Empire State Building

January 1st, 2018 / / No Comments »

Empire State Building

No trip to New York would be complete without a trip up the Empire State Building!  Whether you are walking the Brooklyn Bridge, wandering around Washington Square or taking in Central Park, you’re sure to catch a glimpse of this iconic building. Follow our guide to the Empire State Building below including tips to beat the queues and alternative vantage points.

TOP TOP; enjoy discounted entry to the Empire State Building with a New York City Explorer Pass that allows you to skip the box office queue too!


The Empire State Building from Brooklyn Bridge

The Empire State Building from Brooklyn Bridge


Empire State Building; How To Beat The Queues

1. New York City Explorer Pass; this sightseeing pass not only saves you money on top New York attractions it also bypasses the box office queues at the Empire State Building, (you’ll still need to queue to gain access to the top floors).  More information available at New York City Explorer Pass.

2. Buy Tickets Online; whilst there are no particular savings with this option, you do jump the ticket queues for the box office.  As tickets purchased directly from the Empire State Building are valid for 1 year from the date of purchase, this option does allow you to retain flexibility on when to visit.

3. Queues; there are 3 main queues at the Empire State Building that comprise of the queue to purchase tickets, the security queue & the queue for the lift.  Clearly if you purchase tickets in advance, you can avoid the first bottle neck.

4. Express Experience; to bypass all 3 queues at the Empire State Building,  you can purchase an Express Ticket but it comes at a price.  If you are considering this option, then make your purchase online otherwise you’ll end up waiting in the ticket queue!

If you are planning a trip to New York, look out for our Cheap Ticket Guide to Broadway packed with money saving ideas.


View from the Empire State Building

View from the top of the Empire State Building


Empire State Building; Tips & Tricks

4. Timing; the Empire State Building is open between 8am & 2am every day with the last lift up to the top leaving at 1.15am.  Evidence suggests that the quietest times of the day to visit are 8am & 3pm but this does depend upon the time of year, weather & visibility.

5. Avid queue-busters; may wish to purchasing tickets in advance and arrive an hour before opening time or alternatively, if money is no object, purchase an Express Experience.

6. 102nd Floor; tickets are now available that include both the 86th main deck as well as a further lift up to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building, (additional charge).  As this second deck is just 60 metres higher, (remember you are already 320m from the ground on the 86th floor), consider whether this extra height is likely to offer value for money.

You can find our favourite vantage point of the Empire State Building below but for alternative views look out for the High Line for a new perspective over the city.


Empire State Building

Empire State Building from Washington Square


Best Views of the Empire State Building

Debate continues as to the best vantage points to view the Empire State Building so let me add our favourite into the mix.  The Top of the Strand roof top terrace bar comes complete with a retractable glass roof & offers great views of the Empire State Building, particularly as it lights up at night.  As this is a popular spot throughout the year, best get there as it opens around 5pm, if you want to bag a seat. Service is good, prices are reasonable & the view says it all.


Empire State Building

Top of the Strand; view of the Empire State Building



By Liz Walsh

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