Plan Your Visit to the Iconic Empire State Building in New York
Ranked number one on America’s Favorite Architecture list, the Empire State Building is a 102-storeyed architectural marvel located in Midtown Manhattan with observatory points that offer a 360-degree view of the stunning New York skyline.
Stay on this page to know more about how to visit the Empire State Building, what to see, what the best time to visit is, facilities available, and more.
Empire State Building Opening Hours
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Empire State Building is, without a doubt, during sunset. You get to soak in the best views of the New York skyline during this time but keep in mind that this it is also the most crowded at this time. If you’re looking to avoid crowds, plan your visit around 9 AM, after the attraction opens. Additionally, weekends are far more crowded than weekdays.
The best season to visit the Empire State Building is in spring, when the weather is pleasant and crowds are lesser. If you can handle the cold, winter is also a good time to visit the attraction without too many people. Avoid public holidays and festive seasons like Christmas.
How to Get to the Empire State Building?
By Public Transport
- Take a train from lines 123 or ACE alight at Penn Station. The Empire State Building is a 5-minute walk from the station.
- Take a train from NQRW or BDFM lines and get off at Herald Square Station. The Empire State Building entrance is a 5-minute walk from the station.
- Take a train from 456 or 7 lines and get off at Grand Central Terminal. The entrance of the attraction is a 10-minute walk from the station.
Train: Catch a train from Harlem, Hudson, Montauk Branch, Port Jefferson Branch, or Port Washington Branch lines and get down at 34 Street - Penn Station. The attraction is a 7-minute walk from the station.
Bus: Take the BM2, BXM1, BXM4, M2, M34-SBS, Q32, QM10, QM18, QM20, or X37 buses and get off at 5 Av/W 35 St stop. The Empire State Building is about a minute’s walk from the bus stop.
You can drive down or hire a car to reach the Empire State Building. There are parking facilities available nearby. Alternatively, you can take an Uber or Lyft or any cab to reach the attraction.
- AZ Parking on West 33rd Street (456 m) - Find on Maps
- 8 E 33rd Street (416 m) - Find on Maps
- Aero Parking Garage (800 m) - Find on Maps
- Meyers Parking System, Inc. (200 m) - Find on Maps
You can also find free parking near the Empire State Building on Sundays as well as on weekdays post 6 PM.
Know Before You Go
- Cloakrooms: Do not carry large bags as there are no cloakrooms or storage facilities available.
- Gift Shops: Shop for souvenirs, merchandise, and memorabilia from the Empire State Building Store
- Restrooms: There are restrooms located on the 86th floor of the building. Washrooms are also available at different locations inside the building.
- Restaurants: There are restaurants and eateries inside the Empire State Building for visitors to grab a bite.
- The Empire State Building is wheelchair-friendly.
- Both motorized and non-motorized wheelchairs are permitted inside the building.
- There are ramps across the building to make the use of wheelchairs easier and more convenient.
- The main entrance on 20 West 34th Street is handicap-accessible.
- The attraction also has handicap-accessible restrooms on the 86th Floor Observatory.
- Viewing walls and binoculars have also been lowered to make the experience of their visit easy and comfortable.
- Service dogs are allowed in all sections of the building.
- Strollers are allowed inside the Empire State Building but ensure that you fold them up in the observatory areas.
- Kid-friendly restrooms and washrooms are available on the second floor and the 86th Floor Observatory.
- The toilets on the second floor are equipped with baby changing facilities.
- The restaurants inside and near the Empire State Building are family-friendly and suitable for kids too.
- Do not carry any glass items, markers, alcohol, professional cameras and equipment, large bags and luggage, sports equipment, costume masks, and musical instruments to the observation deck.
- Baby strollers must be folded before getting inside the elevator and at the observation decks.
- Knives, fireworks, or any kind of weapons are strictly prohibited.
- Visitors are responsible for their own belongings because there are no locker facilities available inside the attraction.
- Outside food and beverages are not allowed inside the Empire State Building.
- Photography is allowed but make sure you are not carrying any tripods or heavy and large camera equipment.
- The Hotel at Fifth Avenue (230m) - Find on Maps
- Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Times Square South (450m) - Find on Maps
There are four entrance gates to the Empire State Building. However, observatory visitors are only allowed to enter the attraction through the entrance located on 20 West 34th Street.
The other entrance gates located on Fifth Avenue, 33rd Street, and 34th Street are reserved for tenants and their visitors or guests.
What’s Inside the Empire State Building?
Top Deck 102nd Floor Observatory
The observatory deck on the 102nd Floor offers even better views of New York City, albeit from within a glass enclosure. Enjoy aerial views of famous landmarks like Central Park, the New York streets, several skyscrapers, and more. On a clear day, visitors can see views that are about 80 miles away and include the six states of New York - Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
Book Your Empire State Building Tickets
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting the Empire State Building
You should visit the Empire State Building to admire its Art Deco Modernist architecture. View the exhibits showcasing the history of New York and the construction of the building on the 2nd and 80th floors. Soak in 360-degree views of the New York skyline from the observatory decks on the 86th and 102nd floors.
No, you will have to purchase tickets to visit the Empire State Building. Click here to book your tickets.
You can book your tickets to visit the Empire State Building online.
The Empire State Building tickets are priced at $44 and upwards.
The Empire State Building is located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.
The Empire State Building is open from 11 AM to 9 PM throughout the week.
Yes, you can visit the Empire State Building in a group.
Yes, you can visit the Empire State Building with kids. Baby-changing facilities and restrooms are available inside the building.
Yes, the Empire State Building is wheelchair friendly.
Make sure you set aside at least 2 hours for your visit to the Empire State Building.
Yes, visiting the Empire State Building is worth it because it offers spectacular views of Manhattan and the New York skyline. There are various exhibits showcasing the initial stages of its construction and just how much the city of New York has changed over several decades.