The Empire State Building is definitely one of New York’s most visited attractions. It was completed in 1931 and was the world’s tallest building for many years. It still towers above the New York City skyline and from either of its two observation decks you will have stellar views in all 360 degrees. It is now New York’s 3rd highest building, behind the Freedom Tower and 432 Park Avenue.
You might see several ticket vendors outside the building – buy your tickets from the official ticket booths located inside the building through the main entrance on 5th Ave. You can also buy your tickets online which if you are going to be visiting during busy tourist times (summer months, weekends), this at least will allow you to skip one of the three lines. The first line will be the security check, then the ticket booth and finally the line to get into the elevators. Also note for bigger spenders, the Empire State Building offers a more expensive Express Pass which allows you to go to the front of each line. Audio tours are available for an additional fee.
Lines can be crazy long during the heart of the summer tourist season. With hours such as 8am to 2am you have the opportunity to actually “beat the other tourists” to the top! (last ride up is at 1:15am). During these times its best to make a visit to the Empire State Building very early in the morning or very late at night. The 86th floor is the more popular of the two stops and on a clear day you can easily look far up the Hudson River or the East River and north into Central Park and beyond and south into downtown. Tickets for the highest floor (102) are only sold on site – this higher floor is entirely enclosed in glass and is much smaller than the open air 86th floor. The only reason to get a ticket to this higher floor is to say you’ve been “on top” of the Empire State Building as the views are not dramatically that much better than the views from the 86th floor.
For more information visit: www.esbnyc.com