Get started by heading to St. Paul’s Chapel in Lower Manhattan where you’ll meet the guide outside. In the wake of the attacks on September 11, this church, the city’s oldest, became a haven for rescue workers and a place for mourners to find solace and pray.
Browse among the photographs and other memorabilia that are on display on the interior of the church. After looking around inside, head to The Oculus, which serves as the entrance to the WTC transportation hub.
Then visit Ground Zero and the National September 11 Memorial with your guide. See structures such as Brookfield Place (formerly known as the World Financial Center) and listen to your guide regale tales about the day when two jumbo jets flew into the two World Trade towers, a day that shocked the world.
See the Fireman’s Memorial and meander around the area where the two World Trade towers once stood. Take a moment to ponder the incident by staring into the two giant reflecting pools, the footprints left by the Twin Towers, as you read some of the names of the 3,000 victims of the attacks that are inscribed on the side of the pools.
After, the guided portion of the tour ends here. But if you’ve opted for the upgrade, head over to One World Trade Center to ascend up to One World Observatory for a spectacular view.
One World Observatory Admission: Skip the (usually) long line with your pre-reserved ticket and head right to the elevator, or Sky Pod, as they are called here. While ascending up 102 floors, take delight in a short video that shows how New York City has changed and transformed in the last few centuries. On the 100th floor, be sure to stop and take in the incredible views while standing 1,250 feet (365 meters) in the sky. And if you’re not too afraid of heights, walk out onto the 14-foot (4-meter) Sky Portal where you can look right down on all the street activity happening below.
Once on the 101st floor, enjoy a beverage or something to eat in the cafe or fine dining restaurant.