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This post is about the National September 11th Museum (a.k.a. the 9/11 Museum or World Trade Center Museum), including information on tickets, guided tours, how to get here and what to expect.
Although the 9/11 Memorial is free to visit, you will require a paid ticket to enter the 9/11 Museum.
Admission can be purchased ahead of time in order to skip the ticket line and avoid waiting in a potentially long queue.
This is the best way to save time and it can also save you some money depending on how you purchase your tickets.
TIP: If you’re looking for a way to save money on tickets, it’s important to note that admission to the 9/11 Museum is included with several tourist passes.
Visitors who are planning to visit at least one other attraction or tour should consider this opportunity to save money on tickets. Savings will be between 20-50% depending on the type of pass you choose.
For more details, make sure to read our post about New York City attraction passes.
There are also combo packages such as the New York Top 3 package which includes admission to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Empire State Building and a 48 Hour Hop on Hop off bus tour.
This package is $80 for adults and $71 for children when you use the coupon code SAVE10.
Check this list of New York City combo packages for more deals.
Alternatively, some guided tours include admission to the 9/11 Museum and other activities. These outings are a lot like combo packages, saving you a lot of time.
The information in this section will help you plan an outing to the 9/11 Museum. This is where you will find details such as how to get there, the best times to visit, security information, and what to expect.
The National September 11 Memorial Museum is located at 180 Greenwich Street, inside the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District.
There are many ways to get here, but regardless, we recommend using this link for directions to the 9/11 Museum.
Stations within walking distance are:
Alternatively, if you’re planning to use a hop-on-hop-off bus, most services offer a stop very close to the World Trade Center. You can also take a public bus (lines M5, M20 & M22) to get here if need be.
The 9/11 Museum is a fairly popular attraction that attracts pretty large crowds throughout the year. With that in mind, it’ll be important to consider the hours of this establishment before we go any further.
9/11 Museum Hours
Sunday – Thursday
Friday – Saturday
Despite the fact that they are open every day of the week, there are still times when this museum can get very busy. As a matter of fact, you should probably expect the place to get pretty crowded from about 12 pm – 3 pm no matter what day it is.
If you want to avoid the crowds, the best times to come are between the hours of 9 am – 11 am or 6 pm – 8 pm. Although there aren’t too many differences between the popularity of this attraction on weekdays and weekends, many guests recommend coming on a weekday for the best results.
Other visitors have indicated that if you pre-purchase your ticket, any time you come will be a good time. Long ticket lines are the main problem people experience during the middle of the day.
Purchasing your ticket ahead of time will make it easier to get inside quickly without having to worry about long waits. For more info about this option, check our ticket details section.
Upon entering the 9/11 Museum, you will need to go through a security screening. Here is a list of just a few things you cannot bring into the museum:
While items such as umbrellas and large bags are also not allowed, you will have the option to keep them in a coatroom for the duration of your visit.
That all being said, it is worth noting that you are more than welcome to bring both smartphones and strollers into the museum. Smartphones must be silenced and you will require headphones for any audio guides.
The following activities are prohibited:
If you decide to take pictures or shoot a video, make sure to ask for permission first and keep the focus on items in the museum and not on other people around you. Permits may be required for certain activities.
If you don’t purchase admission ahead of time, you may run into long lines at the ticket booth. The best way to avoid long waits at the 9/11 museum is to pre-purchase your tickets. Make sure to read our ticket information section for more details on this option.
Once you pass through security, you will be able to visit several different exhibits that detail the history of 9/11 and the World Trade Center. There is so much to see and do at this museum that you might get overwhelmed without a little help.
Thankfully, there are tours that you can take which provide more information about various exhibitions and artifacts. For additional details, make sure to check our tour section.
The 9/11 Museum recommends setting aside at least 2 hours to explore the museum.
Visitors have indicated that you could spend as little as an hour at the museum if you skip certain exhibits, but many have also said that they spent anywhere from 2 ½ – 5 hours and still didn’t manage to explore the entire building.
Each exhibition could take anywhere from 15-30 minutes or more to experience. Use our exhibit information section to plan your itinerary.
If you also plan on seeing nearby attractions such as the 9/11 Memorial or One World Observatory, make sure to set aside a little extra time for each activity. While you can visit the memorial for free during the same general hours as the museum, you will need a ticket to enter One World Trade Center.
For more details on this and other opportunities, visit our nearby attractions section.
There are many options for guided tours of the museum. Most, however, include tours of the 9/11 Memorial while others include tickets to One World Observatory or to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
For more information on these tours, click here or take a look at the calendar below.
Official 9/11 Museum Tours
In addition to all the 9/11 Memorial tours you can take, there are also official tours offered by the 9/11 Museum. Some of them aren’t cheap, but you will undoubtedly learn a lot about the history of this location with the help of their wonderful and knowledgeable docents.
Check their tour page for more information.
In addition to a few permanent exhibitions, this museum also houses revolving exhibits. Keep an eye out for new attractions whenever you choose to visit. This section will cover the more notable things to see and experience at the 9/11 Museum.
The New Yorker Magazine has had a history of depicting the Twin Towers in playful ways through their cover art. That all changed after 9/11, and this exhibit provides a look at the imagery both before and after the event. Take a look at how this tragedy impacted the way that artists would come to view the World Trade Center.
This is where you will find artifacts and historic details that provide a full account of the World Trade Center. There are three parts to this exhibit that explore the history of this location before, during and after the events of 9/11. Each area is contained in its own room with several different things to see and experience.
See the faces of the 2,983 victims of both 9/11 and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Learn more about each victim by using touch screen tables which provide additional information about each of the lives lost. You’ll also find a chamber that projects profiles of select individuals with additional information and audio from family and friends.
Witness at Ground Zero
See the tragic events of 9/11 through the eyes of a photographer who not only documented the moment but also took part in the effort to save lives. Due to his rescue efforts, he not only helped a lot of people, but he also got some of the most remarkable photographs of Ground Zero. Take a look at 500+ pictures that were taken between September 12th – September 16th of 2001.
This is the newest revolving exhibition and it covers the subject of how New York sporting events were affected by the events of 9/11. As the tragedy weighed heavily on the hearts and minds of Americans, the baseball season was coming to a close and the Football season was just beginning. A combination of postseason berths and new beginnings would quickly become the symbol of a country that would not be terrorized.
Due to its location in lower Manhattan, there are a lot of historic and notable attractions near the 9/11 Museum. This section will provide a shortlist of interesting places in the area that you may want to visit.
This one is a no-brainer, and you’ll actually make a stop here on some of the tours listed under our tour section. Found right next to the museum, this memorial was erected to honor the victims of 9/11. Read our post about the 9/11 memorial for more details.
One World Observatory
This building and its observation decks are one of the best attractions in NYC. Located right across the street from the museum, visitors will definitely want to consider stopping in for one of the best views in the city. Read our post about One World Observatory for more information.
Free admission will be available for all visitors every Tuesday from 5 pm (17:00) to 8 pm (20:00), with the last entry at 7 pm (19:00).
A limited number of advance tickets for these free Tuesdays will be available online, starting two weeks in advance of each Tuesday. A limited number of tickets are available at the box office every Tuesday on a first-come, first-served basis.
Note: While admission is free, there is an expectation that you donate at least $10 per person. This isn’t required, but you might feel uncomfortable when asked.
Admission to the museum is included for free with the purchase of either the New York Pass, the Explorer Pass or the CityPass booklet. Read our post comparing the different tourist attractions passes in NYC.
On Tuesdays, we run our 9/11 and World Trade Center Tour @ 2 pm (14:00), ending just in time to get a good spot on the line for free Tuesday entry.
Or, visit the museum first and take our 911 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge Night Tour @7 pm (19:00).
About the 9/11 Museum
The 9/11 Museum was planned and designed to be the preeminent institution in the United States for honoring and remembering those who were lost on September 11, 2001, as well as the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.
The museum weaves together individual stories about those who lost their lives on 9/11, as well as stories from those who escaped, those who lost a loved one, and those who risked their lives to aid in the rescue efforts.
The Museum’s 110,000 square feet of exhibit space includes a Historical Exhibition, detailing the facts and chronology of the events of 9/11, as well as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The “Wall of Faces” displays pictures of nearly every victim of these two events. There are also interactive exhibits where individuals are honored through stories, additional photographs, personal artifacts and audio recordings.
Worth noting is that the primary exhibition space is located below ground. Seven stories below ground, to be exact. The reasoning is unique.
In the aftermath of 9/11, what remained of the original World Trade Center achieved federal landmark status. The 9/11 Memorial Foundation is legally required to preserve what remains of the original Trade Center and make it accessible to the public.
The remaining elements are the foundation slabs of the original Twin Towers, parts of the exterior “box columns” of the Twin Towers, and the retaining wall that was built during the original construction. This was to keep the Hudson River from flooding the Trade Center.
This wall, known as the “slurry wall,” held firm on 9/11, despite all of the chaos around. Architect Daniel Libeskind, who designed the master plan for the new World Trade Center, thought that the slurry wall was a symbol of the strength and endurance of this country and needed to be seen.
Because of these factors, the Museum is built underground where visitors can best see these original World Trade Center elements.
Be sure to check out our comprehensive list of things to do in NYC as well as these related posts: