New York City, NY

Is the Vessel NYC free?


The number of incredible attractions in New York City is endless, you could spend a whole month going out every day, and still, you wouldn’t be able to cover it all. Not only are there thousands of interesting places to visit, but also there is a new place going on every week.

One of the newest landmarks that have become a must-see place in NYC is The Vessel, an art installation that is part of the redevelopment of the Hudson Yards Projects. The Vessel opened its doors in November 2019 after a two-year construction period.

At first glance, the Vessel seems to be shaped like a giant honey-comb. The design was inspired by the ancient step-wells of India. The whole structure consists of 2.500 steps and 80 viewing landings where visitors can walk around and take stunning pictures. If you happen to have friends that live in NYC, then probably your Instagram feed was flooded by inspiring photos in this place.

Whether you are a New Yorker, you’re visiting NYC for the first time, or it’s your eleventh time in the city that never sleeps, you can’t miss the experience of watching the sunset from The Vessel. But beware! You will need a ticket to get in.

The first you need to know before visiting The Vessel is that you need tickets to get in. They are free but mandatory to access the structure. No matter how far you’ve come, if you don’t have your ticket you will miss out on the experience.

Who owns The Vessel?

The centerpiece of Hudson Yards has made its way into its visitor’s hearts and become a new soaring landmark of New York. The interactive installation was designed by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio, an award-winning British design and architecture studio.

Heatherwick is known for designing and building many controversial and modern art installations around the world. Some of his most famous works are the 2012 Olympic Cauldron, the New Routemaster bus in London, and the UK pavilion at Expo 2010.

Is it worth visiting The Vessel?

I must confess, I used to believe it wasn’t such a big deal; the structure is incredible, but I thought there wasn’t much to it. After I finally decided to get tickets and see what the fuss was all about, I realized I had been wrong all along. From the outside, the building has an attractive shape, but once you step in and take a look at the interior, you understand the hype.

The symmetrical edges of the rims are truly amazing and the way sunlight hits the different levels and stairs make it a whole spectacle. If you go in the afternoon, you’ll probably find dozens of photographers capturing how every floor gives you a different perspective of the installation.

So, my answer is an absolute yes! It is worth it.

What you need to know about The Vessel

I want to climb de 2.500 steps that make up this awesome place, there is some information you need to consider. Keep in mind that you will only be able to access the structure if you have your tickets.

How can you get your tickets?

The number of people that visit this amazing place grows every day, that is why you won’t be able to just get there and make your way in. You need to get our tickets in advance up to 14 days before you visit the Hudson Yards official website.

If you happen to be around and decide to give it a try without tickets, you might be lucky to find some Flex Pass tickets.

What are Flex Pass tickets?

Visitors from out of town had been asking for more flexibility in the entry since many don’t have the chance to get the tickets in advance. The Flex Pass ticket allows you to book a reservation up to six months in advance, paying a $10.00 fee for each ticket.

One of the benefits of these tickets is that you’re not limited to a specific hour, you can attend any time of the day during opening hours on your selected date. This is ideal if you’re traveling to New York and want to make sure you don’t miss The Vessel, and for big groups that want to ensure their entry.

How does entry work?

The entry conditions will vary depending on the type of ticket you’ve got:

  • Free tickets: These can be acquired on the website and presented at the front gate of The Vessel. Free tickets have a specific entry time and date printed, and you need to arrive within this time frame.
  • Flex Pass tickets: There’s no time limit for these tickets, the only indicator you must follow is the date.

What are its opening hours?

The Vessel operates from Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 9 pm.

However, if you want to enjoy the best experience in the place, I recommend you to get there about an hour before sunset. This is the perfect time to get great pictures and view the breathtaking sunset behind the buildings and all across Jersey’s impressive horizon.

Is there a time limit to walk through The Vessel?

No, there isn’t. You can take your time and appreciate every step of the structure at your own pace. However, during the tourist season, there might be a time limitation of 30 minutes, so everyone gets to enjoy The Vessel.

Depending on how much time you spend in each landing, 30 minutes to 1 hour is enough time to go all the way up and get back down; the whole building is about 16 floors tall.

Even though the view from The Vessel is not as wide as from any other observation deck in the city, the combination of impressive architecture, beautiful surroundings, and the way sunlight illuminates every step make it an unforgettable experience you need to live.

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Fulltime traveller. You gonna see here travels tips, best places to go and something that I found on these trips.


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