The Big Apple is one of the most popular cities to visit in North America, and for a good reason. There are plenty of unique attractions and tours for visitors to experience, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty. But one New York City attraction stands out for its subject’s profound impact on the country and the world: the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
Whether you were alive at the time or not, you probably know that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, shook the country to its core and greatly impacted both domestic and international travel regulations. Even if you’re a non-American tourist in New York City, we highly recommend visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum to learn more about the historic tragedy and its aftermath.
There are several ways to buy tickets to this attraction. This guide will lay out how, where, and when to buy tickets for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum so that you can find the ticket that best fits your itinerary.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum: The best way to buy tickets to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is online in advance here. These tickets allow you to skip the line and are refundable up to 24 hours in advance. However, if you want a more in-depth understanding of the events of 9/11 and/or want to visit One World Observatory, the tallest building in NYC, consider booking this guided tour instead.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
While the 9/11 Memorial is free for the public to enter, the museum requires a purchased ticket, so you might be wondering how to buy tickets for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Well, there are several options, and the best one depends on the experience you want during your holiday to NYC. Below, we’ll explain where to buy tickets for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and offer recommendations on how to get the most bang for your buck!
Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
While entrance to the 9/11 Memorial is free, you’ll need a ticket to enter the 9/11 Museum. It’s possible to get a ticket to the museum at the door, but there’s a good chance you’ll wait in line a long time and still not gain entrance. Tickets to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum are released six months in advance, and same-day tickets are limited, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get in if you wait until the day of your visit to get a ticket. For this reason, we highly recommend against lining up for a ticket.
Book Online (Recommended)
Another way to buy a ticket to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is through the official website. While this may sound like the best route, we only recommend it if you’re hoping to score one of the free tickets, which are available from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Mondays but run out quickly.
Tickets purchased through the official website are nonrefundable, and you may want the security of being able to cancel if your plans change. For that reason, we suggest booking tickets to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum another way for the same price.
One of the best ways to get a ticket for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is to book through GetYourGuide. You’ll get a skip-the-line ticket for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, which is fully refundable for up to 24 hours prior to your visit. You can also bundle and save with family packages of four or five tickets for the same price as on the official website.
Book a Guided Tour With an Observatory Ticket
To get the most out of your visit, consider booking a guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. This five-hour guided tour includes time-reserved access to One World Observatory, a walking tour of Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial, and a skip-the-line 9/11 Museum ticket. Your tour guide will be a local who has a personal connection to the events of 9/11 and will share insights into what happened on that terrible day and the symbolism behind the 9/11 Memorial Plaza and the firefighters’ Memorial Wall.
Purchase a City Pass
Another way to get the most out of a 9/11 Memorial & Museum ticket and your visit to NYC is to purchase a city pass. You can get up to 40% off on entrance tickets to attractions such as the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Ellis Island Ferry with the Go City Explorer Pass, New York Pass, or New York CityPASS. The best pass to purchase depends on what you plan to do and see during your holiday, so it’s best to figure out your itinerary and then purchase the pass that matches it best.
Useful Information for Visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
What’s the Best Time to Visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum?
The best time to visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is the low tourist season, which is January to March. It’s also best to visit in the morning on a Wednesday or Thursday, as the museum offers free entrance on Mondays (which makes it quite packed) and is closed on Tuesdays.
What Are the 9/11 Memorial & Museum Hours of Operation?
The 9/11 Memorial is open every day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The 9/11 Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. except on Tuesdays, when it’s closed.
Where Is the 9/11 Memorial & Museum Location?
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is located near the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan, where the World Trade Center towers used to stand. Click here to view the location on Google Maps.
The best way to get to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is by public transport, taxi, or rideshare, as there isn’t a lot of parking in Manhattan. The World Trade Center’s train stops are within a five-minute walk of the attraction.
How Do 9/11 Memorial & Museum Tickets Work?
Tickets for the 9/11 Memorial and the 9/11 Museum are separate. If you only want to visit the memorial, you don’t need to purchase a ticket in advance; simply walk to Ground Zero. However, if you also want to visit the 9/11 Museum (which we highly recommend), you’ll need to purchase a ticket. A regular ticket will give you access to the whole museum, including an exhibit on the 1993 Pentagon attack. You can add other attractions and experiences to a regular ticket as well, such as a guided tour of the museum or memorial.
You’ll need to book your museum tickets for a specific time slot. Once you purchase them, you can print them out or download them onto your mobile phone. Simply arrive right before your time slot, show your ticket, and head straight to the security check.
How Much Do Tickets for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum Cost?
Prices for 9/11 Memorial & Museum tickets vary slightly, particularly if you bundle them with other attractions. Again, the 9/11 Memorial is free to visit, but the 9/11 Museum does require a purchased ticket. Including taxes and fees, a regular ticket costs $33 for adults, $21 for children ages 7 to 12, and $27 for seniors ages 65 and up, young adults ages 13 to 17, and U.S. college students with a valid ID. Tickets are free to children under 7, active and retired military personnel with a valid ID, and family members of those who died in the 9/11 attacks.
We should remind you that booking directly through the official website gives you a nonrefundable ticket, whereas a ticket purchased through GetYourGuide is fully refundable up to 24 hours before your planned visit – and it’s the same price. The 9/11 Museum’s official site does offer free tickets between 3:30 and 5 p.m. on Mondays, but these first-come, first-served tickets often book up months in advance.
These are the starting prices to add a tour onto your 9/11 Memorial & Museum tickets or bundle them with a city pass:
- A guided tour of the memorial with tickets to One World Observatory and the 9/11 Museum costs $109 for adults and $105 for children ages 3 to 13 (children younger than 3 are free).
- The price of a Go City Pass depends on how many attractions you choose. The starting price to bundle two attractions (10 being the maximum) is $79 for adults and $69 for children ages 3 to 13.
- The New York Pass allows access to over 100 tours and entrance tickets, with the price based on how many days you want it to be valid. A one-day pass starts at $144 for adults and $109 for children ages 3 to 12.
- A New York CityPASS gives you big savings on five of the city’s most popular attractions, including the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Empire State Building, and the Guggenheim Museum. It costs $138 for adults and $118 for children ages 6 to 17 (free for children 5 and under). The pass is valid for nine days after your first use.
What Are the Best Hotels Near the 9/11 Memorial & Museum?
Seeing as the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is in one of the most popular areas of NYC, you might want to stay nearby, putting you within walking distance of multiple major attractions.
If you want to stay at a budget-friendly hotel with soundproof rooms, check out Gild Hall, A Thompson Hotel. Located in the heart of the Financial District, this four-star hotel offers an on-site restaurant, private parking, a fitness center, and room service.
A great pet-friendly hotel near the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is IHG’s Hotel Indigo NYC Financial District. This three-star hotel features a fitness center, a bar, a restaurant, and room service.
If you’re looking for a bougie NYC getaway, consider staying at the Conrad New York Downtown. This fabulous five-star hotel boasts an incredible rooftop bar, spacious suites, and on-site parking.
What’s the Security Process at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum?
Security protocol differs between the memorial and the museum. While there isn’t a security line to enter the 9/11 Memorial, there is still security around the area to ensure guests are being respectful. Except for service animals, pets are not allowed at the memorial. Alcohol, paint, weapons, litter, recreational wheeled vehicles (such as electric scooters), outside food and drinks, and bags larger than 19 by 17 by 8 inches are also prohibited. Smoking is not allowed either. If you want to pay your respects with a tribute item, you can place it in front of the Memorial Pools, or on the stone monoliths or bronze parapets around the pools.
When you enter the 9/11 Museum, you’ll have to go through security. Potentially hazardous items such as firearms and their replicas, knives and other cutting tools, glass bottles, paint, alcohol, and compressed gases (including containers of pepper spray or bleach) are banned from the premises. Bags larger than 19 by 17 by 8 inches are also not allowed inside.
What About Visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum With a Disability?
If you or one of your travel companions have a disability and plan on visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, you’ll have nothing to worry about! Both the memorial and the museum are fully accessible for electric and manual wheelchairs. The museum also offers free wheelchairs and walkers, an assistive listening system, ASL tours, sighted guides, and a quiet room. To learn more about the museum’s accessibility, click here.
FAQs: Facts About the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
What Happened on 9/11?
On Sept. 11, 2001, members of the terrorist group al-Qaida executed an attack on American soil, killing nearly 3,000 people from 93 countries. These 19 members hijacked four commercial planes, deliberately crashing two of them into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers and one into the Pentagon. They planned to crash the fourth plane, Flight 93, into a federal government building in Washington D.C. With the heroic intervention from Flight 93’s passengers, the terrorists instead crashed the plane into a rural field in Western Pennsylvania.
What Is the 9/11 Memorial?
The 9/11 Memorial opened in 2011, 10 years after the tragic attacks, to honor those who lost their lives that day. The Memorial Plaza features two reflecting pools where the Twin Towers stood, with the names of the victims carved around the edges, as well as over 400 swamp white oaks and a tree dedicated to the attack’s survivors.
What Is the 9/11 Museum?
Located near the Memorial Plaza, the 9/11 Museum consists of several exhibits that cover the stories of survivors, those who died, and first responders, as well as the aftermath of the attacks. Visitors usually spend two to three hours inside.
Who Built the 9/11 Memorial & Museum?
The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation owns and operates the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. In 2004, it held an open international competition to design the memorial. Israeli-American architect Michael Arad of Handel Architects won this competition, designing the memorial with two reflecting pools and the largest artificial waterfall in North America. Construction started in 2006 and took about five years.
When Can I See the Tribute Lights at the 9/11 Memorial?
Two beaming blue lights rise up in place of the Twin Towers every year on Sept. 11 as tribute to those who died in the attacks.
Can I Take Pictures at the 9/11 Memorial?
Yes, photos are allowed at the memorial, but professional photography for commercial use is not.
Are the 9/11 Museum and 9/11 Tribute Museum the Same Thing?
No, the 9/11 Museum is the official museum of the 9/11 site. The 9/11 Tribute Museum is owned and operated by the September 11th Families’ Association. Unfortunately, the 9/11 Tribute Museum has permanently moved online, having closed its physical location in August 2022.
Is There a Dress Code for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum?
No, there is no dress code. However, keep in mind that this is a place of respect and reflection, and use your best judgment to dress appropriately.
You should now have all the information you need to tour the 9/11 Memorial & Museum during your vacation to the Big Apple! Again, we want to remind you that both the memorial and the museum are places of remembrance, so please be respectful when visiting.
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