Empire State Building
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Empire State Building: Tours & Tickets

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The Best Views of the Empire State Building

The high point of the New York skyline, Manhattan would not be Manhattan without its beloved Empire State Building standing tall above the city. We guarantee you'll fall in love with New York the moment you look up and first see it. Here are the very best vantage points.

Top of the Rock

Should you go to Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) or Empire State Building to get the view? At the Top of the Rock, you get to see the Empire State Building as part of the view. Simply the best.

From the Streets of the Flatiron District

Head to the Flatiron Building and stroll through Madison Square Park. Stand in the pedestrian island on 5th Avenue at 22nd Street, and you’ll have your picture perfect photo.

From a Cruise around Manhattan

Book a cruise around Manhattan, and you’ll get a panoramic view, seeing just how beautifully the Empire State Building stands out among its surrounding skyline.

East River State Park, Kent Street, Williamsburg

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the beautiful East River State Park provides some of the best skyline views of Manhattan. Bonus: the park holds food and flea markets on the weekends.

To the Top of the Empire State Building

Head to the Empire State Building itself. Astounding views of Manhattan await you from the observation deck. It will take your breath away, we promise.

Empire State Building: Our Tips

How to Get There / Hours

The Empire State Building is located at 350 5th Ave, between 33rd and 34th Street. It opens at 8am and the last elevator to the top leaves at 1:15am; the building closes at 2am. The nearest subway is the 6 train to 33rd Street; B/D/F, Q, or 1/2/3 to 34th Street.

The Best Time to Visit the Empire State Building

The views will be astounding day or night. If you go at night, you get the romantic city lights all around you. But by day, you get to see the geography and outline of the city below. It's up to you!

Skipping the Line

The Empire State Building is known for its lines. Ticket lines, security lines, and then the line for the elevator up to the 86th Floor observatory. The best way to skip the ticket line is to buy one online in advance. You can even buy an express pass and fast track your way up on the elevator. Keep in mind you will need to go through security. No glass, bottles, or cans are allowed.

Good to Know

  • When to visit
    Rain or shine, everyday, from 8AM to 2AM. Last elevator ride at 1:15AM.
  • What is the price?
    Between $30-40.
  • Will I need a guide?
    No.
  • How to get there
    The nearest subway station is 33rd Street - keep walking until you get to 5th Avenue.
  • Additional tips
    • No glass, bottles, or cans are allowed through security.
    • Don't forget your camera - you'll want to take some of the best photographs ever!

What People Are Saying About Empire State Building

A wonderful way to see the city and great information too!

We thoroughly enjoyed the Architecture Cruise. The food and drinks were a wonderful addition to the cruise. Last year we took the brunch tour and enjoyed it so much we booked this one! Crew and lecture guide are very professional not to mention the lovely maintained boat. Book this cruise....you won't be disappointed.!

Phenomenal views & skip the line service worth it

I didn't expect the skip the line ticket to be much help, I was so wrong. It saved so much queuing time, leaving us more shopping time. As for the building, the view is truly exceptional. A must - do.

This was a marvelous trip in every respect.

The lecturer was excellent, the boat lovely, staff thoughtful and efficient. Nice glass of champagne and lovely mediterranean snacks.

Around Manhattan: Official NYC Architecture Cruise Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 10/13/2017

An interesting and beautiful way to see Manhattan

It was a fun, informative, truly enjoyable way to see Manhattan. There was something of interest to see on both sides of the boat and our host had so many amusing stories to tell.

Excellent, knowledgeable AIA guide/wonderful perspecitve on NYC area

I wish I had done this on my first trip to NYC to get some perspective on the city and the surrounding communities and how they fit together. We had an excellent guide who was/is a practicing architect. He was very knowledgeable about the various buildings and bridges we viewed as we circled the island. The tour made me want to return to NYC and visit areas that weren't on my horizon previously. Importantly, the boat was clean and comfortable and the crew was polite and attentive. Great trip. I highly recommend it.

Things To Do Near Empire State Building