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Empire State Building Activities

Our most recommended Empire State Building Activities

NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

1. NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

Take a 60-minute boat ride to within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty. Cruise right under the Brooklyn Bridge and see the most famous skyline in the world. Your live English guide will point out the sites as you journey along the river including the Empire State Building, the new Freedom Tower, the Manhattan Bridge, Governor's Island, and more. Make use of both the indoor and outdoor seating, along with large open windows for your viewing pleasure. Get within touching distance of "Lady Liberty" and then move on to Ellis Island to take photos of the famous entry point to New York City. Marvel at the skyline of Manhattan and its famous skyscrapers, including the new One World Trade Center. Glide down both the east and west sides of Lower Manhattan on this roundtrip cruise, and purchase drinks and food from the concession stand aboard the boat. 

New York: CityPASS® to Save 40% at 5 Top Attractions

2. New York: CityPASS® to Save 40% at 5 Top Attractions

See world-class art, fascinating science, important history, and incredible views—from the sky AND the sea and save up to 40% with the New York CityPASS! New York CityPASS includes admission to: 1. The Empire State Building: With iconic views and a new museum, the Empire State Building provides breathtaking 360-degree, open-air views from the 86th-floor observatory. 2. American Museum of Natural History: Explore human cultures, the natural world, and the universe with a visit to one of the world’s most famous natural history museums. 3. Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum Top of the Rock: Experience incredible 360-degree panoramic views of New York City and beyond from interior and exterior decks on the top three floors of this legendary art deco skyscraper, 30 Rock.   Guggenheim Museum: Frank Lloyd Wright’s mid-century masterpiece of modern architecture, located alongside scenic Central Park.  See collection highlights, including works by Manet, Picasso, Van Gogh and more. 5. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: Experience the beauty and history of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum with Statue Cruises.   Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: Take in the world’s premier skyline with up-close and magnificent views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade and 101 NYC sights.   6. 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum 9/11 Memorial & Museum: Pay your respects to the victims of the 9/11 attacks at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.  Examine the history and impact of the events and learn the stories of loss and recovery within the Museum.   Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: Get an up-close look at the space shuttle Enterprise and 28 aircraft, including the world’s fastest jet.

NYC: Empire State Building Tickets & Skip-the-Line

3. NYC: Empire State Building Tickets & Skip-the-Line

Choose between a General Admission ticket to the 86th floor outdoor observation deck or a Combination Ticket with access to the newly renovated 102nd floor, showcasing floor to ceiling windows. You can also upgrade your experience with an Express Ticket. The New Empire State Building Experience not only gives you access to the legendary New York City landmark, allowing you to soar 1,054 foot (320 meters) high and enjoy magnificent 360-degree open-air views of New York City and beyond. You'll also see Grand Staircase with a two-story architectural model of the building and newly renovated interactive galleries that take you on an incredible journey from the building’s construction to its current place in pop culture. Explore the site in the 1920s, Construction, Opening Day, Modern Marvel, Otis Elevators, World’s Most Famous Building, King Kong, and Celebrity exhibits. The 80th Floor also features a range of exciting art exhibits. Be sure to see the building's iconic Art Deco Fifth Avenue lobby. The Empire State Building's 86th Floor Observation Deck is the highest 360-degree open-air observatory in New York, outfitted with heaters to keep the cold at bay. The Empire State Building is more than a spectacular view - it is the most Instagrammed landmark in the USA. Your entrance also includes a downloadable multimedia experience, available in 9 languages. This app also includes videos, image galleries, quizzes, and maps showing nearby points of interest. Be sure to see the building's iconic Art Deco Fifth Avenue lobby as you exit this remarkable building.

New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

4. New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

Go City offers a selection of over 90 must-see NYC attractions, museums, and tours for one low pre-paid price. Get great savings compared to buying separate attraction tickets, and see New York's most popular attractions with one easy-to-use digital pass. Options include the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry, 9/11 Museum and Memorial, Empire State Building, Edge, MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, and many more. Pick between a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10-choice pass, browse the included digital guide to check entry requirements for each attraction, and plan your itinerary. Scanning your pass at the gate or ticket office of an attraction (or tour) for the first time will activate it. You can then take up to 60 days to use the remaining number of choices purchased. Your Explorer Pass also features special perks including gift shop discounts or a free audio guide at selected attractions, helping you make the most of your New York trip and save even more along the way. The New York attractions you can choose include:  Museums and Galleries • American Museum of Natural History • 9/11 Memorial and Museum • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) • Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and Space Shuttle • Guggenheim Museum • The Whitney Museum of American Art • Fotografiska New York • Museum of Sex • Museum of the City of New York • New York Botanical Garden • Brooklyn Museum and Botanical Garden Combo Experiences • Empire State Building • Top of the Rock • One World Observatory • Edge • Central Park Bike Rental • Rise NY • 9/11 Museum Workshop: Hands-on 9/11 Tour • SPYSCAPE • Escape Virtuality • Luna Park at Coney Island • Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience • Madame Tussauds + Marvel Universe 4D • Harlem Jazz Series • Harlem Bike Rental • The Beast Speedboat Ride (seasonal) • Clipper City Tall Ship: Daytime or Sunset Statue Sail (seasonal) • Surrey Bike Rental Governors Island • SEA Life Aquarium New Jersey • LEGOLAND Discovery Center New Jersey Tours & Cruises • Rockefeller Center Tour • Big Bus New York Hop-on Hop-off: 1-Day Classic Tour • Best of NYC Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry • Harbor Lights Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing • NYC Landmarks Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing • Liberty Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing • Central Park Bike Tour • Madison Square Garden All Access Tour • Radio City Stage Door Tour • Greenwhich Village at Night Walking Tour • NYC Slavery & Underground Railroad Walking Tour • Hamilton Tour • St Patrick's Cathedral Tour with Express Entry • Graffiti and Street Art Tour Walking Tour of Brooklyn • Secrets of the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Walking Tour • NYC Bus Tour of Bronx, Brooklyn & Queens • Holiday Markets & Christmas Lights Walking Tour (seasonal) • Soho - Little Italy - Chinatown Walking Tour • Broadway & Times Square Walking Tour • Central Park TV & Movies Walking Tour • Yankee Stadium Tour • How Money was Made - Wall Street Walking Tour • Catacombs by Candlelight • Pride Walking Tour • NYC TV & Movie Bus Tour • Top of the Highline and Hudson Yards Tour Food and Drinks • Food on Foot Tours • Perfect Picnic • Tastes of the Lower East Side Walking Tour • Spirits on Foot - Beer, Spirits & Wine Crawl Attractions and tours are subject to change and some may require advanced reservations. Please check the included digital guide for an up-to-date list of included experiences, and follow the instructions to place reservations well in advance where needed, as well as follow top tips to ensure the best sightseeing experience with your Explorer Pass.

New York City: Manhattan Helicopter Tour

5. New York City: Manhattan Helicopter Tour

Manhattan brings to mind grand skyscrapers, taxi cabs, and a world-class attitude all of its own. See all this and more as an expert pilot flies you over NYC on a 15 or 20-minute helicopter tour. Soar over the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Madison Square Garden, among other landmarks. After take-off from the Downtown Heliport, swing down over lower Manhattan to see the skyline and streets below. Swoop over Battery Park to glance at Wall Street and its labyrinth of streets. Then sail over to Governor's Island, an island once reserved only for the city's dignitaries that now hosts summer concerts and public art. Then, fly over Ellis Island and see Lady Liberty shining brightly in the distance. Cruise right up to her eye for a new perspective of the Statue of Liberty. Enjoy all this before heading up the Hudson past the piers of Chelsea and the lights of Broadway. On your way back to the pier, head around the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and fly over Ground Zero where you can have a look at the exceptional work they're doing at the sight. Continue past Madison Square Garden and the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. See Central Park as your flight turns around to return to the heliport. Sights included in the 15-Minute tour: Statue of LibertyEllis IslandOne World Trade Center9/11 MemorialBrooklyn BridgeBattery ParkWall Street/Financial DistrictEmpire State BuildingChrysler BuildingMadison Square GardenTimes SquareU.S.S. Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space MuseumCentral Park Sights included in the 20-Minute tour: Brooklyn BridgeBattery ParkWall StreetStatue of LibertyEllis IslandOne World Trade Center9/11 Memorial SiteEmpire State BuildingChrysler BuildingMadison Square GardenU.S.S. Intrepid MuseumTimes SquareCentral ParkGrant’s TombGeorge Washington BridgeHarlem and Harlem RiverThe Bronx and Yankee StadiumPalisades CliffsSpuyten Duyvil Bridge

NYC: Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

6. NYC: Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

Experience New York at sunset on a cruise of the harbor, and take in all the sights and lights of Manhattan aboard a climate-controlled boat. Grab your friends, family, and coworkers - or even a random stranger - and embark on an unforgettable journey of the harbor with "Lady Liberty" keeping watch. With a drink in your hand, purchased from the fully stocked bar, feel the breeze on your face and be mesmerized by the shimmering skyline. Get endless photo opportunities to make you an Instagram star as you sail past legendary attractions such as the Statue of Liberty and get perfect views of the Freedom Tower - One World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Pier 54 (Titanic Pier), Battery Park, and more. See where millions of immigrants were processed when they arrived in America at Ellis Island, cruise past Governors Island, the South Street Seaport, and Brooklyn Bridge. Marvel at unrivaled views of the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, and Chrysler Building, and discover the East Village, United Nations Building, and USS Intrepid Pier from a different perspective. 

New York: The New York Pass with 100+ Attractions and Tours

7. New York: The New York Pass with 100+ Attractions and Tours

Use The New York Pass on your phone for cash-free entry to over 100 New York City tourist attractions. See the best that the Big Apple has to offer with access to any of the attractions and experiences covered. Activate your pass at the first attraction or tour you go to. Once activated, your pass records when and where you first used it and how long it will remain valid for. Your New York Pass is then valid for the number of consecutive days that you've purchased. Activities include: Popular Experiences • Empire State Building • Big Bus Tours: 1-day Classic Tour • Top of the Rock Observation Deck • 9/11 Memorial & Museum • Edge (Hudson Yards) • One World Observatory • Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Immigration Museum • Circle Line: Best of New York Cruise • Madame Tussauds New York • Central Park Bike Rental by Unlimited Biking • Guggenheim Museum Museums & Galleries • American Museum of Natural History • MoMA - Museum of Modern Art • Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum • Museum of Sex • Whitney Museum of American Art • Fotografiska New York • Museum of the City of New York • New York Historical Society • Museum of Arts and Design • Museum of Jewish Heritage • Skyscraper Museum • Fraunces Tavern Museum • New York Hall of Science • Brooklyn Museum of Art • Museum at Eldridge Street • International Center of Photography • MOMA PS 1 • Staten Island Museum • Paley Center for Media • Museum of Chinese in America • Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum Family-friendly • Central Park Bike Tour by Unlimited Biking • 9/11 Museum Workshop: Hands-On 9/11 Tour • Marvel & DC Superheroes Walking Tour • Yankee Stadium Tour • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Westchester • Staten Island Zoo • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center New Jersey • Staten Island Children’s Museum • Bike Rentals Hidden Gems • New York Botanical Garden • Catacombs by Candlelight Tour • Harlem Jazz Series – Tuesday and Friday • New Museum • El Museo del Barrio • Cathedral of St. John the Divine • Snug Harbor Botanical Garden- Staten Island • Brooklyn Botanical Garden Tours & Cruises • Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour • Rockefeller Center Tour • The Official Chinatown Walking Tour • How Money Was Made: Wall Street Walking Tour • Circle Line: Harbor Lights Cruise • Circle Line: Landmark Cruise • Manhattan by Sail: Clipper City Tall Ships Cruise (seasonal) • The Official Little Italy Walking Tour • Hamilton Tour • Colonial New York Retold Walking Tour • New York City News Media Tour • Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO Neighborhood Walking Tour • Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tours Attractions and tours are subject to change. Check the digital guide for an up-to-date attraction line-up including opening times and instructions on how to access each attraction before you go. Some tours and attractions require advance reservations.

NYC: Luxury Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Harbor Cruise

8. NYC: Luxury Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Harbor Cruise

Embark on a sightseeing cruise from Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers. Enjoy stunning views of the NYC skyline with a 180-degree sightseeing experience from a boat that is all-glass and includes curved ceilings and walls. Hop aboard the boat at Chelsea Piers and being your sightseeing adventure. Sail along the Hudson and East rivers, admiring the Manhattan skyline. Spot Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building. Get up-close views of the iconic Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Capture pictures of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Gaze out from one of the open-air decks for unobstructed views. Relax in the elegant atmosphere and take advantage of the attentive service as you dine on a brunch, lunch, or dinner prepared by the chef. Listen to a variety of tunes throughout the cruise played by a skilled pianist. Hear fascinating facts about New York’s famous attractions. Dance to piano melodies that include jazz, blues, and Broadway hits. On the dinner cruise, enjoy the added entertainment featuring an acoustic trio of a baby grand piano, upright bass, and jazz guitar. For brunch, enjoy bottomless mimosas while taking in the spectacular views. Sample Bottomless Brunch Menu - Early Risers: Seasonal Fruit, Breakfast Pastries, Scottish Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Eggs, Breakfast Meats, Breakfast Potatoes, or Cinnamon French Toast Casserole - Late Risers: Organic Mixed Field Greens, Baby Romaine & Spinach Caesar, Roasted Broccoli Florets, Baked Ziti Pasta, Roasted Salmon Provençale, Maple & Mustard Glazed Chicken, or Hand Carved Strip Loin, USDA Choice - Desserts: Bateaux Signature Dessert Station Sample Plated Lunch Menu - First Course: Baby Romaine & Spinach Caesar - Entrée: Maple & Mustard Glazed Chicken Breast - Dessert: New York Style Cheesecake Sample Plated Dinner Menu - First Course: Baby Romaine & Spinach Caesar, Lobster Bisque, Togarashi Tuna Tartare, or Duck Pate De Foie Gras (available for additional price) - Main Course: Forest Mushroom Ravioli, Herb Roasted Shrimp, Maple & Mustard Glazed Chicken Breast, Braised Beef Short Rib, Pan-Seared Atlantic Cod, American Wagyu Striploin (available for additional price), or Broiled Maine Lobster Tails (available for additional price) - Dessert: New York Style Cheesecake, Humbolt Fog & Belletoile Triple Cream Brie Cheeses, Bateaux Signature Warm Butter Cake, Valrhona Chocolate Mousse, Freshly Cut Fruit & Fresh Strawberries, or French Macarons (available for additional price)

New York City: Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Buffet River Cruise

9. New York City: Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Buffet River Cruise

See the sights of New York City from onboard the 'Spirit of New York' ship and cruise on the Hudson River. Enjoy an al-fresco buffet dining experience while savoring views of the Manhattan skyline Board the vessel at Chelsea Piers and be welcomed on board. Take a picture that you can purchase later as a souvenir. Be seated at a private table and marvel at iconic views of the city from the water. Have a brunch, lunch, or dinner buffet consisting of creative meals that are prepared fresh daily. While you feast, listen to tunes by an onboard DJ. Marvel at unobstructed views of the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. Sample Brunch Menu: Early Riser • Breakfast pastries • Scrambled eggs • Breakfast meats • Breakfast potatoes Late Riser • Field green salad • Kale quinoa salad • Green goddess pasta salad • Honey sesame chicken • Oven-roasted whitefish • Root vegetable fricassee • Roasted broccoli Dessert • Cakes• Brownies• Seasonal fruit Sample Lunch/Dinner Buffet Menu: Salads • Organic mixed field greens • Organic spinach and kale salad • Green bean salad • Kidney bean, black bean, and chickpea salad • Red beetroot salad • Bow tie pasta salad • Vegetables, potatoes, and pasta • Roasted broccoli florets • Creamed corn and cheddar cheese casserole • Baked ziti pasta • Mashed potatoes Entrees • Oven-baked Atlantic flounder filet • Honey and sesame chicken • Italian beef meatballs • Braised beef short ribs (dinner only) Desserts • Seasonal fruit • Raspberry mousse • Lemon pound cake and fresh strawberries • Coconut vanilla cake • Carrot cake • Red velvet and chocolate chip brownie (dinner only)

New York City: Private Helicopter Tour for Couples

10. New York City: Private Helicopter Tour for Couples

Avoid the traffic and take in spectacular views for two passengers on a scenic helicopter flight over Manhattan. Tours depart from and arrive at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, located just outside NYC and easily accessible by public transit (Metro-North rail) and by car (free parking). Alternatively, opt to include roundtrip transfers from anywhere in Manhattan. Upon arrival at the airport, begin with a safety briefing before boarding the helicopter. Take off and enjoy stunning aerial views of Central Park, Yankee Stadium, the iconic Manhattan skyline, the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, and the East River bridges. Gaze down at the incredible sights from the air, knowing that there truly is no other place in the world like New York City.

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Frequently asked questions about Empire State Building

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How can I visit Empire State Building?

Possible ways to visit the Empire State Building:

To enter Empire State Building, you need to have a ticket or be part of a guided tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Empire State Building

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What people are saying about Empire State Building

Even on a cloudy day the view is still incredible! So worth the money, not just a standard observatory there’s an exciting build up to the view and lots of interesting information about the building. Would absolutely recommend!

I have never liked anything so much... spectacular... the employees are very friendly, everything is very well organized and punctual... 100% recommended

Absolutely brilliant well worth the money. Best views of New York

Absolutely amazing and heartbreaking!!! Loving it! Thanks

Express skip the line was absolutely worth the money.