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

Official Website: Washington Square Park

Fee: no

Regular Hours:
May differ on holidays

  • Monday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Thursday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Friday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Saturday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Address: Washington Square, New York, NY 10012, USA

Official Website: Washington Square Park

Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5Washington Square Park Star Rating

5 Star Rating Having seen this park for 10 seasons of Friends, we could not resist visiting this iconic spot. At 11pm, this was absolutely flooded and lively with music and a rather young crowd. The fountain is a romantic spot to hug your partner on the steps and just relax. There are ice cream trucks late in the night and you will never go hungry here no matter what time it is. We LOVED this park and strongly recommend stopping by here

Pardeep Kumar - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Fun atmosphere and vibes here. Great for just relaxing on the grass or on a bench. For such a small park (compared to Central Park) it really is a great little place. There are unusual several amateur performers busking away.

Chris Aldrich - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating Washington Square Park is a hustling and bustling park and a must-see spot in NYC, neighboring NYU on one side. The park is full of artists selling their art, people playing chess, food carts, live music, skateboarders, locals and tourists! It has shady areas, a fountain and the famous Washington Square arch. This arch is beautiful day and night. Great place to hang out, snap pictures, support local artists. If you aim just right, you can get a picture of the Empire State Building through the Arch from one direction, and the One World Trade Center from the other direction.

Ashley H - 3 months ago

4 Star Rating Great park for people watching. Real cross section of the community walking around enjoying the day. When I was there, there was music, people writing poetry etc. Would probably avoid at night as it gets a bit dodgy. Soho area nearby has loads of restaurants and takeouts, comedy clubs and jazz bars. Could easily spend a day walking around

Ruth Reynolds - 4 months ago

5 Star Rating One of my favorite parks in the city, hands down. The vibes are ALWAYS immaculate and In the summer you can always find people and fun good times there. A must see park if you want to just walk through, chill and eat your lunch or meet new interesting people.

Micah L. Young - 3 months ago

Accommodations near 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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Some interesting facts about Washington Square Park
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