Beloved as an essential gem of the Manhattan skyline, this world-famous landmark remains an icon for good reason. The historic landmark has two observation decks: the Main Deck on the 86th floor, which offers stunning 360-degree views of the Hudson and East Rivers, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the Top Deck on the newly reimagined 102nd Floor and on the 86th floor. Famous faces such as Chrissy Teigen, Celine Dion and Neil Patrick Harris have all been spotted enjoying the views from the top, which you’ll recognize from countless movies and TV shows like Sleepless in Seattle. The Dare to Dream exhibit on the 80th floor honors the 3,400 people who built the 1,454-foot skyscraper and features original photographs, architectural sketches and construction notes. Before visiting, download the ESB app on iTunes or Google Play for exclusive content and access to a free audio tour.
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How to get in
Be an early bird and night owl
What better place to catch a sunrise than the Empire State Building? You can watch the sun come up over the entire city, and yes, it’s stunning. This experience is limited to only 100 guests each day, so be sure to book yours well in advance. The views are just as spectacular at night, which you can enjoy if you opt for the AM/PM Experience ($64, $54 for children). The night ticket is redeemable after 9pm.
Attend a special event
Get up there at the Sunrise with Starbucks Reserve @ ESB on the 86th Floor for $135 per person or catch a flick on the deck—the Empire State Building hosts screenings from time to time. Just check esbnyc.com to find out what’s going.
See all of the lights
Since 1976, the tower’s lights have been changing colors to honor holidays, special occasions and different organizations. But in 2012, an LED light system was installed, giving off dazzling displays of 16 million colors. Check the lighting calendar to find out what the colors signify every day. Also, light shows are now staged to simultaneous music on iHeartMedia stations. Want to watch? Search “Empire State Building Light Shows” on YouTube and prepare to be amazed.
Our New York editorial team is constantly updating and reviewing the best attractions, activities and venues across the city, so that you’re always in the know, with the best of NYC. at your fingertips. Empire State Building was most recently updated in December 2023.