Manhattan is the most central borough of one of the world's largest metropolises... but it's also a place with a lot of green spaces, among which one of the most popular of all is Bryant Park. In this post, I will take you on a tour of the best things to do and see in Bryant Park – a must-see if you're visiting New York!
What to see in Bryant Park?
If you are in Midtown and are looking for a quiet place to take a small break, Bryant Park is the perfect place. There, you can find a bench to rest on or sit on the terrace of a café or restaurant.
The Bryant Park Café, in particular, is a great, casual place to grab a bite to eat or a drink in the middle of a day of sightseeing and tours (all included in your New York CityPass).
Year-round or seasonally, you can not only enjoy the park's landmarks, but also a variety of activities in Bryant Park:
- The Bryant Park Fountain is the symbol of the park. Its real name is the Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain. It is actually a memorial to Josephine Shaw Lowell, a feminist activist who did much to improve the working conditions of women. This black granite monument was created in 1912 by architect Charles A. Platt. In summer it is surrounded by greenery and flowers, while the fountain’s frozen water often creates amazing shapes in winter.
- Other landmarks in the park include sites and statues honouring Nikola Tesla and American poet William Cullen Bryant, among others.
- Bryant Park's carousel is a traditional, handcrafted carousel that is sure to delight the little ones. Children will also be able to enjoy outdoor play areas, small magic shows, stories and more.
- From late spring onwards and during the summer months, Bryant Park becomes a very popular place for activities and events. You can play chess or other board games, relax with a good book in the reading room, take part in free dance or yoga classes, and even attend outdoor and evening film screenings (Bryant Park Festival).
- At the end of the summer, in September to be precise, concerts by the American Symphony Orchestra are regularly held in the park. Between May and August, you can also attend other types of concerts and performances (jazz, opera, theatre, dance, etc.), called Picnic Performances.
- During the holiday season, the park hosts one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in New York. The Holiday Shops in Bryant Park is a fairly traditional Christmas market made up of lots of little stalls under glass shacks, and over 120 artisans come to sell their wares.
- Right next to the Bryant Park Christmas Market, you will find the Bryant Park Ice Rink all winter long. Quite spacious and beautifully situated, it is one of the best seasonal rinks in Manhattan.
What to see near Bryant Park?
Around the park or nearby are also several sites of interest not to be missed:
- The Salmon Tower Building, one of the oldest buildings in Manhattan, which houses the New York University;
- The Bank of America Tower, one of the most modern office buildings in New York;
- The New York Public Library, just one of the most beautiful buildings in New York (inside and out);
- The American Radiator Building (or Bryant Park Hotel), one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings surrounding the park;
- The Chrysler Building, one of the five most famous buildings in the city, located within walking distance of the park;
- Grand Central Terminal, the train station where more than 250,000 passengers pass through every day. A visit to the concourse is a must on any trip to New York.
Where is the park located?
Bryant Park is far from being the largest park in Manhattan (hard to compete with Central Park), and is actually one of the smallest… but it is perhaps the best located of all. It is located in the heart of Midtown, between 5th and 6th Avenues, near Times Square – just behind the New York Public Library.
To get there on the New York metro, just take the B, D, F or M lines and get off at 42 St — Bryant Park.
I hope this article has answered all your questions! By the way, if you are planning your trip and you don't know yet where to sleep in New York, don't hesitate to consult my article on the subject! In it, I share with you my favourite addresses and the best neighbourhoods to stay in 😉