Times Square, hotel and attractions (and dinner! Show!)


I had something very clear from the moment I gave those flights to Paula in August ...Our entry into New York would be in Times Square in Midtown West. Day of flights and transfers, arrival at mid-afternoon and hotel that we do not hesitate to place in this Teather District. A flexible day, without great routes and that allowed us to enter fully into the futuristic intersection symbol of the Big Apple and one of the most spectacular places in the world

In fact and already speaking a posteriori, if you are still thinking about what to put on your first day of itinerary ... do not hesitate! Times Square, its shops, its huge screens, its hustle and bustle They are the answer. And what about dinner! Show !? We tell you.UPDATED 2018/2019

The flight to New York that almost did not leave and transfer from JFK airport

In 2015 we have transformed the old terminal of Alvedro. In addition to this extension of the track, a renovation of the facilities has been complemented, which means that the longed-for corner that smells like travels may have lost part of its charm. And the suitcase you've asked us so much? Loaded with wool hats and scarves, almost one for each day (and Paula was especially excited to go on these dates)

Iberia, again after coming by taxi (11 EUR), he has managed to piss us off as few get it (how many are already going?). We usually take the flights with a lot of room for the stopover (in theory we arrived at 8'00 in Madrid and at 12'45 from Madrid to New York) but, for a change, in the most painful company with which we have flown (and we must wear 60 or 70 different) something always has to fail. I think we could write a book. This time the "GPS" did not "start" them, with what we have been 1h and 15 min inside the plane with all the tense people, they have taken us out to see if they could "relocate" us and when we were already doing the Infinite queue and thinking that we could not reach our destination today, we have been urgently called to say that it already worked. Total, arrival around 10'00 and dozens of lost links ... but we (this time) with room to have breakfast (9.95 EUR) and introduce ourselves in international time

In honor of the truth, despite the fact that this company is still the only one that makes transoceanic flights on airplanes that do not have an individual screen, or loaders or anything at all, today we have touched one of the modern ones and the 7h and 25min flight They have been very bearable

Of a flight from Madrid to New York what to tell you That they are usually during the day, that the food is still as bad as usual (but those tortilla sandwiches with tuna prepared by Isaac's mother are never missing) and that between movies, cover the customs form that they give you and sleep, you they fly you up to see from the air the island-state of Long Island, the largest island in the continental United States

With a bit of luck and being moderately hustled, there are no long waits to get out of the plane quickly, get to the passport queue (while people from your own plane accumulate behind you), right hand, left hand, photo and ... now? !No! It turns out that Paula is a Uruguayan delinquent signed by the secret services, so we lose everything we earn in a room with another 10 people until they discover that Paula has not stepped on Uruguay in his life, they ask him 5 or 6 questions and we continue in search for our bags, we deliver the customs paper signed on the plane and we went in search of our transfer

How to get from JFK airport to downtown New York?

Although we will make you a detailed article coming soon, basically they are the combination of Air Train + Metro (7.5USD and 1 hour), taxi (60-70USD and 30-40 min), shared transfer services (50-70USD and 40-60 min depending on the stops), services own transfers (70-100USD and 30-40 min), limousine and even helicopter

Although we owe you that article on the types of transportation between the airports of New York and downtown, we have brought you a brief summary of some basic ideas what you should know to be able to organize your transport:

  1. There are three airports to get to New York: John F. Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark
  2. The cheapest option Travel from any of them will always be the shared Van (a van that picks up up to 10 people and leaves them where they want): around 20/30 USD.
  3. The less unexpected option (what can you book here) It will be private transport: with this option you make sure that there will be someone waiting for you and taking you where you need (either to your hotel or to the airport). The only possible delays that there may be will be due to city traffic, but that is inevitable.
  4. From JFK and Newark there are Airtrain (7.75 / 12.50 USD person, respectively) and from La Guardia you will have the M60 BUS (with stop on Astroria Boulevard) for 2.75 USD / person, also combinable with metro, such as the Airtrain.

Paula had another illusion and only to see her face as we approached Manhattan, there is no money to pay for it. That was to land in New York and go seeing the great historical buildings and skyscrapers in the transfer, as if it were a large entrance. So whenBlacklane He contacted us and offered to try his transfer service from JFK to Manhattan We do not doubt it. It was the opportunity and it was still day.

Although it may seem like a Uber-like service, the difference lies in the use of professional drivers who pay licenses and work legally, so they have not faced the problems of the former in places like Spain.

The hustle began to sound around us. Yellow cabs, large signs and crowds of people.


Although we always give you all the information to organize transfers on your own, if you have little time or prefer something easy, you have the following option NO LANGUAGE PROBLEM and with VERY GOOD OPINIONS from other travelers. The transfer from New York can be from airport to hotel (the driver will wait for you with a sign) or vice versa and even personalized. The price is per vehicle (NOT person)

Transfer Airport-Hotel in New York

There was no doubt, 35 minutes later and after dark, we were arriving at Times Square!

Hotel in Times Square, our choice for a first trip

After this first experience in New York in HIGH SEASON there is one thing that has become very clear to us ...! On a trip to New York you have to have some anticipation to reserve certain things! NBA and musical tickets (50% of TKTS shone by their absence and reduced to some shows -forgetting about Lion King, Aladdin or similar-), restaurants if we have a whim but, very especially the hotel. It was in August when we booked with Booking (to be able to cancel whenever we wanted) 2 hotels before we began to calmly look at all the options: Room Mate Grace and the Edison Hotel.

Why these? We had it clear and now, newcomers, we have more ... ! on a first trip we wanted to be in the heart of Times Square !, near its Broadway musicals, the great gastronomic offer, the multiple shops, the Rockefeller Center, the skating rink, the Top of The Rock, the 5th Avenue , the subway stops in the nerve center that placed us in 20 minutes at any point in Manhattan and, above all, falling in 2 minutes in bed.

HeRoom Mate Grace can't be better located. Around the corner you appear in that visual show called Times Square. We still had never tried the Room Mate concept and that avant-garde touch with even an indoor pool or different rooms (they upgraded us to a deluxe, we don't know if they wouldn't have the other ones - the normal ones are somewhat smaller -) caught our attention. Total success (we will make a final summary of expenses but it costs around € 135 / night if you take it in time because already in October when we looked at more options before canceling the Edison, they had all shot, including the Grace).

Yes now, around 18'00, Times Square was everything to us

Times Square, New York never sleeps

Although the idea is that the daily trip to New York serves to repeat or inspire your routes, planning an itinerary in Times Square and The Theather District does not seem reasonable. Maybe we should think more about the attractions to see in Times Square, make or even taste or just get drunk by that light and sound show that we all know about movies

Remember that before coming to we had distributed our visit in "New York neighborhoods with detailed maps"Where Manhattan was completely broken down (and here every day we will be shading the ones we see and highlighting the day) and Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island (the other 4 of the 5 districts) would be subject to a partial vision in this first trip.

The location of Times Square is also no coincidence, being the heart of the Big Apple, a world of giant screens, lighting and bustle that never sleeps and makes each and every one of the rest of the quietest neighborhoods pound at certain hours of the afternoon. night. And there we go out ...

Within that complexity of defining places to visit in Times Square, with jetlag or not (rather tiredness since in Spain it would be past 00'00), you face a dilemma of where to focus your eyes. If you go to the crossroads with the lower streets (44th and 43th - we stay at the 45th) we find the One times square 2, known as 1475 Broadway or Times Tower, skyscraper originally designed to host local newspapers that is now another symbol and that houses the Nadsdaq 1

If we leave the main crossing for a few moments, leaving aside the Paramount Building and the famous Bubba Gump or Hard Rock Café, among dozens of theaters in operation (Chicago, Lion King, Aladdin, ...) we can reach Shubbert Alley 3, a kind of alley that was the heart of the Broadway theaters and is considered the geographical center of them all.

We leave the other side Lyceum Theater , right next to the hotel, and we now explore the highest street area of ​​Times Square (46th, 47th, 48th) and we find the Brill building 5 and, above all, the TKTS (A) and the Duffy statue or also called Dufy Square that makes up the northern triangle of Times Square, full of small tables to sit on, stairs to watch the whole show or a screen where you can see a giant size.

From here and towards the north you already get out of the main bustle, but if as Paula you are one of those who long to see those places that you have in your head forever, you will find yourself crossing some blocks in search of the legendary New York club located at 54th that could not have another name that Studio 54  whose height coincided with the fever by the disco music between 1977 that was inaugurated and 1986 that was closed, or by the McGee's (x2), a functioning pub where you can also have dinner, where they say that McLaren's was inspired by "How I met your mother" (although I met your mother in Spain) although we did not find much similar

So it is best to return to the hustle and bustle for its main attractions and shops!

Times Square stores, which more shocking

Here we are going to do some "cheating." As our accommodation is located on 45th Street, 1 minute from Times Square, every night of each day we will have room to breathe a bit of its atmosphere.

Thus, we do not visit all these stores today, but we leave some for tomorrow but we advance it in the story to contextualize the district much better (do you leave us?). Which one do we start with? (There are more but these are the ones we liked the most)

Toys R Us

We did not want to miss the opportunity in our visit to enjoy what has been one of the great symbols of Times Square in recent decades ... a toy store that occupies almost 2000 m2! with a ferris wheel inside 18 meters high ...

... huge areas dedicated to Lego with giant constructions of the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, another for superheroes that hang in the air and even a 6-meter Tyrannosaurus rex!

And we almost talked in the past, because in March 2016 it has been confirmed that it will close its doors because the rental contract ends and they cannot renew it due to the high amount they are asked for. It will be Gap and Old Navy who take it.

The TOYS “R” US store is CLOSED: In 2015, he closed the flagship store (this is what those stores are called that are more a complete experience of a brand than a store to buy something only) that was in the middle of Times Square. It is a shame because it was a very cool experience to enter the largest toy store in the world ... In 2017 the company declared technical bankruptcy, goodbye Toys R us ... But remember that in Times Square there are many other options of stores worthwhile visit: the Disney Store, the M & Ms store ...

Disney Store

For two lovers of the Disney world like us who have gone through Eurodisney, Disneyworld of Orlando, Disneyland of Los Angeles, Disneyland Hong Kong or Disneyland Tokyo (If we are like children), being able to enter a store where there is magic in each corner and on each floor, is a journey in its own.

There is a castle inside! What a megastore!

Forever 21

Although it is not a magical world like the previous ones, Forever 21 is a very important American fashion company in the country that has a real shopping center inside (from outside Times Square it seems incredible that there is all this in buildings that do not seem so " wide ")

We do not buy anything, but there is to miss an afternoon

M&M World

Although there are other spectacular ones in Las Vegas or London, the one in New York is almost a tourist destination within Times Square. This is a megatienda of the candy M & M's Candy raised to the maximum

And a sweet give for so much? We thought not, but 2,200 m2 on several floors gives rise to M & Ms of all colors, but also to chocolate walls, t-shirts, caps and even a statue of liberty with a green mascot of the brand or a fireman

An essential shop to immerse yourself in a world of colors.

Ellen's Stardust Diner, our first dinner! Show!

What will not be missing in our route (and in all our stories) is a little hole for the most gastronomic part. New York hides tens and hundreds of restaurants that, whether for food, for their decoration or for the show organized around them, surprise anyone. When many travelers, among all the Times Square options that we will be testing in the next few days (Bubba Gump, Carmines, Red Lobster, American Dinner, Hard Rock Café, The View, R-Lounge, Shack Shake, ...) advised us as the best entry Ellen's Stardust Dinnerthey were not wrong

Does not accept reservation, we have to stand in line, but the place is so big (and they take advantage of the space so much, haha) that we barely we wait 20 minutes to enter, where the first thing that attracts attention is its particular decoration. Why?

NEW YORK RESTAURANTS | TIMES SQUARE: Ellen's Stardust Dinner, restaurant that simulates a return at 50. In fact it is considered as a 1956 retro restaurant with nostalgic memories of the time

Both the prices and the food it offers may be improved. Now that hamburger and that "Sofia Vergara" We will remember Paula for a lifetime ... How hungry we were! (69 USD food and drink, including tip)

But best of all comes the moment you sit at the table and start immersing yourself in the worthy Broadway show around you Waiters combine the restaurant's own service with climbing on tables or sidewalks, microphone in hand, while singing the "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra or many more recognizable American songs

It seems that they all perform their "particular practices" here for their future on Broadway.

Whether true or not, the show is spectacular and the site is well worth it and more a day like today that is our first contact

The Spiderman "hitting scares", the "Naked Cowboy", the "baby dancer" or the "marine Santa Claus dress" (some of the characters that "inhabit" Times Square "to get some durillos), the sound of sirens of police, ambulances or firefighters and the famous "smoke-sewer" sewers in Manhattan, they are our last company after a long day that started at 5 in the morning in A Coruña (and 2 waters for the room fridge, 6 USD)

Just a few hours have passed since our landing at the New York International Airport and we are aware that we will not have time to adapt to the fearsome jetlag. We have put the routes of more distance for these first days knowing that as the days progress the legs and fatigue will have something to say but while ... !! tomorrow we will meet "the other New York" !!!

Paula and Isaac, from Times Square - New York (United States)