Oh, Time Square… I dare to call this buzzing and chaotic area the touristic epicenter of New York City (as a travel destination).
The first time you face the gigantic billboards, intense lights and hectic energy will be very likely engraved in your memory. That happened to me and in my opinion it was the perfect intro to the magical love story I have with New York. For that reason I want to share with you some tips so you can have the most amazing experience!
I’ve been to NYC many times and have to admit that once you kind of get used to the city, you start avoiding Time Square and other touristic spots. That being said these tips are great especially if it’s your first time there.
1.TAKE ICONIC PHOTOS
New York is one photogenic city! And Time Squares is one of the most iconic locations to go and shoot. It does for the perfect background for photos during the day and also during the night thanks to the bright lights.
If this area doesn’t awake your creative senses… well, have a coffee or something!
Pro-tip: Find the best angles, I swear it’s possible to avoid having thousands of people on your photo if you find the right angle. You can even stand on something higher than ground level to achieve it or you can shoot up from a low angle.
2.PEOPLE WATCH (FREE)
The madness of Time Square also transfers on the people! You will surely see the “naked cowboy” sort of playing a guitar, a topless old lady, Power Rangers, people wearing poorly made costumes of Disney characters and so on. It’s funny BUT watch out for the scammers. Some of them will act all nice and get you into taking a photo with them, then demand from $10 to $20 for it. Same with guys giving you CD’s or other products. Once they put it on your hands they will intimidate you until you pay for it, they won’t let you get it back in most cases. I’m very wary of this so this hasn’t happened to me personally but I can’t say they haven’t tried. You can also Google “Scams Time Square” to avoid a head ache cause by a scammer.
But anyways, this doesn’t mean you can’t fun just watching people! Go to the center and get a coffee from Starbucks, grab a red chair and enjoy witnessing the frenetic je ne sais quoi of Time Square!
3.CATCH A BROADWAY SHOW
Times Square has numerous theaters showing world-famous Broadway productions. Don’t miss the chance to see a musical or play at one of these historic venues. Get tickets and enjoy some of the best theatrical productions in the world!
What show is the right show for you really comes down to your personal taste, of course. But I highly recommend my favorite: Moulin Rouge!
You can learn about it here.
If you want to catch a Broadway show at a discount, head to the TKTS booth in Times Square. They sell same-day tickets for shows at a reduced price.
The options are endless! There’s so many shops all around, there’s everything for everyone around this area. As a fashion designer myself I’m happy to visit all the great fabric shops around the area! You can find all fast-fashion shops there are and also great designer stores.
There’s also several Sephora stores and we all know that’s one happy place for most of us! There’s plenty of other Makeup stores around including MAC and KIKO Milan.
5.SUPER TOURISTIC ACTIVITIES
I’m not into these things but I thought I would let you know about these places incase it’s something you enjoy. You can visit the M&Ms World, Hershey Chocolate World, Disney Store or go on a City Tour bus ride, especially if you don’t have much time to explore the city properly.
6.VISIT OR DO NOT VISIT THE MADAME TUSSAUD’S WAX MUSEUM
You want me to be honest… I think you only need to go to a Madame Tussaud’s Museum once in your life, just to have an idea what it is about. I’ve been to the one in London so when I went to the one in NYC I was more than unimpressed. I kind of regret wasting around $200 dollars on it but still went so my mum could experience it. I’m happy she had fun but the exorbitant price (for what it is) really makes me have some hard feelings about it.
Pro-tip: Watch some Youtube videos to see and analyze if this activity would be something worth it for you.
6.HANG OUT AT A ROOFTOP BAR
CloudM, The Skylark, St. Cloud at The Knickerbocker Hotel, R Lounge, PHD Terrace and Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge are great places known for their cool rooftop bars offering the perfect vibe to appreciate the city views. Keep in mind that some are more chic and upscale venues so you want to plan accordingly.
7.WHERE TO EAT IN TIME SQUARE
As I mentioned before, I now kind of avoid this area but I can still recommend the places I’ve been to and liked! The Counter has pretty good burgers, Joe’s Pizza and Hard Rock has some decent food as well.
New York City can be an intimidating city and with all the buzz comes some chaos. It’s always important to be very street smart and keep all your senses on your surroundings. Times Square attracts tens of thousands of visitors on a daily basis, which inevitably also attracts scammers and thieves. So beware.
If you’re traveling solo as a woman I recommend checking this guide on how to do it safely.
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