Times Square – The World’s Crossroads
[Note: Every place included on this list has been personally vetted for wheelchair accessibility. When we use the term “accessible”, we account for things like stepless entry, sufficient space to maneuver a wheelchair, accessible restrooms, etc.]
Located at the intersection of Manhattan’s Seventh Ave. and Broadway, Times Square is one of the world’s most famous and visited destinations in the world. Welcoming 50,000,000 (yes, fifty million!) visitors annually, Times Square is a must-see tourist attraction. Capturing the unsurpassable energy of the Big Apple and flaunting the highest degree of showmanship and commercialism, Times Square is one-of-a-kind.
Dozens of enormous electronic billboards (known as “spectaculars”), street performers, and extravagant brand name stores are certainly exciting enough. However, a handful of famous museums and countless world-class theatres make Times Square a destination that is worth visiting for even the pickiest of travelers. An afternoon museum, tasteful dinner, and evening show make for an eventful day for even the most active visitors!
Times Square is by no means a calm pedestrian site. With so many crowds of people and so much activity, the environment can certainly be overwhelming. However, this is no reason to not visit one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations! Plan ahead and follow our guide, and you will be on your way to an unforgettable experience in the heart of the City that Never Sleeps!
While the area is extremely crowded, Times Square is also spacious in design to accommodate the masses of visitors. As such, it is best to walk on the parameter of the crowds of people to avoid the fast-pace of impatient travelers. The area has curb cuts and cross walks that leave ample time to cross the street at every intersection. Each street throughout the area has lanes reserved for commercial vehicles that make for easy drop-off areas if traveling by car. There is a limited number of places to sit down in the plaza, but there are barriers throughout to lean on or sit on that make for convenient resting spots. Times Square is worth visiting rain, snow, or shine given the vast number events that are inside air-conditioned venues. Although Times Square is large and not as easily accessible as other destinations might be, it certainly is navigable and manageable if you plan ahead!
Times Square is hectic, yet navigable destination. The area is very level and sidewalks are smooth pavement. Crosswalks and curb cuts at virtually every intersection make for a reasonably maneuverable layout. Additionally, nearby public transportation and parking options along with a plethora of drop-off areas make for convenient access to the area.
Street Parking: Street parking is highly restricted in Times Square, with many areas reserved for Street Cleaning or Commercial Vehicles during prime hours in the day. While it is possible to find paid street parking (especially between 4-6pm), it is still difficult and often limited.
Parking Garages: The area has tons of garages to support the high number of visitors. The garages vary in price – garages more central and closer to attractions are more expensive than those that are more removed. While there are a plenty of garages throughout the area, we suggest looking at IconParking’s website to decide ahead of time which parking garage is most suitable for you and your party. While IconParking is slightly more expensive than some other garages (by about $5-$10), they have many locations, little hassle, and a good website to plan ahead with. Below, we have selected three of their most convenient locations in the area. Use the website link below to check location, rates, and reserve tickets ahead of time!
- IconParking 164 West 46th Street:
o Address: 164 West 46th Street, Manhattan
o Varying Rates, $51 for 2 hours, $56 for 10 hours
- IconParking 1511-1515 Broadway:
o Address: 1511-1515 Broadway, Manhattan
o Varying Rates, 35$ for 2 hours, $55 for 10 hours
- Quik Park 1601 Broadway (Quik Park is owned by IconParking):
o Address: 1601 Broadway, Manhattan
o Varying Rates, 45$ for 2 hours, $55 for 10 hours
- Bus (Public Transportation): All NYC metro buses are fully accessible with designated spaces for wheelchairs (located behind driver), accommodating seating, automatic ramps, and hydraulic lowering abilities for easy entrance. Wait time for buses is usually between 5-15 minutes. Buses to Times Square are: M6 (SB), M7 (SB), M10 (SB), M20 (SB), M27 (WB), M42, M104.
o SB = Southbound, WB = Westbound
o We highly recommend using the buses to navigate NYC since they are all fully accessible and allow you to enjoy views of the bustling city during your trips.
- 42 Street-Times Square Subway Station: To access Times Square via subway, ride the subway to the 42 Street-Times Square Subway Station with the N, Q, R, 1, 2, 3, or 7 lines. All of these lines are completely accessible at this station. The S line arrives at this subway station as well, but is not handicap-accessible. This subway station brings you directly to the heart of Times Square. An elevator is located at the Southeast corner of Seventh Ave. and 42nd Street.
- Access-a-Ride: If you are a New York City resident eligible to use Access-a-Ride services, consider this method of transportation.
- Taxi: NYC has a large fleet of accessible taxis that are marked by the standard “handicap-accessible” logo. However, you can also call (646) 599-9999 and press 1 on the keypad to order an accessible taxi. Just make sure you have an exact address, and they will pick you up wherever you are in Manhattan.
o Website: http://www.accessibledispatch.com/
o Phone: (646) 599-9999
- Car Rental: Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals, a company that specializes in renting out accessible equipment, offers services in NYC and can be a convenient way to access the Times Square.
o Phone: (800) 456-1371
- Uber/Lyft/Via/Juno: Multiple ride-sharing services operate in NYC and are convenient ways of arriving at Times Square. Uber and Lyft tend to be the least expensive and most reliable of the options.
City Tour Discount Packages:
New York City has hundreds of phenomenal attractions. If you are planning to visit more than a couple of attractions during your stay (which we highly recommend), you should consider saving money and time by purchasing one of the following packages. The packages are less expensive than the individual tickets would be, and each package allows you to download a ticket to your phone that functions as a ticket at each chosen location.
While there are plenty of packages to choose from, we selected the best 3 options (The New York Pass is our favorite!). Each package below includes access to a specified number of selected attractions (including the most notable ones like the Top of the Rock) throughout the city. Read the descriptions to find which one makes the most sense for you and your party! Use the given links to buy your package online or learn more!
- The New York Pass: The most extensive of NYC packages, the New York Pass grants unlimited access to its long roster of famous attractions for a selected number of days. You can decide to purchase the pass for 1-10 days, and your ticket gives access to as many places as you can visit in that selected time period! The 15 busiest attractions also offer Fast Track entry to New York Pass holders. There are also 17 tours that this pass allows you to book in advance to secure a place!
o Prices: 1 day ($109), 2 days ($161), 3 days ($203), 5 days ($239), 7 days ($279), 10 days ($319); children receive discount
o Roster of Attractions: 76 of most popular attractions, 17 of most popular tours
o Website: https://www.newyorkpass.com/En/
o Phone: (877) 714-1999
- New York City Explorer Pass: This pass allows you to build your own pass by selecting attractions, or purchase prearranged packages. You can also buy a pass that grants you access to 3, 4, 5, 7, or 10 attractions (roster of 58 of the city’s most popular attractions available).
o Prices: 3 ($84), 4 ($110), 5 ($125), 7 ($160), 10 ($199); prices vary for build-your-own packages and prearranged packages; children receive discount
o Roster of Attractions: 58 of most popular attractions
o Expiration: 30 days after visiting first attraction
o Phone: (800) 887-9103
- CityPASS: The CityPASS is a booklet of tickets to a selection of 6 preselected attractions (some attractions you have to decide between one of two options). You can buy your voucher online, which you must then print and bring to the first attraction you visit to exchange for the booklet. Alternatively, you can have the company ship the booklet to you or simply buy the booklet at the first attraction you enter (simply mention you want the CityPASS and the staff will be able to assist you).
o Prices: $122 adult, $98 youth
o Roster of Attractions: Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR Guggenheim Museum, Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
o Website: http://www.citypass.com/new-york
o Phone: (888) 330-5008
Just like all places in New York City, Times Square hosts countless quality restaurants, menus, and styles. Unfortunately, many of them are quite difficult to access, so make sure you look at the restaurants listed below or the TravelEz website to make sure the restaurant satisfies your standards. Many of the best accessible restaurants are centrally located with respect to the area’s best activities and theaters. Below, we have selected some of the location’s top restaurants (all listed are TravelEz certified). Be sure to arrive early or make a reservation ahead of time if you are going for dinner – places tend to become filled by patrons coming before or after shows!
Carmines ($$, 4 Stars on Yelp, 4½ Stars on TripAdvisor)
Known for their Italian menu and huge portion sizes, Carmines is one of the best eateries in the area (ranked #1 Times Square restaurant on Yelp in 2017). The restaurant is also completely accessible, with a ramp entrance directly adjacent to the main entrance for easy access. While the accessible washrooms are on the second floor, there is a lift that is easily operable.
Address: 200 West 44th Street
Phone: (212) 221-3800
The classic, spacious, mouth watering Italian restaurant smack-dab in the middle of Times Square.
Tony’s Di Napoli ($$, 4 Stars on Yelp, 4½ Stars on TripAdvisor)
This restaurant offers famous family-style servings of some of the best Italian food in the area. Rated by Yelp as the second best restaurant in Times Square (2017), reasonably priced plates are sure to satisfy your appetite. An exceptionally friendly staff coupled with a completely accessible venue (including an elevator that allows for easy access to second floor of seating) make Tony’s Di Napoli a great choice for anyone.
Address: 147 West 43rd Street
Phone: (212) 221-0100
Saju Bistro ($$, 3½ Stars on Yelp, 4½ Stars on TripAdvisor)
Saju Bistro is unquestionably one of the most accessible restaurants in the area. The Zagat-rated eatery offers a delicious French menu, and the location is perfectly-designed from an accessibility standpoint.
Address: 120 West 44th Street
Phone: (212) 997-7258
The Lambs Club ($$$, 3 Stars on Yelp, 4 Stars on TripAdvisor)
One of Times Square’s most upscale restaurants, The Lambs Club offers spectacular classic décor to compliment pricey, but well-regarded, dishes. The restaurant is also completely accessible thanks to a spacious interior and elevator access operated by a doorman immediately outside the venue.
Address: 132 West 44th Street
Phone: (347) 618-3420
The Lambs Club
Times Square’s most elegant eatery.
Planet Hollywood ($$, 3 Stars on Yelp, 3½ Stars on TripAdvisor)
Not necessarily known for the quality of their food, Planet Hollywood offers mediocre food, but it is a fun option for patrons interested in viewing classic movie memorabilia while they eat. The location is loud with upbeat pop music and is completely accessible.
Address: 1540 Broadway
Phone: (212) 333-7827
For the memorabilia and Hollywood lovers out there.
Attractions/Things to Do
Times Square is a hotbed of activities and attractions! Spectaculars, street performances, theatres, museums, and extravagant stores are enough to satisfy your search for activity without leaving the area. Varying in prices and type of activities, Times Square offers plenty of accessible things to do for everyone.
If there is any place in the world to go for a live theatrical performance, it is Broadway. Housing 40 world-class theatres, Times Square is the place to go for a jaw-dropping, Tony Award-winning play or a hilarious comical act. The theatres themselves are works of art, each with its own distinct architectural design and décor to add to the experience.
Thanks largely to strict ADA standards for these theatres, most of them are entirely accessible. Features such as automated doors and ramp/elevator entry to each level coupled with knowledgeable and helpful staff members and the opportunity to purchase accessible-designated seats make for a completely hassle-free experience. Theatres often open 30 minutes prior to the show’s start, so we recommend arriving early to avoid large crowds and allow for more time to take in the beauty of the theatres before sitting for the performance. Most accessible-designated seats are in the back rows on the ground floor and near aisles for easy entrance and exit without compromising an excellent view of the stage.
The Minskoff Theatre (Lion King), The New Amsterdam Theatre (Aladdin), and The Hudson Theatre are all prime examples of beautiful theatres with top-notch accessibility.
We recommend researching in advance to decide which show/theatre you want to see. Use TodayTix (link included below) to benefit from last-minute ticket deals. To purchase a wheelchair-accessible ticket on the TodayTix website, “submit a support request with the desired show and performance date before placing an order so [they] can verify availability and pricing first.” Otherwise, you can search the show you want to see and purchase tickets directly from their website.
Use the links next to “Accessibility Information Website” to find specific accessibility information for given shows/theatres. Additionally, use the Spotlight on Broadway website to explore current theatres and shows. Once you decide on a show to see, we suggest finding a nearby restaurant for dinner either immediately before or after the show.
Spotlight on Broadway Website: http://spotlightonbroadway.com/theaters
Accessibility Information Website: http://www.theatreaccess.nyc/; http://www.entertainment-link.com/broadway-theaters.asp
Today Tix Website: https://www.todaytix.com/shows/nyc
The world’s best stages will hold your attention as long as you let them.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum
The largest Ripley’s museum in North America, this attraction is a one-of-a-kind adventure through over 500 artifacts and more than 20 incredible exhibits. Interactive, bewildering, and fun, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum is an entertaining attraction for anyone.
Additionally, the museum is entirely accessible! The museum has places to sit throughout the tour, has elevators to the second floor, has an accessible restroom on the first floor, and employs very helpful staff. Beyond these features, virtually every exhibit is accessible in its own right. Tickets cost $24 per person, and the self-guided tour takes about an hour. Before noon and between 2:00-5:00 are the least busy times. We recommend avoiding going at 5:00 because this is when the museum becomes the most crowded.
Address: 234 West 42nd Street, Manhattan
Phone: (212) 398-3133
Gulliver’s Gate Museum
Gulliver’s Gate is one of Times Square’s hottest attractions today. Having just opened in Spring, the museum boasts over 50 scale cities (1:87 scale) that keep your eyes and imagination engaged for the entire tour. Recreating the real world in miniature size, Gulliver’s Gate is an incredible tour through the world’s most famous cities.
The museum is also completely accessible. A lift to the main floor to purchase tickets along with an elevator to floors for viewing allow for easy access. Additionally, accessible restrooms, two wheelchairs kept on hand for loan, and a few benches throughout make for an easy self-guided touring experience. The tour usually takes about 90 minutes, and costs $36 ($27 for senior citizens).
Address: 216 West 44th Street, Manhattan
Phone: (212) 235-2016
Fully accessible view of the world’s greatest cities in miniature.
While there are plenty of things to do in Times Square, there are arguably more things to buy. With major retailers hosting enormous stores in the area (think H&M, Disney, Lego, Forever 21, M&M, Sephora, etc.), you could spend the entire weekend browsing through stores and still not see every shop. Of course, you don’t need to spend a dollar to enjoy the extravagance of the stores – many of them are fun just to peruse and enjoy incredible oversized displays.
Most brand name stores, especially the large locations like Forever 21, are entirely accessible with assisted door opening, ramps and elevators, and helpful staff to make for easy window shopping!
Address: Throughout Times Square
Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
This renowned wax museum is an amazing opportunity to marvel at the perfectionist detailing in recreating celebrities, movie figures, and world leaders. Life-size wax sculptures of the likes of Whitney Houston and the Hulk are sure to keep you entertained for the full duration of the tour.
The entire museum is accessible, with wheelchairs kept on hand to borrow, a café on the 7th floor for a break in the action, and multiple accessible restrooms available (floors 3, 5,7, and 9). The self-guided tour takes about 45-minutes to an hour to walk through and costs $34.
Address: 234 West 42nd Street, Manhattan
Phone: (866) 841-3505
Get ready to meet your childhood hero in this premier wax museum.
Public Plaza (aka Duffy Square)
While Times Square is known for its restless energy, it is also enjoyable to rest in the public plaza and observe the magnificence of the spectaculars, skyscrapers, and street performers. The location takes its official name, Duffy Square, from the Father Duffy Monument which is displayed prominently at the tip of the plaza.
The plaza, located in the center of Times Square, has a number of tables and seats along with a few street food/coffee vendors. It is also well-known for the TKTS discount theater ticket vendor. The area is entirely accessible and is a great place to take a break from the action.
Address: Intersection of Broadway and 46th Street
Hop On Hop Off Tour
If you are looking for an easy way to see NYC, it is hard to beat the Hop On Hop Off Tour. This bus tour has multiple tours throughout the city, including the Downtown Tour which leaves from Times Square and brings passengers to views such as the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and the Rockefeller Center.
The bus is entirely accessible with a ramp for on/off-loading and accessible seats as well as areas reserved for wheelchair seating (restroom is not accessible, however). Leaving every 25-30 minutes from outside the Olive Garden restaurant on the corner of 7th Ave. and 47th Street, the bus makes 17 different stops before returning to the starting location. The entire loop takes about 3 hours to complete. With your ticket, you are welcome to enter and exit the buses as you wish throughout the route for 24 hours. The bus operates between 8am and 6pm, with tickets costing $39 when booked in advance online ($59 when booked in person).
Address: Multiple starting points to choose from, including:
- Outside of Olive Garden at corner of 7th Ave. and 47th Street
- 566 7th Ave. at 7th Ave. between 40th and 41st Street
Phone: (212) 445-0848
Hop On Hop Off
Take in all of Manhattan with this easy, experienced bus service. No walking or rolling required thanks to the fully accessible buses.
The Knickerbocker (4½ Stars on TripAdvisor)
This 5-star central hotel is situated in the center of all the action and offers excellent lodging for your stay in Times Square. The hotel features 14 accessible rooms, including: 6 premier with king bed and city view, 5 deluxe with king bed (bigger in size than premier, but no city view), 2 superior with queen bed, and 1 junior suite with king bed. All of these rooms are fully accessible and come equipped with roll-in showers. Navigating the spacious hotel is simple, and the customer service is especially friendly and helpful.
The hotel is also home to high class dining at the Knick and an exciting rooftop bar (St. Cloud Social Rooftop).
Phone: (646) 368-8871
Address: 6 Times Square, Manhattan
5 Stars in the center of the center of Manhattan.
The Renaissance – Times Square (4½ Stars on TripAdvisor)
Located near the Public Plaza, the Renaissance offers convenience and comfort with its excellent location and good service. The majority of the hotel’s 15 accessible rooms come equipped with roll-in showers, and although accessible parking is not available, there are garages with accessible parking in close proximity.
Phone: (844) 631-0595
Address: 2 Times Square, Manhattan
Hilton Hotel – Times Square (4½ Stars on TripAdvisor)
The Hilton Hotel in Times Square is a great, accessible accommodation that offers a convenient location to the bustle of Times Square. Beyond having comfortable rooms, the hotel offers its own accessible restaurant/bar in the lobby and direct access to an Applebee’s on the ground level. The hotel also has 26 ADA-compliant rooms, 5 of which have roll-in showers (usually with king size beds). View the “Accessibility” link below to browse the different types of accessible rooms available. The staff is also particularly accommodating.
Phone: (855) 605-0316
Address: 234 West 42nd Street, Manhattan
Equipped with 26 ADA compliant rooms, and easy access to the rest of the city.
The Chatwal (4½ Stars on TripAdvisor)
The Chatwal is a luxurious, top-notch hotel near the heart of Times Square. A beautiful façade coupled with a gorgeous interior remind you that you are living in the lap of luxury in this hotel (albeit for a high price tag). This hotel has multiple accessible rooms with roll-in showers, but be sure to call well in advance to reserve these rooms in particular. The 5-star hotel also hosts The Lambs Club restaurant, a classy and swanky restaurant popular among theatre-goers.
Phone: (212) 764-6200
Address: 130 West 44th Street, Manhattan
Expensive for good reason. An unforgettable Manhattan experience awaits here.
Casablanca Hotel (5 Stars on TripAdvisor) **Not Recommended by TravelEZ**
Rated by TripAdvisor as the #3 hotel in all of NYC, Casablanca Hotel is as good as it gets as far as luxury hotels. The superior accommodations, perfect location, and personable staff contribute to one of the most reputable hotels in the Big City. The hotel has only 2 rooms that are ADA-compliant (neither of which have roll-in showers), so be sure to book well in advance if you require higher standards of access. Showers have a barrier of about 4-inches to step over, and all bathrooms are either equipped with permanent grab-bars, or you can request the staff to install temporary suction-cup grab-bars if need be.
Phone: (646) 846-7642
Address: 147 West 43rd Street, ManhattanFairmont Copley Plaza (4½ Stars on TripAdvisor)