Experience the views at the center of it all. Set in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, our two observation decks offer unmatched vistas of New York City and a panorama that stretches across six states.
Immerse yourself in the Empire State Building story on your way to the top. Located on the 2nd and 80th floors, exhibits are open to all ticket holders. Download our free self-guided audio tour using our free on-site guest Wi-Fi for an enhanced experience!
The Site in the 1920s
A black-and-white panoramic image depicts the site of the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel as construction of the Empire State Building begins.
Through building surveyors, Guests can look in and see the New York City streets of the late 1920s come to life in full color.
Inspired by the historical photography of Lewis Hine, Guests are placed in the middle of the action, surrounded by iron workers and masons shouting over the din of machinery, moving steel beams into position, and tossing hot rivets into place. Life-like bronze sculptures of four workers provide opportunities for photos and selfies. Three different copper building models showcase the Building at different points during construction.
The excitement of opening day is palpable with a newsboy announcing the opening of the Empire State Building as he sells his papers on the streets of 1930's New York City.
The Modern Marvel exhibit outlines the specific measures taken to make the Empire State Building a world leader in sustainability and a leading example in energy efficiency.
Included in this exhibit is a replica of the Building’s original mast car, complete with original hardware, that took guests from the 86th to the 102nd floor as recently as 2018. Along with the historical elevator exhibits, an exhibition of Otis’ present-day elevator technology is showcased with a simulation of an elevator shaft, recreating the extraordinary height of the building and the distances the elevators traverse. Guests stand in the middle of the shaft and feel the energy of elevators around them.
Urban Campus offers a glimpse into some of the major tenant spaces, amenities, and hidden views of the building as experienced by those who work there.
World's Most Famous Building
A sweeping 72-screen, 180-degree surround-sound theater reinforces the Empire State Building’s place in pop culture with a montage of 600 clips from commercials, films, TV shows, comics, and games that feature the iconic building.
Touch Kong’s hands which have broken through the walls and feel them vibrate as he growls, huffs and puffs in frustration and anger. Planes circle outside the windows, just as they did in the original 1933 film.
The Empire State Building is a popular destination for A-list celebrities and worldwide talent with many famous faces from around the globe visiting its world-famous 86th Floor Observatory. This exhibit highlights some of the most-famous visitors (athletes, musicians, actors) with their images and signed memorabilia adorning the walls.
NYC: Above and Beyond
This exhibit, created in partnership with New York City Tourism + Conventions, encourages visitors to create a personalized trip itinerary from the top of the Empire State Building.
After answering questions about their interests and the length of their stay, they can assemble a personalized NYC Itinerary of attractions and sites throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.
ARTISTRY IN LIGHT
Ever wonder how the Empire State Building’s music-to-light shows are created? The Artistry in Light exhibit features a short film narrated by world-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman, a master of light creation.
Stephen Wiltshire’s Drawing
In 2017, famed British artist Stephen Wiltshire took a 45-minute helicopter ride above Manhattan. He then drew an incredibly detailed landscape drawing of New York City, while in residence on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building, completely from memory.
SCENES OF NYC
Through Empire State Building’s classic viewfinders, visitors can check out panoramic views of nine different famed New York locations from the 80th floor.
Visit The Heart of NYC
It’s New York’s can’t-miss experience. Book your ticket to the top today.