One World Observatory Review: Is It Worth It?

4:44 pm  |  28.08.2021

The One World Trade Center at Ground Zero always gives everyone goosebumps anyway – 380 meters above Manhattan and in good weather conditions with 80 kilometers of visibility. It could only be a special experience and it was, despite the bad weather.

The Waiting Time and the Procedure at the Entrance


One World Observatory Entrance

We had a priority ticket with a pre-determined admission time – we brought the so-called eTicket. Our waiting time at the One World Observatory was less than 2 minutes. However, the queue next to me with the holders of the standard tickets was not long either. This was due to the time, according to one employee, because we were there at 9:00 a.m. on a weekday. So if you want to have as little waiting time as possible, come early.

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Welcome to the One World Observatory

We found the greeting in the so-called Global Welcome Center very original. After the ticket has been scanned, you are greeted in your language, your home country lights up on a huge globe. A large image appears showing the special connection between the respective home of the visitor and New York. 

The Elevator of the One World Observatory

The view from the elevator

We had heard most of the elevator before, I’m not the biggest “elevator fan”, but well, somehow we had to go up to the 102nd floor. The elevator in the One World Observatory can do 1250 feet in 47 seconds, which corresponds to almost 37 kilometers an hour – for comparison: an elevator is said to be fast if it can do a third of it.

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Much more impressive, however, is the virtual view in the “glass elevator” and the time-lapse videos. At this point, we won’t tell you too much, because that’s one of the highlights of the viewing platform if you ignore the view. Witness 500 exciting years of Manhattan yourself – by the way, the old World Trade Center can be seen for a short time on the right. There it was again, our goosebumps.

The 102nd Floor: Another Adventure

The elevator leads directly to a small cinema hall on the 102nd floor – the See Forever Theater. A short 3D film about New York is shown, which highlights New York’s diversity in particular. The screen allows a breathtaking view over Manhattan. The pictures of the city’s landmarks, the typical scenes in Manhattan, and the skyline in combination with the music and the noises that you will only know from New York really brought out a lot of emotions in me, which showed me again, how much we love New York City.

The See Forever Theater

If you want, you can borrow a One World Explorer iPad after the short film for $ 15, which makes even more sense on a day as we experienced it, because it shows the respective landmarks, depending on which direction you hold it in, Boroughs and much more.

101st Floor: Restaurant and Café


If you want to tell at home that you have already had a steak in the One World Trade Center and enjoyed the best view over New York, you can do so in the ONE Restaurant on the 101st floor. 

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The prices are adapted to the ambiance. Why we don’t recommend the restaurant without further ado, you can read in our review of the One World Trade Center Restaurant.

Small snacks are also available: the selection has something to offer for every taste. From fresh salads to bagels, sandwiches, and sweet delicacies. It’s definitely bearable here. The escalator then takes you to the 100th floor. One World Observatory: the 360-degree view. This would have been the moment when we probably wouldn’t have gotten out of the stowage. Welcome to Manhattan heaven.

The City Puls Show was very interesting: Locals tell visitors about New York. You stand in a construct of screens that you control with your arm movements – the so-called interactive skyline concierge.

The result is a fun interactive question game about New York with lots of exciting insider tips and facts about the individual districts, restaurants, the city’s landmarks, and everyday life in New York. It’s made very modern and really worth seeing. The One World Observatory also has 40 hotspots for logging in via smartphone or iPad for further information.

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The observation deck of the One World Observatory is very spacious, by the way. The visitor has a lot of space and even when it gets full, there is still enough space here without feeling cramped. The two colleagues in Midtown often bring you closer to one or the other visitor than you would like. We didn’t even have that feeling – everything was very calm, decent, and well organized.

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Souvenirs 

Of course, as in all other sights, there is a souvenir shop. In the GALLERY at ONE WORLD, there are t-shirts, pens, mugs, postcards, cuddly toys, if you like you can also buy a jacket from the One World Observatory.

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