Built as part of the redevelopment project of Hudson Yards, a new luxury residential neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan, The Vessel is a futuristic structure halfway between a work of art and a tourist attraction that has become the emblem of this modern district.
Designed by the prestigious architect Thomas Heatherwick, since its inauguration it has become a must-see attraction in New York, although it is currently closed indefinitely. The Vessel is one of the most popular attractions in New York.
Step into New York's most sophisticated neighborhood
You will visit Hudson Yards and stroll through The High Line park with a local guide who will give you all the details of this popular area located on the west side of the city.
With this tour of Hudson Yards and The High Line, an hour and a half tour with a local guide, you can not enter The Vessel because, as I said, is closed indefinitely, but you will know in depth this sophisticated neighborhood located in western New York and also can include entry to The Edge, another imposing viewpoint.
Renowned for its innovative buildings, Hudson Yards has numerous skyscrapers, restaurants, stores and art for you to visit. And along the way, you'll stroll through The High Line park, built on railroad tracks, for unique views of the city.
How to buy tickets for The Vessel
The best way to get your ticket for The Vessel is to buy it online in advance. This way, you will be sure to have time to visit the inside of this monumental sculpture. It is as spectacular on the outside as it is on the inside, rising more than 45 meters from the ground with 16 levels from the base to the top floor. It is made up of 154 flights of stairs that connect 80 landings where you can take a break to contemplate the views.
On the ground floor there are four paths that extend to the heights through a total of 2,500 steps. Although it may seem a bit daunting, if you choose your way up without wandering through this labyrinth (which is difficult because you'll want to take a good walk), you won't actually have to climb so many steps and the climb will be well worth it.
Set aside time to enjoy your visit at your leisure and take a tour of Hudson Yards and the High Line, because you can't miss this area of New York. And if you like photography, bring your camera (or cell phone) with enough battery, because you'll get tired of playing with the optical effects generated by the building and the many proposals that will surprise you on the tour.
What the exterior of the structure looks like
For starters, you should know that from the moment it opened in spring 2019, The Vessel has been an instant hit. Located in Hudson Yards, a new residential neighborhood on the west side of the island next to the Hudson River, it rises imposingly among large skyscrapers and beautiful gardens.
It will be easy to recognize it because it is a real magnet for the eyes. This futuristic structure that many resemble a beehive, a vase, a rib cage or even a shawarma, is covered with copper-colored steel plates that give warmth to the whole and reflect the surrounding landscape at the same time.
What the views are like from the top
From the top of The Vessel you can enjoy fascinating views of the Hudson River, the surrounding skyscrapers, The Shed cultural center, the High Line Park. Even if you scan the skyline you'll see One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building. And, of course, the magnetic internal structure of the building. The views to the ground are breathtaking. I insist: you won't stop taking pictures!
Where The Vessel is and how to get there
The Vessel is located at 20 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001, United States. You can comfortably walk there from Times Square or from the High Line (you are sure to visit it during your trip). Otherwise, it is easily accessible by public transportation: the nearest subway stop is 34 St Hudson Yards (line 7). Consult the subway guide so you won't have any doubts.
As I mentioned, The Vessel is currently closed indefinitely, but its regular opening hours are daily, from 11am to 7pm.
Buy tickets for The Vessel at the box office
You can try to get your free ticket to The Vessel at the building's box office, which opens at 11am. Early in the morning it will be easier to get tickets, but given the large number of visitors, tickets are not guaranteed to be available and you run the risk of being left out.
- For visitors with reduced mobility who use wheelchairs, The Vessel has an elevator that takes them to the top floor of the sculpture.
- Service animals are welcome
- Accessibility needs must be indicated at the time of booking.
Fun facts about The Vessel
- It was inaugurated on March 15, 2019.
- It was designed by the English architect Thomas Heatherwick, author of the cauldron of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
- The Vessel looks like a jewel. Not only from an architectural point of view but also from an economic point of view: it cost a whopping $200 million, exceeding the initial budget of $75 million.
- Although everyone now knows it as The Vessel, there was a time when it had another, less catchy name: New York's Staircase or, literally, the stairs of New York. However, given the number of nicknames with which New Yorkers refer to this monument (beehive, corset, shawarma, vase...), the company that owns it opened a contest to find the best name for it, can you think of any catchy one?
- A ticketing system was put in place to ensure that no more than 700 people would tour the monument at any one time.
- Until relatively recently, the area where The Vessel is located was a large, industrial-looking esplanade that served as a parking lot for trains. However, this area has been revitalized and this innovative building acts as a ventilation canopy for the railway parking lots, storage for drainage and a place for rainwater management.
But... what is Hudson Yards?
Just when we thought there was no more space in Manhattan to build new neighborhoods, Hudson Yards was born, in what was once an industrial train depot along the Hudson River. But in a lively and constantly changing city like the Big Apple, where the square meter is highly valued, many set their eyes on this central and underutilized area to revitalize it and turn it into a luxury residential area in Midtown New York.
Hudson Yards is still under construction and in the coming years new skyscrapers, cultural centers, gardens, offices and shopping malls will be inaugurated. For now, the best excuse to get to know Hudson Yards is The Vessel, but it's not the only one:
Take the opportunity to visit the Little Spain Market
This is a Spanish gastronomic market with the seal of renowned chefs such as José Andrés or the brothers Ferrán and Albert Adriá that brings authentic Spanish cuisine to New York. This restaurant space joins the trend started by other markets such as Eataly and Le District focused on Italian and French cuisine, respectively.
Check out The Shed
It is New York's new multi-arts center created to present all kinds of artistic experiences (dance, theater, technology, music...) for all communities.
The project hopes to bring together the most outstanding talents of the moment. One of its most amazing qualities is that it is built as two buildings in one as the quilt-like outer shell is on wheels and can be moved to reveal a second, completely different building.
Climb The Edge Observatory
At 345 meters high, the Edge Observatory at the 30 Hudson Yards skyscraper is the tallest open observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. It is located on the 100th floor of the building and has wonderful views of the Hudson River, Downtown and the One World skyscraper.
If you like New York observation decks, you should definitely add the Edge Observatory to your list along with the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock and the One World Observatory. They all offer a unique and different look at the skyline of the City of Skyscrapers. I tell you what you need to know to visit them here: Climbing the Empire State Building, NYC Top of the Rock Tickets y The Edge New York Tickets: how to buy, prices and schedules.
Stroll along the High Line
New York has several green spots that are true oases of tranquility in the middle of this bustling city where New Yorkers come to enjoy nature. However, High Lane is not like the others. It is an elevated park built on an old abandoned railroad track that was recovered to turn it into a space full of vegetation, mural art and sculptures that extends along more than twenty streets.
It takes about an hour to walk along High Lane and I recommend that you visit it during the spring and summer, when it is at its lushest and most beautiful.
Go shopping at The Shops
Whether you feel like grabbing a bite to eat before or after your visit, or you want to indulge in a luxury store, the mall just across the street from The Vessel structure is perfect for that. Strolling through its luxurious corridors and seeing the views of The Vessel from inside is also very worthwhile.