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Union Square Park

Last Updated: July 21, 2024 New York
Tripadvisor Rating 4.0/5
5 46
avatar By Sam Baldwin
Union Square is a bustling hub in the heart of New York City, known for its vibrant farmer’s market, historic statues, and lively atmosphere. It’s a good place to relax or join in on one of the many public events held there.

Union Square, New York, NY 10003


Nestled at the crossroads of Broadway and Manhattan’s iconic grid, Union Square is not only an intersection of streets but of culture, commerce, and community. Known for its popular Greenmarket, NYC Parks include this vibrant enclave which buzzes with the energy typical to New York City life.

Union Square is not dissimilar to San Francisco’s own centers of activity, with a depth of history archived from the original landscape of Manhattan. On the south end of the park, you’ll find locals and travelers alike engaging in the spirited atmosphere that’s palpable from every side of the park. In the center of Union Square, history buffs delight in the legacy of the area named Union, an enduring testament to its foundational period.

The Story

Since its inception, Union Square has paraded a lively narrative, where the echoes of those who paraded up Broadway and filed past the reviewing stand still resonate with each visitor. The park’s timeline is dotted with notable dates like September 5, when one can almost hear the footsteps from historical marches or catch glimpses from the first Labor Day celebrations.

Art lovers might recognize the touch of Henry Kirke Brown and Bartholdi, sculptors who have contributed to the defining aesthetics of the square since as early as June 16, 1854.

Whether it’s been captured on canvas or in the archives, Union Square’s transformation as observed from early 1998 to October 2023, showcases an evolution recorded not only in the history books but also echoed in modern-day blogs and articles original on April and original on September entries. Future plans align with the United States Department of the Interior and local governance, securing Union Square’s legacy for generations to come.

Apart from being a cultural nexus, the area is also a cornerstone for esteemed educational institutions, with students holding M.A. degrees or soon-to-be titans of industry who engaged in debates or rendezvoused in Union Square during their college days. This legacy of intellectual fervor easily blends with the communal spirit endorsed by parks across the country, a testament to the U.S. commitment to preserving social spaces.

bird's eye view of Union Square photo by Jan Ainali


What Is Union Square Famous For?

As a renowned space within NYC Parks, Union Square exudes a sense of urban wonder. Its popular greenmarket attracts foodies from all boroughs, while the historic landmarks dotting its corners reflect the stories of struggle and celebration that have always been part of the city’s fabric.

Whether it’s the remembrance of soldiers who filed past the reviewing stand or the community jumping to content that reflects the present day’s discourse, the park is as much about its storied past as it is about its dynamic present.

Located mere blocks south of other prominent NYC locations, Union Square is a testament to the city’s resilience and inclusiveness. It may not be the oldest park, but with external links to the city’s pulse and memory, it represents a shared history that’s both uniquely American and universally humanist.

Did You Know?

How To Get There?

The following transit lines have routes that pass near Union Square:

Bus: M1, M101, M15, M2, M7


Subway: 4, N, Q

Taxi: Uber

Nearest Parking and Cost

Here are some of the available free street parking spaces for 2 hours 3-4 minute walk to Greenwich Village:

East 16 Street – Free
East 14 Street – Free
East 15 Street – Free
30-32 Union Square East – Free
119 University Place – Free

150 E 24th Street parking costs $33 for 2 hours. Nearer parking options are all valet only.

Nearby Attractions – Make A Day Of It!

Check nearby spots for locals and tourists to enjoy the city’s dynamic spirit.

Union Square Greenmarket

It is a vibrant farmers’ market where local growers and producers gather to offer a fresh array of seasonal fruits, vegetables, and artisanal products, creating a bustling community space for those seeking locally sourced and sustainable goods.

Madison Square Park

Madison Square Park in New York City is a green oasis nestled among towering buildings, offering a peaceful retreat with lush lawns, vibrant gardens, and intriguing art installations. It’s a beloved urban sanctuary where locals and visitors alike can relax, stroll, and soak in the city’s dynamic atmosphere.

Top 5 Closest Hidden Gems – Recommended By Adventure Clues

Destination Distance
The Frick Collection 1.2 miles
Chelsea Market 1.4 miles
Soho NYC 1.5 miles
Greenwich Village 1.6 miles
West Village 1.7 miles

Your Hidden Gems Itinerary

  1. Start at Union Square.
  2. Head to The Frick Collection: Enjoy a curated collection of art in an elegant setting.
  3. Wander around Chelsea Market: Indulge in diverse culinary delights and explore unique shops.
  4. Explore Soho NYC: Wander through fashionable streets, boutique stores, and art galleries.
  5. Proceed to Greenwich Village: Discover charming cafes, historic sites, and a bohemian atmosphere.
  6. Walk to West Village: Explore quaint streets, cozy restaurants, and hidden gems tucked away in this charming neighborhood.

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll through Greenwich Village or an art-filled afternoon at The Frick Collection, these hidden gems bring good moments and discoveries for visitors and locals alike.

Best Eateries Around

Enjoy a bite to eat at these super spots near Union Square Park, where the energy of the city meets the tranquility of nature.

Union Square Cafe

Union Square Cafe in New York City is a longstanding culinary institution celebrated for its classic American dishes, welcoming atmosphere, and commitment to genuine hospitality, making it a favorite among locals and visitors seeking a timeless dining experience. With its roots in hospitality, the restaurant effortlessly combines comfort and culinary excellence for a memorable meal.

Caffè Panna

It is a Roman gelateria churning out seasonal scoops, affogato, and coffee in a stylish setting.

Union Square at Night photo by Eden, Janine and Jim from New York City


Entry Price

This public plaza is free to access for everyone.

Final Thoughts

Union Square Park, a bustling hub in the heart of New York City, is a place where history, culture, and community meet. With its vibrant market, iconic statues, and frequent rallies, it’s a great spot for locals and tourists to soak in the city’s energy.

Uncover the vibrant history of Union Square. Join New York Scavenger Hunts by Adventure Clues and delve into the city’s past.

Union Square FAQs

Check out Union Square, a lively neighborhood in Manhattan, New York, known for its bustling farmer’s market and super cool shopping spots.

When is the best time to visit Union Square?

Scrutinize busy times and typical weather patterns to pinpoint the best timing for your trip.

Month Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall (mm) Tourist Crowds
January 3 84 Very Quiet
February 4 76 Very Quiet
March 8 94 Quiet
April 13 102 Quiet
May 18 107 Busy
June 22 99 Busy
July 26 112 Very Busy
August 25 104 Very Busy
September 21 91 Busy
October 15 86 Quiet
November 10 94 Quiet
December 5 81 Very Quiet

What is Union Square?

Union Square, the historic plaza located at the intersection of Broadway and Fourth Avenue in New York City, is a thriving public park within the city’s lively theater district.

Renowned for its dynamic atmosphere, Union Square Park is a key social and cultural space, boasting a multitude of activities and amenities such as the department stores of the surrounding shopping district, NYC parks’ free Wi-Fi, and the Hyatt Union Square New York hotel. The Union Square Partnership, a local business improvement district, contributes to the area’s beautification and community events.

Why is Union Square considered a National Historic Landmark?

As of [original on June] 2023, Union Square is celebrated as a National Historic Landmark mainly for its role as a pivotal platform for social and political activism in New York City.

Marking its significance, the statues of important figures such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln symbolize the various historical gatherings that have taken place here, including labor rallies and civil rights protests, reaffirming the square’s impact on the United States’ social landscape.

What can you find at the Union Square Greenmarket?

It offers a bustling array of farm stands, which as of  2023 showcase diverse local produce and goods from across the New York region. Visitors and area residents alike can enjoy organically grown vegetables, artisanal breads, and sustainably harvested meats, epitomizing Union Square’s reputation as both a historical and contemporary epicenter for community engagement.

What historical figures are commemorated in Union Square Park?

The statues within Union Square Park honor historical figures pivotal to the narrative of New York City, including the majestic George Washington at the park’s south end, the reflective Abraham Lincoln on the park’s north side, and the Marquis de Lafayette, known for his contributions during the Revolutionary War.

These monuments, standing proudly around Union Square, are echoes of the neighborhood’s past, standing watch as the park continues to be a central meeting point in the fabric of the city.

How has Union Square played a role in political movements?

Its legacy as a gathering space for advocacy and change is well-documented, with large portions of Union Square being used historically as a stage for public discourse and protest.

From early demonstrations on labor rights and the park being a part of the Croton Aqueduct unveiling to contemporary movements, Union Square continues to be a vital part of the social activism scene in New York City. The renowned reviewing stand at Union Square once witnessed the Union Army and countless parades displaying civic pride and calling for social reform.

Who designed Union Square, and what are its key design features?

Union Square was originally laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the esteemed landscape architects behind many of NYC Parks’ renowned spaces. Although Union Square became a pivotal hub for trade and assembly in the 19th century, it was Olmsted and Vaux’s vision that helped transform it into a welcoming, green public space.

The design included walkways that converge at the park’s central location, flanked by the statues of notable statesmen and thinkers, such as George Washington, Mohandas Gandhi, and Henry Kirke Brown’s equestrian statue of President Lincoln.

Union Square is also home to the James Fountain, a gift from philanthropist Daniel Willis James, sculpted by Adolf Donndorf, which adds to the park’s decorative elements, and the central traffic island at the park’s southern end is a perfect example of their design philosophy that integrates nature and urban life.

How does Union Square serve the community today?

Apart from being a sanctuary amid the bustling city of New York, Union Square serves the community on multiple fronts. It is a key cultural space with a gallery scene that attracts art lovers, a green oasis for New Yorkers seeking respite, and a hub for the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, contributing to the financial landscape of the surrounding neighborhood.

With events like the Metropolitan Fair and a rich history, including the original site of Tammany Hall on 14th Street, Union Square stands as a testament to New York City’s evolving identity. It further elevates its status with shopping opportunities at places like Goyard and the close proximity to the well-trafficked Union Square 14th Street Station, ensuring it remains a central figure in the story of New York City.


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