Fifteen things to Keep in Mind When Visiting the empire state building 

Opening hours

It opens at 8 am and closes at 2 am every day. Note that these hours are subject to change, and it's always a good idea to check before the visit.

Check the Weather

If it's cold, plan to dress warmly, as the wind can make it feel even cooler. Likewise, the sun can be strong at the top, so wear a hat or bring sunblock during the summer.

Food and drinks

You can eat and drink at the Empire State Building. No restaurants are on the observation platforms, but the lobby offers numerous food and drink options for all kinds of visitors.

Avoid large bags

Bags are allowed but should be "carry-on" size. Tripods are also not allowed.

Bring a camera

The views from the top of the Empire State Building are breathtaking, so bring a camera or smartphone to capture the moment.

Security check

Prepare for a security checkpoint before entering the Empire State Building. Leave any prohibited items at home, such as weapons or large bags.

Book in advance

Skip the ticket line by buying your tickets online in advance. To skip the elevator and security line buy an Express Pass.

Standard ticket

Buy a Standard ticket to skip the first line and get entry tickets for the 86th-floor observatory. A ticket upgrade is required to visit the 102nd-floor observatory.

Express ticket

Get the grand red carpet welcome with an Express ticket, skip lines at the ticketing counter, security check, and elevator queue.

Sunrise ticket

Sunrise ticket offers the best view of New York sunrise from the 86th-floor observatory. Tour time varies based on sunrise and only 100 tickets are sold daily.

AM/PM tickets

AM/PM ticket is a unique combo pass for visitors who want the complete experience of daytime and night-time views. The view is completely different during the day and night.