Empire State Building tickets

Are you looking to purchase Empire State Building tickets? Find out all about how much tickets cost, how to skip the line, who is eligible for discounts, what you will see, and more!

Experience the ‘World’s Most Famous Office Building’. Towering 1,454ft into the sky from base to antenna, this 102-story Art Deco skyscraper was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon.

Constructed in just 1 year, 45 days, it was the world’s tallest building from 1931 to 1970 and became on the best tourist attractions in the US.

The building derives its name from the nickname for the state of New York. A visit to the 86th and 102nd-floor observation decks is one of the best things to do in NYC, boasting the highest vantage points, with completely unobstructed views.

Ready to witness the brilliant spectacle of New York’s timeless skyline? Don’t feel like reading ahead? Browse our catalog now!

On this page, you will find a complete guide to getting tickets for the Empire State Building in New York City, including:

How much do Empire State Building tickets cost?

There are different types of tickets for the Empire State Building. Please find below ticket prices for each option:

  • Main Deck 86th Floor Observatory: this ticket let you enjoy a 360-degree view from the 86th Floor observatory, featuring indoor and outdoor promenades.

Ticket prices: US$ 44 (adult), US$ 38 (child), US$ 42 (senior)

  • Top Deck 102nd & 86th Floor Observatory: take your visit to New York to the next level with this ticket that not only grants access to the 86th floor but also the 102nd floor. Here, you’ll enjoy unparalleled views and, on a clear day, can see up to 80 miles away.

Ticket prices: US$ 79 (adult), US$ 73 (child), US$ 77 (senior)

  • The Starbucks Reserve® Sunrise Experience: with this ticket, you can admire the sunrise from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building and witness the awakening of “the city that never sleeps.” Additionally, you’ll savor a complimentary coffee and some delicious pastries from Starbucks. Please note that this option is limited to 100 visitors per day.

Ticket price: US$ 135 (all visitors)

  • Premium Experience: explore even more of the Empire State Building with a 90-minute guided tour.

Ticket price: US$ 175 (all visitors)

  • ESB All Access Tour: indulge in an exclusive treatment and tour. You’ll receive a glass of champagne upon arrival and will be treated to delightful snacks. Bring out your inner star and enjoy this extraordinary experience typically reserved for celebrities.

Ticket price: US$ 500 (all visitors)

  • VIP Express Pass 86th Floor: this ticket let you skip the lines. This is the fastest way to reach the 86th Floor observatory.

Ticket price: US$ 84 (all visitors)

  • VIP Express Pass 86th & 102nd Floor: Skip all the lines and go straight to the top of the building. With this pass, you’ll not only get VIP access to the 86th but also the 102nd floor.

Ticket price: US$ 119 (all visitors)

Who are eligible for discounts?

Children aged between 6 to 12 years old are eligible for discounted tickets. Children under six enter for free.

Senior aged over 62 years old are also eligible for discounts.

How do you book Empire State Building tickets in advance? How do you skip the line?

Empire State Building skip the line tickets

You should aim to book Empire State Building skip the line tickets online in order to avoid having to wait a long time at the entrance gate. The Empire State Building is, not only one of the best places to visit in New York City, but also one of its busiest tourist sites and queues are incredibly long during the day – often meaning that you are standing around for hours before you reach the 86th Floor observatory.

Visitors to the Empire State Building can either book their skip the line tickets online from the official website of the Empire State Building or from an online travel agency. It is best to compare prices between providers before making a purchase as discounts and special deals are often available and can save you some money.

Note that most of those providers sell skip the line tickets cheaper than the official website.

Are there any combined tickets including Empire State Building tickets and other attractions?

Combined tickets are a great way to save on time and money, as you’ll be able to visit multiple attractions over a one or two day period at a great price. You may find below the most popular ones.

Read more: Best tourist attractions in New York City

Are there any Empire State Building guided tours? Are they worth it?

The Empire State Building organized special guided tours for the travelers who wish to learn more about the history of the place. It lasts 90 minutes and an Empire State Building Observatory Ambassador will lead you during the visit.

The tour includes a VIP priority access throughout the visit and a commemorative souvenir photograph. This is an intimate experience with a maximum of seven persons per tour.

Is it possible to visit the Empire State Building for free?

Unfortunately there are no days with free access to the Empire State Building. Only children under six years old can enter for free.

What will you see?

Empire State Building what to see

The Empire State Building is a landmark New York institution, attracting over four million visitors annually. Embedded in American popular culture, it has featured in over 200 shows and movies, notably King Kong, Sleepless in Seattle, and The Amazing Spiderman. Since 1976, the building’s top 30 floors have been bathed in brilliant colors at night, with color combinations often reflecting national holidays or important events. You can check out the lighting calendar on the official website.

On a clear day, you can view up to five states from the observation decks: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. You’ll also be able to spot iconic landmarks like Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, and the Hudson River. Savor sophisticated American cuisine at the State Bar and Grill, and tacos and sangria at Tacombi, two of the various in-house restaurants.

The Dare to Dream exhibit is located on the 80th floor, honoring the architects, builders, and over 3,400 laborers who helped create a piece of American history in just seven million man-hours. Vintage photographs, architectural sketches, and notes are on display. The 102nd-floor observation deck is even more spectacular, with its views that reveal the city’s neatly laid-out grid streets.

Are Empire State Building tickets included in any city attractions passes?

There are many different city passes in New York. Some give you access to the Empire State Building, some don’t.

City Pass which give you access to the Empire State Building:

City pass which don’t give you access to the Empire City Building:

  • The New York Sightseeing Pass
  • The Sightseeing FlexPass

Read more about all New York City passes.

What are the best times to visit the Empire State Building? How to avoid the crowds?

Empire State Building best time to visit

The Empire State Building is an immensely popular tourist attraction that draws a large number of visitors. The busiest hours of the day are the two hours after the doors open to the general public and just after sunset.

Avoid the crowds by keeping this in mind when planning your visit. If you purchase your skip-the-line tickets for the Empire State Building in advance online, you can bypass all the lines and go straight up.

What are the Empire State Building’s opening hours?

The Empire State Building is open 365 days a year, from earliest 8 AM in the morning to latest 1 AM at night. This changes depending on the time of year, and we recommend checking the opening hours ahead of your visit. Note that entry doors close 45 minutes before closing time.

Travel tips

Empire State Building travel tips

  • Prepare for your visit by downloading the Empire State Building’s official multimedia app, with picture galleries and light shows, as well as information on the Sustainability and Dare to Dream exhibits.
  • Plan at least two hours for your stay, as security screening lines can take extra time during peak season.
  • Weapons, large bags, cans and bottles, tripods, and costumes and masks are prohibited. There are no storage lockers onsite.
  • Live music sessions are held every Thursday to Saturday after 9 PM.
  • Visit at night and bask in the twinkling sea of lights spread out before you. High-powered binoculars on the observation deck allows visitors a closer peek at along NYC’s spectacular skyline. (Read more: things to do in New York City at night)
  • Restrooms are located on the second floor or the 86th-floor observation deck.
  • Many couples report feeling sparks while kissing at the top of the building, due to the static electricity generated at the top! You can also arrange to propose to your loved one, or win a chance to be married at the building on Valentine’s Day.

Wishing you an excellent visit 🙂

Born in Paris, Guillaume Picard has spent years immersing himself in diverse cultures, living everywhere from Asia's hubs like Singapore and Bali, to European destinations such as Portugal and Italy. Now, as the CMO of TourScanner, he's at the helm of a platform that echoes his passion for travel. Guillaume oversees the content, particularly the blog, offering readers firsthand insights and tales from his global escapades.