Central Park

Central Park in New York

The most famous urban park in the world is located in the upper half of Manhattan from 59th to 110th. Street and is a green paradise in the midst of a skyscraper development that has been a National Historic Landmark since 1963.

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Although it ranks as the 5th largest park within New York City in terms of size, Central Park is by far the most visited and most photographed place in the world, according to long-running statistics from photo banks.

The park has been featured in several movies, with scenes from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York surely sticking in all our minds.

Central Park was built between 1857 and 1876.

Dimensions and size of the park

Central Park measures over 4 km north-south and less than a kilometre wide. It covers a total area of 341 hectares and is exactly rectangular in shape when viewed on a map.

The main circular route around Central Park is over 10 kilometres long and is connected by dozens of kilometres of secondary tarmac and nature trails. In total, there are 21 playgrounds and many outdoor gyms in the park. Trees are complemented by large grassy areas, rocks and nearly 10 lakes.

Activities in Central Park

A plethora of trails, whether wide asphalt paths or narrow forest paths, encourage long walks, jogging, running, skating or skating. Hundreds of runners, cyclists and skaters can be found here year-round. In winter, sledging on the small hills is no exception.

Lovers of small game will be in for a treat, with reportedly up to 500 different species of animals, most notably birds and the ubiquitous cheeky, fearless squirrels.

Sportsmen in particular will find a wide range of opportunities. In addition to running, skating or cycling, which you can do anywhere in the park, there are also several public sports facilities:

On the largest lake, simply named "The Lake", you can rent a boat at the Loeb Restaurant on the east side, prices are around 20 usd per hour, cash only, see details on the rental website: thecentralparkboathouse.com.

Central Park Zoo

In the southern part of the park, visit a small zoo specialising mainly in smaller animals. Some of the most popular here are the sea lions and penguins, and you can admire dozens of species of birds, as well as monkeys and raccoons.

But the Central Park Zoo is certainly not the main one in New York City. The two much larger gardens are the Bronx Zoo and the Queens Zoo outside Manhattan.

Attractions along Central Park

Then, in close proximity or even right on the edge of the park, you'll come across other top New York attractions that are definitely not to be missed:

Accommodation near Central Park

Central Park is located in upper Manhattan, one of the best neighborhoods in New York City. It's a little quieter than the bustling commercial South Side, but you're still right in the middle of the action, with a huge green space under your windows.

The cheapest accommodations in the area include a decent little bed and breakfast The Central Park North on the northern edge of the park in a quiet area away from the action. Prices here start at 110 eur per night.

Popular budget New York hotels include Belnord Hotel *** about a mile west of Central Park with prices around 147 eur per night.

The southern edge of Central Park and West 59th Street are lined with famous luxury hotels, some of the best in the world. If you're not so concerned about money and don't mind prices between 12,000 and 916 eur per night, then take your pick of these hotels:

Practical information

Official park hours are 6am-1am, but Central Park is not fenced off.

There are many free public toilets across the park.

You can also find free public wi-fi hotspots in several places in the park.

You definitely won't go hungry in Central Park. You can find up to dozens of restaurants, snack bars or sugar almond vendors.

How to get there?

Central Park is best reached by several subway lines.

  • A, B, D - use the 59th St./Columbus Circle, 72nd St., 81st St./Museum of Natural History, 86th St., 103rd St., Cathedral Parkway stations
  • 1, 3 - 59th St./Columbus Circle in the south of the park and Central Park North in the north of the park
  • F - 57th St. on the south edge
  • N, W, Q, R - 57th St. on the south edge
  • N, W, R - 5th Ave/579th Str. on the south edge

It's also easy to get here by bus, which you'll use especially to get to the eastern edge of Central Park, which is flanked by the M1, M2, M3, and M4 lines, the western edge by the M10, and the southern edge by the M5, M7, M20, and M104.

Central Park is also crossed at three points by the M79, M86, M96 and M106 lines.

The map below shows all the lines passing closely around Central Park. Click in the top left corner to see a list of lines and stations, which will be highlighted on the map when you click on them further.

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