For visitors to the One World Trade Center, in addition to its impressive sight, the One World Observatory on the top floors of the skyscraper is particularly interesting, with its observation deck on three different levels offering a breathtaking view over New York City. In addition to the viewing platform on the 102nd floor, floors 100 and 101 can also be visited.
The Global Welcome Center marks the beginning of the journey
If you want to visit the observation deck of the One World Observatory, you first have to go through a strict security check and are then greeted by a large LED screen that shows how many people have visited the New York attraction on that day and since it opened. The large screen in the visitor center also greets the guest in ten different languages.
The next room continues on the way to the popular viewing platform, in which “Voices” is a film about 48 workers who were involved in the construction of the building. More information about the skyscraper itself and its construction is available in the “Foundations” corridor, which leads to the elevators that take visitors to the viewing platform.
With the Sky Pods it goes up rapidly
The elevators in One World Trade Center are called Sky Pods, which means something like sky gondolas. There is space for 15 people per elevator. A special highlight of the rapid journey to the 102nd floor to the viewing platform, which takes only 47 seconds, is the film played in the elevator, which shows the development of the New York skyline over the past decades and centuries.
A short film about New York City will follow in the See Forever Theater on the 102nd floor
As soon as the elevator has reached the viewing platform on the 102nd floor, a two-minute film about New York follows in the See Forever Theater. Then the screen rises and reveals the skyline of the world metropolis. If you want, you can borrow a One World Explorer iPad on the viewing platform after the film, which shows the various landmarks, boroughs and more, depending on which direction you hold the device on the viewing platform.
Tip: It is best to choose a clear day for your trip to the viewing platform and visit the One World Observatory in the early morning or late afternoon if possible to enjoy the best and most undisturbed view from the viewing platform. If you want to take selfies on the observation deck, dark clothes are recommended, as the glass of the skyscraper is reflective.
Food and drinks await visitors on the 101st floor
One floor below the observation deck is the One World Trade Center’s gastronomy, divided into three areas. On the one hand there is the ONE Café, which is freely accessible without a reservation and offers small drinks and snacks. Wines, cocktails, beers and bar food can be enjoyed in the ONE Mix bar area.
Best known, however, is New York’s tallest restaurant, the ONE dine which, especially in the evening or at dusk, offers not only one menu and several starters, but above all a breathtaking view.
If you want to visit the ONE Dine, you have to reserve a seat in advance and always one too Purchase a ticket for the One World Observatory.
Tip: When making your reservation, make sure you indicate that you would like a window seat.
Interactive stations on the 100th floor of the One World Trade Center
From the 101st floor, the escalator takes visitors to the viewing platform to the 100th floor, where two interactive stations with additional videos await them. The City Pulse Show is particularly worth seeing. If you have a head for heights, you can also venture onto the Sky portal. It is about four meters wide in the middle of the viewing platform with high-resolution live images of the streets below the building. There is also a souvenir shop on the 100th floor of WTC 1, where you can stock up on souvenirs from the observation deck and New York City.
General information on visiting the 1 WTC viewing platform
- All visitors to the observation deck must first go through a security check.
- The main entrance to One World Trade Center is on West Street (corner of West and Vesey Street)
- Tickets for the viewing platform start at $ 34 per person and are best pre-ordered online. Children under five have free admission.
- September 5 to December 20: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- December 21 to January 3: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- January 4 to April 30: from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- May 1st to September 4th: from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Different opening times apply to the viewing platform on public holidays and special occasions
The 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero
The 9/11 Memorial is both the memorial for the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the bombing of the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993. It replaces the water basin built in 1993 for the six victims of the terrorist attack at the time. This Reflecting Pool, which was labeled with the names of those killed, was destroyed by the rubble of the 2001 disaster.
For the World Trade Center Memorial, two large basins with copper surrounds were created in the place of the former towers like footprints, in the bronze edges of which the names of the 2983 people were milled who died during the attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 came. This includes the people in the World Trade Center, in the Pentagon, in the four hijacked aircraft, the rescue workers and the volunteers. The names of the assassins are not listed.
They form the center of the memorial and are at street level. In the middle of the water bodies, however, the water falls a full nine meters into the basement, making the basins the largest man-made waterfalls in the United States.
Daylight falls through the falls into a pavilion with two memorial rooms with the names of the dead and the museum, which is located under the water basin. A park with trees was created around the “Reflecting Absence” memorial. The memorial covers a total of 80,000 square meters.
The 9/11 Memorial is a poignant and emotional place where one should be respectful and quiet. Access is free and possible daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. On September 11th, the 9/11 Memorial is open from 3 p.m. to midnight. If you want, you can take part in the 9/11 Memorial Tour as an official tour.
The 9/11 Memorial in its present form was designed by Michael Arad. His design was selected from 5200 submissions. Libeskind also had plans for the memorial. His plan was not only to turn the towers ‘footprints into basins, but to lower the entire area of the twin towers’ foundation by twenty meters. Libeskind then wanted to set up a park there with a waterfall and bridge. He had also planned to keep the raw walls of the foundation with scorch marks and stumps of the iron girders. But here too, Libeskind could not prevail.
Tip: The 9/11 Memorial is beautifully lit in the winter months when it gets dark early.
The 9/11 Museum in New York City
The 9/11 Museum is located under the memorial on seven floors and covers a total of over 10,000 square meters. The place is dedicated to the events of September 11th. There it is possible to find out more about the victims of the disaster via a touchscreen and to view exhibits from the day of the attack.
There are parts of the original pillars of the twin towers and two 24 meter long steel parts (“tridents”) that were built into the foundation plate of the original World Trade Center. You can clearly see the red and brown discoloration of the steel by the flames, which were not completely extinguished even 99 days after the attacks. But other exhibits such as a burned ambulance, destroyed telephone booths and helmets of firefighters and helpers can be seen there.
The Survivors’ Stairs are located in the museum’s basement, which is 21 meters underground. It’s a cement staircase that was used by hundreds of people fleeing the burning towers.
Two exhibitions, the Historical and the Memorial Exhibition, round off the museum’s content. The Historical Exhibition tells the history of the attack (9/11) in chronological order with television images, photos, documents from press archives and objects. The Memorial Exhibition serves to remember the victims. There is the Wall of Faces with photos of all victims and information about the individual people.
Tip: With the New York Pass and the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass Entry to the 9/11 Museum is free.
Further memorials to the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
- In 2002, Fritz Koenig erected the 7.6-meter-high fountain sculpture “Globus” on “The Battery” as a memorial and provided a corresponding inscription. The sculpture, consisting of 52 bronze segments, was found in the rubble and only partially damaged by an airplane seat. Today it is in Liberty Park.
- In 2006, a memorial wall was erected in Fire Station 10 of the New York City Fire Department as an official memorial for the 343 relatives who were killed.
- “Tribute in Light” is a light installation in which floodlights reproduce the outlines of the towers. On special days, it is used to remember the twin towers and the victims of the terrorist attack.
- A cross (“The Cross”) was erected from steel girders from the WTC on the site of the former Orthodox Church on the corner of West and Liberty. In addition to this, there are other crosses made of steel beams from the World Trade Center in other places.
- In the Meatpacking District there are relics and a photo documentation of the disaster in the Ground Zero Museum Workshop. The small museum is operated, among others, by Gary Marlon Suson, the official photographer for the New York Fire Department during the clean-up work on the World Trade Center site.