Empire State Building 86th floor vs 102nd floor – which is better?

The Empire State Building proudly showcases the beauty of two encapsulating observatory floors that can offer the best experience of New York City and even beyond. 

Observatory decks amid Manhattan ought to bring out the most unrivaled view of the city and an embracing scene of six states. 

It takes the perfect ticket to find out the best observatory deck in the Empire State Building and if the hype of the 102nd floor is worth it.

86th Floor Observatory:

The iconic view from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building has made it the prime location of various movies and series. 

The 86th floor of the Empire State Building offers picturesque scenery, including sights of Central park, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty to the alluring skyline of NYC. 

Visitors need to note that the outdoor 360° panoramic structure could get cold despite heaters and warm clothing during winter. 

Standard and express tickets take you to the Empire State Building 86th-floor observatory.

102nd Floor Observatory

You might wonder if going a couple of feet higher in the air can bring any significant difference, but the top deck on the 102nd floor is worth the extra dollars. 

After relishing the main deck, an upgrade can take you aboard the 102nd-floor observatory

The renovated glass-covered top deck offers unobstructed scenery of 80 miles.

A difference of 200 feet (61 meters) can bring a unique perspective to your Empire State Building tour.

Spending a little extra money and upgrading to the 102nd-floor observatory will elevate your visit to completely different heights. 

Standard, Express, Sunrise, and AM/PM tickets would take you only to the 86 floor. A simple upgrade is all you need to enter the top deck. 

Empire State Building 86th floor Vs 102nd-floor observatory could be quite the debate.

Book your next trip to the ESB to find out if the 102nd floor is really worth it! 

Differences between the 86th and 102nd Floors of Empire State Building

86th floor102nd floor
Views of famous landmarksExpansive view of the city
Included with regular ESB entry ticketSeparate entry ticket required
Crowded during peak hoursFewer crowds
Outdoor open-air deckEntirely indoors
Glass-enclosed areaFloor-to-ceiling windows (360-degree views)
Lower admission priceMore expensive than the 86th floor
Shorter wait timeLonger wait time

Similarities between the 86th and 102nd Floors of Empire State Building

  • Spectacular panoramic views
  • Open daily from 8 am to 2 am
  • Souvenir shops to buy merchandise
  • Sunrise and sunset experiences
  • Elevators for transport

Buy Empire State Building 86th Floor Tickets

All of the Empire State Building tickets that you may want to buy have the 86th floor admission included.

The most basic and cheapest tickets for Empire State Building are the regular admission tickets.

The Empire State Building 86th floor tickets or regular entry tickets include the following:

  • Admission to the Empire State Building
  • Access to the 86th-floor observation deck
  • Access to the second-floor immersive exhibits
  • Downloadable interactive audio guide app

Ticket prices:

Adult ticket (13 to 61 years): $48
Senior ticket (62+ years): $46
Children ticket (6 to 12 years): $41
Infant ticket (upto 5 years): Free 

Featured Image: Esbnyc.com

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