New York: One World Observatory

The One World Observatory is the highest observation platform in New York! We just can’t get enough of this view and so we keep coming back. Here we present to you our most important information, the best tickets and our personal tips for the One World Trade Center observation deck.

During our many visits here we were never disappointed and can really say that this observation deck at Ground Zero has earned its place as one of the special places of the city. From this height, the Statue of Liberty and the ships on the Hudson River simply look like a miniature landscape. So get ready, it’s going high!

The breathtaking view from One World Observatory

With a height of 1776 feet, the One World Trade Center is the highest skyscraper in New York.

It has 104 floors with almost 80,000 square meters of office space, a public lobby on the ground floor and several restaurants. We are not only impressed by the new building, but especially by the view from the three platforms on floors 100 to 102, which together form the One World Observatory.

It is currently the highest observation platform in all of New York. Accordingly, the view is really breathtaking!

You cannot go outside, but the floor-to-ceiling windows offer a sensational 360° view. So you can see as far as New Jersey, Brooklyn or Central Park. Or – that’s what we found most exciting – almost vertically down!

By the way, the new One World Trade Center was supposed to be called Freedom Tower until 2009, but was then changed to One WTC. The authorities objected that the name Freedom Tower was too emotional.

One World Observatory Tickets

Altogether you have the choice of three different tickets for the viewing platform One World Observatory. You can reserve all tickets online at home.

Of course, you can also buy tickets spontaneously at the counter. But then you have to expect very long waiting times.

What do the tickets for the observation deck cost?

Tickets for the One World Observatory are available for adults from $35, for children between 6 and 13 years from $26, senior citizens from 65 years get a discount and children under 5 years don’t have to pay any entrance fee. This puts the Observatory at the same price level as the Empire State Building.

If you don’t want to wait in line at the ticket counter, you can purchase One World Observatory tickets online in advance.

Included in the entrance fee:

  • Admission to One World Observatory without queuing
  • Travel with a SkyPod
  • Forever Theatre
  • sky portal
  • City Pulse multimedia presentation
  • virtual iPad guide


One of the reasons why the New York Sightseeing Pass has become one of the most popular New York passes is the One World Observatory.

The tickets for the observation deck are already included in this pass. This is exactly the reason why I also had the Sightseeing Pass with me during my last three visits.

Guided tours incl. entrance to the One World Observatory

Why not just book a tour that combines the best attractions in Lower Manhattan? There are several great tours that we have done ourselves. We can highly recommend two of them.

Very popular is the combined ticket from One World Observatory, Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: With a guide, you start at Battery Park to drive to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Afterward, you can relax and go to St. Paul’s Chapel and the 9/11 Memorial. After an exciting guided tour you will get tickets for direct access to the One World Observatory in the One World Trade Center.

If you prefer to visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum instead of the Statue of Liberty, there is also a worthwhile combination ticket with all entrance fees at Ground Zero. This includes a guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial and the World Trade Center Complex with a guide who has a personal interest in the impact of the terrorist attacks, as well as tickets to the 9/11 Memorial Museum and One World Observatory.

What can you see at One World Trade Center?

Of course, most visitors come to the One World Trade Center for the viewing platform. But in fact it has much more to offer than just the great view!

You can experience all this in the One World Trade Center:

The 1st floor: Exhibitions & Welcome Center

Already on the way to the elevators that will take you to the top, you can immerse yourself in the history and construction of the skyscraper.

You start on the -1st floor because after the ticket office you go down one floor by escalator or elevator before you reach the top.

The elevator: goosebumps on the way up

The ride in the elevator to the 100th floor alone gives you goosebumps!

I don’t want to anticipate too much, of course. Just this much to say: You will get a vivid impression of the history of New York and the construction of the One World Trade Center.

If you don’t want to wait and see, you can read more in our One World Observatory field report. But attention spoilers!

The 100th floor: See Forever Theatre – entrance with WOW effect

The 100th floor is the lowest of the three different levels with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows.

When you leave the elevators there and before you have a view of the harbour and the canyons of the houses, an arc of tension is built up which will make for a WOW!!! with you at the end.

But also here I don’t want to give too much away…

The 101st floor & 102nd floor: viewing decks, restaurant & caféoo

Unfortunately, the One World Observatory has no exit to the outside, so you’ll be behind the floor-to-ceiling windows all the time.

BUT: The view is still fabulous!

We always make sure that the glass pane has no fingerprints and of course the camera flash is switched off. Then there is nothing standing in the way of the breathtaking photo from the One World Observatory.

Wine with a view

The One World Observatory also offers an own restaurant at the top, but I do not really recommend it. In my opinion, price and quality are not in proportion here. But to order a drink at the bar and get one of the seats at the window is already very nice!

My insider tips

1. Experience the sunset over New York

In total, we have been to the One World Trade Center at least 9 times, because the view from here is unique.

We like it best on the viewing platform during the change from day tonight. Then you see the sunset and the reflections of the last sunrays on the Hudson River, the city starts to glow and you experience how the light mood over the city changes.

Just brilliant!

2. Experience mini-concerts

If you’re lucky – we’ve only had one so far – you can experience small live events upstairs.

From time to time there are mini-concerts on the observation deck!

3. Enjoy the view from the EATALY or the rooftop bar of W-Downtown

Take time after or before visiting the One World Observatory to let the whole area take effect on you.

This is best done either directly from the 9/11 Memorial or at the Italian Food Market EATALY right next door.

It’s no secret – I love the rooftop bars of New York. You can get an especially nice view of the One World Trade Center in the Rooftop Bar of the W Downtown Hotel!