Updated in November 21st, 2018
The Empire State Building is much more than a skyscraper. It is not the highest since 1972, when it was surpassed by the now missing Twin Towers. Whether it is the most beautiful, everyone has an opinion. But for some reason it is indeed the most famous. Perhaps because it was the highest for 41 years, a real achievement right in the middle of the 20th century, when competition for making a higher building than the previous one was only comparable to nowadays, and because it is in New York, probably the most famous city in the world. For whatever reason, most of us, if we think about the definition of skyscrapers, this one comes to mind.
It was built in Arc Deco style, on fashion in the 30s, like many others in New York and Chicago. Details that prove that are:
- The structure is some way pyramidal: the base is wider than the body of the tower, and this is thicker than the top.
- Outer vertical rows, alternating windows with gray areas without interruption. They evoke more verticality.
- The interior is also Arc Deco style, with elaborate ornamentation, alternating black and yellow marble, with golden ornaments.
Hard to believe that such a mass was built in just one year. It is easy to see from almost anywhere in the city; besides serving as a reference to guide us, offers us many opportunities to photograph it.
There are many opinions about whether to visit the inside or just the outside is enough. So much that many Newyorkers admit never having been up. In my opinion, absolutely worth a visit if you have time. If you have very few days or a very tight budget, I consider it is preferable to go up its rival the Top of the Rock, whose views I think are better, precisely because you can see the Empire State.
Every night the top of the building is illuminated. Generally the light is white, but in certain festivals or events, the color of the light changes.
INFORMATION OF INTEREST
WHEN TO GO
It is open every day of the year, no matter the rain, snow or shine, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. (last elevator at 1:15 am). Of course we recommend a clear day. Ideally, go up late in the afternoon and wait there until dark. First time I went up by night and second during the day. On the top is colder than on the street, to consider especially if like me, you climb at 11 pm in February.
HOW TO GET THERE
350 5th Avenue, between 33rd and 34th streets. It occupies the entire length of the block and half its width. In the northwest corner of it, is the nearest metro station, 34 Street -Herald Square (orange lines (B, D, F, M) and yellow (N, Q, R)). From the east, the nearest station is 33 Street (green line 6).
You can buy them:
- Queuing. Not recommended.
- Online in the official website. They charge $ 2 extra.
- Most recommended: buy it directly to authorized staff found on the sidewalk surrounding the building. In the vicinity there are also vendors from other agencies, but the tickets have the same validity, you can even get discounts if purchased in combination with another attraction.
Prices may seem like you are getting robbed, but it’s a fact that they rise every year:
Main deck (86th floor)
Top and Main deck (86th and 102nd floors)
|Child (6 to 12 years)||
- With the NYC Pass and NY Pass, both the upper platform and the top.
- Children under 6 years.
- Sunrise: if you want to see the sunrise from the top it will cost you 125 $ (only 100 visitors per day).
- AM/PM Experience: 55 $ adult price. It allows to go up twice in the same day, to contemplate the view day and night. It is not really necessary if we go up in the afternoon and wait until nightfall.
- Vip Express Pass: lets go through a Vip queue, both the security and the access to the lifts. It costs the same for all users: $65 to the 86th floor and $85 to the 102nd floor.
- The Premium Experience: Vip Express Pass + 90 minutes guided tour. 175 $.
Thanks to online ticket sales and through authorized dealers, queues have shortened a lot. The first time I went it was 11 pm on a Thursday night in February; there was absolutely no one. The second time, mid-afternoon in early October, it took at least half hour to get to the top. If you intend to go at midday or 8 pm in July without buying tickets in advance, probably you’ll have to wait for two hours, because you have to queue 3 times:
- The line to buy tickets. It is absurd when you can buy them online or to an authorized dealer.
- The line to get to security.
- The queue for access to the elevators.
VIP passes have a safety arch and own elevator. Those who go with the NYC Pass only be freed from the queue to buy the tickets.
FROM THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING MAIN DECK, 86th FLOOR
Once inside, there are photographs showing the construction process and some other interesting details about the tower. But what will occupy most of our time and attention is to enjoy the views.