OpenReservation required

Empire State Building Observatory

No New York vacation would be complete without a visit to the Empire State Building, located in the heart of NYC. Ride to the top of the 86th-floor observation deck and take in the views with the New York Pass.

The New York Pass FREE ENTRY to The Empire State Building Observatory Normally $45.73 - Free with New York Pass

Synonymous with New York City, the Empire State Building is an American icon and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Located in Midtown Manhattan, the views from its 86th-floor observation decks are unmissable.

Enjoy free entry to the Empire State Building with The New York Pass.

- Pay nothing at the door – simply show your pass.
- Head to the top and enjoy views of up to 80 miles on a clear day.
- Enjoy cutting-edge exhibits that detail the history of this iconic building.

Reservation Instructions

Advanced reservations are required. You will not be able to enter the Observatory without a timed reservation. Please visit the Empire State Building's website to book a date and time. You will need to have your pass number to hand when making your reservation.

Getting in: please arrive with both your Reservation Confirmation and your Pass. To gain access to the building, you will be asked to present your Empire State Building reservation confirmation. Your reservation confirmation is not your admission ticket. To gain entry to the Observatory after entering the building, you will need to present your Pass for scanning.

Want VIP entry? Upgrade your access at any of the ticket kiosks to get expedited entry and access to the 102nd floor at a discounted rate.

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- The Empire State Building history

- The Empire State Building highlights

- The Empire State Building facts

- What's On

- Know before you go

- Make the most of your New York Pass

- How to get there

The Empire State Building history

New York economy was booming in the late-1920s. And construction around the world was engaged in a race to reach the sky. The Eiffel Tower’s construction in 1889 inspired Americans to create something taller. The result was the Metropolitan Life Tower in 1909. The Woolworth Building then soared skyward in 1913. And both these buildings were later dwarfed by the Bank of Manhattan Building in 1929. The American Dream was now vertical in nature.


John Jackob Raskob, the former vice president of General Motors and New York governor, was determined to construct the most prominent skyscraper in the city. All the while, Walter Chrysler, founder of the Chrysler Corporation, was in the process of creating a monumental structure he called, “a monument to me”, the height of which he was keeping a secret. Both towers tried to best each other by adding more floors to their design. In August 1929, Raskob and former New York Governor Al Smith announced plans for the Empire State Building. This was the first time that Chrysler learned that Raskob’s building would be 1,000 feet tall. Chrysler’s plan was to fix a stainless-steel spire to the top of his skyscraper, making it a record-breaking 1,048 feet. Unfortunately for Chrysler, this record wouldn’t be held for long. Raskob and Smith went back to the drawing board and returned with an even taller design for the Empire State Building, which, when completed in 1931, loomed 1,250 feet over the streets of Midtown Manhattan.

For nearly 40 years after its completion, the Empire State Building would remain the tallest building in the city.

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Empire State Building highlights

  •       Enjoy immersive experiences featured across the Empire State Building’s 12 galleries.
  •       Discover the compelling history of this iconic structure. 

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Empire State Building facts 

  • How tall is the Empire State Building? 1454 feet.
  • Four million people visit the Empire State Building every year
  • The building has its own zip code: 10118
  • Valentine’s Day is the only day that couples can get married on top of the Empire State Building
  • The Empire State Building was started and finished in just 20 months.
  • As many as 3,400 men worked on the building every day to assemble its skeleton in record time.
  • The Empire State Building recently received a refit that reduces energy costs by $4.4 million a year, while creating 252 jobs.
  • The 200-foot tower of the Empire State Building was originally designed as a docking point for airships – a terrifying prospect by today’s standards. The building owners, convinced that transatlantic airship travel was the transport of the future, wanted to use the mast as a docking port where it would “swing in the breeze” in wind speeds as high as 40 miles an hour. Passengers would exit and walk an open-air gangplank, check-in at a customs office and make their way to street level. Needless to say, this scheme never took off. The original docking level is now located one floor above the 102nd-floor observatory, up some steep steps behind an unmarked door.

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What’s On

  • Check out the immersive experiences featured across the Empire State Building’s 12 galleries. Your New York Pass ensures access to these new second-floor exhibits; as well as entry to the iconic 360-degree view open-air Observatory.
    2nd Floor galleries allow guests to experience 10,000 square feet of educational and engaging interactive installations - a $165 million re-imagination project.

  • For the first time ever, the Empire State Building has announced new heat lamps for visitors who wish to take in the views from the one-of-a-kind 360-degree outdoor observatory throughout winter in New York City.

  • Upgrade on the day of your visit and head up to the 102nd observatory.

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Know before you go

  • The Empire State Building has a new entrance on 34th street, just for visitors to the Observatory. This larger entrance will help create a seamless flow and provide a fully modernized journey for all visitors.
  • You can watch the Empire State on a live earthcam view.
  • Don't miss the Empire State Building museum.

Please note: In light of COVID-19, we recommend you read the Empire State Building's safety guidelines ahead of your visit.

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Make the most of your New York Pass

  • Beat the crowds: for more space and less waiting, plan your visit between 08.00 - 11.00.
  • Open until 2am – enjoy a stunning night panorama of the city.

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How to get there

Visit the Empire State Building website for more travel information.

See the full list of attractions.  

Learn more

Visiting Empire State Building Observatory

Visiting Empire State Building Observatory

  • Reservation required
  • Empire State Building Observatory 20 West 34th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenue), New York, NY 10118
  • Closest Subway 34th Street/ Herald Square
  • Closest Bus Stop See map
  • Big Bus hop on hop off Tour Stops Stop 4 on Downtown route and stop 32 on Uptown route

Opening Times

January 04 - March 13: 12:00PM - 9:00PM
March 14 - March 28: 1:00PM - 10:00PM
March 29 - April 11: 11:00AM - 11:00PM
April 12 - April 30: 1:00PM - 11:00PM

The last elevator goes up 45 minutes prior to closing.

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