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It’s pretty easy to take the Subway to the Empire State Building or One World Trade Center.
Every workday, more than 5,400,000 people pass through the turnstiles of the New York City subway system and somehow manage to find the way to their destinations.
However, according to Uber’s report “A Look Back at 2019,” the two most Uber-ed to locations in the WORLD for 2019 are the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center, respectively.
In the world. Let that sink in for a moment.
Both of these iconic locations are readily accessible by the New York City subway. And as much as I appreciate Uber, as a New York City tour guide, I feel like it’s my job to teach you how to get to these iconic spots by New York City public transport.
If you need to learn the basics of getting around using the New York City metro before you learn how to take the subway to the Empire State Building or One World Trade Center, I wrote a whole guide on learning how to navigate the NYC subway.
How to take the subway to the Empire State Building
- Address: 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001
- Cross-Streets: W 34th and 5th Ave
- Subway Train Lines: B/D/F/M/N/Q/R/W/6
The closest Empire State Building train station is at W 34th Street and 6th Ave, directly accessible by the B/D/F/M/N/Q/R/W trains. That’s eight subway lines within one avenue of the Empire State Building. You can also use the 6 train to E 33rd Street and Park Avenue South, two avenues, and one block away from the Empire State Building.
You can use the B/D/F/M/N/Q/R/W/6 trains to take the subway to the Empire State Building in New York City.
How to get to One World Trade Center by subway
- Address: 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10007
- Cross-Streets: Fulton St and West St
- Subway Train Lines: 1/2/3/A/C/E/R/W/J/Z
Since One World Trade Center is downtown, below the grid, it’s a little more challenging to find. But, not impossible. The Oculus was designed as a transportation hub to service the World Trade Center directly and connects to the Fulton Street Station, another Financial District station complex. The closest subway lines to One World Trade Center, the 1/E/R/W, are found inside the Oculus. While the Fulton Street Station connects the 2/3/4/5/A/C/J/Z. In total, that’s ten different transit lines to take you within two blocks of One World Trade Center.
You can use the 1/2/3/A/C/E/R/W/J/Z subway trains to One World Trade Center in New York City.
But how do you know which subway to take in New York City?
While I don’t know where you’re starting in the city, I can assure you there is an accessible way to get from where you are to the significant attractions using NYC transit. Plus, New Yorkers don’t wing it, and neither should you. We use apps to get around every day.
Aside from Google Maps, my favorite transit app is Citymapper. I don’t think I can honestly describe to you how valuable this app is for commuting. It’s easily the most used app on my phone. Just put in where you are, where you want to go, and by what time you’d like to get there, and the app will generate all of the most convenient, fastest ways to get there based on your parameters. And now, Citymapper supports cities all over the world, so it’s perfect for keeping around for your travels.
Which is the best observatory? Empire State Building vs. One World Observatory
The Empire State Building is the most historic of the two. It’s been featured in many classic films on New York, and it’s a prime example of Art Deco architecture. Since it sits in the middle of Manhattan, you’ll have incredible views of Midtown from all sides, which will include One World Trade Center.
In contrast, One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. It sits at the tip of Manhattan in the Financial District and produces a beautiful view of the 9/11 Memorial, as well as the surrounding boroughs. The Empire State Building will be present in any of your pictures facing north.
No matter which observation deck you choose, you’ll be seeing a unique view of the city. Which view do you prefer? You can always choose both!
Are there any ways to find discounted tickets?
Once you take the subway to the Empire State Building, wouldn’t it be nice to have a reduced price ticket to head to the top? Or, after you’ve visited One World Observatory at One World Trade Center, can you head into the 9/11 Memorial & Museum for less? If you’re already planning to visit some of these iconic museums and sights around the city, it might make sense to bundle them altogether for one discounted price. Learn more about the different New York sightseeing passes here.
It’s faster to take the subway to the Empire State Building or One World Observatory. Actually, New Yorkers say that it’s often faster to take the subway than take a car to get anywhere in the city. The next time you’re here, take a risk. Take your time and take the subway. You can do it, I believe in you!
Do you take the subway in New York City? Have you tried to take the subway to the Empire State Building or One World Trade Center? Why or why not? Let me know below!