3 Best New York City Attractions

New York City, a bustling metropolis known for its towering skyscrapers and vibrant culture, is a place where dreams are made.

In this exciting guide, we’re going to dive into three of the most iconic attractions in the city: the Top of the Rock, the Empire State Building, and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Each of these landmarks tells a unique story about the spirit and history of New York.

Top of the Rock [jump to the full guide below]
  • Breathtaking Views: Experience panoramic views of the city like never before.
  • Photography Haven: Capture stunning photos of the NYC skyline.
Empire State Building [jump to the full guide below]
  • Historic Marvel: A symbol of architectural innovation and American ingenuity.
  • Sky High Adventure: Soar above the city and feel the pulse of New York.
9/11 Memorial and Museum [jump to the full guide below]
  • Solemn Reflection: Pay tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.
  • Deeply Moving: Learn about a day that changed the world forever.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned New Yorker, these attractions offer a glimpse into the heart and soul of the city. So, let’s get ready to explore and discover the magic of New York City together! Stay tuned for our top tips to make the most of your visit to these amazing sites.


Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City. Many visitors opt to visit here instead of the Empire State Building, as you can admire this building from the Top of the Rock. We recommend both attractions.

“The Top of the Rock observation decks deliver the most spectacular, unobstructed views of the city skyline!”

As we have visited Top of the Rock multiple times, we’re going to share everything you need to know about the best times to visit this fantastic attraction. We’ll also share some of our top tips for visiting to help you make the most out of your visit.

Get flexible tickets to save time (buying the tickets in advance is strongly recommended):


Best Time to Visit | Avoiding the Crowds

Top of the Rock - Rockefeller Center

The best time of day to visit Top of the Rock is in the morning between 8 am and 11 am to avoid the crowds. The next best choice for low crowd levels is from 8 pm to closing time. These two times of day will offer you the shortest wait times and the best experience once you head up to the top of the building.

You will experience the longest wait times between 3 pm and 8 pm when the attraction welcomes hundreds of guests to watch the sunset. As far as days of the week, Monday and Tuesday are usually the quietest times to visit. Weekends attract more local visitors and so are best avoided if you can.

Top of the Rock - Rockefeller Center

Photography Time: For the best views and photography opportunities, visit for sunset. Head to the Top of the Rock thirty minutes before sunset to ensure you reach the observation floor in time. If you are a keen photographer, sunset from the Rockefeller Center can’t be missed. You’ll enjoy incredible views over New York, including the Empire State Building. When timed correctly, you can enjoy daytime, sunset, and night-time views in one visit.

Accommodation Savings: Check the booking.com hotel deals in NYC. New York City Latest Price Deals Tip: Sort by star rating and price and bookmark your results!

Opening Hours (2022): The Top of the Rock opening hours are from 9 am to 11 pm, 365 days a year. The attraction is never closed, but opening hours can be different on public holidays. The last entry is at 10:10 pm.

Due to current operating hours, you can’t enter anymore at 8 am as suggested above. However, visiting first thing in the morning and being there before 9 pm is your best bet. The tickets are flexible (see below), so you don’t have to book a certain time slot.

Queue Time

Top of the Rock - Rockefeller Center

During peak visiting hours, expect to wait between 45 minutes and an hour to reach the top of the attraction. You will wait to buy tickets for your entry time and for security and elevators.

The first way to minimize waiting times is to book your tickets ahead of time. The ticket line at the Top of the Rock is usually around ten minutes but can be much longer during the holiday season.

Reservation: NYC: Top of the Rock Observation Deck Ticket (Official Rockefeller Center Ticket via GetYourGuide with comfortable mobile or printed voucher!)

Buying Tickets: During busy times, if you buy your ticket on the day, you may have to wait forty-five minutes to an hour just for your ticket time to start. That’s why we highly recommend buying your ticket(s) online in advance:

Finally, everyone will experience a short waiting time upon entering the attraction. From our experience, this is usually only about fifteen minutes and will include your security check and wait for the elevator.

Better at Night or Day

Top of the Rock - Rockefeller Center

For the best views, it’s essential to visit Top of the Rock during the day. At night the prominent sight of Central Park will only be a dark patch.

Top of the Rock - Rockefeller Center

However, the time between day and night gives you the best of both worlds. Visiting Top of the Rock at dusk will allow you to see Central Park, the beautiful sunset, and then the city lit up at night. For keen photographers, this is one of the best times of day to visit.

However, if it doesn’t fit in with your plans, choose to come early in the morning for low crowds and good lighting for photos.

Tip: Go to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum (Tips) and the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) in NYC. Both are must-visits!

Top of the Rock on a Rainy Day

Top of the Rock - Rockefeller Center

On a day with heavy rain, it is best to avoid Top of the Rock if possible. Too much cloud or rain can reduce visibility and your chance of enjoying the city’s skyline.

If it’s just a light rain shower or a few clouds, the views will still be fantastic. During this type of weather, you’ll also experience lower crowds, which can make your visit much more pleasant.

However, during extreme weather conditions, parts of the experience may be closed. If this is the case, you will be warned about this upon entry and issued a ticket for another time. This happened to us once only once on a day with very strong wind and heavy rain.

Flexible Ticket: If the weather looks unreliable during your visit, purchase a flexible time and date ticket. These tickets are valid for up to two months so that you can time your visit around the best weather conditions. The official tickets we offer (see above) are flexible ones.

What to Wear: As some of the deck is open-air, you’ll want to make sure you wear appropriate clothing during wet and cold weather. A light rain jacket is always a great addition to your travel backpack and will make your experience much more pleasant. If you opt to visit during rain or fog, have realistic expectations about the limited visibility and sights you will see.

How Much Time to Spend Here

Top of the Rock - Rockefeller Center

The average visitor spends 45 to 60 minutes at the Top of the Rock. Adding on time in the queues, expect to spend up to two hours here. An hour will give you a good amount of time to admire the city’s views and take photographs.

During the busiest times, you might wait up to thirty minutes to reach the elevators. This means you need to allow a fair amount of time out of your day, especially if you are buying tickets here.

VIP Pass: General Admission and the VIP Access Pass both have no time limit. These tickets allow you to stay as long as you wish during opening hours. If you are looking to enjoy a long photography session over the city, it’s a great spot to visit.

By booking your tickets in advance online, you’ll also gain entry to the building even if tickets are sold out for the day.

Hotel Deals in NYC and Hotel Tips 

Recommended nearby hotels (budget tips and deals):

Make sure to book well in advance. Another tip is to sort by lowest price (click on the deals above). There are often low-price deals available.

Is Visiting Top of The Rock Worth It?

Top of the Rock is worth visiting because it offers stunning 360-degree views of the NYC skyline from its observation decks. You can see Central Park, Lower Manhatten, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and other breathtaking skyscrapers from a completely different angle.

There are a total of three indoor and outdoor viewing decks, including the 70th-floor open-air roof deck. It’s an amazing experience, from the moment you enter the building to the elevator, and finally to one of the three outside levels.

Is It Free to Enter the Rockefeller Center?

Entering the Rockefeller Center and walking around on the ground level is free. It’s an iconic attraction and there are several shops and restaurants you can explore. However, visiting Top of the Rock inside the center (70th floor) is not free and tickets are required.

3 Top Tips for Visiting Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock - Rockefeller Center

  1. You can enjoy taking hundreds of photos from the Top of the Rock, and the clear glass makes this a better option than the Empire State Building. However, tripods and professional video cameras are not allowed on the observation deck.
  2. For a unique addition to your visit, consider adding on a reservation for Bar SixtyFive. Located on the 65th Floor of the Rockefeller Center, it’s a fantastic location to admire the views with a cocktail in hand.
  3. Top of the Rock is included in some of the city’s sightseeing passes. These are worth considering if you are spending multiple days exploring the area’s top attractions. The NYC Explorer Pass and the New York Pass are worth it and will both save you money.

Top of the Rock offers incredible views over New York City and shouldn’t be missed on any trip to New York. There’s plenty to see and do around the Rockefeller Center, so you should put aside a morning or evening of your trip to enjoy everything the area has to offer visitors.

10 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long can I stay on the observation decks?
    During the opening hours, there is no time limit on how long you can stay on the observation decks of Top of the Rock. The average visiting length is 45 minutes to an hour.
  2. Are there restrooms?
    Yes, you can find restrooms in Top of the Rock on the mezzanine level before the elevator ride to the top and the 66th floor of the observation deck.
  3. Are there weather-dependent closures? Top of the Rock is open anytime, regardless of weather conditions. In the case of rough weather conditions, parts of the deck may be closed. This is for safety reasons of our visitors. You will be notified about visibility restrictions due to the weather prior to the entry.
  4. Should I buy tickets in advance? It’s not required to buy your ticket(s) in advance, but it’s highly recommended (see our tips about tickets and wait time above). The tickets are usually flexible without a specific date or time slot.
  5. Is Top of the Rock wheelchair accessible? Yes, Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock is accessible for wheelchairs. If you need assistance, please ask one of the Security Guards or personnel dressed in black.
  6. Can I bring my dog? No, dogs and other pets are not allowed in the Rockefeller Center / Top of the Rock. Only allows service animals are permitted.
  7. Are strollers allowed? Strollers are allowed in Top of the Rock. The only condition is, however, that they must be collapsible.
  8. Can I bring tripods or professional broadcasting cameras?  Tripods and professional broadcasting equipment are not permitted in Top of the Rock.  To schedule a professional film or photo shoot, please contact the media team on the official website.
  9. Can I bring food and beverages? You can bring water in a non-glass bottle if you like. However, bringing any type of food to the observation decks (Top of the Rock) is not allowed.
  10. Am I  allowed to use a drone while at the observation deck? No, bringing and operating drones at Top of the Rock Rick is strictly prohibited.


Top of the Rock Visitor Report

Top of the Rock’s main entrance is located on 50th Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. Above the door is the sign “Observation Deck,” and there is also a red carpet in front of it.

Another entrance is through the Concourse, an underground shopping arcade that runs the length of the Rockefeller Center. Each entrance has a ticket counter where you can purchase your tickets. (Tip: Buy your tickets in advance)

Top of the Rock employees will also sell you tickets in the entrance area. Their red jackets will help you identify them. They will also direct you to the observation deck.

You must first pass through the security checkpoint in Top of the Rock’s foyer. This is similar to an airport security check, but you can keep your shoes on.

Just after that, you can view a small exhibition that contains interesting facts about John D. Rockefeller, the Rockefeller Center, and Top of the Rock.

A digital display with the current time is located above the door leading to the elevator. If this time is also on your ticket, you can enter the waiting room through the door.

There, you wait for the elevator to take you to the observation deck. Despite the fact that you’re climbing more than 850 feet (260 meters), the elevator ride takes less than a minute.


The Empire State Building is one of the most iconic buildings and attractions in New York City. No trip to the city is complete without seeing this building up close and admiring its views over New York. Originally opened in 1931 and standing 102 stories high, this is an attraction you don’t want to miss on your next visit to the city.

All of the links above open in a new tab. They are incredibly useful for your NYC visit.

Find more beautiful night shots at the end of this article.

‘The view is just breathtaking! Better than any other viewing point we went to so far in NYC!’

We went to the Empire State Building multiple times in different seasons. Additionally, we talked to dozens of local experts to give you the best advice about visiting times.

💡 Grab the best New York City guide: Lonely Planet Best of New York  (via Amazon)

When Is the Best Time | Avoiding the Crowds | Hours
Empire State Building
The platform is often crowded. Tip: Book your Skip-the-Line ticket for the earliest slot in advance to avoid waiting in line.

The best time to visit the Empire State Building is within the first two hours of its opening, between 8 and 10 AM, or at night after 10 pm. These are the least crowded times on the viewing platform.

Empire State Building usually opens at 10 AM and closes at 12 AM (midnight). However, the opening times can slightly change depending on the month and season:

  • January 1 – January 19: 10 AM – 11 PM
  • June 20 – October 30: 10 AM – 12 AM
  • October 31 – November 23: 10 AM – 10 PM
  • November 24 – November 27: 10 AM – 12 AM
  • November 28 – December 23: 10 AM – 10 PM
  • December 24 – December 30: 10 AM – 1 AM
  • December 31: 10 AM – 11 PM

When visiting between Friday and Sunday, buy a Skip-the-Line ticket for 11 AM:

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Nighttime: If you aren’t bothered about seeing the city during daylight, the night is a great time to visit the Empire State Building. Many visitors want to admire the views during the day, so it’s quite a bit quieter after about 9 or 10 pm at night.

Visiting at night offers you a unique experience of seeing the city all lit up at night from above while also enjoying a more relaxed touring experience.

Check out the opening times before your trip, and try to push your visit as late as possible for the best experience at night.

💡Make sure to check out the most stunning night shots of the building at the end of this article.

Day of the Week: As far as what day to visit the Empire State Building, we always recommend heading there on a weekday. During the week, you’ll avoid domestic travelers and local visitors. Monday and Tuesday are quiet days in the city for tourist attractions. Therefore, it’s worth scheduling your visit to the Empire State Building and other popular attractions on these days.

How Long Is the Wait

Empire State Building

The wait time to enter the elevators at the Empire State Building is generally between twenty and forty-five minutes. Buying your ticket online in advance will decrease your wait. With an express admission, you minimize your wait time even further.

We strongly recommend purchasing an express admission ticket (Online Skip-the-Line Tickets via GetYourGuide) in advance, especially during the summer, major holidays, and weekends. By following this advice and arriving within the first two hours, you can significantly reduce your wait time.

Empire State Building

Floors: There are a few different types of admission to consider. Your first decision is whether you are happy just going up to the 86th floor, or if you also want to head up to the 102nd floor.

The 102nd floor offers an incredible bird’s eye view of the city. On this floor, we loved the floor-to-ceiling glass windows and vistas that can stretch up to eighty miles if you are lucky enough to visit on a clear day.

Ticket Types: Regardless of which floor you are visiting, you can choose from general admission or upgrade to the express ticket. Naturally, general admission is a little cheaper. However, with the express ticket, you’ll receive expedited admission, saving you time waiting in line for the elevator.

The VIP Express Pass (Skip-the-Lines Ticket) allows you to skip the lines to the decks you are visiting, so you won’t waste your precious time in New York! Reservations are required for this type of ticket.

How Much Time to Spend at the Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Most visitors spend an average of two hours at the Empire State Building. When visiting the 86th floor only, it can drop to one hour at the quietest times of the day.

There’s plenty to see to keep you here for a couple of hours between the two observation floors and the exhibits located on the 2nd and 80th floors. There’s also a free audio tour you can download on your phone before visiting.

As with any attraction in the city, it will be up to your touring style how long you spend here. Some visitors love to spend hours taking photos and admiring the views. During our visits, we typically spent between one and three hours there.

The weather and time of year you are visiting will also determine the length of time you spend here. In the cold winter months, you may find it difficult to spend too much time in the open-air viewing area on the 86th floor.

Tip: Another must-visit when spending time in NYC, is the 9/11 Memorial and Museum (Complete Guide), and Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) at any time of the year.

NYC Travel Guide
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We tried many New York City travel guides. A lot of them are average and with outdated information, and some are not very helpful. The Lonely Planet Best of New York City Guide (via Amazon, affiliate link) is by far the best one and just brilliant. Quote from a reader: ‘This book is absolutely spot on with every detail you need to know about N.Y.C when visiting’.

Tip: If you have a (rental) car, we strongly recommend driving to the mesmerizing Watkins Glen State Park in New York. It’s a comfortable 4-hour drive (Google Maps Route) to the most intriguing state park we know.

Morning vs. Night | Best Photography Time

Empire State Building

While the building offers incredible views at any time of the day, a  morning or daytime visit will provide a clearer view of the city. Night-time visits benefit from the city’s lights. However, this will minimize the detail you can witness if you are looking to learn more about the city’s geography.

If the Empire State Building is open late at night during your trip, this is a great time to take a visit here. After about 10:30 pm at night, the crowds die down, which will reduce your wait time for the elevator.

However, if photography is your number one priority and you are not familiar with night photography, you should visit in the daytime. Even if you have to experience slightly higher crowd levels, you’ll get to capture incredible photos that you’ll treasure for years to come.


Recommended Tickets and Passes
Visit in Different Weather Conditions

Empire State Building

If photography and the views are your number one concern, check the forecast for weather conditions and visit the Empire State Building on a sunny day. While the lines will be much shorter during bad weather, you won’t get to admire the incredible views over the city for perfect photos.
Additionally, you might find the open-air viewing experience unpleasant.

A sunny and warm day will naturally attract more crowds to the Empire State Building. However, it’s well worth waiting for this type of weather if you get the chance. You’ll get the best photographs during this weather, and you won’t be rushing back inside to get dry and warm. Bad weather directly impacts the visibility from the building, and you will usually be warned by the ticket sellers in advance about this.

Empire State Building

The staff do a good job of warning you about cloudy or rainy conditions, and in these conditions, you are best trying to return another day if time affords. It’s not a cheap attraction to visit, so try to use the day of your trip with the best weather for this excursion. New York has plenty of other indoor attractions that you can enjoy instead of on a day with bad weather.

Another way to see the Empire State Building: Via a sightseeing tour

No trip to New York City is complete without witnessing this incredible building from both the inside and the outside. By planning your trip in advance and opting for express tickets, you can minimize your wait times and have a fantastic experience viewing this incredible city from up above.

9 Stunning Empire State Building Night Shots

Entry to the Empire State Building at night is available with a standard ticket. There are no special night tickets available to see the Empire State Building. However, the best photographs of the building are taken from the outside.

These are some of the best nighttime photographs:

The illuminated Empire State building on a cloudy night with fog and the American flag in the foreground.


Photographed from the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock). A beautiful night with a blueish sky as a background.


A long exposure photo in the night during the summer of June.


A beautiful night shot. The Empire State Building is only illuminated by its own lights.


Since 2012, the Empire State Building has used a state-of-the-art LED lighting system. It can display more than 16 million colors. Here it’s lit up in the American flag colors at night.


This is our favorite mystery shot. It portrays the building at night in an eerie way with fog and some illumination.


The Empire State Building at night during NYC pride week with rainbow color lighting.


Looking up in front of the building. A gorgeous night shot with some fog visible at the top.


Another wonderful night shot of the building from the distance.

9/11 Memorial & Museum

For anyone visiting New York City, you’ll want to pay a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which both pay tribute to those who lost their lives on this tragic day.

All of these links open in a new tab. They are incredibly useful for the Memorial and the Museum.

Memorial vs. Museum | Difference
9/11 Museum and Memorial
Outside view of the 9/11 Memorial: One of the two reflecting pools

There is a difference between the 9/11 Memorial and the museum.  The memorial is outside and free to visit, and then 70 feet underground, you’ll find the museum. While tickets are required for the museum, it’s well worth the admission cost with its touching tribute and fantastic exhibits on offer to visitors.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about visiting what has become one of the most popular attractions in New York. We have visited this place multiple times to provide you with the most helpful tips.  Don’t forget to read our 3 Must-Know Tips at the end of this article!

When Is the Best Time to Visit
9/11 Museum
Make sure to buy skip-the-line tickets in advance to avoid waiting times. Photo: 9/11 Memorial Museum – inside fountain by Edward Stojakovic, CC BY.

The best time of day to visit the 9/11 Museum is during the first two hours of the morning. Beat the crowds by booking the first tickets of the day online. Later on in the day, you’ll find that crowds pick up much more, especially around lunchtime and early afternoon.

Check availability here (you can still select options after pressing ‘book now’):


As of the time of writing (2022), the museum is open from Wednesday to Monday each week and therefore closed on Tuesday. The 9/11 Memorial is open to the public seven days a week.

Museum opening times:

  • 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Last admission: 3:30 PM

9/11 Memorial opening times:

  • 9 AM to 8 PM

Tip: Check out our Best-Time Guide for the Empire State Building (opens in a new tab) in New York and the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock). Both sites are must-visits when in NYC!

The slurry wall is a three-foot-thick concrete structure that surrounded the World Trade Center below ground. It was designed to keep the basement from being flooded by the Hudson River.

Monday afternoons offer free entry tickets from 3 pm, so this time is worth avoiding unless you want to take advantage of this great offer. Thursday and Friday evening is a good time to visit, as the museum is open until 7 pm, instead of the regular 5 pm closure time.

Going on an evening is also a beautiful time to enjoy walking around the monument with lower crowds, and the lighting creates a unique atmosphere around the site.

While it’s great visiting in these last two hours of the day, ensure you get to the museum early enough to enjoy everything it has to offer so you don’t have to rush around the exhibits. We always went early and it was a much better

9/11 Museum and Memorial
New York City, USA, 9/11 Memorial Museum by Pom’, CC BY-SA

Weekend Visits: As far as days to visit, naturally, you’ll want to avoid the weekends, which will attract more crowds than any tourist attraction in the city. If you do need to visit during the weekend, once again, ensure you are there for the opening time. The rest of the morning and afternoon is unlikely to see a drop in the crowd levels.

Book in Advance: To offer yourself the best experience, book your tickets in advance, which will minimize the waiting time upon your arrival. If you purchase your tickets in advance, you’ll just need to show up fifteen minutes before your allotted time, and you will be guaranteed entry. This is not the case if you just show up and wait in line. Buy your 9/11 Memorial & Museum Skip-the-Line Timed Entry ticket (via GetYourGuide) before you visit!

How Long Is the Wait Time

9/11 Museum

The wait time for the 9/11 Museum is generally between fifteen minutes and one hour. Holidays and weekends attract the most crowds, and expect wait times to stretch over an hour during these periods. By purchasing tickets in advance, you can minimize your wait time and guarantee your entry to the museum.

If you don’t have tickets, the best time to arrive at the attraction is first thing in the morning, where you can expect to wait about fifteen minutes before entering. If you arrive after lunch, anticipate waiting up to an hour to purchase your tickets and gain entry to the site.

Once, we waited about 45 minutes in line when we arrived in the early afternoon.

9/11 Museum
New York City, USA, 9/11 Memorial Museum by Pom’, CC BY-SA

Most of the visitors to the site line up between noon and 3 pm each day. During this time you’ll find the longest crowds to buy your tickets. When you arrive at the ticket counter, you’ll see a sign which details the times available for entry on the day.

If you have to buy tickets for a few hours later, you’ll have to wait around in the local area or a nearby coffee shop before you can enter the museum. However, in that case, you can visit the memorial first before heading down to the museum.

If you purchase tickets online in advance, you will reduce your waiting time and security check to about fifteen minutes. Tickets are available online for every thirty minutes of the day, and you’ll just need to arrive fifteen minutes before your allocated time to clear security and enter the museum.

How Much Time to Spend at the Museum
9/11 Museum
We usually spend about 2-3 hours there.

To fully explore the 9/11 museum and memorial, you’ll want to spend 2-3 hours at the site. This is enough time to enjoy all of the exhibits on offer and walk around the large memorial site. If you allocate less than two hours to your visit, you’ll find it to be a very rushed experience.

A visit to the 9/11 museum can be a very emotional experience, so you’ll want to allocate a good length of time to your visit to pay tribute to those whose lives were lost in this tragic event. There’s plenty to see between the memorial and the museum, so allocate a full morning or afternoon of your trip to the site.

How long at the Memorial and in the Museum: The memorial needs about thirty minutes to enjoy the site fully. However, some people choose to spend much longer here reflecting on the events of the day. The time spent in the museum varies depending on your museum touring style, with the shortest visit being about an hour and those who enjoy reading every exhibit taking closer to the three-hour mark.

Is the Museum Worth Visiting?

9/11 Museum
The destruction from 9/11 by Kristina D.C. Hoeppner, CC BY-SA

Without a doubt, the 9/11 Museum is well worth visiting while being in New York City. It’s a stunning tribute to this horrific incident, and the museum and memorial offer great insight into the lives lost on this day. No trip to New York is complete without a visit to the site, so ensure you add this into your next trip itinerary.

While some visitors opt to just see the memorial, we highly recommend adding the museum to your visit, as it offers you a much deeper insight into the events and the people affected by this day. We always visit both the museum and the 9/11 memorial.

The memorial is one of the most stunning tributes you will ever witness, with the sunken twin pools located on the Twin Towers’ foundation. The name of every single person killed in the attacks is inscribed in bronze, and it’s a fitting tribute to those whose lives were lost in this senseless attack. It’s a peaceful and moving site, and you’ll want to allocate a reasonable amount of time to the memorial.

Heading underground to the museum, you’ll learn more about the building’s function before the attack, the day of 9/11, and the aftermath of this event on the city. There are so many memorabilia pieces of the day hidden within the museum’s walls, and it helps to put a face to the names listed above in the memorial.

You’ll get the opportunity to learn more about the people closely affected by this day, and it reminds you of the adversity that can be overcome when we work together as humans and offer compassion to those around us. You’ll also enjoy learning more about Ground Zero’s rebirth and the projects undertaken in the area following the attacks.

Online Tickets | Highly Recommended


The Unidentified Victims in the 9/11 Museum
National September 11 Memorial & Museum by Travis Wise, CC (BY)

Are there bodies in the 9/11 museum? The unidentified victims at the 9/11 Memorial occupy a unique position in the museum. Although the human remains are not “on display” or approachable to visitors other than relatives and medical examiners, their presence is clearly indicated by a huge wall.

Reposed behind this wall are the remains of many who perished at the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001

The victims’ physical presence is a part of the exhibit and the museum’s 9/11 story.

In May 2014, the long-unidentified remains of 1,115 victims were brought from the city medical examiner to Ground Zero in an early-morning ceremony. The remains were then put in a 70-foot-deep hole in the bedrock of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The reaction of the victims’ families to the relocation was mixed, with some approving the decision and others criticizing the new location.

FDNY Lt. James McCaffrey (brother-in-law of a victim) stated that the remains deserve equal attention to the trees and pools at the Memorial. Also, he said that the ceremony was conducted early in the morning due to opposition to this transfer.

Are You Allowed to Take Pictures at the 9/11 Museum?
Photograph of the FDNY Memorial Wall. Paying honor to those who lost their lives on September 11.

At the 9/11 Memorial, visitors are permitted to take photographs for non-commercial use. Personal and non-commercial photography is allowed in the 9/11 Memorial Museum in all areas unless otherwise indicated.

Professional photography is not allowed in the museum without authorization. This means you are not allowed to take photos for advertising or similar purposes as well as using professional photo equipment.


3 Facts About 9/11 and Memorial Impressions

If you wonder about the purpose of the roses at the pool or other facts about 9/11, read on:

1. How Much Did 9/11 Victims Families Get?

The Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) received 7,408 claim submissions from 75 countries. In 5,560 of those cases, awards totaling more than $7 billion US Dollars were made.

2. What Was the Total Number of Deaths on 9/11?

On the September 11, 2001, attacks, 2,977 people were killed, 19 hijackers committed murder-suicide, and over 6,000 more were injured. There were 2,763 deaths (including attackers) in the World Trade Center and the surrounding region, 189 at the Pentagon, and 44 in Pennsylvania.

3. What Do the Red Roses Mean at the 9/11 Memorial?

The red and white roses serve as a reminder of the very personal loss of human life on September 11, as well as a unique opportunity to welcome visitors from all around the world to join us here in honoring your loved ones.

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3 Must-Know Tips before Visiting

9/11 Museum
The destruction from 9/11 by Kristina D.C. Hoeppner, CC BY-SA

Before your visit, here are a few top tips to help make the most of your time:

  1. Buy your tickets in advance: 9/11 Museum Tickets. This will save you plenty of time waiting in line when you arrive, and you’ll simply have to turn up fifteen minutes before your allocated time.
  2. The 9/11 Museum is not recommended for children under 10. While they are welcome to visit, it can be an incredibly confusing and difficult experience for them. There is a guide for kids on offer, but you will be the best one to decide if it’s appropriate for your young children to visit at their current age.
  3. Download the 9/11 audio guide app before your visit for either your Android device or iPhone. An audio guide is not included in your museum entry, but this will provide you with a more detailed guide and an immersive experience to use during your visit


Additional Tip: You can’t enter the site with a bag larger than 19 x 17 x 8 inches. Try to keep your bag size to the minimum for the day, which will make your touring experience more pleasant once inside.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is one of the top attractions to visit during any New York trip. With prior planning and by purchasing your tickets in advance, you’ll enjoy a quick and easy admission process upon arrival. Make sure you factor in two to three hours into your plans to visit the site, which offers a touching tribute and insight into the events of this tragic day.

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