NYC grand central free tour

After having visited Central Park, it was time to see more of Manhattan. Back in my hostel next to Penn station after the end of the free walking tour in Central Park, I booked a visit of midtown Manhattan, starting only half an hour after my actual booking.

Midtown Manhattan free walking tour

After having visited Central Park, it was time to see more of Manhattan.

Back in my hostel next to Penn station after the end of the free  walking tour   in Central Park, I booked a visit of midtown Manhattan, starting only half an hour after my actual booking.

I went to the area, which was next to Bryant park, exactly where I had a business meeting earlier that day about my online SAP courses, and I was the first of the guests to arrive.

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New York hot dog stand

New York: Find local activities

It was the same guide as for the Central Park tour earlier, Garrett, and I used the opportunity of being early to walk around and find myself my first New York hot dog. It probably doesn't mean much for anybody coming from either USA or New York, but for us, Europeans, it is part of the idea we have of the American culture.

That hot dog actually was fine, but for sure far way from homemade hot dogs I had before. A street New York hot dog price is around 3 dollars.

However, for a street food hot dog, it was pretty fine. I also ordered a coffee, both to warm up and to make sure I would stay awake during the afternoon, as we've been walking in the cold, with temperatures close to the freezing point, the whole morning.

American Hot Dog Styles - Types of Hot Dogs -

Bryant park tour in New York

The tour started by talking about Bryant park, which is a privately held park in the middle of Manhattan, a big surprise for most of the group, which was mainly coming from Europe.

A public outdoor privately funded park in the middle of a city, how is that even possible? Well, it did surprise us.

After these explanations, we continued our tour towards the grand central railway station, but before getting there, we stopped to have a look at the future tallest building in New York City, in Manhattan, and in the USA in general.

Bryant Park - Home

Chrysler building above grand central

Heading then towards grand central, New Yorks most famous central train station, we look up to see the Chrysler building, and our guide lets us think about that: the oldest mean of transportation, train, is the lower and oldest building, grand central, while the building dedicated to cars, the Chrysler building, is far taller, bigger, newer and better than the one for trains.

We then enter the grand central building, and stop in the first room to appreciate the writings all around, along with the building itself.

We are told that it has been close to destruction in mid 20 century, because people used to think the building was awful, and trains were a thing of the past. Plus, some decades ago, it didn't look as nice as it does now, and was brownish from cigarettes smoke, and dirty.

However, after latest renovations, the building seems nice to us.

We continue our tour, and enter the first main hall, in which we can see many chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

Visit the Chrysler Building | NYC Free Tours by Foot

Grand central visit

Our guide have us stop and look at them, to have time to understand, or try to understand, what people coming from other places in USA could have in mind when they arrived t USA, and especially through New York grand central.

They would most likely not even have electricity at home, and arrive in New York, seeing these chandelier with hundreds of light bulbs, and think that are in another place, out of anything they have ever seen before.

Our guide leaves us with that thought, and we continue walking in grand central.

The main room is even bigger in reality than it lookes like in movies.

We take some time to appreciate the works of arts that are visible all around, from the architecture to the ceilings, and decide to take a toilet break.

Some of us use the opportunity of the toilets break to get a very American delicacy, a donut, at a nearby shop.

Grand Central Terminal - Be Transported

American donut

I do get my first American donut, and select a chocolate one. It is far tastier than any donut I've had before, but not especially because of the ingredients, and more because of the insane amount of sugar it holds.

Doughnut Plant

We then exit the grand central train station by another side, and end up next to the Saint Patrick's cathedral, in front of which the Saint Patrick parade will take place just 2 days from now.

After these tours that took the whole day, and left me pretty hungry, having been walking nearly 11 kilometers, mostly in the cold, I decide to try to find the cheapest place to eat something also very American, a pizza slice, on the way back to my hostel.

New York pizza slice

I finally do find it, a place that sells a huge slice of pizza for a dollar, which is still far cheaper than most places which are selling a slice of pizza for around 5 dollars.

I start with a standard slice of pizza, and top it up with free garlic powder and spicy sauce.

It is so good that I decide to continue with a pepperoni pizza slice, for 3 dollars.

It again is absolutely amazing, and makes me wonder another time why do we have this idea in Europe that food is terrible in America. Well, it is junk food, and should be eaten in proportion, but it tastes great.

Sleeping in Chelsea cabins New York

After that, I go back to my hostel, and go to sleep early, as the next day I am expected early in New York's Google offices for a full day of networking with other online publishers, in their offices.

The next day starts with a tour of Chelsea's cabins bathrooms and showers, which are far from what I am used to, been living in 4 or 5 stars hotels for 5 years, but is actually good enough, especially regarding the price paid for the stay in the center of the city, without any time or money lost with any transportation, and, the best money, being a real motivation to go out of the hotel instead of having a lazy day at the hotel facilities.

Chelsea Cabins Hotel, New York from $78 at official website
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Frequently Asked Questions

What aspects of history and architecture are highlighted on a free tour of NYC's Grand Central Terminal?
The free tour of Grand Central focuses on its architectural grandeur, historical significance, and hidden details like the Whispering Gallery and celestial ceiling. It offers insights into the terminal's role in NYC's development.

Michel Pinson
About the author - Michel Pinson
Michel Pinson is a Travel enthusiast and Content Creator. Merging passion for education and exploration, he iscommitted to sharing knowledge and inspiring others through captivating educational content. Bringing the world closer together by empowering individuals with global expertise and a sense of wanderlust.

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