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MAIN Arrow to TravelTravel Arrow to New York CityNew York City Arrow to Empire State Building Empire State Building

Empire State Building photos
Tall Tales: Empire State
Building Photo Gallery

Empire State Building
Fast Facts

Observation deck hours - 8AM to 2AM daily. Last elevator trip: 1:15AM.

Getting there:

By taxi: Located at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, it is hard to miss. Direct any cab driver to "Empire State Building" and you're sure to be taken there without any further discussion.

By subway: Nearest subway stop to the Empire State Building is the 6 train to 33rd Street; or the A, C, E, B, D, F, Q, 1, 2, 3 train to 34th Street.

By bus: M2, 3, or 5 city bus southbound on Fifth Avenue, or the M10, M20, M4, M34 to Penn Station.

When to go: Early morning hours are least crowded, while late night visits are more romantic. Or do both - weather permitting.


The Empire State Building was a beacon of hope for a recovering world economy when it rose defiantly in Midtown Manhattan during the height of the Great Depression.

Today, just ahead of visiting the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building is THE most popular New York City attraction, and remains a beacon to tourists from around the world who come to take in the iconic New York City experience high atop the 86th floor observation deck.

Ticket tips:

Thousands of people visit the Empire State Building daily, so be prepared for long lines snaking up to the ticket counter. For the sheer number of visitors eagerly awaiting tickets (on lines that sometimes lengthen to a city block) service is relatively fast. The far more sensible and time-saving option? That would be booking tickets online and printing them at home.

When to visit:

In the morning, get their at 8AM when the first elevator ascends to the top, and you can avoid the crowds. During the day, the whole city is on view with all of Manhattan and almost 80 miles of the surrounding Metro New York area laid out before you - on a clear day.

Nighttime, naturally, will give you the "Bright Lights Big City" experience and also makes for an ultra romantic date. For the best of both experiences, time your visit to the top of the Empire State Building just before sunset, for views which can turn from warm and mellow to awesomely eye-popping in minutes.

For latecomers, remember that the observation deck is open until 2AM, but the last elevator is scheduled promptly at 1:15 AM.

Amazing fun facts about the Empire State Building:

• Built at the height of the Great Depression, the Empire State Building was begun in 1930 and was completed the following year, three months ahead of schedule. Even so, lack of occupants following its opening earned it the nickname "The Empty State Building."

empire state building at christmas
Lit up like a Christmas tree in December.

• Today, the Empire State Building offers 2,768,591 square feet of floor space and rents to so many businesses (roughly a thousand) that it has its own zip code: 10118.

• Usually held in February, the Empire State Building Run-Up is an annual race up the 1,576 steps to the 86th floor observatory. The world record time is 9 minutes and 33 seconds by Australian racer Paul Crake, the only person to run to the top in less than 10 minutes.

• The Empire State Building is illuminated in different colors each night depending on he occasion. There's red, white, and blue for patriotic holidays, red and green for Christmas, orange for Halloween, and red for Valentine's Day. Companies and organizations also sponsor specially colored lights to publicized a special day or event. Check out the full current schedule here.

• The Empire State Building is stuck in the world's popular imagination thanks to Hollywood movies in which it features prominently: including King Kong, An Affair to Remember, Sleepless in Seattle, and Elf.


More about the Empire State Building around the Web:

Empire State Building - The official site, with online ticket purchase and visitor information including a virtual tour, special events and lighting schedule.

Empire State Building - Wikipedia - The complete overview with facts on how it was constructed, historical details, its role in popular culture, photo gallery, visitor information, and related resources.

Empire State Building - Great Buildings Online - Stunning photos, architectural details, historical plans and blueprints.

Empire State Building Trivia and Cool Facts - About.com guide including data on height, steps to the top, number of windows, and related fun facts.


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