We are talking about one of New York City’s most charming, hip, artsy, food-packed areas. Read on to hear all of the best things to do in the area from a genuine New Yorker, Flytographer Amanda. What’s the next best thing to being a local yourself? Booking a stay at a hotel in NYC and setting off to explore the city by foot armed with the best things to do in Greenwich Village.
The Village includes the neighbourhoods of the West Village and Meatpacking District. Washington Square Park is one of New York City’s most recognizable parks with its famous arch and fountain — icons of the Village.
The campus of NYU is here, as is Parsons The New School for Design. Home to the Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village is the birthplace of the gay rights movement, and NYC’s most rainbow-filled neighborhood! 🌈
Greenwich Village is cool. It’s fun, and it’s funky. The vibe just can’t be beaten. We recommend riding the 1 train to the Christopher Street-Sheridan Square station, where you’ll pop out in the heart of it all – it’s the perfect springboard to explore the Village. Come hungry and ready to stroll. 👟
Table of Contents
- Greenwich Village Photo Spots
- Activities All Yearround in Greenwich Village
- Spring Activities in Greenwich Village
- Summer Activities in Summer Greenwich Village
- Fall Activities in Greenwich Village
- Winter Activities in Greenwich Village
- Restaurants near Greenwich Village
- Cafes & bars near Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village Photo Spots & Tips
Photo opportunities in Greenwich village are endless and the backgrounds are diverse! In a tiny area you can pack in some major NYC variety.
One of the most popular tourist destinations can be found just above the Little Owl restaurant … any guesses what famous façade this corner is known for? It’s the Friends apartment! ☕️ (Come for the photo op, stay for the food.) Be sure to take a peek at the beauty behind the fence at Grove Court while you’re here. It’s so lovely!
A few blocks away from the Friends apartment is another famous crib: Carrie Bradshaw’s Sex and the City apartment! Zigzag the nearby blocks & shops to get a good taste of the charm of the Village streets lined with more of these brownstone beauties. (A friendly reminder that these brownstones are homes, so out of respect to those living there, don’t loiter on the steps.) 🏡
Best Greenwich Village Activities All Year-Round
The same advice goes for Greenwich Village as it does for the rest of the city: walk walk walk! You cannot go wrong with walking these irresistible streets year-round.
Want to try an off-Broadway show, but also want a change of scenery? Visit the Cherry Lane Theater,the longest continuously running off-Broadway theatre, that happens to be on a particularly beautiful street! You can see a show and take some amazing photos while you’re there. It’s a total gem. 💎
Ready for one of the top things and best deals in Manhattan? Renew Body Wellness on 8th Street is the answer to sore legs after days of walking around the city. Here, you can get an hour-long leg and foot massage for only $30! 🦶🏽 (Renew offers other services if you’re not a fan of having your feet touched.) Any time of year, it may be one of the highlights of your trip and give your body the push it needs to finish your Greenwich Village trek with ease. Consider it a wise investment (don’t forget to leave a generous tip!).
Spring in Greenwich Village
Spring in New York City cannot be beaten. The air is electric. The streets are filled with people, and music spills from cafes, corners, and parks dripping in branches and blossoms. Cherry blossom trees are plentiful in Greenwich Village, and you can’t help but stare endlessly at the contrast between the spring blooms juxtaposed against brownstones, townhouses, and historic landmarks. 🌸
Make time to head to Little Island — bordering the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, this new addition to NYC is fantastic! Hanging over the Hudson River, Little Island is a totally unique floating park, home to incredible architecture and greenery. Little Island is also home to a super cool amphitheatre, and attendance to both the park (and shows at the theater) are free! It’s a perfect place to meander or sit and take in the views, day or night! 🌃Springtime is a great time to come since there isn’t a ton of shade, and the wind can be cold along the Hudson in the wintertime. (Note: although tickets are free, timed entry may be required depending on the time of day/year you visit, so check their website in advance!)
Summer in Greenwich Village
Summertime is awesome in Greenwich Village. When the heat and humidity rise, so do the sounds of the musicians playing in Washington Square Park. It’s intoxicating. ☀️
Travelling with kids? There are lots of great playgrounds, including three in Washington Square Park alone! Play Hills on the southwest corner is a favourite for older kids. Take a walk down Minetta Lane and over to Minetta Playground, where there’s just enough shade, and a water feature to stay cool. Just a block north of the playground is the West 4th Street Courts, where you can almost always find a basketball game happening, NYC-style. 🏀 This is also the perfect place to chow down on a slice of NYC pizza (read more about the famous Joe’s Pizza below)!
Fall in Greenwich Village
Aside from Central Park, Greenwich Village may be the next best place in Manhattan to watch the colours of the city change. Many of the buildings here are landmarked, and the brownstones and townhomes are stunning. October in NYC is a dream! Although there isn’t a ton of green space, Father Demo Square, Winston Churchill Square, Abington Square, and the Stonewall National Monument offer ideal respites for your legs and your eyes, since the changing trees are spectacular set against the city streets! 🍂
Winter in Greenwich Village
One of the great things about Greenwich Village in the winter (and the city in general all year round) is that the views uptown to the Empire State Building, and downtown to One World Trade Center always show off; add clear winter skies, and you’re sure to feel a little less cold. 🏙
Let’s talk about Washington Square Park. Have you seen the videos of the great snowball fights at the Washington Square Park fountain!? New Yorkers know how to party. Although snow isn’t as common in the city as movies make it seem, when it does snow, it’s pretty magical. If you’re a chess player (or wannabe chess player), head to the southwest corner (Chess Plaza) to play a match — locals are ready and waiting to take on competitors, even in the cold. 🌨
Visiting one of the famous Greenwich Village music and jazz clubs like Café Wha? or Village Vanguard are perfect wintertime activities. Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, and more have all performed at Café Wha?, and with a history as rich as this one, it’s no wonder it’s been around for so long. Village Vanguard has been a city staple since 1935, and is the perfect place to cozy up for a night of live music and drinks. 🎺 Is comedy more your thing? Head to one of the many comedy clubs like Comedy Cellar, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, or the Comedy Shop!
Restaurants Near Greenwich Village
It’s hardly an argument that no other neighborhood offers better food than Greenwich Village. The outstanding eateries are endless. Endless!
Want a quick bite? You can’t come to the Village without visiting Joe’s Pizza (literally called a “Greenwich Village institution” since 1975). Although other locations have been opened since the original, 7 Carmine Street is the favourite of New Yorkers. (Note: Joe’s Pizza on Carmine is cash only!) 🍕
Want to sit down and enjoy a great meal? Good luck choosing! A New York favourite is Via Carota, an Italian restaurant that more than lives up to the hype. Waits can be long, so put your name in as soon as you arrive and then start your walk around the neighbourhood if you need to kill time! Try their famous Insalata Verde salad. 🥗 Their pasta is to die for and cross your fingers and toes they’re serving their grilled peaches and mascarpone for dessert.
Cafes & Bars Near Greenwich Village
Cafes and bars really shine in the West Village. All it takes is a walk down Macdougal Street and you will understand. Using Macdougal St. as an example, get a cappuccino from Caffe Reggio. Cross the street for a visit to Oakberry for the best Acai bowls (with endless toppings!). Pomme Frites serves Belgian fries in paper cones and more toppings than you can imagine! Beatnic is an awesome vegan spot to grab a casual meal. And that’s just a handful of great snacks on a single block!
Need a few special snacks to take with you for later? Try a Lemon Love Letter doughnut from The Doughnut Project, a delicious scoop or two from Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, a crème brulee cupcake from Molly’s, and/or make a visit to the famous Murray’s Cheese for something more savoury! 🧀
Other NYC Tips
A favourite tip for travel, especially in an area as dense as Manhattan, is to utilize your phone’s mapping app like Google Maps. 🗺 Be sure to save any and all things that pique your interest in the city — snacks, meals, streets, shops and boutiques, theatres… all of it! Moving toward the stars saved in your phone not only gives you direction where to go next, but also makes sure you’re never “stuck” somewhere without a great option for food or entertainment. It’s a lifesaver!
What are your thoughts on those megabus tours? Are you a bus sightseeing lover or a hater? 🚌 A nighttime NYC bus tour is a surprisingly, fun, pain-free way to see the city from a different (and higher!) perspective. They’re perfect for families, solo visitors, girls trips, and more. The best part about the nighttime tour is it’s only about an hour, and you get to see everything at sunset and/or lit up. You also get prime visibility of the Times Square signage (at eye level), and a bird’s eye view of some really exquisite apartments and shops that normally are too high to gaze into from ground level. 😉
Hillarie and family capture memories in Central Park with a family photoshoot in NYC.
Capturing Memories in Greenwich Village
If you’ve booked a Flytographer shoot, don’t forget to take a few minutes before your shoot to chat with your photographer about the things you would love captured most — because there are a plethora of options. Get excited! 📸
“Amanda is AMAZING! She was early, outgoing, funny, professional but felt like a longtime friend at the same time. We met her in Central Park, she knows it so well. She was terrific with my girls and captured the most amazing photos for us. She had us laughing and made it so much fun. We weren’t having the best time in NY, she really helped us out a lot and made our trip so much better. I can’t wait to print every photo and put them all over our house and my office. Definitely going on our holiday cards. I will tell everyone I know that goes to NY to book with Amanda!”
“Sehee was sweet, flexible and amazing to work with! She made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera and gave clear instructions and guidance. She helped us pose but also let us take a few silly photos. She knows all the best spots to shoot and worked so efficiently. Thank you so much, Sehee!”