Washington Square Park, New York City

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Washington Square Park, New York
    Washington Square Park, New York
    by antistar
  • Washington Square Park, New York
    Washington Square Park, New York
    by antistar
  • Washington Square Park, New York
    Washington Square Park, New York
    by antistar
  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Focus of life in the Village

    by toonsarah Written Nov 12, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Washington Square Park
    1 more image

    Sooner or later, any walk in Greenwich Village is likely to lead you to Washington Square. This open space is perhaps to the Village what Central Park is to upper and midtown Manhattan: at once lungs, meeting place and alfresco entertainment venue. It is dominated by the 77 foot high Washington Arch, built to mark the centennial of the first President's inauguration. (In fact the existing arch was built between 1890 and 1892 to replace the original wooden arch of 1889.) Another notable feature is the large fountain where street entertainers traditionally gather. Around these are paved areas, patches of lawn and a few flower-beds. The park is used by students spilling out of the New York University buildings that surround the square, as well as dog walkers, skateboarders, roller-bladers, musicians, chess players and of course weary tourists.

    I had looked forward to revisiting the square as I had happy memories of people-watching here on our previous visit and thought it would be a good place for candid photography. Unfortunately this time round (September 2008) we found much of the park closed for restoration, with only a small section on the eastern side open. This still retained much of the atmosphere we’d remembered, but on a reduced scale, so we only sat for a short while before continuing our wanderings around the Village.

    Was this review helpful?

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Which city are we in again ?!

    by sue_stone Updated Sep 24, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Washington Square Arch
    4 more images

    Washington Square Park is located in the heart of Greenwich Village and is popular place for students and tourists alike.

    The two main attractions in the square are a fountain and the Washington Arch, the latter looking a little like a mini Arc de Triomphe!

    It is not the prettiest of parks, but when we wandered through there was a good band playing and we stopped for a while to soak up the jazz.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • davequ's Profile Photo

    Fun and historic place to walk or hang out

    by davequ Updated Jun 2, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    5th Ave Arch
    4 more images

    Some music for strolling Washington SqSeems like there is always something going on @ Washington sq.

    A historic spot / park in the Village. With a fountain and the definitive arch,
    there is always music playing, buskers / entertainers and for some reason the place always seems to have a certain positive energy.

    A good place to chill out from walking, have a picnic or just hang. (Also a good place if you're an experienced chess player)

    Here's the usual Parks & Rec info

    Though sometimes if strolling the park alone @ night you may occasionally be politely & in a subtle way solicited by some of the local "merchants" to buy some herb,
    I always felt ridiculously safe there whether alone or with a friend, and I enjoyed hanging out at Washington Sq Park very much, day or night.

    Map

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Music
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • chodearm's Profile Photo

    The Battle Arch

    by chodearm Updated Aug 23, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    boo-ya-ka

    For the Centennial of Washington's inauguration as President of the United States a wooden Memorial Arch was constructed on the Washington Square. The arch, designed by Stanford White was so successful at the celebrations, that a marble version was commissioned. In may 1895 the final version of the 77 ft Washington Arch was inaugurated. The sculptures of Washington as general and president were designed in 1916 and 1918.

    The Gateway is at the base of 5th avenue and traffic actually use to go through it until 1971. Washington Square park is bounded by Waverly Place, 4th street, University Place and MacDougal Street. The Washington Arch is located at 5th Avenue and Waverly place.

    The park also has a fountain as its core and there is a lot of local activity in this space such as people putting on performances and whatnot.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • jo104's Profile Photo

    Washington Square Park

    by jo104 Updated Oct 21, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This park in Greenwich is probably just as famous as Central Park. Prior to it becoming a park it was a cemetary and execution by hanging spot (the hanging elm on the northwest corner is a bleak reminder). This may be the reason why the New York village halloween parade takes place here every year on 31 October. Do admire the Washington Arch modelled on the Paris Arc de Triomphe. It has been used in many films & is the setting for a Henry James novel. A haven for students & a favourite hang out of chess players. Beware of taking on some of these chess hustlers though as they are on the lookout for naive tourists.

    Was this review helpful?

  • FRONA's Profile Photo

    Nice place to rest

    by FRONA Written Jul 15, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    washington park

    we walked from midtown manhattan down to the south tip of New York where the ferries depart for the Staten Island and this was a good place to rest. The Washington Square Park, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is a very popular and crowded square. It is best known for its bohemian and rebellious character. The park looks seedy, has little green space and attracts vagrants, but people from all backgrounds still flock to the square. The two main attractions in the square are the fountain and the Washington arch.

    Before the Washington square was built in 1826, the area was used as a burial ground. The north side was a German cemetery, while the south side was a potter's field (a nameless burial ground). The area was later used as a public gallows and execution ground.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Dutchnatasja's Profile Photo

    Spend some time in Washington Square

    by Dutchnatasja Written Oct 21, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Washington Square Park
    4 more images

    Washington Square is located in the heart of Greenwich Village. You find people from all backgrounds in Washington Square. At the northern end of the park is a triumphal arch; the Washington arch. The Washington Arch is located at 5th Avenue and Waverly place. Other parts of the park are surrounded by the campus of New York University. The fountain offer cool relief on hot New York summer days. There is also a fenced dog park where the neighborhood’s residents are free to play with their dogs. Washington Square Park it is a beautiful, vibrant place. It’s the perfect spot to take a break from walking.

    Was this review helpful?

  • davesut's Profile Photo

    Take a break in Washington Square

    by davesut Updated Apr 15, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Washington Square Park Archway

    Washington Square Park is quite a large open space, bigeer than I thought from research. Others will tell you how this place is alive with performers during the summer but in a cold Easter break it used as a thoroughfare and by dog walkers, it was too cold to hang about. The arch I found quite impressive. I was interested to find out how public hangings took place here in days of yore.

    From the top of the Empire State Building you can look stright down 5th Avenue to see the Arch.

    If you are walking through Greenwich Village take time to stop here for a rest but only in the summer

    Was this review helpful?

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo

    Washington Square

    by mrclay2000 Written Apr 12, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    images within Washington Square

    This area is one of those pleasant oases in the midst of an urban storm. Highly recognizable as a symbol of Greenwich Village, the Washington Arch (built 1895) once permitted traffic beneath its span until the early 1960s. Today the sole traffic is pedestrians and skateboarders (and unfortunately a little in the way of the "wrong" traffic). The arch however is the anchor of this wonderful open field which gives tourists and residents alike an ample place to relax and reflect, away from the bustle of Fifth Avenue which terminates at the park's northern edge. Statuary, a large fountain, some green patches and a host of trees make this one of Manhattan's nicer spaces.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    A small fair or a quiet moment

    by cjg1 Written Aug 4, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You can find both in Washington Square park. I would often get to classes early due to train schedules and find myself the time to go and just sit and read. Or watch the people starting their own day.

    Every now and again there are street fairs right here too. Most of the things I wouldnt buy as I am too tight with my money but every once in a while you find a good book or something to help you live just a bit better.

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Washington Square Park

    by MM212 Updated Nov 11, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Memorial Arch - Oct 2009
    4 more images

    Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, at the southern end of Fifth Avenue, Washington Square Park is one of New York's most beautiful. The relatively small park is surrounded by many red brick townhouses and other buildings mostly owned by New York University (NYU) and is thus filled with students during the day, especially around the large central fountain. The old townhouses surrounding the park, along with the trees in the square, make this part of New York reminiscent of London. At the northern end of the park is a beautiful Neoclassical memorial arch, built in 1892 to commemorate George Washington's hundredth anniversary as president (the anniversary was in 1889). The arch was designed by Stanford White, who modelled it after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, albeit much smaller. A project to repave and beautify the park has been ongoing for a couple of years, and as of Oct 2009, large sections of the park were still closed.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • virtualpatrick's Profile Photo

    Washington Square Park

    by virtualpatrick Updated Jan 31, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Washington Square Park

    Washington Square Park:
    In the middle of Greenwich Village and near the New York University (NYU) campus lies Washington Square Park. Originally built as a wooden monument in 1889 for George Washington's centennial inauguration celebration, it was soon permanently rebuilt out of stone.

    In the summertime, the park brings together a mixture of people: tourists, locals and students cooling off in the fountain, street performers, and people dealing with illegal substances. Like all big cities, be aware of your surroundings, develop that NYC attitude and you'll do fine.

    Surrounding within a 2-3 blocks south or east of the park (especially on MacDougal Street) are reasonably priced restaurants that cater to those on a "NYU student budget".

    Was this review helpful?

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo

    Washington Square Park

    by Paul2001 Written Aug 25, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Washington Arch
    1 more image

    When in New York I always seem compulsively drawn to Washington Square. This is a common starting off point for a visit to Greenwich Village and a focal point of the neighborhood.
    The park is the home of one of New York's most famous landmarks, the Washington Arch, a white marble arch built in 1892 that stands on the north side of the arch. Stand at the base of the arch and you can look up 5th Avenue and into heart of New York. Washington Square is been a gather point for NYC university students, street musicians, chessplayers and skateboaders. This is despite the fact that there is very little that is green in the park except a few trees. During my most recent visit there was concert being held by a classical assemble. These sort of events are held frequently in the park and part of the draw. Unfortunately there are a few drug dealers that linger here too but uncover police detectives are common too.

    Was this review helpful?

  • PetraG's Profile Photo

    Washington Square Park

    by PetraG Written Mar 13, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Washington Square Park is a public park located within the Manhattan borough of New York City. One of more than 1,700 parks in New York City, Washington Square is, along with Central Park, arguably one of the most well-known parks in New York City.

    Because it is surrounded by New York University—indeed, the park doubles as the university's "campus green"—and is a part of Greenwich Village, the park is typically inhabited by a variety of bohemian, intellectual, and non-traditional people. Perhaps because of this bohemianism, the park has developed a reputation for being a drug dealing hotspot, a fact often remarked upon in contemporary fictional accounts.

    The two main attractions in the square are the fountain and the Washington arch.

    Washington Arch:
    For the Centennial of Washington's inauguration as President of the United States a wooden Memorial Arch was constructed on the Washington Square. The arch, designed by Stanford White was so successful at the celebrations, that a marble version was commissioned.

    Was this review helpful?

  • SapineKuu's Profile Photo

    Canine Capers

    by SapineKuu Written Jul 24, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Who Let The Dogs Out!

    If you find yourself in Greenwich Village and enjoy seeing pooches at play take a bit of time out to relax in Washington Square Park. This park has introduced the fab' idea of exercise areas specifically for dogs. It even has a separate one for smaller breeds who may not be up to the rough and tumble of the big boys and girls. The place had a real community feel and the local people join together to maintain the facility. As you can tell from this photo the dogs and owners seem to be having a pretty fun time.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: New York City

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

92 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Washington Square Park
4.0 out of 5 stars
6 Reviews
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
3.5 out of 5 stars
6 Reviews
0.3 miles away

View all New York City hotels