Virtual Tours of New York City

Understandably, it’s not possible to visit NYC right now, with the coronavirus (Covid-19) effectively shutting down most travel.

It’s a shame, as we know that some of you had to cancel your travel plans.

Virtual Tours of NYC

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Dinner Cruise NYC

5 Best Dinner Cruises in NYC

This post will provide information about some of the best dinner cruises available in NYC, including which one excels in which class and their differences.  

 

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Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

OVERVIEW

The following cruises are chosen based on how well they fit the criteria specified in each section.

In other words, if you’re looking for a cruise that has excellent music, our Best Music Cruise section will highlight one of the best services in the entire city!
 

Manhattan Dinner Cruises

 

Many of the selections we have listed below are actually great for multiple purposes.

For example, our pick for the Best Dinner Cruise is also an excellent choice for the Most Romantic Cruise.

This post will cover five of the most important factors visitors consider when choosing a cruise: lowest price, best dinner, best music, most romantic, and best specialty cruise.

Our section on Specialty Cruises includes four different options for specific holidays such as Independence Day, New Year’s Eve, Christmas and Valentine’s Day – which means our list covers a total of 8 cruises!

In addition to making note of all the ways in which each cruise we feature fits the description for a particular section, we will also make note of the differences between that service and others found in this post.

There are a lot of great cruises you can take in New York City, but some are better than others when it comes to specific criteria. If you’re looking for even more services, make sure to read our post about NYC cruises.

 


LOWEST PRICED CRUISE

Just because the cruise is affordable doesn’t mean the quality of your experience will suffer.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced excursion, consider this option to save some money.


Hornblower Cruises | Alive After Five

This cruise company is well known and respected for providing excellent excursions in New York City, and this is one of their more popular services.

Although it’s not technically a dinner cruise, you can purchase a ticket that includes a buffet meal with dishes ranging from pasta to Tex-Mex.

 

 

If you don’t feel like paying for a meal, you can also purchase snacks and drinks at your leisure. 

There will also be plenty of great tunes provided by their onboard DJ, so feel free to do a little dancing as well.

The Alive After Five cruise is included with the New York Sightseeing Pass, making it even more affordable. Check our discounts section for more details.

Even after adding on a few snacks/drinks or a buffet, it’s still one of the lowest-priced cruises in the city!

  • Tickets w/out Buffet: $35 per person
  • Tickets w/ Buffet: $48 and up
  • Tickets w/ Buffet & Drinks: $67 and up
  • Tickets w/ Buffet & Open Bar: $83 and up
  • Apr – Dec Availability: Thu – Sun
  • Jan – Mar Availability: Fri – Sun
  • Hours: 6 pm – 8 pm (2-hour duration)
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Differences to Note

Being the cheapest option on our list, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this is also the shortest dinner cruise in New York City.

It should also be noted that this is essentially a happy hour service, typically described as a cocktail cruise, so it’s probably not the most family-friendly option and it might be better suited to singles.

In other words, this definitely isn’t the most romantic dinner cruise you’ll ever take, and it’s more about having some fun out on the water and seeing the sights while you enjoy a few drinks/snacks and great music.


Additional Options

If you’re looking for an official dinner cruise, you may want to consider Spirit Cruises instead. Some of their excursions can be less than $150 per person, and they typically include a buffet-style dinner.

While this service is definitely more expensive than Hornblower’s Alive After Five cruise, it’s also a lot less casual and aimed more at customers who are looking for a romantic night out.

As if that weren’t enough, you can also save $10 off your ticket by using a New York tourist pass. Check our discounts section for more details on this opportunity.

You can also find more information about this company and their services on our post covering NYC cruises.

 


BEST DINNER CRUISE

If you’re looking for a truly memorable meal while cruising around New York City, there are several great options to consider. 

That said, this section will include our favorite service-based heavily upon the highest-rated dishes.

 

 


Bateaux Cruises | New York Dinner Cruise

When it comes to food quality, this is arguably one of the best-rated dinner cruises in NYC.

Additionally, they also provide excellent views of popular attractions like the Statue of Liberty and the Freedom Tower.

Rather than a buffet option, this company offers a 3-course dinner with several delicious dishes to choose from including the following:

Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar, Lobster Bisque w/Shrimp, Togarashi Tuna Tartare, American Wagyu Striploin, Maine Lobster Tails, Pan Seared Atlantic Cod, and more!

 

Bateaux Cruises NYC

 

In addition to the meal, you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy a live acoustic quartet with a vocalist and grand piano.

If you have a New York Sightseeing Pass, you can use it to save an extra 10% off this cruise ($20 off). 


Differences to Note

Needless to say, since the meal is a lot better, this is also one of the most expensive dinner cruises available. 

That said, if the food quality is of importance, then according to online reviews, you won’t find a better option.

This is also a longer cruise than some of the other services in New York City, and it’s clearly intended for guests who are looking for either a romantic night out with less of a party atmosphere.


Additional Options

Whether you’re not interested in Bateaux’s service or you just want an alternative in case tickets sell out, we recommend considering Hornblower Cruises for an excellent meal during your excursion.

Much like their competitors, this company also provides 3-course meals for their cruises, and most guests are very impressed with their dinner.

While Hornblower isn’t as popular as Bateaux Cruises, their food is usually very highly rated, so it’s definitely a great alternative to other options.

For more information on this and other services, please read our post covering the best NYC cruises and boat tours.

 


BEST MUSIC CRUISE

Some dinner cruises provide a DJ who will play a variety of popular music, while others offer live performances from an acoustic quartet. 

If you’re interested in hearing some great tunes while cruising around New York City, this section will cover one of the best services available.

 

 

Keep in mind that our choice for Best Dinner Cruise and Most Romantic Cruise also receive high ratings for providing live music for guests to enjoy.


Classic Harbor Line | Evening Jazz Cruise

This is another example of a service that isn’t technically a dinner cruise, but you can enjoy some snacks and drinks while on this excursion.

The main reason to consider taking this cruise is the live jazz performance included during your trip around the harbor. 

The professional band on board will play classics from Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and even Motown songs!

 

Jazz Cruise NYC

 

Another great reason to consider this cruise is the fact that it takes place on a traditional 1920s style yacht, complete with authentic wood grain and plenty of windows for beautiful views.

If you’re really hungry, you can also order an artisanal cheese plate or a Mediterranean plate to enjoy while taking the cruise.

Each outing includes a complimentary beer, wine or champagne from the bar.


Differences to Note

Aside from the fact that this cruise doesn’t include a traditional dinner or buffet, this is also a slightly shorter outing than some of the other options on our list.

That said, while other evening cruises are on more modern ships, this one takes place on a traditional yacht that is now almost a century old, ensuring a unique experience you won’t soon forget. 

While other boats or cruise ships are designed with modern architecture in mind, this yacht still uses the same beautiful wooden slats it had when it was first built.

The live jazz is also an excellent bonus that you won’t get on most traditional dinner cruises in New York City.


Additional Options

When it comes to music, most dinner cruises only have DJs who provide a selection of popular and often romantic tunes. If you want a live performance, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Thankfully, there are a few different services you might want to consider if you’re specifically looking for a cruise with live music. One option is already listed below under our pick for the most romantic NYC dinner cruise!

Bateaux Cruises offers a romantic dinner cruise which includes live musicians performing relaxing music. Alternatively, you may also want to consider Hornblower Cruises as well.

Hornblower’s basic dinner cruise also includes an acoustic quartet playing beautiful and romantic music for all passengers.

Better yet, you may be able to save some money on these cruises by using a New York tourist pass, and we’ll cover this in greater detail under our discounts section.

 


MOST ROMANTIC CRUISE

Taking your loved one on an evening cruise can be quite a sentimental experience. 

If you’re looking for an outing that will set the mood properly, this section will provide what we believe to be a most romantic New York City dinner cruise.

 

 


Bateaux Cruises | Romance Dinner Cruise

In addition to offering one of the best menus of any dinner cruise in New York City, this service can also be upgraded to include additional romantic accouterments.

The Romance Dinner Cruise package ensures you’ll get a private window table for 2, half a dozen roses, a bottle of French sparkling wine and two Champagne flutes as souvenirs.

When you factor in the wonderful 3-course meal and live music from an acoustic quartet, it’s easy to see why we chose Bateaux Cruises once again for this honor.

As with their other cruises, New York Sightseeing Pass holders can save an additional 10% off ticket prices ($35+ savings).


Differences to Note

Since this service is all about romance, it probably won’t be a great option for families or anyone looking for more of a party boat atmosphere.

This is also the most expensive option on our list, so you’ll definitely want to consider another cruise if you’re trying to save money.


Additional Options

When it comes to romance, there are a few different cruise services which offer a rather excellent alternative to Bateaux Cruises.

One of the best options is actually Hornblower, as they offer a very similar service which also includes an acoustic quartet playing romantic music for their passengers.

Spirit Cruises is another excellent option, as they provide window table reservations which allow you to ensure you’ll have one of the best views on the ship, setting the mood for a nice, romantic night on the water.

Both of these services are 10% off with the New York Sightseeing Pass, and you can learn more about that service in our discounts section.

 


BEST SPECIALTY CRUISE

If you’re visiting New York City during a holiday, there might be a cruise offered which allows you to celebrate the event out on the water. This section provides details about our favorite specialty cruises.

Most cruise companies offer specialty excursions for certain holidays, so it’s difficult to pick just one holiday service you may want to consider.

Rather than providing one specialty cruise you absolutely have to take, we’re going to include a list of dinner cruises available during each major holiday in New York City.


Differences to Note

Due to the fact that these cruises focus on specific holidays and certain times of year, their availability is typically limited to either the night of the event or the weeks leading up to that date.

Ticket prices for specialty cruises are also typically a bit more expensive, so you might want to consider another alternative if the price is too high.

Many of the services we’ve listed on this post are also available either on these holidays or during the general time frame, so if you’re not dead set on a focused specialty cruise, chances are you’ll enjoy another option just as much.

 


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DISCOUNTS

Most dinner cruises won’t offer many deals of note, but some of the services we have listed in this post actually do provide a few discounts through various different methods.

In this section, we’ll cover the best ways to save money on dinner cruises in New York City, including tourist attraction discount passes and discount sites.


Tourist Attraction Discount Passes

If you’re planning to visit multiple attractions or take multiple tours in addition to paying for a dinner cruise, you might want to consider purchasing a tourist pass to save some money.

Depending on which service you choose, you could save a few bucks on your dinner cruise in addition to all the extra activities you may have planned.

The following discounts are currently available:

  • New York Sightseeing Pass | 10% off Spirit & Bateaux Cruises.
    • Also includes Hornblower Alive After Five Cruise.
  • Big Apple Pass | 20% off Spirit Dinner Cruises.

 

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In addition to saving money on dinner cruises, you can also get free or discounted admission for the following attractions and activities:

  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
  • Hop on Hop off Bus Tours
  • Radio City Music Hall Tour
  • Manhattan by Sail Cruise
  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not
  • One World Observatory
  • Empire State Building
  • Food on Foot Tours
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Central Park Zoo
  • Top of the Rock
  • NY Aquarium
  • And more!

If you use these passes for at least 4-5 services per day, you should be able to save anywhere from 20% – 50% off general admission prices.

For more details, please read our post covering New York tourist passes.


Discount Sites

If all else fails, you may want to check sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial for any deals they might be offering on New York City dinner cruises.

Every now and then, these websites will provide a decent discount on NYC cruises, and they also frequently offer extra coupon codes you can use to save an additional 10% – 20% off local activities.

Before you make any purchase, make sure to check the top and bottom of the page for banners which may contain coupons you can use to save more money on your cruise of choice!

 


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RELEVANT POSTS

 

Things to Do in New York in June

What to Do in NYC in June

This post is about things to do in NYC in June, updated for 2020, including a top 10 list as well as sections on free events, family-friendly activities and things to do at night.

Do check our comprehensive guide on things to do in NYC at any time of year.

 

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Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN JUNE

This section will feature our top 10 activities to enjoy in New York City throughout June. 

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.

For tips on the most popular activities in NYC, check out the following posts:

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Freedom Tower Tickets

Freedom Tower Observatory Tickets

This post is about the Freedom Tower Observatory in NYC, how to plan your visit, get tickets, discounts as well as tours. You can purchase your skip-the-line tickets now.

 

 

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

TIP: CitySights offers a combination bus tour, boat tour, and observatory ticket for just $74 for an adult ticket.  

If you can only visit one of the skyscraper observation decks, read our post which to visit: Empire State Building, Top of the Rock or the Freedom Tower.

As of March 11, 2020, you can also visit the Edge Sky Deck, the newest observation deck in NYC. Read more about Edge here.


TICKETS  

Travelers who would like to purchase their tickets ahead of time should keep the following information in mind while planning out their trip.

For more details, make sure to read our explanation of the timed tickets at Freedom Tower. 


TIP: General admission tickets are included for free with the purchase of the Sightseeing Unlimited and Sightseeing Flex passes. You should also read our sections on combo tickets and discounts


General Admission

  • $38/Adults | $36/Seniors (65+) | $32/Children (age 6-12)
  • Children 5 and under are FREE
  • Skip-the-Line is not included
  • Must use at the time stamped on the ticket
  • More information or to book.

Priority Ticket 

  • $49/Adults | $47/Seniors (65+) | $42/Children (age 6-12)
  • Children 5 and under are FREE
  • Skip-the-Line is included
  • Must use at the time stamped on the ticket
  • More information or to book.

Flexible Tickets

  • $55/Sunset Flex
    • Come anytime after 3:30 pm
    • Skip-the-Line is included
  • $67/Day Flex
    • Come anytime on a specific date
    • Skip-the-Line is included
  • $67/Anytime Flex
    • Come any time on any date
    • Skip-the-Line is included

Click here to purchase flex tickets.

If you want to avoid long lines and pick the best time to see the Freedom Tower, make sure to read our plan your visit section for helpful tips.

In addition to these options, you can also get tickets to One World Trade Center through tour combos which include a 9/11 Memorial Tour or the Statue of Liberty.


DISCOUNTS ON TICKETS

There are several ways to obtain discounted tickets, either as part of a tour bus combination ticket, or part of a tourist discount pass or an organized tour that also includes the 9/11 Museum and/or Memorial.  

Some options may work better for you than others. It really depends on what else you plan on visiting while in New York City.  

Some walking tour companies offer tours of the 9/11 Memorial that also include tickets to the Freedom Tower’s observation deck. 

At the end of this section, we list retail promo codes, discount websites and other discounts that are available.


Purchase a tourist attraction discount pass

A tourist attraction discount pass is a bundle of attractions and tours into one price and can save you up to 55% off listed prices.

 

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One World Observatory is free with the purchase of Sightseeing Pass Unlimited and the Sightseeing Pass Flexible.  


Purchase a ticket as part of a bus tour package

Several bus tour companies offer combination tickets that combine bus, boat, and attractions, such as One World Observatory.  

We’ve listed the best value option below, but be sure to read our bus tour comparison page to learn more about other companies’ options.

CitySights NYC Tours offers a broad deal that gives you tickets to One World Observatory (plus)

  • 48 hours of hop-on-hop-off bus, that includes all of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx + a night tour.
  • hop-on, hop-off boat cruise
  • free entry to the Museum of the City of NYC or the New York Historical Society
  • $74 – Adult | $64 – Child (online price)
  • With this package, you are getting Observatory tickets at 50% off!
  • More information or to book.

Discount Websites, Coupons and Promo Codes

Check discount websites like Groupon and Living Social where you may find deals like 2-for-1 tickets.

Mastercard Two-for-One Tuesdays 

Pay with your Mastercard and you get two tickets for the price of one. Check the website to see what dates this deal is offered.

Must-See Week

During Must-See Week in late January-early February, many attractions in the city offer 2-for-1 tickets. 

Also, be sure to check out our Things to do in January and February in NYC posts to find out about other deals those months.

Active Military Personnel

Active military personnel gets free admission when presenting a valid ID at the ticket booth.

One World Observatory has no discounts available for military veterans. Nevertheless, all other discounts, such as those listed in this post are available to veterans.

Promo codes, coupons, and vouchers can be found on the internet, though not all of them work. A quick search may still worth the time, as you may come across a valid coupon.

AAA discounts are not currently available as of March 2020.

 


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PLAN YOUR VISIT

In this section, we cover how to choose a ticket, including explaining the difference between standard, priority and flexible tickets.  We also suggest the best time to visit, security and prohibited items, as well as tips on how to get here.  


Timed Tickets

Freedom Tower provides timed tickets in order to keep crowds manageable. As a result, you may want to consider purchasing admission ahead of time in order to ensure that you can enter One World Trade Center.

Although most of their tickets are timed, it’s important to note that they also provide flexible admission for tourists who don’t know when they will arrive.One World Observatory Ticket

Several visitors indicate that they managed to buy tickets within 30-60 minutes of arriving, so getting them in advance might not be an absolute necessity.

However, you could save money and time by ordering your tickets with either a tourist pass or a combo package.

A general admission ticket will guarantee you entry to the Freedom Tower at a specific time and date. It is recommended to arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of time.

A priority ticket will allow you to skip to the front of the line and get in ahead of everyone else.

You’ll also have the opportunity to skip elevator lines and go straight up to One World Observatory.

A flex ticket will allow you to enter the building pretty much whenever you want and receive skip-the-line access. This final option is also the most expensive.

For more information, make sure to check out our section detailing ticket prices and the different ways you can get admission to Freedom Tower.


Best Time to Visit

Thanks to the timed tickets at One World Trade Center, the crowds are usually pretty manageable no matter when you choose to visit.

Bearing that in mind, it’s important to remember that you can skip to the front of the line and avoid waiting for the elevators by purchasing a priority ticket.

This is one of the best ways to make sure that you won’t have to wait for much of anything while visiting.

Whether you get tickets ahead of time or directly at the Freedom Tower, it will be important to keep their hours in mind.

Observatory Hours

September-April

  • 9am-9pm
  • last ticket sold at 8:15 pm

May-September

  • 8am-9pm
  • Last ticket sold at 8:45 pm

Late guests can stay until 10 pm

According to several visitors, there are two times to consider when going to One World Observatory: early morning and early evening.

Although timed tickets keep the lines manageable, this landmark still gets pretty busy in the late morning and early afternoon.

 

Best Time to Visit One World Observatory

 

Some visitors have mentioned waiting in line for around 1 – 2 hours during especially popular days and hours.

If you want to visit during these hours, consider purchasing a priority ticket in order to avoid long waits.

 

 

Busiest Time One World Observatory

 

Guests also indicate that the Freedom Tower is far more popular than usual on weekends and during warmer months.

In order to avoid large crowds and long lines, we recommend visiting on Tue-Thu, if possible. 

Even though your tickets are timed, there is no limit on how long you can stay at One World Observatory.

Travelers who have been to this landmark suggest setting aside at least 1 ½ – 2 hours for your visit.

If you plan on seeing other sites in the area such as the 9/11 Museum + the 9/11 Memorial, you will want to set aside a lot more time for those activities.

Guests recommend planning to spend at least 2 hours at the museum and 1 hour at the memorial.

 

Sphere World Trade Center

 

The One World Trade Center is also very close to the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street and the Statue of Liberty, so you may want to consider spending an entire day in lower Manhattan.  

Check out our guide to the area.

Whether or not you choose to make a day out of this trip, you can always take a break right across the street from the One World Trade Center at Brookfield Place and get a bite to eat at their food court.

Visitors who plan on doing more than just seeing the 9/11 Museum + Memorial and One World Trade Center might want to consider taking one of our pay-what-you-like walking tours.

We offer several tours nearby, including some that either start or end at the Freedom Tower.


Security Information

Before you head out to One World Trade Center, it will be important to make sure that you don’t bring anything that is prohibited.

In order to ensure the security of the building, certain items are not allowed inside.

Prohibited Items

  • Weapons
  • Firearms
  • Food & Drink
  • Professional Cameras
  • Recording Devices
  • Lighting Equipment
  • Tripods
  • Pets

Items Allowed

  • Service Animals
  • Strollers
  • Wheelchairs
  • Personal Cameras
  • Smartphones
  • DSLR Cameras
  • Flash Pieces

How to Get Here

The Freedom Tower’s address is 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10007 and it’s located in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan at the corner of West and Vesey Streets.

The entrance is located on the West Plaza alongside West Street at the Northwest corner of the World Trade Center site and is bordered by Vesey Street to the North.

There are numerous subways nearby as well as a few buses. You can use this link to Google Maps to get exact directions from your starting point to One World Trade Center.

 

Freedom Tower map

 

If you are new to riding the subway, check out our posts:

 


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TOUR OF THE FREEDOM TOWER

The Freedom Tower’s observatory’s official name is One World Observatory.  

You may hear it referred to by different names based on its association with past events and locations: the 911 Observatory, the World Trade Center (WTC) Observatory, the 911 Freedom Tower.

Whatever you call it, this tower is like no other in the world. A visit to its sky-high observatory is simply unforgettable. Just read the reviews.

The tour of the Freedom Tower is self-guided, but there are guided tours of the memorial outside that include tickets to the Freedom Tower observatory.  

The Freedom Tower is also a stop on both our Lower Manhattan and 911 Memorial GPS audio tours.

 

 

Upon entering the building, you pass through an airport-style security check. (Bring as few belongings as possible to speed up this process. B

e prepared to empty your pockets, remove your belt and walk through a metal detector.

Your belongings will be screened and there are several prohibited items that you will find listed under our security information section.

After security, you go down an escalator and enter a series of halls with looping videos.

The first hall is Voices, which shares stories of those who built One World Trade Center.

Next is Foundations, a narrow hallway lined with fake bedrock to give you a sense of just how solid a foundation was needed to have built the Freedom Tower. 

You then take the Sky-Pod elevators where you will climb 1,250 feet (381 m) in less than 60 seconds!

The Sky-Pod elevators have LED screens on all sides showing a 47-second time-lapse video of 500 years of New York City history from a wide-open green landmass to a tiny Dutch settlement, then a small city and then the rapid transformation into a modern metropolis.

If you have a VIP entry ticket, you can bypass the Voices and Foundations exhibits and go directly to the elevators. This is great if you are in a rush, but some may enjoy the entire experience.

 

 

The elevator arrives in the blink of an eye to the 102nd floor where you are led into the See Forever Theater, a long room lined with panels on which a two-minute video about New York City is shown.

At the end of the video, the panels disappear into the ceiling and floor to reveal the breathtaking view to the north and east of the tower.

Since the 102nd floor is reserved for private events, you are led down to the 101st floor where a snack café, a bar, and a fine dining restaurant are located.

But you didn’t come up to eat, you came for the views. Finally, on the 100th floor, you will be mesmerized by the 360-degree panoramic view of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey.

On a clear day, you can see about 50 miles in any direction.

You can walk over the Sky Portal, a 14-foot-wide (4 m) circular disc with screens that use real-time video feeds to simulate the view from 100 stories up.

Also, live guides will introduce you to the “City Pulse” interactive skyline concierge with information about the city and its landmarks.

 

Freedom Tower view dusk

 

Plan to spend 45 minutes to an hour for your visit. Of course, you can stay longer staring at the view that goes on forever. Or grab a snack the cafe or bar and visit the gift shop.

If you loved the view from the Freedom Tower, you might want to check out one of the other observation decks in the city, the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock, which both have great views that include the Freedom Tower.

If you can only visit one of the skyscraper observation decks, read our post Which to visit: Empire State Building, Top of the Rock or the Freedom Tower.

 


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WHY CHOOSE ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY?

One World Observatory offers one of the best views of NYC, but the competition is pretty fierce. Both Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building have incredible and historic views of the city.

With that in mind, let’s discuss a few reasons why you may or may not want to visit this landmark.

Perfect for Photographers

If you are interested in photography, One World might be the best observatory to visit. Unlike some of the other observation decks in the city, you are allowed to bring a DSLR camera and take high-quality photos.

While the Empire State Building will let you bring small cameras, Top of the Rock does not allow any type of professional camera.

If you want to get some very nice photos of the New York skyline, this is an excellent opportunity.

Closest to Statue of Liberty 

If you want the most unobstructed views of the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty, One World Observatory is going to be your best bet.

It is closer to this monument than any other observation deck in the city.

This also makes it easy to combine a trip to both locations in one day.

Although you can see Lady Liberty from both Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building, it will be much further out and more difficult to see.

Not Centrally Located 

Unfortunately, since the One World Observatory is so close to the Hudson River, it isn’t exactly the best spot to get a 360° view of Manhattan.

In comparison, Top of the Rock is very close to sites such as Central Park, Times Square, Trump Tower, and the Empire State Building.

If you’re not too worried about getting a good view of the Statue of Liberty, you may want to consider a different observation deck.

If you need more help picking just one of the skyscraper observation decks, read our post Which to visit: Empire State Building, Top of the Rock or the Freedom Tower.

 


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TOURS AND NEARBY ACTIVITIES IN LOWER MANHATTAN

Before or after your visit to the Freedom Tower, consider taking one of our pay-what-you-wish guided tour of Ground Zero and 9/11 Memorial.

On Tuesdays, we run our 9/11 and World Trade Center Tour at 1 pm.

If you visit the Tower in the afternoon, join us on our 911 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge Night Tour at 7 pm. We also recommend you do at least one of these free activities. These are among the highlights of any New York visit!

Helpful tips when visiting Lower Manhattan

 

If you would like to join us on one of our tours, take a look at our tour calendar.  We offer more than 35 tours that explore many parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. We also have more than 20 self-guided tours you can use on mobile devices.

 


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NYC Bike Tours

Which NYC Bike Tour is Best?

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This post covers Madame Tussauds New York tickets, including tips for finding discounts, what you will see, as well as how to plan your visit.

 

 

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

TICKET PRICES

The prices listed below are for online purchases. Tickets at the box office on the day of the visit are approximately $7 more.
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Bronx Zoo | Free Wednesdays and Other Discounts

This post is about the Bronx Zoo, including what you can see there, how to get there and the cost of admission. We also list many ways you can save on ticket prices or even go for free!

 

 

Bronx Zoo Free Day

Visit on Wednesdays when admission is “Suggested Donation Day” or pay what you wish.

We have many other suggestions for free or pay-what-you-wish days at other popular NYC museums and attractions (click here).

We also have a post on free things to do in NYC.


ABOUT THE BRONX ZOO

Year-Round exhibits

With more than 7,000 resident animals showcased over 265 acres, The Bronx Zoo is the largest city zoo in the country!

You’ll see a vast array of animals when you visit the Monkey House, Jungle World, the World of Darkness with bats and other nocturnal animals, and the Congo Gorilla Forest.

 

Congo Gorilla Forest Bronx Zoo

 

Be sure to catch a Sea Lion and Penguin Feeding!


Seasonal and Special Events

The Zoo often has additional activities aligned with the season of the year so always check their events page to see if anything special is going on when you plan to visit.

For example, in some Septembers, they put on a Harvest Festival that gives the kiddies a chance to dance to bluegrass music, participate in apple-tasting, learn about composting and pressing flowers, and other activities relating to the fall harvest.

TIP: The Bronx Zoo is within walking distance of what some New Yorkers believe is the “true” Little Italy: Arthur Avenue.

Check out our Self-guided Food Tour of nearby Arthur Avenue for some of the best Italian food in all of New York City!

You also might care to read our post on visiting the Central Park Zoo.

 


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HOURS AND TICKETS

Hours

Hours change seasonally. They are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Years Day and Martin Luther King Jr Day.

March 30th to November 3rd

  • Monday-Friday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (17:00)
  • Weekends & Holidays 10:00 am – 5:30 pm (17:30)

November 4, 2018, to April 5, 2019

  • Daily 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (16:30)

Note: Animal exhibits close 30 min prior to park closing and 4-D Theater, Bug Carousel, and Zoo Shuttle are open until park closing.


Tickets

There are two types of tickets: General Admission and Total Experience.


The Bronx Zoo’s General Admission Ticket is included free for holders of the Sightseeing Pass, a tourist discount pass. 


General Admission Ticket

  • Adult $22.95
  • Child (3-12) $14.95
  • Senior (65+) $20.95
  • Children 2 years and under free. 

Can only purchase at the Gate – unless you order the Sightseeing Pass.

A general admission ticket includes the following areas:

  • Tiger Mountain
  • Madagascar
  • World of Birds
  • African Plains
  • Himalayan Highlands
  • Sea Lion Pool

Total Experience Ticket 

  • Adult $36.95
  • Child (3-12) $26.95
  • Senior (65+) $31.95
  • Children 2 years and under free.

Can be purchased online or at the gate.

The Total Experience ticket includes everything that the general tickets include plus several premium areas that cost an additional $6 each if you only have the general admission ticket.

  • JungleWorld
  • 4-D Theater
  • Bug Carousel
  • Congo Gorilla Forest
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Wild Asia Monorail
  • the Zoo Shuttle

 


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DISCOUNTS AND SAVINGS ON TICKETS

Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

The Bronx Zoo’s General Admission Ticket is included free for holders of the Sightseeing Pass, both the flex and all-inclusive versions of this tourist discount pass. 

 

 

Tourist passes work by bundling together popular attractions and tours and selling them together for a lower price than i you purchased them together.

Likewise, tourist passes often included skip-the-line privileges, which can save you lots of time, particularly in the busy season.

There are almost a dozen tourist pass option to choose from and we review each pass here.


ADDITIONAL DISCOUNTS AND COUPONS

Goldstar usually offers a regular discount of approximately 30% on the Total Experience ticket

Try Groupon and Living Social, which often offer 50% off tickets. It’s worth a look. 

Visit on Wednesdays when admission is “Suggested Donation Day” or pay what you wish.

We have many other suggestions for free or pay-what-you-wish days at other popular NYC museums and attractions (click here).

The Zoo’s own website often has promo codes listed at the top of the page so keep your eyes open for those.

AAA members save up to 20% on admission. Use code AAANY when purchasing tickets on the Wildlife Conservation Service, which also gives discounts to AAA members at other zoos in New York City.


Military Discount 

The Bronx Zoo offers year-round discounts to any active duty or reserve members of the U.S. Military when they present a valid military ID at the admissions gate.

Discount includes: free Total Experience Ticket or General Admission ticket and 50% off discount for up to three family members included on the same admissions transaction.

Discounted tickets are available at the admissions booths only, not through the online ticket store. 

Try this Bronx Zoo Coupons Facebook page. They are not affiliated with the Zoo. Occasionally they have coupons or codes that do work.


Student Discounts

Free General Admission to New York City undergraduate college students. Eligible students must be:

  • attending an NYC college (must show a valid college ID from an institution within the 5 boroughs of New York City;
  • NYC resident, attending non-NYC college (must show valid college ID and proof of NYC residency).

 


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GETTING THERE

The Bronx Zoo is easy to get to with the New York City Subway. From Times Square, it is approximately a 1-hour ride on the 2 train.

Use our interactive Google Map for directions to the zoo by public transportation or car.

 

How to get to the Bronx Zoo

 

If you are new to the subway system, then be sure to read the following two posts:

If you are considering a tourist hop-on-hop-off bus ticket, do note that none offer stops at the Bronx Zoo, but you can get to the zoo easily from most Harlem stops.

 


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