The National September 11 Memorial Museum is a monumental landmark at the World Trade Center. But perhaps you want to know what else there is to see nearby before you visit the 9/11 museum and memorials. There are plenty of other activities and attractions around the memorial and Financial District, and we’ve included our favorites here. Explore our guide below for the top things to see at or near the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.
What to See Around the 9/11 Memorial in NYC
The National September 11 Memorial Museum and surrounding memorials is one of the most impactful sites in New York City. One part memorial and another part museum, this landmark honors those who lost their lives on 9/11 in 2001 and the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. It is a place to pay respect and to learn about our past through exhibitions, tours, and more.
To get here, hop on the N train into the WTC Cortlandt subway station where the memorial is only about a minute’s walk away. You can easily spend the day in this area exploring the memorials and other attractions nearby – most of which are free! We’ve included something for everyone, and each spot will be memorable and picture worthy. Here are the top things to see at or near the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.
15. The Skyscraper Museum
With a city known for its super-high buildings (also known as skyscrapers), it makes sense there is a museum dedicated to them. Sitting in Battery City Park, the Skyscraper Museum focuses on sharing the history of sky-high buildings found in the city. Between the various lectures and exhibits, you’ll learn all about the people behind these buildings and the architecture that went into creating them.
Address: 39 Battery Pl, New York
Admission: Free (through July 22)
14. Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is pretty iconic here in New York City. Dating all the way back to its completion in 1883, the bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn over the East River. It was considered the largest suspension bridge back in its day, plus it was the first to be made out of cable and steel.
The stone archway is picture perfect and the pedestrian walkway is ideal for stunning views of the city and the sunset. This is the perfect thing to see near the 9/11 memorial at the end of your day.
Address: Brooklyn Bridge, New York
13. The Battery
New York has more than just one cool park to check out. Case in point: The Battery. This public park is located pretty far down the island, making for some awesome views of the New York Harbor. There are lawns to hang out on, gardens to explore, and even an urban farm to score some organic goods for an afternoon picnic.
And if you have kids, there’s no way you’re not checking out the SeaGlass Carousel. It’s fun for kids and adults alike! Battery Park is easily one of the funnest things to see near the 9/11 memorial.
Address: State St &, Battery Pl, New York
12. Oculus Center
Ok, so you might not think to hit up a shopping center after you’ve visited the 9/11 memorial, but this one is worth a trip. The Oculus Center is located in the World Trade Center, so it’s really close to the 9/11 memorial. There are over 100 stores to check out here ranging from Apple to the Banana Republic.
But what we really love here (and you will too) is the architectural structure of the center. Its all-white interior, which is supposed to look like a whale skeleton, is impressive to see even if you aren’t necessarily in the mood for shopping. Stop by to be wowed and snap some pics!
Address: 185 Greenwich Street, New York
11. St. Paul’s Chapel
St. Paul’s Church was built in 1766 and brings in millions of visitors each year. As part of the Parish of Trinity Church Wall Street, this church has been through a lot. According to its website, it survived the Great Fire of 1776 and withstood any damage from the 9/11 attacks despite being located directly across the street from the World Trade Center.
It has long been known for its services that cater to immigrants and the homeless, and after 9/11, it focused on providing relief for rescue workers. Fun fact: its other claim to fame is that George Washington attended church there often after he became president! It’s an incredibly historic old gem to visit.
Address: 209 Broadway, New York
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10. The Irish Hunger Memorial
The Irish Hunger Memorial is a park in Battery Park City (specifically Rockefeller Park) boasting lots of cool sculptures and lush gardens that feature more than 60 varieties of flora from Ireland. This memorial acknowledges the famine in Ireland that killed over a million people between 1845 to 1852. New York has long been home to many immigrants from Ireland, so this memorial is a fitting tribute to their heritage.
This spacious park is a landmark for locals and tourists alike. It’s the perfect off-the-beaten-path attraction for anyone looking for a new perspective in this incredible melting pot of New York City.
Address: North End Ave &, Vesey St, New York, NY
9. FDNY Memorial Wall
Located on the side of the firehouse, this FDNY Memorial Wall is historic and a must-see when visiting the area. Revealed in 2006, this wall is a bronze bas-relief sculpture dedicated to remembering the NYC firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. It’s a powerful and moving sculpture that both locals and visitors should experience.
Address: 141 Greenwich St, New York
8. New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange is the biggest of its kind in the world. It is definitely worth checking out if only for the bragging rights. While you can’t go inside, you can enjoy the sights from the outdoors and take pictures of the grand old building. Between the famous Broad Street colonnade and the 11 figure pediment, the architectural design of the exterior is impressive.
And contrary to popular belief, you won’t find the iconic sculpture of the bull and the girl here anymore. Find where it is below!
Address: 11 Wall St, New York
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7. Charging Bull
Anyone who visits the Financial District in New York City has to make a stop at the Charging Bull. Take the 4, 5, or 6 train to Bowling Green subway station or the 1 train down to South Ferry. Or just walk a few blocks south from the 9/11 Memorial Pools. Once you’re here, check out this large bronze sculpture, also known as the Bowling Green Bull.
According to the Charging Bowl website, sculptor Maestro Arturo Di Modica created this massive bull (which measures 18 feet long) and originally parked it in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Today, the Charging Bull sits near Bowling Green and is a symbol of courage and how hard work can pay off and eventually lead to big success. This infamous bull is a top thing to see near the 9/11 memorial.
Address: Broadway &, Whitehall St, New York
6. Statue of Liberty
You can’t visit New York without seeing the Statue of Liberty. Known as a symbol of freedom, this massive monument was a gift from France completed in 1886. It stands proud on Liberty Island in the New York Harbor, but you don’t have to travel all the way there to see it. Enjoy picture-perfect (and free) views of the statue right from Battery Park.
But for the best experience that really can’t be missed, take a ferry from Battery Park to the island where you can explore her up close. Even better, book a combination tour to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island all in one!
Address: Liberty Island, New York
Admission: Starts at $23.50 (per adult)
5. One World Observation Deck
Sitting atop of One World Trade Center (or the Freedom Tower), you’ll find the One World Observation Deck. Get to the top of this skyscraper in just seconds with the super-fast SkyPod elevator that coasts up 102 stories. Even though it’s fast, you’ll still enjoy the ride with cool technology inside the SkyPod. It displays what New York looked like in colonial times and how it transformed into the bustling city today.
Once you’re at the top, you’ll see New York City at its highest possible point – breathtaking. While the views are everything, there are also interactive presentations and guides, along with plenty of dining options to enjoy, too. Plus, you’ll want to partake in the virtual iPad Explorer tour that explains all the city’s buildings in the skyline and the history behind them.
Address: 117 West St, New York
Admission: Starts at $38
4. 9/11 Tribute In Light
Each year on the anniversary of September 11, visitors and residents witness the light installation that pays tribute to the victims of the terror attacks on the Twin Towers. This installation is called the 9/11 Tribute in Light and is surreal to see with your own eyes. Two beams of light are cast out into the sky where the towers (1 WTC and 2 WTC) used to be located in Lower Manhattan in the World Trade Center complex.
These two towers were once the tallest buildings in the world. Now the light beams, which reach up to 4 miles high, shine on in remembrance of the buildings, but most importantly, of those who lost their lives on that fateful day. If you can plan your trip around the anniversary, this is definitely a sight to see.
Address: 70 Greenwich St, New York
3. 9/11 Memorial Pools
These two reflecting pools honor the victims of September 11, and they’re one of the most recognizable things to see at the 9/11 memorials. Both 9/11 Memorial Pools are nearly an acre, and they sit right where the North and South Towers used to stand at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.
The man-made waterfalls in these pools descend 30 feet, which actually makes them America’s largest man-made waterfalls, according to the 9/11 memorial website. The names of the thousands who lost their lives on 9/11 and in the 1993 bombing are also inscribed alongside the pools.
As you spend time here, we encourage you to remember it’s a sacred space that deserves reverence. Seeing these memorial pools will be an experience that stays with you long after you return home.
Address: 180 Greenwich St, New York
2. 9/11 Memorial Glade
The 9/11 Memorial Glade memorializes those who were exposed to the toxins in the air during and after the terror attacks. It’s a moving tribute for those who participated in the heroic efforts of cleaning up after that disastrous day. The designated pathway is lined by massive stone monoliths and steel from the original World Trade Center.
The location is also just as significant. You’ll find the Glade near the original ramp that was used during recovery efforts, so it’s located close to the memorial pools too.
Address: 180 Greenwich St, New York
1. The National September 11 Memorial Museum
The 9/11 Tribute Museum is a space for visitors to unite with survivors of the terror attacks. Here you’ll find artifacts and personal histories showcasing what really happened on that historic day in Lower Manhattan. Discover the resilience of the victims and explore how the community came together to recover. Learning how the city came together to support each other is always a favorite tourists love about this museum.
While you’re here, be sure to take a guided tour, too. Not only will you learn more about the events of 9/11, but you will get personal insight from someone who was there on that day, such as a resident or rescue worker. While the glade and the reflecting pools are quiet memorials for reflection, this museum offers a wonderful way to learn about the attacks and how the city came back stronger together.
Address: 92 Greenwich St, New York
Admission: Starts at $17 (per adult)