When you’re a tourist and to you go to New York City, you of course must go to Times Square. It’s a really curious place. The very definition of the phrase bright lights – big city.
I’m sure no real New Yorker would ever be caught dead in Times Square (unless they work there), and having been there several times, I do believe that Times Square is quite the tourist trap.
If you do go, try to visit both during the day and during the night. You’ll get two very unique experiences. My favorite time is probably at night when the bright lights come to life and you really get a sense of why Times Square is so famous and why people say that New York is the city that never sleeps.
The bright lights are mesmerizing, and there’s a lot to see in the evenings like the random people dressed as cartoon characters, offering to pose for photos (for a fee, of course). There are acrobats performing, vendors, a man (?) dressed as a giant baby…and then, if you’re lucky, there might be a concert.
When I was there last (in October), Alicia Keys was performing in the middle of Times Square in front of the TKTS pavilion (the red staircase), and we just happened to hear the very end of her amazing song Empire State of Mind.
During the daytime, you might find Times Square an excellent place for shopping or just a place to pass through.