New York Times Square is one of the most recognizable places in the world. Formerly known as Longacre Square, it was renamed in 1904 when the famous newspaper, The New York Times, moved its headquarters to the location. At the same time, the city’s first subway line opened and a station was constructed in the square. Before long, Times Square became the bustling heart and social scene of New York City. The area grew attracting theaters, restaurants, hotels, and music halls.
To celebrate the opening of The New York Times new Times Tower at 1 Times Square, Alfred Ochs, the newspapers owner, threw a huge celebration on New Year’s Eve. Thousands of people crowded the streets for an all-day festival that ended with a fireworks display. The event was such a success that it became an annual event. A couple of years after the initial celebration the fireworks display was banned from the city. Ochs had a large ball constructed which was lowered on a flagpole at midnight to signify the end of the year and the beginning of 1908. For almost every New Year’s Eve since, the New Year has been welcomed in with revelers filling the street and the famous New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.
Other than the famous New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, New York’s Times Square has a lot to offer including huge neon signs, zipper boards, Good Morning America, MTV, and thousands of people. A wide variety of shopping experiences, an assortment of dining restaurants, first class hotels, and exciting nightlife, as well as plenty of entertainment, events and attractions are all here to be enjoyed.
New York Times Square Tours
One of your first stops in New York Times Square should be the Times Square Information Center located on 7th Avenue. Here you will find brochures and information about all of the major sites in the area. You can also purchase tickets to Broadway Shows. Every Friday at noon a Times Square Expose Free Walking Tour leaves the Information Center. The tour takes you to historic theaters, new sites around the neighborhood and shows you the best that the area has to offer.
The “Times Walking Tour” explores the history of Times Square as well as the architecture, theater and more. Along with walking tours there are also bus tours of New York City, and self-guided tours with audio commentary. One of the popular bus tours offered is the double-decker, hop-on, hop-off guided bus tour. The guides point out various city landmarks and explain some of the areas rich history. If you’d like to stop and shop, dine, or explore then hop-off the tour and take a break. When you are ready to continue the tour hop-on and continue with the tour.
These tours are a great way to see the city and learn more about the history and culture of the area. Your tour guides can help point you to some great out of the way Times Square restaurants or to where to buy Broadway tickets to the best shows.
Times Square Hotels
With all the busyness of the city and the hustle and bustle of Times Square you will want to be sure to have your accommodations lined up before arriving in New York City (NYC). After a day of sightseeing around Manhattan, the return to a nice hotel with a comfortable bed will end your night on the perfect note. From hostels and inexpensive hotels, to top of the line luxury hotels and spas you will find a Times Square hotel to fit your budget. Search for your perfect New York Times Square accommodations.
If you aren’t on a budget, in Times Square there are some luxury and boutique hotels offer excellent concierge services and are well-decorated and spacious. They tend to offer more services standard, such as the technologies provided in the room. Some of these beautiful, well-kept hotels boast the chance to bump into the rich and the famous, although this isn’t guaranteed like the good service and plentiful amenities.
However, all the hotels located in Times Square tend to be rather expensive in comparison with other hotels in Manhattan that are still well-located for enjoying the city. If you’re on a budget, you may be better off looking for a hotel elsewhere in Manhattan. Yet, some hotels in New York Times Square are better than others. You may be able to book a hotel for a more reasonable price if you search through the sites and look for deals. If you’re not interested in the amenities and the services provided by the hotel and are only looking for a place to sleep at night, a low-ranking, cheaper hotel may be your better option. Even in Times Square and the Theater District, there are hotels that are a little dated and in need of repair and updating but are well-located, if that’s important to you.