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NYC One World Observatory Tickets: how to buy, prices and discounts

It is undoubtedly the best viewpoint in southern Manhattan: I tell you what you will see from here, how much it costs to get in and how to get tickets.

Alex Grande

Alex Grande

10 min read

NYC One World Observatory Tickets: how to buy, prices and discounts

Views from the top of One World Observatory | ©Hellotickets

The One World Observatory is located at One World Trade Center and is the tallest skyscraper in New York (and the United States) paying homage to the Twin Towers.

Being one of the most popular attractions in New York, buying your ticket in advance will save you quite a few lines. If you don't know how to do it or how to choose among the options that exist, here's a hint about my favorites:

The best option

NYC One World Observatory with Skip-the-Line Tickets

Access to One World Observatory at the best price

The general admission ticket to One World Observatory is the most popular among visitors from all over the world who climb this impressive skyscraper, or you can upgrade and select VIP access.

Located in the heart of Downtown, the One World Observatory has one of the most spectacular observation decks in the city right now. With a general admission ticket to One World Trade Center you will have access to the observatory located between the 100th and 102nd floors.

My recommendation is that you buy the general admission ticket in advance, as it also allows you to enter without waiting in line, directly accessing the building.

Why I like this option: if you want to enjoy the views of southern Manhattan from one of the most imposing skyscrapers in the city, this is the cheapest way to do it (and it will save you a long queue at the ticket office).

Recommended if... you don't have much time to tour the area or simply prefer to see Ground Zero on your own and pay only for access to the observatory.

How to buy One World Observatory tickets at the box office

Views from the observatory| ©Hellotickets
Views from the observatory| ©Hellotickets

You can buy your tickets for the One World Observatory at the building's box office, which opens at 9am. In general, in New York, I don't recommend buying tickets at the box office, as you will face long lines and will likely enter One World already exhausted from waiting on your feet.

The best way to buy tickets online is that, instead of waiting to buy your ticket at that time, you can go straight up and see life begin in New York with the start of the day. In addition, you can compare prices and rates for tickets to One World Observatory and see if there is a discount for your visit.

New York Pass and other passes that include admission to One World Trade Center

Entrance with the Explorer Pass| ©Hellotickets
Entrance with the Explorer Pass| ©Hellotickets

If you want to make a complete visit of New York, a very good option is to buy a tourist pass. The New York Pass includes admission to the One World Observatory among many other activities.

With this particular pass, you can choose between 1 and 10 days of validity to have an "open bar" of activities. I recommend it if you are one of those people who when traveling want to squeeze the destination to the maximum and not miss absolutely nothing. Anyway, there are also other passes and if you are considering buying one to complete your visit, I recommend you to consult my article in which I compare each of them: New York Pass and other passes

Where One World Observatory is and how to get there

Location of the One World Observatory on the map of southern Manhattan
Location of the One World Observatory on the map of southern Manhattan

Most visitors usually stay at One World Observatory for about an hour. Tickets do not limit how long you can stay at the observatory, so you can stay as long as you like. If you are visiting with children, it may take a little longer as the interactive displays will keep them busy for a while.

One World Trade Center is visible from almost anywhere in Manhattan. Its height, its reflective glass windows and its already mythical silhouette make it unmistakable, so getting to it on foot or by public transportation will be very easy. Located at Ground Zero, very close to Wall Street, you can walk from almost anywhere in southern Manhattan.

If you are staying a little further away, the fastest way to get there is by subway or even by city bus (note that the New York tourist bus also has a stop very close to the One World Observatory). To better organize your itinerary and know the distances, prices and maps of public transportation, you can take a look at this article on click here.

One World Observatory Hours

Views of Manhattan from the One World Observatory| ©Hellotickets
Views of Manhattan from the One World Observatory| ©Hellotickets

To help you plan your visit, please note that the One World Observatory is open from 9 am to 9 pm except in summer, when the skyscraper is open from 8 am to 10 pm. Throughout the year, you can climb One World Trade Center every day of the week.

Visit One World Observatory with children

Pre-climbing exhibition| ©Hellotickets
Pre-climbing exhibition| ©Hellotickets

Going up to One World Observatory with the little ones is a plan you won't regret, as there are activities programmed specifically for them.

In fact, for your visit with children I recommend that you let them play for a while in the Sky Portal, interactive screens located on the floor that project images of life in New York under the One World Trade Center and give the impression of floating above the air, and the City Pulse, interactive screens that show presentations on icons of New York culture as its famous cheesecake or various sports teams.

Check out this article if you want to know more things to do in New York with kids to make your family visit to the Big Apple a success.

Inside One World Observatory

The interior viewpoint| ©Hellotickets
The interior viewpoint| ©Hellotickets

After entering One World Trade Center, you will begin your ascent to the 102nd floor (where the observation deck is located) in an elevator covered entirely by screens that will show you a spectacular time-lapse of New York's evolution from its founding as a Dutch colony in the 17th century to the present day.

When you reach the top of the skyscraper you will access the One World Observatory through the See Forever Theater walkway, with another show of stunning visuals about everyday New York.

The Observatory

The Brooklyn Bridge as seen from One World Observatory| ©Hellotickets
The Brooklyn Bridge as seen from One World Observatory| ©Hellotickets

And now, finally, you can enjoy what you came all this way for: breathtaking views of New York from the top. The observation deck is enclosed unlike the Empire State and Top of the Rock, giving you a sense of greater distance from the city. Plus, One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in the city, so you'll be able to see New York stretching for miles and miles in the distance.

The views

Defying vertigo at One World Observatory| ©Hellotickets
Defying vertigo at One World Observatory| ©Hellotickets

Before you head up to the observation deck, make a mental list of the sights from One World. In a city as big as New York, and especially on a first visit, it's easy to forget all those famous landmarks you'll love to see in miniature and then recognize on your walks around the Big Apple.

In case you don't like to do the typical tourist activities, there are many more buildings in New York that you can visit, even if they don't have an observatory. Woolworth Building, Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building and many others will delight any architecture enthusiast.

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

Practical information to climb One World Observatory

Access to One World Observatory| ©Hellotickets
Access to One World Observatory| ©Hellotickets

Best time to go up to One World

Thanks to its glassed-in observation decks, any time of the day (and even of the year) is a good time to visit. The sunset will give you spectacular colors in the sky, the morning will offer you a clear and unobstructed view of the skyscrapers and the Hudson and the night in New York is always special, with millions of lights on the Skyline.

If you can't decide, check out this handy guide on the best time to go up to One World Observatory and choose the best time for you.

How to avoid crowds

The busiest times at One World Observatory are around 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., when visitors are preparing to watch the sunset. For similar afternoon views and a less crowded experience, I recommend going at 9am (or 8am in summer), which will give you all day to explore the city you've just seen from above.

What services does the building offer

One World Observatory has a gift store on the 100th floor and a restaurant, cafe and ice cream parlor on the 101st floor to end your visit with a break.

Watch out for prices

Keep in mind that One World Observatory is full of "traps" to lure the tourist and make them spend a little extra on interactive tablets for the visit, souvenir photographs, and the like.

What happens if the weather is bad

By buying your tickets well in advance you run the risk of going to One World Observatory on a cloudy day. The trick is to buy them a week or two before your trip to New York, when you can check the weather relatively reliably and choose the best day accordingly. Needless to say, if you go up the skyscraper on a clear day you will have spectacular views of New York.

If you go up on a day when it rains a little, the good thing is that the observation deck at One World Trade Center is covered. This can also be an advantage if you visit New York on a very cold or very hot day.

Alex's Traveller Tip

There are a lot of tourist "traps" at One World Observatory, be careful if you don't want to end up with a hole in your wallet!

Another way to enjoy the views: the helicopter tour

Views from the helicopter| ©Hellotickets
Views from the helicopter| ©Hellotickets

And if going up a skyscraper doesn't really appeal to you but you want to enjoy the views of New York from above, you have other options like taking a helicopter tour of Manhattan or visiting one of the many rooftop bars in the city. But in my opinion, climbing a skyscraper is a breathtaking experience that you can't miss, especially on your first time in New York.

Where to eat near One World Observatory

If the heights have given you an appetite, you're in luck: a busy area like Downtown Manhattan is full of places to eat, from the most luxurious and exclusive to the quickest and cheapest. The only doubt you'll have will be which one to choose, so I've prepared a list of the best places to eat near One World Observatory so you can plan your visit well without having to improvise on the fly.

Take advantage of the fact that you are in the area to take a break, recharge your batteries and take shelter from the cold or heat whether you go to New York in winter or summer and then continue discovering this area that has so much to offer.

Other recommended experiences in the area

9/11 Memorial| ©Hellotickets
9/11 Memorial| ©Hellotickets

Inescapably, One World Trade Center is part of Ground Zero and is linked to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Combining visits to both is very interesting for someone traveling to New York, as you will be able to explore in depth an event in recent history that has marked the city like no other.

Therefore, I recommend that you stop by the 9/11 Memorial and if you can enter the Museum to explore one of the most interesting and unique exhibitions in the world, telling the story of the Twin Towers attacks with objects directly rescued from the rubble. You can read the chronicle of my experience here: 9/11 Memorial Tickets and Tours in NYC.

You can also book a guided tour of New York with entrance to the One World observatory: you will learn about the history of the city from an expert guide and then contemplate it from above.

Organize your visit to other skyscrapers

The One World Observatory, from below
The One World Observatory, from below

In addition, in New York you have two other skyscrapers to see the city from above. Climbing the Empire State Building, an icon of the New York skyline, is a must on any first visit to New York, as it contains a fragment of the city's history within its walls.

And of course Rockefeller Center, whose observation deck known as the Top of the Rock will give you the best views of the city including a spectacular close-up of the Empire State Building. In my experience, the best skyscraper in New York.

The Edge has recently opened its doors, an innovative building with a spectacular observatory whose glass floor will give you a bird's eye view of New York (literally). Made to test anyone's vertigo, be sure to read how to organize your visit here: The Edge New York Tickets: how to buy, prices and schedules.

If you want to be on the cutting edge and visit the hippest skyscraper in the city, then consider going up to the new SUMMIT observation deck in New York: its architecture, innovative observation deck and incredible location have already made it a favorite of many New Yorkers and visitors.

  • Empire State Building
  • From $ 49
  • Observatory: open air
  • Floor: 86
  • Views: Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue and from afar One World Building
  • Location: Midtown Manhattan
  • Reservation
  • Top of the Rock
  • From $ 44
  • Observatory: open air
  • Floor: 70
  • Views: Empire State, Central Park and from afar One World Building
  • Location: Midtown Manhattan
  • Book now
  • One World Observatory
  • From $ 45
  • Observatory: Indoor
  • Floor: 102
  • Views: Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and from afar Empire State Building
  • Location: South Manhattan
  • Book now
  • The Edge
  • From $ 42
  • Observatory: open air and glass floor
  • Floor: 110
  • Views: Empire State, Midtown and from afar One World Building
  • Location: Manhattan West
  • Book now

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the One World Observatory?

    The One World Observatory is the observation deck at One World Trade Center, offering breathtaking views of the New York skyline.

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

    Since the observation deck usually receives a large number of visitors, it is best to go as early as possible. Between 08:00 and 10:00 you will avoid the crowds and be able to see New York perfectly thanks to the morning light.

  • Do I need to bring my ID or an official photo ID to One World Observatory?

    No, you only need a valid ticket.

  • Why is it worth going up to One World Observatory?

    In addition to being a mythical building built on top of what were the famous Twin Towers of New York, it offers the best views of Downtown and the financial district, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Hudson.