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

7 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 is located near where the Twin Towers once stood, at number 1 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.

Take a stroll to the One World Observatory and enjoy the view

One World from the Brooklyn Bridge| ©Thomas Bormans
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 and enjoy your One World ticket booking!

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

Walking distances from the city's key attractions

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 will take you only 8 minutes from this trendy downtown neighbourhood.
  • Battery Park: It will take you only 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. Ideal if you want to book the Wall Street tour afterwards.
  • Chinatown: it will take you 22 minutes and on the way you will be able to see Columbus Park, Thomas Paine Park, New York City Hall or City Hall Park. You'll also get the urge to book the Chinatown tour.

Book your ticket to One World Observatory

Choose the fastest way to get around, the underground

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 that reach 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 tube, a single ticket costs just over €2.

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'll find useful tips on how to get the most out of this mode of transport.

Book your ticket to the One World Observatory

The cheapest way to get to the One World Observatory is by bus

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

Traveling by bus 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 on a tight budget, as you can reserve the budget for One World Observatory tickets and at the same time not give up 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. I recommend that you leave in 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: Passes through the Upper East Side, Midtown Manhattan, Flatiron District, Union Square or Lower Manhattan.
  • The M20: Passes 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.

Book your ticket to the One World Observatory

Choose a convenient taxi or Uber option

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 shouldn't completely rule out the possibility of taking a taxi or Uber to make certain journeys on certain occasions, such as travelling to enjoy your One World ticket booking.

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 (€9.50), plus a tip of between 10% and 15% (not compulsory but recommended).

Estimated taxi fare from key points in the city

  • Wall Street: the fare starts at $5.84 (€5.50).
  • Battery Park: the fare starts at $6.98 (€6.60).
  • Brooklyn Bride: the race is priced from $18.62 (€17.60).
  • Times Square: the race is priced from $26.77 (€25.30).

By Uber or Lyft

If you are thinking about a door-to-door service to go and enjoy your ticket to One World that is also comfortable, the best option is to use Uber or Lyft.

You only have to download the app on your mobile, enter the address of origin and destination and it will automatically calculate the price, the route and the time it will take to pick you up. The app will indicate the car's registration 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 bit 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 are travelling to New York as a couple or alone, you may want to use Lyft Share or UberPOOL, which allow you to share a ride with other passengers.

Take the opportunity to see the city with the sightseeing bus

The New York City Sightseeing Bus| ©Hellotickets
The New York City Sightseeing Bus| ©Hellotickets

Another option to consider once you've booked your ticket to One World 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 seeing many of New York's sights.

So don't hesitate to use it as a mode of transport too! The Big Bus Red Route covers downtown New York and tourist attractions such as Battery Park or Wall Street Bull. Walking to the WTC observation deck from these places will only take you 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

Get around responsibly with public bikes

Around One World| ©Hellotickets
Around One World| ©Hellotickets

New York is a city in constant innovation. This is also true when it comes to methods of transport. 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 that when you book your ticket to One World, take a look at the app. Tourists and residents alike can use them!

When you download Citi Bike on your mobile phone you'll see that it works very simply. The app will geo-locate you on a map of the city and suggest the nearest bike station to your location so you can rent a bike. It's that easy!

How much does it cost to rent a public bike?

The cost is around $3.50/trip (approximately €3.30), but if you plan to rent the bike for use as transport throughout the day, then the trip costs approximately $15 (around €14.20).

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?

Yes, Manhattan and the rest of the city has plenty of bike lanes 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.

Rent a bike in New York

Compare the various options

  • Walk
  • Price: Free
  • Benefit: It's great fun and you'll get to see other New York attractions.
  • Underground
  • Price: Just over €2
  • Benefit: Fastest option
  • Bus
  • Price: Around 1,5 - 2 €.
  • Advantage: Convenient and cheap
  • Taxi or Uber
  • Price: From €5 to €25 depending on the departure point.
  • Advantage: It is a practical alternative
  • Tourist bus
  • Price: From 53 €
  • Advantage: You'll enjoy the journey and get to know the city
  • Bike
  • Price: From 3,50 € approximately
  • Advantage: It's a fun option