No visit to the Big Apple is complete without going to the top of the Empire State Building. We visited New York back in May 2016 so of course going up to the observation deck was on the top of our to-do list.
Unfortunately we didn’t have the best weather during our stay, and when we went to buy tickets we were told that there was no view as it was too cloudy. We were pretty disappointed to have come from halfway across the world for no view but there will always be something that doesn’t quite work out on any trip and so we decided to go up anyway.
The cashier of course has to double check that we are well aware there is no view (so that we don’t complain later) and then stamped our tickets with a big sad face!
We then proceeded to walk through to the first set of lifts, and it was then we realised actually how lucky we were to be there on a “no view” day! There were massive queues roped off which must get jammed packed with visitors but we were able to breeze right through. We were able to get up to the 86th level with almost no wait at all which was great, as I have seen many reviews where people said they had to wait over an hour just to get into the lift!
I don’t know if the big sad face stamp had lowered my expectations, but there was still lots to see and it was pretty cool to be so high above the bustling city. The other benefit to being there on a cloudy day was there was plenty of room on the observation deck so we could walk around, take photos and not feel jammed in like a pack of sardines.
Once we had finished on the observation deck we walked through the gift shop, and again there was hardly anyone in there so we had time to look through everything and see all the cute items. I particularly liked this hello kitty toy although I ended up just getting a miniature statue of the building.
While the views from the building seem to be the main attraction the architecture inside is also very impressive. It was almost a shame that we were able to rush through the building so quickly as I didn’t really get time to take it all in.
While it would have been amazing to have crystal clear views, I would still highly recommend that you still go up to the observation deck even in bad weather. Especially if you have come from far away there is still plenty to enjoy, and we were able to use the time we would have been waiting in lines to enjoy more of the city.
Have you been to the top of the Empire State Building?