An Ultimate Guide to Discover and Know Everything about Empire State Building


New York City is full of historic edifices and iconic landmarks that leave the tourist mesmerized and one of there is the legendary empire state building. Located in the 5th Ave of Midtown Manhattan and set up in 1931, the landmark edifice is visited by millions of people every year. The 1,250 feet tall building has a spire on top and it looks magnificent no matter from where you gaze at it! Your NYC tour will not be complete unless you pay a visit to this landmark edifice.

Photo of Empire State Building, New York, NY, USA by Payal Mathur

Nuances of the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building In New York has an impressive heritage. At the time it was being developed, there was a competition to build the tallest building in NYC and it emerged the winner! The empire state building in New York became the tallest building beating 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building. It retained that position for a span of 40 years until it was dethroned by the North Tower of former World Trade Center. As of now, it is the 5th tallest building in the USA.

The majestic building was designed by “Shreve, Lamb, & Harmon Associates”- noted architects. It was modeled on two buildings located in Cincinnati and North Carolina. It is quite amazing that such a huge building was completed in only 20 months.

The majestic edifice witnesses thousands of footfalls each day and the visitors visit its observations decks to get glimpses of NYC skyline, both at day and night. There is a new “Dare to Dream” exhibit which offers insight into the history of the building.

Interesting facts on the Empire State Building

Not many persons are aware of these interesting facts on the magnificent building:

· The building is not lit with lights at night during the migration season to prevent birds from colliding into it.

· In July 1945, owing to intense fog a plane crashed into the 79th floor causing fire and casualties.

· The empire state building has its own zip code-10118.

· It was built at the site of former Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

· It offers wedding venue service only once in a year- on Valentine’s Day!

About the observatory

The mains attraction for visitors exploring the building is its observatory decks, beyond any doubt. Both the decks offer you amazing real view of NYC skyline. One of them is at the 86th floor and the other at 102nd floors. The deck at 86th floor is open air, offering unobstructed view of the city skyline while the upper deck is covered with glass. The view however also depends on clarity of the sky. On a clear, fogless day you can view areas like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Of course, shutterbugs will prefer the 86th floor deck.

How and when to visit

Visiting the Empire state building is easy for any visitor in NYC. The building remains open all through the year and visiting hours are pretty long. A lot of subway trains can be used to reach the place and you can also use many of the famous double-decker ‘hop on and off’ buses to reach the building. You may use the Smartphone apps on both iOS and Android devices. The building opens at 8 am and the last elevator is accessible till 1.15 am.

Visiting the building can prove to be very time consuming for anyone. You will have to cope with 3 queues- starting with security, another for the tickets and the last for the elevator. No one can skip the security check but by purchasing the entry tickets online, you can shorten your waiting period! If you want to skip both the line for security and elevator, go for an Express pass which costs more than twice the price of general entry passes.

Tips for the visitors

To ensure you do not waste additional time in queues or face any other hassles while visiting this landmark edifice in NYC, remember the below listed tips:

It would be a good idea to keep the building visit either at the beginning or end of day, if you plan to cover other sightseeing in NYC in a day.

If you want to get amazing view of the NYC skyline, visit the building on a sunny day. Foggy days are not ideal for observing aerial city views from the observatory decks. On summer days, the sun can be pretty strong atop the deck and so you may carry hats.

If you want to view the cityscape both at day and night, visit the building during sunset.

The security queues are shorter in early hours of the day. You cannot bring tripods though camera and camcorders are permitted. Prohibited items include glass items, sports equipment, alcoholic beverages, large packages, musical instruments, and Weapons. Small bags and baby strollers are allowed.

About the tickets

With a little effort, you can get discounts on the tickets price for empire state building. The New York City tourist discount pass includes it for free. For main deck (86th Floor) adults pay $37, seniors pay $35 while the kids below 12 years have to pay $31. The kids below 6 years get free entry. The Express pass costs $80 for a person.