You can’t come to the greatest city in the world and not visit this icon. But is it all its cracked up to be? Read on to see what I thought of one of the worlds most famous skyscrapers.

Stock Photo by Melanie Dretvic on Unsplash
The Empire State Building

Easily one of the most recognised buildings in the world, the Empire State Building is an absolute must-see when visiting New York. I have had the pleasure of venturing up to the top twice now. Once during the day and once at night. In the moonlight, everything looked so magical! But it was such a fantastic experience on both occasions.

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The Famous Brooklyn Bridge, lit up at night

My night visit was in 2004. I figured it would be slightly less busy in the evening, but I was dead wrong. I had to queue up for the lift for quite a while as they can only let so many people up at any one time. A picture of the Empire State Building done in Art Deco style adorns the wall by the elevators, making even the lobby area impressive. I couldn’t get over this beautiful piece of artwork. It’s incredible – don’t pass this by without taking a look.

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Top of the Empire State Building

When it was finally time to use the lift, I packed in along with everyone else, but I was only taken up about halfway, where I had to switch to another lift to be taken to the top. My stomach did about twenty somersaults as the first lift shot up at a surprisingly fast speed! I got out about 15 floors from the top, where I was advised that I would have to walk the rest of the way up! Oh, my goodness! I thought I was fit when I had to do this. I was twenty-one years old and went to the gym 3-4 times a week, but this climb absolutely killed me! I was panting by the time I finally reached the top. I decided that this was definitely my exercise done for the month, but when I looked out at the incredible views through the gift shop window, I quickly forgot about the burning pain in my legs and headed outside to take in the stunning views!

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What a way to admire New York’s incredible skyline

I loved seeing the Brooklyn Bridge lit up in the distance, as it is such an instantly recognisable landmark. Even though everything looks so small from up here, the dotted lights that illuminate the outline of the bridge in the evening, still make it look absolutely spectacular. It was also great to see the Chrysler Building from this vantage point. Whether by day or by night, the Art Deco patterns on this structure really make it stand out amongst the New York skyline. Be mindful of the fact that in the evening, as well as certain times of the year, it can be freezing up here. During my nighttime visit, one side of the roof was very cold due to the wind, while the other was pleasantly warm.

Bird’s eye view from the top

I would recommend taking a jacket with you if you visit outside of the summer. My second visit was in the afternoon, and I don’t want to sound cliché, but there is a reason why people use the phrase ‘The difference was like night and day.’ I would strongly encourage you to do the Empire State building twice, as the differences are vast and both times offer incredible sights to see. At 102 floors high, it is the only place in the whole city where you can get a 360-degree view of the spectacular New York skyline. Looking at the rooftops of so many buildings from this height was amazing. We had skyscrapers where I grew up in Manchester, but nothing anywhere near this scale.

You’ll see rows of yellow taxi cabs for miles around in every direction along the avenues. It was a very cool sight to see. It is also your chance to catch a glimpse of that world-famous view from above Central Park. I bought an Empire State Building statue for $12.95 USD from the gift shop. It seemed quite pricey at the time, but I’ve kept it on my desk ever since to remind me of my wonderful experience there.

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Thanks for reading! Have you been to the Empire State Building? What time of day did you visit? Let me know in the comments.

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Stock Photo by Saketh Garuda on Unsplash
One of the most famous buildings in the world.

Still looking for inspiration for your New York trip? Check out my other blog posts from the Big Apple at the bottom of this post.

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