Ready to experience the charming cobblestone streets, secret gardens, vintage brownstones, delicious eateries, and vast green spaces that make up the Greenwich Village NYC?
If so then this local’s guide to the 16 best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC will be PERFECT for you.
I mean, hi. I’m a 30+ year local who has visited Greenwich Village more times than I can count. Therefore, I’ve done all these Greenwich Village activities multiple times and can recommend them to you with 100% confidence.
So, if you want to get away from the tourist traps and want to get to know this neighborhood like a REAL New Yorker, then this is the post for you.
Because we’re about to swan dive into this insane list of Greenwich Village hidden gems right now!
Ready to experience all of the best vegan restaurants in NYC like a local? If so then you’ve come to the right place!
Because I’m a New York City local who has been a vegetarian – sometimes vegan – for the past 10+ years.
Therefore, I know all about some of the top vegan restaurants in New York City.
And I want to share all of my most secret insider tips with you so that you can quickly and easily experience all of the most iconic plant-based restaurants in the city that never sleeps.
So, step away from the guidebook and get ready to experience the best plant-based cuisine NYC has to offer.
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If you’re booking a trip right now then I IMPLORE you to get travel insurance – even if it’s not from me.
After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especialy since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.
How to Get to the Best Things to do in Greenwich Village NYC
If you want to experience all of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC, then first you need to get to this next-level gorgeous neighborhood.
After all, it sits on the West side of Manhattan and has 14th street to the north, Houston Street to the South, Broadway to the East, and the Hudson River to the West.
So, to do get here, just hop on the A/C/E trains of the Eighth Avenue Line, the B/D/F/M trains of the Sixth Avenue Line, or the 1/2/3trains of the Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line.
Once on the subway, you can get off at either 14th Street/Sixth Avenue, 14th Street/Eighth Avenue, West Fourth Street–Washington Square, or Christopher Street–Sheridan Square since all of those stations are in this area.
Where to Stay While Enjoying the Best Things to do in Greenwich Village NYC
Wondering where to stay in Greenwich Village? If so then here are my picks for the best places to stay in Greenwich Village, regardless of your budget.
- Moxy NYC East Village (Mid-Range) – This chic, modern hotel is well-priced and just a 5-minute walk from the subway. Cozy rooms here also feature flatscreen TVs (with Netflix) and WiFi. Guests will also love a swank bar terraces and a fantastic, on-site Mediterranean Restaurant.
- Hotel Hugo (Mid-Range) – This beloved 4-star, boutique hotel offers visitors sweeping views of the Hudson River and features elegant rooms with old-world charm, hardwood floors, and contemporary art. In-room Keurig coffeemakers and flat-screen TVs are also a plus, as is access to a rooftop bar and an awesome Italian restaurant.
- The Marlton Hotel (Luxury) – This historic hotel is just 3-minutes from Washington Square Park and features deisgner rooms with chic moldings, stunning furniute, marble bathrooms, and awesome hardwood floors. Breakfast is also included and be sure to stop into the swank cocktail bar here before you leave.
- Walker Hotel Greenwich Village (Luxury) – A swank, red-brick hotel with stained glass windows and suave, art-deco rooms that feature ebony beds, and flat-screen TVs. Also stop by the retro bar and polished lounge with its gorgeous fireplace.
Best Things to do in Greenwich Village NYC
1. Do a Greenwich Village Ghost Tour
Looking to add something macabre to your list of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC? If so then embark on this uber-rad ghost tour of Greenwich Village!
After all, this well-reviewed tour is just $35 per person and takes you on a two-hour walk through Greenwich Village after dark.
This way, you can learn all about some of the most haunted places in New York City as your expert, local guide regales you with bone-chilling tales about NYC’s gruesome past.
So, you’ll get to walk past top Greenwich Village attractions and learn all about:
- The Hanging Tree
- The now infamous Murder House (where 22 souls still take up residence)
- The horrific fire at the Brown Building
- The Church of the Ascensio which is still haunted by artist John Lafarge
- The immortal speakeasy of Chumley’s.
You’ll also love the personal attention that this tour offers since group sizes are limited to just ten participants.
But, you know what? Don’t take my word for it! I mean, this experience is so good that it got a 4.8-star rating (out of 5) from more than fifty participants.
So yeah, clearly they are doing something right and you should definitely book your experience now before slots fill up!
Plus, I’ve been on many ghosts tours in my day and this one is definitely one of my faves. Especially since James was a fun, helpful, and informative guide who made this experience truly memorable for me and my friends.
Address: 385 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014 (Meeting Point)
Hours: Tours are two hours long and are offered daily at 8:00 pm.
Price: $35 per person.
How to Get There: Take the D/F/A/C/E train to Washington Square station and walk from there.
2. Embark on a 2-Hour Greenwich Village Cupcake Tour
If you’re a hardcore foodie like me then this is one of those Greenwich Village things to do that you will absolutely love.
I mean, carbs? Good. Sugar? Epic. The two together? Legend. Plus, this also happens to be one of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC that is perfect for the entire family since, well, what kid doesn’t love cupcakes?
So, book your two-hour tour now and prepare for a one-of-a-kind, gastronomic experience. Trust me, I’ve done this tour myself and loved building my own cupcake at Molly’s Cupcakes and visiting various boutique bakeshops in Greenwich Village.
You know, total local hot spots like Baked by Melissa, Crumbs Bake Shop (where they have 50+ varieties of cupcakes), and Milk & Cookies – just to name a few of the Greenwich Village hidden gems that you’ll see.
Heck, you’ll even get to taste an incredible twenty-two flavors of gelato in a single bite at Amorino during this iconic tour.
However, if you’re still unsure, you can always check out the reviews here and see why 200+ participants gave this tour 4.4 out of 5 stars.
Address: The meeting point for this tour is at the Southwest corner of Union Square, at the intersection of East 14th Street and Union Square West.
Hours: Tours start at 3 pm, last two hours, and run every day, except Monday and Tuesday.
Price: $50 per person
How to Get There: You can take the 4 or 6 train and get off at Union Square/14th Street Station or take the Q train and get off at 14th Street Station and then walk from there.
3. Friends Apartment Building
Many of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC revolve around popular TV shows. And one great example of this is the Friends apartment building.
According to the Friends storyline, all six of the main characters – Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, and Joey – lived in the building on 90 Bedford Street at one point or another.
Surprisingly, this structure is actually an apartment building in real life too! In other words, there are a few lucky humans who get to live in the same building as the Friends characters did.
This famous building also includes a commercial space on the ground floor, which, in the TV show, is home to everyone’s favorite hang-out spot, Central Perk.
But if you venture to one of the top Greenwich Village attractions today, you’ll find something a little different.
So, instead of a cute coffee shop, you’ll find an adorable Mediterranean restaurant called Little Owl.
At any time of day, you can see dozens of tourists taking pictures with this iconic building – and you can be one of them!
And while you won’t be able to enter the building, there are loads of other Friends filming locations to see in Greenwich Village, including The Lucille Lortel Theatre, Phoebe’s Apartment, and the Village Cigar sign.
Address: 90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
Hours: Twenty-four hours a day but you can’t go inside.
How to Get There: Take the 1 train to Christopher Street station and walk to the apartment from there.
4. Bleecker Street
You can easily spend an entire day exploring everything that Bleecker Street has to offer.
Because this iconic NYC street actually started as a rural piece of farmland but has transformed into a true, local hot spot that is home to some of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC.
In fact, Bleecker Street is now packed with cool restaurants, bars, shops, and music venues that are just waiting to be explored.
And one of the most famous spots in the area is John’s Pizza, which isn’t really all that surprising given Bleecker Street’s strong Italian influence.
In fact, this delicious brick-oven pizza spot has been thriving since 1929. So, get yourself one of their fantastic specialty pizzas or create one of your own as part of your Greenwich Village itinerary.
So, after your bite to eat, why not get something to drink? The Garret is a fabulous place to stop. This speakeasy-style bar boasts exposed brick walls, dim lighting, and some of the best cocktails in the area.
Bleecker Street also has tons of unique shops that you can pop into too. You can get everything from used books to leather goods on this bustling street. Noma, Bookmarc, and Goorin Bros. Hat Shop are just a few fantastic stores that are worth a visit.
And last but certainly not least, if you’re looking for some entertainment, Bleecker Street won’t disappoint on that front either.
After all, this famous street in NYC is home to several music venues, including The Bitter End, Terra Blues, and The Red Lion.
How to Get There: Take the 1/2/3 or A/C/E train to 14th Street station and walk from there.
5. MacDougal Street
If you enjoyed Bleecker Street, then you’ll definitely want to check out MacDougal Street as well.
Despite the fact that it’s only six blocks long, this busy road is packed with delicious eateries, exciting entertainment venues, and so much more!
Now, like most places in New York, MacDougal Street has a noteworthy pizza spot. In this case, it’s Artichoke Basille’s Pizza. As most New York City locations will tell you, their artichoke pizza is a MacDougal Street must-have.
But if you’re not in the mood for pizza, there are definitely other wonderful eateries for you to visit, including Mamoun’s Falafel.
Falafel is a fried, chickpea-based sphere that is originally from the Middle East. Opened in 1971, this eatery is the oldest falafel restaurant in New York!
So, try one of their signature falafel sandwiches, including the classic, the West Village, or the appropriately named MacDougal.
After you’ve filled your belly with some tasty bites, it’s time for some entertainment! If you want to listen to some live music, pop into Cafe Wha.
Music legends like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Springsteen have all played at Greenwich Village hidden gem.
But the most popular entertainment spot on MacDougal Street is definitely the Comedy Cellar.
The Comedy Cellar is considered to be one of the best comedy clubs in the entire country. Loads of famous comedians have taken the stage at this world-renowned venue, including Aziz Ansari, Dave Chapelle, Sarah Silverman, and Kevin Hart.
Who knows? If you’re lucky, you might be able to see one of these talented entertainers in action while enjoying one of the top things to do in Greenwich Village NYC.
How to Get There: Take the D/F train or the A/C/E train to Washington Square station or the 1 train to Christopher Street station and walk from there.
6. IFC Center
While there are many great movie theaters in New York City, the IFC Center is a special spot.
Rather than showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters, the IFC Center in Greenwich Village puts on some of the coolest independent films.
You may actually know IFC Center best by its former name, the Waverly Theater. As a matter of fact, this theater is where the midnight Rocky Horror Picture Show showings first gained traction.
These events became so popular that the people in the audience no longer acted as quiet bystanders, as is expected at movie theaters.
Instead, they showed up in movie-inspired costumes and yelled at the characters on screen!
Simply put, after these Rocky Horror Picture Show showings, the IFC Center put itself on the map. And then in some Inception-like madness, the IFC Center has since shown up in quite a few movies too.
As an added bonus, many of the screenings at the IFC Center also include a special guest speaker. Plus, after the movie is over, many directors, authors, filmmakers, and critics stick around for a live Q&A!
So, if you’re a movie buff, this is a dream opportunity to find out more about what happens behind the scenes and check out one of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC.
Pro Tip: Stop by in November when the IFC Center hosts DOC NYC, an annual documentary film festival.
Address: 323 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014
Hours: Varies by the movie but three films are shown a day, typically between 1:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
Price: Tickets are $17.00 for adults and $14 for kids/seniors.
How to Get There: Take the A/C/E train or D/F train to Washington Square of the 1/2/3 train to 4th Street station and walk from there.
7. Marie’s Crisis Cafe
Marie’s Crisis Cafe is one of the coolest spots in Greenwich Village. It’s simply unlike any other spot in New York City!
When you visit Marie’s Crisis Cafe, you’ll be greeted by the sounds of Broadway songs. In fact, a talented in-house pianist flits his fingers across the black and white keys while enthusiastic patrons sing along at the tops of their lungs.
And since many of the guests are musical theater performers, the singing is absolutely top-notch! It’s like getting a front-row seat to a Broadway show!
And while the fantastic singers here are a highlight of Marie’s Crisis Cafe, this establishment also has quite an intriguing past.
It actually started off as a prostitutes’ den in the 1850s, was later transformed into a boy bar, survived the Prohibition Era, and became the place of death for various Revolutionary War activities.
To make sure that you can get in and enjoy one of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC, try to get to Marie’s Crisis Cafe early.
Yeah, this venue is so popular, it simply can’t accommodate all of the people who want to visit at the same time!
Address: 59 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Hours: Open daily from 4:00 pm to 4:00 am.
Price: Drinks start at $7 each.
How to Get There: Take the 1/2/3 train to 14th Street station or D/F/A/C/E train to Washington Square and walk from there.
8. Off-Broadway Show
One of the most famous things to do in NYC is to see a Broadway show. That said, some of the best entertainment in town is actually off-Broadways.
In fact, these shows usually feature fantastic talent at a much cheaper price and at a much smaller venue, where you can nab amazing seats.
And luckily for you, many off-Broadway show venues are found in Greenwich Village.
In fact, there are quite a few notable off-Broadway venues in Greenwich Village. Cherry Lane Theatre, Provincetown Playhouse, Lucille Lortel Theatre, and The Public Theater are just a few of the best. These spots have put on many amazing shows, including everything from Hair to Hamilton.
So what are you waiting for? Snag yourself some tickets to these fantastic off-Broadway shows and enjoy one of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC!
9. Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment
So far on this list of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC, I’ve already included the Friends apartment building.
But that’s not the only apartment building in the neighborhood that was made famous by Hollywood. Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment is in this area too!
According to the popular TV show, Sex and The City, Carrie Bradshaw lives on the Upper East Side. But in reality, her apartment is actually in Greenwich Village!
See, for the first three seasons, the facacde of 64 Perry Street served as the exterior of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment.
And for the remaining three seasons, the neighboring spot of 66 Perry Street took up that job.
So, if you do decide to visit Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment, please be respectful of the people who actually live here!
You can snap a couple of pictures while on the public sidewalk, but please don’t wander onto the stairs or onto private property.
However, Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment isn’t the only Sex and the City filming location in Greenwich Village.
Yup, the Jefferson Market Garden, the SoHo House New York, and Magnolia Bakery are all nearby as well.
Therefore, if you’re a Sex and the City fanatic, you can easily spend a few hours visiting these incredible filming locations as part of your Greenwich Village itinerary.
Address: 64 and 66 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014
Hours: Twenty-four hours a day but do not go on private property.
How to Get There: Take the 1/2/3 train to 14th Street station and walk from there.
10. Caffe Reggio
I know what you’re thinking. What is a little coffee shop doing on this list of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC?
Well, let me clear that up right now, because Caffe Reggio is ridiculously cool.
First of all, Caffe Reggio is a historic landmark. It was actually the first cafe in the United States to serve a cappuccino!
So, you can thank the owners of Caffe Reggio for bringing your favorite drink over from Italy.
And that’s not the only historic focal point of Caffe Reggio. This coffee shop is also home to the oldest coffee shop in all of New York City!
So, considering that there are nearly 4,000 coffee shops in the city, this is quite an accomplishment.
And while Caffe Reggio boasts historical importance, it has also made its mark on the modern world as well.
As a matter of fact, it has been featured in loads of movies, including The Godfather Part II, The Kremlin Letter, and The Sun Is Also a Star.
Last but certainly not least, there’s the coffee. Since Caffe Reggio has been serving up delicious cups of caffeine since 1927, it should come as no surprise that it has some of the best coffee in town.
Therefore, get an espresso, a cappuccino, a macchiato, or any another coffee drink of your choice.
And if you’d like a bite to eat, Caffe Reggio is happy to provide that too! Try the tiramisu, the cannoli, or the zabaglione for a truly unforgettable NYC dessert experience.
Address: 119 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 3:00 am, and until 4:00 am on Friday and Saturday.
Price: Espresso starts at $2.75.
How to Get There: Take the D/F/A/C/E train to Washington Square and walk from there.
11. Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books
This list of the best things to do in Greenwich Village has included a bunch of Greenwich Village hidden gems. But one of my favorites is Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books.
See, bookstores have been on the decline for the past couple of decades. Even in a massive city like New York, there are less than 80 bookstores left!
That said, Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books has found a way to stay open – and distinct – despite its many challenges.
The first unique feature of Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books is the fact that all of its books are sold at a 50% discount when compared to retail price! In other words, it’s a good place to get a deal!
The second thing that makes this Greenwich Village bookstore distinctive is the wide range of book topics in stock.
So, enjoy one of many Greenwich Village things to do when you purchase reads about everything from politics to philosophy to poetry.
Address: 34 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
Hours: Open daily from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, and until 12:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Price: Varies but free to look.
How to Get There: Take the D/F train to Washington Square station and walk from there.
12. Sticky’s Finger Joint
Sticky’s Finger Joint actually lives up to the slogan: “The Best Damn Chicken Around.”
Because since it was established in 2012, Sticky’s Finger Joint has already opened a dozens of outposts all across the city. And that’s a true testament to just how good the chicken from this little eatery is!
Now, there are a few reasons why everything here is so dang good. First, there’s the chicken. All of the poultry used at Sticky’s Finger Joint is free-range, which means this eatery uses high-quality ingredients.
But that’s not the only thing that sets the chicken at this joint apart from the rest. There’s also an extensive menu of rotating flavors and sauces.
So, tickle your tastebuds with the chicken & waffles, the Thai fiesta, the poppers basket, or the classic chicken sandwich.
As for the sauces, you can get everything from the Szechuan-inspired Nashville numb to the tropical Caribbean sweet heat to white bbq sauce known as Sticky’s sauce for the ultimate gastronomic experience in NYC.
Pro Tip: They also have great vegetarian options too.
Address: 31 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011
Hours: Open daily from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, except Thursday through Saturday when they are open until 11:00 pm.
Price: Food starts at around $8.50 per order.
How to Get There: Take the D/F/A/C/E train to Washington Square and walk from there.
13. The Stonewall Inn
The Stonewall Inn, simply known to locals at Stonewall, is an LGBTQ+ landmark that is also one of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC.
The story began in 1969 when police raided The Stonewall Inn, which was a well-known gay club in the city.
The police officers roughly hauled out both the guests and employees and even arrested 13 people for violating New York’s gender-appropriate clothing statute.
In response, this led to the Stonewall riots, which included six days of protests outside of The Stonewall Inn.
But these protests didn’t just affect Greenwich Village. Rather, they acted as a catalyst that began the gay rights movement across the globe.
This event then led to the creation of many gay rights organizations, including GLAAD, the Gay Liberation Front, and PFLAG.
Plus, exactly one year after the Stone Wall Riots, the first gay parade in the United States took place in the very same spot.
So, be sure to visit the historical Stonewall Inn for yourself! Enjoy fabulous drinks, socialize with the friendly patrons, and enjoy the entertainment.
Depending on the day of the week, you’ll be able to dance the night away during a dance party, listen to top-notch music from a talented pianist, or watch a drag show!
Simply put, the Stonewall Inn is definitely worth a visit as part of any Greenwich Village itinerary.
Address: 53 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
Hours: Open daily from 2:00 pm to 4:00 am, except on Saturday and Sunday when they open at 1:00 pm.
Price: Around $7.00 and $18.00 each for drinks.
How to Get There: Take the 1 train to Christopher Street station and walk from there.
14. Washington Square Park
Easily one of the best parks in NYC, Washington Square Park sits right near NYU and is lined with stunning, Greek Revival townhouses that help give this Greenwich Village attraction a dose of historic charm.
It’s also here that you’ll find loads of quirky street artists performing for eager onlookers, in addition to skateboarders doing rad tricks, and pro chess players kicking ass and taking names.
However, no trip to one of the top things to do in Greenwich Village NYC would be complete without stopping to take a photo with the giant, 73-foot tall, white Tuckahoe marble arch that is the Stanford White Arch.
Yeah, it quietly sits on the North end of the park and was designed to resemble the Arc De Triomphe in Paris. So, if it looks super familiar, that’s why.
If you can though, try to arrive as close to dawn as possible so that you can take photos sans people.
For the best pics though, stand in front of the Stanford White Arch – looking down Fifth Avenue – so that you can capture the Empire State Building right in the background, in the center of the arch.
Address: Washington Square, New York, NY 10012
Hours: Open 6:00 am to 12:00 am daily.
How to Get There: Take the A/C/E train or the B/D/F/M train to stops at Washington Square Park and walk from there.
15. Catch a Show at the Comedy Cellar
Easily one of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC, the Comedy Cellar is THE place to go for an incredible comedy show in NYC.
After all, this venue regularly hosts top comedians like Amy Schumer, Robin Williams, Dave Chappelle, Sarah Silverman, and more.
Accordingly, this place is SUPER popular. Therefore, deffo reserve your tickets well in advance.
Additionally, be prepared to sit in a dank, crowded basement for the duration of the show. This also means that you’ll probably have to share a table with more than a few someones that you don’t know.
Yup, you’ve been warned. However, it’s worth it since every show I’ve seen here has been excellent, even if I had no idea who the comic was.
There’s also a 2 beer minimum and a 3 beer maximum once you get inside. And because this is New York, those beers aren’t cheap.
So, do come prepared to spend some mildly serious coinage while you’re here. I’ve also heard through the grapevine that if you’re really nice, your server might “forget” about the whole 3 beer maximum thing. #justsayin’
Oh, and after the show, be sure to visit The Olive Tree (literally right upstairs) since this is where all the comics go to hang out once their set is over.
This way, who knows, you might actually be able to spot a real-life celeb in their natural habitat.
Address: 117 MacDougal St #1267, New York, NY 10012
Hours: Open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 3 am.
Price: Tickets are $17 each + your 2 beer minimum.
How to Get There: Take the A, C, E train or the B, D, F train to West 4th Street station and walk from there.
16. Experience Cellar Dog
Formerly Fat Cat Jazz Club, Cellar Dog recently opened here in July of 2021 and has quickly become one of the best things to do in Greenwich Village NYC.
And that makes sense since this place has maintained all of the same decor and chill vibes of its predecessor.
So, take a peek at one of the best indoor activities in NYC and enjoy a low-budget hangout spot where you can play ping-pong, checkers, chess ($1 to play as much as you want), shuffleboard ($6/$7 per hour), and foosball ($1 per game).
Afterward, grab a drink and enjoy a live jazz sesh in this informal bar. Yeah, it’s nothing fancy but a night here is definitely a whole lot of fun.
You also will have to pay a cover to get in but it’s worth it to visit one of many Greenwich Village hidden gems.
Pro Tip: Stop by on Friday evenings for exceptionally awesome jazz.
Address: 75 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday from 4:00 pm to 4:00 am.
Price: Around $3 to get in.
How to Get There: Take the 1 train to Christopher Street Station and walk from there.