Empire State Building Essential Information

Empire State Building at sunrise, New York City, New York, United States
••• David Henderson/Getty Images

Although it is easy to spend a good time of your visit to New York City staring up at the sky at the tall buildings, a trip to the top of the Empire State Building gives you a chance to gaze down upon New York City. The views of the city from the Empire State Building are amazing, particularly at night.

There is often a long wait to buy tickets at the Empire State Building -- on a Sunday night around 9 p.m., we waited for approximately an hour.

We later learned you can buy Empire State Building tickets online for no additional charge. You'll still have to wait on the lines for the Empire State Building elevator (unless you upgrade to an Express Ticket), but you'll save yourself quite a bit of time (which means more time for checking out the view from the 86th floor Empire State Building Observatory).

Empire State Building Fast Facts

The Empire State Building is 1,453 feet, 8 9/16 inches from the base to the top of the lightning rod. There are 1,860 steps from street level to the 102nd floor of the skyscraper. Somewhere between10,000 and 20,000 people visit daily. On a clear day, you can see for almost 80 miles from the top of the Empire State Building. Lightning strikes the Empire State Building about 100 times a year. The lights on the Empire State Building change colors for holidays and special observances. Strollers are permitted in the elevators.

Kids will love seeing the view from up high, but be aware of crowds, particularly if your child is sensitive to them.

Address: 350 5th Ave, New York, NY 10118

Phone: 212-736-3100

Nearest Subways: 6 to 33rd Street; B/D/F, Q, or 1/2/3 to 34th Street

Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily; Last elevators go up at 1:15 a.m.

Tips: Empire State Building Tips

Official Website: https://www.esbnyc.com/

Empire State Building Admission:

  • Adult (12-61) $25
  • Senior (62+) $23
  • Child (6-11) $19
  • Toddler (5 or younger) free w/adult
  • Military W/ ID $19
  • Military in Uniform free
  • For more information, including ticket options and upgrades, check out our Empire State Building Tickets page.

102nd Floor Observatory:

The 102nd Floor Observatory has been reopened to the public since November 2005. For an additional $17, you can go 16 floors higher than most visitors to the Empire State Building.

Express Ticket:

The Express Ticket costs $47.50 for guests of all ages and guarantees you get to the 86th Floor Observatory within 20 minutes. You'll be able to skip to the front of the three lines required for admission: the security line, the ticket line, and the elevator line.