Greenwich Village–West Village Neighborhood Guide

This Manhattan area offers visitors an escape from the skyscrapers

A quaint street scene in the charming Greenwich Village area of New York City.
••• Steve Lewis Stock/Photodisc/Getty Imgages

Greenwich Village (also called West Village or simply "the Village"), located in New York City's borough of Manhattan, is one of the city's best neighborhoods to get lost on a Saturday afternoon. Escaping the formal grid structure that dominates north of 14th Street, wandering the streets of Greenwich Village will make you feel as though you have left New York and landed in a small European city. Many streets are lined with shops and, although major chain stores can be found here, there are still many independently owned stores and restaurants for you to discover.

When you have had enough of the tall buildings and bustling crowds of Manhattan, you will love that Greenwich Village offers a great respite with a calmer, more manageable feel, plus the neighborhood's shorter buildings allow more sunshine to reach the streets. There are many secret courtyards and small gardens nestled between townhouses on the neighborhood's residential blocks. From poet Dylan Thomas, who infamously drank himself to death at the White Horse Tavern, to musician Bob Dylan, who refers to Greenwich Village in many songs, the neighborhood is well known for being the home of many artists, writers, and musicians. Greenwich Village was also the theater for many Beat Generation writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs.

Although there are many great guided tours you can take of the neighborhood, allow yourself plenty of time to wander and get "lost" here.

Don't worry—your cell phone's map (or a friendly local) will help you find your way again when you are ready to return to the real world. You can also navigate with this Greenwich Village–West Village map.

Greenwich Village–West Village Subways

  • A, C, E and B, D, F, V
    - West Fourth Street
  • 1
    - Christopher Street–Sheridan Square
    - Houston Street

    Greenwich Village–West Village Neighborhood Boundaries

    The neighborhood spans the area between 14th Street and West Houston and from Hudson River to Broadway.

    Greenwich Village–West Village Architecture

    The neighborhood breaks from the uptown grid structure with smaller streets that run at a variety of angles. Its small winding streets, smaller buildings, and unique townhouses give the Greenwich Village neighborhood a European feel.

    Greenwich Village Attractions

    • Jane: This casual bistro on Houston Street features brunch, happy hour, and seasonal American cuisine.
    • John's Pizzeria: Founded in 1929, John's serves up true New York-style pizza from its coal oven on Bleecker Street.
    • Blue Note Jazz Club: Established in 1981, this world-renown music venue and restaurant on Third Street has featured legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, and Dave Brubeck.
    • Original Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour: Mom-and-pop specialty food shops are the highlight of this tour that also covers this Italian neighborhood's history, architecture, entertainment, and culture.
    • Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl: On this walking tour, local actors cover history and literature as you relax with a drink at bars frequented by many famous authors.
    • Washington Square Park: Located in the heart of Greenwich Village (Fifth Avenue between MacDougal Street and University Place), this 10-acre green space is the home of the marble Washington Square Arch and is a great place to people watch.
    • Murray's Cheese: This Greenwich Village tradition on Bleecker Street was founded in 1940 and searches the globe to bring the best cheeses to New Yorkers. Sign up its Cheese 101 or Boot Camp classes.
    • The Stonewall Inn: This gay bar is a National Historic Landmark and was the site of the 1969 riots that led to the beginning of the gay rights movement. 
    • Village Vanguard: This jazz club on Seventh Avenue South, established in 1935, has been the recording spot for more than 100 albums by greats such as John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Barbra Streisand, and Bill Frisell.
    • One If By Land, Two If By Sea: This beautiful upscale restaurant located in a 1767 carriage house on Barrow Street is considered one of the most romantic restaurants in New York.