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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

Stewart Hotel
Stewart Hotel
4 out of 5
371 7th Ave, New York, NY
The price is $104 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Macy's, Herald Square, and Empire State Building. Times Square and Broadway are also within 15 minutes. ...
3.6/5Good! (2,659 reviews)
"I was skeptical because of the reviews but I had a great experience. Fast check in. Clean room. Much more spacious than I expected specially for the location. Great experience overall"

Reviewed on Jul 29, 2021

Stewart Hotel
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 Aug 1 to Aug 1
Located in Bowery, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of New York University and 5th Avenue. Washington Square Park and Union Square Park are also within ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,488 reviews)
"Very Small room"

Reviewed on Jul 28, 2021

PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager hotel
Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
4 out of 5
145 W 44th St, New York, NY
The price is $119 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
Located in Midtown, this hotel is steps from Times Square, Broadway, and Minskoff Theater. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Shubert Theatre are also within 5 minutes. ...
3.5/5Good! (5,030 reviews)
"I like the the area its walking distance from store to store."

Reviewed on Jul 28, 2021

Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
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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Best Lodging Options Near Washington Square Park

Stewart Hotel
Stewart Hotel
4 out of 5
371 7th Ave, New York, NY
The price is $104 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Stewart Hotel
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 Aug 1 to Aug 1
PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager hotel
Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
4 out of 5
145 W 44th St, New York, NY
The price is $119 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square
M Social Hotel Times Square New York
M Social Hotel Times Square New York
4 out of 5
226 W 52nd St, New York, NY
The price is $135 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
M Social Hotel Times Square New York
Arlo Midtown
Arlo Midtown
4 out of 5
351 West 38th Street, New York, NY
The price is $161 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Arlo Midtown
DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan - New York City
DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan - New York City
4 out of 5
569 Lexington Ave, New York, NY
DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan - New York City
The New Yorker A Wyndham Hotel
The New Yorker A Wyndham Hotel
4 out of 5
481 Eighth Ave., New York, NY
The price is $116 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
The New Yorker A Wyndham Hotel
Moxy NYC East Village
Moxy NYC East Village
4 out of 5
112 EAST 11TH STREET, New York, NY
The price is $209 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
Moxy NYC East Village
The Dominick
The Dominick
5 out of 5
246 Spring Street, New York, NY
The price is $377 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
The Dominick
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.