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New York: Tickets for the 9/11 Museum

Last year, at my sister’s request, we booked a timed visit to the World Trade Center site in New York where I live, but this year, with the 9//11 Museum now open, she wanted to return to see the new facility.

So, we did just that.

Timed entry tickets are no longer required for visiting the World Trade Center site. The area is open to anyone, like any other plaza and business area in the city.

But, of course, tickets are required for the museum. They are timed, and one can buy those in advance on the Web. For most adults, the entry is a rather stiff $24. There are various concessions that reduce this rate for some, plus free entry for families of 9/11 victims, 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, active/retired members of the military and museum members.

However, to ensure all can enter regardless of means — or at least, I presume that is a key reason — anyone can enter at no charge in the late afternoon each Tuesday.

Some of the free tickets can be booked on the Web, too, but the rest are handed out Tuesdays on a first-come, first-served basis.

That worked brilliantly for my sister and me.

Distribution of the tickets begins at 4:30 p.m. and, we were told, we could line up beginning at 4, but we saw that the line was forming sooner. We joined it around 3:40 with perhaps 50 to 75 people ahead of us. This line forms in an area behind the museum where groups usually meet.

One World Trade Center (aka Freedom Tower), with a U.S. flag in the foreground, seen from the area where museumgoers wait for free tickets to the 9/11 Museum.

One World Trade Center (aka Freedom Tower), with a U.S. flag in the foreground, seen from the area where museum goers wait for free tickets to the 9/11 Museum.

It was clear from the number of languages and accents among those in line with us that this site — literally a center for world business — is compelling across many nationalities, not just for Americans. Nationals from scores of countries were killed on 9/11.

We were advised the tickets are handed out at the rate of 600 every 30 minutes. I assume that offer lasts only 60 to 90 minutes because the last Tuesday entry would be 6 p.m., two hours before Tuesday’s 8 p.m. closing.

On any day, the museum’s last entry time is two hours before closing.

Given we were among the first 600, our tickets were timed for a 5 p.m. entry and we were in the building promptly.

At this point, no surprise, there was airport-style security for each arriving visitor.

I have posted a separate report at BestTripChoices.com to talk about the museum itself.

The elegant glass pavilion that gives entry to the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

The elegant glass pavilion that gives entry to the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

This blog and its photos are by Nadine Godwin, BestTripChoices.com editorial director and contributor to the trade newspaper, Travel Weekly. She also is the author of “Travia: The Ultimate Book of Travel Trivia,” which was published by The Intrepid Traveler; it can be purchased at http://intrepidtraveler.com/travia-release/