The Empire State Building stands as an iconic symbol of New York City's skyline and is heralded as an architectural marvel.
The impressive structure was constructed during the Great Depression. It was officially opened in 1931 as the tallest building in the world, reaching a staggering height of 1,454 feet (443.2 metres) including its antenna.
The building's Art Deco design and prominent location in Midtown Manhattan have made it a cultural and historical landmark, attracting millions of visitors each year from all over the world.
Originally built with the intention of being a grand testament to American progress and innovation, the Empire State Building was envisioned as a hub for commerce and industry. Today, the building houses a mix of commercial offices and tourist attractions, offering an array of experiences for visitors.
The area surrounding the Empire State Building buzzes with energy and attractions. Its observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors, grant breathtaking panoramic views of the city, with views over landmarks such as Central Park, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty.
Attraction and days out near Empire State Building
Once you’ve enjoyed the city skyline, there’s plenty more things to do near the Empire State Building.
Observing the Manhattan skyline from the Empire State Building's renowned observation decks is a truly incredible experience. The sprawling urban landscape is punctuated with towering skyscrapers and iconic New York landmarks. As sunlight transforms into night, the city's shimmering evening lights transform the cityscape and show visitors a dynamic canvas of sparkling lights and bustling nightlife.
Gaze down upon New York’s iconic concrete jungle from such a height and enjoy unparalleled views. You’ll spot the vast selection of architectural marvels, bustling streets, and the famous Hudson River. The joy in this activity lies not only in the stunning vistas, but also in the profound appreciation for human ingenuity and the energy of one of the world's most vibrant cities.
Fifth Avenue is another of New York’s famous icons. A legendary avenue in New York City, renowned for its cultural and historical significance. Stretching from Washington Square Park to Harlem, Fifth Avenue cuts through the heart of Manhattan. The avenue is renowned for its upscale shopping, hosting a prestigious lineup of luxury boutiques, flagship stores, and department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co.
Additionally, Fifth Avenue is home to an array of iconic landmarks, including the Empire State Building, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the Museum Mile, where world-renowned institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum showcase captivating art and exhibitions all year round. Whether you’re shopping til you drop or just window shopping, Fifth Avenue is absolutely a destination to add to your New York itinerary.
Perhaps one of the most interesting things to do near the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center is a celebrated complex in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The centre is known to embody a blend of entertainment, art, and commerce. Anchored by the towering art deco masterpiece, 30 Rockefeller Plaza (also known as the "Top of the Rock"), boasts a myriad of attractions.
Visitors can ascend to the peak observation deck to enjoy panoramic views of the city's skyline, including the world famous Empire State Building and Central Park, creating a breathtaking view that effortlessly captures the buzz of New York. The centre's renowned ice-skating rink, especially during the winter months, becomes a lively hub of festivities during the winter. The complex also houses Radio City Music Hall, where dazzling performances like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular delight audiences every year.
Koreatown is nestled within the bustling streets of Manhattan. Like many cultural ‘towns’ of cities, Koreatown is a vibrant and culturally rich neighbourhood that offers a unique experience. Centred around 32nd Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue, you’ll be greeted with an abundance of flavours, sights, and sounds of Korean culture. What’s more, Koreatown boasts an array of authentic restaurants, cafes, and food markets, where you can sink your teeth into delectable Korean barbecue, traditional dishes like bibimbap and kimchi, and an array of delicious street food.
The district especially comes alive at night, with karaoke bars, speakeasies, and lively lounges offering an energetic and unforgettable nightlife scene. Perhaps if you’re keen to enjoy some rest and rejuvenation, find a soothing retreat in one of the many Korean spas, where traditional treatments and relaxation rituals will rejuvenate the senses.
The Flatiron Building
The Flatiron Building can be identified by its iconic triangular shape. Another of New York’s skyscrapers nestled at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, standing as a testament to New York City's famous architectural ingenuity. Its distinctive shape, resembling an iron, has made it a well-known landmark since its completion in 1902. For architecture enthusiasts, the Flatiron Building exemplifies the Beaux-Arts style and marks an important milestone in the city's skyline evolution. Additionally, its proximity to Madison Square Park provides a serene escape, while the surrounding streets host a diverse range of dining, shopping, and cultural options, perfect for a well-rounded day out in New York.
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, often referred to simply as "The Garden," holds a hallowed place in both New York City's cultural fabric and the world of sports and entertainment. Situated atop Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan, Madison Square Garden serves as an iconic venue for an array of events. Originally opened in 1968, the current Madison Square Garden is the fourth iteration of the arena, embodying a storied history of legendary performances, sporting triumphs, and electrifying concerts.
As the home of the New York Knicks (NBA) and New York Rangers (NHL), it has witnessed countless sports spectacles and has even made its name in pop culture, being the home of many events in movies and film. Beyond sports, the arena hosts concerts featuring global superstars, Broadway shows, and even political gatherings. Its central location also offers visitors easy access to nearby attractions such as Times Square and the Empire State Building, making it one of the most famous things to do around the Empire State Building.
Burger and Lobster
Another fantastic choice of things to do around the Empire State Building is chow down on something delicious. The iconic Burger & Lobster is home to some fantastic seafood and prime beef burgers, as per their namesake, and serves as one of the best places to enjoy a brunch, lunch or dinner when visiting New York. You can reach Burger & Lobster’s Bryant Park location in just a 13 minute walk, so it won’t be long before you’re biting into something delicious.