New York: Empire State Building

We have already talked about the 9/11 Memorial. Another “must see” attraction is the famous Empire State Building. Today Victor shares his impressions about his visit.
Apart from the fact that the Empire State Building provides a unique opportunity to see Manhattan from the bird’s-eye view, this building is a subject of interest for fans of “the biggest, the tallest”. With 443 meters and 102 floors, the skyscraper was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1970 and from 2001 to 2009. Taking into account, that reconstruction of the building was not subject to the number of levels increase, this record looks amazing, is not it? I think, many of you, can find the answer for this quiz. Due to the tragedy that occurred in New York in 2001, which has already been mentioned in the story about the 9/11 Memorial, Empire State Building remained the tallest building in New York from 2001.

It is possible to visit two observation platforms: the ticket to 86 floor only costs $ 32; to both 86 and floors 102 – 52 dollars. There is an opinion, that it is not necessary to pay 20 dollars extra, because the difference in 16 floors, in fact, is not significant (unlike the money). On the other hand, upper deck will be less crowded.

Tickets can be purchased on the official website. Unfortunately, when you are booking online the system charge you extra $ 2 “a convenience fee”. To my opinion, this approach seems strange, since the tickets still have to be printed on the second floor of the building. In 2014, there were only three machines for printing, one of them didn’t work. So, in case of large crowds, queues may occur.

Next, you need to pass control, like in the airport. Then the line is divided into those who have already bought tickets and those who still have to buy them. Due to the fact that the control is slow, people easily managed to buy tickets: I did not see any queue near the ticket office or elevator. Perhaps, in the early morning people were not so many. If you are not lucky (I’ve read that some were waiting for up to 2 hours in the queue), you can spend time reading the information boards or enjoying temporary exhibitions.

With high-speed elevator, you will reach the 80-floor in a minute, and there you will transfer to another elevator. You can stop here for some time to see pictures and historical materials about the construction of this building.

An interesting fact is an amazing speed of construction: only 410 days. Around four and a half floors were built every week, and, in the most intense period of 10 days, 14 floors were built.

When you reach the observation deck, you have to be patient to do the shots you want, because everyone wants to make a lot of pictures from different angles with different settings and different type of smiles. Some people simply stand and watch what is going on down there.




I did not have enough patience, but my trip through the observation deck took about 40 minutes, with the total duration of the visit of less than two hours.




Again, I was already in the spot in the morning, so your results can be much worse. For example, at 11 AM, the line started from outside of the building .

On the way back you will definitely pass the gift shop. Those who remember the famous movie “King Kong” can buy a souvenir with famous gorilla. Also, there is a gallery of stars who visited the Empire State Building.

Before visiting the Empire State Building, many people, including myself, think: maybe it is better to choose to Rockefeller Centre? There are some benefits like less queues and lack of iron fence, view on the Empire State Building, and better observation of Central Park. On the other hand, the view of the business district would be worse, as these buildings stand opposite to each other.

In the case of Rockefeller Centre I can assume that taking a photo of yourself or a panorama would be problematic because of the glass. Also, I’m not sure whether there is a better view to Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges or the Statue of Liberty.


In case of Empire State Buildings, the queues are unpredictable but the fence is not so critical for the images.

The fans of panoramic photos can pull their hands through the fence. The main thing is to keep a device properly, because the wind blows quite hard. I was very worried about Pika when I was making the photo, probably, familiar to all.

As I already noted, in November 2014 New York new skyscraper with a survey platform was erected. There you can stand on the glass floor, which is also interesting. Again, it is the tallest building in the city. Perhaps, it somehow changed the flow of people between the three buildings. In any case, I think, being in New York, you just need to climb to at least one of them.

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