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United Nations Headquarters, Midtown East

46th Street at First Avenue
Midtown East
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 963 8687
view web site ›'s insider take:

Home to the United Nations, these six midtown blocks along the East River are an international territory collectively owned by the 192 member nations. Security is expectedly tight, but the public is permitted inside the General Assembly and Conference buildings, built in 1952 by a team of architects that included Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer. Tours are more like a history lesson than a sneak peek behind the scenes—you won't see Ban Ki-moon brush by you in the hallway, but you will learn a lot about the UN's founding and its past and present peacekeeping operations. Artwork (gifts from member nations) adorns the halls; the disarmament exhibit of post-bomb remnants from Hiroshima (deformed jars, burned clothes, a charred statue) is a chilling reminder of what happens when nuclear weapons are used. Visitors are permitted a glimpse inside the General Assembly hall and the Security Council chambers (when those delegates are not meeting). Expect long lines; catch one of the morning tours (beginning at 9:30 a.m.) or visit midweek to avoid the crowds. Children under five are not admitted.

Closed for tours weekends in January and February.

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