Freedom Tower Observatory

The new One World Observatory is much more that just another stunning vantage point from which to view the city

View from the One World Observatory in NYC
View from the One World Observatory in NYC cc licensed photo by Kai Brinker

This is a memorable attraction in so many ways. The Freedom Tower observation deck opened its doors to the public on May 29th 2015 on the 100, 101 and 102 floors of the beautiful new One World Trade Center Tower also known as The New Freedom Tower. It stands directly on the site of the WTC 6 building which was severally damaged from fallen debris when the original WTC Tower 1 fell on it during the terrorist attack of September 11th 2001.

The new tower shares the same numerical number one with the Twin Tower on the north side of the 16 acre site which was hit and destroyed during 9/11. Now there are memorial twin reflecting poolssitting on the spot where the twin towers once stood. These pools are close to an acre in size displaying waterfalls that are the largest man made waterfalls in the North America. The names of the victims who died in this senseless attack are inscribed in a Bronze panel that surrounds them.

The outside of the New Freedom tower draws your eyes to the way its beautiful glass exterior glistens and sparkles on a sunny day. This uniquely designed building gives an illusion of glass twisting and turning as it reaches for the heavens. The building's height was specifically planned including the antenna to reach 1,776 feet high. This number symbolically represents the year of 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed. This makes it the tallest highrise in the western hemisphere and fourth highest in the whole world.

As you enter the lobby of the building you are welcomed at the Global Welcome center by a giant video board with greetings in a wide variety of languages and a real time world map where visitors can see their hometown. Next you will get acquainted with the men and women who built the 1 WTC by a program called Voices which tells you about their personal stories. This is followed by Foundations where you'll experience an up close look at the very bedrock that the building stands on.

The One World Observatory is on the 100th, 101 and 102 floors of this beautiful Skyscraper. Travelling up at 23 miles per hour in one of five speedy elevators labelled Sky Pods is an exciting and wonderful experience. In only 47 seconds you are taken up to the 102 floor, where you'll experience the SEE FOREVER Theater — a 2 minute video that amalgamates time-lapse pictures with a balance of abstract texture and designs to present a 3D effect of the rhythm and feel of this lively city. During your ride up the elevator you will be awed with the illusion you are looking out the windows and witnessing emerging from the bedrock over 515 years ago straight into undeveloped marshlands from the 1500s. As the elevator rises time unfolds before your eyes from the 1500s to the current date with a detailed reconstruction of New York City's developing skyline. A quick but amazing journey.

On the 100th floor is the main observatory commonly named the discovery level. A feeling of wonderment hits you as you step out of the elevator and onto this deck taking in the panorama of breathtaking views from all directions. Here you will receive an amazing 360-degree vista of landmarks, and iconic sites such as the Statue of Liberty, The Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the beautiful waters that surround the city and more. On a clear day, your field of vision can stretch out as far as 50 miles making this arguably the best view point in the city. Also featured on this deck is the Sky Portal where you are invited to step onto a circular disc 14 feet in width that displays memorable clear views of real time footage of the streets below in high definition. This is not for those with a fear of heights.

There is so much more than just views to appreciate on this deck. City Pulse is another interesting and informative exhibit. This is a 14 foot high ring of 10 high-definition video monitors that responds to gestures made by the entertaining and enlightening global ambassador, a tour guide who stands in the center of the ring explaining and giving visitors information about the city with real time views on a wide variety of topics about New York. There is a souvenir gift shop with some items exclusively produced for One World Observatory. All exhibits are suited to all ages.

On the 101st floor there is a fine restaurant which requires advance reservations. If you don't have reservations there are two sit down cafes that need no reservations. There is also a shop where you can get a souvenir photo with a backdrop of your choice. All three levels boast new and advanced technologies making for an interesting, fun and informative day that's great for your whole family. When you are ready to go home, exiting in the SkyPod elevator is an experience in itself as you will feel the virtual effects of being outside of the building as you descend to the ground.

For an addition charge you can add the One World Explorer iPad to your visit. This iPad is loaded with an app that will give you a virtual up-close look at the views and iconic landmarks of the city as seen from a helicopter. You scan the skyline and choose from over 40 important and intriguing sites and then you can zoom in on them for a close-up look and more information.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes. There is a discount in the ticket price for seniors and children ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under are free.

Website: One World Observatory

Freedom Tower Observatory Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Address: 117 West St, New York, NY 10007, USA

Phone: (844) 696-1776

Official Website: Freedom Tower Observatory

Freedom Tower Observatory Reviews

Rated 4.7 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating A tough visit for someone scared of heights but the views are simply out of this world. We had a clear day with 40 miles of visibility. The elevator ride is an experience of its own, travels 35 miles per hour, 102 floors in 49 seconds, but very safe & smooth ride. They spared nothing in this experience to see New York & lower Manhattan, Connecticut shore & New Jersey
Sennen Conte - in the last week

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5 Star Rating My visit to the One World Trade Center Observatory on Tuesday, February 27th, was nothing short of extraordinary. From the moment we arrived, the staff greeted us warmly and guided us seamlessly through the experience. The panoramic views from the observation deck were simply breathtaking, offering a unique perspective of New York City. The only downside is we found the gift shop prices to be exorbitantly high and while we were tempted to take home a souvenir of our visit, we ultimately decided against it due to the steep prices. Overall experience at the One World Trade Center Observatory was exceptional. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an unforgettable way to see the city skyline.
Jordan Booth - in the last week

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4 Star Rating I was delighted to see One World Observatory featured during New York Must See Week. As a result, I was able to purchase buy one get one free tickets, slicing the cost in half of what I would have originally paid. I participated in the Mastercard VIP Tour. One World Observatory is a truly spectacular piece of architecture. The exterior of the building is just as captivating as the observatory deck. The views were amazing, and on a cold February afternoon, it was nice to be able to enjoy the views indoors. The windows provide a 360 degree view of basically all of New York City, and I liked how there were spaces to sit and relax so you could take in the view. VIP package perks that stood out to me: 1. Having a more intimate, group tour guide for a longer period of time with individual headphones so that we could follow what the guide was saying, 2. A $15 credit per ticket that could be used for either the gift shop or food inside the observatory (felt like we were getting some money back for our purchase) 3. Getting a One World Observatory lanyard gift at the start of the tour, a nice inclusive souvenir, 4. Getting access to the priority entrance and exit which helped us save time when leaving the observatory deck The only reason I am giving this experience 4 stars out of 5 is that some aspects of the VIP package felt redundant to the general experience. As a native New Yorker, it was cool to see the city from this perspective but it did feel like something was missing. The only real perk of the VIP tickets was cutting some lines. I would recommend, instead, coming perhaps later in the evening when you get to see the magical lights at night and checking out the public information session (which regurgitates the same info as the private tour so you won't be missing anything significant).
Jasmine Singh - a month ago

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5 Star Rating This is probably one of my favorite observatories in NYC thanks to the awesome "show" when riding the elevator up. That alone was worth the price of admission. I was able to purchase my ticket on the spot with no wait l, but keep in mind this was on a Sunday morning in February. I can imagine it's a different story during the spring and summer. I'll definitely come back again soon.
Alex G - a month ago

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5 Star Rating Very cool experience! We had reservations for around 4pm. We got up there a little after 4 and spent a good hour and a half. We saw the sunset and the city with lights as it got darker out. The one downfall is the reflection of the glass when trying to get photos, but we didn't have to worry about the elements or bad weather. (We also had two-for-one tickets during the "must-see" week for NYC tourist attractions)
Luke Carlson - 3 weeks ago

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Directions

Subway Line Nearest Station Walking Time
A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4, or 5Fulton Street7 minutes
2 or 3 Park Place6 Minutes
EWorld Trade Center4 minutes
RCortlandt Street3 minutes

How to get to Freedom Tower Observatory by Subway

The Entrance to One World Observatory is located on the corner of Vesey Street and West Street which is on the north west corner of the One World Trade Center.

Take a A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4, or 5 train to Fulton Street: exit onto Fulton Street, go right on Church Street, left on Vesey Street, continue to West Street.

Take a 2 or 3 train to Park Place: exit and walk south on Church Street and turn right (west) onto Vesey Street, continue to West Street.

Take an E train to World Trade Center: exit onto Church Street Walk south and turn right on Vesey Street, continue to West Street.

Take a R train to Cortlandt Street: walk west on Cortlandt street to the Memorial and go right on West Street to Vesey.

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