Flashing neon lights and giant digital billboards. Brilliant Broadway marquees. Costumed characters and musicians. Times Square is big, bright and unforgettable. Its main junction is filled with popular retailers—plus the TKTS discount booth, which offers up to 50 percent off theater tickets. Walk to the top of its red steps—you may know them from the "Empire State of Mind" video—for a sweeping view of the area, including One Times Square, the building from which the ball drops on New Year's Eve. People-watchers will love the pedestrian-only zones furnished with tables and chairs.
Where is Times Square? Times Square proper encompasses 42nd to 47th Streets, from Broadway to Seventh Avenue—but people commonly refer to the area from around 40th to 53th Streets, between Sixth and Eighth Avenues, as Times Square.
When are the best times to visit? Any time, though the billboards look best photographed at night.
Do the lights always stay on? Yes.
I want to see the Naked Cowboy. Where does he stand? Unless he’s out of town, the Naked Cowboy usually hangs out around 45th Street and Broadway just before noon.
Do I have to pay to take a photo with one of the costumed characters? You are never obligated to pay or tip any of the costumed characters. Having said that, common sense dictates that you may want to keep your distance; these performers are unlicensed and not always friendly.
How do I watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve? The Times Square Alliance recommends watching on Broadway between West 43rd and West 50th Streets and on Seventh Avenue up to West 59th Street. You'll have to show up early to get a good spot. Read more in our guide.