New York City: Times Square on a Budget

Times Square on a Budget: 

Even if you’re traveling on a budget like us you can still have a blast seeing this world renown landmark. Times Square is a famous commercial and entertainment hub, tourist attraction and billboard to the world. Around 25 million tourists visit each year and thousands of New Yorkers pass through every day, making it one of the most visited tourist attraction in the US. Times Square is always bustling and there is always something to see no matter what time of year. 

Crossroads of the World:

Not so much a square in the traditional sense, but more of an intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenues, Times Square in all its seizure-inducing glory stretches from 42nd to 47th Streets.  So, grab yourself a slice of NYC pizza, and head toward those hazy neons in the distance, you won’t regret making the pit stop even if you are on a budget.

On our trip, we didn’t spend a dime, save tipping a couple of the street performers. Which, we quickly learned that we couldn’t afford to do every time we saw one if we wanted to stick to our budget. I wish this wasn’t the case, you really got to give these men and women a lot of credit. They’re getting out there no matter what the weather is to make a living and entertain us. Tip the entertainment if you can!

One Times Square:

You know this building. It sits at the center of Times Square and every New Years Eve the world watches a giant ball drop from the top ringing in the New Year. The iconic countdown is shown on the face of the building and all year long you can see the ball at the top.


The Red Staircase:

At the heart of it, all this is the best place in Times Square to get that perfect picture. It’s actually the top of the TKTS Ticket booth where you can buy day of show tickets for Broadway and other shows. At night the stairs are lit with bright red LED’s. We didn’t get to see these or Times Square at night on this trip, but we will be going back for that later.


Superheroes, Disney princesses, cartoon characters, mascots, musicians, magicians, and naked cowboys, oh my! These performers are great to watch and this is a great place to bring the kids for them to have some fun with their favorite characters. They’re out every day working hard to help make Times Square a great tourist spot, so please make sure you tip them if you can.


One of the best free things to do in Times Square is checking out all the art on display. Times Square constantly has events and presentations for artists of all kinds and is a great outdoor art gallery. At night from 11:57 pm to midnight, all the billboards have a synchronized art show displayed called the Midnight Moment. You can check it out in the video above.

People Watch:

With all the tourists, performers, shoppers, commuters, and business folk, Times Square has a really interesting blend of people and cultures coming together. Sit down on the red steps and just watch everything unfold around you, it’s definitely a unique experience.

Next up for us: A short trip to the Theatre District!


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