Recommended: Visit the Vessel at Hudson Yards in NYC

Vessel at Hudson Yards in NYC
The Vessel at Hudson Yards in NYC.

If you’re looking for places to visit in New York City this winter, the Vessel at Hudson Yards is worth checking out. We visited while the Vessel when it was -2C / 29F and it was very cold, especially with the wind blowing in our direction. Thankfully, there was a shopping mall right next to Hudson Yards, which we could enter to regain some warmth at intervals. Here’s why you should visit the vessel at Hudson Yards in NYC.

About Hudson Yards

hudson yards new york city
Hudson Yards – from low-rise shipping docks to glass skyscrapers.

Hudson Yards is one of the most significant developments in New York City in recent times. It is said to fundamentally change the skyline of the city, with the replacement of industrial shipping docks with that of glass skyscrapers and man-made structures. According to Wikipedia, the development of Hudson Yards comprise two phases – the first including a public green space and eight structures comprising a hotel, office buildings, a shopping mall and cultural centre known as The Shed. Construction started in 2014 and the developments were completed by 2019. The second phase will include a residential space, office buildings and a school. Construction for the second phase has yet to commence.

About the Vessel

Vessel at Hudson Yards in NYC
The Vessel literally looks like one!

Located in the Hudson Yards Public Square, the Vessel is part of the Hudson Yards development project. It resembles a honeycomb that comprises 16 floors, 154 flights of stairs and 80 landings. While I didn’t think that the actual size of the monument was large, the honeycomb structure makes getting from one end to end quite a hike considering how you would have to traverse a number of staircases to get to the opposite end. According to Wikipedia, the final cost of the Vessel was estimated to be at $200M.

Vessel at Hudson Yards in NYC
Really liked the symmetry of the staircases and landings.
Vessel at Hudson Yards in NYC
Seems like the prime setting for an action movie.
view from the vessel in new york city
Overlooking the train tracks and Jersey City.


Vessel at Hudson Yards in NYC
Staircase to the very top.
Vessel at Hudson Yards in NYC
Despite the cold, the pictures were worth it.

Entry is free but make reservations in advance

Entrance to the Vessel is free, but due to capacity limitations, you will have to make reservations in advance through this website. We didn’t know about this till we got there, and were able to make reservations for a one-hour time slot 20 minutes later. If you’re planning to visit in the coming weeks, do note that the Vessel will be closed from Jan 5 – 14, 2021 for maintenance. There’s an elevator down, so don’t worry if you get tired from the climb – I don’t think it’s actually 16 standard floors – it felt more like 8.

Vessel at Hudson Yards in new york city
Great view! It’s actually better to head towards the structure closest to The Shops such that you get a good view of the structure too.

Place to have lunch (when indoor dining is banned)

vessel the shops hudson yards
The Shops (adjacent to the Vessel) is a great place to take cover from the cold.

If you don’t mind braving the cold, there’s a long bench at the back of the Vessel (known as the Backyard) where you could have lunch, while watching a soccer game on the big screen. Our choice of lunch was Shake Shack (it was on the 4th floor of The Shops, the shopping mall right next to the Vessel. The burger was very good though it got cold very quickly, and my fingers froze 10 minutes into the meal.

shake shack burger hudson yards
Had this burger for lunch in the cold.

The Travelling Squid’s Take – Visit the Vessel at Hudson Yards in NYC

In my opinion, the Vessel is definitely worth a visit due to its architectural uniqueness. We’re used to buildings with a standard flight of staircases, but this structure gives one a feeling of choice – the ability to move both vertically and laterally. Despite the cold, I was glad to get some pictures. Definitely worth a visit and while you’re there, check out The High Line too! More to come in a separate post.

*If you’re planning a trip to Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts is a great place to visit.