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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.
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 New York hotel is in the center of all the action, located in the cluster of Broadway theaters. The center of Times Square is 2 blocks away, and Rockefeller Center is a 3-block walk.
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.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of New York Times Building, Madison Square Garden, and Times Square. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and New Amsterdam Theater are also within 10 minutes. 42 St. - Port Authority Bus Terminal Station and Port Authority Bus Terminal are within a 5-minute walk.
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.
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.
Located in Midtown, this hotel is steps from Richard Rodgers Theatre, Music Box Theatre, and Eugene O'Neill Theatre. Broadway and Minskoff Theater are also within 5 minutes. 49th St. Station is only a 2-minute walk and 47 - 50 Sts - Rockefeller Center Station is 7 minutes.
This 52-story Midtown New York hotel is a half-block from Times Square and Broadway; Fifth Avenue is less than 2 blocks east, Rockefeller Center is 5 blocks away, and Central Park is a mile north.