I will be in New York City this summer and of course I want to go on top of the Empire State Building. But as I discovered, there are several ticket categories (VIP, VIP Express, Standard) with each being more pricy than the other. Which ticket will get me to the Top the fastest?

  • 8
    If you want a great view of NYC, you might consider not climbing the Empire State Building, but instead climbing Rockafeller Center, so you can see the Empire State Building. I have only climbed Rockafeller Center, though, so I cannot offer a comparison of the two.
    – Flimzy
    May 29, 2013 at 7:04
  • How to climb the empire state building. In reasonable time.
    – Coxer
    May 29, 2013 at 11:03

1 Answer 1


I am not sure where you have found the types of tickets you have listed but the official site lists 4 different ones.

  • Main Deck - 86th Floor general admission (lines and all)
  • Main Deck Express - 86th Floor and you bypass the general admission line.
  • Main Deck + Top Deck - 86th Floor + 102nd Floor observation decks in general admission line
  • Main Deck + Top Deck Express - same as above with preferential treatment for the elevators.

You can also get NY City Pass which will get you Main Deck Ticket included in it.

But as @Flimzy pointed in the comment the Top of the Rock is a better observation deck to visit because it doesn't have fence around the deck like the Empire State building.

  • 1
    I've just got back from a trip to NY, and I did Top of the Rock during daylight, and the Empire State at night. The combination worked really well as the city is impressive at both times.
    – Phil
    May 29, 2013 at 17:06
  • @Phil Personally I'm waiting to see what Freedom Tower would show. I miss the roof deck of WTC 2. :(
    – Karlson
    May 29, 2013 at 18:39
  • @Karlson I just looked up the Freedom Tower, I think it will set new standards :)
    – Coxer
    May 29, 2013 at 20:07
  • @Karlson that does look impressive
    – Phil
    May 30, 2013 at 9:26

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