One World Trade Center Observatory: Guide To Freedom Tower NYC [Tickets, Restaurant & WTC Observation Deck]

By Trevor Guilday | Last updated: March 24th, 2018| Categories: Travel |Tags: NYC | No Comments
One World Trade Center Observatory: Guide To Freedom Tower NYC [Tickets, Restaurant & WTC Observation Deck] 2018-03-24T18:57:09+00:00

One World Trade Center Building In New York City

One World Trade Center, also known as the “Freedom Tower,” is one of most iconic buildings in the United States of America and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City. Each year millions of tourists from around the world come to visit the World Trade Center complex.

Guide To Freedom Tower Observatory

The following guide to One World Observatory covers everything that you need to know about this iconic skyscraper including the history, location, hours of operation, tickets and review of the One World Observation Deck.

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Quick History, Facts & Statistics

One World Trade Center (One WTC) is the main building that is part of the World Trade Center complex located in Lower Manhattan.

The building was commissioned as part of the project to redevelop the historic site where the iconic Twin Towers stood before the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The construction of One World Trade Center was completed in November 2014 and has since become an iconic landmark throughout the world.

The World Trade Center building, also known as “Freedom Tower,” is widely regarded as a symbol of American power and stands at an impressive 1,776′ feet tall (541.3 meters) making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Millions of tourists from around the world come to the World Trade Center complex each year to learn about the history and visit the top of the skyscraper for incredible views of New York City.

About One World Trade Center Building

Official Name: One World Trade Center

Address: 285 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10007

Hours: 9:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M.

Height: 1,776′ ft. (541.3 m) || 1,792′ ft. (546.2 m) To Tip

Floors: 104

Architects: David Childs & Daniel Libeskind

Opening Date: November 3rd, 2014

Cost: USD $3.9 Billion

Note: For more facts and information about One World Trade Center check out the complete FAQ section here.

"What an experience!" Such a significant landmark and the views from the top are unbelievable.
One World Observatory Reviewed by Trevor Guilday on .
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

Visiting One World Observatory At Freedom Tower

View Of Manhattan From Freedom Tower NYC

One World Observatory, also known as the Freedom Tower Observation Deck, is a multi-level observation deck located on the top floors of the World Trade Center skyscraper in Lower Manhattan. The sky-high facility offers a great vantage point of the island of Manhattan as well as the surrounding boroughs and nearby areas.

When it comes to things to do in New York City a visit to the top of Freedom Tower should definitely be on your list. Going up to One World Observatory is especially great if you are visiting NYC for the first time because you can get a bird’s eye view of the entire island of Manhattan and the surrounding areas.

One World Observatory Logo On Floor Of WTC Building

Click on one of the links below to jump ahead to the information you need or continue below to read our comprehensive guide from start to finish:

Observation Deck Hours Of Operation

The WTC Observatory is open to the public every day of the week with the following hours of operation:

  • Monday: 9:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.
  • Tuesday: 9:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.
  • Wednesday: 9:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.
  • Thursday: 9:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.
  • Friday: 9:00 A.M – 8:00 P.M.
  • Saturday: 9:00 A.M – 8:00 P.M.
  • Sunday: 9:00 A.M – 8:00 P.M.

How To Get To One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center Entrance

The Freedom Tower Observation Deck is located at the top of the One World Trade Center building in Lower Manhattan and there are several options for getting there.

To get directions to One World Observatory from your current location click on this Google Map’s link.

[One World Observatory, 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10006]

Arriving By Subway (Recommended)

The subway is usually the best option for getting to the World Trade Center complex and One World Observatory. In fact, the MTA subway is typically the quickest and easiest way to get around New York City regardless of where you are going.

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Chamber Street Subway Station In Lower Manhattan

Some of the closest subway stations for arriving at the World Trade Center include:

  • Chambers Street Station (A, C)
  • World Trade Center Station (E)
  • Cortlandt Street Station (R, W)
  • Fulton Street Station (2, 3)
  • Rector Street Station (1)

Note: You can view the official NYC Subway Map for more information on how to get there on the subway.

Taxi Cab Or Rideshare Service

You can also take one of New York’s famous yellow taxi cabs to get there. However, you should know that hailing a cab can take a while in Manhattan and you may get stuck in traffic. If you don’t want to take the subway then I would recommend using a ride-share app like Uber or Lyft instead of taking a taxi.

Also, the entire WTC complex is very large so it’s best to get dropped off by the main entrance to the One World Trade Center building located at the corner of West Street and Vesey Street.

Driving & Parking (Not Recommended)f

Finding a parking spot in Manhattan can be extremely difficult so I would recommended you do not drive your own vehicle.

However, if you decide to drive then you can find convenient parking at Brookfield Place which is the official valet of One World Observatory. The Brookfield Place parking garage is located at 225 Liberty St. and you can get $5 off if you reserve parking online ahead of time.

Freedom Tower Tickets: Where To Buy & How Much They Cost

View Of 1 World Trade Center Building From GroundIn order to visit the One World Observation Deck at the top of the Freedom Tower you will need to purchase admission tickets.

There are several different options to choose from when it comes to buying Freedom Tower tickets:

  1. Standard Reserved Tickets [$34]
  2. VIP Priority Reserved Tickets [$56]
  3. VIP Priority Anytime Tickets [$67]
  4. Highlights Tour Tickets [$67]

Regardless of which tickets you decide to buy it is recommended to purchase the tickets ahead of time.

1.) Standard Reserved Admission [$34]

The Standard Reserved Admission tickets are the least expensive option for entrance to the Freedom Tower Observation Deck. However, with these tickets you will be required to wait in several lines throughout the experience.

Waiting In Line To Get Into One World Observatory

[Line At The Entrance Of One World Trade Center Building] What’s Included?

  • Selection of the date of visit and time of entry
  • Arrival to One World Observatory via the Sky Pod elevators
  • Access to all One World Observatory floors (100, 101 & 102)
  • Experience the See Forever Theater
  • Access One Dine Restaurant

Official Ticket Prices:

  • $34 Adult (Age 13 – 64)
  • $32 Senior (Age 65+)
  • $28 Youth (Age 6 – 12)
  • $0 Child (Age 5 and Under)

Where To Buy Tickets: You can purchase Standard Reserved tickets for Freedom Tower directly from OneWorldObservatory.com, but we recommend checking for discount tickets here before paying full price.

Notes: These can be a good option for those who seek, but you will have to wait in line at the building entrance as well as in the security line and the line for elevator to the top. If you would like to skip these lines then you should consider one of the other ticket options below.

2.) VIP Priority Reserved Admission [$56]

Priority Reserved Admission tickets give you priority access and allow you to skip all of the lines at the World Trade Center. This can save you up to an hour or more of your time on a busy day and we found it well worth it to buy these tickets.

Priority Access Line At One World Observation Deck

[Priority Access Line At One World Observatory] What’s Included?

  • Selection of date of visit and time of entry
  • Entry via the VIP security line
  • Optional express to elevator loading area
  • Arrival to One World Observatory via the Sky Pod elevators
  • Access to all One World Observatory floors (100, 101 & 102)
  • Experience the See Forever Theater
  • Access One Dine Restaurant

Note: These VIP tickets do give you priority access when taking the Sky Pod elevators to the top of Freedom Tower, but they do not grant you priority access when coming back down in the Sky Pod elevators.

Official Ticket Prices:

  • $56 Adult (Age 6 and Over)
  • $0 Child (Age 5 and Under)

Where To Buy Tickets: You can purchase Priority Reserved tickets from the One World Observatory website or check for discount tickets on Viator before paying full price.

Notes: These tickets are great if you want to save time and enjoy the experience without waiting in lines. I’ve been to One World Observatory with Standard Reserved Admission tickets as well as VIP Priority Reserved Admission tickets and I can confidently say that the VIP Priority tickets are worth it.

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3.) VIP Priority Anytime Admission [$67]

Priority Anytime Tickets for the Freedom Tower Observatory give you the flexibility to choose when you want to visit without having to make a reservation and also allow you to skip the line at the entrance.

Freedom Tower Building Height

What’s Included With Priority Anytime Tickets?

  • Visit at your date and time of choice without a reservation
  • Valid anytime within 6 months from date of purchase
  • Optional express to elevator loading area
  • Arrival to One World Observatory via the Sky Pod elevators
  • Access to all One World Observatory floors (100, 101 & 102)
  • Experience the See Forever Theater (Optional)
  • Access One Dine Restaurant & Bar

Official Ticket Prices:

  • $67 Adult (Age 6 and Over)
  • $0 Child (Age 5 and Under)

Where To Buy Tickets: You can purchase Priority Anytime admission for the World Trade Center Observatory at full price on OneWorldObservatory.com or you can check for discount tickets on Viator.

4.) Highlights Tour Tickets [$67]

Highlights Tour tickets at the Freedom Tower gives you access to One World Observatory with a guided group tour and some of the same benefits that come with the VIP entrance tickets.

What’s Included?

  • Selection of available tour dates and times
  • 45 minute guided tour of WTC Observation Deck
  • Key information about New York City
  • Escorted entry via VIP security line
  • Immediate access to front of the elevator line
  • Arrival to One World Observatory via the Sky Pod elevators
  • Access to all One World Observatory floors (100, 101 & 102)
  • Experience the See Forever Theater (Optional)
  • Access One Dine Restaurant & Bar

Official Ticket Prices:

  • $67 (Adult)
  • $67 (Youth)

Where To Buy Tickets: You can buy Highlights Tour tickets at full retail on OneWorldObservatory.com or you can check for discount tickets on Viator.

Views From The Top Of The World Trade Center

One World Observatory is one of the best vantage points when it comes to great views of New York City. The 360 degree panoramic views from the top of the Freedom Tower allow you to see far and wide in every direction.

View From Top Of World Trade Center

After going through the security checkpoint on the bottom floor you will take a 60 second elevator ride to the One World Observatory located on floors 100, 101 and 102. Check out the photos below to see some of the views to the North, East, South and West:

To The North [Lower Manhattan, Midtown & More]

The views when looking north are considered to be the best by most visitors. You will get incredible views of the entire island of Manhattan including Lower Manhattan, Midtown and Uptown.

Midtown Manhattan Skyline View From One World Observation Deck

Looking down you can get a great bird’s eye view of the neighborhoods in Downtown Manhattan including SoHo, Greenwich Village, East Village, West Village and more. A bit further in the distance you can see the impressive skyline of Midtown Manhattan which includes iconic skyscrapers like the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, 432 Park Avenue, Bank of America Tower and more.

Freedom Tower Guided Tour

Note: Most visitors consider the views from the North side of the building to be the best. This may be true, but this means that people tend to congregate there and it can be difficult to find window space to enjoy the view. 

To The East [Lower East Side, East River & Brooklyn Bridge]

The views to the East are also very popular among visitors and the Eastern side of the building is my favorite vantage point from the top of the World Trade Center.

As you can see in the photo below, the Eastern side of the building offers a great perspective of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the East River and the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

View Of Brooklyn Bridge From Freedom Tower NYC

Lower East Side: Make sure you look out for the Lower East Side as well as the Two Bridges neighborhood which is aptly named for it’s location between the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge.

East River & Brooklyn: The World Trade Center is close enough to Brooklyn that you can get some great views of some of the Brooklyn neighborhoods located along the banks of the East River like Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg.

The Brooklyn Bridge: Looking down towards the Brooklyn Bridge is INCREDIBLE and is one of the things that helps to put into perspective the height of the Freedom Tower. One of the most iconic photos of New York City is the viewpoint of the World Trade Center from the Brooklyn Bridge so it’s pretty cool to get the opposite perspective!

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Lower East Side Manhattan and East River View

Other Noteworthy Landmarks: Some other things to look out for include the New York City Hall, the Woolworth Building and the Thirty Park Place skyscraper.

To The South [Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island & Governors Island]

The views when looking to the South from the top of One WTC Observatory are often “overlooked” by many tourists who become fixated on the Northern side of the building. However, the views to the South are well worth your time of day as you will be able to look down on the Financial District below as well as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and many other noteworthy landmarks.

View Of Statue Of Liberty and Hudson River From Freedom Tower NYC

The South side of the building is also the place to be during sunset as you can see in the photo above.

Statue Of Liberty Located Southwest Of One World Observatory

Statue of Liberty: The Statue of Liberty National Monument is located about 2 miles Southwest of the World Trade Center in the Hudson River. If you have the time then you should definitely take the Staten Island Ferry over to this historic landmark for a closer look.

Ellis Island: The top of Freedom Tower offers great views of Ellis Island which is also located to the South of the World Trade Center building in the Upper New York Bay. This historic island was the gateway for millions of immigrants who came to the United States between 1892 and 1954.

Watching Sunset Over Hudson River From One World Observatory

Other Noteworthy Landmarks: Make sure you look out for other important sites located on the South side of the building including Battery Park, the New York Stock Exchange, the 40 Wall Street building and Staten Island.

To The West [Hudson River, Jersey City & Hoboken]

The views to the West are not very exciting, but you can get a great view of the Hudson River and New Jersey.

View of Hudson River and Jersey City From One WTC

Hudson River: One WTC is located on the Western side of Lower Manhattan so the Hudson River is the first thing you will see when looking down from the windows on the Western side of the Observation Deck. Spend some time checking out the the boats and ferries traveling along the river.

Jersey City: Just across the Hudson River you can see Jersey City with particularly great views of the waterfront neighborhoods including Exchange Place, Paulus Hook, Newport and Hudson Exchange. The two tallest buildings that you see in Jersey City are 30 Hudson Street (also known as Goldman Sachs Tower) and 101 Hudson Street (also known as the Merrill Lynch building).

Hoboken: Looking a bit further in the Northwest direction across the Hudson River you’ll get a decent view of the city of Hoboken, New Jersey. The most prominent features that you can see from the WTC Observatory are the Pier A Park on the banks of the river and the clock tower above the NJ Transit Terminal.

ONE Dine World Trade Center Restaurant Review

One World Observatory Restaurant Reservations

One Dine is the main restaurant and bar located on floor 101 of the One World Trade Center building. The restaurant features an a la carte menu along with small production wines, craft beers and premium cocktails.

Restaurant Hours

The ONE Dine restaurant is open daily during the following hours:

  • Monday: 11:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • Tuesday: 11:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • Wednesday: 11:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • Thursday: 11:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • Friday: 11:00 A.M – 6:00 P.M.
  • Saturday: 11:00 A.M – 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday: 11:00 A.M – 6:00 P.M.

Dress Code

ONE Dine restaurant has a casual dress code policy and the restaurant accepts all patrons visiting One World Observatory.

That being said, the restaurant has a nice atmosphere so many of the people who reserve a table at ONE Dine decide to dress a bit more formally than the majority of the visitors.

Wearing Semi-Formal Attire At ONE Dine Restaurant

As you can see, the Bespoke Unit team (pictured above) was dressed more than appropriately for the occasion!

ONE Dine Menu

Food At One Dine World Trade Center Restaurant

The menu at ONE Dine features a selection of seasonally-inspired dishes and light snacks, as well as a cocktail menu.

The official One World Observatory website publishes the latest version of the menu online which you can check out before making a reservation.

The food is far from the best in Manhattan and it is quite expensive for the quality so don’t expect too much. Then again the point of eating at the restaurant atop the World Trade Center is more about the experience and less about the actual food itself.

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I ordered a burger which was I would call “decent,” but I must admit the overall experience at ONE Dine was pretty cool so I didn’t mind the quality of the food.

Do You Need To Make Reservations?

Table At One Dine Restaurant In Freedom Tower

Reservations are required for ONE Dine along with a ticket to One World Observatory.

Making a reservation does not cost any money, but you will need to reserve a table in advance. It is also important to know that reservations for ONE Dine must be made through the ONE Dine page on OpenTable.com and the only way to get to the restaurant is by purchasing a ticket to the One World Observatory.

Views From The Restaurant

The dining area offers spectacular views of the entire island of Manhattan to the North as well as the East River and Brooklyn to the East.

One Dine Bar At Top Of World Trade Center Building

ONE Mix Bar

ONE Mix Bar is a bar that is part of ONE Dine Restaurant and seats guests without reservations on a first come first serve basis.

Bar At Freedom Tower Restaurant

The food menu at ONE Mix consists of a selection of small dishes of artisinal food inspired by the five boroughs of New York City. In addition to offering authentic New York food, the bar also offers premium wine and spirits along with great views of New York City.

The drinks are quite expensive here, but the views are great and it is definitely worth checking out just to say you had a drink at the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere!

Frequently Asked Questions

The following section answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the World Trade Center and the One World Observatory.

You can click on any the questions below to jump ahead to the answer:

  • How Tall Is The Freedom Tower?
  • How Many Floors Are In The Building?
  • What Is The Official Name Of The Building?
  • What Is One World Observatory?
  • Where Do You Buy Ticket?
  • How Much Are Tickets?
  • Can You Buy Discounted Tickets?

How Tall Is The Freedom Tower?

The Freedom Tower (also known as One World Trade Center) is officially 1,776 feet tall (or 541 meters) making it the tallest building in the United States and also the tallest in Western Hemisphere. The official height of the building is determined by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) which takes measurements from the level of the lowest pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building including spires.

How Many Floors Are In The Building?

The World Trade Center building has a total of 104 floors.

What Is The Official Name Of The New World Trade Center?

“One World Trade Center” is the official name of the building, but it is often referred to as the Freedom Tower. The skyscraper is also referred to as One WTC, 1 World Trade Center and the New World Trade Center.

What Is The One World Observatory?

One World Observatory is an multi-level observation deck located on floors 101, 102 and 103 of the One World Trade Center building. Visitors can purchase tickets to One World Observatory and go to the top of the building for 360 degree views of New York City.

Where Do You Buy Freedom Tower Tickets?

Tickets for Freedom Tower Observation Deck can be purchased directly from the One World Trade website or from third-party vendors.

How Much Are One World Observatory Tickets?

The price of One World Observatory tickets varies depending several factors including the type of ticket, how old you are and where you purchase the tickets.

The official prices for the basic Standard Reserved tickets are $34 for adults (age 13-64) and $28 for children (age 6-12). Tickets for seniors age 65 years and older are $32 while children age 5 years or younger enter for free.

Where Can You Buy Discount Tickets For One World Observatory?

It is possible to purchase discounted tickets for One World Observatory through several third-party vendors online.

One of the best options for One World Observatory discount tickets is from Viator.com which offers Priority Reserved admission tickets for $34. These tickets allow you to skip the lines and are normally $56 from the official One World Observatory website.

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About the Author:

Trevor is a digital nomad and travel writer at Bespoke Unit. His life-long passion for travel has taken him to 30+ countries over the years. He covers a wide range of travel-related topics including detailed destination guides, travel reward credit cards and life as a location-independent entrepreneur.

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