Times Square in New York

Times Square in New York

Times Square in New York is the most visited place in Manhattan. This square, also known as ‘The Crossroads of the World’, has dozens of bright LED screens and is full of odd characters. It’s the place in the city where most selfies are taken and a must-visit for tourists. Not so long ago Times Square wasn’t all that special, but during the nineties, former Mayor Giuliani and Disney turned the New York’s Times Square into the light and architectural spectacle it is today.

Times Square in New York

Times Square can be an overwhelming place, so take your time to let it all sink in. Walk up the famous red stairs, sit down, and have a good look around you.

Costume Characters on Times Square

You’ll see a lot of people dressed up as Disney and other famous characters. These entertainers most likely want you to have your picture taken with them. Afterwards, they’ll ask you for a tip. It’s customary to give them one or two dollars, but it isn’t mandatory. If their behaviour makes you feel uncomfortable, you can always address a police officer.

The Naked Cowboy

You might also bump into the Naked Cowboy. This world-famous guitarist wears nothing but a skimpy outfit and can be found regularly in Times Square. Summer or winter, and even when there’s a thick layer of snow, this cowboy entertains the crowd wearing nothing but briefs and a cowboy hat and boots.

New Year’s Eve on Times Square

Look up to see the famous ball that descends every year to announce the arrival of the new year. This Ball Drop ceremony can be witnessed during one of the many ball drop parties.

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, confetti will flutter down all Times Square. The confetti will also include papers from the Wishing Wall with everyone’s wishes, notes, and goals. Do you want to take part? You can write your new year’s greetings on Times Square in the weeks leading up to the big day. The year sign seen beneath the famous ball will also arrive on the square for display, so you can snap a photo with it.

Times Square Billboards

Times Square is also famous for its billboards filled with ads for the world’s biggest brands. The large screens keep Times Square illuminated at all times. Advertising here costs between $5.000 and $50.000 a day, depending on the size of the screen. But you can also get on a Times Square billboard at the TSX Broadway building!

Every night from from 23:57 to 0:00, you can witness the Midnight Moment, in which digital art is synchronised across the Times Square billboards. At the same time, all of the billboards display the same artwork, which changes monthly.

Shopping on Times Square

In addition to the many souvenir shops, Times Square is home to many flagship stores of popular brands. These stores are sometimes more of an attraction than a regular shop. There’s the M&M’s Store, selling the famous chocolate treat in every colour you can think of. The Disney Store, with two floors full to the brim with all things Disney (including a huge fairytale castle). Go to Hershey’s Chocolate World for, amongst other things, the ‘largest s’mores experience’.

There are also some popular clothing brands that try their luck at grabbing attention in Times Square. Shop at the huge H&M, Forever 21 or Gap. Across the street, you can find a branch of American Eagle Outfitters. On the same side of the street, you can find Sephora. They are several times the size of any of their regular locations. As most of these stores are open until around midnight Times Square is the place where ‘shop ’till you drop’ is a real possibility!

Times Square in New York - Crowds Times Square in New York - Billboards

Museums around Times Square

There are several museums on and around Times Square such as Madame Tussauds, Museum of Broadway, and RiseNY. These are ideal for learning more about the area or for a rainy day.

Musicals around Times Square

For musical lovers, this is obviously the place to be. Around Times Square you can find as many as 40 theatres where Broadway musicals are performed every night. Not only great classics, such as The Lion King and Chicago, but also the latest productions.

Restaurants on Times Square

There are numerous restaurants in Times Square, including many themed restaurants such as the Hard Rock Café and Bubba Gump. Places to eat with children can also be found around Times Square. These restaurants are often larger than others and provide more space for you and the kids.

Hotels on Times Square

If you’re looking for a hotel in New York and want to enjoy the hustle and bustle of Midtown Manhattan, you should definitely book one of the hotels around Times Square. You’ll be staying in the heart of the city, within walking distance of many attractions and several subway stations.

Getting to Times Square

A large part of Times Square is a pedestrian zone and closed to motorised traffic, so the best way to get there is by subway. Almost all subway lines take you to Times Square. The purple, red and yellow lines all stop at Times Square / 42nd St. And if you take the blue line and get off at Port Authority, you’re only a few minutes away from the beating heart of Manhattan.

Times Square is the centre of Manhattan and many tours, such as The RIDE, start there. It’s also the departure point of many Hop on Hop off bus loops.

Eric’s Tip: “On your arrival day in New York, you probably won’t have much time to go sightseeing and the chances are that you’re tired because of the jet lag. Taking a walk around Times Square and grabbing a bite to eat, at John’s Pizza, for instance, is an excellent idea for your first night in the city.”

Times Square in New York - By Day Times Square in New York - At Night

What is Times Square famous for?

Times Square is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York. Times Square is known as ‘The Crossroads of the World’, and it’s bright LED screens, vibrant atmosphere and many sights make it a must-see on any trip to New York. Read more here.

Where exactly is Times Square located?

Times Square is the lively intersection between 7th Avenue, 42nd Street and Broadway in Midtown Manhattan.

What shops are in Times Square New York?

Times Square has many flagship stores and souvenir shops. M&M’s Store, Disney Store and Hershey’s Chocolate World are among the popular shops in Times Square.

Is Times Square a good area to stay?

Yes. When you are staying around Times Square, you are in the heart of Manhattan. Read more about the area here.

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