Ground Zero is generally defined as the site of the former World Trade Center and areas surrounding it.
The 9/11 Memorial is the plaza located at the site of the former Twin Towers. The memorial was built to commemorate the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, which killed six. It features two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pools, each about an acre in size, set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers. The design evokes a sense of hope and renewal and creates a contemplative space separate from the usual sights and sounds of a bustling metropolis.
The One World Trade Center, known also as Freedom Tower, is the nation’s tallest skyscraper. It’s located near the northwest corner of Ground Zero. The “Skypod” elevators at Freedom Tower go up 1,250 feet to the One World Observatory, often called OWO. The observatory features breathtaking views of the city and surrounding areas, letting you see as far as Philadelphia!
The Oculus is the outside structure of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. It’s architecturally unique, but it’s functional as well, serving as the subway entrance and an extensive shopping center. Though our tour doesn’t usually include a visit inside, your guide may make a quick stop in the Oculus to give you the opportunity to appreciate its airy, pearly white interior.
Our guided tour of Ground Zero is 90 minutes. If you choose an experience with entry to the 9/11 Museum or the One World Observatory — or both — you’ll want to allow additional time for those attractions.
Both the museum and observatory visits are self-guided, so you can go at your own pace. On average, you can expect to spend about two hours inside the museum and about an hour at the One World Observatory.
You’ll get a timed entry ticket to the 9/11 Museum if you purchased the upgrade. Depending on availability, your ticket may be for immediately after the tour or some time later. The museum reserves the right not to admit you if you are early or late for your timed entry. You can’t exit and reenter the museum.
There’s a security checkpoint before entering, and all large bags will need to be left at the coat check. You can bring in food and beverage but need to eat it at the atrium level. Flash photography and talking on cell phones aren’t allowed.
Tickets to Freedom Tower are limited.
You’ll get a timed entry ticket to the One World Observatory at Freedom Tower if you purchased the upgrade. Tickets are only available on specific dates and times and can’t be used at any other time. Your entry time will be on the same date of your tour, typically a few hours after the tour start time. However, entry time may vary based on availability. If there’s no availability, we’ll notify you so you can choose another date, another tour, or receive a refund.
We offer a 100% refund up to 24 hours before your tour start time for the guided tour portion of your experience. Attraction tickets are non-refundable.
We also offer free rescheduling up to 24 hours before your tour start time for our memorial and museum experiences. There is a $35 per person charge for rescheduling experiences that include the One World Observatory. For any of our tour packages, once you’ve rescheduled once, there are no refunds if you decide not to take the tour.
There are bathrooms in St. Paul’s Chapel. There are also bathrooms inside the 9/11 Museum and Freedom Tower if you have tickets for entry.
Yes, the tour is accessible for both wheelchairs and strollers.
Yes, our guided tour of Ground Zero is appropriate for all ages. The subject matter is covered sensitively, and we’ve had many families enjoy our tours over the years. Kids 4-12 can join our tour at a reduced rate.
Tips are always appreciated by our guides but never expected. They should be given if you believe your guide did an outstanding job and want to show your appreciation.
While your guide may talk about these landmarks, this tour does not include entry to the 9/11 Museum or Freedom Tower. If you’d like to add either or both of these onto your experience, please see our other tour options below.