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Empire State Building

The building that defined an epoch, it stood as the world's tallest for over 40 years.

TravelCurious Tip

Head to the 86th floor observation deck between 9pm and 1am Thursday to Saturday for some live saxophone to accompany the view

The Empire State Building is an American cultural icon. With its distinctive Art Deco style, it has been labeled one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. And they weren’t simply biased: it truly is an extraordinary building.


It was built in just 410 days, using seven million hours of labour during the Great Depression. The building officially opened in 1931 in dramatic fashion, when President Herbert Hoover switched on the building’s lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. Coming in at 443m high with its antenna, it stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years.


Now you can enjoy the view from rather safer environments on the 86th and 102nd floors. Sunset in particular is spectacular, as the natural light fades and the infinite squares of artificial light flicker on in the skyscrapers of the city that never sleeps.


The Most Beautiful Suicide

The observation decks have seen their share of tragedy too. Most famously, on May 1st, 1947, Evelyn McHale jumped to her death from the 86th floor observation deck, landing on a parked limousine. Photography student Robert Wiles took a photo of McHale’s body, which lies strangely serene, the rumpled hood of the car like slept-in bed sheets. Often referred to as “The Most Beautiful Suicide”, the image was later used by Andy Warhol.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in New York
New York City Public Library
This magnificent building holds a collection of over 50 million volumes.
Bryant Park
A green oasis amongst skyscrapers and the hubbub of city life, popular with city workers taking a break.
Grand Central Station
One of the USA's most famous landmarks, this historic transport hub made New York what it is today.
Chrysler Building
A stunning Art Deco pinnacle, the Chrysler was the world's tallest building when it opened in 1930.
Broadway
There's a show for everyone in the world's premier theatre district.
Hotel Chelsea
A historic hotel, home to many famous characters from the past including Jimi Hendricks and Dylan Thomas.

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of Modern Manhattan
Experience the bustle of Manhattan in this extensive trip around some of  New York City’s finest sights. Journey beyond sightseeing and discover their secrets in the company of your own professional, local guide.   

  • See some of New York's best architectural masterpieces
  • Enjoy the bustle of Times Square
  • Learn about what makes Broadway so special in the theatre world
  • Walk through the art deco Rockefeller Center
  • Step inside the beautiful St Patrick's Cathedral
  • Become absorbed in New York's famous Fifth Avenue
Monuments of New York

In this intimate tour of NYC, you will discover some of midtown Manhattan’s best known and much loved attractions. You will begin at the most iconic transportation hub in the United States— Grand Central Terminal. Catch a perfect view of the gleaming spire of the Chrysler Building, another of New York's Art Deco masterpieces, explore the New York Public Library where you will meet the giant stone lions, and enjoy Bryant Park—a lovely green oasis in the heart of Midtown. You will then continue west to the crossroads of the world —Times Square— to view the news ticker on the One Times Square Building, the NASDAQ board, and the myriad neon signs.

Bright Lights and Old School Glamour

Soaking up the bright lights, you will learn about the evolution of Broadway and how theatre  transformed Times Square into one of the most famous destinations in the world. You will have the pleasure of seeing many of the historic buildings in the area dating back to 1900, as you head towards the recently restored art deco masterpiece— Radio City Music Hall. A short walk will lead you to the Rockefeller Center, a magnificent complex of towering skyscrapers. 

As your tour continues, you will see the beautiful, gothic St Patrick's Cathedral, seat of the Archdiocese of New York. Heading north toward Central Park, you will have your chance to be part of the shopping mecca that is Fifth Avenue, abounding in old world glamour. Your tour will finish at the corner of Central Park, near the Zoo and Wollman Rink, where you will be able to explore this green oasis in the very heart of New York City. 
Private Walking Tour of Midtown Manhattan with Express Empire State Building Tickets
South of Central Park lies one of the world's most important cultural and business centers. With many of the city’s most famous sights, midtown Manhattan is one of the best places to experience the spirit of New York. On your fascinating Private Walking Tour of Manhattan, soak up its unique ambience, breathe in its frenetic pace, and seek out its unforgettable highlights. 

  • Begin your tour in the heart of New York City’s theater district. 
  • Yield to the neon-lit bustle of Times Square, NYC’s most famous intersection, a monumentally busy mecca for tourists, shoppers and protesters.
  • Admire some of Manhattan’s most beautiful Art Deco structures, like the Rockefeller building, and Lawrie’s statue of Atlas.
  • Marvel at Neo-Gothic St Patrick’s Cathedral - the city’s beacon of Catholicism since 1878.
  • Stroll glamorous, affluent Fifth Avenue to gaze at the world-famous window displays of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor. 
  • Enjoy jaw-dropping views from the top of the famous 443m Empire State Building, one of NYC’s iconic landmarks.
Conjure up images of New York City and it will be Manhattan: the ritzy, glitzy heart of the Big Apple jam-packed with big-name attractions. If there is a per-place limit on iconic landmarks, Manhattan  flouts the rules - squeezing Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Met and MoMA, Times Square’s 3,685-square-foot flashing LED screens and Broadway’s bright lights into 22.7 small square miles. 

Well known by actors and stage-junkies, New York’s dazzling Theater District has been part of Manhattan since the late 19th century and its rich history provides a glorious mix of greasepaint, star-spotting and backstage gossip. While in the bustle of Times Square, learn how it earned its name when the New York Times opened an office there and erected an electronic news ticker - “The Zipper'' - in 1928. Though the newspaper office has relocated, the area remains a media hotspot, serving as host and home to the likes of MTV and Condé Nast. Times Square is an icon, a Hollywood backdrop, and the heart of the Big Apple, and where there is proof - should you need it - that New York is the city that never sleeps. After a long stroll past New York’s Public Library, depart from your guide in front of the Empire State Building, where you will enjoy express tickets to the top of the Empire State Building to retrace your steps and gaze out upon the city that never sleeps. 
Private Walking Architectural Tour of Chelsea, Hudson Yards, and Midtown
Since its founding 400 years ago New York City has been in a constant state of construction, with  the Big Apple’s iconic skyline evolving year-by-year. On your Private Architectural Tour, you will: 

  • Visit the former Nabisco factory, now legendary Chelsea Market 
  • Walk the High Line, NYC’s transformative community-run public space 
  • See America’s largest dazzling mega-project Hudson Yards
  • Walk architecturally-rich 34th Street to see iconic landmarks
  • Marvel at the Art Decor splendor of the Empire State Building
  • Learn how visionary design of Grand Central Station reshaped NYC
A spectacular array of styles span distinct historical and cultural periods that include modern engineering masterpieces, Art Deco spires, and defining monuments to gleaming towers that earned NYC the nickname of “Skyscraper National Park.”Not all of New York City's 700,000 buildings touch the clouds, and on the fascinating Private Architectural Tour of NYC you will discover lesser-known structures too. Led by a knowledgeable guide, you will visit buildings and places that are transformative, or emblematic of an era or event in the city’s history. In each place, you will learn the backstories to the Big Apple’s pioneering architecture, the people, and the politics that made it happen.

Your first stop is Chelsea Market, formerly the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) factory, built in the 1890s but left derelict and a magnet for prostitution and criminal activity. Redevelopment was the brainchild of Irwin Cohen who opened Chelsea Market to the public in 1997. Next, walk the High Line, New York’s innovative community-operated public park built on an old elevated rail track. During this garden stroll, see first-hand an ambitious transformation of the dilapidated railway line to public space. In sharp contrast, your next stop is Hudson Yards - America’s largest private real estate development, and a super-engineered city-within-a-city. 

Finally, walk 34th Street, Manhattan’s stretch of notable buildings that include Macy's Herald Square, Javits Center, and the 102-story Art Deco Empire State Building, which was the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years. From here we will head to 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown to historic Grand Central Station, a building that provides a compelling insight into the formidable growth, and societal transformation, of one of the world’s most celebrated cities. 
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