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Grand Central Terminal

This majestic, lively hub for commuters is a must-see for architecture buffs.

Stand aside from the 750,000 daily visitors rushing to and from their trains and admire the architectural beauty of the majestic Grand Central Terminal. It’s also home to shops and dining options, making it an entertaining one-stop destination.

Even if you’ve nowhere to go, a visit to this Beaux Arts building is a heady sensory pleasure. Enter from 42nd Street in Midtown and stroll towards the Main Concourse, the station’s central area. You’ll recognize this cavernous space from many Hollywood films. Look up for a celestial treat: the 125-foot (38-meter) high ceilings, decorated by French artist Paul Cesar Helleu in 1912 with gold leaf on cerulean blue oil. The mural depicts the zodiac constellations backwards, an error some believe was simply an accident. Just below the ceiling, light streams in from six 75-foot (nearly 23-meter) arched windows, illuminating the stone walls and marble floors. 

In Hollywood movie style, make your way down one of the two opulent marble staircases modeled after the grand staircase in the Paris Opera House. Or rendezvous under the multi-million dollar, four-faced opal clock atop the information booth. 

Other highlights of Grand Central, designed by architectural firms Reed and Stem and Warren and Wetmore, include French artist Jules Coutan’s sculptural group of Mercury flanked by Hercules and Minerva on the building’s facade. The sculpture surrounds a 13-foot diameter clock containing the world’s largest example of Tiffany glass. 

Still one of the largest transport hubs in the United States, Grand Central Terminal has 44 platforms and 67 tracks. There are two underground levels servicing surrounding parts of New York, as well as parts of Connecticut. If you visit with an empty stomach, the Dining Concourse, below the Main Concourse, has a range of options, including the iconic Oyster Bar and Restaurant. Opened in 1913, it’s the oldest establishment in the terminal. There’s a brilliant example of the tiled vaulting system designed by Spanish immigrant architect Rafael Guastavino, whose work can be seen in more than 200 buildings in New York City. Other examples include the Cathedral of St John the Divine and the Registry Hall at Ellis Island.

Grand Central Terminal is located at E. 42nd Street and Park Avenue. It’s a major subway, rail, and bus terminal.

Guide to Exploring around Grand Central Terminal

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Lodging Near Grand Central Terminal

See all 1,558 Hotels near Grand Central Terminal
The Roosevelt Hotel, New York City

The Roosevelt Hotel, New York City

45 E 45th Street, New York
of 5, from 22,079 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located at the corner of East 45th Street and Madison Avenue, the Roosevelt Hotel, New York City, provides ready access to shopping, as well as Broadway theaters, 3 blocks away.

Hotel Pennsylvania

Hotel Pennsylvania

401 7th Ave, New York
of 5, from 24,270 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

This New York City hotel located on Seventh Avenue at 33rd Street is across from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station.

Pod 51

Pod 51

230 E 51st St, New York
of 5, from 13,802 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

The innovative Pod Hotel offers compact, cleverly designed rooms and a prime location 4 blocks from Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, less than 6 blocks from the Theater District, and 2 blocks from subways.

Shelburne NYC-an Affinia hotel

Shelburne NYC-an Affinia hotel

303 Lexington Avenue, New York
of 5, from 4,236 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Murray Hill, a cool and convenient neighborhood on Midtown's East Side, is the setting for this eclectic hotel; the Chrysler Building is 5 blocks north, and the Empire State Building is 7 blocks away.

The Belvedere Hotel

The Belvedere Hotel

319 W 48th St, New York
of 5, from 18,294 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

This New York hotel is in the center of all the action, located in the cluster of Broadway theaters. The center of Times Square is 2 blocks away, and Rockefeller Center is a 3-block walk.

YOTEL New York

YOTEL New York

570 Tenth Avenue, New York
of 5, from 10,103 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This Manhattan hotel is in the Midtown West neighborhood, 0.8 mile from Times Square and within one-half mile of the New Amsterdam Theater and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

Lotte New York Palace

Lotte New York Palace

455 Madison Ave, New York
of 5, from 6,328 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Built in 1981 by railroad baron Henry Villard and luxuriously renovated in 2013, the grand entrance of this hotel is right across Madison Avenue from majestic St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Grand Hyatt New York

Grand Hyatt New York

109 East 42nd Street, New York
of 5, from 9,099 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This luxury New York hotel boasts a prime location on the city's East Side adjacent to Grand Central Station. Times Square, Broadway theaters, Central Park, Bryant Park, and Fifth Avenue's world-class shopping are within walking distance.