My reasons why I’d recommend somewhere other than Times Square to stay when visiting NYC
1 – Why pay more for a hotel that is the same, or a poorer quality than one that is 10 minutes away via the Subway!
2 – Restaurants are few and far between, unless you like McDonalds, or overpriced poorly cooked food. Surely when you’ve gone around the city for the day, you want to get showered, changed, and maybe grab a quick bite to eat somewhere near where you’re staying. With TS, you really can’t do that. Believe me, I’ve stayed just off Times Square twice in my many trips to NYC.
3 – Because of the Subway, or Bus system in New York, everything is within easy reach. You can’t be close to everything, because Manhattan is large. So why stay near one attraction that is really just a photo opportunity, and it looks amazing at night and I’ve been through it, walking or in a taxi virtually every time I’ve stayed in Manhattan, though the buzz probably isn’t there any longer now the traffic isn’t allowed through, but it is a great photo op and, now, an iconic NYC photo.
4 – I have travelled with my family to NYC on numerous occasions, and overall we chose that TS isn’t the place to stay, Ask my 60 year old mum where she’d want to stay, and she won’t say Times Square.
5 – Why pay $7 for a beer at the faux irish bars around Times Square, when in other areas, the same beer, in the same glass/bottle is only $4. I like to go to places that are unique and maybe not aimed at every tourist, and I am a bit of a beer monster, so this point is definitely not for the kids! I’d rather go to Bleeker Street, and drink in an irish bar with irish owners, and pay $4 or $5.
This question is asked on a regular basis on the TripAdvisor forums, they a lot of the locals also the same things repeatedly to people. No local that I’ve spoken to thinks that Times Square is a good place to centre a New York vacation on, and I agree.