Summit One Vanderbilt vs One World Observatory

By Harshitha Jagathiesh

Summit One Vanderbilt, located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, is an exciting addition to New York’s skyline. 

This state-of-the-art observatory has quickly become a must-visit destination. 

The One World Observatory, situated atop the iconic One World Trade Center, has captivated visitors since its unveiling in 2015. 

This breathtaking architectural masterpiece pays homage to resilience and strength as it stands tall at the site of the former Twin Towers. 

This guide will help you make an informed decision and choose between Summit One Vanderbilt and One World Observatory. 


Both SUMMIT One Vanderbilt and One World Observatory are located in New York City’s heart.

One World Observatory is at 117 West St, New York, NY 10006, United States. 

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, on the other hand, is located at 45 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, United States. 

Opening hours

Summit One Vanderbilt is open from 9 am to 12 am.

The One World Observatory is open daily from 9 am to 8 pm. 

However, the last entry time to the Observatory will be one hour before the closing time. 

Observation DeckOpening HoursLast Entry
Summit One Vanderbilt9 am to 12 am11 pm
One World Observatory9 am to 8 pm7 pm

The late closing hours of Summit One Vanderbilt let you enjoy the NYC glowing at night. 

This also offers a more private and romantic viewing experience. 

Ticket Prices

The Summit One Vanderbilt admission tickets for adults aged 13 to 99 years cost $52. 

The cost decreases for youth aged 6 to 12, with the tickets priced at $46, while children up to 5 years of age enjoy free entry.

Find out more about the best Summit One Vanderbilt tickets

For One World Observatory, regular admission for adults aged 13 to 64 is $59, and for seniors aged 65 to 99, it is $57. 

Youth aged 6 to 12 can purchase tickets for $53, and infants up to 5 can visit for free.


The two prominent observation decks offering a birds-eye view of the city’s splendor are Summit One Vanderbilt and One World Observatory.

In this section, we will compare the features of Summit One Vanderbilt and One World Observatory. 

This will enable you to make an informed decision on which experience suits your preferences. 

Features of Summit One Vanderbilt

Summit One Vanderbilt is a remarkable addition to the New York City skyline.

It offers visitors an unforgettable experience at one of Manhattan’s tallest towers. 

Situated on the 59th floor of the One Vanderbilt Tower, Summit One Vanderbilt provides breathtaking 360-degree city views. 

You see Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Central Park, and the Hudson River from this vantage point.

The Summit observation deck is an architectural marvel featuring innovative structural elements that enhance the visitor experience.

Summit provides scientific and digital art exhibits that engage visitors. 

Kenzo Digital designs these art installations. 

The Ascent elevator of the Summit One Vanderbilt takes the visitors 1401 feet above the street level.

This is the highest vantage point in New York City. 

Summit One Vanderbilt offers an exquisite dining experience with multiple dining options. 

You’ll find a range of culinary choices to satisfy your cravings. 

Features of One World Observatory

One World Observatory, located in the 100th to 102nd  One World Trade Center, is a world-renowned observation deck.

It offers visitors an extraordinary experience and iconic sights. 

One of the standout features here is the Sky Portal. 

This unique installation allows you to step onto a glass floor that simulates the sensation of floating above the city streets, nearly 1,000 feet below. 

Upon reaching the top, visitors are invited to the See Forever Theater.

The theater displays a dynamic presentation that immerses them in the history and spirit of New York City.

One World Observatory features an interactive skyline guide called City Pulse. 

OWO offers a range of dining options to satisfy your culinary desires. 

Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a sit-down meal, you’ll find a variety of eateries that cater to different tastes. 

One World Observatory hosts various special events and experiences throughout the year. 

Observation decks

Summit One Vanderbilt provides breathtaking 360-degree views of the city skyline, catering to tourists and locals.

The observation deck features a sleek interior design, creating a modern and stylish atmosphere. 

Encircled by glass walls, the deck offers unobstructed skyline views in every direction.

This allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the cityscape. 

The lobby also has amenities, including a café, lounge, and retail space, providing a comfortable and enjoyable setting.

The standout feature of the Summit One Vanderbilt experience is the Ascent, an elevator.

The Ascent transports visitors a staggering 1,401 feet above ground level, providing a unique city perspective. 

The observation deck’s top level boasts a bar and restaurant, allowing guests to indulge in delicious food and drinks while admiring the stunning vista.

In contrast, the One World Observatory Observation Deck is situated on the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors of the One World Trade Center. 

It primarily offers an indoor viewing area without interactive experiences. 

One World Observatory stands at a height of only 1,250 feet, which doesn’t quite beat the extensive views of Summit One!

Regarding observation decks, Summit One Vanderbilt stands out as the winner- making it a must-visit location!

Summit One Vanderbilt vs. One World Observatory – where do you get the best view

Summit One Vanderbilt observation deck boasts an expansive glass observatory deck that offers panoramic city views. 

Perched atop one of the tallest buildings, visitors can enjoy the breathtaking sights of New York City, the Hudson and East Rivers, and the Atlantic Ocean. 

The observation deck provides interactive experiences like audio-guided tours and virtual and augmented reality to enhance visitors’ engagement.

In contrast, One World Observatory offers a similar view but from a lower position.

One World is at the top of the iconic One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Visitors can marvel at sights such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the entire Manhattan skyline, and parts of New Jersey and Brooklyn.

While both observation decks offer spectacular views, Summit One Vanderbilt stands out as the clear winner regarding the best view. 

Additionally, the interactive experiences available at Summit One Vanderbilt add an extra layer of fun and excitement to the overall experience.

Expected Crowd

Summit One Vanderbilt and One World Observatory are two popular tourist attractions in New York City, known for breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences.

However, they differ in terms of crowd expectations. 

Summit One Vanderbilt offers incredible panoramic skyline views, making it a magnet for tourists and locals seeking to enjoy its impressive vistas.

On the other hand, One World Observatory is a well-known tourist destination, but it may not be as accommodating to large crowds. 

The observation deck is comparatively smaller than Summit One Vanderbilt, limiting the space for movement and exploration.

In summary, Summit One Vanderbilt attracts more tourists and locals because it is a relatively newer and more prominent skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. 


1. Is One World observatory the same as Summit One Vanderbilt?

One World Observatory and Summit One Vanderbilt are two different observation decks located in different buildings in New York City.

One World Observatory is situated in the One World Trade Center, the main building of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. 

It is known for being the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and offers stunning views of the city from its 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors.

Summit One Vanderbilt is located in the One Vanderbilt Tower in Midtown Manhattan. 

While it is not as tall as the One World Trade Center, it still provides impressive city views from its observation deck on the 59th floor and above.

2. Which is better – Summit One Vanderbilt or One World Observatory?

Whether Summit One Vanderbilt or One World Observatory is better depends on personal preferences and what you value in an observation deck experience.

Summit One Vanderbilt, located in Midtown Manhattan, offers a newer and sleeker environment with its modern interior design. 

It provides impressive views of the city’s iconic landmarks and boasts amenities such as a café, lounge, and retail space to enhance the overall experience.

On the other hand, One World Observatory, situated in the One World Trade Center, provides expansive views that encompass both downtown and parts of Midtown.

The Sky Pod elevators and the See Forever Theater add to the immersive experience.

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About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore