Skip to Content

One World Observatory In New York – A Complete Guide

One World Observatory crowns the top of the One World Trade Center, the tallest building in New York City and the Western Hemisphere. Here’s a complete guide.

How To Get To One World Observatory

One World Observatory is located at One World Trade Center at the corner of West and Vesey Streets in downtown Manhattan.

The entrance is on West Street.

Bus

The closest bus stop to One World Trade Center is the corner of Church St/Liberty St.

You can catch the M5 to Church St/Liberty St.

You can also catch the M20 to Vesey Street/North End Avenue, and walk 5 minutes.

Subway

The closest subways to One World Trade Center are Rector Street and Cortlandt Street.

Catch the R or W to Rector Street.

Or the 1, R or W to Cortlandt Street.

You can also catch the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J or Z to Fulton Street, and walk 5 minutes.

Car

One World Trade Center address is: 117 West Street New York, New York 10007.

SP+ Parking operates the nearest garage in the nearby Brookfield Place shopping center and office complex across West Street from One World Observatory.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

One World Observatory Entrance Fee

As with everything in New York, we recommend booking your One World Observatory: Skip-the-Line Ticket in advance.

Adult: $38

Senior (65+): $36

Youth (6-12): $32

Child (5 & Under): Free

These are all standard tickets. There are also VIP tickets ranging up to $68 per person.

For all tourists visiting New York we recommend purchasing either the New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions or the New York CityPASS®: Save 40% at 5 Top Attractions.

These are a great way of saving money when visiting multiple tourist attractions during your stay in New York.

Both include:

  • Top Of The Rock
  • Empire State Building
  • Statue of Liberty
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum
  • And many more!
One World Observatory In New York
Lauren pointing out the tallest building in New York.
One World Observatory In New York
Looking up from the foot of One World Observatory.

One World Observatory Opening Times

Monday – Sunday: 10am to 7pm.

With extended hours in the holidays and summer season.

We recommend checking the website for times before you visit.

Last available entry time is one hour prior to closing time.

One World Observatory In New York Entrance
Grabbing our tickets at the entrance.
One World Observatory In New York Entrance
A video wall that welcomes visitors from all countries.

Best Time To Visit One World Observatory

This is a very popular tourist destination and can get very busy at weekends and during holidays. Early in the day is always better to miss some of the crowds.

Like the other observation decks in New York, just before sunset is probably the best time to visit One World Observatory.

At this time of day you will get to see New York City in daylight, during the beautiful sunset lighting and then at night with all the city lights shining.

We would recommend booking your ticket advance, queues can be quite long during busy periods.

Check the weather for a clear day before you go, if possible, so that you get the best views for your New York photos.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

One World Observatory In New York View
The top of New York.
One World Observatory In New York
A view looking back at Downtown Manhattan.

One World Observatory History

Opening officially in May 2015, One World Observatory is the observation deck on top of One World Trade Center.

Standing at 541m high, it’s officially the tallest building in New York. Towering over the 381m Empire State Building.

One World Trade Center was built next to Ground Zero in place of the Twin Towers, which were tragically destroyed in the 11th September 2001 (9/11) attacks that shocked the world.

Ground Zero is where the Twin Towers once stood and where you will find a memorial that marks the site of the World Trade Center.

You can visit the 9/11 Museum or walk around the memorial that was created in memory of the 2,752 victims of the attacks.

If you’d like to learn more about 9/11, we recommend the extremely popular New York City: 9/11 Memorial Tour.

Or you can even double up and do both, with the New York: 9/11 Tour with Museum and Observatory Tickets.

Opening in November 2014, One World Trade Center is an impressively tall structure that has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Centre, which was destroyed in the attacks.

In March 2009, it was confirmed that the building would be officially known by its legal name of ‘One World Trade Center’, rather than its colloquial name of ‘Freedom Tower’. (Although many people still call it Freedom Tower.)

With its panoramic views of the city, One World Observatory has become one of the most popular tourist things to do in New York.

One World Observatory In New York Viewpoint
The trimmings around the floor make for a cool photo.
One World Observatory In New York View
Smiling over the Hudson River.
One World Observatory In New York View
Views over Manhattan Bridge.

What To Expect At One World Observatory

Your experience at the One World Observatory starts at the Global Welcome Center — a video wall that welcomes all visitors from all countries.

Following this you have Voices, a short film featuring the people who designed and built the One World Trade Center along with their inspiring stories.

Finally there is an exhibit showing the foundations and the Manhattan bedrock on which New York City and the World Trade Center was built.

A Sky Pod elevator will then whisk you up in 47 seconds to the observation deck, which is located on floors 100, 101 and 102.

Whilst rising up to the observatory you will see the fascinating history of New York City on the LED screens on the walls of the elevator.

On arrival at the top you will enter the See Forever Theatre and watch a two minute film of New York city streets, people, and buildings.

At the end of the film the screen rises up and you unexpectedly get your first breathtaking views across New York City.

One World Observatory In New York Entrance
The wall that raises as you watch the show.
One World Observatory In New York
Lauren exploring the Observatory.
ONE Dine at One World Observatory New York View
A typical view from One World Observatory.

The Observation Deck

The observation deck is completely enclosed in glass, so you have stunning 360 degree views that include the Hudson River, Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbour and all of Manhattan.

You should also be able point out the other viewpoints in New York such as Top Of The Rock, SUMMIT One and The Edge.

On the observation deck you have the opportunity to stand on the Sky Portal, a 14ft wide circle of glass, where you can look down at the city 100 stories below.

The Gallery, at Level 100 of the One World Observatory, is where you will souvenirs/gifts to remind you of your visit.

As the highest point in New York City, One World Observatory is definitely worth adding to the New York itinerary for the spectacular views.

Also, the use of technology to tell the story of the building makes it a great immersive experience for all the family.

One World Observatory In New York Entrance
It was busy when we visited but not too crowded.
Sky Portal One World Observatory In New York
The Sky Portal at One World Observatory.
One World Observatory In New York Viewpoint
Over looking New York City.
One World Observatory In New York View
A memory to take home.

Food & Drink Options At One World Observatory

On floor 101 you will find three different styles of eating venues.

One Dine

A fine dining restaurant serving gourmet food along with breathtaking views.

One Cafe

Also known as Savoy Illy Caffe & Gelateria, serving Italian coffee as well as tea, cold drinks and a selection of snacks.

One Mix

A cocktail bar and grill, with an impressive choice of cocktails that you can sit and enjoy whilst taking in the amazing skyline.

ONE Dine at One World Observatory New York
Delicious food with a view at One Dine.
ONE Dine at One World Observatory New York
We enjoyed an amazing 3 course meal.
ONE Dine at One World Observatory New York
Our vegan pasta with roasted vegetables and cocktails.

Where To Stay In New York

Luxury

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

This Manhattan hotel in Midtown overlooks Central Park and is within walking distance of Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center.

Free cable and a bathrobe are provided in every room at the New York Central Park Ritz-Carlton. All rooms are elegant, with wood furniture and light colors. Many rooms also include a city or park view.

La Prairie Spa at the Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park offers massage and facial services, as well as a sauna. Guests can also work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center.

The 57th street subway station is just 2 blocks away, providing easy access to the city. Radio City Music Hall and the Broadway Theatre District are also both within 1 mile of the hotel.

Mid-Budget

citizenM New York Times Square

Located right in the heart of Manhattan, this hotel is just 1 minute’s walk from Times Square. It’s also within 5 minutes’ walk of Central Park and Columbus Circle.

A flat-screen TV and a small refrigerator with free water are available in citizenM’s rooms. Bathrooms include Hansgrohe rain showers and oversized bathroom amenities.

With the room iPad, all guests can control room lights, black-out blinds, curtains and temperature. As well as TV and radio channels.

Free high-speed Wi-Fi and express check in are on offer at citizenM New York Times Square.

Three outdoor terraces are provided at the New York Times Square citizenM. They feature a state-of-the-art fitness centre with yoga facilities.

After working out, guests can relax with drinks and sweeping views of the city on the exclusive rooftop bar.

Budget

Central Park West Hostel

Located in New York City’s Upper West Side, this hostel is a block from the 86th street underground station and 2 blocks from Central Park. It offers Wi-Fi and staff-organized events.

A shared kitchen, café area, and spacious lounge with a flat-screen TV are part of the facilities at the FIT Hotel. Lockers are also provided in the dormitory rooms and luggage storage is available.

The front desk of this New York City hostel is open 24 hours a day. It features daily housekeeping and free linens.

Times Square is only 10 minutes via underground journey.

For more places to stay in New York, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


Pin It For Later

One World Observatory In New York