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This post is about how to get tickets to The Vessel, a 150-foot tall (47 m) sculpture/spiral staircase with great city views.

We also include tips on how to get free tickets.


Part conventional structure, part sculpture, the Vessel is probably the most unusual staircase you have ever seen.

Made of concrete and bronzed steel, the Vessel is a spiral staircase that is 150 feet tall (47 m), with 154 interconnecting flights of stairs with 80 landings that you can stop at along the way.

This “one-mile vertical climbing experience” has over 2,000 individual steps. Don't worry, you can always take the elevator.

Regardless of how you get to the top of the Vessel, you will enjoy a different perspective of the city and the Hudson River.


The Vessel at Hudson Yards

Note: The Vessel is currently closed but you can walk around the Hudson Yards area (see our virtual video above).

The information below is for when the interior is open to the public.

The Vessel is open Monday-Sunday 10 am-8 pm. Tickets cost $10 per person, but children under 5 can enter for free.

Note that to visit the Vessel you must come with at least one other person. 

If you are a solo traveler, the Vessel has a special "Come With Us" ticket where you will join a group of other solo visitors! The cost is $10 per person.

Tickets can be reserved online. You are allowed to request a maximum of 14 tickets.

To purchase tickets for groups of 15+, email 

When you reserve in advance, you choose a date and time to arrive, which will be printed on your ticket. You have up to an hour to enter from your chosen time slot.

Once you enter, you can stay as you'd like, though allow yourself at least 30 minutes to visit the Vessel.

Keep in mind that the Vessel closes at 8 pm. If you want more than an hour at the Vessel, try to get a time slot earlier than 7 pm.

How to Get Free Tickets

There are limited quantities of free tickets available per day for both groups and solo travelers. 

When these tickets are sold out, no more will be released for that date. So if you really want to go for free, reserve tickets way in advance.

Holders of several tourist discount passes can enter the Vessel for free without making an advance reservation. These include:

Simply show your pass at the main entrance and you will be given a free ticket for the next available entry time.

Read our post comparing NYC tourist discount passes to see which one, if any, is best for you.


The Vessel is located in the center of Hudson Yards a large complex of includes shops, residential apartment buildings, public green space, and commercial space. 

Hudson Yards is on the west side of Midtown Manhattan at 10th Avenue and 33rd Street, just near the Hudson River.

Use this Google Maps link to get directions from your starting location to The Vessel.

Or you could just let us take you here. Take a look at the tours we offer below. 

If you are new to the NYC subway, then you might find the following posts helpful:


Before or after your visit to the Vessel, consider taking one of our pay-what-you-wish guided tours of the High Line.

A tour of this amazing elevated park can easily be combined with your visit to the Vessel.

Our All-in-One Downtown Manhattan Tour concludes at the northern end of the High Line which is just blocks away from the Vessel. 

Check our tour calendar to see if our tour times work well before or after seeing the Vessel.

If you can't make it to one of our guided tours, there are other options, such as our GPS-enabled audio tour of the High Line or taking a tour with a different tour operator.

See our post on High Line tours to read reviews of companies that offer High Line tours.

If you are considering purchasing a New York tourist discount pass,  a daily tour of the High Line is included with both the Explorer Pass and the New York Pass.


About The Author


Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others. She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.
Updated: February 22nd, 2023
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