Before You Visit Times Square

Times Square is the heart of New York City.

It’s the crossroads of the world, and it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. There’s a reason they call it “The Great White Way,” and it’s because there’s simply nowhere else quite like it. The history of Times Square proves over and over again that this is a place where anything and everything is possible. From the first New Year’s Eve celebration in 1904 to the present day, Times Square has been a symbol of hope, excitement, and possibility for people from all walks of life. The best way to describe it is probably with one word: energy.

No matter how you feel about big cities, there’s no denying that Times Square is a must-see destination. Whether you’re coming to New York for the first time or the hundredth time, there’s always something new to see and do in this vibrant neighborhood.

So what should you expect? Is the hype all worth it?

nyc times square

Here’s everything you need to know before you visit Times Square.

1. Expect large crowds

Times Square is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, which means that it can get pretty crowded. If you’re not a fan of big crowds, then you might want to visit during off-peak hours or avoid Times Square altogether. However, if you’re up for some people-watching, then you’ll find that there’s no shortage of interesting characters in this part of town.

Georgetown University professor and author of “The Psychology of Crowds” Jeffery Inbar explains that people are attracted to crowds because of the “inherent social proof.” In other words, we’re more likely to have a good time if we see others around us having a good time. So even if you’re not a people person, keep in mind that there’s a reason why Times Square is so popular. It’s because it’s a great place to be!

2. Dress for the weather

Times Square is located in the heart of New York City, which means that the weather can be unpredictable. Be sure to dress for the season and check the forecast before you head out. The last thing you want is to be caught in the rain without an umbrella or to be shivering cold in the middle of winter. A while back, I was in Times Square on a hot summer day and ended up buying a cheap pair of sunglasses from a street vendor because I forgot to pack my own. So trust me, it’s always better to be prepared!

The winters in Times Square can be brutally cold, so if you’re visiting during that time of year, be sure to dress in layers. I recommend a coat, scarf, hat, and gloves. And don’t forget to pack your comfortable walking shoes! The last thing you want is to be stuck in the middle of a crowded street with sore feet.

3. Be prepared for bright lights and noise

Times Square is famously known for its bright lights and loud noises. If you’re sensitive to light or sound, then you might want to bring a pair of sunglasses or earplugs with you. However, if you can tough it out, then you’ll find that the hustle and bustle of Times Square is part of what makes it so unique and exciting.

The one thing you have to understand about the big apple is that it’s always loud. There’s never a moment of silence, so if you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation, then New York City is probably not the best place for you.

4. Have cash on hand

Although Times Square is filled with high-end stores and restaurants, there are also plenty of opportunities to snag a bargain. If you’re looking to do some souvenir shopping or grab a bite to eat from a street vendor, then you’ll need to have cash on hand. Many vendors don’t accept credit cards, so it’s always better to be prepared.

Let’s face it. We live in a world of technology, and cash is slowly becoming a thing of the past. But in Times Square, it’s still king.

Broadway Mask
Decorative mask from Venice carnival

5. There’s more to Times Square than Broadway

Times Square is known for its theaters and world-famous Broadway shows. However, there’s so much more to this neighborhood than just theater. If you’re not interested in seeing a show, then you can still find plenty of things to do. For example, you can take a walking tour or visit one of the many museums and art galleries in the area. You can also go shopping, people watching, or simply take in the sights and sounds of this vibrant neighborhood.

The Book of Mormon

When the Book of Mormon came out, it was an instant hit. The Broadway show was praised by critics and audiences alike, and it’s definitely a must-see if you’re in Times Square.

The Book of Mormon tells the story of two Mormon missionaries who are sent to Africa to convert the locals. However, things don’t go as planned, and the missionaries find themselves in the middle of a war-torn country. Despite the serious subject matter, the show is actually very funny and will have you laughing from start to finish. If you’re looking for a great Broadway show to see while you’re in Times Square, then I highly recommend checking out the Book of Mormon.

6. Times Square is a great place for families

Times Square may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of family-friendly activities. However, there are actually plenty of things for families to do in this neighborhood. For example, you can visit Madame Tussauds wax museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, or the NBC Studio Tour. You can also go on a horse-drawn carriage ride or take a ferry to Ellis Island.

No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something for everyone in your family to enjoy in Times Square.

7. Times Square is an international destination

Times Square is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and it’s not just for Americans. In fact, Times Square is actually a very international destination, and you’re likely to hear languages from all over the globe while you’re here. If you’re looking to meet people from all over the world, then Times Square is definitely the place to be.

8. Be careful of pickpockets

As with any busy tourist destination, there are always going to be opportunistic criminals looking to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists. When you’re in Times Square, be sure to keep an eye on your belongings and never leave your bags unattended. If possible, carry your bag in front of you, and keep your wallet in a secure place.

Statistics show that pickpocketing is on the rise in New York City. So it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to protect your belongings.

9. Don’t forget to tip

If you’re getting services from someone in Times Square, such as a taxi driver or a restaurant server, then don’t forget to leave a tip. Tipping is customary in the United States, and it’s always appreciated. Most taxi drivers expect a 15-20% tip, and restaurant servers usually expect a 15-20% tip as well.

10. Times Square is a great place to people watch

Times Square is one of the best places in the world to people-watch. You’ll see all sorts of people from all walks of life, and you’re sure to have some interesting conversations with the people you meet. If you’re looking to people-watch, then I recommend grabbing a coffee or a drink and finding a spot where you can just sit back and take it all in.

Bottom Line:

So there you have it, 10 things to remember before you visit Times Square. Come see a Broadway show or just to check out this iconic neighborhood. Be sure to keep these tips in mind and you’re sure to have a great time. Thanks for reading!

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