is times square worth the hassle?

You’ve all probably asked yourselves this question while planning a trip to New York City. Is Times Square worth the hassle? Well, I’m here to help you out.

Is Times Square Worth the Hassle

I’ll admit, I’ve visited Times Square on three different occasions and sometimes it really does cause you to feel claustrophobic and completely overwhelmed. There are tourists everywhere, traffic is so bad it’s laughable, vendors approach you with every tour bus deal under the sun, and the winding line for discounted Broadway tickets makes walking on the sidewalk impossible. But still, I choose to explore the area every single time because it’s so different from the Midwest or downtown DC — or any other place I’ve lived, for that matter. And for this reason I think that Times Square is worth the hassle… and the headaches you’ll probably develop while listening to the constant noise of car horns and tourists screaming for the Naked Cowboy.

Naked Cowboy Times Square
Exploring Times Square
Why Times Square is Worth the Hassle

Maybe it’s because I was an avid viewer of MTV’s Total Request Live, but this area reminds me of so many childhood memories. Like stalking ‘N Sync’s every move. Oh, and the Backstreet Boys. And any popular boy band, really. I remember sitting in my kitchen while watching TV after school and thinking, “I’m going to Times Square when I’m older.” So I did. Because I’m a tourist and that’s what tourists do… they go to M&M’s World and stuff.

Times Square Worth the Hassle
Travel to NYC
Travel to NYC

So don’t avoid Times Square just because a friend, blogger, or family member thinks it’s a waste of time and too tourist-filled. Decide if you want to experience the bright lights, shopping, Broadway shows, and strange people you’re bound to come across. P.S. Did you know there’s a Naked Grandma roaming around the area? Disturbing on a whole new level.

Why Times Square is Worth the Hassle
Times Square Worth the Hassle

When you travel, do you do “touristy” things like Times Square?


Filed Under: New York, Travel24 Comments
  • Kaileigh O

    I found that since Times Square is at the centre of the city you will often just end up there. I wouldn’t say it’s a “destination” but it’s definitely every New York newbie should see at least once. My first visit to New York I was amazed the first time I saw it. After that, I just ended up walking through it as part of my travels. Because it is very congested….

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Yeah, it’s hard to avoid and I agree that everyone should see it at least once. Or once during the day and once at night. I was just amazed by all of the massive buildings and bright lights everywhere! It’s a cool place.

  • Vicki

    I live in in Brooklyn and am in the city every day for work, yet I still feel like a tourist every time we go to Times Square and my fiance and I even took the silly pictures with Elmo when we were there not too long ago! LOL! :)

    • Postcards from Rachel

      We actually saw an Elmo being arrested in Central Park. Hahaha!

  • Karen Elizabeth

    I LOVED Times Square – it was super busy when I went but I had to see it because to me, Times Square is NYC. Especially since I’m a theatre girl and that’s pretty much the heart of it :)

  • Beth Edwards

    i have been several times – the last time it was during Gay Pride week … which we didn’t know, & the touring company that planned the trip for us didn’t mention it either – it was very interesting – got to see this my junior year of high school. will always remember that trip. i love it there but i will always want to come home to Virginia, way too busy for my every day life. ( :

  • Cece

    I can’t imagine anyone wanting to skip times square unless they’ve been to NYC a million times and are over it. It’s the center of it all. We are going next month. I can’t wait to take it all in!!

  • Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    When I first visited New York, Times Square was a must, but after two/three/four trips there, I’ve decided that although Times Square is considered the center of everything, there is still SO MUCH more to see! New York is an amazing city. I was in NYC with a friend who lived there, and she was telling me how she’s always trying to avoid Times Square because of all the tourists. Also, tourists locations = more expensive everything. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Camila

    The first time I went to Times Square (or New York in general) I was 12 and I didn’t have any of those prejudices about it being ‘too touristy’ – It was amazing! I can still remember how I felt surrounded by all the people and the lights and everything. I went back once and still liked, but I would probably never do it again – as I grow older I hate the crowds more and more haha!

  • Elizabeth Georgian

    A naked grandma? Creepy! I used to work in NYC and I still think Times Square is worth a visit. It is so overwhelming, bright, and loud but it is also excellent.

    • Leah S.

      I saw her when I was there in May! It was not attractive.

  • Olga

    I think Times Square is a must! Even to just get a quick glimpse, since it is such an iconic NY sight!
    yes, it is touristy, but all all touristy places anywhere are the epitome of those cities, countries, etc, hence why they are touristy!

  • The Guy

    I’ve been to NYC once so far and did feel a little underwhelmed when I was there, I was thinking “is this it?” It is certainly overcrowded and a tourist trap primarily built on display adverts in my view. Having said that if I return to NYC I would no doubt head there again to see what has changed. I know people who live there tend to avoid the place.

    To be honest though I think Piccadilly Circus in London has more appeal for me personally. However we all have different tastes.

  • Olivia

    Times Square is a must do, there’s no debate here… Wether you love it or hate it, you have to experience it at least once. It’s crowded, it’s loud, it’s busy, but it is so unique you have to make your own idea of it. At least once. Touristy things are not bad in themselves, it might feel less “hip” to do clichés in some cities, but you go to New York (and every city) for the clichés in the first place : you have to see it by yourself. Then if you have more time, you must explore the non-clichés, of course. But when you book a flight to somewhere, it’s because you liked what you saw on a blog / guide / book / articles and you want to experience it personally. And do it your way.

  • Leah S.

    I agree that it’s a must see part of visiting NYC!

  • Ashley Angle

    I love NYC. One of my favorite places in the country! Grew up about an hour and a half from there.

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  • Jamie Oakes

    As touristy as it is, of course you have to visit Times Square! Although, I’d totally avoid it during New Year’s Eve.

  • Marie Slettan Ulvund

    I’ve been to New York once and that moment when we stepped on to Times Square was amazing. It’s sooo big! So many people, cars, shops, ads, buildings. It was definitely worth visiting!

  • Macy Gutermuth

    Naked grandma?! Maybe I will avoid TS next time ;)

  • Hannah Wasielewski

    I would never skip a super famous place like this, it’s famous for a reason! I always go back to Times Square in NYC. especially since the Forever 21 there is amazing!

  • Jessica

    It’s one of those places where you see it once and it’s enough. Because after living in NYC for the summer, I learned that locals (and now me included) HATE the place!

  • Steph Gregerson

    Living here, I can’t stand Times Square and I cringe whenever a visitor has it on their list. After reading this, I think I’ll be able to appreciate it a little more :) Especially when I have an out of towner. Also, I still haven’t seen the Naked Cowboy…

  • Deasy Noel

    When I travel, I definitely do touristy things. These places are famous for a reason, and I mainly go to them to be able to say “I’ve been there”. When I was in NY for the first time last Fall, we stayed a block away from Times Square. It was an interesting experience, being in a place that is so hyped up, and after that initial walk through the place, I was sort of over it. Too many people, and a little too overwhelming for me. But I got a few cool photos out of it, and I am happy, haha.

  • Sonja Müller

    That is what it is about traveling. You have to go and see yourself. I have been to places I loved and others say it was awful and the other way round. When I will ever have the chance to visit NYC then I will definitely visit this place.