With spectacular views of the East River or the downtown skyline, the Millennium United Nations Plaza offers luxury accommodations at a fabulous downtown location. Situated on the chic east side, this hotel offers ...more
The Marriott New York East Side offers moderately priced accommodations in the heart of Midtown, approximately four blocks from Grand Central Station. The hotel is a short walk from the American Crafts Museum, Fifth Avenue ...more
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About United Nations Headquarters
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Set on 18 acres in the midst of New York City, the United Nations Headquarters is officially designated as international territory. The land and its structures have been owned by the UN member nations since the organization's inception in 1945. Today, there are 193 member nations, and visiting the headquarters is an excellent way to catch a glimpse of the many cultures that interact here on a daily basis.
Tourists approach the visitors' entrance plaza just north of the domed General Assembly building to begin the tour. Most visitors explore the plaza before entering, as this allows them an opportunity to observe the artwork on display. Each work is donated to the headquarters by one of the member nations. Additional artwork is on display throughout the UN.
Upon entering the building, guests are greeted by a majestic Visitors Lobby where they may embark on one of the tours that are offered throughout the day. Guided tours are led by UN staff members who possess an insider's knowledge about the inner workings of the organization. These tours are immensely popular, and the tickets have been known to sell out quite early at busier times of the year. Fortunately, the UN also offers group audio tours that are available in six different languages. These audio tours provide pre-recorded messages and feature greetings and descriptions from UN officials from around the world.
During the tour, guests will have an opportunity to visit the General Assembly Hall where the members of the UN regularly congregate to conduct business. The tour also includes an exhibition called "The United Nations: From War to Development." Additionally, historic moments at the UN are preserved through various audio clips that make up an integral part of the tour.
Before or after the tour, guests are free to take in the many exhibits that are found inside the Visitors Lobby. These exhibits rotate frequently, and each one highlights a different perspective of the UN's work. Exhibits may consist of photographs or multimedia displays that are created by photographers and artists from around the world. Some of the topics covered may include issues of human rights, malaria, the changing climate and children involved in armed conflict.
The United Nations Headquarters also features various shops where guests can find interesting and unique souvenirs. The UN Bookshop is the place to find books published by the UN as well as titles offered by other international publishers. This eclectic shop also has unusual handicrafts in stock in addition to miniature flags for sale that represent all member nations. One of the most fascinating shops is the Stamp and Post Office where guests may purchase stamps issued by the United Nations. These stamps highlight issues that the UN deals with on a daily basis. As an added bonus, visitors may also design their own stamp to commemorate their visit. All stamps issued by the UN, including customized stamps created by visitors, may be used on mail that is sent from the UN post office located inside the building.
Several smaller shops and counters, like the UNICEF Gift Shop and the World Federation of United Nations Associations counter, also provide access to unique souvenirs crafted around the world. Proceeds from purchases made at these shops often benefit UN programs, and the items found here make excellent gifts for family members back home. Round out a United Nations Headquarters visit with a meal at the Coffee Shop where sandwiches, soups and salads are served.