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United Nations Headquarters

A riverfront gathering place for the world’s most powerful political leaders, this building is also home to a surprisingly diverse array of tourist attractions.

For some people it is synonymous with power, for others the United Nations Headquarters is simply a beautiful place to walk around. Next to the East River and just across the water from Brooklyn, this is an area filled with sights.

The main building of the complex, the Secretariat, was designed by an international cohort of architects first to employ what is now known as the International Style of architecture. Even the design of this building was an act of diplomacy. Notable German architect Mies van der Rohe, for instance, was barred from participating in the project, due to his ties to Germany during World War II.

Take a guided tour of the building, which includes a visit to the General Assembly Hall and the Security Council Chamber. See remnants of the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945. They include coins, bottles and a statue. Browse exhibits in the building's public spaces, featuring photographs and multimedia presentations covering the U.N.’s mission.

Stroll through the grounds and gardens for the many works of art. Watch light pour through a Marc Chagall stained glass. Get close to the famous knotted revolver sculpture, Non-Violence. View historic diplomatic gifts from the Soviet Union, Japan and Brazil. Among them is a large bronze sculpture from the Soviet Government to mark the 45th anniversary of the U.N.’s founding.

The headquarters is open every day, except for some major holidays. To find out more about the tours, including ticket prices and discounts, visit the U.N.’s website.

Subway access to this part of Manhattan is limited, but Grand Central Station is directly west of the United Nations Headquarters by a few blocks. While the neighborhood surrounding the U.N. is mostly residential, Murray Hill is walking distance southwest of here. Savor some of the best Indian cuisine in Manhattan that the neighborhood is known for and why it’s nicknamed “Curry Hill.” Finish the evening with a movie at the AMC Loews Kips Bay 15-screen theater, just a few blocks away, or enjoy a stroll along the East River walkway.

Popular Activities at United Nations Headquarters

Like to make your stop at United Nations Headquarters even more memorable? Don't forget to try a few of these things to do:

Why not think about purchasing an Architecture of Midtown Walking Tour? It's one of the best experiences on offer here.

For many more things to do, examine our New York things to do page.


Guide to Exploring United Nations Headquarters


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