Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan is one of the worlds finest train terminals and the most famous terminal in the nation. It is the perfect example of art meeting functionality, not only do 750,000 people pass through Grand Central daily it is also beautifully decorated with gold and nickel plated chandeliers, and light blue ceilings covered in zodiac constellations. The Grand Central Terminal offers walking tours, audio tours, fine dinging, casual dining, and more than 50 specialty store.
Tours at the Grand Central Terminal in New York City
Available seven days a week, 365 days a year at specially-marked "GCT Tour" windows on the Main Concourse. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m
Audio tours give tourists travelers and locals alike a history of the terminal filled with interesting details and insights. Orpheo's state-of-the-art audio device and headset comes with a map of the terminal for just $6 for adults with discounts for seniors and the disabled at $5 and students at $4. Children under 12 pay only $2. The tour focuses not only on the architectural highlights of the Terminal but provides a real story about little known secrets, anecdotes, archival material and the History of the Terminal, with a capital H. Visitors will not see Grand Central with the same eyes after taking the tour. Listeners can take the "local" or "express" tour. And if visitors are interested in more in-depth information, there are options for additional material at the push of a button. The self-guided tour can last as little as 30 minutes to just over an hour.
The Grand Central Self-Guided Tour
Let's Meet at the Clock!
Start your tour at the four-sided clock on the Main Concourse. This gives you a perfect spot to see most everything on the Main Concourse. A world-famous rendezvous spot, the circular marble and brass pagoda in the center of the Main Concourse has a hidden, spiral staircase leading to the Information Booth on the Lower Level. During the restoration the clock was moved, just slightly, to align with the compass points of the building.
The Sky Ceiling: Look Up!
The most notable feature of the Main Concourse is the great astronomical mural, from a design by the French painter Paul Helleu, painted in gold leaf on cerulean blue oil. Arching over the 80,000 square-foot Main Concourse, this extraordinary painting portrays the Mediterranean sky with October-to-March zodiac and 2,500 stars. The 60 largest stars mark the constellations and are illuminated with fiber optics.
Chandeliers: Big, Beautiful and Real Gold!
Look up and around! There are beautiful melonshaped chandeliers on both sides of the Main Concourse and several more in Vanderbilt Hall. They were always thought to have been bronze but they had been covered with dirt for many years. The chandeliers were taken down and cleaned. Remarkably, with just one cleaning the glistening gold was revealed. Note the bare light bulbs.
Whispering Gallery: Shhh!
The Whispering Gallery, located at the end of both Oyster Bar Ramps when heading down to the Lower Level, is one of the bigger attractions in the Terminal and offers a phonic treat. Get two volunteers and put them in opposite corners facing the walls. A person can whisper into one of its corners and be distinctly heard diagonally across the gallery on the other side.
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