The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City stands as a place of remembrance and a somber tribute to those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Reopened 10 years after the 2001 attacks, the eight-acre (3.2-hectare) plaza—built on the World Trade Center site—features two massive square reflecting pools whose waterfalls cascade down into the footprints of the former Twin Towers. The surrounding plaza is a peaceful and moving green space, while the museum, located beneath the plaza, lends a deeper understanding to the impact of that day. You’ll undoubtedly leave with a heavy heart.
The outdoor 9/11 Memorial is open daily and does not require tickets or reservations, while museum entry is ticketed and can be purchased up to six months in advance. At the memorial, visitors can walk the perimeter of the pools to read the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11 at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as well as those killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, etched in bronze panels around the pools’ rims. At the museum, there are three sections: before September 11, the day of, and after. Inside the quiet halls, visitors can explore expressive artworks, walk down the very staircase used by workers to escape the buildings on 9/11, hear voicemail messages left by the victims to loved ones, enter a quiet space for reflection, and watch several videos including a time-lapse film of the transformation of the WTC site. Most weekdays, the museum holds live, 30-minute talks featuring survivor stories and personal tales of remembrance.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Give yourself at least two hours at the memorial and museum to explore and reflect.
- Hourlong staff-guided tours of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum can be bundled with museum admission. It’s best to arrive at least 15 minutes before your designated tour time.
- Mobile apps and a museum audio guide can enhance a self-guided experience.
- Some sections of the museum may not be appropriate for kids under the age of 10.
- There is a café on the atrium terrace level.
- The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is fully accessible.
How to Get There
As with much of New York City, the best way to get to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is public transit or a taxi, as parking is extremely limited. The site is accessible by subway (A, C, E, J, R, Z, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains), bus (M5, M20, and M22), and PATH train. Once you arrive, memorial entrances are at the intersections of Liberty and West streets, and West and Fulton streets. The main museum entrance is at Fulton and Greenwich.
When to Get There
The museum is open from 9am to 8pm Sunday through Thursday and 9am to 9pm on Friday and Saturday. Last entry is two hours prior to closing. Weekday mornings and the cold winter months tend to be the least busy times to visit. Early birds will appreciate the early-access museum tour, a behind-the-scenes experience offered several times weekly before official opening hours. If you’re on a budget, the museum opens its doors to the public for free on Tuesdays from 5 to 8pm.
Finding a Personal Connection to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is an emotional experience for most visitors, but especially so for friends and families of victims, and for survivors of that day. Those with a personal connection to someone lost in the attacks can visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum website and, on the Find a Name page, type in a name, flight number, or affiliation to learn where an individual’s name is etched around the north or south pool.