Grand Central Terminal
Good for: Audio Tour
Lonely Planet review for Grand Central Terminal
Completed in 1913, Grand Central Terminal – more commonly, if technically incorrectly, called Grand Central Station – is another of New York’s stunning Beaux Arts buildings, boasting 75ft-high, glass-encased catwalks and a vaulted ceiling bearing a mural of the constellations streaming across it – backwards (the designer must’ve been dyslexic). The balconies overlooking the main concourse afford an expansive view; perch yourself on one of these at around 5pm on a weekday to get a glimpse of the grace that this terminal commands under pressure. It’s quite amazing how this dramatic space evokes the romance of train travel at the turn of the 20th century while also enduring the bustle of present-day New York. There are no teary good-byes for people traveling across the country from here today, though, as Grand Central’s underground electric tracks serve only commuter trains en route to northern suburbs and Connecticut. But whether you’re traveling somewhere or not, the station merits a special trip for the architecture alone – not to mention for the fine-dining restaurants and gourmet food court, cool bars, funky shops, holiday craft fairs and occasional music performances.