Times Square in New York City

Times Square

Times Square is the quintessential New York City neighborhood with screaming billboards and glittering signs stretching from the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue right into the heart of Manhattan. This curiosity-filled spot has already celebrated its 100th birthday. The birthday has been celebrated since April 1904, when the unusual skyscraper of the New York Times rose into the square, giving a new name to Longacre Square, which over time has become one continuous attraction of running neon and other advertisements. That same year the terminus of the first subway line opened here. The glow of lights in Times Square didn’t stop even during World Wars I and II.

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Video: Times Square


Times Square attracts 35 million visitors each year. Huge specialty stores like American Eagle and theme stores like Hershey’s draw people in, and multiplex movie theaters draw crowds thanks to huge screens. In an effort to make the area more pedestrian-friendly and reduce the usual amount of traffic, Broadway from 47th to 42nd Street has been turned into a bike zone.

It was here that the tradition of the New Year’s Eve crystal “apple” was born, making the square the main center of any New York City holiday, the hub of all modern spectacles. It’s challenging, but you can find a secluded spot in this patch of bustle and just watch the whole thing happen. You can sit on a small island of sidewalk, dividing the pedestrian zebra in half, it will seem that you are in the center of the tornado, and all around flying and sparkling. The tourists with their mouths hanging open, the local rockers on their roaring steel horses, the Native Americans or Mexicans playing national tunes are quite amusing. Sit next to them, turn on your video camera, shoot a video panorama of the square, and you’ll have the most original soundtrack to your movie.

Of the countless stores surrounding Times Square, Toys “R” Us is worth noting. Even if kids are just a fantasy from the distant future to you, it’s worth a visit to this fairy tale. If you can manage to pop into this world of childhood for no longer than an hour, then you’re just not in New York yet. If the kids are with you and you’re already in the store, then getting out will be a “dream of the day” for you. Imagine crème brûlée and yourself inside, how quickly can you enjoy the unforgettable taste? And the kids? All in all, it’s worth a bite of that apple slice, too (www.toysrustimessquare.com). The Hard Rock Cafe and the enormous size of the MTV store are here too, right across the street.

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At the Marriott Marquis, the 1,600-seat Marquis Theater opens its doors to the public on the third floor. This hotel, which has become a landmark on the square, was built in 1985 and is 50 stories high. It is the second largest in the city. On floors 46-47 is a restaurant with a revolving floor that offers an amazing view of Times Square and the whole city.

Architect John Portamine, Jr. designed it in the form of a Spanish courtyard with balconies, where the doors of the rooms open. But the “courtyard” is huge. The atrium with light pouring in from above occupies 37 floors. In the center of the stylobate the elevator booths with glass walls crawl, and the hotel guests, going up or down, see through the glass the whole interior of this huge building and feel themselves soaring above the abyss. Entrance to the hotel, of course, is free.

You can ride the elevator and have a cup of fragrant coffee in one of the many cafes on the floors.

In Times Square is the most famous theater box office in New York City. It sells so-called “burning” tickets to all performances, to all theaters, for half price. But you have to stand in a long line and there’s no guarantee you’ll get the tickets to the show you want: because the “hot”, unredeemed for the day tickets can be frustratingly few. That depends on your luck.

There are wonderful people standing in lines, true connoisseurs of art, who simply cannot afford to buy tickets at full price. Note the white and red booth that says “tkts”.

Times square.

Times Square

Times Square is one of the most famous landmarks of New York City. It is always crowded and noisy, which allows you to feel the rapid rhythm of city life. That’s why it is nicknamed “the crossroads of the world”.

Times Square is home to Broadway theaters, specialty stores (Hershey’s, M&M’s, American Eagle), numerous eateries and cafes (Hard Rock Café), entertainment (Madame Tussauds Museum) and skyscrapers. There is also the studio of the famous television channel ABC. Among the famous buildings are Paramount Building (a structure with a globe and a clock), One Times Square, Condé Nast Building. Around the square are hotels that have been in operation for decades. Another attraction are the characters walking the streets and offering to take pictures with them. These are characters from movies, cartoons and comic books, as well as practically naked cowboys and girls painted in the colors of the American flag.

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During the daytime Times Square is not as spectacular shine as in the evening, when the lights are brightly lit advertising. Many tourists want their message to pop up on one of the Times Square screens. Usually they are marriage proposals or announcements of some kind. You can read more about these options on the website.

Times Square

Times Square Camera

The life of the famous square can be watched in real time. There are several cameras installed here that allow you to look at the landmark from different angles:

    : Times square online. It’s broadcast from the intersection of 7th Avenue and Broadway, at a fairly high elevation. Every few minutes the camera rotates and shows the square from the other side, higher or lower, closer or farther away.
  1. Times Square online: middle view. This camera shows the square a little closer and focuses on its central part: you can see the road, the intersection, and the glittering buildings with advertisements. The picture periodically zooms in and out.
  2. The camera on the Broadway side shows a closer shot to see people walking down the street. Usually slow walking and looking at all the tourists, while locals quickly run across the area. The webcam in Times Square is installed in the center section, at a height of several meters.
  3. Panoramic video (south side). This online camera in Times Square in New York City is mounted on one of the city’s high-rise buildings. The skyscrapers surrounding the square are clearly visible, and the famous One Times Square with its advertising screens is in the center.
  4. The panoramic video (north side) shows a view similar to the previous camera, but from the opposite side of the square.

Thanks to the webcams in Times Square, the online broadcast helps to visualize the scale of the place. It is clear from the video that the square is a vibrant and iconic place with crowds of people and cars, surrounded by overhead buildings and glowing billboards of enormous proportions.

Times Square


The square hosts a variety of events: festive and entertaining, sports, culinary, educational, creative, and more. On Valentine’s Day there is a special program, and some people come here especially to make a proposal or even to arrange a wedding. During festivals it is even busier than usual, there are traditional seasonal events. Entrance to concerts and other events is usually free.

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Since the square is in the theater district, people often come here while attending plays. Check the Times square New York website for a poster of Broadway theatrical productions.

You should also plan a visit to Times square during the Midnight Moment. It’s a digital art exhibition during which images, words and other works by artists appear synchronously on electronic billboards. “The Moment” takes place every night, from 11:57 p.m. to 00:00 a.m. It is a very spectacular spectacle, with themes changing monthly.

Times Square

New Year’s Eve

For a long time now, New York City’s main square has become one of travelers’ favorite places to celebrate New Year’s Eve. It’s not just because of the interesting holiday program and the beautiful decoration of the place. The balloon in Times Square, which falls on New Year’s Eve, is one of the main reasons why tourists tend to come here on New Year’s Eve.

This tradition began in 1907; the first balloon consisted of metal and wooden parts and was decorated with light bulbs. It was invented to replace the earlier holiday fireworks that were banned by the authorities. The balloon was lowered down from the One Times Square building using ropes on a flagpole. Since then, on New Year’s Day, the balloon has regularly “fallen” in Times Square, meaning it has been lowered down. The spectacle was not organized only during the war years, when lights helped enemies track targets. At 6:00 p.m. the balloon is ceremoniously lifted to the top, and the fall begins at 11:59 p.m. and lasts a minute. Thus, when it reaches the lower ground, the beginning of the year begins.

New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square Ball several times changed, the modern version weighs 17 times more than the first. It consists of many luminous triangular-shaped parts.

When the square’s main decoration is lowered, confetti with wishes fall on the assembled audience. Travelers advise arriving at the square in the afternoon to get a seat and get to the Times square New Year’s celebration, they call the best seats closer to 43rd Street. Warm clothing should be taken care of.

About a million people attend the celebration each year, and the iconic event is also shown online. Music concerts by world stars take place in the city’s main square, and digital fireworks sparkle on advertising screens. In 2019, for example, “BTS,” a k-pop group from South Korea, performed at Times square.

In the year of the 100th anniversary of the Times Square Ball drop ceremony, a new LED crystal ball was created. It inspired the owners of One Times Square to create a permanent ball that tourists can look at year-round. The skyscraper from which the ball falls also has an illuminated clock that counts down to the new year. However, the square quickly becomes empty after 00:00, so it’s worth making a plan for the rest of the night in advance.

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Video: New Year’s Eve in Times Square in New York City

Performances in Times Square

The square is constantly becoming a venue for various cultural events, such as new album or game launches, as well as all kinds of shows and celebrations. The concerts in Times Square with Broadway artists and composers are especially interesting to attend.

Throughout the year, there are live performances of various musical styles and genres. The square is also the place to watch concerts aired by TV stations. Broadcasts take place on the big screens of Times Square in New York City.

Times Square


The history of Times Square goes back a little over a century. In 1904, the editorial office of the popular newspaper The New York Times opened on this site in the newly constructed Times Building on 42nd Street. Its publisher, Adolph Ochs, proposed to City Hall that the existing Longarx Square be renamed Times Square. He also convinced the mayor to build a subway station there.

The renaming was celebrated on April 8, 1904, and today the building itself is now known simply as One Times Square. By the way, the editorial office of The New York Times moved there in 1913. Now many people associate the skyscraper with huge billboards, the light from which floods the entire square.

During the first decades of the 20th century and the so-called “Jazz Age,” Times Square grew rapidly and prospered. First of all, the opening of the theaters, for which Broadway is still famous, contributed to it. But with the onset of the Great Depression everything changed: some theaters closed, some began to specialize in erotic shows, and many pornographic stores appeared around. The atmosphere couldn’t help but draw the fringe and criminals here, so Times Square gained quite a notoriety.

Crime peaked in the 1970s, as portrayed by Martin Scorsese in Taxi Driver. Things began to change under Reagan, when in the 80s, the mayors of New York systematically took steps to clean up and improve the image of the area. In 1992, the Times Square Alliance, an association of businessmen, was founded. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani made an impressive contribution to making Times Square a tourist attraction.

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In 2008, a red staircase appeared there that sells tickets to Broadway theaters. Tourists love to sit down on these steps and take pictures. In 2009, it was decided to convert the main part of the square into a pedestrian plaza. As a result, today the square is a popular landmark, filled with tourists almost around the clock, making Times Square a pretty crazy atmosphere.

Times Square

Movies about Times Square

The square has become the setting for many films. Its appearance and mood have inspired more than one generation of creators. Famous motion pictures from the 1980s include: “Times Square” and “Children of Times Square”, to the early 2000s: “Vanilla Sky”, “Spider-Man”, “King Kong”, to more modern ones: “I Am Legend”, “Old New Year” and many others, in which characters visit the iconic New York Square. Sometimes the image of Times square can be used simply to refer to the city. And in some films the square is shown completely empty or abandoned (more often in pictures about disasters, etc.).

One of the most famous images was the photo of Times Square “Victory Day. Photographer Eisenstadt managed to capture here a spontaneous moment when a sailor kissed a nurse. The photo was taken during the 1945 victory parade over Japan.This image is also called “The Kiss in Times Square.”

Times Square

How to get to Times square

The boundaries of Times Square are delineated by 6th and 8th Avenue, between 40th and 53rd Streets. The area between 42nd and 47th Streets is pedestrian-friendly. For motorists there is plenty of parking nearby, their numbers and addresses can be found on the website.

Getting to Times Square is easy by public transport, as it is one of the main arteries of the city.

The subway near 42nd St:

  • Times Square 42 & 7 Av line 7 station;
  • Times Square 42 Street Station, line S;
  • Times Sq-42 St Station, lines N, Q, R, W;
  • 42 St-Bryant Park Station, lines B, D, F, M.

Subway near 53rd Street:

  • 50th Street & Broadway Station, lines 1, 2;
  • 7 Avenue Station, lines B, D, E;
  • 49th St Subway Station, lines N, Q, R, W;
  • 50th Street Subway Station, lines A, C, E.

Buses to the plaza:

  • 7 Av/W 39 St stop, No. M7, M20;
  • 7 Av/W 44th St stop, no. M104;
  • W 42 St/Broadway stop, # M42.

Some tourists advise heading here on foot or by cab, as it’s easy to get confused by subway exits. Cab services in New York City include Uber, Lyft, and Gett.

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