Private VIP Tours, Skip the Line, Address, Facts

The Empire State Building is one of the most popular attractions in Midtown Manhattan, both for the tour and history of the building as well as the panoramic views of New York City it offers from its 86th and 102nd floor Observation Decks. I worked on the 71st floor of the ESB for over a year and let me tell you, the view NEVER gets old! Not even for a native New Yorker.

Our Empire State Building facts include NYC Insider tips and the best ways to tour this world famous icon, whether you are short on time or budget.

NYC Insider Tip – The Lines are LONG

If saving time is your priority, purchase the Express Entry Pass. If budget is your priority, and are prepared to spend 2 or more hours in line, then choose a New York Attractions Pass.

Best time to go for shorter lines is before 11am, but for the best views, get there two hours before sunset to see both day and night views. Just want a great view without a long line and want to SEE the ESB? Try Top of the Rock.

Empire State Building Tour Facts

The Empire State Building offers two Observatories, the 86th floor and the 102nd Floor and now has a transparent elevator to take you there, so you can see the views along the ride.

86th Floor Observation Main Deck (indoor and outdoor)
1,050 feet (320 meters), reached by high speed, automatic elevators, has both a glass-enclosed area, which is heated in winter and cooled in summer, and spacious outdoor promenades on all four sides of the Building. The outdoor promenade is now heated in winter as well. High powered binoculars are available on the promenades for the convenience of visitors at a minimal cost. The 86th floor observatory is handicap accessible.

102nd Floor Observatory Top Deck (indoor only)
Recently redone in 2019 after a massive renovation with floor to ceiling glass windows and expansive views. Tickets may be purchased directly from the ESB site, or as add on, purchased upon arrival, for $15.00 if you are using a NYC Attractions Pass for entry.

80th Floor (new in November 2019)
The 80th Floor has just opened and is where the elevator will drop you when heading to the 86th floor, included with all tickets. It has six new exhibitions totaling 13,000 square feet, including one where you can make interactive and downloadable itineraries of what to see and do in NYC.

Empire State Building 86th Floor Observatory (Indoor & Outdoor)

Empire State Building 86th Floor Observatory

Empire State Building 102nd Floor Observatory (Indoor)

Empire State Building 102nd Floor Observatory

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Empire State Building Tickets

Tickets purchased directly from the Empire State Building website cost:

Regular – $38 Adult, $32 ages 6-12, under 5 free. Go early to avoid lines.
Express Pass – $73 all visitors ages 6+.

You may purchase and print tickets in advance at the ESB website. While admission prices at the building do not change, there can be VERY long purchase ticket lines, so do your best to buy them in advance. Tickets purchased in advance do not need a specific reservation date or time, are non-refundable and are valid for 1 year from date of purchase. No refunds due to weather conditions, length of lines, or wait times at the building.

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Empire State Building Tickets and Tours

Empire State Building: Express Entry (86th Fl)

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$60
View details

Empire State Building: Silver Access (86 + 102 for Fee)

Likely to sell out
Price starting at US$34
View details

Empire State Building: Day and Night Entry

Price starting at US$48
View details

VIP: Empire State Building Sunrise Experience

Price starting at US$100
View details

VIP: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and 9-11 Memorial

Price starting at US$129
View details

Empire State Building Premium VIP Tour

Price starting at US$175
View details

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Empire State Building Discount Passes

Best Discount Card for NYC Attractions


Sightseeing Pass
NYC Sightseeing Pass

New York Pass
New York City Pass Discounts

Go New York Explorer
New York City Explorer Pass

New York CityPASS

Central Park

✔ Bike Tour
✔ Walking Tours
✔ Zoo

✔ Bike Tour
✔ Victorian Gardens (summer)
✔ Walking Tours
✔ Bike Tour
✔ Victorian Gardens (summer)
✔ Walking Tour
Empire State Building X $40 Credit to Use ✔ 86th Floor ✔ 86th Floor ✔ 86th Floor
✔ Same Night Re-entry
Madame Tussauds ✔ Included ✔ Included ✔Included  
One World Observatory ✔ Included ✔ Included ✔ Included  
Rockefeller Center ✔TOTR ✔Rock Center Tour
✔ Rock Center Tour
✔TOTR or Guggenheim
Liberty/ Ellis ✔ Cruise
✔ Grounds
✔ Ellis Island/Immigration
✔ Secret Tour
✔ Cruise
✔ Grounds
✔ Ellis Island/Immigration
✔ Cruise
✔ Grounds
✔ Ellis Island/Immigration
✔ Secret Tour
✔Ferry/Grounds/Ellis or Circle Line

See All: Compare All NYC Passes – Download our FREE side by side Comparison Chart and learn which include the Empire State Building.

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What is an Empire State Building Express Pass?

There are 3 lines to get in to the Empire State Building:

  1. Security line, mandatory for all
  2. Ticket line, unless you have pre-purchased tickets from the ESB site, either regular or Express
  3. Elevators to the observatory.

Express Pass holders get priority at all three lines.

Hotels Near the Empire State Building

Hotels Near Penn Station, NYC

Staying near Penn Station / Madison Square Garden is a great idea when staying late for the Rangers, Knicks or your favorite concert, arrive or leave early via Amtrak or LIRR or just want to stay in a very affordable area of Manhattan steps from the Empire State Building, Macy's and no more than a 15 minute subway ride anywhere in Manhattan. Some of our top picks near Penn Station include:

Hotels Near Penn Station NYC

See More: Hotels Near Penn Station, NYC

See Midtown West Hotels or Times Square Hotels for more details

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Empire State Building Hours

Empire State Building at Night

The main entrance to the Empire State Building is on Fifth Avenue between 33rd & 34th Streets. All Visitors must use this entrance and there is often a wait just to get in the building.

The Empire State Building Observatory is open from 8:00am to 2:00am 365 days a year. Last elevators go up at 1:15am.

Empire State Building Address and Information

350 5th Ave, 33rd/34th Streets (West Side of 5th Avenue)
New York, NY 10118-3304
(212) 630-0339
On the West Side of 5th Avenue.

The ESB is open 365 days a year.
8:00am to 2:00am 7 days a week.
Last elevators go up at 1:15am.
ESB Customer Service Hours: 8:30am to 5:00pm EST Monday – Friday (Closed holidays & weekends)
During busy times there may be a wait so please be patient.

  • Handicap Entrance – 34th St., the entrance between Bank of America and Starbucks.
    Note: The 34th Street Handicap Entrance is only open Monday – Friday until 6pm. Please use the Main Entrance for all other times.
  • Everyone will be directed to use the Main or Handicap Entrances if you try to enter the building from any other entrance.

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Sightsee from the Sky

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory or Edge? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.

New York City Tourist Attractions

  • Empire State Building - (86 and 102 floors) Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
  • Top of the Rock - (67-70 floors) Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
  • One World Observatory - (100-102 floors) Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
  • Edge - (100-101 floors) opening March 2020, highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building (photo)

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