Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is popular with locals and tourists alike

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park cc licensed photo by Doc Searls

Where Harry met Sally, Washington Square Park is one of New York's most loved parks and has been a community meeting place and community center since it opened in 1826.

With an eclectic past as a cemetery, public gallows and military parade ground, Washington Square Park is well-known for its eccentricity and is emblematic of the Beat generation and hippie movement in bohemian Greenwich Village. Now, avant-garde street performers are a more common sight than the shifty types that plagued the park in the 1980s and Washington Square Park is once again one of the city's most popular spots for locals and tourists.

One of the most prominent features of Washington Square Park, Washington's Arch, was built in 1889, modelled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, to commemorate the centenary of President Washington's inauguration. Originally built in wood and rebuilt in marble in 1891, cars were allowed to drive through Washington's Arch until 1971 when the park was redesigned and closed to vehicular traffic.

Washington Square Park's previously unnamed fountain was recently refurbished and relocated to the center of the park and controversially renamed the "Tisch Fountain", after a wealthy family of NYU benefactors. While officially access to the fountain is denied and a fence has been erected as a deterrent, it hasn't stopped visitors from using the fountain for its original purpose as a wading pool.

Children's play areas, dog runs, shady greens and walking tracks draw thousands of people to park daily. Chess tables in the southwest, where Stanley Kubrick played in his youth and featured in Searching for Bobby Fischer, always attract a crowd. Nearby cafes on Bleeker Street and MacDougal Street are lovely options to relax after a stroll in the park.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: no

Open Now

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Thursday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Friday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Saturday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Sunday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Address: New York, NY 10012, USA

Phone: (212) 639-9675

Official Website: Washington Square Park

Directions

Subway Line Nearest Station Walking Time
A, B, C, D, E, F or MWest 4th Street3 minutes
N or R8th Street / New York University5 minutes

How to get to Washington Square Park by Subway

Take the A, B, C, D, E, F or M train to West 4th Street, head northeast on 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), turn left on Washington Place or take the N or R train to 8th Street / New York University, head southwest on Broadway, turn right onto Washington Place.

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Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5Washington Square Park Star Rating

5 Star Rating Love this park! Our 5 year old twins love to play in the children's play areas. They also like playing in the large fountain. Such a beautiful, relaxing, green space to relax & people watch

Howard Tran - 1 day ago

5 Star Rating A great location to get outdoors in the heart of Manhattan. The arch is impressive and there are spectacular views of the surrounding skyscrapers. This place can get crowded with tourists, but I'd recommend checking out the large, lighted Christmas tree in the winter. Definitely a good location for a quick rest as you make your way through the city.

Will Koehrsen - 5 days ago

5 Star Rating If you’re in town, this is must visit place on your list as it is very iconic. During the fall and winter, it’s relatively quiet and very photographic scenic on rainy and snowy days. It’s colors truly shine during the summer and spring when you have local NYU community hosting outdoor events, as well as New Yorkers and especially during Pride Month.

Mario T - 26 days ago

5 Star Rating Beautiful and relaxing park in the middle of Greenwich Village. Probably the most famous sight at this park is the arch at the northern edge of the park. Otherwise, there is a small dog park to the southern edge and a big water fountain that is quite popular during the hot summer months. Most of the locals just sit around the fountain and relax with some good old people watching. The park is quite popular throughout the entire year as it is a large green space in the middle of many high-rise apartments/condos. It's a nice oasis from the rest of the bustling city around it.

John Hsieh - 27 days ago

5 Star Rating Lovely visit on a cloudy but wonderful fall afternoon. Thriving park loaded with places to sit and people watch. Clean, full of people enjoying themselves and the outdoors. Felt safe. Great neighborhood. Classic NYC park experience. Recommended!

Kevin Jarrett - 1 month ago

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Some interesting facts about Washington Square Park

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