Times Square, New York

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references


  • Where it is
  • What to do and see
  • How to reach us
  • Shopping a Times Square
  • Eat in Times Square
  • Sleeping in the area
  • New Years Eve in Times Square
  • Where have we seen it before?
  • Times Square yesterday and today
  • What to see nearby

The intersection of Times Square it is one of the most loved and visited places in Manhattan and all of New York.

A meeting place for tourists, extravagant characters and New Yorkers, with its overwhelming lights and contagious liveliness it is one of the emblematic areas of the Big Apple.

Everyone wants to see Times Square!

Where it is

The sparkling intersection is located in the higher part west of the commercial area of Midtown Manhattan.

It is formed byintersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and extends from West 42nd Street to West 47th Street.

What to do and see

Dive into the crowd

Look around: you will see tourists from all over the world enchanted by the lights like you, New Yorkers (although many citizens of the Big Apple claim that Times Square is not the real New York), individuals dressed as Disney characters or impersonating unusual subjects.

One of the most famous is a cowboy who looks little dressed (Naked Cowboy) even in the middle of winter. Get ready for such a fun sight!

These street performers invite tourists to take a photo with them in exchange for a tip.

Watch and photograph big screens and billboards

Thinking of Times Square, one immediately thinks of "them": the huge LED screens and the backlit advertising posters that stand out on the buildings and manage to keep people with their heads raised for an unspecified number of minutes.

Promotional videos of musicals and concerts, product advertisements, and everything - whatever the commercial message of the moment - broadcast on monitors and extra-large panels with cheeky lighting.

Long live the charm of excess! The stores are so numerous that they compete with those of Las Vegas.

If it is true that New York offers endless opportunities to take magnificent photos, it must be recognized that those of the lights of Times Square are among the most scenic that you can take home.

Remember to capture the largest panel of all: the Nasdaq panel, which covers seven floors of a building (the annual cost to have such visibility is several million dollars).

Go up the red steps

The famous red fiberglass staircase has only been in the north corner of Times Square since 2009 (although it seems to have been there forever).

It's a place to stop, rest, take photos and videos, meet and buy discounted tickets to Broadway shows.

In reality, the red staircase is not really in Times Square, but in a distinct square called Duffy Square.

See a musical or a show

You know, Times Square is the heart of the Theater District, and even the big advertising screens will remind you of it.

Among the many musicals and shows offered by the theaters in the area, you will certainly find what is right for you.

Considering the large selection of tickets, but also the strong demand for tickets, we recommend purchasing tickets in advance.
Alternatively, you can try looking for discounted tickets directly in New York at the TKTS office located under the red steps.

If the world of theater is your passion, you could also take a nice Walking Tour (with guide in English), to discover the best theaters on Broadway.

Book the tour

Attend events

On the official Times Square website you can find the calendar of events that periodically take place in Times Square.

They range from the renewal of vows on Valentine's Day (Love in Times Square), to Yoga festivals during the Solstice in Times Square, to gastronomic events involving local restaurants (Taste of Times Square).

One of the most evocative events is held every 5 years, when the anniversary of the end of the Second World War is honored with the Times Square Kiss-In.

Do you remember the photograph of the American sailor who in 1945, after hearing the announcement of the surrender of Japan, passionately kisses a nurse in Times Square?

That moment is replicated during the event; couples get together to publicly kiss each other, and many re-propose the clothing and pose of the protagonists of '45.

And in the periods when there are no events? Don't worry: Times Square is always lively!

Attend a Gospel service in the Times Square Church

What has been the Evangelical Church of Times Square since 1989, in the past was the Mark Hellinger theater, built in the 30s by Warner Bros as a cinema,

The Sunday functions that can be attended for free are made memorable by the songs of a skilled Gospel choir (and the public is also invited to sing, following the texts that scroll on the special screens).

The context is very particular, given that nothing has been changed from the original structure: the ceilings show fine decorations, there is a curtain and you will be seated not among the pews of a church, but on the classic red theater armchairs.

To find a seat, you should arrive well in advance before the start of the service.

You will be amazed by the magnificent welcome that will be given to you, as if you were parishioners who have always attended the church.

Remember, of course, that this is not a tourist attraction, but a place of worship where a moderate and respectful attitude must be maintained.

Go to the museum

Yes, Times Square is a beautiful place both outdoors and indoors!

The museums in the area, in fact, are fun and also ideal as a refuge in case of rain!

  • Madame Tussauds. The wax museum is spread over five floors and includes more than 200 statues, strictly life-size.
  • Ripley's Believe it or Not. A collection of oddities collected in 35 years and 201 countries by Robert L. Ripley, cartoonist, explorer, reporter, adventurer, collector and incurable curious.
  • National Geographic Encounter – Ocean Odyssey. You will be virtually immersed in the ocean, where you will meet its inhabitants. Humpback whales, sea lions and fun algae forests await you in this virtual aquarium. All while staying dry!
  • Gulliver's Gate. The right place to see the landscapes of the world in miniature. About 4.500 square meters of exhibition and guaranteed fun, also thanks to the supplied key that will allow you to move many elements and monuments. Of course, there are also miniature New York attractions, such as the Brooklyn Bridge.

Ticket prices to visit these attractions seem excessive to you, but would you still like to see them?

Remember that the entrance to the museums is included in many passes, with which you can get an interesting saving.

How to reach us

The stop of the metro closer is 42nd St-Times Square, served by lines 1, 2, 3 (red), 7 (purple), and N, Q, R (yellow).

Taking a bus to Times Square, on the other hand, is not a great idea: the traffic in these parts is always congested, so it is better to get off before arriving and continue on foot.

Shopping a Times Square

There is no shortage of opportunities for shopping.

First of all, we must mention the large shops that represent the major "pilgrimage destinations" for tourists:

  • Disney Store
  • M&M’s Store

Here you are a child again and you can stock up on puppets and chocolates.

And the legendary Toys “Я” Us toy store? Unfortunately it closed its doors for good in 2016.

There are also numerous souvenir shops, which will entice you with a myriad of gadgets and items dedicated to New York City.

Seen and reviewed, true. Yet, without even realizing it, you could find yourself in the checkout line, ready to pay for your useless (but irresistible) trinkets.

In addition, Times Square is home to i big chain stores, as

  • Gap
  • H&M
  • Forever 21
  • Superdry
  • AEO & Aerie Store
  • Levi’s Store
  • Sephora
  • Foot Locker
  • L'Occitane in Provence

Eat in Times Square

There are many places to eat in Times Square, for meals of all kinds, from the fastest to the most luxurious. Just look around for inspiration!

The "tourist traps" we prefer are obviously ... these:

  • Planet Hollywood. Address: 1540 Broadway (if you have the New York Pass, here you will get 15% discount on food, drinks and merchandise)
  • bubba gump. Address: 1501 Broadway
  • Hard Rock Cafe New York. Address: 1501 Broadway

A restaurant where you can eat without spending too much in the area is Joe Allen. Address: 326 W 46th St.

Sleeping in the area

Sleeping in Times Square is not one of the cheapest options, but it is also true that those who sleep in this area really feel in the center of the Big Apple and have many attractions nearby.

If this is where you want to stay, book well in advance!

Recommended hotels in Times Square on Booking.com

New Years Eve in Times Square

New York is a holiday destination all year round, but one of the peak periods is New Year's Eve, which around 750.000 people spend in Times Square!

Here we celebrate in a big way, by letting a large sphere (the diameter is 3,5 meters in diameter) descend from the One Time Square skyscraper, to remember the crystal sphere which, similarly, was lowered for the first time from the building on the New Year's Eve. 1904.

Where have we seen it before?

Times Square seen live will seem familiar to us.

We have certainly already seen it in posters, photographs, television services on the New Year celebrations around the world, or in the cinema.

In fact, it was the set of some movie scenes such as Spider Man, King Kong, Fast & Furious, Ninja Turtles, our "Christmas in New York" and the cartoon Madagascar,

Video game fans have also found Times Square in Street Racing, Midnight Club, Crysis 2.

Times Square yesterday and today

Where Times Square is today, in the past there were only fields and unpaved roads. Strange but true!

In the mid-nineteenth century, coinciding with the New York building boom, the owner at the time put the land in what is now Times Square up for sale, which was bought by hotel chains and real estate companies.

Then the construction of hotels and buildings began, and in the building One Times Square (today famous for the descent of the sphere on New Year's Eve) in the early twentieth century the headquarters of the New York Times moved. The area that was previously called Longacre Square then took the name of Times Square.

During the Great Depression of the 30s, Times Square became a dangerous and decadent area.

Indeed, between the 60s and 90s Times Square symbolized the decline of the city, with the spread of drug dealing, pornography and crime.

It was only in the mid-90s that the then mayor Rudolph Giuliani succeeded in redeveloping the area, making it safer.

New York State bought some of the historic 42nd Street theaters, refurbished some for Broadway shows, and Times Square progressively became the New York landmark we all know.

What to see nearby

  • The famous museum of modern art MoMA
  • Il Rockefeller Center with its 19 commercial buildings
  • The big New York Public Library (where you can enter for free)
  • Carnegie Hall, world-famous concert hall
  • La St. Patrick's Cathedral, a historic neo-Gothic Catholic church from 1853
  • Radio City Music Hall, the Rockettes theater
  • La headquarters of the New York Times, in the skyscraper New York Times Building designed by Renzo Piano

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