Famous Squares and Plazas to Visit in New York City

Squares and Plazas in New York City

New York City offers a number of squares and plazas where visitors can relax and take in the sights. Many squares are filled with vegetation and they usually offer benches or seats where you can rest your tired legs. These squares often serve as gathering places for locals, who get together, exercise, or even organize protests or cultural events in the open space. For tourists, these central squares offer a glimpse into daily life in the city. Below are several of the most popular squares and plazas in New York City.
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan is one of the city's most famous public parks. Visitors here can find the huge Washington Arch which is a large, marble triumphant arch which serves as a landmark and honors the nation's first president. In front of the arch is a nice fountain. The arch also serves as the terminus for 5th Avenue. Also located in the square is a monument to Alexander Lyman Holley, along with some walking paths, benches, and shaded tree areas which make for a nice and relaxing picnic spot.
Washington Square Village, NYC, New York
Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is one of the most famous areas in New York City. It's known for its brightly lit billboards which really brighten the city at night. But even if you visit during the day you'll find the area filled with energy, activity, and people. If the crowds get to be too much, there are bleachers set up on one side where you can sit and take a break. Times Square is also recognizable as the location of the iconic ball drop on New Years Eve. It's also an entertainment center for the city.

Times Square is in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue.
Interested in more travel advice for New York City? Check out The Best Iconic Skyscrapers to Visit in New York City and The Best Planetariums to Visit near New York City.
Flatiron Plaza
Flatiron Plaza
Flatiron Plaza is a triangular pedestrian plaza that offers a great view of the famous Flatiron building. It's also right by Madison Square Park. During the warmer months, this plaza comes to life with live music or other forms of entertainment, but it's a nice place to relax and people watch any time of the year.
Union Square
Union Square Park is a popular place to tourists and locals alike. The park is a hub of activity and there always seems to be something going on. Locals are often in the park playing chess, and there are performers that entertain tourists and those passing by. The park also has lots of public artwork as well as the Metronome and Countdown Clock, which shows 24 hour time from left to right and also counts down the time that's left in the day. Various markets are also held here at different times of the year, such as Christmas.
St. Vincent's Triangle Park
This triangular plaza is in the middle of Greenwich Village and is the location of the New York City AIDS Memorial. The park also has beautiful vegetation and plenty of seating where wanderers can rest their weary legs. Whether you want to watch the people passing by or just take a moment to reflect to yourself, this is a nice space to spend some time.
SoHo
SoHo has evolved over the years from an eclectic artsy neighborhood in the 1970s and 1980s to the trendy shopping district that it is today. SoHo stands for South of Houston Street, and while there are still many galleries, much of the local vibe has been replaced with high end commercial boutiques. The neighborhood also has many great restaurants and boutique hotels.
NYC, New York, 10012
Plaza 33
Located on 33rd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, this square has a public amphitheater, some green space, and one of the Roy Lichtenstein Brushstroke Group sculptures. There are wooden bleachers where you can relax and there is often music or other activities going on by the amphitheater.
Louise Nevelson Plaza
Located by William St. and Liberty St., this plaza is where you'll find the seven sculptures called "Shadows and Flags." You'll likely pass by it on your way to catch a boat to see the Statue of Liberty. There are several glass benches in the area as well where you can relax for a bit before continuing to explore Lower Manhattan.
If you're looking for more information about New York City, read Free Things to Do in New York City and The Best History Museums in New York City.
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Planning a trip to New York City? You might also be interested in A Nature Lover's Guide to New York City and The Best Outdoor Activities in New York City and The Best Places To People Watch In New York City.
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