People may argue about which New York City attraction most embodies the city’s culture and history, but everyone can agree that you can’t leave New York without seeing the Empire State Building. Most tourists want to do more than just see the 103-story skyscraper—they want to feel on top of the world as they gaze from 1,250 feet high over the enormous city from the building’s observatory. If you’re the adventurous type or a diehard sightseer, you’ll be next to join the ranks!
While a trip to New York City can be expensive, Smart Destinations can offer you the best prices on top New York attractions, including the Empire State Building discount tickets, so you won’t have to break the bank to see the best of the Big Apple. Here are some tips for making the most of your visit to the Empire State Building:
Visit early in the morning or late at night.
It stands to reason that the Empire State Building is one of the most crowded NYC tourist attractions—it’s also one of the most visited. That being said, a good way to avoid the mobs and super long lines is to plan your visit for either early in the morning or late at night. The Empire State Building opens at 8:00am and the Observatory stays open until 2:00am (with the last elevator ride departing at 1:15 am), so block off a chunk of time just after the sun rises or long after it sets for the most enjoyable visit, especially if you can’t stand crowds.
Prepare for the security line.
There’s no getting around it: waiting in the security line just isn’t fun. Hopefully, by timing your trip carefully, you’ll be able to avoid waiting for too long. It’s important to know what you can and can’t bring up to the observatory, because there is no coat/bag check in the lobby. You are permitted only one carry-on size bag and while camcorders and cameras are allowed, tripods are prohibited. Glass and bottles are also prohibited. However, you might want to bring a few snacks and some small toys or coloring supplies to keep kids entertained while they wait in line. Just make sure these can fit in your carry-on!
Take advantage of our skip-the-line offer.
While there’s nothing we can do about the security checkpoint, we can offer you skip-the-line access at the box office! This will make getting your ticket a speedier process.
Plan what other attractions you’ll see that day.
Since a visit to the Empire State Building takes a good chunk of time out of your day (plan for a minimum of 2-3 hours), you’ll want to have the rest of your day roughly planned out so you can get some more sightseeing in. You might plan on spending the day in the vicinity of the ESB to make things easier. Some local attractions include the Madison Square Garden Tour, the New York Public Library, and the departure points for the New York Food Tour and New York Movie Sites Tour.
Add the Top of the Rock to your itinerary to compare views!
These days, the Empire State Building has some competition in town! The view from the top of the infamous “30 Rock” building rivals that of the ESB. If you love the views from above or you want to determine for yourself which building has the better view, add a Top of the Rock visit to your itinerary. Remember, the Top of the Rock has one thing that can’t be beat: a bird’s eye view of the Empire State Building!