How much does it cost?
Tickets start at $25 for a visit to the Main Observation Deck. For a full list of prices and options please see the tickets page.
Can I buy tickets in advance?
Yes. You may buy tickets to the Empire State Building online.
Can I buy tickets at the Empire State Building?
Yes. Please keep in mind that ticket buying lines may be long during peak visit times.
The Observatory ticket office accepts U.S. currency, all American-based travelers checks, and all major credit cards except Diner's Club.
Can I use my tickets anytime?
Tickets purchased online may be used at any time from one year of purchase. Tickets purchased at the ticket office may be used at any time from 14 days of purchase.
You may visit at any time between 8AM and 2AM, with last elevators going up at 1:15 AM. There are no fixed visiting windows or time limits.
Can I use my ticket twice in one day?
No. Tickets are for one-time use only. Once you exit the observation deck you will need to buy another ticket to re-enter.
Can I arrange a visit for a large group or a VIP?
For groups larger than 20, visit our group sales page. If you would like to arrange a visit for a dignitary or celebrity, please contact Melanie Maasch, Director of Brand Development and Public Relations.
What is the cancellation policy?
Tickets are non-refundable.
Getting to the Empire State Building
Where is the Empire State Building?
The Empire State Building is located at 350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets.
Where is the entrance?
Please enter on Fifth Avenue between 33rd & 34th Streets
All visitors (with or without tickets) must go through the Observatory security-check line.
How do I get there by subway, train or bus?
The closest subway stops are Penn Station / 34th St on the 1,2, or 3 lines, or the B, D, F, N, Q, R to 34th St / Avenue of the Americas.
From Long Island or New Jersey, take the Long Island Railroad or NJ Transit to Penn Station, located just 2 blocks away.
From Westchester and further points north, take the Metro North to Grand Central, and then the Shuttle to Times Square. From TImes Square, take the 1,2, or 3 to Penn Station and walk two blocks east to the Empire State Building.
More detailed directions are available from Google Maps.
Is there a parking available?
The Empire State Building does not have its own parking garage. The closest garage is located on 33rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, across the street from the building. Metered street parking is available, but very limited.
What is the best time to visit the Empire State Building?
The least crowded visiting hours are at 8AM or around 3PM, but peak visiting times vary by season. We are open in from 8AM to 2AM regardless of weather conditions.
You may call the Empire State Building to find out wait times, visibility, etc. at (212) 736-3100 or toll free (877) NYC-VIEW (877-692-8439).
Can I visit the Empire State Building at night?
Yes. We are open until 2AM daily, with last elevators going up at 1:15 AM. Live music is available Thursdays through Saturdays, from 10PM to 1AM.
Can I run or climb the stairs at the Empire State Building?
Only if you are participating in the annual run up. The stairs are closed to all guests at all other times.
How long does a typical visit take? Is there a time limit?
There are no time limits or specified visiting windows. You should allow at least one hour for your visit, and slightly more if you will be visiting both the main deck and the top deck.
During peak visiting hours, especially in the warmer months, there may be extended waits to buy tickets and enter the elevators. You may shorten these waits by buying an express ticket online, which allows you to skip the ticket office and jump to the front of all other lines.
Is there a tour? An audio guide?
Yes. The Observatory iView is a multi-media experience that is both an audio tour and a visual guide to the panorama from the 86th floor observatory using Apple's iPod Touch. Completely self-guided, the iView offers an entertaining narrative by Tony, a retired New York cabbie, who will make sure you don't miss anything while you're experiencing New York City from the only place where you can see everything famous at once. An exciting way to get the most out of the ultimate New York experience! Tickets for the iView are available at the Observatory ticket office, located on the 2nd floor of the building, or on the website.
What amenities are available at the top? Is there a restroom?
Restrooms are available on the Main Deck only. We offer powerful binoculars to take in the unobstructed views in every direction. There is no restaurant or concession on the observations decks, but food is available on the main concourse at the lobby level.
Is the observation deck wheelchair accessible?
Yes. The Empire State Building is fully ADA compliant. We have handicapped restrooms on the 86th floor Observatory and also have lowered viewing walls and binoculars.
Can I bring a baby stroller?
Yes. Elevators are available for visitors with baby strollers.
Can I bring my pet?
No. Pets are not allowed.
Can I bring a tripod for my camera?
No. Tripods are prohibited at the Observatory, and there are no storage facilities on site.
I have a licensed firearm. Can I bring it?
Only members of the following law enforcement agencies may bring a firearm:
- New York City Police Department
- New York State Police
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- United States Secret Service
- United States Department of State
What items are prohibited?
The items listed are not permitted in the Empire State Building. Do not carry any of these items into the security screening area. Items that are confiscated may not be returned. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, so if you are unsure about an item, please do not bring it. Any questions and uncertainties should be referred to the Security Officers on duty.
All weapons, including firearms, ammunition, knives, swords, scissors, mace, any dangerous items and any dual-use items that could be dangerous are strictly prohibited in the Empire State Building.
Glass items, including bottles, glasses, marbles, etc.
Cans, bottles, flasks, etc.
Professional cameras, equipment and camera stands: mono-pods, bi-pods and tri-pods
Sports equipment such as skateboards, roller skates, golf clubs, baseball bats, hockey sticks, baseballs, footballs, tennis balls, etc.
Marking instruments, including spray paint and markers
Large packages, suitcases, carry-on luggage and other such parcels.
Costumes and masks
There are no locker storage facilities at the Empire State Building for personal belongings.
What security precautions do you take?
All visitors to the Empire State Building must pass through primary security screening, similar to airport security procedure, before going to the Observatory.
Where can I buy souvenirs?
You can buy something to help you remember your visit on the 80th Floor Gift Shop, or online.
After Your Visit
I think I left something at the Empire State Building. Is there a lost & found?
For lost items, call (212) 736-3100. If you find items while visiting, please take them to the Visitor Information Desk in the Main Lobby. Unclaimed items will not be kept after 7 days.
Showtime Pictures took my photo on the observation deck. How do I get it?
You can see and buy your photos at showtimepictures.com
- I took some really great pictures on the Observation Deck. Can I share them with you?
The Tower Lights
Why is the tower that color?
For a full schedule of the tower lights and reasons for the lighting, please see the Tower Lights schedule.
What time do the tower lights turn off each night?
The tower lights are turned off at 2AM daily.
- How do I request a special lighting?
History & Facts
How did the Empire State Building get its name?
New York State's nickname is the Empire State, which led to the Empire State Building. Legend is that when Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River, he was so taken by the beauty and majesty of the area that he said, "This is the new empire."
Why is there a big antenna at the top of the building?
The Empire State Building is the center of the New York City and tristate region's broadcasting operations. Its technology supports delivery of broadcasting signals to cable and satellite systems and directly to television and radio receivers reaching over 7.4 million television households, representing over 6.5% of all TV households in the U.S. Over 130 antennas provide a variety of point-to-point radio and data communications services to utility companies, telecommunications providers and public safety agencies.
- Can you recommend some books about the history of the Empire State Building?
Partnerships, Jobs & Events
I am interested in getting a job at the Empire State Building. Whom do I contact?
Please contact Human Resources at (212) 736-3100.
Whom do I contact for licensing inquiries?
Please contact Melanie Maasch, Director of Brand Development and Public Relations.
Whom do I contact regarding charities?
Please send all requests to email@example.com, or mail them to 350 Fifth Ave., Concourse Suite 100, New York, NY 10118.
Whom do I contact for corporate event inquiries?
Please contact Melanie Maasch, Director of Brand Development and Public Relations at (212) 736-3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I get married at the Empire State Building?
We do not host private wedding ceremonies. However, the Empire State Building holds its annual Valentine's Day Weddings contest, where 14 couples are selected to get married on February 14, at the world's most romantic building. Visit our Facebook page on December 4, 2012 to enter. http://www.facebook.com/empirestatebuilding
I'd like to propose at the Empire State Building. Is that ok?
Absolutely! We recommend proposing when our saxophonist is on the 86th floor Observatory (Thursdays-Saturdays, 10PM–1AM). You may request your special song to help set the mood. Afterwards, celebrate with a champagne toast at The Empire Room, located in the building on the main level on 33rd Street. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests to close down the Observatory for proposals.
What is the skyride?
The New York Skyride is an independently owned and operated attraction on the 2nd floor of the Empire State Building. For more information, please visit their site.
Does the Empire State Building offer discounts to travel agents?
The Empire State Building offers 50% discounts to travel agents with Trade Passes from the NYC & Co. Visitor Center. For more information, visit NYCGo.com Tools for the Travel Trade.
Who makes the binoculars on the 86th Floor?
Tower Optical Company. More details can be found on their site.
The Empire State Building is not in any way affiliated with the street sales agents, who approach visitors outside the building.Official Empire State Building Staff
Open every day, 365 days a year rain or shine
Special Holiday Hours
8AM to 2AM
Last elevator up at 1:15AM
350 5th Avenue, New York, NY
Between 33rd and 34th St.
Entrance on 5th Avenue
map & directions