The best places to buy Empire State Building tickets – and money saving tricks

July 15, 2020

Are you wondering where to buy Empire State Building tickets? This blog post will give you all the best ticket options, and the prices.

So you’re visiting NYC, and you want tick off all the tourist attractions! Of course you do – there’s so much to see in NYC! The Empire State Building is one of the top options for tourists in NYC, and it’s no surprise.

the top places to buy Empire State Building tickets

This iconic building is in the heart of midtown and offers some pretty incredible views of the city. But buy Empire State Building tickets can be a little confusing…

  • Which website is the most reliable?
  • Which website offers the best value?
  • Can you buy ticket bundles for other attractions?
  • Do I have to book a time slot?

These might be some of the questions running through your head when booking Empire State Building tickets. Hopefully I’ll be able to answer these questions here, so you can buy your Empire State Building tickets with peace of mind, and just enjoy being in NYC!


Top tip for Empire State Building tickets…


Always book tickets in advance if you can! There are often limited spaces available (especially during peak hours) so make sure you get your Empire State Building tickets booked ahead of time.

Now onto the tickets – in my opinion, these are the best Empire State Building tickets available to buy and give you that Empire State Building experience!

Empire State Building tickets

Empire State Building general tickets


Ticket price: $45 (prices can vary slightly over time)

Click here to buy general admission Empire State Building tickets

The first Empire State Building tickets on my list, are the general tickets. These will include admission to the observation deck, but don’t include any ‘extras’ such as skip-the-line priorities.

These are a good option for sight-seeing if you’ve got plenty of time, and don’t mind queuing or waiting in line. If you plan on visiting during peak-times though, I would recommend booking a skip-the-line ticket, which you’ll find info on below.

buy Empire State Building tickets

Empire State Building skip-the-line tickets


Ticket price: $85 (prices can vary slightly over time)

Click here to buy skip-the-line Empire State Building tickets

If you’ve been to NYC, you’ll know what the Empire State Building tickets queue can look like on busy days. Sometime it winds around the entire block! If you hate queueing, and you’d rather just get up and enjoy the views, then booking a skip-the-line ticket is probably worth the extra money for you.

This express Empire State Building ticket, lets you skip all of the lines including security, ticket, and elevator lines up and down… Which is pretty amazing.

the best places to buy Empire State Building tickets

Empire State Building: AM/PM experience tickets


Ticket price: $66 (prices can vary slightly over time)

Click here to buy Empire State AM/PM tickets

Next up on my list of Empire State Building tickets, it’s the AM/PM ticket option! I actually love this option because it offers a bit of variety. If you consider yourself a bit of a photographer and you want to capture some beautiful photos of the NYC skyline during the day and during the night, then this ticket option is going to be PERFECT for you!

The idea behind this little ticket bundle is that you can take in the whole Empire State Building Experience during the day, and again that same night (after 9 or 10 PM). It’s great because you get to see the view at two different time – and trust me, it’s so different, so it’s definitely worth doing!

empire state tickets AM PM

New York Pass: Access to Over 100 Attractions & Tours


Ticket price: $129 (price might vary slightly over time)

Click here to buy a New York Pass

This is (in my opinion) the best ‘bundle’ tour option. With the New York Pass, you pay one ticket price for the New York Pass (which is around the $129 price point) and that then gives you access to all the attractions on their inclusive list. It’s great really, because you pay once, and then don’t need to worry about paying for more tickets afterwards. You can read my personal review of the New York Pass by clicking here.

Another great thing about the New York Pass, is that the more you do, the more money you save. So the more attractions and sightseeing you can cram into your day, the money you’ll have saved by buying the New York Pass. Below is just a few of the included attractions:

  • Empire State Building
  • Big Bus Tours: 1-day Classic Tour
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Madame Tussauds New York
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • MoMA – Museum of Modern Art
  • Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum
  • Unlimited Biking: Central Park Bike Rental
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • New York Water Taxi: All Day Access
  • Madison Square Garden All Access Tour
  • Rockefeller Center Tour
  • The RIDE

Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, and Empire State Building VIP tickets


Ticket price: $180 (price may vary with time)

Click here to book the Empire State Building VIP tour

This tour is all about jam-packing your day full of all the best observation decks and NYC attractions, and feeling like a VIP for the day. This special VIP tour of NYC offers express skip-the-line access to NYC’s best landmarks, so it’s a pretty epic way to see the city and enjoy some of the best views in the city.

This little VIP tour of the city includes…

  • The Edge Outdoor Observation Deck or The Empire State Building entrance (depending on option chosen)
  • VIP Statue of Liberty Reserve Access (if option chosen)
  • 9 Language Audio Guide at Statue of Liberty
  • 9 Language Audio Guide at Ellis Island
  • Bryant Park
  • NY Public Library
  • 5th Avenue
  • Battery Park
  • NYC Subway Ride
  • Ground Zero
  • 9/11 Memorial Pools
  • Freedom Tower View
  • Wall Street
best places to buy Empire State Building tickets

New York City Explorer Pass (which include Empire State Building tickets)


Ticket price: around $65 and up (prices can vary slightly depending on the ticket you buy)

Click here to buy a New York City Explorer Pass

Next on my list of Empire State Building tickets options, it’s the New York City Explorer Pass. This is a multi-attraction pass that can include (within it’s list of access tickets) the Empire State Building. The New York City Explorer Pass is like a bulk-ticket. You can buy a pass for 2, up to 10 attractions, and there are 85 choices of paid attractions you can choose.

Generally this really saves you cash, for example, if you chose a ‘3 attraction pass’ – you could choose the Empire State Building tickets within that, alongside (just as an example) the One World Observatory tickets, and the Rockefeller tickets the total value would be $131 (ish) but you’d only pay $94. I hope I explained that well!


Hopefully this list of the best places to buy Empire State tickets has been useful!

Whichever tour you opt for, you’re bound to have an amazing time visiting the empire state building in NYC. As I mentioned, one of the most important things when booking empire state building ticket is booking in advance, this helps make sure you get to tick off all the sights you’re desperate to see during your time in NYC!

If you’re visiting the big apple, I really recommend checking out some of my other blog posts – they might help you in planning your trip to NYC, and might help you figure out exactly what you want to see or do whilst you’re there!

My other NYC blog posts…

Here are some other blog posts you might fin useful. I tried to include a bit mix of topics that might be useful to you if you’re planning a trip to NYC sometime soon!

What to See in New York – The Ultimate NYC Travel Guide

25 fun things to do in NYC for couples

9 Famous Restaurants in NYC from Movies and TV Shows

11 Amazing Family Friendly Hotels in NYC

What is the best time to visit NYC? Here’s a guide month by month.

Are you looking for quirky and fun things to do in NYC?

14 amazing places to find the best cheap lunches in NYC

15 fun things to do alone in NYC

Ultimate list of the Best Outdoor Rooftop Bars in NYC With Amazing Views

8 secret places to take pictures in NYC

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