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

Map of nearby accommodations: Booking.com

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 A wonderful place to relax when you have a break. It is quite accessible for all people, and the feel is awesome. It is open to artists as well, which can be very refreshing most if the times. Good place for a picnic as well.

tirupal rao - 5 days ago

5 Star Rating I've always wanted to go to this place because of all the positive reviews on google. I was finally able to go a few weeks ago and was very impressed. this place in now one of my more admirable places.

Susan Wilson - 10 days ago

4 Star Rating Really nice place with some real nice memories, great place day and night. especially to watch people and squirrels come and go. and some street performers as well. I once slept in this park overnight and despite the rats very nice and calm place honestly, would definitely recommend!

Cynthia van de Kamp - 19 days ago

4 Star Rating Such a huge area for public use. This is one admirable trait of New York City: to give importance to parks. It is so awesome that you need longer time to really give justice to its scenery. Now that I have discovered it I will go back soon for more photos and reflection moments.

Reina Aserios - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Always something going down, whether its a jazz band in the fountain or a dude with a bag pipe. Decent place to sit down and have a quick bite to eat while people-watching. Nice little dog park in the area, too.

S A - 1 month ago

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Some interesting facts about Washington Square Park

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