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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.
You won't believe how many activities there are at Times Square. Here are some ideas to get you started:
For even more activities, examine our New York things to do page.
Located in Midtown, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Times Square and Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Broadway and Central Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Times Sq. - 42 St. Station is 12 minutes by foot and 34 St. - Penn Station is 14 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of 5th Avenue and Grand Central Terminal. Chrysler Building and St. Patrick's Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Grand Central - 42 St. Station is 5 minutes by foot and 5 Av Station (W. 42nd St.) is 5 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Madison Square Garden, Macy's, and Empire State Building. Times Square and Broadway are also within 15 minutes. 34 St. - Penn Station (Fashion Av.) is only a 2-minute walk and 28 St. Station (7th Av.) is 4 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Eugene O'Neill Theatre, Times Square, and Gershwin Theater. Broadway and Broadway Theatre are also within 10 minutes. 49th St. Station is 6 minutes by foot and 50 St. Station (Broadway) is 7 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is steps from The Majestic Theater, Music Box Theatre, and St. James Theatre. Times Square and Broadway are also within 5 minutes. 49th St. Station is 6 minutes by foot and Times Sq. - 42 St. Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Times Square and Empire State Building. Broadway and Grand Central Terminal are also within 1 mi (2 km). 34 St. - Penn Station is only a 2-minute walk and 34 St. - Penn Station (Fashion Av.) is 3 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Central Park and Columbus Circle. Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Opera House are also within 10 minutes. 59 St. - Columbus Circle Station is only a 5-minute walk and 57 St. - 7 Av Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Carnegie Hall, Central Park, and 5th Avenue. Columbus Circle and Ed Sullivan Theater are also within 10 minutes. 5 Av.-53 St. Station is only a 4-minute walk and 57 St. Station is 5 minutes.