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This post will show you how to visit Trump Tower on 5th Ave. in Midtown Manhattan. It is the central headquarters of the Trump Organization. It’s also where Donald J. Trump’s penthouse is. Of course, since Trump was elected president, the building has become even more significant as a destination. This post contains information that will help you decide if a visit is worth your time. Find out about the food options, what to see inside and where the luxurious public restrooms are! This building is also on our self-guided Midtown Manhattan Tour and is just one of the many free things to do in NYC.
If visiting the tower is not in your itinerary, you can still take a peek inside by taking this virtual tour:
WHERE IS TRUMP TOWER IN NEW YORK?
Trump Tower is located at 721 5th Avenue between 56th and 57th Street (map). It is open to the public from 8 am until 10 pm. To enter the building, you will have to pass through some a serious security check, including X-ray scanners for bags. However, the process to get in will take under 10 minutes, if not less.
Tip: If you are new to New York City, you may find that our post Navigating the New York Subway comes in handy.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO INSIDE
Trump Tower is a 58-story skyscraper with a mix of apartments, offices and retail stores. The first 5 floors are an open atrium with a few shops and eateries. The remaining floors are divided between 26 floors of office space and 39 floors for condominiums. The atrium and a small roof garden of the 5th level are the only parts open to the public so you won’t need more than an hour to check it all out. Even with the security checks, you won’t need too much time, unless you plan on a full meal at the Trump Grille. In that case, give yourself time to as you would dining out at any other restaurant.
First things first, pass through the security checkpoints which don’t take as long as one might expect. Remember, the Secret Service are not there to smile for the camera — they have a job to do! But you can probably get a picture near one of them. Once inside the atrium, gaze at the 7-story indoor waterfall and pose for photos. Trump gave many campaign interviews in front of this waterfall so you can say you were showered with history during your visit. Be sure to ride the escalator – the same one Trump used when he announced his candidacy. If you ride up to the 5th Floor you will find a roof garden with a few tables and chairs. It is open after 11 am.
Grab a coffee at the Starbucks on the 2nd level and enjoy some fresh Midtown Manhattan air. Do some window-shopping at the Trump Store where you can pick up a tie or cufflinks from the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection. Check out Ivanka’s line of purses and sunglasses or pick up the reissued edition of “The Art of The Deal”. Get a “Make America Great Again” hat or coffee mug! The store is open daily 9am-6pm.
One way to experience Trump Tower is to have a meal or drink there. Reviews are mixed about the quality of the food and the overall experience. Many people seem to enjoy getting a drink at the bar and the ice cream parlor also gets rave reviews.
Trump Grill is a full-dining restaurant located in the Atrium. Open Daily 11:30am-4pm. See the menu here. Reviews on TripAdvisor give the Grill 3 1/2 stars. IN December 2016, Vanity Fair magazine published this article, Trump Grill Could Be The Worst Restaurant In America which caused the then President-Elect to go on a Twitter rampage.
Trump Bar is located off the lobby and is open Monday-Friday from 12pm-10pm. The drinks are priced a little bit higher than the standard for New York City. Ranging from $12-18 for cocktails or a glass of wine. (See the menu here). From February to October, they have a ‘Happy Hour’ from 4pm-7pm, offering cocktails, beer and wine for $7 and under. (If you aren’t familiar with what Happy Hour is see our post about it).
Trump Ice Cream Parlor has many excellent flavors of ice cream and also serves sorbet and fresh juices. Prices are standard for Midtown Manhattan starting at $4 a scoop. It is located in the Atrium and is open daily from 10am-5pm.
If you want non-Trump snack or drink there is a Starbucks is on the second level and you will find that is pretty much the same as every other Starbucks in the world, just in a much more opulent setting. As always, Starbucks has free wi-fi. For information about where to find free wi-fi in New York City, our post Where to Find Free Wi-Fi in New York will come in handy.
TIP: Be sure to take advantage of the luxurious public restrooms on the lower level!!
SECURITY AND PROTESTS
During the election, security was light, which made it possible for 20-year-old Stephen Rogata, a Virginia resident to scale the Tower’s glass walls using large suction cups. Why was he climbing the Tower? He just wanted to ask for a meeting with Trump. He went undetected for almost three hours making it to the 21st floor before the NY Police Department apprehended him and he never did get that meeting. He did get his 10 minutes of fame though.
Following the election, Trump Tower became the location of protests against his political agenda. In fact night following the election, a massive crowd gathered. Since then there have been multiple protests with crowds of thousands. Immediately after the election in November 2016, the New York City Police Department provided heightened security was installed at the Trump Tower. From Election Day, November 2016 to the inauguration January 20, 2017, New York City paid the bill of $37 million dollars – amounting to half-a-million dollars a day! Now the Secret Service provides most of the security, even when Trump is not in the Tower. However, members of the First Family still live there, including Melania Trump and son Barron.
APARTMENTS AND FAMOUS RESIDENTS
It shouldn’t surprise you that living in Trump Tower is pretty expensive – but just HOW expensive is expensive? Here are some prices and what you get for your money.
If you aren’t in the market to buy, why not rent? This 1 bedroom apartment with spectacular views is 1092 sq. ft. with a corner living room and a corner bedroom and two full bathrooms. But the kitchen is awfully small! It seems that many residents of Trump Tower don’t do a lot of cooking at home. With some of the top restaurants in the world within a short cab ride away, why eat in? If you are only in town for a month or so, the apartment comes furnished. The price tag: $6,500 a month. This is actually not a bad price in Manhattan believe it or not!
If you are thinking of staying for good in New York, here are a few apartments in Trump Tower you may want to look into. It’s not hard to get an apartment there, provided you have the money. In December 2016, there were 11 apartments for sale in Trump Tower. If you have $2.1 million on hand you’ll get a one-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom 1,052 sq. ft. on the 31st floor. Need more room and an even better view, fork over $11 million and you’ll get a two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom 2,200 sq. ft. on the 58th floor. Here’s what you get when living in Trump Tower:
Believe it or not, until March of 2017, an apartment in the Tower was listed on Airbnb, the home-stay rental website. It was available to stay at for about $300 to $450! Compared to hotel listings in the area, it actually isn’t bad. Because it is illegal in NYC to rent most apartments for less than 30 days when the apartment resident isn’t there, the apartment resident took down the listing when the New York Times caught on to it and started asking questions. But not before some people had the opportunity to stay in the Tower. Reviews left on the Airbnb site described the experience as “surreal”. Another guest wrote “The view is amazing! … The only inconvenient (if you take it as so) is that when you arrive, you have to go through a check by the Secret Service, kinda like in the airport.” Read more about this whack story on the Times website.
The Don’s apartment
The most famous residents are, of course, the Trumps, although Trump’s new home is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Trumps live on the top three floors of the 58-story building with a sweeping panoramic view of Central Park. Everywhere you look (in pictures or videos, unless you are invited for a visit) you see marble floors, 24-carat gold, and chandeliers made of crystal. This video clip from The Apprentice shows you the opulence that Trump surrounds himself with.
There are 262 residential condos many of which are the homes of celebrities and prestigious business people. One current well-known owner is Mexican billionaire Juan Beckmann Vidal, head of the family that controls Jose Cuervo (think Tequila!). Past residents include entertainers Michael Jackson, Johnny Carson, Paul Anka, Bruce Willis, and Liberace. One intriguing fact is the number of residents who have been involved in criminal conduct such as racketeering, tax evasion, felony assault, drug trafficking. Many of these people had served prison time before buying an apartment in the tower or left the tower in handcuffs. More juicy details can be found in the scathing and humorous article from the New York Post, published on Inauguration Day 2017, The bizarre history of Trump Tower and why Donald loathes to leave it.
As of March 2017, Trump Tower has a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor and reading the reviews gives you a good idea what to expect and not to expect. Many of the visitors were drawn to the Tower because of the fact that Trump is now President. One reviewer summed it up by saying “We saw the indoor waterfall wall (where Trump gave several campaign interviews), the escalator, and had some snacks at the cafe. Now we can say we’ve visited the new President’s home.” One otherwise unimpressed reviewer still rated the tower 5-stars saying “Why five stars? Donald Trump is going to be President. Trump Tower is an accessible site for folks seeking to get a little glimpse of his world.” Another guest wrote simply, “Where else can you walk through the home of a President and grab a Starbucks?”
Those who rated the experience in the 4-5 star range didn’t expect much going in and were pleased with what they found. “They had a very nice bar, great restrooms, a cute little souvenir shop and an ice cream parlor.” Almost all reviews from 2016 onward mention the presidential election was one reason that drew them to the building and what made the visit exciting and interesting. One reviewer stated “whatever you may think of the man, the building is worth visiting. It offers dining and shopping, lots of gold surfaces and a large waterfall wall. Impressive and nothing like you’ve seen before.”
Those who had an average experience felt that there wasn’t much to see but if you are in New York why not go to say you did! “We waited 30 min to get a Starbucks just to say we got it at Trump Tower. We toyed around a little bit but there is nothing spectacular to see inside.” Another comment said “We went because of a snowstorm and to say we were there. There isn’t a whole lot in there but a Starbucks and a bar. Beautiful interior but not much else”
Those who gave a 1-star rating found nothing of value inside, neither the architecture nor the food. One guest commented, “What a gaudy, tacky pile….The centerpiece is a large waterfall that stretches much of the height of the atrium. Sadly this height and mild flow give the constant sound of “slap slap slap” like a 60-decibel toilet cubicle soundtrack.”
NEARBY ATTRACTIONS AND SHOPPING
Trump Tower is in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Since it won’t take up all of your day, there are many other things you can do before or after your visit.
See world-famous art at the Museum of Modern Art located nearby at 3rd Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue. Stroll around Rockefeller Center using our self-guided tour. Explore Central Park on your own or join us on one of our pay-what-you-like tours.
Within walking distance, you have Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, Salvatore Ferragamo and Prada. Bergdorf Goodman, Rolex, Armani, and Versace are also nearby as is the ever-popular Niketown USA. If you walk south from the Tower, you will find price-friendly trendy shops like Hollister, MAC, Uniqlo, and TopShop.
Tip: Need to check the internet or recharge your phone? Walk north to the Apple Store at 5th Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets. It is open around 24/7, 365 days a year!
Written by Courtney Shapiro