent and descent): $ 69
- Ascent to the observatory of the 102 plant: Add $ 20 to the previous price
The observatory of the Empire State Building is included in most of the tourist cards of New York (all except the Sightseeing Pass, which includes One World Observatort instead), if you want to know more about them visit our article that tells you the best tourist card for your trip to New York.
How to get to the Empire State Building?
- B, D, F, M, N, Q, R and W lines (34 St – Herald Sq)
- 1, 2, 3, A, C y E lines (34 St – Penn Station)
More information about the Empire State
For more information and booking tickets in advance, visit the Official Web of the observatory.