Situated at 350 Fifth Avenue is one of the most famous of New York’s impressive buildings. Instantly recognizable from such movies as King Kong, An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle, the Empire State Building stands as one of the most well known skyscrapers in the world.
With its art deco architecture, the Empire State Building’s observation deck on the 80th Floor is where most visitors head. There’s a charge to enter the observation deck but it’s not too expensive, especially considering the unique view of New York and the surrounding area you’ll get from the top. There are 73 elevators in the building – these can take you from ground level to the 80th floor in a matter of seconds – but those who are more active, or like a challenge, the alternative is a 1,575 step climb – of course you could just take the elevator up and walk down if you prefer!
The Empire State Building is open daily from 9.30am until midnight – make sure you arrive in time to be allowed access as the building may shut at midnight, but they like the observation deck cleared prior to then. Despite its closing time, it’s just as good an experience to see New York from the Observation Deck at night as it as by day. Although you can’t see as far as you can in daylight, the lights of New York make the night visit special in its own right.
Although the Empire State Building is mainly for those who like to look rather than do, there is a hidden gem on the second floor for those who enjoy a thrill ride. The New York Skyride is a flight stimulator which will have you hanging to your seat as the images take you on a fast paced virtual reality aerial tour of the “Big Apple”.
For its celebrity, architectural beauty, spectacular views and not forgetting the incredible Skyride tour, a visit to the Empire State Building should be on every visitor’s itinerary.