Guide to Visiting One World Trade Center

Make a pilgrimage here to honour the lives lost on 9/11 and learn about New York's resilience.
By Shashia Mitchell

Everyone remembers where they were when they found out about the collapse of the Twin Towers. Here is all you need to know about visiting the area, from the World Trade Center to the One World Observatory.

When planning your visit to New York City, One World Trade Center – also known as Freedom Tower – is almost certainly on your list of must-sees. It's located in the city’s bustling financial district in Downtown Manhattan and is home to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

What better way to honor this day than to pay homage to the victims at the Memorial & Museum? Situated on the site of the original World Trade Centre, the 9/11 Museum uncovers the story of the ill-fated day with over 10,000 artifacts on display, as well as interviews of 2,000 first-hand accounts, photographs, and family testimonies.

The One World Observatory offers some of the most breathtaking views across the city. It’s also one of the most unique places to enjoy sunset cocktails and fine dining. Any experience of this modern landmark will offer something to remember.

View of Lower Manhattan

The One World Trade Center’s Museum features a permanent collection with exhibitions of donations alongside an incredible account from John Stiastny, one of the survivors of the tragedy. The Foundation Hall contains a segment of the surviving wall of the original structure of the World Trade Center. Visitors can see inscriptions, memorials, and missing posters from the aftermath in 2001. 

Outside, visitors can see the two memorial pools on the North and South end, the 80-foot Tridents columns, and international flags which were suspended in the lobby of the original Twin Towers, prior to the devastating incident.

North and South memorial

You can easily spend half a day at the site if you then head up the 102 storeys to the One World Observatory. The elevator takes just 47 seconds! On the way up, you can enjoy a dynamic display learning of the transformation of New York City from its original settlement and bedrock to the concrete jungle of today.

At the top, the Forever Theatre audio-visual exhibition thrusts you into vibrant city life, while interactive displays and presentations will acquaint you with Gotham’s rich culture and unique history.

Don’t miss the Sky Portal, a glass floor that looks down onto the streets beneath you 100 storeys below. Be warned: if you have vertigo this will be a challenge!

View from the One World Observatory
View from the One World Observatory

Indulge in an evening to remember at ONE Dine, One World Trade Centre New York’s ultimate dining and drinking experience. The New York-themed menu is a fun way to celebrate something special and guests are welcome for a cocktail, bar snack, or a gourmet experience.

Tip: you will need an Observatory ticket to enter and make a dinner reservation.

Of course, you won’t want to forget your camera for shots of the iconic skyline which, by day or night, is one of the most breath-taking vistas in all of New York. You can also make the most of a professional photographer for a take-home souvenir and visit the souvenir shop full of One World Trade Center-themed gifts.

A trip to the Big Apple during the holiday season is one of the best times of year to experience the iconic city dressed in all its holiday cheer. One World Trade Center’s Winter Onederland promises a giant snow globe, Santa Visits, family-friendly Christmas displays, as well as Christmas-themed drinks and dining - fun for everyone!

One World Observatory

One World Trade Center Opening Hours

The address is 180 Greenwich St. World Trade Center should you be arriving by taxi or car. If you plan on visiting the One World Trade Center’s 9/11 Memorial & Museum you can visit during their opening hours between 9am-8pm daily.

To visit the One World Observatory, it is open 9am-9pm 7 days a week with last admission at 8.15pm (check the website for amended holiday hours and during the summer months).

Following your One World Trade Center tour, nearby you can also visit the iconic Statue of Liberty and historic Ellis Island Immigration Museum to make the most of your New York experience. If arriving by Subway the stop is Fulton Street/Park Place.

ONE Dine is open for meals from 12pm-9pm daily with last reservations at 6.45pm.

For more inspiration on nearby tours take a look at our other things to do near the World Trade Center. If you join a Hop on Hop off bus tour experience, jump off at stop 11, 12, or 13 on the Downtown route.

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