Twin Towers- Then and Now
Twin Towers- Then and Now

Emotional Tour of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum – New York

World Trade Center was once a symbol of American economic might and architectural prowess. The iconic twin towers dominated the Manhattan skyline, their steel and glass facades reflecting the city’s ambition and resilience. The Twin Towers were one of the most visited places in New York, but today all you have there is a 9/11 memorial and a museum.

On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center became the target of a terror attack that shook the world to its core. In a series of coordinated attacks, hijacked passenger jets shattered the towers’ structural integrity, ultimately leading to their catastrophic collapse – a scene of unfolding horror that left an indelible mark on the collective consciousness of millions.

In the aftermath of this tragic event, a decision was made to transform the site into a powerful memorial and museum – 9/11 Memorial & Museum, ensuring that the stories of those who lost their lives, as well as the courage of the first responders, would never be forgotten. While I always wanted to visit the Twin Towers since I read about them in a book, I was too late 🙁 Hence I paid a visit to the 9/11 memorial and museum and I’ll share my experience in this blog post.

9/11 Memorial – Remembering the Past

The World Trade Center or Twin Towers as they were called, were the tallest building in the world when they were constructed way back in 1966. Both these towers were spread over 2Mn square meters and most of these were offices. These were iconic to the skyline of New York back in the day. But nobody would have expected that the Twin Towers would go down one day through terror attacks. The 9/11 attack was amongst the most carefully orchestrated and deadliest one. 

The 9/11 Memorial, constructed on the very site where the Twin Towers once stood, honours the memories of those lost and creates a lasting tribute to their sacrifices. Two immense reflecting pools, each nearly an acre in size, mark the footprints of the fallen towers, their walls inscribed with the names of every person who perished on that fateful day. Surrounding the pools, a tranquil plaza adorned with nearly 400 swamp white oak trees

Twin Towers- Then and Now - 9/11 Memorial.
Twin Towers- Then and Now

Beyond the memorial itself, the 9/11 Museum was established to provide a comprehensive narrative of the events surrounding that fateful day. Housed within the very foundation of the former towers, the museum takes visitors on an immersive and emotionally charged journey, presenting a multitude of artefacts, personal accounts, and multimedia displays that collectively weave a tapestry of remembrance and resilience.

9/11 Museum – Tickets, Timings and How To Reach

Located in the heart of Lower Manhattan, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. 

  • By Subway: The closest stations are Cortlandt Street (R, W lines), Rector Street (R, W lines), and World Trade Center (E line). The museum’s entrance is conveniently situated on Greenwich Street, just a short walk from these subway stops. Read my post about New York Subway to know more about the subway system there.
  • By bus: Several routes, including the M20, M55, and M22, have stops in close proximity to the museum. Additionally, the Downtown Connection shuttle bus provides a direct connect from Grand Central Terminal to the 9/11 Memorial.

The 9/11 Memorial is free and open to the public seven days a week, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Outdoor Memorial audio guides are available for purchase on-site.  The 9/11 museum requires a ticket and the cost varies from $21 upwards to $150 depending on the package you take. You can opt for a single entry, guided tour and family pass to name a few. However, if you carefully plan your visit, you can visit the 9/11 memorial for FREE. You can book your tickets here.

Every Monday between 5:30 – 7:30, the museum has free entry. Users must purchase the ticket online which is available on the same day at 7 am. I remember getting up early and logging in to the website to get the ticket. There are limited tickets, so they run out of stock very fast. (At least that’s what I experienced) I logged in from my phone and laptop, the one of the laptop was sold out while I got one on my mobile.

Further, this is right across the One World Observatory, so you can try to club both places on the same day to save time, just as I did 🙂

An Emotional Tour – 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The two massive reflecting pools mark where the Twin Towers once stood tall. The names of every person who lost their life that day are inscribed around the pools. Trees surround the plaza, creating a calm and respectful atmosphere to remember and honour the victims.

Twisted Steel of WTC at the 9/11 museum
Twisted Steel of WTC

The 9/11 Museum, located underground, takes you through the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. As you enter, you see haunting wreckage from that day – pieces of the towers’ twisted steel, damaged fire trucks, and personal belongings. The museum has many exhibits with photos, videos, and real artefacts that retell the courage and resilience shown during and after the attacks.

Remains of 9/11
Remains of 9/11

One powerful exhibit is the “In Memoriam” displaying portraits and personal items from the nearly 3,000 victims killed. You’ll see heartbreaking mementoes like a child’s stuffed animal or a firefighter’s helmet. The Survivors’ Staircase, an actual stairwell escape route, reminds visitors of the bravery that day. The 9/11 Museum ensures we never forget the sacrifice of victims, survivors, and responders through its collections and immersive exhibits.

The whole experience is quite different and emotional, there will be times when you’ll have teary eyes, so plan your visit accordingly. 

Visit The Memorial When in New York

From the serene reflecting pools to the haunting remnants of the Twin Towers, from the personal belongings of victims to the stories of courage and selflessness, every aspect of these hallowed grounds serves as a reminder of the enduring spirit of humanity. It is a place where the past is remembered, the present is honoured, and the future is inspired by the values of resilience, compassion, and unity in the face of adversity.

Whether you are a New Yorker or a visitor to the city, a trip to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a profoundly moving experience that should not be missed. So, when in New York, make time to visit this sacred site, for it is a testament to our shared humanity and a powerful reminder that even in our darkest moments, the light of unity and resilience will always shine through.

That’s it for this blog post. I hope you found this helpful in planning your visit to the 9/11 memorial and museum. Feel free to reach out to me for any assistance. Drop your thoughts in the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Atulmaharaj on Instagram, or Get In Touch.

About Atulmaharaj

A seasoned blogger and a content marketer for close to a decade now. I write about Food, Technology, Lifestyle, Travel, and Finance related posts. Blogging brings me joy and the best part is I get to read and e-meet so many amazing bloggers! PS: I'm also the founder for :) Favorite Quote: "Traveling is like reading a book, one who hasn't traveled, hasn't turned a page.

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