Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I buy tickets when I arrive at the Empire State Building?
Yes. Tickets are available at the kiosks on the second floor, upstairs from the 34th Street entrance. More and more visitors choose the convenience of online ticket purchases, but we still sell them the old-fashioned way on-site as well!
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.
1. What is the best time to visit the Empire State Building?
The least crowded visiting hours are right when we open at 11 a.m. or around 3 p.m., but peak visiting times vary by season. We are open 365 days a year; for the safety of our guests we will be operating on an updated schedule following reopening.
- September: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (last elevator 10:15 p.m.)
- October: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (last elevator 10:15 p.m.)
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.
6. What amenities are available at the top? Is there a restroom?
Restrooms, including handicap-accessible restrooms, are available on the 86th Floor only.
We offer powerful binoculars to take in the unobstructed views in every direction.
Please note that there is no restaurant or concession on the observation decks, but there are a lot of food options to choose from on the main concourse at the lobby level. There is also a Walgreens at the end of the observatory tour. Visit our Shops & Restaurants page for more information.
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
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. 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! We recommend proposing when our saxophonist is on the 86th Floor Observatory (Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.). You may request your special song to help set the mood. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests to close down the Observatory for proposals.
Have Another Question?
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