When and where to see the 9/11 Tribute in Light in NYC

Being in New York on 9/11 is very emotional. On the night of each anniversary, two giant beams of light are projected into the sky to commemorate the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. We’ll let you know what exactly Tribute in Light is, when it takes place, and where you should go to see it.

What is Tribute in Light?

9/11 tribute in light

Tribute in Light is a commemorative, giant light installation that pays tribute to all victims of the 9/11 terror attacks. It consists of two beams of light that are projected into the sky from a place close to Ground Zero. They are not emerging from the two reflecting pools as many would assume. Instead, the lights are projected from a parking garage near Ground Zero (Battery Park Garage at 70 Greenwich St).

A total of 88 lightbulbs (44 each) are used to create the beams, which resemble the two Twin Towers.

First planned as a one-time event exactly six months after the September 11 attacks, Tribute in Light is now an annual event. It has become a symbol that represents the unbreakable spirit of New York.

When to see Tribute in Light

tribute in light nyc

As mentioned, Tribute in Light is an annual event. It takes place on the night of September 11 and stays lit from sunset through the morning of September 12. You’ll have the best visibility when it’s completely dark outside. Expect a sunset in New York in September around 7:15 pm.

The National 9/11 Memorial itself will be closed in the morning, with ceremonies. It typically opens to the public from 3 pm until midnight.

After Tribute In Light was first canceled due to COVID concerns, the light was turned back on by Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio. Tribute in Light will take place in 2020.

The best places to see Tribute in Light

tribute in light seen from brooklyn

If you want to experience Tribute in Light in person, the best place to take in the view and take photos is not necessarily from the National September 11 Memorial. The beams are projected from Battery Parking Garage and not the two Memorial pools as many might assume. The Parking Garage is located south of Ground Zero. While you won’t have the best views from the 9/11 Memorial, it is nevertheless the most meaningful place to be that night.

The two beams reach up to four miles into the sky. 60-miles radius around the area, making them easy to spot from a distance. In fact, the view from the distance is the more aesthetic one. From outside of Manhattan, let’s say the New Jersey waterfront, you will get a perfect view of the skyline. The two beams echo the twin towers.

Profilbild Steffen Kneist
About the author

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

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