Times Square in New York is frequented by more than 460,000 people every day. It is the world’s most popular tourist destination, attracting 42 million visitors a year.
However, most people refer to the large neighborhood as Times Square, spanning from 40th Street to 52nd Street and 8th Avenue to 6th Avenue. There are many things to do in Times Square. There are many subway stations that will take you to this area. For subway commuters, options include getting off at 42nd Street Rockefeller Center station, 49th Street, or 50th Street. Moreover, the hop-on-hop-off tour buses typically commence and conclude their routes in this vicinity.
The next highlight in Times Square is Madame Tussauds. Here, you can pose with your favorite celebrities or even get a wax hand. This popular attraction, situated on 42nd Street, offers a quieter and more romantic experience in the evening. Prices start at $37, and it operates from 10 am to 9 pm most days.
If you’re traveling with children, Ripley’s Believe It or Not is a fantastic choice. Located next to Madame Tussauds, Ripley’s museum features over 500 real artifacts, interactive experiences, photo ops, galleries, and intriguing facts for the whole family to enjoy.
Times Square Broadway Shows
Interested in Broadway shows? Seeing a Broadway show while in New York City is a must. Classics are highly recommended, but for family outings, options like “The Lion King,” “Stomp,” “Aladdin,” or “Wicked” are excellent. Tickets can often be purchased at the box office, and there’s a guide available on various ways to buy Broadway tickets.
Additionally, for those intrigued by theater intricacies, the Radio City Stage Door Tour offers a backstage tour of Radio City Hall, including photo opportunities with the famous Rockettes. Tickets can be included in certain New York City passes or booked in advance online.
For those preferring comedy over musicals, visiting a comedy club in Times Square is a great option. You can often find deals on Groupon for clubs like Broadway Comedy Club or the LOL Times Square Club. And if you’re with kids but still want a theatrical experience, consider the New Victory Theater, which offers performances tailored for children from one and a half to 12 years old.
Looking to explore Times Square at your own pace? Consider a self-guided walking tour using the Free Tours by Foot app. It provides detailed descriptions of Times Square’s history and significant attractions.
Another delightful activity in Times Square is visiting Bowlmor Times Square. With 48 lanes, arcade games, and themed lounge areas, this bowling alley on West 44th Street offers a relaxing evening experience, open from 2 pm to midnight, and until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Got a sweet tooth? Hershey’s Chocolate World is a must-visit. This store offers a range of chocolate merchandise and even allows customization of chocolate bars. Don’t forget to sample the free chocolates!
Times Square Famous Food
Moving on to dining options, Times Square offers a variety of places to eat. For budget-friendly choices, chains like Chipotle or Patseria Pizza are recommended. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, John’s Pizzeria, known for its coal oven pizza pies, or Carmine’s, offering Italian American-styled family portioned meals, are excellent choices.
Secondly, the street vendors here offer great food but always ask for the prices before buying. You wouldn’t want to pay seven dollars for a hot dog that should cost a dollar fifty.
Lastly, while there are familiar chain restaurants like Red Lobster around, New York City boasts fantastic seafood spots. Don’t settle for chains; explore the local eateries instead.
Times Square Attractions
There are also nearby attractions worth exploring, such as Bryant Park, offering a serene green space with various activities, or taking a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour to explore other landmarks like Madison Square Gardens, Chinatown, or the Empire State Building. Additionally, attractions like Top of the Rock Observatory, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and Bryant Park offer distinct experiences nearby.
Best Hidden Gems in Times Square
Exploring Times Square might conjure images of bustling crowds, flashy billboards, and tourist traps, but there’s a hidden side waiting to be discovered within a 10-minute stroll. Step into the M Social Hotel and find yourself at “Beast and Butterflies,” a rooftop bar boasting an incredible, lesser-known view of Times Square. It’s a unique experience, gazing at the vibrant hubbub while cocooned in a serene setting, sipping on Broadway Breeze cocktails—a blend of whiskey and Oktoberfest beer.
But the surprises don’t end there. Ascend to the rooftop to discover an unexpected culinary delight—the entire kitchen opened up for a feast. Lobster rolls and drinks overlooking Times Square create an almost surreal moment, a far cry from the usual rooftop bar experience.
Venture further and stumble upon an art piece beneath your feet—an installation dating back to 1977 by Max Newhouse. Despite the city’s chaos, there’s an enchanting humming sound, like an alien playing a xylophone, adding an unexpected layer to the urban symphony.
Just across from the iconic Public Library, an underrated gem awaits—Staff Roast at The Art Show’s Foundation Library. On its top floor, a breathtaking free view of New York City unfolds, a million-dollar sight often missed by many.
For a touch of cultural vibrancy, Birdland, a jazz institution, stands a stone’s throw from Times Square. Its history and recent community-driven salvation make it an absolute must-visit. Experience world-class jazz performances while relishing a slice of their iconic key lime pie.
From hidden art installations to unexpected culinary fusions and soulful jazz nights, these hidden gems redefine the Times Square experience.
Times Square Shopping
Today, we’ve landed smack dab in the heart of New York City—Times Square. It’s a bustling epicenter, typically teeming with tourists, but even as a New Yorker, I find it’s a great place for people-watching and a bit of shopping. You can find many prominent local and international brands, such as Sephora, H&M, American Eagle Outfitters, Muji, and GAP.
Surrounding Times Square, you’ll find an array of quirky novelty stores, and today, But before we dive in, here are some Times Square travel tips from a local for anyone visiting. First off, be wary of the characters like Iron Man or Mickey Mouse roaming around. They work solely for tips, so you’re not obliged to hand over your cash.
FAQ: Times Square Travel Guide
1 What is Times Square known for?
Times Square is renowned as the heart of New York City, famous for its vibrant atmosphere, dazzling billboards, theaters, and diverse entertainment options. It’s a hub for tourists, shopping, dining, and iconic New Year’s Eve celebrations.
2 What are the must-see attractions in Times Square?
Some must-see attractions include the vibrant billboards, the TKTS Booth for discounted Broadway tickets, Madame Tussauds wax museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.
3. Is Times Square family-friendly?
Yes, Times Square offers family-friendly attractions like M&M’s World, Hershey’s Chocolate World, the Disney Store, and interactive displays. However, it can get crowded, so keep an eye on your kids.
4. What are some shopping options in Times Square?
Times Square hosts various shops, including flagship stores like M&M’s World, Hershey’s Chocolate World, the Disney Store, and souvenir shops. There are also clothing stores, electronic shops, and Broadway-themed merchandise stores.
5. Are there dining options in Times Square?
Times Square offers diverse dining experiences, from renowned restaurants to fast-food chains. You’ll find a mix of cuisines, including American, Italian, Asian, and more. Food carts and vendors also offer quick bites.
6. How crowded is Times Square?
Times Square is typically bustling with tourists, especially during peak hours and events. It’s advisable to be prepared for crowds, particularly in the evenings and during major events.
7. What safety tips should visitors be aware of in Times Square?
Stay vigilant and be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas. Avoid engaging with unlicensed street performers who may demand payment for photos. Keep track of your belongings and be mindful of traffic when crossing the streets.
8. What’s the best time to visit Times Square?
Times Square is alive day and night. If you prefer a less crowded experience, mornings or weekdays might be better. However, evenings offer the full experience with illuminated billboards and vibrant energy.
9. How can visitors navigate Times Square?
Times Square is easily accessible by subway, bus, or walking from nearby attractions. Pedestrian-friendly areas make it convenient to explore on foot. Maps, digital guides, and tourist information centers are available for navigation assistance.
10. Is it worth visiting Times Square?
Absolutely! Times Square offers a unique and iconic experience in New York City. It’s a must-visit destination for its energy, entertainment options, shopping, dining, and the electrifying ambiance that captures the essence of the city.