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The Vessel in New York

Learn how to climb and get the most out of one of Manhattan's most innovative buildings

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

7 min read

The Vessel in New York

The Vessel seen from the exterior | ©Hellotickets

Built as part of the Hudson Yards redevelopment project, 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 trendy, up-and-coming district.

Designed by the prestigious architect Thomas Heatherwick, it has become an essential visit to make in New York since its inauguration. The Vessel is one of New York's most popular attractions, so getting your tickets in advance for The Vessel will save you from waiting in endless lines and guarantee you access to enjoy the views. I'll tell you how to get your tickets online to go up The Vessel!

The best option
Vessel at Hudson Yards - General Admission

Enjoy The Vessel with your advance ticket

Perfect to skip the endless queues and enjoy the views from this spectacular building, one of New York's new addition to its roster of iconic landmarks.

From $ 11 at Hellotickets

It is as spectacular on the outside as it is on the inside. It rises more than 147 feet from the ground having 16 levels from the base to the top floor. It is made up of 154 flights of stairs that connect 80 standing points where you can stop to contemplate the views.

On the ground floor, you can take four different paths that extend to the heights through a total of 2,500 steps. Although this might seem crazy, you can just go up in a more or less straight path so you won't actually have to climb that many steps to get to the top. But I'm sure you'll want to get lost in this jaw-dropping labyrinth of stairs!

Take your time to enjoy your visit without rush, because although it seems that you will quickly cover everything there is to see, each staircase or path takes you to see completely different views. If you like photography, make sure to have enough battery on your camera (or cell phone), because you'll have hundreds of optical effects to play with throughout your visit.

Why I like this option: by booking this ticket in advance you will be sure to skip the line and be guaranteed entrance to this monumental sculpture.

Recommended if... you are eager to visit The Vessel but don't want to spend too much time at the ticket office and risk not getting a ticket.


Buy tickets for The Vessel at the box office

Views from inside The Vessel | ©Hellotickets
Views from inside The Vessel | ©Hellotickets

You can try to get your free ticket to The Vessel at the building's box office, which opens at 11 a.m. Early in the morning, it will be easier to get tickets, but given the large number of visitors, it is not guaranteed that there will be tickets and you run the risk of being left out.

What the exterior of the structure looks like

Views of The Vessel structure from the street | ©Hellotickets
Views of The Vessel structure from the street | ©Hellotickets

For starters, you should know that from the moment it opened in spring 2019, The Vessel was an instant success. Located in Hudson Yards, a new residential neighborhood on the west side of the island along the Hudson River, it rises imposingly amidst grand skyscrapers and beautiful gardens. Getting the ticket for The Vessel in advance will let you access its interior and explore all of its corners.

It will be easy to recognize it because it is a complete magnet for the eyes. This futuristic structure that many resemble a beehive, a vase, a rib cage, or even shawarma (shrug) is covered with copper-colored steel plates that give a warm color to the whole ensemble and reflect the surrounding landscape at the same time.

What the view from above looks like

At the top of The Vessel structure | ©Hellotickets
At the top of The Vessel structure | ©Hellotickets

From the top of The Vessel you can enjoy mesmerizing views of the Hudson River, the surrounding skyscrapers, The Shed cultural center, and 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 down to the ground are breathtaking. I insist: you won't be able to stop taking pictures!

Where is The Vessel and how to get there

Location of The Vessel on the map of Manhattan | ©Hellotickets
Location of The Vessel on the map of Manhattan | ©Hellotickets

The exact location of The Vessel is 20 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001, United States. You can get there comfortably walking from Times Square or from the High Line (which you are sure to visit during your trip). If not, it is easily accessible by public transportation: the closest subway stop is 34 St Hudson Yards (line 7).

Opening hours

Interior view of The Vessel structure | ©Hellotickets
Interior view of The Vessel structure | ©Hellotickets

The Vessel is currently closed due to COVID-19.
Its normal hours are: daily, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Accessibility

  • 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

Curiosities about The Vessel

The interior of The Vessel structure and its elevator | ©Hellotickets
The interior of The Vessel structure and its elevator | ©Hellotickets
  • It opened on March 15, 2019
  • It was designed by English architect Thomas Heatherwick, author of the London 2012 Olympic Games cauldron
  • The Vessel looks like a jewel. Not only from an architectural standpoint but also economically: it cost a whopping 200 million dollars 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. 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 anything better than its current name?
  • A ticketing system was set up to ensure that there are no more than 700 people touring the monument at any one time
  • Until recently, the area where The Vessel is located was a big, industrial-looking clearing 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, drainage storage, and a site for stormwater management.

But... what is Hudson Yards?

Views of Hudson Yards | ©Hellotickets
Views of Hudson Yards | ©Hellotickets

Just when it was thought there was no more room in Manhattan to create 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 square footage is at a premium, many set their sights on this centrally located but forgotten area to revitalize it and turn it into a luxury residential area in Midtown New York.

Hudson Yards is still under construction and the next few years will see the opening of new skyscrapers, cultural centers, gardens, offices, and shopping centers. For now, the best excuse to visit Hudson Yards is The Vessel, but it's not the only one:

Take the opportunity to visit Little Spain Market

Little Spain Gastronomic Market | ©Loff.it
Little Spain Gastronomic Market | ©Loff.it

It is a Spanish gastronomic market with the seal of renowned chefs such as José Andrés or the brothers Ferrán and Albert Adriá that brings to New York the authentic Spanish gastronomy. This restaurant space joins the trend started by other markets such as Eataly and Le District focused on Italian and French cuisine, respectively.

Take a look at The Shed

The Shed illuminated | ©Theshed.com
The Shed illuminated | ©Theshed.com

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 has wheels and can be moved to reveal a second, completely different building.

Climb The Edge Observatory

The glazed observatory at The Edge | ©Edge
The glazed observatory at The Edge | ©Edge

At 113 feet 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 are excited about visiting 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. Find out what you need to know before visiting them here: Empire State Building Tickets, Top of the Rock Tickets and The Edge.

Stroll along the High Line

A stretch of the High Line | ©Hellotickets
A stretch of the High Line | ©Hellotickets
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New York has several green corners that are true oases of tranquility in the middle of this bustling city where locals 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 extend along more than twenty streets.

It takes about one hour to walk along High Lane and I recommend that you visit during the spring and summer, when it is at its lushest and most beautiful.

Go shopping at The Shops

Views of The Vessel from The Shops Shopping Center | ©Hellotickets
Views of The Vessel from The Shops Shopping Center | ©Hellotickets

Whether you feel like grabbing a drink before or after your visit or you want to indulge yourself in a luxury store, the shopping mall you'll find right in front of 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.