How tall is the Empire State Building?The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1972, and the first skyscraper to have more than 100 floors. If you’re measuring to the very tip of the Empire State Building, it’s 1453 feet (443m) tall. On the 86th-floor observation deck you’ll be 1050 feet (320m) above street level, and on the 102nd floor, you’ll be 1250 feet (381m) up. Today it’s the 42nd tallest building in the world and there are 3 taller buildings in New York: The One World Trade Center (1776 feet or 541m tall), 432 Park Avenue (1396 feet or 426m tall), and 30 Hudson Yards (1628 feet or 387m tall).
How long should I plan for my visit?It’s recommended that guests plan at least 2 hours for their visit, which includes lines for security and elevators. During the afternoons, ahead of sunset, and during major holidays you may want to plan 3 hours for your trip due to crowds.
Is it a good site to visit with kids?Long lines means you might want to pick an express ticket. Or bring some games to play in the line. Strollers are allowed but need to be folded on the observation decks, so bear that in mind when visiting with very young children. Use the restrooms on the 2nd floor before going up in the elevator.
Is it worth visiting the 102nd floor?Some local New Yorkers think that the 102nd floor is overrated - it’s quite a small room with thick glass windows and it doesn’t have an outdoor terrace, so you can take better pictures from the 86th floor. You’ll also have to queue for another elevator, and by many accounts view isn’t much more spectacular from the higher floor. If you do decide to visit you will get a better view of the bridges and Central Park, plus you’ll get to ride in a hand-operated elevator, which is a unique experience for most guests! It’s up to you to decide, and you don’t have to make that decision before you visit because you can upgrade your ticket once you’re on the 86th floor.
I hate elevators, can I use the stairs?Unfortunately, the stairs are closed to visitors. The only time members of the public are able to use the stairs is when competing in the annual Empire State Building Run-Up, an event where pro-athletes, celebrities, and lucky competitors drawn from a lottery race up the 1,576 stairs to the 86th floor. The men’s course record is 9 minutes and 33 seconds, set in 2003 by Australian Paul Crake, and the ladies’ record is 11 minutes and 23 seconds, set in 2006 by Andrea Mayr of Austria. The event raises money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF).