The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were a tragedy on an almost unfathomable scale and visitors to New York can pay tribute to their victims by joining a Ground Zero tour.
Amid the devastation and destruction that was unearthed in the days, weeks and months after the fateful event, a myriad of ideas were put forward for how the fallen of 9/11 could be honoured. Among them was the proposal of a memorial site where visitors could learn about precisely what happened that day, the lives that were lost, and the heroism displayed by so many individuals. Sensitively constructed, Ground Zero tours offer people the chance to relive an event that changed the world forever. We’ve compared three of them below.
Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial Tour & Optional 9/11 Museum Entry
In remembrance of 9/11, this walking tour guides you through the former site of the World Trade Center. Led by New Yorkers with a personal connection to 9/11, the tour invites you to explore Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial, as well as visit St. Paul’s Chapel, which was used as a makeshift rescue centre after the attacks. You’ll also gain exclusive, skip-the-line access to the 9/11 Museum. Along the way, your guide will regale you with stories of tragedy, heroism, and hope. Tours typically last around 4 hours. From $39 per person.
Ground Zero Tour with One World Observatory Skip-the-Line Access
This tour combines visits to Ground Zero with a trip to the top of the highest observatory in the western hemisphere. After exploring Memorial Plaza and its numerous landmarks including the Reflecting Pools and 911 Museum, you’ll move on to the World Financial Center to learn about its fascinating history. Next, it’s on to the reconstructed Winter Gardens, a 10-story glass pavilion devastated during 9/11, before checking out the Eleven Tears Memorial and new World Trade Center complex. Finally, you’ll enjoy a skip-the-line ascent to the top of the observatory for amazing views to round off your tour. From $79 per person.
Private Ground Zero Child-Friendly Tour with 9/11 Museum Ticket
The horrific details of 9/11 can be upsetting to everyone, but are particularly hard for children to process, with emotions often intensified when they feel they don’t have a complete understanding of what happened – and why. This private family tour is run by an experienced personal guide who will offer children a safe space to share their memories, beliefs and questions, and point you towards reliable resources for future research. The tour runs for around two hours and includes skip-the-line tickets to Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial. From $518 per group (max 4 people).
By Paul Joseph