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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 01 May, 2023

Since 1952, this iconic building on Manhattan’s east side is where world leaders and their top diplomatic representatives have gathered to debate and decide on everything from war to sanctions to how to alleviate hunger and disease in the world. It’s a historic, even uplifting sight, with the flags of nations flying outside, a bastion of hope that one day the world can live together in peace.

While you’re there

The public areas feature 65 works of art – mainly gifts from member states. You can download an app that explains the story behind them.


Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

It’s a good 30-minute trek east from the nearest subway station at Grand Central Terminal (42nd Street) – which is why most visitors take a cab.

Access to the building is, at time of writing, via pre-booked guided tours only. Guided tours (approximately 1 hour, ages 5+ only) are available Monday to Friday. Tickets must be purchased online in advance from the booking website.

Certain parts will be off-limits to tours when the UN is in session. Security screening to get into the UN building is quite tight, so allow extra time if on a schedule or you have a tour booked.

When to do it

The Visitors’ Centre on 1st Avenue at 46th Street is open Monday to Friday.

Check for closures during UN sessions, especially the epic autumn General Assembly gatherings when huge crowds demonstrate outside. It’s exciting, but restricts visitor access inside.

Destination guides


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New York City

New York, United States of America (USA)

New York City

The ‘city that never sleeps’ is a 24/7 thrill of soaring skyscrapers, jaw-dropping architecture, dynamic culture and world-class art, dining and performing arts scenes.