The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a tribute to the lives lost on 11 September 2001 and 26 February 1993 (World Trade Center bombing).
Tourists visit this New York attraction to pay their respects and learn more about the event.
Table of contents
- What to expect
- How to reach
- Opening hours
- Best time to visit 9/11 Museum
- Tour duration
- Waiting times at 9/11 Museum
- 9/11 Museum tickets
- FAQs on Tickets
- 9/11 Museum’s audio guide
- Free admission Mondays
- 9/11 Tribute Museum tickets
- What to see at 9/11 Museum
- What to see at 9/11 Memorial
What to expect
Also known as the National September Memorial and Museum, this tourist attraction has two parts: the 9/11 Memorial and the 9/11 Museum.
The 9/11 Memorial comprises two massive waterfalls and reflecting pools.
These Memorial Pools are massive, measuring 4040 square meters (43500 square feet) each.
Visitors can look for the names of around 3,000 victims of the 11 September and 26 February terrorist attacks 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 11 September alive.
It documents the terrorist attack with 23,000 images, 10,300 artifacts, 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: One World Observatory, the World’s tallest observation deck, which offers fascinating views of New York, is also in the same complex. Some visitors combine a guided tour of ground zero with a visit to One World or opt for the Memorial + Museum + One World Observatory combo.
How to reach
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 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
It is best if visitors use public transport to get to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
– A, C, 1, 2, 3 to Chambers Street Station
– A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4, or 5 trains to Fulton Street Station
– 2 or 3 trains to Park Place Station
– E train to World Trade Center
– R train or 1 train to Rector Street Station
– R train to Cortlandt Street Station
– 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
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.
Important: The cheapest and most popular entry ticket at this attraction is the standard 9/11 Memorial & Museum tickets. To know about the different types of 9/11 Museum and Memorial tickets available, Click Here.
The 9/11 Memorial and the Museum have different timings.
9/11 Memorial’s hours
The 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero opens at 7.30 am and closes at 9 pm daily.
9/11 Museum’s timings
9/11 Museum opens at 9 am, daily. It closes at 8 pm from Sunday to Thursday, and on Friday and Saturday, it closes an hour later – at 9 pm.
The last entry into the 9/11 Museum is two hours before the closing time.
Museum’s holiday hours
On 26, 27, and 30 December, the 9/11 Museum opens at 9 am as usual but extends its closing time to accommodate the extra crowd and remains open till 9 pm.
Nowadays, both the 9/11 Memorial and Museum are open from 10 am to 5 pm because of the pandemic. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the museum remains closed.
Best time to visit 9/11 Museum
The best time to visit the 9/11 Museum is as soon as it opens at between 9 am. Till 11 am, the Museum doesn’t get crowded.
Irrespective of the season or day, most tourists line up to enter the Museum between noon and 3 pm.
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 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 11 September monument depends on what you decide to explore.
How long does the 9/11 Museum take?
Most visitors spend around two hours in the 9/11 Museum exploring the various artifacts documenting the terrorist attack.
Since it is a self-guided tour, visitors can explore at their own pace.
Tourists in a hurry are known to rush through everything and get over the 9/11 Museum in an hour.
How long does the 9/11 Memorial take?
At 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 at the ticket counter.
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 day and day of the week, this waiting time can go up to 45 minutes.
There will be a sign mentioning the next time slot for which tickets are available for purchase at the ticket counter.
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 the 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!
9/11 Museum tickets
There are three advantages to booking your 9/11 Museum tickets online –
Immediate delivery: The tickets get emailed to your inbox as soon as you complete the purchase. No waiting time, so no anxiety.
Convenient: 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 printouts.
Saves time: Since you already have the tickets when you reach the 9/11 Museum, you can avoid waiting in the ticketing counter lines.
9/11 Museum’s tickets come in many combinations, and we explain four of our favourites below.
If you want to know all the different 9/11 Museum & Memorial ticket options available, click here.
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
Kids ticket (7 to 12 years): $17
Youth ticket (13 to 17 years): $22
Senior ticket (65+ years): $22
Infant ticket (6 years & below): Free entry
Guided tour of 9/11 Museum & Memorial
The guided tour of the 9/11 Museum & Memorial offers a comprehensive experience, and if you can afford it, we highly recommend it.
Considering the nature of this tourist attraction, a local New York guide can provide a personal feel to your tour.
The experience starts with a 90-minute guided walking tour of Ground Zero, including the 9/11 Memorial.
Later, you use the exclusive skip-the-line entry to get to the 9/11 Museum and explore it on your own.
Adult ticket (13+ years): $69
Kids ticket (6 to 12 years): $59
Infant ticket (up to 5 years): Free entry
Guided tour of Memorial + One World Observatory
Some parents may not want to take their kids younger than ten years to the 9/11 Museum because a certain maturity and understanding are needed to comprehend the events of 11 September.
If you are in New York with young kids, this tour is suitable because you only explore Ground Zero, the Memorial, and the One World Observatory.
Adult ticket (13+ years): $69
Youth ticket (6 to 12 years): $59
Infant ticket (up to 5 years): Free entry
9/11 Memorial + 9/11 Museum + Observatory
If you are a bunch of adults, or if your kids are old enough to manage around five hours of exploration, we highly recommend this combo.
During the guided tour, you pay your respects to the fallen heroes of the terrorist attack at the 9/11 Memorial.
Then you skip the lines to enter the 11 September Museum and explore yourself.
During the last leg, you visit One World Observatory, the highest observation deck in the world, in Freedom Tower.
Adult ticket (13+ years): $109
Kids ticket (6 to 12 years): $99
Infant ticket (up to 5 years): Free entry
Tip: If you are on a budget holiday but want to see all three attractions in the complex, we suggest you purchase the standard Memorial and Museum ticket and get the One World Observatory ticket separately. You will save approximately $40 for every adult.
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.
- Are 9/11 museum tickets timed?
Yes, the 9/11 Museum tickets are timed, and visitors must reach the attraction 15 minutes before the time mentioned on their tickets.
Timed tickets help control the number of visitors entering the museum.
- Are the 9/11 Memorial and the 9/11 Museum separate? Do we need to buy tickets to both sites?
The Memorial and Museum are next to each other.
You can explore the 9/11 Memorial free of cost, but you must buy a ticket to enter the 9/11 Museum.
- Can you purchase tickets at the 9/11 Museum itself?
Visitors can buy 9/11 Museum tickets at the venue, but it is not advisable because there are long lines at the ticket counters.
To avoid wasting time in the queue, buy 9/11 Museum tickets online.
- Are 9/11 Museum and Memorial guided tours worth it?
With a tour guide, your visit to the 9/11 Museum and Memorial will be more memorable.
On a guided tour of the 9/11 memorial, a local guide takes you through the attraction sharing insightful stories, anecdotes, trivia, etc., which you may otherwise miss.
You are also more likely to visit all the must-see exhibits.
- We want to visit the 9/11 Memorial and not the 9/11 Museum. Do we need to buy a ticket?
If you only want to visit the 9/11 Memorial, you don't need to buy tickets – it is free for both kids and adults.
However, the 9/11 Museum is too spectacular to be missed.
The only time when it is advisable to miss the 9/11 Museum is when you are visiting with kids younger than ten years, who may find it challenging to comprehend the seriousness of the tourist attraction.
- How soon do I need to get tickets for the 9/11 Museum? Can I get them on the day I want to go?
It is your choice entirely – you can get your 9/11 Museum tickets a couple of months in advance or on the day of your visit at the venue.
If you plan to purchase your tickets in advance and skip the long lines at the venue, you must do so at least 48 hours before your visit.
- Is an audio guide included with the 9/11 Museum entry ticket? Or do we have to pay for it separately?
- Ground Zero seems to have many parts – the 9/11 Memorial, 9/11 Museum, Oculus, and One World Observatory. Do I have to buy tickets for all of them separately?
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 center 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 the USA.
9/11 Museum’s audio guide
These audioguides 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.
Free admission Mondays
Every Monday from 3.30 pm to 5 pm, visitors can enter the 9/11 Museum for free.
Even though free admission Mondays 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.
A limited number of these free Monday evening tickets are available on the official website starting at 7 am.
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 Tribute Museum tickets
The 9/11 Tribute Museum aims to help visitors understand the events surrounding the USA’s largest emergency response and recovery effort.
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 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 three years.
What to see at 9/11 Museum
There are five exhibitions to see at the 9/11 Museum.
Two of these exhibitions – the Historical Exhibition and Memorial Exhibition – form the core of this Museum.
The historical exhibition narrates 9/11 using various media such as artifacts, 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 ten years of age may find the historical exhibition overwhelming.
Adults accompanying younger visitors must exercise discretion during the visit.
The Memorial Exhibition features photographs of approximately 3000 victims of the 9/11 carnage and the 26 February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
Using the touch-screen panels, you can look up individual profiles.
Victims’ items which the family members donated are also on display.
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 12 to 16 September.
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.
Sports after 9/11
‘Sports After 9/11’ is a special exhibition that narrates how sports and athletes helped 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.
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 to find out a particular victim’s name, or you can also download the official Memorial app.
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 northwest corner, visitors can spot a sculpture called ‘Double Check’, which survived the debris that fell when the two buildings collapsed – a metaphor for the survival spirit of the USA.
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.
German artist Fritz Koenig designed the sphere, which represents ‘world peace through world trade.’
The original spot of this sculpture was in a plaza between the two World Trade Center towers.
On the day of the Twin Tower attacks, this sculpture found itself right in the middle of all the devastation.
Since then, it has been recovered and restored, and today this piece of art stands as a memorial to the lives lost.
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.
The Survivor Tree
On the day of the attack, from amongst the rubble of the Twin Towers, the responders pulled out one 2.5 meters (8 feet) tall Callery pear tree.
It was nursed back to health and re-planted in the Memorial Plaza and is today 30 feet in height.
This special tree is yet another story of survival and resilience and stands tall among the many swamp white oak trees at the 9/11 Memorial.
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 reflects the sky, the people, and the emerging 4 World Trade Center.
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 feel the Sycamore tree behind the religious place took the brunt of the falling Twin Towers and saved the Church.
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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