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Best Time to Visit One World Observatory

Climbing the One World Observatory is always a great plan, but doing it at the best time has its trick... the colors of the city and the lights of Manhattan are very different throughout the day... How to choose? read on!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

5 min read

Best Time to Visit One World Observatory

Enjoying the views from the One World | ©Robert Bye

After getting your tickets to the One World Observatory, the next thing to know is the best time to go up and enjoy the New York skyline in all its splendor.

Depending on when you travel to the Big Apple, the seasonal weather or the time of day, when it comes time to go up to the observation deck, keep the following in mind:

What is the best time of day to visit One World Observatory?

Sunset views| ©Dimitri Anikin
Sunset views| ©Dimitri Anikin

In case it is the first time you go to New York and you want to be amazed by the skyline of the city, the best thing to do is to go up in the afternoon to the One World Observatory because from its observation deck you will have the opportunity to see how the last rays of the sun gradually fade over Manhattan as darkness gives way to the lighting of the small lights that decorate the monuments and buildings of the Big Apple.

It's a magical moment you won't forget! In addition, it will allow you to enjoy the views of the city both day and night. Undoubtedly, it is the best finishing touch to an intense day of sightseeing in New York before leaving for dinner and going to rest to recharge your batteries for the next day.

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What is the best time to go up and avoid the crowds at One World Observatory?

Views from One World| ©Hellotickets
Views from One World| ©Hellotickets

When the One World Observatory is most crowded is around 4 and 5 PM, as visitors go there with the idea of watching the sunset and the turning on of the city lights.

However, if you're not a big fan of crowds, then I recommend getting up early and going to the observation deck early (around 8 or 9 AM) as the views of the sky and New York at first light in the morning are also breathtaking. Even if you don't have the attraction of seeing the city lit up at night, you won't have to dodge tourists in your photos. And you can always enjoy the illuminated skyline from nearby places like the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk.

Plus, if you go up to the observation deck in the morning, you'll have the rest of the day free to walk up and down Ground Zero and the rest of the Big Apple and to make other plans you have on your bucket list. For example, you can take the opportunity to have lunch around One World and go deeper into the Financial District or also visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

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3. What is the best time of the year to go up to One World Observatory?

Visiting One World| ©Hellotickets
Visiting One World| ©Hellotickets

The best time to visit the One World Observatory observation deck is summer and autumn as the likelihood of rainfall is lower than in the other seasons and the days have more hours of sunshine and usually dawn clear. However, if you are traveling to New York in a cold and windy season or if a rainy day should arise, do not worry because the observation deck of the skyscraper is covered.

In any case, I share a trick with you and that is not to buy your tickets to the One World Observatory well in advance but try to buy them 1 or 2 weeks before your getaway to the Big Apple.

This way you can check more accurately the weather forecast andchoose a day with clear skies and plenty of sunshine to enjoy the views of the city.

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4. The best time to take good pictures from One World Observatory

One World Trade Center at night| ©Robert Bye
One World Trade Center at night| ©Robert Bye

Enjoying New York from the heights is another world, a unique sensation that you will surely want to capture with your camera for the memory. If you are not a crack at photography, it is best to play it safe and take advantage of the daylight to catch the New York skyline and all the monuments that have made it famous and that can be seen from here:

  • Downtown Manhattan skyline
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Hudson River
  • Empire State Building
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • East River
  • Manhattan Bridge

The morning light will help you not to have problems with out-of-focus images and if you take advantage of some APP on your mobile, you will surely get some heart-stopping photos.

Another option is to go to the One World Observatory in the afternoon to immortalize the New York sunset sky, with that beautiful play of orange, pink and blue lights.

In case you are not a photographer versed in night photography you can always use some tricks to help you take some nice images of the cityscape. For example, remember to activate your camera's HDR mode, use the shutter release to avoid blurred photos or increase the ISO to 400.

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5. The best time of the day to go with children to One World Observatory

Surroundings of One World| ©Hellotickets
Surroundings of One World| ©Hellotickets

If you are going to visit the One World Observatory as a family, the best time of day to do it is early in the morning because the kids will wake up with a lot of energy and will be more awake to go on a trip to this fantastic viewpoint in New York. Also, this way you will avoid the crowds that form in the afternoon and can make the kids nervous.

Most people who visit the One World Observatory usually stay there for about an hour, although the tickets do not set a time limit. However, it is a perfect time to do this activity with children as they will have a great time without getting too tired.

Besides, being there for an hour you will have the rest of the day to enjoy other family activities, either going to a Broadway musical or an NBA game.

In short, the best time to visit the One World Observatory

  • The best time of the day
    to go
  • In the afternoon
  • Why?
  • To see the sunset over Manhattan
  • The best time of the year
    to go up
  • Summer and fall
  • Why?
  • Clearer days and less rainfall
  • The best time
    to take photos
  • In the morning
  • Why?
  • You will take advantage of the natural sunlight
  • The best time
    to go with children
  • Early in the morning
  • Why?
  • They will have more energy to do the tour and the rest of the day to make other plans.