The name Broadway immediately evokes images of theatres and musicals. But the theatre district is only a small portion of this 24 km long road. Broadway crosses the island of Manhattan from south to north and is the only street to cut across its checkerboard street plan. Follow this iconic road and you are guaranteed to get to know New York a lot better.
The southern tip of Manhattan on the banks of the Hudson is the location of Battery Park, a green space of approximately 8.5 hectares. During the Dutch colonial era, this area hosted artillery batteries to protect the settlement behind them, which gave the park its name. The nineteenth-century fortress Castle Clinton is another attraction. The vast majority of visitors to Battery Park come here, however, to take the boat to Liberty Island or the Staten Island Ferry. The latter is free and allows for great views of the Lower Manhattan skyline.
Address: State Street and Battery Place
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Right next to Battery Park is the most famous financial district in the world: Wall Street. The New York Stock Exchange was established here in 1792 but only moved to its current location in 1865. The name of Wall Street has been synonymous with the financial district ever since. A short walk from Wall Street are the World Trade Center site and Trinity Church, which was built in 1846 and was once the tallest building in the city. It remained virtually undamaged after the attacks on 11 September 2001 and fire fighters clearing rubble used it as a place of rest.
More information on: nyse.nyx.com
At the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue is Madison Square, a park with a view of the famous Flatiron Building. Originally called the Fuller Building, its characteristic shape quickly gave it a new name in the popular consciousness. The Flatiron Building dates back to 1903 and was one of the first skyscrapers in the world. It was so striking and characteristic that the surrounding district was soon named after it. While New York has since added many skyscrapers to its skyline, this classic tower remains a popular object for photographers.
Address: 175 Fifth Avenue (corner of 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue)
Times Square is at the heart of the theatre district to which Broadway owes its brand name. There’s certainly a wide offer of stages, especially around 42nd Street (which has also given its name to a musical). Tickets for these shows can be had at a good price under the red stairs in Times Square. This imposing square was already used in the eighteenth century for billboards promoting Broadway shows. Today, the dozens of billboards and light panels in Times Square are an attraction in them selves – businesses in the area are even obliged to place neon signs on their façades.
Address: 1560 Broadway #800
More information on: www.timessquare.com
After the flashing lights and bustling traffic, Central Park seems like an oasis of calm. This 341-hectare park is an ideal place to take a break, enjoy the greenery or watch the performances by street musicians. Hike, bike or just hang out on a bench. There’s also good food here: The Loeb Boathouse restaurant in the middle of the park is open all year.
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