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    The United Nations Headquarters in New York: how to get there and advice for a guided tour

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    Did you know that New York truly offers everything, even the possibility of walking internationally? That's right: just go to Manhattan on 1st Avenue between East 42nd and East 48th Street, to find yourself out of US soil, that is, in the area that belongs to theUnited Nations Organization, which since 1952 has housed the complex of buildings which is the seat of the most important world organization in history.


    • Where is it and how to get there
    • Useful information for the visit 
    • Where to sleep in the area

    Where is it and how to get there

    The UN headquarters in New York is made up of a series of buildings and a well-kept outdoor area with sculptures donated by some member states, in which the Rose Garden, a garden with numerous varieties of the homonymous plant. Outside is also the famous line of flags of each member state, placed in alphabetical order.

    The exact address is 760 United Nations Plaza, but being a rather large area, I recommend the main entrance as a reference point Visitors’ Center between 46th Street and 1st Avenue. As you can imagine, the area is super protected and, to get the entry pass, you will have to go through the control area located at 801 1st Avenue at the intersection with 45th Street.

    The complex of buildings covers a total area of ​​approximately 7 hectares in East Manhattan, on the banks of the East River. I recommend that you take a walk along the river after your visit and maybe reach Roosevelt Island, from whose park you have a wonderful view of the UN headquarters. In this article you will find tips on how to get to the island by taking the Roosevelt Island Tramway, the cable car that connects it to Manhattan.

    The most convenient metro stop to reach the United Nations Building is the Grand Central – 42 St near the Gran Central Station with lines 4, 5, 6, 7 and S. From the station walk east on 42nd Street and in about 10 minutes on foot you will reach the UN headquarters. On the way you will pass by the famous Chrysler Building, the historic XNUMXs Art-Decò building.

    Useful information for the visit 

    To access, you need a passport and, if you really want to see with your own eyes the rooms where some of the decisions that have changed the fate of the modern world have been made, you will have to book in advance a tour via the official website. You can also buy tickets at the entrance, but the number is limited and therefore you risk not finding availability.

    The UN headquarters in New York welcomes over one million visitors every year. By booking a tour, you too can see the great hall where it meets the General Assembly and learn in detail the history of the UN, its headquarters, the importance of the Security Council and peacekeepers, and see the many works of art donated to the United Nations by member states, as well as the exhibition dedicated to peace and disarmament with objects from Hiroshima and Nagasaki that survived the destruction of the atomic bomb. The gifts, true works of art, embellish both the interior and the exterior of the buildings and it is right outside that you can admire the Peace Bell donated by Japan and the Sphere in the sphere by Arnaldo Pomodoro.

    Tours are scheduled from Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 16:45. There are no weekend tours. During the weekend, or if you decide not to take a guided tour, you will still be able to access the Visitors Center and the souvenir shop, where you can buy and send a postcard with the UN postage stamp. The tour lasts about an hour and is held in the official languages UN: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian. You can request a tour in Spanish in advance or, when booking online, check if there is already a tour in Spanish during the days you are visiting New York.

    Il cost of the tour it is $ 22 for adults, $ 15 for seniors over 60 and students, $ 13 for children aged 5-12. For the latter there is also a tour organized specifically for the little ones who are curious to discover and better understand the work and importance of the UN. For safety reasons children under 5 are not allowed.

    Brief historical notes on the UN Headquarters and other UN buildings

    Having established that the UN headquarters were to be built on the Rockefeller property located east of Manhattan, between February and June 1947 a team of architects, engineers and builders from all over the world proposed 45 different projects. The construction of the main office followed the project of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, with some changes proposed, among other things, by the famous French urban planner Le Corbusier.

    Certainly the most famous building is the glass palace, where the United Nations Secretariat meets. It was built in about two years and inaugurated in January 1952. Its height of over 150 meters dominates the other buildings: the General Assembly Building, Conference Bulding where the Security Council and the Biblioteca Dag Hammarskjöld.

    It is essential to bring your passport and go through security, so it is recommended that you arrive around An hour before of the start of the booked tour. There is no luggage storage and they may not allow too large backpacks to pass, so if possible leave the superfluous at the hotel so that you can enjoy the visit without unpleasant inconveniences.

    Where to sleep in the area

    The United Nations Building is located in the Turtle Bay area of ​​Manhattan, a slightly off-center area of ​​Midtown that overlooks the East River. If you want to find accommodation as close as possible to the Glass Palace, you can consult this page. If, on the other hand, you prefer to have a more general overview with advice for each single district of the city, you can click on the link below.

    Where to sleep in New York

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