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Empire State Building Opening Hours

The Empire State Building opens its doors to visitors throughout the week, offering convenient hours to explore its observatory deck. 

The Empire State Building is open from 10 am to 12 am. 

The last entry to the Empire State Building observation deck is 45 minutes before closing. 

The opening hours of the Empire State Building change throughout the year based on the season. 

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Empire State Building

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During the summer and tourist seasons (May to September), the Empire State Building has longer opening hours.

The Empire State Building observation decks are open from 9 am to 1 am during these months. 

During holidays and the festive season, you can enjoy extending opening hours too. 

Empire State Building Christmas opening hours are from 9 am to 1 am.

Similarly, Empire State Building New Year opening hours are 10 am to 11 pm.

Here are the Empire State Building timings throughout the year. 

DateHours
2 Jan to 22 Jan10 am to 9 pm
23 Jan to 17 Feb11 am to 9 pm
18 Feb to 20 Feb10 am to 10 pm
21 Feb to 10 Mar10 am to 9 pm
11 Mar to 9 May9 am to 11 pm
10 May to 20 Jul9 am to 12 am
21 Jul to 27 Aug9 am to 1 am
28 Aug to 4 Sep9 am to 12 am
9 Oct to 22 Nov (Mon to Thur)10 am to 10 pm
9 Oct to 22 Nov (Fri to Sun)9 am to 10 pm
23 Nov 26 Nov9 am to 11 pm
27 Nov to 21 Dec (Mon to Thur)10 am to 10 pm
27 Nov to 21 Dec (Fri to Sun)9 am to 1 am
22 Dec to 30 Dec9 am to 1 am
31 Dec9 am to 11 pm

Best Time To Visit Empire State Building 

Best time to visit Empire State Building 1
Image: Rabbit75_cav (Canva)

The best time to visit the Empire State Building is early morning or late evening. 

For a less crowded experience at the Empire State Building, visit during the observatory’s opening at 9 am or late night hours after 9 pm. 

These times generally have thinner crowds. 

Early evenings can get busy as offices empty, so skip visiting from 4 pm to 5 pm. 

For the best views, visit during the sunrise or sunset hours. 

The Empire State Building sunrise and sunset hours admission tickets offer the perfect chance to enjoy the views of NYC. 

The recommended time for families with young kids to visit the Empire State Building in the mornings, ideally before 11 am. 

Children can enjoy clear views and less crowd during these hours.

We recommend couples visit in the late evening after 9 pm for a romantic visit.

Avoid the busiest periods between 11 am and 3 pm when tourist crowds peak from May to September.

Visiting the Empire State Building at night is one of the most unique experiences in NYC. 

You can have a private touring experience and enjoy mesmerizing views of the NYC skyline glittering in lights and the Empire State Building light show at night.

Best Days Of The Week To Visit Empire State Building

Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to visit the Empire State Building. 

Weekdays are usually less crowded than weekends. 

Hence if you want to avoid crowds, visit during the weekends. 

Pro tip: Book an Empire State Building express ticket if you are visiting on weekends and wish to skip the crowd

This ticket helps you skip all the lines and enjoy priority access. 

Best Time Of The Year To Visit The Empire State Building 

You can enjoy clear views and extended openings at the Empire State Building from May to September. 

Due to warm weather and pleasant sightseeing opportunities, these months are the peak tourist season. 

Plan your visit between December and February if the cold isn’t an issue to avoid the summer tourist crowds. 

During these months, there are very thin crowds and you can enjoy watching NYC covered with snow. 

Visiting the Empire State Building during Christmas and New Year is an experience of a kind. 

However, it is difficult to get tickets during those days, 

Hence, book your Empire State Building tickets online to visit during the holidays. 

Best Time To Visit The Empire State Building – Day or Night?

If you have the time and the money, we suggest you visit the Empire State Building twice – once in the morning and once at night, with the AM/PM Pass.

During the day visit:

  • See the stunning city views in clear daylight, showcasing the beauty of New York City.
  • Avoid long wait times and large crowds, making it easier to explore the observation deck comfortably.
  • To avoid large crowds, you should plan your visit close to the Empire State Building’s opening hours.
  • Capture amazing photos with ample natural light, highlighting the city’s landmarks and skyline.
  • Spot famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park from a unique high vantage point.
  • During your daytime visit to the Empire State Building, you might spot adorable pigeons. 
  • Experience a family-friendly environment suitable for visitors of all ages.

During the night visit:

  • Enjoy spotting famous illuminated skyscrapers, including Wall Street.
  • Witness the breathtaking view of the Hudson River reflecting the city lights and lit-up ferries.
  • See up to 130 km (80 miles) into the starlit distance.
  • Spot the gleaming Statue of Liberty holding her torch above the New York harbor.
  • Experience the Empire State Building’s programmable LED lights changing colors on holidays and special observances, like red, white, and blue on the Fourth of July.
  • Marvel at the shimmering lights of the Williamsburg and Brooklyn bridges.
  • Delight in the city view and stargazing, with a close-up night sky view.
  • Enjoy a less crowded experience, providing more personal space.
  • Most nights feature a live saxophonist taking requests, creating a romantic ambiance.
  • Capture stunning photographs of the perfect night sky and city lights.

Visiting The Empire State Building At Night 

Visitors with the sunset admission ticket can enjoy the sunset views and Empire State Building at night. 

Visitors experience stunning 360-degree views of a magically lit-up New York City at night. 

Minimal crowds during the night hours let you explore the observatory freely and enjoy a private experience. 

The shimmering golden lights add to the enchanting atmosphere. 

Many buildings showcase special lighting effects, enhancing the nighttime spectacle. 

Unfortunately, Central appears as a dark patch on the horizon. 

In the evening, around 9 or 10 pm, family groups can have a great time visiting the Empire State Building. 

Couples seeking a more private setting can opt for around 11 pm.

A night visit near midnight guarantees a fantastic view of the bustling city lights.

From 9 pm to 1 am (until midnight during winter), visitors can enjoy live saxophone performances on the 86th-floor observatory from Thursdays to Saturdays.

How Long Does It Take To Visit The Empire State Building

A visit to the Empire State Building Main deck (86th floor) takes 60 minutes. 

If you plan to visit the top deck on the 102nd floor, the tour will take another 60 minutes. 

If you already have a main deck ticket, you can enhance your experience and visit the Top Deck on the 102nd floor. 

The upgrade ticket is available at $20 per person and offers 30 minutes to visit the Top Deck. 

However, depending on the crowd, you must spend 45 to 60 minutes getting this upgrade ticket. 

The best way to eliminate the waiting time and enjoy a more extended visit to the Topdeck is by purchasing all 86th-floor and 102nd-floor tickets online in advance. 

FAQs About Empire State Building Opening Hours

1. What hours can you visit the Empire State Building?

The Empire State Building is open every day. 

From Friday to Tuesday, the hours of operation are 9 am to 1 am.

They’re open from 9 am to 12 am on Wednesday and Thursday.

2. What is the best time of the day to go to the Empire State Building?

The best time to visit the Empire State Building is in the morning. This allows you to avoid crowds and experience clear daylight views of the city.

3. Can you just turn up at the Empire State Building?

Entry to the Empire State Building requires tickets.

While you can purchase tickets at the counter, buying your entry tickets in advance is recommended. 

4. How much time is needed for the Empire State Building?

Visitors usually need around 1 to 2 hours to explore the Empire State Building fully. 

The time may vary depending on the crowd and the time spent at the observation decks.

5. Is it better to go to the Empire State Building in the morning or at night?

Going to the Empire State Building in the morning is recommended for a less crowded and serene experience. 

Alternatively, visiting at night offers the chance to enjoy the city’s illuminated skyline.

6. How long does it take to get to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building?

It takes approximately 1 minute by elevator to reach the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.

7. How long does it take to go up and down the Empire State Building?

The time to go up and down the Empire State Building depends on the crowd and the time spent at the observation decks. However, it usually adds up to a few minutes.

8. Is the Empire State Building open every day?

Yes, the Empire State Building is open every day of the week. This allows visitors to experience its iconic views regularly.

9. When is the Empire State Building closed?

The Empire State Building does not have a specified closing day and is open throughout the year.

Its hours of operation are:

– Friday to Tuesday: 9 am to 1 am 
– Wednesday and Thursday: 9 am to 12 am

10. Is the Empire State Building open to visitors?

Yes, the Empire State Building is open to visitors all year round. 

Choose the best time to visit the Empire State Building as per convenience.

11. How long should I spend at the Empire State Building?

Visitors can spend 1 to 2 hours at the Empire State Building. 

This allows for enjoying the panoramic views and exploring the observation decks.

12. Is the Empire State Building open on public holidays?

Yes, the Empire State Building remains open on public holidays. 

This allows visitors to celebrate special occasions while enjoying the city’s sights.

13. What are the Empire State Building opening hours during public holidays?

The Empire State Building maintains its regular opening hours on public holidays:

– Friday to Tuesday: 9 am to 1 am
– Wednesday and Thursday: 9 am to 12 am

Featured Image: ESBNYC.com

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