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This post has all the information needed to take a tour of the United Nations Headquarters, including information about tickets, directions, what you will see there and nearby sights.
United Nations’ guided tours are a great way to learn more about the organization and its contributions to the world order.
You must purchase tickets for the tour.
If you prefer to visit the United Nations for free, you can, but you will not see any of the significant parts of the Headquarters.
See below to find out what you can see without taking a tour.
Tours are offered Monday-Friday, between 9:00 am and 4:45 pm and last between 45 minutes to 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.
On the tour, you will visit the
Since 2019, the UN started offering tours for children ages 5 through 10. The tour includes a visit to the kid-friendly UN Kids Corridor”.
Guides interact with children and role-play so that young visitors learn how the UN relates to their lives.
The Corridor has huge world maps on the walls, mounted flags of the countries that are included in the Security Council, and even an actual refugee tent.
Check here for more information.
Whether you take a tour or not, there is plenty to do at the United Nations.
The lobby and atrium are open for visits and you can see their permanent and changing exhibits.
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.
NOTE: The UN no longer offers the opportunity to have your passport stamped.
Instead, the UN Post Office sells souvenir passports for $1.00 which you can have stamped for free.
Also, they will stamp any type of paper product, such as postcards, pamphlets or even blank paper. This makes for a unique one-of-a-kind souvenir.
Tickets can be purchased online at the UN’s Visitor Center website page.
Note that 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.
Purchase tickets here.
The Visitor Entrance is at First Avenue and 45th Street.
You can use this link to Google Maps to get exact directions from your departure location to 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 bus: The crosstown M42 bus heading east. The Uptown M15 bus along 1st Avenue stops in front of the U.N.
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.
Be sure that everyone in your group who is 18 years or older (and unaccompanied children 12 years and older) has their government-issued photo ID, such as a passport or drivers license.
Go to the Visitor Check-in Office at 801 First Avenue at 45th Street, across the street from the UN.
For 9:30 am and 9:45 am ticket holders, please be advised that the Check-in Office opens at 9:00 am.
Because you must go through a security screening, which may take some time, the UN asks that you arrive an hour prior to your tour so you will not be late.
You won’t be able to bring in big bags or tripods. We have great suggestions for where to store your bags for under $6.
Note: If you are more than 15 minutes late your reservation may not be honored.
For more information about what to expect when you arrive, see the UN website.
What you can and cannot bring
The UN takes security seriously. Check their long list of prohibited items here.
You CAN bring the following:
You may want to link your trip to the United Nations with a few other activities in the area.
Explore Grand Central Terminal (also a great place to grab food!).
For a stunning view of the NYC skyline, ride the aerial tram to Roosevelt Island. Once you are on Roosevelt Island it is a lovely place to spend an hour or 2.
See our Self-Guided Roosevelt Island Tour for information on what to do on the island.
You can also visit the New York Public Library. They offer free tours daily.