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How to get to One World Observatory NYC

The views of New York from the One World Observatory are breathtaking - here's how to get to the observation deck wherever you are!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

6 min read

How to get to One World Observatory NYC

Detail of the façade of the One World | ©Julian Alexander

Located in the World Trade Center area (Downtown Manhattan), the One World Observatory observation deck stands near where the Twin Towers once stood, at number 1 of the WTC.

When planning your visit, after buying your tickets to the One World Observatory, you'll need to know how to get to this fantastic viewpoint in lower Manhattan. To help you get there quickly and easily wherever you are, I've put together this guide to help you.

1. Take a stroll and enjoy the views

The One World from the Brooklyn Bridge| ©Thomas Bormans
The One World from the Brooklyn Bridge| ©Thomas Bormans

Walking around New York is a wonder. There's always a monument, a skyscraper, a shop or a square that catches your eye. Plus, it's the cheapest way to get to the One World Observatory!

Although it may seem that the distances in this city are too long and walking to the observatory could cause you fatigue, in reality it won't be too tiring as the city centre is full of tourist attractions that will entertain you and make the walk fly by.

Walking distances from key points of the city

Here's how far it is to One World Observatory from some of the Big Apple's most popular sites so you can decide whether you want to walk or find an alternative. It's worth it!

  • Tribeca: It's only an 8-minute walk from this trendy downtown neighbourhood.

  • Battery Park will take you just 13 minutes to walk from this quiet park in southern Manhattan with great views of the Statue of Liberty.

  • Wall Street: It will take you approximately 13 minutes to get there from New York's financial district.

  • Chinatown: it will take you 22 minutes and on the way you can see Columbus Park, Thomas Paine Park, New York City Hall or City Hall Park.

Book your ticket to One World

2. By metro, the fastest way to travel

The New York Subway| ©Hellotickets
The New York Subway| ©Hellotickets

If time is precious to you and you value speed, the New York underground is always a good option for getting around the city.

The main lines running to One World Observatory are:

  • World Trade Center (1, E)
  • Park Place (2, 3)
  • Cortland Street (R, W)
  • Fulton Street Station (A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4, 5)

How much does an underground ticket cost?

If you want to get to One World Observatory by metro, a single ticket costs *just over 2 Euros.

If you are going to use public transport regularly to get around the Big Apple, my recommendation is to buy a MetroCard. This is a rechargeable card that you can use on both the bus and the metro.

To get it, all you have to do is go to any metro station where there are ticket machines.

Finally, I also recommend that you read my guide to the New York underground where you will find useful tips on how to get the most out of this mode of transport.

3. By bus, cheap and convenient

New York traffic| ©Hellotickets
New York traffic| ©Hellotickets

Bus travel to One World Observatory is also a good idea if you prefer to save your energy for other plans around the city later. It's also convenient and economical, perfect for travellers who are on a tight budget but don't want to compromise on comfort.

If you do decide to go to One World Observatory by bus, my advice is to be patient as traffic in New York can be chaotic at times. So I recommend that you leave plenty of time to get to the observatory in case there is a traffic jam that keeps the bus stopped for a few minutes on the way.

Recommended lines

The lines that have stops near the Empire State Building are:

  • The BXM18: It runs through the Upper East Side, Midtown Manhattan, Flatiron District, Union Square or Lower Manhattan.
  • The M20: Runs through Battery Park, Tribeca, Hudson Square, South Village, Greenwich Village or Midtown West.
  • The QM11: Passes through Lower Manhattan.

You can check timetables and fares on the official New York public transport website.

4. By taxi or Uber, for the more practical ones

Order an Uber from your mobile phone| ©Hellotickets
Order an Uber from your mobile phone| ©Hellotickets

Although most tourists tend to opt for the underground and bus network to get around New York, we should not completely rule out the possibility of taking a taxi or an Uber for certain routes on certain occasions, such as going to the One World Observatory.

By taxi

Taxis are a common sight in New York and are easily identified by their unmistakable yellow colour.

Contrary to what you might think, taxi fares are generally not expensive for a city like this and the cost in Manhattan for a standard ride is around $10, plus a tip of 10-15% (not compulsory but recommended).

Estimated taxi fare from key points in the city

  • Wall Street: fare starts at $5.84
  • Battery Park: fare from $6.98
  • Brooklyn Bride: the fare starts from $18.62
  • Times Square: the race is priced from $26.77

By Uber or Lyft

If you are looking for a door-to-door service to One World Observatory that is both convenient and comfortable, your best bet is to use Uber or Lyft.

All you have to do is download the APP on your mobile phone, enter the origin and destination address and it will automatically calculate the price, the route and the time it will take to get you there. The app will indicate the car's number plate number so that you can recognise the vehicle without any problems.

As for the price, it is usually cheaper than New York taxis, but depending on demand, the cost can go up. If you find it is too high, wait a little while and check the rates again on the APP. Tipping is not obligatory for this type of service, but you can do it through the app if you wish.

Isabel's Traveler Tip

If you're travelling to New York as a couple or alone, you may want to use Lyft Share or UberPOOL, which allow you to share rides with other passengers.

5. By tour bus

The New York sightseeing bus| ©Hellotickets
The New York sightseeing bus| ©Hellotickets

Another option to consider for getting to the One World Observatory is the sightseeing bus if you have a ticket.

You can hop on and off as many times as you like during the tour, so it's a convenient way to get around the city while sitting comfortably and taking in some of New York's sights.

So don't hesitate to use it as a mode of transport as well! The Big Bus Red Route covers downtown New York and tourist attractions such as Battery Park and Wall Street Bull.

Walking to the WTC observation deck from these locations only takes a few minutes and in no time at all you'll be gazing at the Big Apple skyline.

You can learn more about this option in the post The Best Sightseeing Buses in New York.

Book the New York City Sightseeing Bus

6. On public bikes, to get around responsibly

The surroundings of One World| ©Hellotickets
The surroundings of One World| ©Hellotickets

New York is a city in constant innovation. This also applies to transport methods. For some years now, the Big Apple has been welcoming new forms of transport such as public bicycles.

One of the companies that provides this service in New York is Citi Bike, so if you don't want to suffer the New York traffic and you like pedalling to get from one place to another, my advice is to take a look at the APP. Both tourists and residents can use them!

When you download Citi Bike on your mobile phone you will see that it is very simple to use. The app will geolocate you on a map of the city and suggest the nearest bike stations to your location so you can rent one. It's that easy!

How much does it cost to rent a public bike?

The price is around $3.50/trip but if you plan to rent the bike for use as transport throughout the day, then the trip costs around $15.

Please note that children under the age of 16 are not allowed to use the service and that losing one of these bikes could cost you $1,200.

Is it safe to ride a bike in New York?

That's right, there are plenty of bike lanes in Manhattan and the rest of the city, so as long as you follow the rules of the road and pay attention to what's going on around you, you shouldn't have any problems.