Washington Square Park

Attractions, Historic buildings and sites Greenwich Village Free
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Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park

RECOMMENDED: 50 best New York attractions

The hippies who famously turned up and tuned out in Washington Square Park are still there in spirit, and indeed often in person. In warmer months the park—which was once a potter’s field—is one of the best people-watching spots in the city, hummings with musicians and street artists, while skateboarders clatter near the base of the iconic 1895 Washington Arch (a modest replica of Paris’s Arc de Triomphe). Plus, kids can splash in the area's new fountain on sweltering days.


Venue name: Washington Square Park
Address: W 4th St to Waverly Pl between MacDougal St and University Pl
New York
Transport: Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, M to W 4th St; N, R to 8th St–NYU
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  • Festivals Saturday September 2 2017 - Sunday September 10 2017 Free

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I work in the west village, so I frequent Washington Square Park often. It's a great plae to just chill on a sunny day and enjoy the sights. The park is lush and green with a beautiful fountain. You can periodically see performers in the park including a pianist, jugglers, cyclists, or bands playing. It's a great park in a great neighborhood. Feel free to pass by and read a book, listen to music, or people watch. 

Always a great place to walk through and take in the sights and sounds of the crowd.  I was  there just after it rained and captured this shot.  Very "New York" if you ask me.


Informally the NYU campus, practically a small, peaceful respite in an otherwise cluttered section of the village. The park itself is pretty much tiny but, there is a lot here. The arch, and fountain are iconic, and the proximity to NYU buildings means a constant flux of young New Yorkers. There is ample seating, and small enclosures for lounging and relaxing. Often cited for prime people watching.

One of my favorite parks to go to at night. The energy at Washington Square Park is unreal, and it doesn't stop after dark! I met a friend here around 8:30PM on a warm evening during the end of April and it was bustling! Live music, people hanging out in a relaxed atmosphere and definitely someplace that I would want to hang! Although the fountain wasn't on just yet, it totally did not matter. The vibe was right and we hung out for awhile just people watching and catching up. There's always something going on during the day as well, whether its a yoga class, the annual pillow fight in early April and NYU students working on some sort of project. I love this park, just gives an all-around good feeling whether I'm just passing through or deciding to hang out for a while. 

Listen, you Washington Square Park might be one of the more tourist-ey spots in all of New York, but I'll be damned if it isn't inspiring. It gets crowded during the summer, and its fountain doesn't operate during the winter, but you can feel the history behind it whenever you pass through it. Whether you're a local or a tourist, it's worth checking out if you're in downtown Manhattan. 


Washington Square Park is one of my favorite smaller parks in Manhattan. With its iconic arch, water fountain and nearby dog park, what’s not to love? I understand that it’s very very crowded during the summer, but there’s a beauty in that. It’s one of the best places to go people watch. Everywhere you go, there’s something to see whether they are impromptu Shakespearean plays, painted half-nude people, art students or children running around. Often, you’ll find there’s some sort of festival going on during the weekend. I love to meet up with friends there and find a place to sit down and chat.