The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a tribute to the lives lost on September 11, 2001, and on February 26, 1993 (World Trade Center bombing).
Tourists visit this New York attraction to pay their respects and/or learn more about the event.
In this article, we explain everything you must know before planning your visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
1. What to expect?
2. How to reach?
3. Opening hours
4. Best time to visit
5. Tour duration
5. Waiting time
7. Free Tuesdays
8. 9/11 Museum tickets
9. Tribute Museum tickets
10. FAQs on tickets
11. Audio Guide
12. Must see in Museum
13. What to see in Memorial
What to expect?
Also known as National September Memorial and Museum, this attraction has two parts to it.
The 9/11 Memorial comprises of two massive waterfalls and reflecting pools.
These Memorial Pools are massive, measuring 4040 square meters (or 43500 square feet) each.
The names of around 3,000 victims of the Sep 11 and Feb 26 terrorist attacks are inscribed on bronze panels lining the two Memorial pools.
The Memorial is located at the site of the former Twin Towers and is free to visit (there is no entry fee).
The 9/11 Museum is an attempt to keep the memory of September 11 alive.
The Museum documents the incident with 23,000 images, 10,300 artefacts, 500 hours of video, and 2,000 oral histories of the dead provided by family and friends.
This Museum is right next to the Memorial Pools and you need to buy tickets to enter.
Since there are long lines at the ticketing counter, it is better to buy 9/11 Museum tickets in advance.
Tip: Freedom Tower, which has the One World Observatory, the World’s tallest viewing platform, is also located in the same complex.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is at the One World Trade Centre site in lower Manhattan at 180 Greenwich Street, New York. Get Directions
To enter the 9/11 Memorial you can choose from the entrances at one of these intersections –
1. Liberty Street and Greenwich Street
2. Liberty Street and West Street
3. West Street and Fulton Street
4. Fulton Street and Greenwich Street
How to reach?
It is best if visitors use public transport to get to 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
– A, C, 1, 2, 3 to Chambers Street
– A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4, or 5 trains to Fulton Street
– 2 or 3 trains to Park Place
– E train to World Trade Center
– R train or 1 train to Rector Street
– R train to Cortlandt Street
– M5 Southbound: get down at Broadway and Thames Street
– M5 Northbound: get down at Trinity Place and Rector Street
– M20 Southbound: get down on South End Avenue between Liberty Street and Albany Street
– M22 Southbound: get down on Vesey Street between North End Avenue and West Street
Parking at 9/11 Memorial
Since this tourist attraction doesn’t have parking facilities and since on-street parking is limited in lower Manhattan, we don’t recommend driving.
The nearest parking spots are available at Battery Parking Garage, on 70 Greenwich Street. Get Directions
Important: The cheapest and most popular entry ticket at this attraction is the 9/11 Museum ‘Skip The Line’ ticket. To know about the different types 9/11 Museum and Memorial tickets available, Click Here
The 9/11 Memorial and the Museum have different opening hours.
9/11 Memorial timings
The Memorial at Ground Zero opens daily at 7.30 am and closes at 9 pm.
9/11 Museum hours
The 9/11 Memorial Museum operates daily.
From Sunday to Thursday, it opens at 9 am and closes at 8 pm, with the last entry at 6 pm.
On Friday and Saturday, it opens at 9 am and closes at 9 pm, with the last entry at 7 pm.
The last entry at the 9/11 Museum is always 2 hours before the closing time.
Museum’s holiday hours
During the holidays, the 9/11 Museum extends its closing time to accommodate the extra crowd.
On Dec 26, Dec 27 and Dec 30 the Museum remains open from 9 am to 9 pm.
Best time to visit 9/11 Museum
The 9/11 Museum attracts massive crowd all through the year.
Irrespective of the season or day of the week, most number of tourists line up to enter the Museum between noon to 3 pm.
That’s why the best time to visit 9/11 Museum is as soon as it opens – between 9 am to 11 am.
If you can’t make it in the morning, we recommend a visit anytime after 5 pm.
If you want to avoid the crowd, one of the best ways is to buy your 9/11 Museum tickets online.
You can then skip the long lines at the ticketing counter, and enter the Museum right away.
Some tourists prefer to skip the Museum because it requires an entry ticket.
However, most tourists end up visiting the 9/11 Memorial.
The time you will take to tour the September 11 monument depends on what all you decide to explore.
How long does 9/11 Museum take?
If you are the kind of tourist who quickly rushes through everything, you can get over the 9/11 Museum in an hour.
However, if you want to explore everything in detail, you will need at least three hours.
How long does 9/11 Memorial take?
As for the 9/11 Memorial, you can see everything there is to explore in 30 minutes.
However, some tourists walk around for much longer contemplating the events of the fateful day.
Waiting times at 9/11 Museum
The 9/11 Museum has timed entry tickets, which means it is never overly crowded inside.
However, you can end up waiting in long lines outside.
If you have already bought your 9/11 Museum tickets online, your waiting time is shorter.
Let us explain in detail.
When you have NOT bought tickets in advance
If you haven’t already purchased 9/11 Museum tickets online, you must line up at the ticket counter.
Depending on the time of the day and day of the week this waiting time can go up to 45 minutes.
At the ticket counter, there will be a sign mentioning the next time slot for which tickets are available for purchase.
This information will help you decide if you want to stand in the ticketing line or not – because you may not always get the tickets for immediate next time slot.
For instance, if you reached the ticketing line at 2 pm and the next available time slot is 4 pm, you will be given a ticket with 4 pm mentioned on it.
So even though you may have your tickets by 2.30 pm, you can enter the Museum only at 4 pm.
When you have already bought the tickets
When you buy 9/11 Museum tickets online, you get to pick your time slot.
On the day of your visit, all you have to do is reach the Museum 15 minutes before the time mentioned on your tickets.
Since you already have the tickets, you can skip the line at the ticketing counter (and save yourself up to 45 minutes).
Look for time-based entry lines where everyone with tickets gets to stand.
At the time mentioned on your ticket, you will be allowed to enter the Museum. Yes, no waiting!
Free admission Tuesday
Every Tuesday from 5 pm to 8 pm visitors can enter the 9/11 Museum for free.
Even though free admission Tuesdays allow free entry into the 9/11 Museum, you are ‘expected’ to make a small payment of at least $10.
Of course, you can refuse to pay. It is entirely your choice.
Two weeks in advance, a limited number of tickets for these Tuesday evenings are available for online booking.
You can get these ‘free tickets’ at the 9/11 Museum’s ticketing office as well.
However, these free entry tickets are limited and distributed on a first come-first served basis.
There is a limit of four free tickets per person.
Buy one discount Pass and save up to 40% on ticket costs during your New York holiday. Buy New York Explorer Pass
9/11 Museum tickets
Visitors to 9/11 Museum prefer to book their tickets online for three reasons –
Immediate delivery: The tickets get emailed to your inbox as soon as you complete the purchase. No waiting time, so no anxiety.
Smartphone tickets: On the day of your visit, you can show your 9/11 Museum tickets on your smartphone and walk in. You don’t have to take any print outs.
Easy Cancellation: These tickets can be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
9/11 Museum’s tickets come in many combinations, and we explain all of them below.
1. 9/11 Museum & Memorial tickets
This is the cheapest and the most popular 9/11 Museum ticket.
You get to see everything in the 9/11 Museum and also get to explore the Memorial.
While booking the ticket, you must opt for a time slot.
Adult ticket (18 to 64 years): $28
Senior ticket (65+ years): $22
Youth ticket (13 to 17 years): $22
Kids ticket (7 to 12 years): $17
Infant ticket (6 years & below): Free entry
2. Guided tour of 9/11 Museum & Memorial
You start with the St. Paul’s Chapel, then see the Memorial pools, finally enter the 9/11 Museum without waiting in any lines.
This is a 2-hour guided tour, and after the local guide leaves, you can continue to explore Museum for as long as you want.
Adult ticket (13+ years): $69
Kids ticket (4 to 12 years): $55
Infant ticket (3 years & below): Free entry
Our thoughts: If you can afford these tickets, we highly recommend it. Considering the nature of this tourist attraction, the local New York guides provide a more personal feel.
3. Guided tour of Museum, Memorial & Observatory
This is a five-hour long tour, and there are two slots you can choose from – 10.30 am slot or the 2 pm slot.
This tour is everything the previous tour offers plus access to nearby One World Observatory.
One World is the World’s highest observatory and is in the 100th, 101st and 102nd floors of Freedom Tower.
At 417 meters (1,368 feet) Freedom Tower is the tallest building in USA.
Adult ticket (12+ years): $109
Kids ticket (4 to 11 years): $99
Infant ticket (3 years & below): Free entry
4. Guided tour of Ground Zero & Memorial
Some parents with kids below ten years of age may not want to take their kids to the 9/11 Museum.
This is because a certain maturity and understanding is needed to comprehend the events of September 11.
If you are in New York with young kids, this tour is just right for you because you only explore Ground Zero and the Memorial.
New Yorkers who have a personal connection to 9/11 guide this walking tour.
Adult ticket (18+ years): $35
Youth ticket (12 to 17 years): $35
Kids ticket (7 to 11 years): $30
Infant ticket (3 to 6 years): 30
5. Statue of Liberty + 9/11 Museum
You start this five and a half hour tour, by first exploring the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
Your guide then gets you to 9/11 Memorial & Museum for reflecting on the events of 11 September.
Important: Transportation between Battery Park (where you will get down from the State of Liberty ferry) and the 9/11 Memorial isn’t covered in this ticket. But you must know that the distance is just 800 meters (or half a mile), so walkable.
Adult ticket (12+ years): $90
Kids ticket (2 to 11 years): $60
9/11 Tribute Museum tickets
The 9/11 Tribute Museum aims to help visitors understand the events surrounding the largest emergency response and recovery effort in the USA.
Visitors can see personals stories of the victims displayed at the exhibitions.
The operating hours are from 10 am to 6 pm. The last entry takes place 30 minutes before closing.
You will need around 45 minutes to explore this Museum.
The Tribute Museum is located 500 meters (0.3 Miles) from the 9/11 Memorial.
The 9/11 Tribute Museum tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and students with valid IDs and $5 for children below the age of 3.
FAQs on Tickets
Tourists planning a visit to 9 September Memorial and Museum usually have lots of questions before they go ahead and buy the tickets.
We answer them below.
Yes, the 9/11 Museum tickets are timed.
And you are expected to reach the attraction 15 minutes before the time mentioned on your ticket.
Timed tickets help maintain the right amount of visitors inside the 9/11 Museum.
The Memorial and Museum are next to each other.
You can explore the 9/11 Memorial free of cost.
But, to enter the 9/11 Museum, you must buy a ticket.
Yes, you can buy 9/11 Museum tickets at the venue.
However, we don’t recommend that because depending on the day of the week and time of the day, there can be long queues.
To avoid wasting time in long lines, it is better to buy 9/11 Museum tickets online.
With a tour guide your visit to 9/11 Museum and Memorial will definitely be more memorable.
Especially since, a local guide will be able to convey the impact of September 11 events much better.
With a tour guide, you will get insightful stories, anecdotes etc which you may otherwise miss.
On a guided tour, you are also more likely to visit all the must-see exhibits. Book a guided tour now!
If you only want to visit the 9/11 Memorial, you don’t need to buy tickets.
Entry to the September 11 Memorial is free for both kids and adults.
However, we don’t recommend that.
Do visit the 9/11 Museum as well, for it is spectacular.
It is your choice completely – you can get your 9/11 Museum tickets couple of months in advance.
Or on the day of your visit, you can buy them at the attraction.
Most tourists who prefer to keep their itinerary flexible buy same day 9/11 Museum tickets online to avoid the queue.
Everything mentioned above is close by and worth visiting.
The 9/11 Memorial is free to enter, but the 9/11 Museum which is right next to it requires entry tickets.
Oculus is a shopping centre close to the 9/11 Memorial and the Museum.
The One World Observatory is a viewing platform in the nearby building called Freedom Tower, the highest in USA. Buy One World Observatory tickets
9/11 Museum’s audio guide
These audio guides provide themed tours suitable for all age groups.
The ‘Witnessing History Tour’ narrates an overview of what happened on 11 September, and later.
The ‘Discovering History Tour’ is designed for 8 to 11 year old kids and provides an age-appropriate narration of 9/11.
The ‘Building History Tour’ tells the story of recovery and rebuilding through the voices of architects, recovery workers etc.
What to see at 9/11 Museum
There are five exhibitions to see at 9/11 Museum.
Two of these exhibitions – the Historical exhibition and Memorial exhibition – form the core of this Museum.
1. Historical Exhibition
The historical exhibition narrates the story of 9/11 using various media such as artefacts, images, testimony and archival audio and video.
The Historical Exhibition has three parts – the Events of the Day, Before 9/11, and After 9/11.
Visitors younger than 10 years of age may find the historical exhibition overwhelming.
Adults accompanying younger visitors must exercise discretion during the visit.
2. Memorial Exhibition
This exhibition features photographs of approximately 3000 victims of the 9/11 carnage and the Feb 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
Using the touch-screen panels, you can look up individual profiles.
Victims’ items which were donated by the family members are also on display.
3. Witness at Ground Zero
Even as the planes crashed into the twin towers, French photographer Stephane Sednaoui filmed the incident from the roof of his building in lower Manhattan.
This exhibition displays more than 500 pictures of his photographs taken between September 12 and 16.
4. Rebirth at Ground Zero
Rebirth at Ground Zero is a 270-degree panoramic media installation.
Six months after 9/11, time-lapse cameras installed at strategic locations started capturing the transformation of Ground Zero.
You get to see the output at this exhibition.
5. Sports after 9/11
‘Sports After 9/11’ is a special exhibition which narrates how sports and athletes helped to console a grieving nation.
And how they gave the country reasons to cheer after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
This exhibition illustrates many iconic moments, which you can’t afford to miss.
What to see at 9/11 Memorial
There are a lot of things to see and experience in and around the 9/11 Memorial.
Once you are at the Memorial, you can use this map to navigate between the various things to see.
1. The twin pools and waterfalls
Two large pools with cascading waterfalls exist in the exact place where the North and South World Trade Center Tower stood before they were brought down on 11 September 2001.
Aptly titled ‘Reflecting Absence,’ these pools were designed by architect Michael Arad.
These are the largest human-made waterfalls in North America.
On the walls of these pools, one can find the names of those who died on 9/11.
Kiosks are available where you can find out a particular victim’s name, or you can also download the official Memorial app.
2. Zuccotti Park
Before 11 September 2001, this Park was called Liberty Plaza Park.
After the attacks, the Park came in handy for recovery efforts.
In recent times, Zuccotti Park has been the venue for many events commemorating the 9/11 incident.
In the North West corner of this Park, you can spot a sculpture called ‘Double Check.’
When the buildings collapsed, a lot of debris fell in this Park, but the sculpture had survived – a metaphor for the survival spirit of the USA.
3. FDNY Memorial Wall
FDNY Memorial Wall is a tribute to the 343 active NYC firefighters who lost their lives on 11 September 2001.
Located on Greenwich Street at the corner of Liberty Street, this artwork by Joe Petrovics weighs 3200 Kg (7000 Pounds).
It is 17 meters (56 feet) long and depicts the Twin towers engulfed in flames and firefighters trying to keep the fire down.
4. The Sphere
The Sphere was designed by German artist Fritz Koenig, and represents ‘world peace through world trade.’
The original spot of this sculpture was in a plaza between the two World Trade Center towers.
However, on the day of the Twin Tower attacks, this sculpture found itself right in the middle of all the devastation.
After the attack, it was recovered and restored, and today this piece of art stands as a memorial to the lives lost on the day.
5. America’s Response Monument
Tourists often call this monument ‘Horse Soldier Statue.’
The official name of this monument located on the West end of Liberty Park is ‘America’s Response Monument.’
This monument celebrates Task Force Dagger of the Green Berets (US Army’s Special Forces), who were the first to enter Afghanistan to avenge the 9/11 attacks.
6. The Survivor Tree
Hundreds of swamp white oak trees line up the 9/11 Memorial.
However, one particular tree deserves special mention.
On the day of the attack, from amongst the rubble of the Twin Towers one 2.5 meters (8 feet), tall Callery pear tree was pulled out.
It was nursed back to health and re-planted in the Memorial Plaza and is today 30 feet in height.
It is yet another story of survival and resilience.
7. World Trade Center’s Cross
A few days after the Twin Towers went down, the emergency responders found a 5 meters (17 feet) tall intersecting beam which resembled a Christian cross.
Many of the recovery workers used this cross as a shrine and prayed and left notes.
Later, this metallic cross found a place at the National 11 September Museum.
As of today, a replica of the WTC’s Cross is installed at St. Peter’s Church.
Designed by Jon Krawczyk, its polish is intended to reflect the sky, the people, and the emerging 4 World Trade Center.
8. St. Paul’s Chapel
Even though St. Paul’s Chapel was located right across the street from the Twin Towers, nothing happened to the Church – not even a scratch on a window.
Many credit the Sycamore tree which stood at the back of the chapel and took all the brunt of the falling Twin Towers.
For the rescue workers, St. Paul’s served as a praying spot and as a place to reflect on the events.
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