One World Observatory, New York City: Standing on top of the world at One World Trade Center!

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A trip to the One World Observatory was at the top of our New York itinerary during a recent return to the city and we were excited to finally visit! We’d eagerly watched One World Trade Center rise to the sky from our balcony in Manhattan and it was hard to believe that, not only was the skyscraper complete, but that we were about to step into an elevator transporting us 100 floors into the clouds! One World Observatory here we come!

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One World Trade Center

One World Observatory

The fun started the moment we’d passed through the airport style security checks and were met with wall to wall tv screens telling the stories of the construction workers and a passageway of rocky foundations in a nod to the Manhattan rock used in the construction of One World Trade Center. We’d come solely for the views but the build up is impressive and slick and we spent quite a bit of time immersed in the displays!

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The impressive walkways to the 102 storey high elevators!

Where to stay in New York

We’ve stayed all over the city during our trips to NYC. Here’s some of our faves:

  • Renaissance Times Square: for its Times Square location, spacious rooms and the stunning R Lounge bar. You can have breakfast overlooking the iconic Times Square and enjoy cocktails in the evenings overlooking the lights! – click here for latest prices
  • SIXTY Lower East Side: when we want explore downtown with an incredible rooftop pool! This one is not to be missed. – click here for latest prices

Click here for the best NYC hotel prices

The trip to the top!

As we approached the elevators which would take us to One World Observatory we were excited to experience the journey which would take us 100 floors into the sky! The elevator show, a timelapse of New York through the years, is a real highlight and the 47 second journey to the top felt like a second! A multimedia show greeted us as we stepped out of the elevator and the climax is breathtaking. We don’t want to spoil the surprise but it was easily one of our favourite moments of the day!

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The surprise at the top is a moment when New York will take your breath away!

The Views!

One World Observatory is all about the views and they are as incredible as one could imagine! Standing in the clouds on the 102nd floor of the One World Trade Center we could see for miles and miles and it truly felt like we were on top of the world: the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller, the Statue of Liberty, the Hudson River, the 5 Boroughs  and even the Atlantic Ocean are visible in the seemingly endless views. Apparently we were so high that, on a very clear day, the curvature of the earth is visible! No wonder the tagline is ‘See Forever’, I can’t think of a better way to describe the experience!

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A New York moment! In awe of the incredible views!
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Good morning New York city!
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The Statue of Liberty
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Downtown Manhattan on a glorious summer morning
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This is what the shadow of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere looks like!

The Street View!

Aside from the incredible views there’s one other spot at the One World Observatory that’s unmissable: a glass panel projects a real time video of the street action 100 stories below. It was surreal to see what was happening beneath our very feet!

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Dancing in the sky!

How high?

At 1,776 feet One World Trade Center is the 6th tallest building in the world and towers above its New York neighbours. The 1,776 feet is as impressive as it is symbolic: 1776 is the year the Declaration of Independence was signed!

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Building spotting! We picked out our old apartment over 60 blocks north!
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We were up there!


We loved our visit to One World Observatory and, while it’s all about the views, we were very impressed with the whole experience. The elevator, the arrival at the top and the incredible views were our highlights of a fantastic visit.

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Amazing experience!

Visiting One World Observatory:

Opening hours: One World Observatory is open from 9am to 8pm 7 days a week.

New York sightseeing tip: book tickets in advance if you have a specific time you would like to visit. Sunset is a hot ticket! The queues were short on our early morning visit but consider a fast pass ticket for busier times.

Location: The entrance to the Observatory is at West Street and Vesey Street. Access is possible from the World Trade Centre station if you are arriving by train.

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Entrance to One World Observatory

Security: Visitors pass through airport style security on arrival. Liquids are fine with the exception of outside alcohol but obvious items like firearms and weapons are not!

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Security entrance

Food and Drinks:  The dining ranges from casual to fine at the top of the One World Observatory. It was a little early in the morning to indulge in a glass of bubbly during our visit but I can’t think of a better place for a cocktail with a view!

Thanks to the team at One World Observatory for hosting our visit to the top! As always our opinions are our own!

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