200. Empire State Building

What is the Empire State Building?

It's a 102-storey art deco skyscraper in Manhattan. It was the world's tallest building for 40 years until the World Trade Center North Tower was constructed in 1970. Construction of the ESB started on March 17 1930, rising 4.4 floors per week, so it was opened on May 1 1931, which is just astounding.

What's the Empire State Building like?

Like all buildings built for observation, you need to break it into three experiences; the sight of the iconic exterior towering over the city, the art deco interior, and then the views over New York from the top. It ticks all boxes on all three levels. 

Where is the Empire State Building?

New York, USA 

When did we go? 

July 2009 

How did we get there?

We stayed in New York for 3 days and saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (387) as well. We subsequently visited the National September 11 Museum & Memorial (316), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (295) and Times Square (removed from the 2020 edition) on other trips.

Worth noting: 

There are two observation floors. We went to the 86th as it's outside, while the one on the 102nd floor involves windows. The queues are horrendous. Avoid them at all costs - go early or late. However, don't let them put you off; one of Pete's sayings was "it's like going to New York and not seeing the Empire State". It has to be done.

What was the Empire State Building's position on the 2015 edition of the Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel List?

109 - it dropped down 91 places in the later edition.

Does the Empire State Building deserve its lower place in the 2020 top 500?

Pete would not be happy - it was one of his top buildings of the world and deserves to be much higher.