New York City, often referred to as the “Big Apple,” is a bustling metropolis that attracts millions of tourists each year. Among its many iconic landmarks, the Empire State Building stands tall as a symbol of the city’s grandeur and architectural brilliance. One of the main attractions of this magnificent skyscraper is its observation deck, offering visitors an unparalleled experience and breathtaking views of the city that never sleeps. In this article, we will explore the allure and wonders of the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

The Empire State Building: A Historical Marvel

The Empire State Building, completed in 1931, held the title of the tallest building in the world for nearly four decades. This iconic Art Deco masterpiece boasts a rich history and has been featured in numerous films and works of art. It stands as a testament to human engineering and innovation, captivating visitors from around the globe.

The Empire State Building Observation Deck: Overview

The observation deck of the Empire State Building offers visitors an unmatched vantage point to behold the awe-inspiring beauty of New York City. Situated on the 86th floor, the deck provides 360-degree panoramic views of the city’s skyline, including landmarks such as Central Park, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty.

Arriving at the Observation Deck

Upon reaching the Empire State Building, visitors are guided through a well-organized entrance system. Friendly staff members are readily available to assist and provide information about the various amenities and experiences available at the observation deck.

The Main Deck: A Panoramic Spectacle

Stepping onto the main deck of the observation deck is a mesmerizing experience. The deck features floor-to-ceiling windows that offer unobstructed views of New York City in all its grandeur. Visitors can gaze upon the city’s iconic skyline, marvel at the bustling streets below, and take in the natural beauty that surrounds this concrete jungle.

Skyride Experience: A Thrilling Virtual Adventure

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the Empire State Building offers a unique attraction called the Skyride. This virtual helicopter tour takes visitors on a thrilling adventure, simulating a flight above New York City. The combination of motion seats, special effects, and a visually stunning film creates an immersive experience that leaves guests in awe.

Dare to Visit the 102nd Floor

For the most daring and adventurous visitors, an additional option awaits – the 102nd floor. Located above the main observation deck, this higher deck offers an even more elevated perspective of the city. The 102nd floor provides an unforgettable experience, allowing visitors to witness the vastness of New York City from an extraordinary height.

The Night View: A Mesmerizing Display of Lights

As the sun sets and the city’s lights begin to twinkle, the Empire State Building observation deck becomes a whole new realm of beauty. The night view from the deck is truly awe-inspiring, as New York City transforms into a sparkling wonderland. This is an ideal time to capture stunning photographs and witness the city’s vibrant energy.

Dining at the Empire State Building

After taking in the breathtaking views, visitors can indulge in a delightful culinary experience at the Empire State Building. Several dining options are available, ranging from casual cafes to elegant restaurants. Enjoying a delicious meal while surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the city skyline is an experience not to be missed.

Capturing Memories: Photography Tips

Photography enthusiasts will find the observation deck of the Empire State Building a paradise for capturing extraordinary shots. Here are some tips to enhance your photography experience:

  • Use a wide-angle lens to capture the vastness of the cityscape.
  • Experiment with different angles and perspectives to create unique compositions.
  • Visit during sunset or at night for dramatic lighting effects.
  • Don’t forget to photograph the Empire State Building itself from the outside.

Empire State Building Souvenirs

Before leaving, visitors can browse through a wide selection of souvenirs available at the gift shop. From miniature replicas of the building to apparel and accessories, there are plenty of mementos to commemorate your visit to this iconic landmark.

Nearby Attractions

The Empire State Building is located in the heart of Manhattan, surrounded by numerous other attractions. Visitors can easily explore nearby sites such as:

  • Times Square: The vibrant hub of entertainment, shopping, and Broadway shows.
  • Central Park: A sprawling green oasis amidst the urban jungle, offering tranquility and natural beauty.
  • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA): Showcasing a remarkable collection of contemporary and modern art.
  • Fifth Avenue: A shopper’s paradise, featuring luxury boutiques and flagship stores.

Best Time to Visit

To make the most of your visit to the Empire State Building, consider the following:

  • Weekdays typically have fewer crowds compared to weekends.
  • Early morning or late evening visits offer a quieter and more serene experience.
  • For a magical view, visit during sunset or after dark to witness the city’s lights in full glory.

Insider Tips for an Unforgettable Experience

Here are some insider tips to ensure your visit to the observation deck of the Empire State Building is truly unforgettable:

  • Purchase tickets online in advance to avoid long queues.
  • Check the weather forecast and plan your visit accordingly for the best visibility.
  • Bring a pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the city’s landmarks.
  • Allow ample time for your visit to fully savor the experience.

Safety and Security Measures

The Empire State Building prioritizes the safety and well-being of its visitors. Security measures, including bag checks, are in place to ensure a secure environment for everyone. Visitors are advised to review the official guidelines and comply with all safety protocols during their visit.


The observation deck of the Empire State Building offers an extraordinary journey above the bustling streets of New York City. From the breathtaking views of the city skyline to the thrilling virtual adventure of the Skyride, this iconic attraction provides an experience that lingers in the hearts of visitors. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the beauty and grandeur of the “City That Never Sleeps” from this magnificent vantage point.


Can I purchase tickets for the Empire State Building observation deck on the same day of my visit?

Yes, tickets are available for purchase on-site. However, to avoidlong queues and ensure a smooth experience, it is recommended to purchase tickets in advance online.

Is there an elevator to reach the observation deck?

Yes, the Empire State Building has a dedicated elevator that takes visitors directly to the observation deck on the 86th floor. There are also elevators available for access to the 102nd floor.

Can I bring a camera to the observation deck?

Yes, visitors are welcome to bring cameras and capture their memories from the observation deck. Photography is permitted, and there are excellent opportunities to take stunning photos of the city skyline.

Are there any dining options at the Empire State Building?

Yes, the Empire State Building offers several dining options, including cafes and restaurants, where visitors can enjoy a meal or grab a quick snack while enjoying the stunning views.

Can I visit the observation deck during inclement weather?

The observation deck is open in most weather conditions. However, during severe weather such as thunderstorms or heavy winds, access to the outdoor areas may be restricted for safety reasons. It is advisable to check the official website or contact the Empire State Building for the latest updates before your visit.

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