Empire State Building Observation Deck View

The Empire State Building is one of the most iconic attractions that draws visitors flying around the world to step into this fascinating tower.

Being the tallest building in the world at one point, gives visitors another reason to visit this attraction.

The ESB has amazing views to offer from its two magnificent observation decks.

It has two observation decks on the 86th and the 102nd floor which offer breathtaking views.

Standing on any of the two decks, you can look down and witness the vastness and depth of the city and its architecture.

You will discover that the city houses everything.

Ranging from neighborhoods with smaller houses to pointed skyscrapers, which probably won’t overwhelm you at this height.

But are the views from the observation decks worth visiting this building?  

Which one is the better deck of the Empire State Building 86th floor vs 102 floor? And where do I get the tickets to the Empire State Building observation deck?

Don’t worry, we will share everything you need to know about the views from the New York ESB observation decks.

View from the Empire State Building’s 86th Floor Observation Deck

Known as the Main Deck, it’s the more popular and cheaper of the two. As a matter of fact, it’s been the setting of numerous films and television scenes. 

And why shouldn’t it be? The open air environment with the breeze and scenic atmosphere make it one of the most romantic places to be at.

What makes it better? The views.

The sights you see atop 86 floors at 1,050 feet high is one of the best experiences you can have in life.

We’ll elaborate on the beautiful views and sights you get to see at this brilliantly designed observation deck.

The open-air observation deck provides a 360-degree view of everything visible around the building. 

You can view all parts of the Big Apple – Brooklyn Bridge, Queens, the Bronx. Name it and you’ll see it!

You can visually experience the sprawling expanse of New York City by looking from so far above. 

If you’re lucky, on a bright clear day your eyes can see even further. 

Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey all will be visible within your eyesight range! 

However, there are fences and criss-cross wiring at the deck for visitor’s safety.

This might block your view and even slightly hamper your experience, but the gusting winds and breeze make it worth it!

Are you unable to wait to get a load of the exciting views from the 86th floor observation deck? 

Get the Express Entry ticket and skip all lines to reach faster to the observation deck!

If you aren’t in a hurry, but would like a cost-effective admission to the observation decks, buy the Regular Admission ticket.

Escape the hassle with the Regular Admission ticket and enjoy all the views at a much cheaper price!

View from the 102nd Floor Observation Deck

Getting a view from so high above might still not satisfy some. 

The wires and cold breezes might not be to your liking.

If that is the case with you, then you can always upgrade to the 102nd floor observatory deck, which is even higher. 

102 floor, at 1,250 feet above New York City, this is one of the most unforgettable experiences the Empire State Building offers.

Unlike the Main deck, this observatory (also called Top Deck) is closed with floor-to-ceiling windows fitted on all sides.

Such an arrangement is there to protect visitors from strong winds at that height as well as the temperature.

If it was so windy at the 86th floor, imagine how windy it must be at the top!

But the question remains, what’s the difference in the views from the 86th floor? 

Well, at this height, your view is not just limited to the city itself but spans 80 miles (120 KM) further. 

Witness the most iconic attractions of the city, like the Statue of Liberty from an unbelievable height. 

Looking at the city at miniature size, would make for an image that you won’t be able to remove from your head easily. 

If lucky, you might even get to see helicopters and airplanes flying around, and they won’t look so far from atop 1,250 feet.

Are you still wondering whether the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building is worth it? The answer is yes!

It is safe to say that for anyone visiting New York City, the trip isn’t complete until you’ve experienced the sights this observation deck has on offer!


We know what you are thinking. Can’t choose which observation deck to go for?

After all, both are fascinating in their own ways and give different experiences. 

Then have them BOTH!

Buy the 86 & 102 Floor ticket and gain cost-effective access to not only both the decks but also the amazing Empire State Building exhibits!

Quit the confusion and get the best of both!

But we are wondering, why just stop at the observation decks of the ESB when you can experience so much more?

Why just visit the New York ESB when you can ALSO visit the Top of the Rock observatory AND the One World Observatory?

Yes, you can visit all the great observatories in all of New York with the Go City Explorer Pass!

Not only that you also get to visit 95+ great attractions and tourist destinations across the ENTIRE city!

Plus, you can do all this at a very affordable discounted price!

Buy the New York Go City Explorer Pass now and experience all of New York comfortably for 2 months.

Best time to visit for a good view from the top

You must have understood by now, that a bright, clear and sunny day is the best way to make the most of the sights and views the observation decks have to offer.

Foggy or rainy weather can seriously disappoint you and ruin your experience. 

We recommend checking the weather and planning accordingly for your trips.

One of the biggest hassles for people that stops them from getting a fulfilling experience at these attractions is the overwhelming crowd. 

Now, let’s be clear, the Empire State Building is an ICONIC tourist destination. 

It is visited by over 4 million people every year. 

With so much crowd, it will naturally be difficult to get a clear and comfortable view with enough time to bask your eyes in New York’s stunning landscape. 

This is why we recommend visiting the decks early in the morning when there is a probability of a smaller crowd.

This would give you more space and freedom to explore and do sightseeing without worrying about breathing space!

Visit the New York ESB as soon as the sun rises! Get a completely unique experience by visiting the Observation decks and watching the sun awaken the whole city!

Moreover, do this exclusively and much before the general public comes crowding in the observation decks! Buy a Sunrise Experience ticket to the Empire State Building observation deck!

Although, some people are made for the night. The day views might just not do it for them. 

Are you also a night person? Would you rather see New York’s amazing skyline during the night time? 

Then check out our guide on the Empire State Building at night!

A ticket is available to visit the Empire State Building BOTH IN THE DAY AND IN THE NIGHT, that too at a cheaper price!

Get the best of both timings with this ticket! Buy the ticket here!

Featured Image: 6sqft.com

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