send to printer

Grand Central Terminal, Midtown East

42nd Street and Park Avenue
Midtown East
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 340 2345 (tours)'s insider take:

In the entrance pavilion to this truly grand terminal, there is a small plaque dedicated to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. It doesn't celebrate her status as a former First Lady—it thanks her for almost single-handedly saving this extraordinary Beaux Arts building from destruction when a skyscraper was planned to replace it. In 1976, largely due to her efforts, Grand Central was declared a National Historic Landmark, though only in recent years has it been restored to a state worthy of that title. From its exterior, with imposing statues of Minerva, Hercules, and Mercury flanking a 13-foot clock, to the epic 375-foot-long main concourse with its celestial ceiling, complete with zodiac constellations, this is a building of unquestionable beauty. Now, with the addition of shops and restaurants, it has also become a place for even noncommuters to congregate. Take a seat at one of the restaurants in the mezzanine and watch the throngs zig-zag their way around each other at rush hour. Among the terminal's lesser-known treasures: The Campbell Apartment, a 1920s cocktail bar that was once a private office and salon (212-953-0409;; the basement Oyster Bar, a slice of Old New York and still a great place for a martini (212-490-6650;; closed Sundays); and the tiny dark patch on the northwest corner of the ceiling's sky mural, a grubby memento of what the station looked like before its recent overhaul.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.