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Empire State Building

No trip to New York is complete without zooming up the top of this iconic building, where the views of Manhattan are unmatchable.

The Empire State Building is a world-famous landmark, synonymous with New York. It’s renowned as a backdrop in films such as “An Affair to Remember,” “King Kong,” and “Sleepless in Seattle.” In fact, it’s one of the city’s most significant and romantic skyscrapers. 

Officially opened in 1931, the Empire State Building took over the Chrysler Building’s title as tallest in the world, a record it had held for 40 years. New York owes its “Empire State” nickname to the building, which is to New York what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, or the Space Needle is to Seattle.  The building, an impressive 1,453 feet tall including the broadcast tower, offers views of Manhattan’s twinkling lights from two observatories. One platform is on the 86th floor and there’s another at the very top level on the 102nd floor, right under the broadcast tower with its 1454-foot antenna. On the way to the observatories, be sure to spend time in the Dare to Dream 80th Floor Exhibit. This permanent display includes photographs, construction notes, and information on the building’s engineering.

At the 86th floor, take a walk along the open-air promenade for spectacular views of Midtown, Lower Manhattan and Central Park. On a clear day, it’s possible to see as far as New Jersey and Connecticut. Pop a quarter or two in the old-fashioned binoculars for a close-up peek of nearby attractions, including Bryant Park and Times Square

The 102nd floor observatory is the highest public point in New York. The enclosed viewing area is ideal if you’re visiting in winter. 

The Empire State Building is located in Midtown, Manhattan, in the heart of the city, easily accessible by bus, subway or rail. The two observatories are open to the public 365 days a year. Lines for the ticket office and elevators can be long, so it’s wise to buy tickets on the Empire State Building’s official website. Wedding proposals aren’t uncommon, and a saxophone player sometimes serenades lovebirds visiting the 86th floor.

Guide to Exploring Empire State Building


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See all 1,234 Hotels near Empire State Building


700 8th Avenue, New York
of 5, from 3,764 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This Theater District hotel is at the corner of West 45th Street and Eighth Avenue, 1 block west of Times Square and 6 blocks west of Rockefeller Center.

Radisson Martinique on Broadway

Radisson Martinique on Broadway

49 W 32nd St, New York
of 5, from 1,319 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

The Empire State Building is 1 block from this recently renovated (December 2007) hotel in a landmark French Renaissance building; Macy's and Madison Square Garden are 2 blocks away, and subway access is right out front.

Hotel Metro

Hotel Metro

45 W 35th St, New York
of 5, from 1,283 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Offering rooftop-terrace views of the Empire State Building, this 13-story west Midtown hotel is a short walk to Macy's, 5 blocks from the Theater District, and close to Fifth Avenue shopping.

The Roosevelt Hotel, New York City

The Roosevelt Hotel, New York City

45 E 45th Street, New York
of 5, from 9,727 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located at the corner of East 45th Street and Madison Avenue, the Roosevelt Hotel, New York City, provides ready access to shopping, as well as Broadway theaters, 3 blocks away.

Hotel Pennsylvania

Hotel Pennsylvania

401 7th Ave, New York
of 5, from 9,127 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

This New York City hotel located on Seventh Avenue at 33rd Street is across from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station.

Executive Hotel Le Soleil New York

Executive Hotel Le Soleil New York

38 W 36th St, New York
of 5, from 219 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Garment District, this hotel is steps from Empire State Building and Herald Square. Macy's and Bryant Park are also within 10 minutes.

Hilton Garden Inn New York/West 35th Street

Hilton Garden Inn New York/West 35th Street

63 West 35th Street, New York
of 5, from 1,571 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

This newly built, 31-story hotel is within 3 blocks of Madison Square Garden, Macy's Herald Square and the Empire State Building. Broadway theaters and Times Square are 7 blocks away.

Waldorf Astoria New York

Waldorf Astoria New York

301 Park Avenue, New York
of 5, from 4,089 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

New York's Grande Dame, the Art Deco-style Waldorf Astoria New York offers a desirable Midtown location 2 blocks from Rockefeller Center and 4 blocks from the Broadway Theater District. Times Square, Central Park, Grand Central, and the shops on Fifth Avenue are among the nearby attractions.