The One World Observatory is the highest point in New York and despite having two teenagers (and me) who really aren’t all that keen on heights, we decided to visit last time we went to New York.
The One World Observatory is right at the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere – the One World Trade Center. One WTC is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex and even though I’m not exactly a building connoisseur, I think it’s a beautiful building and I love the way it stands out in the New York skyline.
It can be seen from all over Manhattan but my favourite views of it from a distance are from Brooklyn Bridge which is my favourite place to visit in New York.
We saw it last time we went and even got quite close to it when we visited the 9/11 Memorial but we never even considered going up to the Observatory as we struggled enough with the Top of the Rock which was 70 floors up. We thoroughly enjoyed our Top of the Rock visit in the end though so this time we decided that we could manage the 100 floors of the One World Observatory. Just.
I’ll be honest though, knowing that we were going to be going 100 floors up made me super nervous and just as we did with our trip to the Top of the Rock, we almost changed our mind at the last minute. I had actual butterflies in my tummy as we walked over from Brooklyn Bridge and I know the kids felt the same judging by how quiet they both were.
The only thing that kept us going was the fact that we had the fast track passes which were absolutely worth the extra $10 as we literally handed over our tickets and were taken down a different lane to one where the majority of people were queueing up in. We got straight into the lift and within about 30 seconds we were in the lift going up – there was no wait at all.
I don’t know why the lift causes me so much concern but the thought of being propelled 100 floors upwards and even worse, having to come back down them really gives me butterflies. Add that to one teenager who’s not a fan of heights and one who’s terrified of them and you can imagine that we weren’t the chattiest group going up.
We made it up to the top though and when we first saw the view, it genuinely took my breath away. So much so that both me and the kids totally forgot to be nervous.
It wasn’t the nicest day outside but inside was so clear that we could see for miles and miles – we heard someone say that it was the clearest day they’d seen in a while. Considering it was February when we visited, we know we were super lucky.
You can find lots more photos in the album I’ve set up on the Wanderlust and Me Facebook page.
Top Tip – You can hire iPads or some sort of gadget that you can hire and hold up to the skyline to find out exactly what’s what on the skyline and at the time, we didn’t bother but I wish we had actually as we were so much less nervous than we were expecting and I would have loved to get some more knowledge about what we were looking at.
Cost – $35 for standard and $45 for priority tickets.
Opening hours – I can’t find on the website what the hours officially are but looking at the times you can book tickets for they seem to start at 8 am and stop at 8.45 pm.
The above details are correct at the time of publishing but as always, it’s worth checking their website to make sure nothing’s changed and that they’ll be open when you’re planning to visit.
We visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum after this which is a whole other post. If you missed it, have a read here.
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