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“A Lovely Park to sit & People Watch”

Washington Square Park
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Private Greenwich Village Tour
Ranked #48 of 1,078 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: A 9.75-acre city park in Greenwich Village, characterized by its large, central fountain, and known as a major center of community activity for the neighborhood residents.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
343 reviews
273 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
“A Lovely Park to sit & People Watch”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2014

This park is near the New York University. It is a great place to take a break, watch people go by and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. There is a huge arch in the park, which was built to honour George Washington. This makes for great photos. The arch resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank HAVEFUN000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Lovely park, wish I had seen it in Spring or Summer”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2014

Beautiful place, the Arch is stunning and we were lucky enough to be able to listen to the piano player. It must be even more special in summer with the trees and flowers and the fountain.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank ellemm47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palos Heights, Illinois
Level Contributor
268 reviews
121 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 349 helpful votes
“Bohemian atmosphere. Great for people-watching”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2014

Washington Square is one of the better known parks in New York City, after Central Park and Bryant Park. In the heart of Greenwich Village it is surrounded by New York University. The nonconformist tradition of the Village and the energy of the university are what give Washington Square its particular vibe. The park was once marshland that was converted to farmland, then a cemetery and finally a military parade ground before emerging as a public park in 1850. Even though NYU treats the area as its campus it is a public park open to all.

The iconic structure, of course, is the triumphant marble arch completed in 1892 to commemorate the presidential inauguration of George Washington. The arch, of course, reminded me of the famed Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The arch marked the southern end of Fifth Avenue, something I did not realized until we were there. On the other side of the Arch, in the middle of the park, was the almost equally famous large fountain. The fountain - along with a lot of the park - was recently renovated in 2009. The park, especially the arch and fountain, have been featured in multiple movies including August Rush, I Am Legend, Ghostbusters II, When Harry Met Sally, Searching For Bobby Fisher, Enchanted.

We visited during a hot day in July and the shade provided by the trees was very welcome. There were benches throughout the park. While flower beds - mostly Coneflowers and Black-eyed Susans - were scattered around the park these were not formal gardens by any means. There was a children's playground to the east of the Arch and the Garibaldi statue. The Arch and the large fountain were the main focus of Washington Square, of course. There were buskers arrayed around the perimeter of the central plaza. At one point a group of young men and women performed a dance number. Several groups of other young people were shooting movies with what appeared to be fairly professional equipment; film or broadcast students from NYU. Chess and checker tables were set up in the southwest corner and the area naturally attracted a small crowd of chess aficionados who observed the on-board action. We enjoyed people-watching from the shade while savouring gelato bought from a rolling cart vendor. There was a buzz about the park - an eclectic collection of musical performers, sidewalk chalk art and several painters busy with their canvas on easels, dancers, and even a public speaker on his "soap box" eliciting varied responses from the small audience - that made this such an interesting place to visit.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank ImmerWandern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island
Level Contributor
389 reviews
142 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Great for people watching”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2014

This was such a great place to sit and watch people. There was a man blowing bubbles with a rope and a bucket, another man playing classical music on a piano, another man feeding the pigeons and letting them land on him and still other young men trying to balance brooms on their noses and girls singing. Free entertainment.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank funtimefamily12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
146 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Artists and views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2014 via mobile

This park is close to the NYU buildings and Greenwich Village. This means a lot of young people and a lot of artists. Which gives a nice atmosphere!
A must see is the Washington Square Arch and the view back to Empire State Building!

1 Thank Jlove1982
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.

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