Frequently Asked Questions
3. When can I use my tickets?
Tickets are valid for your chosen visit date & time. View our hours of operation here.
4. Can I use my ticket twice in one day?
No, unless you’ve purchased tickets via CityPASS, or upgraded your ticket with a Night Pass. View our Ticket Info & Offers page for more information.
6. What is the cancellation policy?
All tickets are non-refundable. For more information, read our ticket policy.
7. How can I purchase tickets for friends and family when I don’t plan on accompanying them?
Cardholders who are not visiting with their party can purchase a gift certificate. Please visit our Buy Tickets page for more information.
2. How do I get there?
For detailed directions on how to get here, visit our Maps & Directions page.
4. How long does a typical visit take? Is there a time limit?
There are no time limits or specified visiting windows. Allow at least one hour for your visit, 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 can speed up your visit by buying an express ticket online, which allows you to skip the ticket office and jump to the front of all other lines.
9. I have a licensed firearm. Can I bring it?
No. Your firearm will be seized, and you will be arrested unless you are a member of the following law enforcement agencies:
- New York City Police Department
- New York State Police
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- United States Secret Service
- United States Department of State
10. Are there items I can’t bring into the building?
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.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Cans, bottles, flasks, etc.
- Professional cameras, equipment, and camera stands: mono-pods, bi-pods and tripods
- 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
- Musical instruments
- Large packages, suitcases, carry-on luggage, and other such parcels.
- Costumes and masks for non-PPE purposes, other than on Halloween
- No outside food or eating allowed in Observatory or on outside Deck
There are no locker storage facilities at the Empire State Building for personal belongings.
12. Where can I buy souvenirs?
We sell a fantastic range of Empire State Building memorabilia on the 80th Floor Gift Shop, most of which is exclusive to our shop. If you’re not at the building, please visit our online shop.
13. What accommodations are made for visitors with disabilities?
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. Service dogs are allowed throughout the building. Motorized and non-motorized wheelchairs are permitted. The 86th Floor has ramps to make getting around easier and lowered viewing walls so that visitors in chairs can still take in the view. Visit our Accessibility page for more information.
1. Does ESB have a loyalty/membership program?
Yes! As of Feb. 2024, visitors can now earn points on every purchase that they make at the Observatory. By completing different thresholds, members can turn their points into tickets to our iconic Observatory. Ambassadors will also be able to collect unique Empire State Building NFTs!
Become an Ambassador here!
2. How do I become an ESB Ambassador?
Joining is as simple as clicking a button! Visit our Ambassador page and click "Join Program". Once registered, you can immediately accumulate points on your purchases.
3. What can I redeem my points for?
Visitor's redeemable rewards will depend on their ambassador status (Ambassador, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum). To reach different levels, members will have to accumulate a certain number of points. Rewards range from our 86th + 102nd Floor Observatory tickets to entries for our coveted events.
Learn more about our ambassador membership program here!
4. What are the different status tiers?
Members can accumulate points to increase their status tiers. These status tiers include Ambassador (0 points), Bronze (440 points), Silver (880), Gold (1,320 points), and Platinum (1,760 points). Each status tier presents the member with new rewards to redeem. Additionally, as the member progresses through the tiers, they will collect one-of-a-kind Empire State Building NFTs for free!
1. Who chooses the color of the lights?
We change the tower lights to recognize holidays and events throughout the year. For a full schedule of the tower lights and reasons for the lighting, please visit the Tower Lights page.
3. Can I request a special lighting?
You can submit a lighting request through our Tower Lights page. However, be aware that the Empire State Building does not grant lightings for personal events (such as birthdays, anniversaries, or weddings), commercial events, political campaigns, or religious figures or events.
2. 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 couples are selected to get married on February 14, at the world's most romantic building. Please visit our Facebook page for more information and to enter.
3. I'd like to propose at the Empire State Building. Is that ok?
Absolutely! Begin your forever story at the World’s Most Romantic Building with a VIP proposal package that features spectacular views from the heart of New York City. Check out our Happily Ever Empire package for an over-the-top, exclusive experience that provides priority access to the iconic 86th Floor Observatory, where you will take in the best views of Manhattan before popping the question.
What is required before my visit to the Empire State Building?
The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority as we create lifelong memories at the Empire State Building. For visitor confidence, all hosts throughout the Observatory Experience are vaccinated. A full list of entry requirements can be found on our Safety page.
Have Another Question?
Our team is ready to help. Get in touch and get the answers you need.