One World Trade Center – Observatory Tickets, Height & Tips

Petr Novák

1 World Trade Center, One World Trade Center, One WTC, 1 WTC, Freedom Tower, Freedom Tower… these are the many nicknames it holds. The building standing on the site where the Twin Towers were demolished during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, indeed merits attention. At 1,776 ft, it is not only the tallest building in New York but also the tallest in the Western Hemisphere. Visitors can ascend to the observation deck situated at 1,253 ft or visit the adjacent 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

One World Trade Center – Observatory Tickets, Height & Tips | ©, ©

Table of Contents
  1. One World Trade Center: Observatory Tickets, Opening Hours, and Some Tips
  2. How the Tallest Skyscraper in the USA Grew
  3. Fun Facts about One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center: Observatory Tickets, Opening Hours, and Some Tips

🚇 How to Get There

Situated at 285 Fulton Street, the complex is conveniently accessible via the New York City Subway. Just alight from the red lines 2 and 3 at Park Place, the blue lines A, C, or E at Chambers Street – World Trade Center, or the yellow lines N and R at Cortlandt Street.

🏙️ One World Observatory

The observation deck at the One World Observatory is accessible from floors 100-102 and sits at 1,253 ft above ground level.

The main attraction is the Main Observatory on the 100th floor, which provides 360° views of New York City. It includes the innovative Sky Portal, composed of 14 HD screens placed under the feet of visitors, displaying live footage from the streets below. This installation creates the impression that a layer of glass separates visitors’ shoes from the bustling streets.

When visiting the skyscraper, the elevator ride itself is a unique experience. It lasts less than 60 seconds, during which the evolution of the New York skyline from the 16th century to the present day is projected onto the elevator’s LED walls.

🕒 Opening Hours

The One World Trade Center skyscraper is open daily from 9:00 to 20:00. Last entry is at 18:10.

🎟️ Tickets to One World Observatory

Tickets to the One World Trade Center are quite costly, which is pretty much the norm in New York. I recommend purchasing them online well in advance. You can buy tickets at for a few dollars cheaper than the official site.

Adult tickets are $41, while children ages 6 to 12 pay $30. Children younger than 6 years old enter for free. Tickets are sold for a specific day and time window.

👍 What to Know Before Visiting

I recommend purchasing a standard ticket for the time just before sunset. This way, you can witness New York during the day as well as under the artificial lights at night. Indeed, buy your tickets well in advance, as daily attendance is expected to exceed 10,000 people.

The tour also includes the Voices, See Forever Theater, and City Pulse exhibits. Voices narrate the stories of the people involved in the construction of One World Trade Center. The See Forever Theater features a two-minute video combining bird’s-eye views of New York City with time-lapse video and abstract graphics. Behind City Pulse is a circle of 12 HD screens providing additional information about the buildings visible from the observation deck. The display is gesture-controlled.

The 101st floor hosts the upscale restaurant ONE DINE, which offers unforgettable views of the surrounding area. Reservations are a must, and you should expect to spend around $195 per person.

How the Tallest Skyscraper in the USA Grew

One World Trade Center is located in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of New York City at a site known as Ground Zero. Construction of the skyscraper began with excavation work on April 27, 2006. On December 18 of the same year, a ceremony was held in the nearby Battery Park City neighborhood, where the public had the opportunity to sign a 30 ft steel column that forms the building’s skeleton. The column was fixed and filled with concrete the very next day.

One World Trade Center became the tallest building in the USA on Monday, April 30, 2012, when it surpassed the Empire State Building. The final component, an antenna anchored to the roof, was installed on May 10, 2013. With it, the building reached its final height of 1,776 ft. The grand opening took place on Monday, November 3, 2014.

1 WTC primarily serves as an office building, with tenants including Condé Nast Publishing, media company DAZN Group, and Servcorp leasing offices. American architect David Childs and Polish-born Daniel Libeskind are responsible for the design of the skyscraper.

Fun Facts about One World Trade Center

The height of One World Trade Center, 1,776 feet, is a reference to the year the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

The cost of constructing the skyscraper exceeded a staggering $3.9 billion. At that time, it was the most expensive building in the world. Measures to safeguard the building from potential terrorist attacks, especially the concrete foundations reaching up to 184 ft, contributed significantly to the cost. All walls, staircases, and elevators are reinforced with robust concrete, ensuring the skyscraper can withstand the impact of an aircraft.

The total floor area of One World Trade Center exceeds 325,000 square meters. That’s roughly three-quarters the size of Vatican City, the smallest country in the world. In the days of the original trade center, the building even had its own ZIP code (area code) 10048.

Also noteworthy are the five elevators, which are, according to some sources, the fastest in all of North America. They can transport passengers from the ground floor to the 102nd floor in less than 60 seconds, reaching top speeds of over 37 km/h, which is more than 33 ft per second.

The Freedom Tower is exactly 1,776 feet tall | © Anthony Quintano

Observation deck at One World Trade Center | © Kai Brinker

View from One World Trade Center | © Kai Brinker

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