The legendary building soaring more than 100 stories over Manhattan's skyline made famous by the movie King Kong, the Empire State Building was for 40 years the world's tallest building. Its gorgeous Art Deco details and beautiful marble lobby make it the perfect stop for visitors, for the building captures the very essence of New York: huge, full of people, and breathtaking. Opened in 1931 on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, the Empire State Building is located in the heart of NYC. A testament to the power of American industry, the Empire State was the first building in the world to have more than 100 floors, and its steel frame was considered a modern marvel.The building’s Art Deco design has inspired visitors from around the world. At nightfall, the 200-foot crowning spire captures the city’s gaze, illuminated by tower lights that dazzle with ever-changing combinations of color. It’s no wonder the Empire State Building is the most photographed building in the world.
Ride up the elevator to the 86th floor observatory, maybe stop a moment to pick up a souvenir, then go outside for incredible panoramic views of the New York area. Marvel at the glittering roof of the nearby Chrysler Building or the neat, rectangular shaped of Central Park. Stare out at the famous bridges that span the East River. At, 1,050 feet (320 meters), reached by high speed, automatic elevators, it has both a glass-enclosed area, which is heated in winter and cooled in summer, and spacious outdoor promenades on all four sides of the Building. Maybe it's not as dramatic as it might be if there were no enclosure-there is no wind howling around you here, and you don't hear the sounds of the city more than 1,000 feet below you-but you'll find it a pleasant space, particularly when it is chilly or raining outside. High powered binoculars are available on the promenades for the convenience of visitors at a minimal cost. A snack bar and souvenir counters are also located in the 86th floor observatory. The 86th floor observatory is handicap accessible.
102 floors above New York City, the Top Deck observatory takes your Empire State experience higher, with breathtaking views in every direction. Sixteen stories above the 86th floor observation deck and accessed through a one-of-a-kind glass elevator, the 102nd floor offers true 360-degree views thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides. When you’re this high up, the view doesn’t end at New York City. On the clearest days you can gaze up to 80 miles into the distance, far enough to see six states from a single vantage point!
For a romantic evening, why not go up at night? The last elevator runs at 11:15 pm.
For visitors looking to dodge the crowds, we recommend taking a trip to the top between 12pm and 2pm, as the daily morning rush is over by then.
Want to skip the line entirely? Add an Express Pass to your ticket at checkout and spend more time enjoying the view.
Fun Fact On most nights of the year, you will see the Empire State Building's tower illuminated by a state-of-the-art LED lighting system, capable of displaying more than 16 million colors (the exception is spring and fall bird migration seasons as the birds are attracted to the lights). This is because the Empire State Building has developed an annual lighting schedule which honors National Holidays, seasons, the myriad ethnic groups living in the New York City area and many worthy causes.
The following is a list of the Empire State Building's annual lighting schedule, with the related events. Learn them and impress your friends!
Green: St. Patrick's Day March of Dimes Rainforest Awareness Earth Day
Red, White & Blue: Presidents' Day Armed Forces Day Memorial Day Flag Day Independence Day Labor Day Veterans' Day
Red: St. Valentine's Day Fire Department Memorial Day Big Apple Circus
Red & Blue: Equal Parents Day/Children's Rights
Yellow & White: Spring/Easter Week
Blue, White & Blue: Israel Independence Day First Night of Chanukah
Blue: Police Memorial Day Child Abuse Prevention
Purple & White: Alzheimer's Awareness
Red, Yellow & Green: Portugal Day
Lavender & White: Stonewall Anniversary/Gay Pride
Purple, Teal, White: National Osteoporosis Society
Red & White: Pulaski Day Red Cross
Red, White & Green: Columbus Day
Blue & White: Greek Independence Day United Nations Day
Red & Yellow: Autumn
Black, Yellow & Red: German Reunification Day
Pink & White: "Race for the Cure"/Breast Cancer Awareness
Green, White & Orange: India Independence Day
Green & White: Pakistan Independence Day
Red & Green: Holiday Season
Dark/No Lights: "Day without Art/Night without Lights" AIDS Awareness
There are no events taking place on this date.