Edge vs Empire State Building: Which is Better?

Edge and the Empire State Building are the two most popular attractions with sky-high observation decks.

The Empire State Building is known for its  Art Deco design with an antenna overhead. It has two outdoor and one indoor observation deck.

The Edge is known for its outdoor sky deck, which is the highest in the Western Hemisphere and second highest in the world.

Located just a mile apart in Manhattan, both of them offer unique architecture with different views of the city.

If you want to explore both, then it’s the cherry on top. 

However, if you have limited time in the city and want to see the best but are confused about where to go, is it the Empire State Building or the Edge?

This handy guide on ‘The Edge vs. Empire State Building’ will give a detailed perspective of both sites to help you decide which is better!

Empire and the Edge: A Brief Introduction

The Empire State Building is an instantly recognizable skyscraper with a large antenna that defines NYC’s skyline.

You’ve probably seen it in many movies, series or postcards.

The building has observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors, which people can visit by paying an admission fee.

The Edge has an indoor and outdoor observation deck located on the 100th floor of the 30 Hudson Yards Building with glass floors and walls.

It was recently opened in 2020 and has instantly become a popular tourist attraction since then. The Edge also offers adventures like the City Climb.

Both offer unique experiences; you can use the Edge and Empire State Building combo tickets if you plan to visit both.

These tickets offer direct entry and visits to both at your preferred time slot, with an additional 5% discount and free entry for kids.

Plus, the distance from the Empire State Building to the Edge is just 1 mile, making the travel easier.

However, if you cannot visit both, here is a quick comparison to help you select the one that suits your preference.

Edge vs Empire State Building: Comparison 

Edge NYC
A recently popular highest observation deck 
Empire State Building
The iconic building on the New York and Manhattan Skyline
30 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001, United States20 W 34th St., New York, NY 10001, United States
Height:1,100 feet1,224 feet ( including antenna)
Opened In :11 March 20201 May 1931
Architecture Style:Neo-futurismArt Deco
Architectures:Kohn Pedersen FoxShreve, Lamb & Harmon
Observation Decks:100th Floor80th ( Indoor) , 86th, and 102nd floors
Opening Hours:9 am to 12 am10 am to 11 pm
Best time to visit:Sunset or Early Morning at 9 amSunrise or Early Morning at 10 am
Ticket Price:Starting from $40Starting from  $48
View from the Deck:Empire State Building, Hudson River, & Statue of LibertyCentral Park, Hudson River, Statue of Liberty, & One World Trade Center
Popularity:It is the highest outdoor observation point in the Western Hemisphere.It was the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1931.
Book Edge NYC TicketsBook Empire State Building Tickets

Which One is Higher? The Empire State Building or The Edge

Which One is Higher The Empire State Building or The Edge
Image: Canva

Is the Edge higher than the Empire State Building? Which one is taller?

When comparing the heights, standing 1,224 feet tall, the Empire State Building is taller than Edge.

The Empire State Building has two observatory decks on the 86th and 102nd floors: the main and top decks.

Its observation deck on the 102nd floor is at a height of 1,250 feet. However, it is not open air.

The other observation deck on the 86th floor of the building is open air at a height of 1050 feet.

The Edge has an open-air observation deck with glass walls located on the 100th floor at a height of 1100 feet. It also has an indoor sky deck on the same floor.

Which has Better Views? Edge vs Empire State Building

Edge and Empire State Building both offer breathtaking views of New York City, but which provides the better idea?

The Edge Observation Deck is suspended mid-air, extending almost 80 feet (24 meters) from its 100th floor.

Due to its unmatched height and open-air deck, it offers unparalleled 360 views of the city from the glass walls and floors.

Visitors can enjoy stunning views of iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Hudson River.

If you want a totally unobstructed view, you can even try out the City Climb Experience, which provides a better perspective.

On the other hand, the Empire State Building stands at 1,454 feet (443.2 meters) tall and features observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors.

With the Empire State Building itself serving as the centerpiece, the views from the 102nd floor are quite obstructed due to the indoor presence.

Also, the views from its 86th observation deck may be slightly more obstructed by surrounding skyscrapers.

However, some visitors like the views more because of the height; it depends on personal preferences.

Overall, we are safe to say that The Edge provides better views due to the outdoor sky deck at an 80-foot higher height than the Empire State Building.

Edge vs Empire State Building: Ticket Prices

Regular admission tickets for the Edge start at $41 for adults aged 12 to 61 years.

Seniors and children can avail themselves of discounted tickets at a lower price, and infants under 5 years of age can enjoy free visits.

These tickets include entry to the outdoor and indoor decks, access to the angled glass-walled platform, Eastern Point and Skyline Steps with a host/greeter.

Edge NYC Admission Tickets Price:

Visitor’s AgeTicket prices
Adult (12 to 61 years)$41
Child (6 to 11 years)$36
Infant (upto 5 years)Free 
Senior Citizen (62+ years)$39

Empire State Building tickets are comparatively pricier than Edge, costing $48 for entry for adults aged 13 to 61.

These tickets provide admission to the 86th floor of the building. You can also upgrade them to include the 102nd floor.

Just like Edge, these tickets also provide reduced prices for children and seniors. However, infants under 5 years of age are allowed there.

Empire State Building 86th Floor Entry Tickets:

Visitor’s AgePrice
Adult (13 to 61 years)$48
Child (6 to 12 years)$41
Senior (62+ years)$46

If you plan to visit both the observatory decks, we recommend you purchase these discounted Empire State Building Sunrise Experience and Edge Tickets.

These combo tickets provide 5% more discounted rates than individual tickets.

With these tickets, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of New York City from each of their observatory decks and experience the unique perspectives they both provide!

Architecture and What to Expect: Edge vs Empire State Building

The 30 Hudson Yards building is a new luxury development in Hudson Yards. Kohn Pedersen Fox designed it.

The architecture of the building is simple yet appealing because of its sky-touching height and triangular outdoor deck.

It has 103 floors that are used for different purposes. Some of them have shops, retail stores, shopping centers and restaurants, while others have offices.

The Edge is a triangular observation deck located on its 100 and 101 floors, with a glass-floor deck outside that is 80 feet from the building.

You enjoy your way up to the Edge on an elevator ride with an immersive multimedia experience that recreates the story of the city’s construction.

Once you reach the top, you will be amazed by the unique views and other experiences, such as the City Climb, Ice Skating, and drinks at the restaurant and bar on the 101st floor.

It is well surrounded by unique architectural buildings like the Vessel, a honeycomb structure, the Highline Park, the Shed, and more.

A 102-story Art Deco skyscraper designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the Empire State Building was completed in 1931.

It has a unique architecture, including the spire and antenna, with a height of 1,454 feet (443 meters).

The building features two observation decks, a terraced crown, a series of north- and south-facing setbacks, and a flat top with a stepped pyramid-like design.

Its amenities include an Art Deco lobby, a shopping mall featuring over 100 stores, and a virtual city tour of the New York Skyride. 

It is also home to the world’s first high-speed elevators, reaching 1,200 feet per minute.

Overall, the Empire State Building has impressive architecture, but the Edge NYC has much more to offer its visitors besides stunning views.

If you enjoy adventure, Edge is your way to go!

Edge vs Empire State Building: Opening Hours

The Edge is open year-round except for a few public holidays. It opens daily at 9 am, and the closing time varies based on the weekdays and weekends.

Visitors can even enjoy views of NYC from The Edge at night.

Monday to Thursday9 am to 10 pm
Friday to Sunday9 am to 12 am
Last admission50 minutes before closing

The average length of stay at Edge NYC is about 45 minutes to an hour.

However, once you reach the mentioned time slot, there is no time limit to how long you can stay.

The opening hours of the Empire State Building vary depending on the month of the year. 

It opens at 9 am or 10 am and closes between 10 pm and 1 am.

Here’s a Tip💡: Due to their high popularity, opening hours at these attractions are timed and difficult to reschedule.

The best time to see the Edge and the Empire State Building is early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

So, make sure to select a time slot during the early hours for fewer crowds and before sunset for better views.

Edge vs Empire State Building: Locations

The Edge is located on the 100th floor of the 30 Hudson Yard Building in the new neighborhood of Hudson Yards.

You can find its entrance on the 4th level in the shops and restaurants.

On the other hand, the Empire State Building lies at 350 Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets in midtown Manhattan.

The building stands so tall that it has its own zip code.

Both attractions are quite easy to find and reach when comparing locations because of their popularity.

Want to know the best ways to go from the Empire State Building to the Edge or vice versa? 

Read our detailed article, including the best ways to travel and combo tickets.

Our Recommendation: the Edge or the Empire State Building

When considering a visit to either the Empire State Building or Edge, visitors can expect a remarkable experience at both iconic landmarks.

If you prefer classic elegance and a piece of New York City’s history, then the Empire State Building is for you.

If you want a modern, thrilling experience with unparalleled views and adventurous activities, we highly recommend the Edge NYC.

At last, it depends on your preference which one you want to visit, or if you are on a day trip to NYC, you can combine both by purchasing a combo ticket at the price of one.

If you plan to visit NYC and are confused between Edge NYC and the other observatory decks, we have you covered. Find out more from:

The Edge vs One World Observatory
The Edge vs Summit One Vanderbilt
The Edge vs Top of the Rock

Featured Image: Ben Vloon from Pexels (Canva), Koushalya Karthikeyan on Unsplash

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!