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One World Observatory

Josef Hanus /

Encompassing the top three floors of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, One World Observatory offers some of the best 360 degree panoramas of New York City. Whether you are visiting New York for the first time, or have lived in the city a lifetime, this is a New York attraction that everybody should experience at least once.

The Main Observatory
Your visit to the One World Observatory will begin at the Global Welcome Center, which features a video installation that tells the story of the 48 workers who helped to build One World. From here, visitors can access the Sky Pods, which will whisk them up to the 102nd floor in just 60 seconds, during which a one-of-a-kind innovative time-lapse video is played, to portray how the city’s skyline has evolved over the years. Once at the top, a two minute video will be played, before which the screen is lifted to reveal the legendary New York skyline. For those that want to pin point the exact landmarks around them, interactive iPads can be rented at the observatory, which will allow you to zoom in for a closer look, while providing you with more information on each site.

Sky Portal
The Sky Portal is a part of the Main Observatory, and consists of a transparent 14 foot glass disc that visitors can stand and walk on. From here, you have a direct view down to the city streets 100 floors below you, making for quite the mesmerizing experience.

While many choose to visit the One World Observatory to quickly see the view before heading off to other New York attractions, the tempting dining options make it well worth staying for a bite to eat, so that you can also enjoy the views for a bit longer. There are three dining options to choose from, the first being the casual One Café, which serves up sandwiches, soups and salads. The next option is One Mix, a bar and bistro that specializes in small plates and artisanal cocktails, but for those who want more of a fine dining experience, the third venue, One Dine, is where you should go.

When to Visit
The One World Observatory is open throughout the week and year, but if you want to try to avoid the main crowds, you are best off timing your visit for the early morning or the late afternoon. While the average visit lasts around an hour, the three restaurants, as well as the breathtaking views, make it quite easy to spend a few hours here, so try to give yourself some extra time when planning your visit. If you can time your visit to coincide with the sunset, the views that you will see will be even more unforgettable.

Being one of the most popular attractions in the city, the One World Observatory usually has quite long admission lines. For those who want to skip these, VIP entry tickets can be purchased, which allow you to skip the queues and head straight up to enjoy the views.

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