If you’re traveling to the Big Apple, visiting the NYC Empire State Building is a MUST! Completed in 1931 at record speed (13 months), it was the tallest building in the world until 1970.
This iconic skyscraper is located at the corner of 34th Street and 5th Avenue. But you can catch a glimpse of the NYC Empire State Building from all over Manhattan.
Observatory visitors enter the building through a special entrance on 34th Street.
1. Buy Tickets in Advance
The Empire State Building uses a timed entry system. So I recommend buying tickets and reserving your time before your trip. It lets you better plan your trip and is one less thing you don’t have to deal with when you arrive.
I’ve been to the NYC Empire State Building twice. Both times, I bought tickets through TripAdvisor. I chose this site because the cancellation policy was flexible. In addition, they let me change the day of my first visit due to fog.
2. Don’t Rush
I recommend allowing at LEAST 2 hours to make the most of your visit to the Empire State Building. Why? This building offers much more than just great views.
On the 2nd floor, guests can enjoy several interactive displays. Immersive exhibits include a replica elevator.
Visitors can also experience construction history and learn about the brave workers who balanced high in the sky to complete ESB.
Keep your phone handy because there are several good spots inside for photos. Guests can take pictures in the grip of King Kong.
Or stand alongside the hardworking riveters.
There is more to see on the 80th floor, including items from Empire State Building through the years.
And finally, what you came to see. The outdoor observation deck on the 86th floor is fantastic! Seeing NYC from this bird’s eye view is so much fun! For an additional fee, visitors can go to a 360-degree glass viewing area on the 102nd floor.
3. Walk to the NYC Empire State Building
Getting to the NYC Empire State Building is half the fun! So I suggest starting at the Flat Iron Building. Then, walk down 5th Avenue to the Empire State Building.
The Flat Iron building is on Madison Square – a great place to stop and look around. Don’t miss the sidewalk clock, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
There are several other historic buildings surrounding the square. The New York Life Building and the Met Life Building are here,
The walk from Madison Square to ESB is about a 1/2 mile along 5th Avenue. As a bonus, you can get great pictures of the Empire State Building along the way.
4. Be Patient
Visiting the Empire State Building is a must-see on a trip to the Big Apple. However, many other people think so, too. So plan to be a little patient.
There are several locations at this attraction where you may end up waiting in line. Some are optional, like pictures of the model ESB or with King Kong.
However, some lines are not optional. You may encounter lines at the entrance, for security screening, for the elevator to the 80th floor, for the elevator to the 86th floor, and both elevator rides back down again.
5. Don’t Fret the Elevator
Elevator rides in tall buildings make me a little nervous. But I learned there was no need to feel worried about that long ride up to the 80th floor.
Good news! It only takes about a minute, and you can’t really feel the movement.
The best part is the show! The ceiling comes alive during the ride. So you’re at the top before you know it.
The NYC Empire State Building is stunning both inside and out. And, of course, the views are sensational. With the art deco design and immersive exhibits, this is one place you’ll want to visit again and again.
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