The National September 11 Museum at the World Trade Center can be overwhwelming, both in its size and the emotions it stirs. It’s difficult to absorb 23,000 images, more than 500 hours of video and 10,300 artifacts, including a new exhibition on the search for and killing of Osama bin Laden.
The recommended time to spend at the museum is between two and three hours, plus time to visit the 9/11 Memorial on the plaza outside the museum.
Click here for how to get tickets to the National September 11 Museum at the World Trade Center. Keep reading for how to make the most of your time when you visit:
If you have 30 minutes: Skip the introductory video in the theater on the ground floor and go straight to the third floor, to the September 11, 2001 exhibit, which is marked by a distinct glass entryway and revolving doors. This exhibit features news clips from around the world and timelines of the events on that terrrible day that changed everything and all of us.
If you have one hour: Go straight to the floor below to the museum entrance to see the North and South Tower galleries, which offer a comprehensive look of how events on 9/11 played out in each tower, and the aftermath. Visit the Memorial Exhibition with its display of more than 3,000 photos of those who died in the terror attack, and touchscreen tables that tell us about their lives, including oral histories from friends and families.
If you have two hours or more: With this amount of time, you can see just about everything, including the Rebirth at Ground Zero film, which traces the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex. Be sure to decompress in Foundation Hall, is a good place to sit and compose your thoughts.
Guided tours: Book a 60 minute tour with a September 11 Museum staff guide when you book your ticket online. Tours are in English and cost around $15 more than the ticket admission price. NYC sightseeing tour company packages which include the National September 11 Museum also include a guided tour, but it is with one of the sightseeing company’s tour guides, not with a National September 11 Museum staff guide.