NYC - The Official Guide

Empire State Building Observatory


Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan from base to antenna, the Empire State Building is one of the world’s most famous skyscrapers. Its 86th- and 102nd-floor observation decks, open daily from 8am to 2am (last elevator at 1:15am), offer two of the highest vantage points in the City. On a clear day, you can see New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The landmark is now also home to a museum: the art deco building’s new second-floor Observatory Experience features immersive exhibits about its history. See showcases on the original elevators, the building’s appearances in pop culture since the 1930s and an Instagram-ready photo-op room with King Kong. Visitors can also explore the newly designed entrance featuring a grand staircase with a two-story architectural model of the building, multilingual signage and ticket kiosks in nine languages, a new lighting ceremony space with images of past celebrity visitors and a red carpet for VIP guests. Enhance your visit with the free Empire State Building app, available on the App Store and Google Play.

20 W. 34th St.
Manhattan, NY 10118
  (212) 736-3100

NYC and Company Member

Historic Sites & Landmarks
Buildings & Skyscrapers
Observation Decks
Gift & Souvenir Shops
Wheelchair Accessible
Free WiFi
WiFi Available
City Views
Kid Friendly
Multilingual Staff
Senior/Student Discounts

When are the best times to visit? Peak visiting times vary, but it’s recommended that you visit early in the morning (around 8am), in midafternoon (around 3pm) or after 11pm.

How long does a typical visit take? Visits normally last around an hour, though you might want to add a little time if you’re going all the way up to the second deck on the 102nd floor. You can skip to the front of line by buying an express ticket.

Can I take the stairs to the top? Only if you’re participating in the annual Empire State Building Run-Up. At all other times, the 1,576 stairs are closed to visitors.

Will there be a musician present to provide romantic background music? Why yes. The Empire State Building's resident saxophonist plays the 86th-floor observatory Thursdays through Saturdays, beginning a bit after the sun goes down and usually winding up around midnight.


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