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

Washington Square Park Hours:
Opening 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

Washington Square Park Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating I recently attended an Eid prayer at Washington Square Park, and it was an experience to remember. The park, known for its iconic arch and vibrant atmosphere, provided a serene and welcoming setting for the celebration. As I arrived early in the morning, the beauty of the park was immediately evident. The lush greenery and well-maintained grounds were a perfect backdrop for the gathering. Despite the large number of people, the park remained impeccably clean, a testament to the efforts of both the park staff and the visitors. The sense of community during the Eid prayer was palpable. People from all walks of life came together, sharing in the joyous occasion. The open spaces of the park allowed for a comfortable and spacious prayer area, making it easy to find a spot and participate in the prayers peacefully. After the prayer, I took some time to stroll around and enjoy the park’s various features. The blooming flowers, well-kept lawns, and tranquil fountains added to the overall charm. Washington Square Park truly offers a slice of nature amidst the bustling city, making it an ideal place for both events and relaxation. I would definitely come back to Washington Square Park, not just for future celebrations but also to enjoy its beauty and peaceful environment. It’s a gem in the heart of the city, perfect for a variety of activities and a great place to unwind.
Hassan Hashi - in the last week

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5 Star Rating Great space to enjoy. The arch makes the park much more interesting and picturesque. Good to have your takeout food, spend time with friends or walk around. Could be bit busy given it's a landmark. Highly recommend to visit on your walk through NYC.
Chanaka Hettige - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating Washington Square Park is a 9.75-acre (3.95 ha) public park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City. One of the best known of New York City's public parks, it is an icon as well as a meeting place and center for cultural activity.[1] It is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks).The park is an open space, dominated by the Washington Square Arch at the northern gateway to the park, with a tradition of celebrating nonconformity. The park's fountain area has long been one of the city's popular spots, and many of the local buildings have at one time served as homes and studios for artists. Many buildings have been built by New York University, while others have been converted from their former uses into academic and residential buildings
Ali sha - a month ago

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5 Star Rating A very calm and quiet place during the day. This is one of the best spots to enjoy the calmness in the middle of NY. It will be crowded during the night and weekend, especially during graduation day or any event of NYU.
Luqman M - a week ago

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5 Star Rating Nestled in the midst of bustling Greenwich Village, Washington Square Park is a true urban oasis that captures the essence of New York City's vibrant spirit. As you step into this iconic park, you can't help but feel transported into the scenes of countless beloved movies, including my favorite "When Harry Met Sally." The park's iconic arch serves as a backdrop for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Street performers, artists, and musicians create a lively ambiance, with the occasional live pianist serenading passersby with melodic tunes. It's a place where the city's energy pulses, yet there's a sense of tranquility that invites you to linger and soak in the atmosphere.
RM Torres - 2 months ago

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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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