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Freedom Tower Observatory Tickets

One World Trade Center Tickets

Updated: April 9, 2024

Whether you're planning to take our Lower Manhattan tour or you already have, chances are you'll want to follow it up by visiting one of the most popular attractions in the area, the Freedom Tower!

Also known as One World Observatory, this beautiful building is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere. It stands as both a symbol of freedom and one of the best observation decks in the entire city!

If you're interested in visiting, you can purchase your skip-the-line tickets now.

However, this post also provides additional advice on how to plan your visit, find offers, and see what other tours of the area are available.

Of course, you don't have to take our word for it, because we'll also be including tips from locals and travelers who use our New York City Travel Tips group on Facebook.

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.

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

Newer observation decks to visit are the Edge Sky Deck and SUMMIT One Vanderbilt.


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

Standard Ticket

  • $44/Adults | $42/Seniors (65+) | $38/Children (age 6-12)
  • Children 5 and under are FREE
  • Must use at the time stamped on the ticket
  • Skip-the-Line is not included
  • More information or to book.

Combination Ticket

  • $54/Adults | $52/Seniors (65+) | $48/Children (age 6-12)
  • Children 5 and under are FREE
  • Must use at the time stamped on the ticket
  • Skip-the-Line is included
  • Priority Lane Access for security and elevators included
  • Use of a One World Explorer Digital Skyline Guide
  • More information or to book.

All-Inclusive Tickets

  • $59/Adults | $57/Seniors (65+) | $53/Children (age 6-12)
  • Children 5 and under are FREE
  • Flexible arrival(choose morning, afternoon, or evening
  • Skip-the-Line is included
  • Priority Lane Access for security and elevators included
  • One World Explorer Digital Skyline Guide
  • $15 off at the cafe, bar, restaurant, or gift shop
  • More information or to book.

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.


There are several ways to obtain concessionary tickets, either as part of a tour bus combination ticket, part of a tourist 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, promotional websites, and other deals that are available.

Purchase a tourist attraction pass

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

In addition to offering deals or free admission to the Freedom Tower, these passes also typically include activities and attractions such as the following:

  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Radio City Music Hall Tour
  • Rockefeller Center Tour
  • Statue of Liberty Ferry
  • Empire State Building
  • Yankee Stadium Tour
  • Circle Line Cruises
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Top of the Rock
  • And more!

If you're interested in visiting even just a few of these locations, picking up one of these passes is an absolute no-brainer.

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

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, which 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!
  • Not Currently Available as of March 2024.

Deals Websites, and Promo Codes

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

Mastercard $10 Off promo

Pay with your Mastercard and you get $10 off on admission. 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 in those months.

Military Offers

Active and retired military personnel, as well as NYC First Responders, get 50% off standard admission when presenting a valid ID at the ticket booth.

Up to four accompanying guests can receive 20% off.

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

AAA offers are not currently available as of March 2024.


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.

Podcast Episode: Listen to tour guides Lori and Katherine discuss visiting One World Observatory on an episode of our NYC Travel Tips podcast.

This podcast offers bite-sized audio clips with tips on how to plan your trip to NYC. You can get our podcasts on Apple, Google, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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.

One World Observatory Ticket

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.

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 standard ticket guarantees you entry to the Freedom Tower at a specific date and time and date. It is recommended to arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of your time slot.

A priority ticket allows 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.

An all-inclusive ticket allows you to arrive at any time within the window of time you choose: Morning (9 am - 1 pm), Afternoon (1 pm to 5 pm), or Evening (5 pm - 8:10 pm). You'll also receive skip-the-line access. This option is 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 in advance or directly at the Freedom Tower, it will be important to keep their hours in mind.

Observatory Hours

Hours change seasonally.


  • 9 am - 9 pm
  • Last time slot is at 8:15 pm


  • 9 am - 9 pm
  • Last time slot is at 8:10 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:


The Freedom Tower 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, and the 911 Freedom Tower.

Whatever you call it, this tower is like no other in the world. The views of New York City and beyond are unsurpassed and this is one of the very best locations in NYC for photography.

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.

Be 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 elevator ride 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, at City Pulse, live guides introduce you to the skyline with an interactive presentation about the city and its famous landmarks.

Freedom Tower view dusk

Plan to spend 45 minutes to an hour on your visit. Of course, you can stay longer staring at the view that goes on forever. Or grab a snack at 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: the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, or the Freedom Tower.

And do check out our post on the 28 best views of NYC.


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 outstanding 360-degree photos of New York City and the skyline, this is an excellent opportunity.

Closest to the 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 the 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.


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

On Tuesdays, we run our 9/11 and the 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

Tips From Locals and Travelers

If you're still unsure about visiting One World Observatory, maybe it'll help to see the thoughts and opinions of both locals and travelers who have actually been to this observation deck.

Thankfully, the Freedom Tower gets brought up quite frequently in our New York City Travel Tips group on Facebook, and we've included some of their most helpful advice right here!

Questions such as these are pretty common in our group, and a lot of our members are happy to offer useful advice!

A lot of people who have been to One World Observatory feel that the experience is better during the day, but there are some former visitors who swear by the experience at twilight.

Simone notes that the afternoon is the best time to visit because of where the sun sits in the sky relative to the position of the building.

The afternoon is the period providing the best light, and thus the best views of the city!

Still, many prefer the experience at sunset instead, and Carr raises the point that you can visit just before sunset to experience the view during the afternoon, sunset, and twilight!

This is another common question asked on our group, and opinions are pretty varied, as you can see.

Most users agree that 90 minutes should be more than enough time here, although some will of course choose to stay a bit longer than that.

Whether you're worried about making a flight or you just want to fit as many activities as possible into one day, this is a question frequently asked by members of our group.

The answer is that it would actually be somewhat difficult to see both of these attractions before lunch, but it's not necessarily because of One World Observatory.

While the Freedom Tower typically only takes 90 minutes or so, there is a lot to see at the 9/11 Museum, and it's easy to spend anywhere from 2-3 hours there without even realizing it.

In reality, the 9/11 Museum should probably be your entire morning, and then follow that up with lunch and an afternoon at One World Observatory!

For even more advice, make sure to visit our New York City Travel Tips group on Facebook and maybe even ask a question of your own!

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: April 9th, 2024
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