In today’s blog article I take you on a tour of one of my favorite places in Central Park: the Bow Bridge.
The Bow Bridge in Central Park is by many accounts the most romantic place in NYC. In fact, it is here that so many engaged couples propose. Also, it is here that so many famous directors have filmed some of the most iconic scenes of their movies set in NYC.
In this article you will find everything you need to know about the Bow Bridge in Central Park. In addition to explaining where it is, I have also prepared a map to help you walk from the Plaza Hotel to the Bow Bridge. I will also discuss where to stand to take the best photos of the bridge, the list of the most famous movies filmed here and also the list of the most iconic places to visit within walking distance of the Bow Bridge.
So get ready and let’s explore the Bow Bridge in Central Park.
The Bow Bridge is located in the most touristy part of Central Park. I’m talking about the lower part, the one that most tourists visit on their trip to New York City.
Suppose you enter Central Park from the entrance in front of the Plaza Hotel. This entrance is located at the intersection of 59th Street and 5th Avenue. Most tourists access Central Park from here. From this point, it takes about 20 minutes of walking to get to the Bow Bridge.
In fact, the Bow Bridge is about a third of the way across the park, starting from the south. However, the walk is very pleasant, and you can see lots of other famous New York landmarks.
In the section below I have prepared for you a walking itinerary from the Plaza Hotel to the Bow Bridge with all the major landmarks you will see on the route
The best way to reach the Bow Bridge is definitely to walk. Only then can you enjoy all the beauty of Central Park.
Starting from the Plaza Hotel, it will take you about 20 minutes to walk to the Bow Bridge. This 20 minutes is walking, assuming you will never stop. Which I think you won’t since you will find so many important landmarks on the way.
I have created a map for you that you can use when you visit Central Park. This way you will be sure not to miss anything.
In the map above you will find all the most famous landmarks in Central Park that you will see as you walk from the Plaza Hotel (point A) to the Bow Bridge (point G).
In fact, in order, you will see:
B. The Pond. The small lake just at the entrance to Central Park. You have surely seen it in the movie Home Alone 2.
C. Gapstow Bridge. Another iconic Central Park bridge, also seen in the film Home Alone 2.
D. Wollman Rink. The skating rink in Central Park. Iconic. Remember it in the final scene of Serendipity?
E. The Mall. A tree-lined boulevard worth visiting every season. My favorite is in the Fall, when you can admire the beauty of the foliage colors in NYC.
F. Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. At the end of the Mall is Central Park’s most famous fountain: the Bethesda Fountain. You’ll want to admire this one from the terrace of the same name. Important information for all park visitors: you will find public restrooms on the stairs leading from the terrace to the fountain. Very useful in case of need while visiting the park.
The map in the section above will help you so much to find out which landmarks are most famous near the Bow Bridge.
In addition to those listed above, I would also like to mention Strawberry Fields and the John Lennon Memorial. These 2 are less than a 5-minute walk from the Bow Bridge. They are on the west side of the park at 72nd Street.
Once you have visited them, I would also recommend a visit to the Upper West Side where you will also see the Dakota Building. John Lennon lived in this building. The Dakota Building is located at the intersection of 72nd Street and Central Park West, the big street that runs along the park from the west side.
There are 2 options if you want to reach the Bow Bridge by subway.
The first is to use the green subway (lines 4 or 6) from Grand Central. Go northbound (Bronx) and get off at 77th Street. From here you can walk to the Bow Bridge. You will first walk for a while on the Upper East Side and then enter the park at 72nd Street. In terms of timing, from the subway stop at 77th Street to the Bow Bridge is about 16 minutes.
The second is to use the Yellow subway (N, Q, and R lines) and get off at 72nd Street. This subway comes directly from Times Square. Once you exit at 72nd Street, walk toward the park and head in the direction of Bow Bridge. Even with this solution, it will take you about 15 minutes from the Subway stop to the Bow Bridge.
The list of films shot in Central Park is endless. Among them, so many have also been filmed right at the Bow Bridge. The most famous ones? Autumn in New York, Spiderman 3, Enchanted, Doctor Who, Glee, Made of Honor.
In my opinion there are 2 places where you can take the most beautiful photos of the Bow Bridge in Central Park.
The first one is right at the beginning of the bridge itself. When you get to the bridge from Bethesda Terrace (go back to the top and find my itinerary) stop to take an inconic photo like the one you see below.
The second one, on the other hand, is right next to the bridge so you can catch it from the side. The souvenir photo you will take home is more or less like this one below.
One of the most iconic places to propose in New York is definitely the Bow Bridge. My advice, though, is to arrive early in the morning, otherwise it’s packed and that might ruin the magic. When I say early in the morning, I mean no later than 9 am. The best is to choose a spring or summer month, where the early morning temperatures already allow you to enjoy a nice walk in Central Park. If you are thinking of proposing in New York City, keep in mind the Bow Bridge is undoubtedly one of the most iconic places.
The Bow Bridge, as well as most of Central Park’s most famous landmarks, is not decorated for Christmas. So don’t expect to find bright lights or decorations around this iconic spot in the park. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth visiting this bridge even during the Christmas season.
If you are thinking of planning a trip to New York during the holiday season, I recommend you check out this LINK where you will find everything you need to know about lights, decorations, shows, Christmas markets, Christmas trees, and Christmas tours.
Alternatively, you can click on the image below which will take you directly to my page on Christmas in New York City