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
Official Website: Washington Square ParkFee: no
Some attractions may have reduced hours or be closed due to COVID-19. Please verify opening hours with the attraction before visiting.
Anna H. Aug-15-2020
It has been exactly two weeks since the first rally and peaceful march organized by China Mac and William Lex Ham at Seth Low Playground. Today, I spent... Read More
Johanna B. Oct-13-2020
Washington Square Park is one of my favorite parks that can be considered a New York icon. The arch stands proudly representing it as a myriad of activities... Read More
Morlene C. Nov-25-2020
This is my favorite people watching park, by far. Central Park is more touristy and Prospect Park feels dominated by stroller moms and dogs. Most of the... Read More
Accommodations near Washington Square Park:
|Subway Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|A, B, C, D, E, F or M||West 4th Street||3 minutes|
|N or R||8th Street / New York University||5 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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