Tucked between the Financial District and the Hudson River, Battery Park City is a mainly residential neighborhood despite its proximity to the financial hub of New York. The history of the neighborhood dates back to 1623, when the Dutch settled at the tip of Manhattan (then New Amsterdam). Castle Clinton, still standing today, welcomed New York's earliest immigrants before Ellis Island was ever built.
Hop off at the Battery Park stop to walk or bike along the waterfront esplanade offering outstanding views, or visit nearby sights like One World Observatory, the September 11 Memorial & Museum and more.
There's lots to explore, so scroll through our must-do's of this scenic neighborhood.
Hopping off the next stop on the route? Check out our neighborhood guide for South Street Seaport.
1. One World Observatory
One World Trade, also known as the Freedom Tower, is the main structure of the rebuilt World Trade Center in Downtown Manhattan. The building has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Today, One World Trade recaptures the NYC skyline, upholds Manhattan’s distinction as a financial center, and serves as an icon of freedom for the country. Completed in July 2013, the magnificent structure stands at 1,776 ft. (after the year America declared indepence from England), and is currently the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Visit the top deck observatory for awe-inspiring views of the city.
Insider Tip: When you purchase a New York Water Taxi ticket for the All Day Access Pass, you can add on a discounted combo ticket to One World Observatory!
2. National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Opened in 2014, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is one of New York City's most vital landmarks. Learn the story of the tragic events of the September 11th attacks through authentic artifacts, first-person accounts and multimedia displays. The two reflecting pools outside of the museum are the very spot where the Twin Towers, or the previous World Trade Center, once stood. Each of the almost 3,000 victims lost are commemorated and inscribed into the bronze surrounding the two pools. Visitors are asked to remain respectful of these tragedies when visiting the memorial, and keep silent when walking through the reflecting pools to honor each of those victims whose lives were taken.
Insider Tip: When you purchase a New York Water Taxi ticket for the All Day Access Pass, you can add on a discounted combo ticket to the September 11 Memorial & Museum.
3. SeaGlass Carousel
In an effort to add more light to Battery Park's interior, the design team of The Battery Conservancy and the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation came up with the idea for the SeaGlass Carousel, an aquatic carousel to honor the historic location of the first New York Aquarium that closed in 1941. The spiraling pavilion of glass and steel creates a mystical underwater experience for children of all ages, combining art, architecture and music. Each glass fish is custom-designed and internally illuminated with color-changing LED light fixtures to mimic the aesthetics and sounds found deep in the ocean.
4. Castle Clinton
It is said that Castle Clinton is where New York City truly began. Located at the most lower tip of Manhattan, it was initially built to defend the land settled by the Dutch from British invasion in 1812. The land also served as an immigration port, long before Ellis Island opened in 1892. Saved from demolition in 1946, the Castle was restored to its original design by the National Park Service. The site reopened in 1975 as Castle Clinton National Monument, and welcomes millions of visitors each year from all over the world.
5. Trinity Church
The historic Trinity Church on Wall Street features neo-Gothic architecture, magnificent stained-glass windows and vaulted ceilings. Once the tallest building in the city, the church is one of the most recognizable sights in New York City and was once the first thing sailors and voyagers saw when pulling into New York Harbor. Today, though situated in an area overflowing with skyscrapers, Trinity Church holds a place in the Financial District that represents a piece of history. Visitors of all faiths are welcome to come and view some of the oldest stained glass in the U.S., take tours of the historic grounds, or just take a silent moment to themselves.
6. Charging Bull
The Charging Bull, or Wall Street Bull, isn't just any statue. It is one of the most popular statues in New York City. The bronze figure of a bull preparing to charge measures 11 feet in height and weighs 7,000 pounds. The bull is located on Broadway at Bowling Green Park in Lower Manhattan. Because of its position between Wall Street and Battery Park, the bull makes the perfect stop-off when visiting these or other attractions in the area.
7. Nearby Museums
New York City has no shortage of compelling and informative museums, especially when walking around Battery Park City. Visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust, explore the diversity of the Native American people at the National Museum of the American Indian, or learn about some of the city's most iconic skyscrapers at The Skyscraper Museum.