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Insider's Guide to Visiting 9/11 Memorial And Museum


The world knows and remembers when the Twin Towers, the centerpieces of the original World Trade Center, were destroyed by terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Today, the site of the twin towers is home to the 9/11 Museum and Memorial, built to commemorate those who were affected by the tragedy, including victims in the buildings, first-responders, family members, and community. It is a powerful place that can evoke a lot of emotion. It is particularly important to prepare children for what they will see and hear, and in fact the museum goes to great lengths to make families welcome and provide age-appropriate activities.
Please remember that the memorial and museum are sites of remembrance and quiet reflection; the museum humbly asks that all visitors respect this “place made sacred through tragic loss.” An admission ticket is required for the Museum but the Memorial is free and open to the public from 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM daily.
The museum has 110,00 square feet of space and two Core Exhibits featuring 23,000 images, over 500 hours of video, and more than 10,000 artifacts.

  • Historical Exhibition – This section is divided into three parts: The Events of the Day as They Unfolded, Before 9/11 (which provides context,) and After 9/11 (focused on both the immediate aftermath and ongoing repercussions.)
  • Memorial Exhibition – Honors the 2,997 individuals killed at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, in the field in Somerset County, PA., and at World Trade Center om Feb. 26, 1993.

The Memorial Exhibition contains floor to ceiling photographs of those who were killed, aged 2-1/2 to 85, from 90 nations. Memorabilia and recorded remembrances enhance the emotional experience and an interactive feature allows you to search each name and learn more about the person. This is the area which might be more alarming to children, so use your best judgment if you bring them along and be sure to avail yourselves of the museum’s Art Cart for kids. In addition, there is a tour specifically for kids, and you’ll want to download the free 9/11 Memorial Museum app geared for children 8-11.

In addition, there are temporary exhibits on view until May 2021.

  • Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden, which examines the intelligence and military activity that led to him nearly 10 years later.
  • K-9 Courage: Honors the hundreds of dogs that participated in search and rescue.

You’ll also find a Media Installation called Reflecting on 9/11, which presents a spectrum of views from prominent individuals and invites you to share your own stories, and another called Rebirth at Ground Zero, tracking the physical renewal at WTC alongside emotional journeys of individuals.
Outside, the Memorial is located at the site of the former World Trade Center Complex and occupies about 8 acres. The twin reflecting pools are each about an acre and feature the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. They are in the footprints of the original North and South towers. Bronze rims around the pools are etched with the names of those lost.
The Survivor Tree, a callery pear tree, was recovered from the rubble and revived, standing today as a monument to renewal. Benches are scattered throughout, inviting visitors to pause and reflect.
The newest addition to the Memorial site is the Glade, located west of the Survivor Tree, and opened on May 30, 2019. This memorial area is dedicated to all those who are sick or have died due to exposure to toxins in the aftermath of the attacks at the World Trade Center.


Museum Hours

  • Sunday through Thursday 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM with last entry at 6:00 PM
  • Friday and Saturday 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM with last entry at 7:00 PM
  • Exception: September 10 – last public entry is at 3:30 PM
  • Closed to public on September 11 until 3:00 PM and remains open until midnight for the annual Tribute in Light featuring two blue beams.
  • Memorial is open from 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM

Tours

  • Museum Tour – 60 minutes
  • Early Access Museum Tour – 60 minutes = 8:15 – 9:15 before the crowds
  • Memorial Tour – 45 minutes
  • Memorial and Museum Tour – 90 minutes
  • Youth and Family Tours
  • Tours en Espanol

Please note that security is tight, much like at an airport. Children under age 7 are free.


How to Get There

By Subway

  • A, C, 1, 2, or 3 to Chambers Street
  • A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4 or 5 trains to Fulton St.
  • 2 or 3 trains to Park Place
  • E train to World Trade Center
  • R train to Rector Street
  • R train to Cortlandt Street
  • 1 train to WTC Cortlandt

By Bus

  • M55 Southbound: get off at Broadway and Thames Street
  • M55 Northbound: get off at Trinity Place and Rector Street
  • M20 Southbound: get off on South End Avenue between Liberty Street and Albany Street
  • M22 Southbound: get off on Vesey Street between North End Avenue and West Street

By Car – Battery Garage, Check SP+ parking facilities for a list of other locations and how far they are from the memorial.