Tips for visiting 9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial was dedicated and opened to the public in 2011. 

The 9/11 Museum was opened in 2014 and houses over 70,000 artifacts in 110,000 square feet. 

Knowing what to expect and how to approach this experience is helpful. You should know some tips for visiting 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

Plan About How to Get There

Lower Manhattan houses the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Because parking is scarce in this area, it is best to take public transportation or ride share, depending on your time and starting point.

You can reach the 9/11 Memorial and Museum by subway, bus, or PATH train. 

A taxi is another viable option if you’re traveling during the off-season. However, only do this during the morning or evening commute because you will be stuck in traffic.

Buy Your Tickets for the 9/11 Museum in Advance

The museum uses timed entrance tickets to control the number of visitors. 

We recommend purchasing 9/11 Museum tickets online in advance. This helps you skip lengthy queues and maximizes your time for learning while at the museum.

Arrive Early in the Morning or Late in the Afternoon

The 9/11 Memorial receives over six million visitors yearly, while the museum receives over three million. 

These locations can be extremely crowded, particularly during the peak summer season. 

The memorial is set in a park setting and is exceptionally peaceful early in the morning. Try getting to the memorial early and enjoy this tranquil part of town.

Check the best time to visit the 9/11 Memorial to experience it with fewer people and have a smooth visit.

Be Prepared for an Emotional Journey

Everything about the memorial and museum is solemn. 

This experience is emotional, from the cold, gray metal framing the pools and memorializing the victims’ names to the museum’s dark and austere concrete walls. 

The museum’s exhibits include vehicles destroyed by falling buildings, video footage of the attacks, and photographs of the dead.

Many people plan to visit the memorial and museum as an act of respect. However, witnessing the horrific aftermath of a terrorist attack can be difficult for some. 

A guided tour of the 9/11 Museum and Memorial will provide a more in-depth understanding of the 9/11 attacks and their ongoing global significance.

Get the Audio Guide Here

The memorial and museum are enormous, which can make the experience overwhelming.

9/11 Memorial Audio Guide is available to assist visitors in their exploration. You can download the audio guide to your phone.

You will get the 9/11 Memorial Audio Guide tour in English with this 9/11 Memorial and Museum ticket.

This tour uses GPS technology to guide visitors around the North and South pools, to the Survivor Tree, and through the Memorial Glade.

Begin Inside the 9/11 Museum

If you plan to visit both the museum and the memorial, go to the museum first to avoid crowds and save the memorial for last. 

It is the best way to visit 911 Memorial and Museum. While most people are aware of the events of 9/11, many have forgotten the specifics. 

You can also explore the interesting facts about the 911 memorial for a deep knowledge of museum’s exhibits before your visit.

The historical exhibition uses artifacts, images, first-person testimonies, and archival audio and video recordings to tell the story of 9/11.

The slurry wall, a surviving retaining wall of the original World Trade Center that withstood the devastation of 9/11, is located in Foundation Hall.

It stands 36 feet tall, and the final steel beam was removed from Ground Zero to mark the end of the nine-month recovery effort.

We recommend checking out additional ticket options for the 9/11 Museum and Memorial to understand and experience the site better.

You Do Not Have to See Everything

It can be challenging to look at photos of thousands of victims and the remains of vehicles, buildings, and personal effects. 

Some people will spend two to three hours exploring everything the museum offers, while others may prefer to move through quickly. 

Prepare to have enough time for every family member to experience the museum uniquely.

Make Sure to Carry the Map of the 9/11 Memorial Area

The 9/11 Memorial Museum map will help you to navigate the expansive exhibits with ease.

The map also provides a thorough plan of the memorial, which will maximize your visit and ensure you don’t miss any significant areas of interest.

Finish Your Visit Outside at the Memorial

After spending time indoors, relaxing in the memorial’s park setting is excellent.

Most visitors are drawn to the twin pools, which mark the former locations of the World Trade Center buildings. 

The names of all the victims are inscribed around the edges of the pools.

Then, proceed to the Survivor Tree, a Callery pear tree discovered during the cleanup at Ground Zero.

It was removed and rehabilitated before being reintroduced in 2010. It serves as a symbol of tenacity.

Finally, stroll through Memorial Glade, a memorial to all who have suffered or died from 9/11-related illnesses. 

Think Twice About Bringing Children

Young children are unlikely to understand the 9/11 Museum’s exhibits and may be upset by them. 

Young children may be alarmed by the dim, underground setting. 

However, older children may be willing to come. The audio tour for children aged 8 to 11 is an excellent way to make this experience age-appropriate.

The 9/11 Museum provides tips on how to talk to children about terrorism. 

Don’t Pass Up the Oculus

The World Trade Center Oculus Transportation Hub and Westfield Mall are located across the street from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

This shopping center and hub are among New York City’s most distinctive structures. 

The spiny white Oculus was meant to resemble a dove taking flight from a child’s hand. 

Its peaceful symbolism starkly contrasts with the devastation that occurred in 2001.

Large chain stores, small boutiques, and various restaurants can be found within the mall. 

Grab a bite to eat after admiring the Oculus both inside and out. The air-conditioned mall is a welcome respite in New York during the hot and humid summer. 

Head to La Pizza & La Pasta, located inside Eataly, a prominent Italian marketplace, for a panoramic view of the memorial and its grounds.


Any visit to New York City should include a stop at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. 

With the 9 11 Museum tips in mind, visitors can fully honor the past, gain insight, and pay tribute to those affected by the tragic events.


How much time should I spend at 9 11 Memorial?

You can spend one to two hours at the 9/11 Memorial, including a visit to the twin pools and learning about the victims. 

To explore the 9/11 museum’s exhibitions, add two to three hours. The overall visit takes about 3 to 4 hours. 

Is there a dress code for the 9/11 Memorial?

The 9/11 Memorial Museum has a casual dress code. While there isn’t a dress code, visitors are encouraged to dress respectfully and appropriately. 

The site holds deep significance as a place of remembrance, so it’s advised to avoid clothing that could be considered disrespectful or offensive.

Can you just walk around the 911 Memorial?

The 9/11 Memorial is open to the public for free. You will need a ticket to enter the National September 11 Museum.

The Museum is open six days a week (closed Tuesdays), and you can buy an entry ticket in advance for a smooth visit.

Is it worth going to 9 11 Memorial?

Yes, visiting the 9/11 Memorial is worth paying respects, gaining historical understanding, and reflecting on the tragic events. 

Although access to the museum requires an entry ticket, the heartfelt dedication and magnificent exhibits it offers visitors make it well worth the price of admission.

Featured Image: