Empire State Building / NY SKYRIDE

Empire State Building / NY SKYRIDE

Night or day, the view from NYC’s tallest building is one of this hemisphere’s most magnificent vistas. On a clear day, you can enjoy a magnificent view for 80 miles in each direction. Visibility is posted in the lobby. The breathtaking views are so impressive that it deserves two visits: by day, to observe the layout of the city, and then again in the evening when you’ll be mesmerized by the sparkling array of stars and flickering lights scattered across the sky like a galaxy of diamonds on black velvet.

Seventy-three elevators serve the 102 floors, and 5 acres of windows are washed once a month. It takes half an hour to walk down the 1860 steps. The annual Empire State Building Run-Up race takes place in early February. The event competitors raced up a total of 1,576 steps to the Observatory deck on the 86th floor. The men’s division-winning time is 10 minutes and 37 seconds. The winning time for women is 12 minutes and 8 seconds.

NY SKYRIDE Located on the 2nd floor of the Empire State Building, the NY SKYRIDE is New York’s ONLY virtual aerial simulator and a unique introductory tour of the city. Experience an exciting IMAX style adventure story combining high definition digital technology, moving platforms and seats, and an 18-foot high screen!  For group reservations (20 or more) please email: reservations@skyride.com or call 1(212) 279-9777 x200 to speak to a representative. Buy Tickets for NY Skyride Now

350 5th Ave (between 33rd & 34th Streets)empire state building

Bus: M2, M3, M4, M5, M16, M34, Q32
Subway: (Click on a subway icon for more attractions on the same line)

  • 6 to 33rd St and walk across town;
  • B D F N Q R V W to 34th St/Avenue of the Americas;
  • 1 2 3 (Seventh Ave Subway) to 34th St/Penn Station;
  • A C E (Eighth Avenue Subway) to 34th Street/Penn Station.

Admission to Observatory: * Adult (13-61) $18.45 + $1.55 Tx; Child (6-11) $12.92 + $1.09 Tx; Senior (62+) $16.61 + $1.39 Tx; Toddler (5 or younger) FREE when accompanied by an adult ticket holder; Military in uniform FREE. ESB Audio Tour $7.38 + 62″ Tx. Express Pass $41.52 + $3.48 Tx.

Admission to NYSkyride: * Adult (13-61) $29.50; Child (6-12) $16.00; Student with ID (any age) $22.50; Senior (62+) $22.50.

Combination Observatory & NY Skyride: Adult (18-61) $39.50; Child (6-11) $19; Student with ID (any age) $32.50; Senior (62+) $28.50.

Buy Tickets for NY Skyride Now

Observatory Hours:
8:00 am to 2:00 am daily. Last elevators go up at 1:15 am.
Open 365 days a year.

NY Skyride Hours:
8:00am to 10:00pm daily.
Open 365 days a year.

Click here for the most current Visitor Information including Admission Prices, Observatory Hours, Purchasing Tickets Online, Security Information, Audio Tours, Shops, Restaurants, and Services.

The Empire State Building (first excavations in October 1929, opened May 1931) was the result of a competition between the head of the Chrysler Corporation and General Motors to see who could build the tallest building. GM won, but the Chrysler building was finished first. The Empire State building has changed hands several times since then, but the 86th-floor observatory has weathered it all. During July 1945, a plane crashed into the building at the 78th-floor level.

This 1,250-foot landmark contains 60,000 tons of steel beams, 10 million bricks, and 65,000 windows. The top 30 floors are aglow in a rainbow of colors, keyed to a variety of special events. US National Holidays (Red, White & Blue); St. Valentine’s Day (Red), St. Patrick’s Day (Green); United Nations Day (Blue & White); from Halloween to Thanksgiving Day (Red & Yellow), Chanukah (Blue) and the Christmas Holiday Season (Red & Green).

What color is the Empire State Building tonight?empire state lights
The Empire State Building has developed an annual lighting schedule which honors National Holidays, seasons, a myriad of ethnic groups living in the New York City area, and many other worthy causes. Click on the link above for lighting schedule. During spring and fall bird migration seasons and particularly on cloudy, humid and/or foggy nights, when large numbers of birds are seen flying near the building, the tower lights are turned off.

Chick here for an updated lighting schedule.

Related/Nearby Places of Interest: 

  1. VIP Express Pass: Empire State Building Observatory
  2. Twin Peaks: Empire State Building + Top of the Rock Tickets
  3. Skip the Line: Empire State Building Observatory
  4. Macy’s
  5. Madison Square Garden
  6. Penn Station
  7. Morgan Library
  8. Museum of Modern Art
  9. Rockefeller Center
  10. Midtown

Main Entrance – Fifth Avenue between 33rd & 34th Streets. All Visitors must use this entrance.

Handicap Entrance – 34th St., the entrance between Fleet and Hallmark Cards. Note: The 34th Street Handicap Entrance is only open Monday – Friday until 6 pm. Please use the Main Entrance for all other times.

Call 1(212) 736-3100 or toll-free 1(877) NYCVIEW (692-8439) to find out how long the wait is, visibility, etc.

Fantasizing about getting married at the top of the Empire State Building? You can do it. Every Valentine’s Day, a select group of couples get married here and automatically become members of the Empire State Building Wedding Club which entitles them to free admission to our Observatories on their anniversary, Valentine’s Day. To join this prestigious group, couples must write to the building and explain why they want to get married here. Couples are then chosen on the basis of originality, uniqueness, style, etc. The deadline for getting married on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, is November 30th.

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