Locals might bemoan Times Square’s touristy hustle and bustle, but the neon wonderland is undeniably New York City's beating heart. Loud and chaotic, the crowded epicenter is one of the world’s most visited and recognizable tourist attractions.
This neighborhood was named for The New York Times, which moved its headquarters to the district in 1904. (the newspaper is now on Eighth Avenue; a stones throw away.) Times Square is nestled between West 42nd and West 47th Streets on Seventh Avenue. Having shaken off its reputation as a somewhat seedy area, visitors come in droves to experience the quintessential New York.
Lit up 24 hours a day, Times Square’s whirring news tickers, flashing stock exchange information and brash advertisements add to the ambience. There’s often a great assortment of local color to entertain visitors. You may find African drummers, jugglers, and dancers on any given day or night. For years the Naked Cowboy has been a tourist attraction: a street busker famous for playing guitar in his underwear. Impromptu musical performances and dramatic public speeches are common, and don’t be surprised if Mickey Mouse sneaks up behind you for a kiss. For a more sedate experience, Madame Tussauds Museum offers celebrities immortalized in wax. Broadway’s theater district extends off the center of Times Square. Hundreds of show-goers typically line up at the TIX outdoor booth to score half-priced tickets on the afternoon of performances in one of the 40 venues.
Those with a sweet tooth can get their fill at the enormous M&M’s and Hershey’s chocolate stores. Those seeking to watch the madness unfurl can pull up a chair in the square’s center, which is closed to passing traffic. Or, catch a movie in one of the area’s huge multiplex cinemas.
Times Square is brimming with memorabilia stores, from the upmarket to the kitschy, where you can snap up souvenirs such as “I Heart NYC” T-shirts and New York Yankees caps. There are also a wide variety of places to catch a meal, from fast-food to those famous New York delis that serve up huge bowls of Matzo ball soup and humongous sandwiches.
Times Square is located in the heart of New York City, on the west side. There’s a major subway station there and it’s easy to find a bus route through the area. Grand Central Terminal, the railway hub, is also located there.
There's no place anywhere on the planet exactly like Times Square. To help you make the most of your visit, we've created a list of some of the top activities:
If you're looking for more options, peruse our New York things to do page.
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Located at the corner of East 45th Street and Madison Avenue, the Roosevelt Hotel, New York City, provides ready access to shopping, as well as Broadway theaters, 3 blocks away.
This Manhattan hotel is in the Midtown West neighborhood, 0.8 mile from Times Square and within one-half mile of the New Amsterdam Theater and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
This Midtown New York hotel, renovated October, 2013, offers a desirable location diagonally across from Carnegie Hall, 1 block from Broadway, 2 blocks from Fifth Avenue shopping, and 2 blocks from Central Park. The Theater District and Times Square are within 1 mile.
Set amid Broadway theaters, this stylish New York hotel is a half-block from Times Square and half a block from Restaurant Row. Bryant Park, Minskoff Theater, Gershwin Theater, and Radio City Music Hall are also nearby. Head to nearby Central Park, 5th Avenue, Rockfeller Center, and the Museum of Modern Art.
This hotel is located in New York (Midtown), close to American Lyric Theater, Times Square, and Broadway. Also nearby are Macy's and New York Public Library.
Rising 40 stories across from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, this hotel is 1 block from Macy's, 3 blocks from the Javits Convention Center, and 4 blocks from the Empire State Building.
The budget-friendly Salisbury Hotel hotel offers a prime Midtown location just 2 blocks from Central Park and within walking distance of Times Square and Broadway theaters. Opened in 1931, this Neo-Gothic-style hotel is next door to the famed Russian Tea Room, a half-block from Carnegie Hall, and 7 blocks from Radio City Music Hall.
This Theater District hotel is at the corner of West 45th Street and Eighth Avenue, 1 block west of Times Square and 6 blocks west of Rockefeller Center.