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Why is the Empire State Building such a Popular Tourist Destination? Solved!

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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Empire State Building is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and it's a major tourist attraction due to its history and many features. It has been a popular destination for visitors since it opened in 1931 and continues to draw millions of tourists annually.

The building is one of the tallest in New York City, standing at 1,454 feet (443 meters) tall. It also has an observation deck that provides stunning 360-degree views of the city from its 86th floor. Many interactive exhibits and displays also teach visitors about the building's history and architecture.


Here are some other reasons why the Empire State Building is so popular with tourists:

1. Iconic image

Manhattan skyline with the Empire State Building in focus.

The Empire State Building is a popular tourist destination for its distinctive and iconic image. It stands out amongst the Manhattan skyline, allowing it to be seen from miles away. The building is instantly recognizable throughout the United States, as well as around the world, in films and other media.

People come to take photos of its impressive height and architecture lit up at night with beautiful colors or enjoy its view from the observation deck. This is a special place to visit and a piece of history that everyone gets to experience firsthand.

2. Historical Significance

Empire State Building in Manhattan, NYC

It was completed in 1931 and has remained a symbol of strength and resilience. The building marks the pinnacle of the skyscraper age; it was built at incredible speed, with construction lasting 410 days only. This makes it one of the fastest-built world wonders in history.

Through times of challenge and boom, the building stood tall, a beacon of hope for all New Yorkers. Such a long-standing landmark is bound to become an inspirational memory for anyone who visits, making an experience at the Empire State Building unforgettable.

3. Height

Aerial view of Manhattan with the Empire State Building in the fore front.

The Empire State Building stands 1,454 feet (443 meters) tall. This makes it one of the tallest buildings in the United States and an impressive feat of engineering. The height alone is enough to draw many visitors who want to experience a bird's eye view of NYC from the observation deck on its 86th floor. To appreciate this structure's immense height and beauty, you don't need to be an architecture enthusiast.

4. Architecture

New York City Midtown with Empire State Building at Sunset

The Empire State Building's architecture is one of its biggest draws. Its design is considered a masterpiece of Art Deco style, with its iconic stepped pyramid-shaped crown, lit up for different occasions or events.

Many visitors visit the building to marvel at its beauty and stunning views. The exterior of the building is adorned with intricate details and sculptures, while the interior features state-of-the-art facilities that can still be visited today. This combination of history and modernity makes it a fantastic tourist destination that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

5. Observatory Experience

 Tourists on the Empire State Building

On the 86th floor of the Empire State building, you can experience the Observatory Experience. This is a great way to get an uninterrupted view of New York City and beyond, as well as learn more about the history of the building.

Visitors will also have access to interactive displays and educational programs that give more insight into this iconic landmark. You can even get special discounts for the Observatory Experience when you purchase tickets online, making this a great way to experience this popular tourist destination.

6. Shopping & Dining Experience

Ground Floor Interior of the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building also offers a variety of other activities for visitors. Several retail outlets and restaurants are located inside the building, making it a great place to pick up some souvenirs or indulge in delicious food.

The building also hosts regular events such as movie screenings, live music performances, and art exhibitions that attract tourists worldwide. In addition, a few museums within the building provide more insight into its history and construction.

7. Film Location

Clapper board in the background of Empire State Building

The Empire State Building has been featured in countless movies and television shows. It is a symbol of American culture, and its iconic architecture makes it an instantly recognizable location for any film director.

Some of the most famous scenes that were filmed at the Empire State Building include King Kong (1933), An Affair To Remember (1957), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and The Sopranos (1999). It's no wonder it is such a popular destination for movie lovers.

8. Strategic Location

Aerial Manhattan View with Empire State Building and Central Park in the background.

The building is situated in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, making it a great starting point for exploring the city. From here, tourists can access significant tourist attractions such as Times Square and Central Park without traveling too far.

The Empire State Building also provides easy access to public transportation and other forms of convenient transit. This makes it an ideal spot to stay during a visit to New York City. You can easily explore the city and make the most of your vacation.

9. Tours

Helicopter point of view of Empire State Building

The Empire State Building offers guided and audio tours for visitors. These provide a wealth of information about the building's history, architecture, and construction, making it a great way to learn more about this iconic landmark.

The tour also provides access to areas, such as the observation deck on the 86th floor, that are unavailable to general tourists. This makes it an excellent option for anyone wanting to delve deeper into the history and architecture of this incredible building.

10. Weddings

Empire State Building Wedding Photo

The Empire State Building also offers couples exclusive "wedding packages" where they can exchange their vows surrounded by an unparalleled beauty setting perfect for that particular moment, along with photographs taking advantage of the breathtaking backdrop! It's no wonder the Empire State Building is a popular destination for couples who want to make their wedding day extra special.

In conclusion, the Empire State Building is one of New York City's most iconic landmarks and a must-see tourist destination. It has an impressive architectural design renowned worldwide and provides stunning views of the city. With its strategic location, convenient amenities, and unique experiences, it is no wonder that this building attracts so many visitors each year. If you're in the city, you might be intrigued by this article filled with things to do in New York.

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