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Times Square

Neon-lit and monumentally busy, this most famous of intersections is a mecca for tourists, shoppers and protesters.

TravelCurious Tip

If you are in New York for summer solstice, check out “Mind over Madness”, a mass yoga event in Times Square that draws over 15,000 people

Found at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, Times Square is an iconic intersection in Midtown Manhattan. Once known as Longacre Square, it was renamed in 1904 when The New York Times moved its headquarters to the Times Building, the site of the annual ball drop to celebrate the turn of New Year — a tradition that has run for over a hundred years.


Times Square is famous for its adverts: Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Chevrolet — big names; bigger money. Huge electric billboards span the faces of surrounding buildings, emitting so much light that it never really seems like night here: it simply alternates between sunlight and electric glow.


Mad Men

The fortunes of Times Square have been up and down over the 20th Century — it wasn’t always so glamorous. It became a hub for advertising in the 1920s, with the famous Wrigley Spearmint Gum sign then costing over $9000 per month to rent. It became a symbol of mass consumerism and decadence: Thorstein Veblen, author of “Conspicuous Consumption”, was unsurprisingly disparaging about it, and Fritz Lang used it as inspiration for his dark industrial film “Metropolis”.


Between the 1960s-90s, Times Square was seen as a gritty, desperate place — as depicted in “Midnight Cowboy”, starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman as a naïve gigolo and a wily pimp (guess who was what). The decay seemed complete: formerly elegant movie theatres became porn cinemas, hustlers ruled the streets and the area was almost totally abandoned.


Since then, it has been completely rejuvenated. The square now boasts a wealth of restaurants, bars and clubs, as well as two giant Hershey’s and M&M’s stores. A number of large financial, publishing and media firms have moved back into the area, all adding to the thrumming sense of energy. Symbolically, it is now also where “Good Morning America” is broadcast live. Which seems fitting, for the restored heart of New York.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in New York
New York City Public Library
This magnificent building holds a collection of over 50 million volumes.
Bryant Park
A green oasis amongst skyscrapers and the hubbub of city life, popular with city workers taking a break.
Rockefeller Center
An iconic complex of Art Deco buildings and public art, commissioned by the Rockefeller family.
Radio City Music Hall
A beloved entertainment venue that has earned the moniker of 'Showplace of the Nation.'
Broadway
There's a show for everyone in the world's premier theatre district.
Museum of Modern Art
Gallery devoted to the story of art from the late 19th century to the modern day

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of Modern Manhattan
Experience the bustle of Manhattan in this extensive trip around some of  New York City’s finest sights. Journey beyond sightseeing and discover their secrets in the company of your own professional, local guide.   

  • See some of New York's best architectural masterpieces
  • Enjoy the bustle of Times Square
  • Learn about what makes Broadway so special in the theatre world
  • Walk through the art deco Rockefeller Center
  • Step inside the beautiful St Patrick's Cathedral
  • Become absorbed in New York's famous Fifth Avenue
Monuments of New York

In this intimate tour of NYC, you will discover some of midtown Manhattan’s best known and much loved attractions. You will begin at the most iconic transportation hub in the United States— Grand Central Terminal. Catch a perfect view of the gleaming spire of the Chrysler Building, another of New York's Art Deco masterpieces, explore the New York Public Library where you will meet the giant stone lions, and enjoy Bryant Park—a lovely green oasis in the heart of Midtown. You will then continue west to the crossroads of the world —Times Square— to view the news ticker on the One Times Square Building, the NASDAQ board, and the myriad neon signs.

Bright Lights and Old School Glamour

Soaking up the bright lights, you will learn about the evolution of Broadway and how theatre  transformed Times Square into one of the most famous destinations in the world. You will have the pleasure of seeing many of the historic buildings in the area dating back to 1900, as you head towards the recently restored art deco masterpiece— Radio City Music Hall. A short walk will lead you to the Rockefeller Center, a magnificent complex of towering skyscrapers. 

As your tour continues, you will see the beautiful, gothic St Patrick's Cathedral, seat of the Archdiocese of New York. Heading north toward Central Park, you will have your chance to be part of the shopping mecca that is Fifth Avenue, abounding in old world glamour. Your tour will finish at the corner of Central Park, near the Zoo and Wollman Rink, where you will be able to explore this green oasis in the very heart of New York City. 
Private Full Day Highlights with Top of the Rock tickets
Explore the Big Apple - from the bustling streets of Downtown Manhattan to the serenity of Central Park.  On this private tour you will:

· See the best sights of Lower Manhattan, from the National 9/11 Memorial to St Paul’s Chapel
· Walk around quirky, local Greenwich Village 
· Experience the bustle of Times Square
· Enjoy the grandeur of St Patrick’s Cathedral
· Stroll in both Grand Central Terminal and Central Park
· Finish your tour gazing out on the city from the views from the Rockefeller Center

Your tour begins  at the National 9/11 Memorial and visit Ground Zero— the original site of the The World Financial Center. Here your guide will share with you the history of the World Trade Center and discuss the tragic events of 9/11. You will also visit Saint Paul's Chapel,  which was the base for rescue workers who heroically searched for survivors on that fateful day.

Next you will head towards  trendy Greenwich Village, home to over a century's worth of bohemians, artists, musicians, novelists, poets and intellectuals of New York City. From here you will take the subway to Wall Street in lower Manhattan, arguably the most important financial center of the world. You will learn about some of the most important moments in US history, from the swearing in of George Washington as the first American President, to the signing of the Buttonwood Agreement—the foundation of the New York Stock Exchange. 

Bright Lights

You will also have the opportunity to explore the gothic architecture of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, where writer F. Scott Fitzgerald was married. Then, you will walk to Grand Central Terminal, the most iconic transportation hub in the United States, with the beautiful celestial ceiling murals. 

Your guide will take you to Times Square in the midtown area to view the news ticker on the One Times Square Building, the NASDAQ board, and all the fluorescent neon advertisements. You will then venture to another icon of NYC—the Rockefeller Center. Here, your guide will give you your tickets for the Rockefeller Observation deck and part with you. Cap off your tour with  a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Manhattan and the rest of the Big Apple. 
Private Walking Tour of Midtown Manhattan with Express Empire State Building Tickets
South of Central Park lies one of the world's most important cultural and business centers. With many of the city’s most famous sights, midtown Manhattan is one of the best places to experience the spirit of New York. On your fascinating Private Walking Tour of Manhattan, soak up its unique ambience, breathe in its frenetic pace, and seek out its unforgettable highlights. 

  • Begin your tour in the heart of New York City’s theater district. 
  • Yield to the neon-lit bustle of Times Square, NYC’s most famous intersection, a monumentally busy mecca for tourists, shoppers and protesters.
  • Admire some of Manhattan’s most beautiful Art Deco structures, like the Rockefeller building, and Lawrie’s statue of Atlas.
  • Marvel at Neo-Gothic St Patrick’s Cathedral - the city’s beacon of Catholicism since 1878.
  • Stroll glamorous, affluent Fifth Avenue to gaze at the world-famous window displays of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor. 
  • Enjoy jaw-dropping views from the top of the famous 443m Empire State Building, one of NYC’s iconic landmarks.
Conjure up images of New York City and it will be Manhattan: the ritzy, glitzy heart of the Big Apple jam-packed with big-name attractions. If there is a per-place limit on iconic landmarks, Manhattan  flouts the rules - squeezing Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Met and MoMA, Times Square’s 3,685-square-foot flashing LED screens and Broadway’s bright lights into 22.7 small square miles. 

Well known by actors and stage-junkies, New York’s dazzling Theater District has been part of Manhattan since the late 19th century and its rich history provides a glorious mix of greasepaint, star-spotting and backstage gossip. While in the bustle of Times Square, learn how it earned its name when the New York Times opened an office there and erected an electronic news ticker - “The Zipper'' - in 1928. Though the newspaper office has relocated, the area remains a media hotspot, serving as host and home to the likes of MTV and Condé Nast. Times Square is an icon, a Hollywood backdrop, and the heart of the Big Apple, and where there is proof - should you need it - that New York is the city that never sleeps. After a long stroll past New York’s Public Library, depart from your guide in front of the Empire State Building, where you will enjoy express tickets to the top of the Empire State Building to retrace your steps and gaze out upon the city that never sleeps. 
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