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Where to pee in NYC

We've all been there- walking into a store or restaurant with our legs crossed, praying for an available restroom. Some places don't have toilets, others are for customers only and the worst require you to enter a code from your receipt to enter the apparently holy site (we're talking to you Panera Bread and Chipotle). In this case, you can either buy a $2 water bottle for access or use our guide for where you can pee for free in NYC.

Starbucks

It's almost common knowledge that Starbucks works for
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

It's almost common knowledge that Starbucks works for the people and offers public restrooms at basically all locations. If you're in a very popular area, there may be a line, but another bathroom is likely just blocks away (or just around the corner!)

Bryant Park

Bryant Park has one of the nicest public
Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero

Bryant Park has one of the nicest public bathrooms in the city. We're talking marble counters, fresh flowers and a full-time attendant on duty to keep it absurdly clean and well-stocked. If you're in the area, find this bathroom. You'll quickly forget you're in the middle of a public park in Manhattan and be transported to what looks like a gorgeous hotel bathroom.

Central Park and other parks and playgrounds

According to their website, Central Park has 16
Photo Credit: Flickr / Bob Jagendorf

According to their website, Central Park has 16 public restrooms located throughout. Some are seasonal, but in the 2.5-mile stretch, you are sure to find a place to relieve yourself. Plenty of other parks and playgrounds throughout the city have restrooms for public use. Check the NYC Parks Department website for a comprehensive list.

Police precincts

NYPD stations apparently provide more than safety and
Photo Credit: Flickr / Thomas Hawk

NYPD stations apparently provide more than safety and emergency help. You can walk into any precinct located throughout the city and ask to use their restroom. Hey, if you've got to go, it is an emergency.

Penn Station

Home to New Jersey Transit, MTA and Amtrak
Photo Credit: Flickr / Flodigrip's world

Home to New Jersey Transit, MTA and Amtrak trains, Penn Station is one of the busiest transportation hubs in the city. Despite the thousands of passengers passing through the station daily, there are only three male and three female facilities throughout- so you may find yourself waiting a while during rush hours. Your best bet is to find the Long Island Railroad waiting area restrooms, which have the most stalls and thus the fastest moving lines.

Castle Clinton

If you find yourself in need of a
Photo Credit: Flickr / Serge Ollivier

If you find yourself in need of a restroom in Battery Park, head over to Castle Clinton to use their public facilities. While you're there, take a quick look around- it's an open-air fort built in 1812 to prevent the British from invading. Look at that, a restroom and a history lesson all in one.

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station has restroom facilities downstairs near
Photo Credit: Flickr / Davie Dunn

Grand Central Station has restroom facilities downstairs near the food court. We aren't promising the cleanest most comfortable experience in this bathroom, but if you really have to go, you won't care. Also there's a Shake Shack nearby, so...

The Strand Bookstore

Book lovers tend to spend hours at this
Photo Credit: Flickr / Eunice

Book lovers tend to spend hours at this bookstore (828 Broadway, btwn. 12th St. and 13th St.), so of course they have bathrooms. They are located near the children's section on the 2nd floor. There are also some water fountains around the store, no purchase necessary!

Port Authority Bus Terminal

Restrooms in the Port Authority Bus Terminal are
Photo Credit: Flickr / Susan Sermoneta

Restrooms in the Port Authority Bus Terminal are located in the South Terminal by the main ticket plaza. Also not the nicest public restroom you'll find, but in a city of over 8 million people, you can't expect too much (unless you are spoiled by the Bryant Park restroom).

Burlington Coat Factory Union Square

If the line at one of the Union
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

If the line at one of the Union Square-area Starbucks' is too long, head on up to Burlington Coat Factory (40 E. 14th St.) to use their facilities. Walk into the store, make a right, walk past the registers and you'll see the restrooms sign. It's pretty clean and has multiple stalls so you probably won't have to wait.

Barnes & Noble

Thanks to your new Kindle or Nook, you
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

Thanks to your new Kindle or Nook, you probably haven't entered one of these stores in years. However, Barnes & Noble, with locations throughout the city, has restrooms available to the public. This should be reason alone for B&N to survive, despite the book market moving online, in our opinion! Check their website for a list of locations: barnesandnoble.com

Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us

Both of these child-friendly mega stores have restrooms
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrosfky

Both of these child-friendly mega stores have restrooms available to anyone off the street. Just walk on in and ask where it is. On your way notice that strollers are sold for over $700. Good thing bathrooms aren't for customers only. Use their store locater to find a location near you.

McDonald's

Located all over the city, McDonald's hangs signs
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

Located all over the city, McDonald's hangs signs that say restrooms are for customers only. Put on your game face and walk straight past that sign into the bathroom. People are constantly in and out of this place, so they have no idea if you have bought something. (We've never seen a bathroom guard!) Don't feel too bad about breaking the rules; most of us have been a customer there one time or another.

Shopping Malls

There are a couple notable malls scattered around
Photo Credit: Flickr / FromTheNorth

There are a couple notable malls scattered around the city: the The Shops at Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center Mall (10 Columbus Circle) and the Manhattan Mall (100 W. Broadway at 33rd St.). There are restrooms on level two of the Manhattan Mall and levels two and three of the Time Warner Center. Restrooms in malls tend to be pretty clean as far as NYC public restrooms go.

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center has a lot of things, a
Photo Credit: Flickr/ Dirk Knight

Rockefeller Center has a lot of things, a public bathroom included. Go down to the concourse level, try not to get distracted by the food court and you will find the restrooms on either side of sandwich shop 'Wichcraft.

Chelsea Market

Have you foumd yourself walking the High Line
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

Have you foumd yourself walking the High Line and needing to go only to realize there are no bathrooms in sight? Have no fear because among the dozens of vendors, Chelsea Market (75 9th Avenue, btwn 15th and 16th) also has bathrooms available. Do yourself a favor and grab a bite to eat while you're there. Expect a decent wait on the weekends.

Sony Plaza

Located at 550 Madison Ave., Sony Plaza is
Photo Credit: Flickr/ Wally Gobetz

Located at 550 Madison Ave., Sony Plaza is a nice, privately-owned public building to take a break from walking, hang out, grab a coffee and yes, pee. It's right on the main floor so you don't even have to climb any steps to find it.

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