empire state building in ny skyline

Everything You Need to Know About Empire State Building

Standing at a dazzling 103 stories high, the Empire State Building is a must for anyone wanting to see Manhattan at its best! It can be easy to spend the entirety of your trip staring up at the buildings in New York, but the Empire State Building gives you a chance to see NYC with a bird’s eye view. We’ve decided to give you the down-low on all things Empire State-related, from ticket cost and the bests times to visit.

Explore the Empire State Building

Empire State Building Tickets

Tickets must be purchased in order to get to the top of the building, and there are various options for purchasing. You are welcome to buy the tickets directly at the Empire State Building, however, there is usually quite the line for buying onsite tickets. We recommend purchasing your tickets online beforehand so you can get to those killer views the fastest. If you can’t stand waiting in lines, check out the Express Ticket option. The Express Ticket allows you to skip the front three lines and get to the 86th floor observatory in 20 minutes! 

Empire State Experience 

Now that you’ve got your ticket, what is the best way to enjoy the Empire State Building? Well, we recommend snagging a special ticket, that can be purchased on the 86th floor, allowing you to head up to the 102nd floor observatory. Here you’ll be able to view NYC from the highest available public area and get the best views of Manhattan and all of its wonder!

When to visit is another option to consider when planning your Empire State adventure. During the daytime hours, weather permitting, you can really see the layout of NYC and the various buildings and city geography. At night, you will get the shimmering city lights from thousands of feet above ground. 

Waiting is inevitable when getting to the top of the Empire State Building. We recommend planning at least 2 hours for you visit to the building, since lines can range from 45 minutes to an hour during the busy times. The lines tend to be shortest during the week and earlier in the morning.

Dining Near Empire State Building

Visiting the Empire State Building is sure to work up an appetite, so we recommend refueling with some delicious fare. The Empire State Building is home to STATE Grill and Bar, located in the Empire Building. This street-level American bar and grill is home to some great breakfast, lunch and dinner options for any time you decide to visit. If its food on the go you’re after, you can check out some quick food option nearby. Various takeaway style eateries such as Sushi-teria, Smashburger, and Little Italy Pizza, are all a few minutes’ walk from the Empire State Building.  After a long day of touring the city, it’s always nice to jump into bed and still be as close to the action for your next day. Avalon Hotel is the closest hotel to the Empire State Building, making it easy to unwind and kick back after seeing Manhattan from 1,250 feet above the ground!