Times Square picture1 of 3
Times Square2 of 3
Andrey Bayda/Shutterstock

Key Info

Between West 42nd and West 47th Streets

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Some say that Times Square is like a five-block metaphor for New York City itself – it's exciting, colorful and always jumping. Others describe this area of midtown Manhattan as artless, overpriced and congested. Perhaps this commercial stretch from West 42nd to West 47th Street is a little of both, and though locals would advise you to avoid it, you should at least catch a glimpse of its neon lights. Most travelers recommend visiting the area after dark to see the marquee displays. Many add checking out Times Square before or after a Broadway show is the perfect time to fit it into your schedule.

Times Square's biggest tourist draw is the annual New Year's Eve ball drop. Revelers crowd the area to see New York's famous Waterford crystal ball descend 77 feet from a pole on the One Times Square building. If you're feeling brave, take a trip to New York and Times Square at this time of year and watch the ball drop for free! Just plan on coming in the early morning and staying all day, and note that the area is super crowded, even by New York standards.

Times Square's constant activity makes it easy to find (take any train that stops at 42nd Street and Times Square or Port Authority). Several of the city's top bus tours include stops at Times Square. Visit the official website for more information on what you can see and do in the area, and keep in mind the area's restaurants and stores have closing hours, but the billboards of Time Square bedazzle 24/7.

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More Best Things To Do in New York City

Central Park1 of 31
American Museum of Natural History2 of 31
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Central Park

This part-park, part-museum, part-concert hall swallows central Manhattan, and many of the city's most notable attractions are situated next to it or within its limits (the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, to name a few). But travelers insist that you shouldn't just pass through Central Park on your way to another place. This 843-acre green space is a favorite of New Yorkers and tourists; you can come here to exercise, dine, go to the zoo and more.

“Central Park is fantastic year-round, and is a must-see for anyone coming to New York," says Josephine Danielson, head concierge at the Four Seasons Hotel New York. "People may not realize Central Park has several hidden treasures. If you’re looking for something different, I tell guests to visit the Conservatory Garden." 

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Songquan Deng/Shutterstock
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