Whilst visiting New York this time Gordon and I decided to cross the Empire State Building of our list of must sees and headed there late one afternoon. Our plan was to see the sunset and then admire the bright lights of the city at night.
It didn't quite work out like that. Don't think booking your tickets online will get you up those 102 floors any quicker. You arrive at the building and see a very small queue for the lift... when you leave said lift you are met with a massive winding queue of (probably) hundreds of tourists. And this is just the queue for security checks. It was dark already by the time we got through security, and then we were met with yet another massive queue for the lift to the main deck on the 86th floor. Some people chose to take the stairs, which fortunately made the queue much shorter for us. Usually I'd take the stairs too, but after standing in line in layers of winter clothes indoors for almost 2 hours I thought I'd probably pass out if I attempted it. Eventually we made it...
Don't get me wrong, the views are breathtaking. You can see for miles and we spent our time searching for all the usual landmarks. We spotted Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge and even the Bryant Park ice rink. The Chrysler building looked incredible!
Last time we were in NYC we went to Top of the Rock in the morning, rather than the Empire State. I would definitely recommend you do the same - it was cheaper and there wasn't a single queue! The views are just as amazing but you have the advantage of seeing Central Park and the Empire State Building itself. Obviously I haven't experienced Top of the Rock later in the day but I don't imagine it would be half as busy as the Empire State and seeing the city at night is something you 100% have to experience.
Have you ever seen New York from the Empire State?