Washington Square Park

Vacation Travel Guide
Washington Square Park featuring a garden

In a city with many pretty parks, this is one of the most beautiful. You may recognize its iconic arch and fountain from a movie or postcard.

The best way to enter Washington Square Park is from the north, on 5th Avenue. As you pass high-end medical offices and views of the Empire State Building, you will emerge by the enormous archway and memorial that rises well above the rest of the park. Proceed under the arch and walk to the center of the park for another of its highlights. Here, you will find an enormous fountain that was once a popular hangout for bohemians, academics and artists.

Built in 1871, the park is named after the Washington Square Arch, a memorial erected to celebrate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as president of the United States. Take a walk around all the beautiful gardens enclosed in this area.

On the western side of the park, play a game of chess for money. The men who play here are skilled, so be careful if you have not studied chess before. For the seasoned player there are enough opponents to fill multiple afternoons. In the past, they included director Stanley Kubrick, who made money by playing matches here.

Sit for an impromptu concert. Buskers come to the park with accordions, guitars and even baby grand pianos to play a wide variety of genres of music. Some are highly skilled and sell their music on CDs.

Washington Square Park is located in Greenwich Village. The West Village is only two blocks to the west and the Bowery is only two to the east. While the park has undergone major restorations and is much safer than it has ever been, it is still best to visit during the day. Though the center is usually lit and crowded later in the day, avoid walking alone through the western side of the park at night.

While you’re in the Washington Square Park area, visit the IFC Center on 6th Avenue, and see an independent film. Enjoy a walk in this cluster of New York City’s most charming and distinctly European neighborhoods. Linger for a while in an antique book shop and sit down for an afternoon cappuccino.

Top things to do in Washington Square Park

Top Hotels Close to Washington Square Park

Row NYC
Row NYC
4 out of 5
700 8th Avenue, New York, NY
The price is $94 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
Located in Midtown, this hotel is steps from Shubert Theatre and Richard Rodgers Theatre. Minskoff Theater and Times Square are also within 5 minutes. 49th St. ...
3.5/5 Good! (3,385 reviews)
"Great location, clean and staff was always helpful. Would stay again!"

Reviewed on Oct 21, 2021

Row NYC
Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
4 out of 5
145 W 44th St, New York, NY
The price is $110 per night from Oct 27 to Oct 27
Located in Midtown, this hotel is steps from Times Square, Broadway, and Minskoff Theater. Shubert Theatre and Richard Rodgers Theatre are also within 5 minutes. ...
3.5/5 Good! (5,261 reviews)
"PROFESIONALISM"

Reviewed on Oct 20, 2021

Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager hotel
PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager hotel
4 out of 5
215 Chrystie St, New York, NY
The price is $225 per night from Nov 21 to Nov 21
Located in Bowery, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of New York University, 5th Avenue, and Webster Hall. Washington Square Park and HERE are also within ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,436 reviews)
"beautiful light and room"

Reviewed on Oct 20, 2021

PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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The Plaza Hotel
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Best Lodging Options Near Washington Square Park

Row NYC
Row NYC
4 out of 5
700 8th Avenue, New York, NY
The price is $94 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
Row NYC
Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
4 out of 5
145 W 44th St, New York, NY
The price is $110 per night from Oct 27 to Oct 27
Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager hotel
PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager hotel
4 out of 5
215 Chrystie St, New York, NY
The price is $225 per night from Nov 21 to Nov 21
PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager hotel
The Marlton Hotel
The Marlton Hotel
4.5 out of 5
5 W 8th St, New York, NY
The price is $249 per night from Oct 31 to Oct 31
The Marlton Hotel
Washington Square Hotel
Washington Square Hotel
3.5 out of 5
103 Waverly Pl, New York, NY
The price is $217 per night from Nov 21 to Nov 21
Washington Square Hotel
Beautiful studio Monthly Apartment in NYC
Beautiful studio Monthly Apartment in NYC
New York, NY
Beautiful studio Monthly Apartment in NYC
Dazzling & Cozy Studio Monthly Apartment
Dazzling & Cozy Studio Monthly Apartment
New York, NY
Dazzling & Cozy Studio Monthly Apartment
SoHo 54 Hotel
SoHo 54 Hotel
3 out of 5
54 Watts St, New York, NY
The price is $94 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
SoHo 54 Hotel
Arlo SoHo
Arlo SoHo
4 out of 5
231 Hudson Street, New York, NY
The price is $152 per night from Nov 21 to Nov 21
Arlo SoHo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.