I don’t need to hire a company to do research and make sure I’m right: 90% of New York tourists are delighted with Times Square. Known as the corner of the world, Times Square is located at the junction of Broadway and 7th Avenue, between West 42nd Street and West 47nd Street in midtown Manhattan. The most striking feature? The luminous signs. The establishments set up in the area are obliged to install a sign – the lights are on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and the cost of these panels is between $ 5,000 and $ 20,000 per month, per square inch. It’s a lot of money, right?
I confess: Times Square was, once, my favorite spot here in New York – and guess at what time? When I moved here. Today, I avoid the area. Always crowded, I don’t see a reason to spend so much time in one place. Obviously, you should visit if you want, after all, it is an iconic, famous place. But, as I always say, the city goes far beyond Times. And since the place is so popular among visitors, I decided to write a post to give some tips that can be very useful!
Pay attention to the characters – Lady Liberty, Mickey, Mario Bross, Naked Cowboy… you will see a lot of characters at Times Square. But, don’t forget: if you take a picture, you should give a tip. Now, they have a delimited area at Times Square for that, the activity zones. Don’t feel intimidated in case anyone pushes you to take a picture. Say “no, thanks” and keep walking.
Everything closes late – The vast majority of stores in New York close the doors between 8 pm and 9 pm. But not in Times Square. There, stores like Forever 21 and H&M only close at 1 am, which may even be advantageous a few times. Do not forget that the great majority of the stores in the area are big chains (to mention others: American Eagle, Sephora, Mac, Disney Store) and many of them have other stores around the city. In the case of large chains, it is good to point out that prices will always be the same no matter the location.
TKTS and Broadway tickets – the red stairs, one of the famous points for a picture in the area, is also the TKTS location. This place sells tickets for Broadway shows with discounts. The problem is the huge lines. Remember: TKTS has other two locations in Manhattan. One at Lincoln Center (David Rubenstein Atrium – 61 West 62nd Street) and other at South Street Seaport (190 Front Street). These locations offer tickets for the same nights and next days’ matinees.
Eating – Times Square is full of chain restaurants such as Red Lobster and Bubba Gump. I am very emphatic when people asked for my opinion on where to eat in the area: I always suggest looking elsewhere. Explain: New York is a city rich in gastronomy, with culinary highlights from all over the world, true delights. A chain restaurant does not provide an authentic gastronomic experience: everything served in a place like this is served the same in all the other countless locations. But, if you are curious, go and check out, but do not limit your meals to the area. Do you want a tip for dinner without going too far? Walk from Times Square to Ninth Avenue! This area is known as Hell’s Kitchen and is full of cool restaurants! Download Yelp or Foursquare and do a search. And for Times Square, my local tip is Dallas BBQ (241 W 42nd St), which has great food for a fair price, as well as John’s of Times Square (260 W 44th St), a pizzeria that is located in an old church!
Souvenirs – Don’t be scared by the souvenir prices in Times Square stores: the prices are usually expensive! Overall, I would not recommend buying souvenirs there. A good location for this is Chinatown – walking down Canal Street you will see several places selling this type of product. Also, pay attention to the street vendors: in front of the Metropolitan Museum and at the Brooklyn Bridge, for example, you can find keychains and magnets for $ 1 – $ 2.
New year’s eve – Don’t be fooled by the charming lights and the drop ball: New Year in Times Square is nothing glamorous. By the way, I usually say that nobody knows how to welcome the new year like us, Brazilians. Remember that December 31 is winter here – and it’s very cold! Add to that the fact that you have to arrive in Times Square very early (like before 4 pm) and spend hours standing without being able to go to the bathroom. It’s best to see the fireworks from Central Park or look for a closed party.
Do you like these tips about Times Square?
Content creator and journalist in New York City. Here, I share lifestyle, beauty, NYC tips, thoughts, and the struggles about living in the most amazing city in the world! I’m not gonna pretend to be another person: I’m a Brazilian immigrant and I think this is my soul, it is part of who I am. I hope you enjoy my content! Follow me on Instagram!