Located toward the centre of the Big Apple, the Empire State Building is one of New York’s iconic landmarks and offers a fantastic view of the bustling metropolis. Travellers can pick out other famous sights such as Central Park from the Main Deck on the 86th floor outdoor promenade. Or enjoy the old-timey plushness of the art deco lobby and learn more about the building’s past and present in the various exhibits on offer, including the Dare to Dream exhibit on the 80th floor.
The lights on the outside of the Empire State Building are programmed to celebrate various holidays or events, such as Valentine’s Day and Easter. Travellers wanting to recreate a favourite movie moment might want to check out the building’s lighting schedule and time their visits accordingly.
- Terry McKay, An Affair to Remember
Unique Things to See and Do in the Empire State Building
- Gaze out over the City that Never Sleeps using your own eyes or coin-operated binoculars
- Enjoy the ride up to the Main Deck on the 86th floor with liveried staff in attendance
- Recreate your favourite movie scenes: King Kong, Spider-Man, take your pick
- Learn more about the building’s history, including the race to be the tallest building in the world
The Empire State Building in the Movies
The Empire State Building has a long history with Hollywood – it’s been the scene for several blockbusters and has reportedly been featured in more than 250 movies.
It’s probably best known for films such as King Kong, An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle, with some tours even reminding people not to leave backpacks, yellow or otherwise, lying around. To mark the 50th anniversary of King Kong in 1983, an 82-foot inflatable ape was reportedly attached to the side of the building,
Other movies the building has appeared in include The Amazing Spider-Man, Hancock and being destroyed in Independence Day.
And it’s not just the movies – the Empire State Building has appeared in literature too, from H.G.Wells to Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, when the floating fruit becomes firmly affixed atop the building’s spire.
Getting to the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is close to both bus lines and the subway, with the 34th Street – Herald Square Station probably your closest bet. If you’re taking a walking tour of the central city, just stroll on up to the building. For those not too worried about the expense, you can grab a cab.
There are parking garages nearby, but travellers will need to factor in the expense and traffic.
The Empire State Building website has a helpful timer which shows the average time to get from buying a ticket through security, the exhibits and up to the Main Deck, and the site suggests visiting in the early morning to skip the crowds. Be warned: entrance is not cheap and the staff don’t take too kindly to people loitering while trying to decide whether to purchase a ticket or not!
Did you know…?
The Empire State Building was apparently the tallest building in the world for 41 years, until 1972.
Did you ALSO know…?
There are actually offices located in the floors between the exhibits and viewing decks of the 102-storey Empire State Building.
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