Best Times To Visit The Empire State Building

Best Times To Visit The Empire State Building

Feature Photo: Mihai Simonia / Shutterstock

The Empire State Building is an Art Deco skyscraper that towers 102-stories above Midtown Manhattan. It was built from 1930 to 1931 at a cost of $40,948,900 (the 2020 equivalent of $572 million). This iconic building gets its name from “Empire State”, which is New York’s nickname. It’s on the majority of New York City visitors’ must-do lists and gets more than four million visitors per year. Because of that, large crowds can mean really long lines, so in an effort to ensure the best Empire State Building experience when you arrive in New York City, here are a few handy tips to help you avoid some of the common frustration of massive crowds.

The Best Time of the Day to Visit The Empire State Building

The best time that you can possibly find to visit the Empire State Building is mornings from 8 am to 11 am and at night after 10:45 pm. That’s when you’ll encounter the smallest crowds. The most crowded times of all are, of course, weekends and evenings after office hours. In addition, you should avoid midday from 11 am to afternoons starting at 3 pm. Why? Well, simply because those are the four most popular hours for the tourist crowd. In fact, 1 pm is usually the busiest that the Empire State Building gets, so you definitely want to avoid that time of day.

If the Empire State Building happens to be open late at night while you’re in New York, that’s a really great time for visiting. After about 10:30 pm, all of the crowds die down considerably, which reduces your overall elevator wait time. On the other hand, if photography is your top priority, you should naturally be visiting during the day.

Best Days of the Week to Visit

When it comes to the best days to visit the Empire State Building, weekdays are naturally recommended since there are fewer crowds then. And, Mondays and Tuesdays are the quietest days for this and any other tourist attraction in New York City. And, if you choose a night visit, then you’ll get to see the city when it’s all lit up like a Christmas tree! It’s truly amazing!

The Best Time of the Year to Visit

The optimum time for visiting the Empire State Building’s outdoor observation deck, which is on the 86th floor, is during the summer and autumn months. That’s because it’s when the New York weather is good. April and May are generally two of New York’s rainiest months every year. Each month usually sees approximately 15 rainy days, accumulating about four inches of precipitation per month.

And then, of course, there’s winter in New York. The average snowfall in New York City during the winter months is approximately 25 inches. The snowiest month of all in New York is January and the cold season generally lasts for 3.3 months, running from December 3rd to March 12th. The average daily high in the wintertime is below 48°F, however, the average low drops to 29°F with a high of 40°F during the month of January. That’s why standing outside on the observation deck during the winter months isn’t the best idea.

What to Wear

If it’s chilly, then you should definitely plan to dress warmly since the wind way up there can result in the weather feeling even colder when you reach the top of the Empire State Building. Wear (or at least bring) a warm sweater or a jacket. On the other hand, the sun can get really strong, too, so be sure you’re taking it into consideration, especially if you visit during the summer months when you might want to dress comfortably for the weather. Then, you should bring sunblock and a hat. And, as usual, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes! Save those high heels for the nightclubs or fancy restaurants of New York.

What Is There to See & How Long Does it Take?

Most people spend a couple of hours touring the Empire State Building. However, you should usually add an average of 45 minutes to an hour to that for wait times. Besides the panoramic views of New York City as well as several New York City boroughs from Queens the Bronx and Brooklyn to across the river and the Jersey side, there are numerous observatories, exhibits, and other sites, including the Kong Exhibit that the kids will just love if they’re with you. And, you can get binoculars and find the restrooms on the 86th floor plus the gift shop is located on the 80th floor. Step out onto the most famous open-air observatory in New York on the 86th floor and enjoy the 360° views of NYC, which includes Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the majestic Statue of Liberty.

How Much it Costs

You can get tickets to the 86th-floor observation deck or pay extra and go all the way up to the 102nd floor. The former runs $44 for adults, $38 for kids, and $42 for seniors. The latter will cost you $77 for adults, $71 for kids, and $75 for seniors.

Food

You’ll find quality food and local ingredients at the Empire State Building when you get hungry. There are several places to eat, including the State Grill & Bar for modern New York breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There’s also Tacombi for great scratch-made tacos and margaritas, And, you can quickly refuel with some fast food from Sushi-teria to Chipotle, and more.

Gift Shop

You can take a memorable piece of NYC home with you from the gift shop where you’ll find everything from t-shirts to building memorabilia, and even King Kong merchandise. You’ll also find all kinds of things for you to purchase from keychains to apparel, jewelry, toys & games, Christmas ornaments, and even Empire State Building Exclusive Art.

Parking

Nearby Parking Options include 8 E 33rd Street @325 5th Avenue Valet Garage, the 67 West 36th Street @ 990 6th Avenue Valet Garage, 53 East 33rd Sreet @ 4 Park Avenue parking garage, and the 106 W 30th Street Valet Garage. Any parking close to the Empire State Building will run you between $5 and $20 per day.

Best Times To Visit The Empire State Building article published on BigCityReview.com© 2022

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