You’ve likely heard stories of the New York City’s Penn Station, or seen pictures of this architectural and engineering wonder in its heyday. However, this historic building was demolished back in the early 1960’s. Today, an office building and the equally-famous Madison Square Garden stand in its place. Yet simply because the old brick-and-mortar structure no longer stands doesn’t mean that Penn Station no longer exists; it’s simply gone underground.
Currently, Penn Station lies underneath the Garden and Pennsylvania Plaza, with entry points on 7th and 8th Avenue, as well as 32nd and 33rd Street. It remains the central hub for all of New York City’s train lines, as well as rail services coming in from New Jersey and Long Island. Thus, you’ll see a good portion of the city’s workforce arriving at work and subsequently heading for home during the morning and evening hours. Being located next to Madison Square Garden and within easy walking distance of famed landmarks such as Macy’s department store as well as the Empire State Building also makes Penn Station a place that visitors to the city will likely become familiar with.
Know Before You Go
It’s estimated that nearly 500,000 people shuttle through Penn Station every day. Therefore, if you’re not familiar with public transportation in New York, and you’re not accustomed to dealing with large crowds, a visit to this famous spot can seem quite daunting. Don’t worry, though: taking a few moments to plan ahead can make navigating your way through Penn Station a breeze.
Here are just a few tips to follow to make a visit Penn Station an enjoyable one:
- Know where you need to go: Floorplans of the station are available online. By reviewing them ahead of time, you’ll know where you can find ticket kiosks and counters, as well as the train terminals that will take you where you want to go. If you do get lost in the Station itself, head to 34th Street Partnership Information Booth near the Amtrak terminal. It’s open every day from 9-5, and its attendants will help you figure out where you need to be.
- Purchase tickets beforehand, if possible: You’ll be overwhelmed by the number of ticket booths in the Station. Unfortunately, you can only buy tickets for the rail service that you wish to use at that line’s own ticket counters. If you’re able to buy and print out your tickets ahead of time, you can simply bypass the counters altogether.
- Find the amenities: There are a number of snack counters, newsstands, and restrooms located throughout Penn Station. There are also restaurants located right outside of the entrance. Thus, you can easily plan to grab a bite and freshen up before catching your train.
To truly get a glimpse of the beating heart of the massive metropolis that is New York City, you need only make a visit to Penn Station. Here, the constant flow of passengers serves to reaffirm the fact that nearly 8.4 million people call The Big Apple home. Whether you’re looking to get anywhere in the local area, or are simply in the mood to do a little people watching, a stop at Penn Station should be at the top of your local destination list.