The Empire State Building

Off to the Empire State Building? See our insider advice for a crowd-free visit as well as opening times and phone numbers!

Estimated Wait

Closed Reopens Thursday 23/11 at 08:00
Thu 23 Fri 24 Sat 25 Sun 26 Mon 27 Tue 28 Wed 29
00:00 02:00
02:00 08:00
08:00 10:00
10:00 11:00
11:00 15:00
15:00 17:00
17:00 22:00
22:00 23:59
Very low
Between 10 min and 20 min
Between 20 min and 40 min
More than 40 min
More than 1h
Closed

Some recent contributions of the community

  • Hersh D.
    Hersh D. waited 13 min-- about 1 month

Contact numbers

Empire State Building +1 (0) 212 736 3100

Our tips

Top tips

  1. In order to save time, we recommend you purchase your tickets online. Though usually to get inside one is required to wait in three different queues (security, tickets, and for the elevator), you’ll be able to skip at least the one for the tickets if you buy them beforehand.

  2. Consider buying the Express pass if you plan to visit the Empire State Building during peak periods. This pass will give you priority access to the elevator and security lines, though it’s almost double the price of a regular ticket.

  3. Visit early in the morning for the daylight views. The Empire State Building has the smallest queues in the morning at the opening time (from 8am). If you don’t mind getting up early to avoid crowds, going at this hour will give you a quieter and more private experience even on the more popular days.

  4. Visit after 10pm for the night view. The observation deck is open until 2am, there are considerably less visitors an hour after sunset, and a saxophonist plays from 9pm to 1am, Thursday through Saturday.

  5. Be ready for queues and crowds if coming at sunset. This is a very popular time to visit the Empire State Building Observation Deck, and it usually takes at least half an hour, even with your ticket in hand, to get upstairs. Be prepared!

  6. Check the weather. The best views from the Empire State Building are on clear, dry days. On the first clear day after a number of rainy days there will be many more visitors and longer lines. Coming during bad weather will mean you lose less time with queues, but the outside area may be closed and you may be disappointed with the view.

  7. Come during off-peak periods. Avoid public and school holidays, weekends (Saturday is the busiest day), and summer months. That’s when the lines are the longest.

  8. If the crowds seem really discouraging - you may consider visiting the Top of the Rock observation deck (Rockefeller Center) instead of the ESB: the lines are usually shorter, and you’ll have the view of the Empire State Building!

Empire State Building queue Photo credits to T. Cowart via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Admission Fees

Main Deck Only (86th Floor):

  • Adult: $29
  • Senior (ages 62+): $26
  • Child (ages 6-12): $23
  • Child (ages 0-5): free

Main Deck Express (86th Floor—No Waiting):

  • All Visitors (ages 6+): $50
  • Child (ages 0-5): free

Main Deck + Top Deck (86th & 102nd Floors):

  • Adult: $46
  • Senior (ages 62+): $43
  • Child (ages 6-12): $40
  • Child (ages 0-5): free

Main Deck + Top Deck Express (86th & 102nd Floors - No Waiting):

  • All Visitors (ages 6+): $67
  • Child (ages 0-5): free

Photo credits to S J Pinkney via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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