Tours of the United Nations Building in New York

This post has all the information needed to take a tour of the United Nations Headquarters, including tips on how to get there, tickets and on nearby sights.

 

 

GUIDED TOURS OF THE U.N.

Their guided tours are a great way to learn more about the organization and its contributions to the world order.

Tours are offered Monday-Friday, between 9:30 am and 4:45 pm and last between 45 minutes and an hour. There are NO WEEKEND TOURS. The Visitors Center is open on the weekends, but you will not be able to see any other areas of the building.
Tours are offered in the six official languages of the United Nations, which are: English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, and Russian. Tours are also sometimes offered in German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, and Swedish. If for some reason a booked language tour is not available when you arrive, the tour will be conducted in English.

About the Guides

  • There are 24 United Nations Tour Guides.
  • The guides are from 15 different countries and speak a combined 12 languages.
  • Tour Guides are referred to as United Nations Ambassadors to the Public because of their direct contact with millions of visitors.
  • The guides are briefed every morning so that they will be current on the ongoing work of the organization.
  • Guides also sometimes wear the native dress of their home country.

Other things to do at the United Nations

If you decide not to take a tour, there is plenty to do at the UN. You can visit their exhibits, browse their bookshoppurchase a souvenir, and send a postcard with a UN stamp!

You can also dine alongside UN delegates at the Delegates Dining Room. You must make a reservation by calling 1-917-367-3314. For a less expensive meal, try the casual Visitor’s Café in the Visitor’s Center.

 


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HOW TO GET TICKETS

Tickets can be purchased online at the UN’s Visitor Center website page. Tickets are sold through this site via an online vendor. (If you purchase with a credit card, Vendini Tickets is the name that will appear on your statement.)  

Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Visitors Center for the next available tour that day. Because of limited availability, it is strongly recommended that you purchase tickets in advance.

Prices as of 2018 (Add $2 if you purchase tickets online).

  • Adults $22
  • Seniors (60 and up): $15
  • Students (with ID): $15
  • Children (5-12 years old): $13
  • Children under 5 years old are not permitted on  tours
  • There are kid-friendly tours offered as well. Check here for more information
  • Purchase tickets here.

Planning your Visit

  • For security reasons, any guests over the age of 16 are required to have government-issued photo ID.
  • You will be required to go through security screening and this may take time so arrive about an hour prior to your tour so you will not be late. 
  • There is no bag check available. You will need to carry any bags or backpacks for the entire tour. If you have bags and would like to store them somewhere during your visit to the UN, look at our post on Where to Store Luggage in New York City.
  • You will check in at the Cashier’s Desk for your tour. If you are more than 15 minutes late your reservation may not be honored.
  • There are no restrooms along the tour route, so take care of any needs before the tour begins.
  • Tours take place during working hours, so groups are asked to keep quiet while walking in between stops.
  • Bring your passport! You are technically leaving US soil and entering a territory owned by all 193 member states, so you can get a special passport stamp. (Not required for entry, but an interesting souvenir.)
  • For more information see the U.N.’s website.

 


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GETTING TO THE UNITED NATIONS 

How to get to the United Nations Building in New York

The Visitor Entrance is at First Avenue and 46th Street. 

You can use this link to Google Maps to get exact directions from your departure location to the U.N. 

By bus:  The crosstown M42 bus heading east. The Uptown M15 bus along 1st Avenue stops in front of the U.N. 

By subway:  Take the 4/5/6 trains to Grand Central-42nd Street Station). Exit Grand Central Station on 42nd Street (look for signs that say “42nd Street Exit”.  Once on the street, you can walk along 42nd Street to 1st Avenue and then walk north 4 blocks to the Visitor Entrance. If you don’t want to walk from Grand Central, you can take the M42 bus heading east on 42nd Street. It is a free transfer from the subway.

By ferry: The East River ferry has a stop at 34th Street and 1st Avenue. It costs the same as the subway and you will have fantastic views during your ride. See our post about the East River Ferry.

By car: We advise you to not drive to the UN, as there is no visitor parking and traffic in Midtown is very heavy.

 


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NEARBY SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES

You may want to link your trip to the United Nations with a few other activities in the area. 

 


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