Empire State Building tickets, prices, discount, what to expect
Rising above the bustling streets of New York, the Empire State Building (ESB) is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world.
Any tour of NYC is incomplete without visiting the oldest observatory deck of the city, situated on the 86th and 102nd floors of ESB.
If you want to enjoy the best views of the New York Skyline, the Empire State Building is the place to be.
This article has everything you need to know before booking your Empire State Building tickets.
Opening Hours: 10 am to 12 am
Last Entry: 11.15 pm
Time needed: 2 hours
Best time: Sunrise and sunset hours
Ticket cost: $47
Cancellation: Possible until 23:59 on the day before your visit
Where to buy Empire State Building tickets?
You can buy Empire State Building tickets online or at the venue.
However, booking your tickets online and in advance is better.
When you buy your Empire State Building tickets online, you can avoid queues at the ticket counter.
The lines at the ESB ticket counter get long during the peak months of June to September and on weekends.
When you book your tickets in advance, you will get tickets for the time and day you choose.
Online Empire State Building tickets are cheaper than their offline counterparts.
When you buy your Empire State Building tickets at the counter, you will pay a hefty amount and might need to wait very long for your time slot.
Hence, buying tickets online is easy and convenient.
How to get online tickets and how do they work?
On the ticket booking page, you will find various tickets to the Empire State Building.
Once you have selected how you want to explore the Empire State Building, you must choose the number of visitors, date, and preferred time slot and make your purchase.
You will receive the ticket in your email immediately after the payment.
All you need to do now is present your e-ticket at the entrance and enjoy your visit to the Empire State Building.
You do not have to print your ticket; you can present the ticket on your smartphone.
Empire State Building ticket prices
The general Empire State Building admission ticket costs $49 for adults (13 to 61 years) and $42 for Children (6 to 12 years).
Infants below five years enjoy free entry.
Senior citizens (above 62 years) get discounted Empire State Building admission tickets for $47.
The cost of the Empire State Building ticket changes with the type of ticket like skip the line, all access express ticket and city pass.
|Ticket||Ticket prices||Buy This Ticket|
|86th-floor admission ticket||$49||Buy This Ticket|
|86th-floor skip-the-line ticket||$92||Buy This Ticket|
|86th-floor and 102nd floor skip the line ticket||$129||Buy This Ticket|
|Sunrise admission ticket||$147||Buy This Ticket|
|Sunset admission ticket||$59||Buy This Ticket|
|AM/PM ticket||$70||Buy This Ticket|
|New York Explorer Pass||$76||Buy This Ticket|
|New York City Pass||$138||Buy This Ticket|
Empire State Building ticket discount
Empire State Building offers ticket discounts for children (below 13 years) and senior citizens (above 61 years).
The general Empire State Building admission ticket costs $49 for adults (13 to 61 years).
The younger visitors (12 to 5 years) get a $7 discount and senior citizens get a $2 discount.
Kids below five years enjoy free entry.
While the AM/PM tickets are priced at $70 for adults, kids get $11 discount.
However, Express tickets do not offer any discounts.
Free entry to the Empire State Building
Children below five years enjoy free admission to the Empire State Building.
Military officials can also get free entry.
While all visitors need entry tickets to the Empire State Building observation deck, you can tour the lobby for free.
Types of tickets to the Empire State Building
When you visit the Empire State Building, you will find three queues.
- Queue at the ticketing counter
- The line at the security check
- Line in front of the elevator.
The Empire State Building has two observatory decks, one at the 86th level (main deck) and the other at the 102nd level (top deck).
You can either get tickets to visit one of the decks or both the decks.
Based on how many lines you want to skip and the number of decks you wish to visit, there are different types of tickets to the Empire State Building.
1. General Entry ticket
This is the cheapest ticket to visit the Empire State Building.
With this ticket, you can get access to the 86th-floor observatory deck.
You can also visit the interactive museum and the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building.
This 45-minute entry ticket also comes with an audio guide that helps you tour the observation deck.
|Adult ticket (13 to 61 years):||$49|
|Child ticket (6 to 12 years):||$42|
|Senior Citizen ticket (62+ years):||$47|
Infants enjoy free entry to the 86th floor.
2. Express entry tickets
Empire State Building waiting times range from 20 minutes to 1 hour during tourist season.
The express entry tickets let you skip all the queues and enjoy uninterrupted entry to the Empire State Building.
This ticket offers you a VIP experience.
We recommend you get the express entry tickets if you visit on weekends or public holidays.
|Adult ticket (13 to 99 years)||$92|
|Child ticket (0 to 6 years)||Free|
3. 86th floor and 102-nd floor access ticket
With this ticket, you can skip all the lines at the ticket counter, security and elevators.
This ticket lets you enjoy a VIP experience and uninterrupted access to both the floors and the museum.
The Empire State Building 86th-floor and 102nd-floor ticket costs $130 for all visitors.
4. Sunrise tickets or sunset tickets
The Sunrise ticket for the Empire State Building lets you witness the sunrise in New York from the 86th floor.
The timing of this tour changes according to the sunrise schedule, and only 100 tickets are available each day.
Entry to the observatory is granted half an hour before sunrise.
Similarly, you can get entry during the sunset hours to the 86th-floor main deck.
Since general tickets do not provide admission during sunset hours, visitors who want to enjoy sunset views should buy this ticket.
The sunrise admission ticket costs $147 for all visitors.
The sunset admission ticket costs $62 for adults and $56 for children.
5. AM/PM ticket
The AM/PM ticket offers the chance to get a complete Empire State Building experience.
The Empire State Building offers a unique ambiance in daylight and nighttime.
You can enjoy both with one AM/PM ticket.
What is the best time to visit during the day?
If you have the AM/PM ticket, we recommend visiting before 10 am.
During this time, you can enjoy a crowd-free tour.
When is the best time to visit during the night?
Take advantage of the evening admission from 6 pm to 9 pm.
You can enjoy the sunset and night views of the NYC skyline.
|Adult ticket (13+ years)||$71|
|Child ticket (6 to 12 years)||$60|
6. New York City pass
If you are on a budget trip to New York City, the city pass is your best match.
The passes help you visit multiple attractions at discounted prices.
The New York Explorer pass lets you visit 90+ attractions for 2 to 10 days.
You can choose the number of days you want to tour and present your pass at any of the NYC attractions included and enjoy your visit.
This pass starts at the price of $176 per visitor.
New York City Pass, on the other hand, lets you visit 5 NYC attractions at a 40% discounted price.
This city pass costs $138.
Which Empire State Building ticket should you choose
With different types of tickets, you might be wondering which Empire State Building ticket you should buy.
Here is a simple guide to choosing the best Empire State Building entry ticket.
1. Are you short on time?
If you are short on time and wish to escape the crowds and queues, choose the express tickets.
2. Want to have a unique experience?
You can visit the Empire State Building during sunrise or sunset or enjoy daytime and nighttime views.
3. If you are on a budget trip?
The general admission ticket is the cheapest option, if you are on a budget trip.
Empire State Building opening hours
This renowned attraction, found in the center of New York, is open all year round.
The Empire State Building is typically open from 10 am to midnight.
However, the times can vary depending on the season.
|1 Jan to 19 Jun||10 am to 11 pm|
|20 June to 30 Oct||10 am to 12 am|
|31 Oct to 23 Nov||10 am to 10 pm|
|24 Nov to 27 Nov||10 am to 12 am|
|28 Nov to 23 Dec||10 am to 10 pm|
|24 Dec to 30 Dec||10 am to 1 am|
|31 Dec||10 am to 11 pm|
Recommended reading: Empire State Building opening hours and how long it takes to visit.
The best time to visit the Empire State Building
Visitors who wish to avoid crowds should plan their visit to the observatory decks between 12 pm and 2 pm.
If you want to avoid the line, buy an Express Pass to save time in the queues and enjoy more time to enjoy the view.
If you want to enjoy a romantic view of NYC with someone special, a visit during the night after 10 pm is the best time to visit the Empire State Building.
The Empire State Building also hosts light shows. Visiting during the night allows you to catch the show.
Recommended reading: Empire State Building lights
How to reach the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is at 20 West 34th Street in Manhattan.
There are various transport facilities available to reach the Empire State Building, like:
If you plan to take the subway to visit the Empire State Building, here is a list of stations near & their distance.
|Subway lines||Station to get off|
|1, 2, 3, A, C, E||Penn Station|
|N, Q, R, W, B, D, F, M||Herald Square Station|
|4, 5, 6, 7||Grand Central Terminal|
Bus stations with distance closest to the Empire State Building
|5 Av / 32 St||2 min walk|
|E 32 St/5 Av||3 min walk|
|5 Av/W 32 St||3 min walk|
|E 34 St /5 Av||3 min walk|
|5 Av/W 34 St||3 min walk|
|W 34 St/5 Av||3 min walk|
|5 Av/W 33 St||3 min walk|
|5 Av/W 36 St||4 min walk|
|5 Av/W 35 St||4 min walk|
Train stations near the Empire State Building in Manhattan
|33rd Street||1 min walk|
|34 St-Penn Station||4 min walk|
Read more about How to reach the Empire State Building to learn traveling hacks and plan your visit to ESB.
What to See at the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is the most iconic attraction in New York.
It holds two observatory decks and an interactive museum, and an Art Deco lobby to visit.
Here is the list of things to see when visiting the Empire State Building.
It has a luxurious space with high ceilings and plenty of room to move around.
The most striking feature of the lobby is the large Art Deco mural on the wall.
The mural depicts various scenes from New York City and is a work of art.
Main Deck – 86th Floor Observatory
The Main Deck is located on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.
This open deck offers 360° views of NYC, which includes Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and much more.
Top Deck – 102nd-floor Observatory
The 102nd floor of the Empire State Building holds the covered observatory deck called the Top Decl.
On the Top Deck, you can experience unmatched views of New York City up to 80 miles on a clear day.
The Site In 1920s Exhibit
An image in black and white shows the original location of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel as the Empire State Building starts to be built.
If you see the city closely, you can see the late 1920s New York City streets if they were in full color.
Guests at the museum are placed in the middle of a historical reconstruction of a construction site inspired by the photography of Lewis Hine.
They are surrounded by ironworkers and masons who are shouting over the din of machinery, positioning steel beams and tossing hot rivets into place.
Four lifelike bronze sculptures of laborers provide photographic and selfie opportunities.
The Building is represented by three various copper building models that show it at different stages of construction.
Opening Day Exhibit
You can see the opening day exhibit at the 2nd-floor Museum.
This exhibit portrays the excitement of the citizens on the ESB opening day.
You can find joyful people around the streets and announcements by a newsboy selling newspapers in 1930s New York City.
Modern Marvel Exhibit
The Exhibit explains how the ESB became a world leader in sustainability and an energy efficiency model, including renewable energy and efficient water use.
Otis Elevators Exhibit
This Exhibit includes a replica of the original mast car from the Building, complete with original hardware.
As recently as 2018, this car transported guests from the 86th to the 102nd floors.
In addition to the historical elevator exhibits, there is also an exhibition of Otis’ present-day elevator technology.
This technology is showcased with a simulation of an elevator shaft, which recreates the extraordinary height of the Building.
Guests can stand in the shaft’s center and feel the energy of the elevators all around them.
Urban Campus Exhibit
The urban campus provides a view of some of the main features of the Building, including the amenities and hidden views experienced by employees.
World’s Most Famous Building Exhibit.
King Kong’s Escape Exhibit
The Exhibit at the Empire State Building tries to recreate the giant ape’s escape from the 1933 film King Kong.
You can see it inside an office room, where the giant ape’s fingers pierce the walls while clinging to the Building and avoiding vintage fighter planes.
You can feel him growl in rage when you touch his hands. Outside the office windows, planes circle, precisely like in the original 1933 movie.
Celebrities Galore Exhibit
This Exhibit features athletes, musicians, and actors from around the globe who have visited the Empire State Building’s 86th Floor Observatory.
Their images and signed memorabilia are on display.
Artistry in Light Exhibit
The Light Exhibit includes a short film that world-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman narrated.
The film explains how the music-to-light shows on the Empire State Building are created.
Stephen Wiltshire’s Drawing Exhibit
In 2017, famous British artist Stephen Wiltshire, a renowned British artist, took a 45-minute helicopter ride over Manhattan.
He then drew a highly detailed New York City landscape from memory while staying on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building.
Book your Empire State Building tickets online today in advance and enjoy all this on your visit.
1. How much is admission to the Empire State Building?
Admission to the Empire State Building is $49 for adults, $42 for children, and $47 for seniors.
Entry is free for children below five years.
2. What types of tickets are available for the Empire State Building?
The Empire State Building has a variety of ticket types available for visitors.
The types of tickets available for the Empire State Building are:
– 86th-floor admission ticket
– 86th-floor skip-the-line ticket
– 86th-floor and 102nd floor skip the line ticket
– Sunrise admission ticket
– Sunset admission ticket
– AM/PM ticket
– New York Explorer Pass
– New York City Pass
3. Do you need to book Empire State Building tickets in advance?
The Empire State Building is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City and is often very crowded.
Hence, booking your tickets in advance ensures you have a spot in line and can avoid long queues.
Additionally, online tickets offer discounted prices, saving you money.
4. Can we explore the Empire State Building’s lobby without purchasing a ticket?
Yes, you can freely wander around the lobby without a ticket.
However, you’ll miss the opportunity to experience one of the world’s finest observatories and exhibits.
5. Is it worth spending extra to visit the 102 floors of the Empire State Building?
Yes, it is worth spending extra to visit the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building.
Not only will visitors experience awe-inspiring panoramic views of New York City.
But they will also have access to a climate-controlled Observation Deck with 24 crystal-clear, eight-foot-tall windows that provide a 360-degree view of the city.
6. Where do you park for the Empire State Building?
Several parking lots and garages are located near the Empire State Building, including Icon Parking on 33rd Street and Park Right on 34th Street.
7. How long does the Empire State Building take?
It is recommended that you allow a minimum of an hour to explore the Main and Top decks of the attraction.
During peak periods, especially in the summer, purchasing tickets and accessing the lifts can take longer, so you should plan accordingly.
We suggest buying a skip-the-line ticket to avoid long queues.
8. Is the Empire State Building better at night or day?
The Empire State Building is truly a sight to behold day and night.
During the day, visitors can appreciate the building’s grandeur and the stunning views of Manhattan from the observation decks.
The sun’s rays give the building’s facade a golden glow, and the sky is a brilliant blue.
At night, the Empire State Building is aglow with vibrant lights that bathe the building in a rainbow of colors.
The iconic building is also more visible from further away, with its lights and silhouette standing against the night sky.
9. What do I need to know before going to the Empire State Building?
Before going to the Empire State Building, you should check the ticket prices and opening hours online, as they can change frequently.
Also, make sure to bring a valid photo ID to enter.
10. What’s inside the Empire State Building?
Inside the Empire State Building is a museum, observatory, and several shops and restaurants.
11. What can you see from the Empire State Building?
From the Empire State Building, you can see stunning views of:-
– Downtown Manhattan
– The Hudson and East Rivers
– The Brooklyn
– New Jersey skylines
12. How long is the elevator ride at the Empire State Building?
The elevator ride to the top of the Empire State Building takes approximately 1 minute.