The Empire State Building Turns 90 This May — and It's Celebrating With Tours, New Merch, and More

The Empire State Building is turning 90 years old on Saturday and the celebrations are going to be big.

“Over the past 90 years, the Empire State Building has been the undisputed landmark of the New York City skyline, with its iconic tower lights that shine as a symbol of hope, strength and perseverance,” Anthony E. Malkin, chairman, president, and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. “We will continue to innovate and push boundaries in technology, sustainability, and tourism to ensure that the Empire State Building remains America’s Favorite Building for the next 90 years as well.”

The building’s 90th birthday celebrations will last all year long. To kick it all off, the iconic skyscraper will sparkle with a special “90” on the evening of its birthday. And the window display on Fifth Avenue will glitter with all-new jewels by David Yurman.

Guests who purchase select visitation packages will receive a free celebratory 90th-anniversary tote bag while visitors in the entire month of May will be able to get 90-cent Starbucks coffee at the location inside the observatory.

“With New York reopened as of July 1, we look forward to visits from our fans near and far who can safely travel to celebrate this important anniversary,” president of the Empire State Building Observatory, Jean-Yves Ghazi, said in a statement shared with T+ L.

Visitors who head to New York’s most famous building will be able to sign up for the building’s all-new “90 in 90 Tour” that wraps up 90 years of history in 90 minutes. The tour is true VIP treatment, with guests assigned their own personal building “ambassador” with behind-the-scenes access.

The Empire State Building’s Observation Deck temporarily closed to visitors during the pandemic but reopened in July, with new guidance for social distancing and face masks which will remain in place for the 90th celebrations.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at

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