One World Trade Center is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center Complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
It is also known as ‘ Freedom Tower.’
The main attraction in this complex, which the tourists visit, is the observational deck called ‘One World Observatory’.
The One World Observatory experience starts with riding the Sky Pod elevator. During this ride, you will experience an immersive, floor to ceiling time lapse of NYC’s 500-year evolution in 60 seconds.
After ‘See Forever Theatre’, which is an audiovisual show, you will be directed to the 360° main observation area on the 100th floor.
From the 100th floor, you get to see never-before views of the city of New York.
No wonder, OWO is so popular amongst the tourists in New York.
There are many things you need to know about One World Observatory before you plan your visit.
The topics covered in this article are –
1. Opening hours
2. Best time to visit
3. One World Observatory tickets
4. Ticket discounts
5. One World with New York Pass
6. One World with Sightseeing Flex Pass
7. One World Observatory vs Empire State Building
8. One World Observatory vs Top of the Rock
9. Tourist reviews
10. One World at night
11. Restaurants at OWO
Location of One World Observatory
One World Trade Center,
285 Fulton St. 45 fl. Street F,
Manhattan, NY 10007.
Phone: (844) 696-1776
One World Observatory hours
This New York attraction, which is highly rated on Tripadvisor, is open 7 days a week.
The box office opens daily at 9.00 am.
May 1 to Sept 4
8 am–9 pm
The last ticket is sold at 8.45 pm.
Sept 5 to Dec 20
9 am–9 pm
The last ticket is sold at 8.15 pm.
Dec 21 – Jan 3
8 am–8 pm
The last ticket is sold at 7.15pm.
Jan 4- April 30
9 am–9 pm
The last ticket is sold at 8.15pm.
Visitors already in the One World Observatory by 9 pm can continue to stay and enjoy the experience till 10 pm.
One World Observatory adjusted hours
On special days, the timings are changed as mentioned below.-
New Year’s Day, Jan 1
8 am–8 pm
The last ticket is sold at 7.15pm.
Independence Day, 4th July
8 am–6 pm
The last ticket is sold at 5.15 pm
Celebration time is 8.00 pm–10.00 pm
12 pm–9 pm
The last ticket is sold at 8.15 pm
Thanksgiving, Nov 22
9 am–9 pm
The last ticket is sold at 8.15 pm
Black Friday, Nov 23
9.00 am–9.00 pm
The last ticket is sold at 8.15 pm
Christmas Eve, Dec 24
9 am–7 pm
The last ticket is sold at 6.15pm
Christmas Day, Dec 25
9 am–9 pm
The last ticket is sold at 8.15pm
New Years Eve, Dec 31
9 am–7 pm
The last ticket is sold at 6.15pm
Best time to visit One World Observatory
The best time to visit One World Observatory if you want to avoid the crowd is between 8 am to 10 am (depending on the opening hours).
In the morning, it is difficult to take pictures of the eastern side of the building i.e. Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn North.
At noon, the sun is at its peak and this is the best time to take pictures from all sides of the Observatory. This is why 12 noon is the best time to visit One World Observatory if you are interested in photography.
However, if you want to enjoy both the day and night experience, the best time to reach OWO is 5 pm. You can see the sunset in New York and then hang around long enough for the lights to come up all over New York.
It is best to book an hour earlier and give yourself enough time to reach the top of the observation area.
One World Observatory tickets
Popular observation platform One World Observatory has six different tickets you can choose from. Out of these six, we have picked out the best four experiences.
Whichever OWO ticket you buy, please ensure you are available at this New York attraction 15 minutes before your before your scheduled time.
Late arrivals will be accommodated based on capacity. If you miss your time slot, you may have to wait until the next open timeslot.
All these tickets allow kids under 6 to get in for free. But they need a ticket, which you can get from the guest service desk on the lower level security.
1. Standard Reserve Tickets
– This is a timed ticket and you get skip-the-line access at the entrance
– Access to all 3 floors of One World Observatory – Levels 100, 101, and 102
– Access to casual cafes and fine-dining at ONE restaurant
– Arrival via The Sky Pod elevators, among the fastest in the world
– An exciting New York City film presentation in the SEE FOREVER Theater
– Special features including City Pulse and Sky Portal
– iPad experience One World Explorer (if chosen while booking the ticket)
This One World Observatory ticket’s price is USD 34 for visitors between 13 to 64 years of age.
Youth (6 to 12 years) get in for a discounted ticket costing USD 30.49.
Senior citizens get a 2 dollar discount and their ticket price is USD 32.
Our Verdict: This is the most value-for-money ticket. Go for it!
2. Priority Reserved Tickets
– This is a timed ticket, and entrance is through the priority access security lane, the fastest
– Access to all amenities including See Forever Theatre, Sky Portal, and City Pulse.
– Arrival is done via Sky Pod elevators and the option to express elevator loading area.
– You also get a chance to visit all the observatory floors – levels 100, 101 and 102
– Food options are the same as the standard ticket.
– Upgrade to ‘One World Explorer iPad’ experience (watch the video below) by paying an additional USD 16.33.
This One World Observatory ticket’s price is USD 60.97 for all visitors above five years of age. There are no special discounts for youth or senior citizens.
Our Verdict: If you can afford it, we suggest you go for it. The Explorer iPad experience will make the extra money worth it.
3. Priority Anytime Tickets
– Visit OWO on any date and time of your choosing. With this ticket, you don’t have to plan your visit beforehand.
– Entry through the Priority Access security lane
– Use of the SkyPod elevators
– Access to all Observatory floors – levels 100, 101 and 102
– Access to the Sky Portal, See Forever Theater and City Pulse
– One World Explorer iPad experience (if you opt to upgrade)
If you buy this ticket, do remember to check for a change in open timings (if any) before your visit.
This One World Observatory ticket’s price is USD 72.95. This one price applies to everybody above five years of age.
Our verdict: We couldn’t figure out why anyone would want the luxury of buying a ticket, with a six months validity. We feel if you plan just a month or two ahead, you should be able to get One World Observatory tickets for your preferred time and date.
4. ‘Drink in the View’ One World Observatory tickets
Besides everything you get for the Standard Reserve Ticket (at USD 34), with the ‘Drink in the View’ ticket you also get two complimentary drinks.
You can choose between Beer, Wine or Prosecco (Italian White Wine).
This ticket can only be bought for/by patrons 21 years and older. You will be requested to show your ID at the entrance.
The bar’s last call is 45 minutes before closing. And drink vouchers cannot be redeemed after that.
This One World Observatory ticket’s price is USD 67.50.
If you upgrade your experience by adding the ‘One World Explorer iPad’ to your cart while making the purchase, the total cost of your ticket becomes USD 82.50 per person.
Our verdict: If you are a couple out to have some good quality fun, we highly recommend this One World Observatory ticket.
Important: All these online tickets are delivered to your inbox instantly. On the day of your visit, just show the ticket at the entrance, on your smartphone and walk in.
One World Observatory discounts
One World Observatory tickets are available at a discount for seniors and kids.
The Standard Reserved Ticket costs USD 32 for senior citizens (65+), USD 28 for Youth (6-12), and is free for children (5 and under).
None of the other OWO ticket options offer discounts for seniors and Youth.
However, kids below 5 years of age continue to walk in free with all other One World Observatory deck tickets you may purchase.
One World Observatory with New York Pass
One question asked frequently by tourists planning their visit to One World Observatory is: “Is One World Observatory included in the New York Pass?”
It should have been. But unfortunately, the answer to that question is “No!”
In fact, this Observation deck on top of the Freedom Tower is NOT included in the New York City Pass or The Explorer Pass as well.
One World Observatory with Sightseeing Flex Pass
Fortunately, for tourists who believe in Discount cards, there is hope.
The NYC Sightseeing Pass is the only pass that includes admission to One World Observatory.
Once you have bought the NYC Sightseeing Pass, present it at the entrance of OWO for a free entry.
Find out what other New York attractions are included with NYC Sightseeing Pass.
Which is the best observation deck in NYC?
New York City has some of the finest observational decks in the World.
This puts tourists in New York in a state of dilemma. The question is always: “which is the best observatory in New York city?”
One World Observatory vs Empire State Building
Here is our comparison of the two observation decks –
One World Observatory (The Freedom Tower)
Hours: OWO is open 7 days a week. Summer hours are 9 am to midnight. After Labor Day, the hours change to 9 am-8 pm.
Last tickets are sold 45 minutes before closing.
Location: At 285 Fulton Street. Guests enter from West Street. Nearest subway is the N and R trains to Cortland St, 2 and 3 trains to Park Pl, and 4 and 5 trains to Fulton St.
Adults: USD 34
Seniors (62+ years of age): USD 32
Youth (6-12 years): USD 28
Kids (below 5 years): Free entry
One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and is the 4th tallest in the World.
One World Observatory is much newer but it has a history of its own because of its ties to the terror attacks of 9/11.
This observation deck was created as part of the reconstruction efforts in the wake of this tragic devastation of the World Trade Center.
Besides the historic exhibits and the Observation Deck itself, the building also serves as a primary commercial site.
The main observatory on the 100th floor allows guests to have an incredible, 360-degree view of the city.
For many, however, the highlight is the Sky Portal. This 14-foot wide disc shows real-time video footage of the streets directly below the observatory
One World Trade Center Observatory also offers Priority Admission, Day Flex, and Weekend Flex tickets which enable expedited entry or flexible admission times.
Costs for these premium tickets range from USD 54 to USD 90 per person.
Empire State building
Observatories: 80th and 86th floors (or upgrade to the 102nd floor)
Location: Midtown Manhattan — entrance on Fifth Avenue between 33rd & 34th Streets
Hours: 8:00 am – 2:00 am — 365 days/year
(last elevator 1:15 am)
General Admission – Adults USD 34
Children (6-12) USD 27
Seniors (62+) USD 31
Accessible: Yes, fully.
The Empire State building boasts of a history that stretches from the mid-1920s.
The main deck of the Empire State Building is on the 86th floor and provides perfect views of The Central Park, The Hudson and The East Rivers, The Brooklyn Bridge and The Times Square, The Statue of Liberty, as well as other wealth of attractions in Midtown Manhattan below.
There are two viewing platforms: the more popular and cheaper one is on the 86th Floor and the more private and expensive one is on the 102nd Floor.
When you enter the lobby from 5th Avenue, take a moment to take in the beautiful Art Deco design made from imported marble from Germany, France, Belgium, and Italy.
If you already purchased your tickets, you can take the elevator up right away. If you have not, take the escalator on your right side up to the ticket booths.
Once you get the tickets you walk through a few featured exhibitions and then take the first elevators to the 80th Floor. The elevator ride will take 60 seconds.
To avoid standing in line for the second elevator again, you can walk up the 6 flights of stairs and get your day’s workout done.
Twilight is a popular time of the day to come up and see the city, which means waiting times are a bit longer. To avoid the crowds come between 8 am – 11 am.
Entry to the Empire State Building is included for free with City Pass, the Explorer Pass, and the New York Pass.
You will encounter many street sales agents when you approach the entrance to the Empire State Building.
Be aware that they are not employed by the Empire State Building Observatory. You must purchase your tickets inside the Empire State Building.
The best option, however, is to purchase your Empire State Building tickets online. You can skip the line, and have a much hassle-free experience.
One World Observatory or Empire State Building – which NYC Observatory is better?
There is no doubt that One World Observatory is a better deal than the Empire State Building.
Though the tickets to the Empire State Building are a bit cheaper than One World Observatory it is worth paying a bit extra.
In the southern part of Manhattan, One World Observatory has excellent views of the Financial District below, the Hudson River and the East River and the northeastern New Jersey (including Lady Liberty).
A Sky Pod elevator with a digital time-lapse that highlights 5 centuries of New York City’s evolving landscape is absolutely breathtaking.
Seeing Forever Theatre™, an audio-visual experience that explores NYC’s skyline is another perk here.
And from One World Observatory, you can see the Empire State Building.
OWTC is completely enclosed whereas the Empire State Building has both open air and enclosed observation decks.
These are the most value-for-money and most selling One World Observatory tickets.
Or if you still prefer the Empire State Building’s observation deck –
One World Observatory vs Top of The Rock
Check out how the two experiences differ –
Top of The Rock
Hours: Top of the Rock is open every day from 8 am until midnight. The last elevator goes up at 11 pm.
Tip: Because your entry is timed, try to go a little before sunset. That way you can get day and night views in one trip.
Location: The closest subway is the B, D, F and M trains to 47-50 St, Rockefeller Center. The main entrance to Top of the
Rock is on 50th Street in between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Adults: USD 36
Seniors (62+ years of age): USD 34
Children (age 6-12): USD 30
Children (5 and below): Free entry
Top of the Rock is located 850 feet (259 meters) above street level and has been offering stunning panoramas of the city since 1933.
This beautiful Art-Deco complex was built in the 1930s by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
For one, Top of the Rock allows you to enjoy a view of the Empire State Building set against the Manhattan skyline — something that is obviously missed when standing atop the Empire State Building.
You also have a relatively unobstructed view of Central Park, a view not available with the other decks.
Additionally, you purchase tickets for a specific time slot at Top of the Rock. This keeps the crowd under control and cuts down on a lot of time spent waiting in line.
It also makes it a little easier to plan the rest of your day for other New York attractions.
The observation deck is indoor/outdoor, so it’s a good choice for pretty much any time of year.
It also offers great views of Empire State Building (looking south), Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center, Central Park, Bank of America Tower, Flatiron Building, Brooklyn Bridge, surrounding buildings in Midtown Manhattan and more.
Entry to Top of the Rock is included for free with City Pass, the Explorer Pass, and the New York Pass.
Top of the Rock or One World Observatory – which is better?
We would say, both are on par.
You can choose any one and yet walk out of the building fully satisfied with your observational deck experience in New York.
Just that One World Observatory ticket prices are cheaper – so you save some money.
Or if you want to give Top of the Rock a try, book your trip now –
One World Observatory review
Many reviews on Tripadvisor suggest that tourists who want to experience New York City from a high should look no further than the One World Observatory.
The reviewers were especially thrilled by One World Trade Center’s high-speed elevator which shoots visitors straight to the three-story observatory in just 47 seconds.
Many tourists who gave positive reviews mentioned the impressive time-lapse technology in the elevators, showcasing NYC’s transformation over the last 500 years, on immersive floor-to-ceiling screens.
At the top, spectacular 360-degree views of New York City’s waterways, iconic skyline, and renowned landmarks also found mention.
The reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor also mentioned the installations which allow visitors to zero in on various neighborhoods and check out real-time footage of streets far below. These were especially popular among families with kids.
The reviewers also mention that the OWO also provided an emotional connection, something the other observatories in NYC can’t. After all, One World Observatory is built on the very spot where the twin towers once stood.
One World Observatory at night
One World Observatory’s night view is a must.
Though the view is a bit unclear at night, all the lights make it worthwhile. The crowd is also a bit less during night time, making it seem like a private preview of the city of New York.
If you land up in the late afternoon, no harm staying there till the lights go up. Check out the Empire State Building at night
One World Observatory restaurants
Dining at the top of the World is an experience of its kind.
One Dine – highest in the USA
One Dine, the highest restaurant in the United States, is accessible only to One World Observatory ticket holders and requires reservations.
The 101st-floor fine dining establishment serves a seasonal menu and offers craft beer, wine, and cocktails overlooking the main observation floor.
Address: 285 Fulton Street, New York City, New York 10006, USA
Hours: Nov 17 – Jan 7: 9 am – 9 pm, May 5 – Sept 4: 9 am – 10 pm. Last entry one hour before closing.
Admission: Adults USD 36
One Mix – for a spontaneous stop
For small plates and drinks, head to One Mix.
Guests can enjoy shareable plates as well as thoughtfully sourced and crafted selections of burgers, sandwiches, seasonal salads, and bar snacks.
Specialty cocktails, microbrews, and wines by the glass highlighting local distilleries, breweries, and wineries are served in a casual atmosphere.
Guests are accommodated on a walk-in basis. Reservations are not required.
Hours: Daily between 11 am-9 pm
Costs USD 37.02 and saves you up to an hour of waiting in the ticket line.
Costs slightly higher at USD 60.97, but you even skip the security line with this ticket.
A very popular combo tour, which costs only USD 69.
Popular attractions in New York
# Empire State Building
# Statue of Liberty
# Metropolitan Museum of Art
# 9/11 Memorial and Museum
# One World Observatory
# New York Helicopter tour
# BlueMan Group NYC
# Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise