The Empire State Building is an icon of New York City and the views of the skyline from its observation deck are breathtaking. Before you get your tickets to the Empire State Building, I recommend you take a look at this post to find out the best time to go up to the observation deck of the skyscraper and marvel at the views of the Big Apple.
The experience can change depending on the time of day, the date or the seasonal weather, among other things. So consider the following!
When is the best time to visit the Empire State Building?
The best time to climb the Empire State Statue is first thing in the morning, because you can start your day by taking the pulse of the city as you wake up and see its liveliest side. Also, given the large number of visitors at the Empire State Observation Deck, the early morning will allow you to enjoy the views without the crowds.
Seeing New York in all its immensity as you watch the first rays of the morning sun light up the facades of the skyscrapers and the bustle of the crowds gradually spread through the streets is a unique and unforgettable experience.
Once you've seen the city from a bird's eye view, you'll want to do it all over again. The views from the Empire State Building are fabulous, but if you have more time to spare, I recommend going to the observation decks of other skyscrapers in New York for a more complete experience. For example, from the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center you'll see the silhouette of the Empire State Building in all its splendour.
Why is it a good idea to climb the Empire State Building at night?
At nightfall the cityscape from the observation deck of the Empire State Building is fascinating and a very romantic occasion to visit the skyscraper as a couple. When you buy your ticket to the Empire State you will have to choose a day, on which you will be able to enter the Empire State at the time you choose.
It opens its doors until 2 AM, so you have plenty of time to do other activities during the day and save the cherry on top for the end of the day. You won't be able to take your eyes off the little lights that adorn every corner of the city and seem to emulate the stars in the sky. It is a truly magical moment and the finishing touch to a perfect day.
If you want to know more about how to visit this emblematic monument at night, I recommend you read the post The Empire State Building at night.
When is the best time to go up and avoid the crowds?
If you don't like crowds while sightseeing, the best time to avoid the crowds and queues when visiting the Empire State Building is early in the morning around 8am, when it's almost uncrowded and you'll enjoy an almost private experience.
The Empire State Building is open until 2 AM. After 1am on weekdays there are hardly any visitors, so if you're a night owl you'll enjoy the experience virtually alone and can enjoy taking pictures. On the other hand, weekends are likely to be more crowded.
What is the best time of year to climb the Empire State Building?
The best time to visit the Empire State Building's outdoor observation deck on the 86th floor is when the weather is good in New York, i.e. summer and autumn as there is less risk of rain compared to the other seasons. In addition, the days tend to be sunny and there are more hours of daylight for great photo opportunities.
However, if you are travelling to New York in winter when temperatures are low and the wind can blow, don't worry, you can also enjoy the beautiful views of New York from the glass observation deck on the 102nd floor. At this height, on clear days, the views can reach up to 128 kilometres. Mind-blowing, isn't it?
Anyway, if you want to go up to the Empire State Building observation deck, here's a trick: don't get your tickets too far in advance and wait until 7 or 15 days before your trip to New York. This will make it easier for you to check the weather in the city and choose a sunny day to do this activity.
Best time of day to go to the Empire State with kids
If you are going to visit the Empire State Building as a family, the best time of day to go with the kids is early in the morning as they wake up with their batteries charged and are more active to make plans compared to the afternoon, when they might feel more tired after a day out doing activities.
Another advantage of getting up early to go up this skyscraper as a family is that you can avoid the crowds and queues that form in the afternoon, which could make children lose their patience. Also, with fewer people around, it's easier to keep an eye on them so they don't get lost.
Another tip I can give you is to consider the best restaurants to eat near the Empire State Building, especially if you are going up in the middle of the day with the kids and want to plan the rest of the day.
The best time to take cool pictures from the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is one of the most famous features of the New York skyline. Enjoying the fabulous panoramic views of the Big Apple from its observation decks is an out-of-this-world sensation that you'll want to capture with your camera at all costs.
If photography is not your forte, the morning light will be your best ally in taking beautiful pictures of your visit and the sites that have made the city famous because it will help you avoid having problems with out-of-focus images. Plus, if you use an APP on your phone to optimise the result, you're sure to get some great photos.
The best panoramic views from the Empire State Building
- Statue of Liberty
- Times Square
- One World Trade Center
- Chrysler Building
- Rockefeller Center
- Fifth Avenue
- Flatiron Building
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Bryant Park
Sunset can also be a fantastic time to immortalise the New York skyline as you can capture the beautiful play of pink and orange light that tints the sky blue as the sun goes down.
If you choose to visit the Empire State Building at night, my advice is to increase the ISO to 400, activate the HDR mode on your camera and use the shutter release to avoid blurred images.
The best dates to go up the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is open every day of the year, even on holidays. However, there are certain days when a visit to the observation deck can be even more special. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a guitarist provides a musical accompaniment on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings between 7 PM and 10 PM.
Independence Day (4th of July) is another great time to climb the Empire State Building and watch the fireworks over the 86th floor observatory. It's an amazing experience!
Another unique time to climb the Empire State Building is during Valentine's Day. The spectacular views of New York can only get better when you're in the best company, don't you think?