Manhattan/Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village (often referred to as "West Village" or simply "the Village") is a well-known, largely residential district in Manhattan, once famous for its vibrant art and literary community. Nowadays the neighborhood is so gentrified that the artists and poets who once lived here wouldn't be able to afford the rents, but the Village is still worth a visit for its lovely tree-lined streets and colorful history. Centered around Washington Square Park and the campus of New York University (NYU), the neighborhood sits west of Broadway between Houston Street and SoHo on the south and 14th Street and Chelsea on the north.


The Italianate Judson Memorial Church, right across the street from Washington Square Park, has been a part of the landscape in the Village since 1896

Greenwich Village was once a large industrial park; later, it was colonized by radicals, bohemians, beatniks, artists, and literary greats squatting in abandoned factories. High rents exclude most of their ilk today (their countercultural counterparts are NYU students with parental support) but the Village still has its charm.

Greenwich Village, home to a vibrant artistic and literary community in the 1950s, occupies the space between Houston Street and 14th Street. The central portion surrounds Washington Square Park and includes NYU's large campus and a thriving B&T (bridge & tunnel - a pejorative term) nightlife scene on MacDougal Street. West of University Place are many historic and attractive brownstones and some of the city's best restaurants and bars. The area's traditional avant garde reputation - it was a major center of the gay rights movement in the 1970s, for example - has somewhat faded as yuppies and movie stars move in.

Many people worldwide who have never been to the Village are familiar with the Village Voice newspaper, which is actually published in the East Village.

Greenwich Village is also the main setting for the TV series Friends as Monica's apartment has a Grove St. address, and there are numerous references to nearby areas such as Bleecker St. and SoHo (although the series was actually filmed in the Warner Brother studios in Los Angeles).

Note that the "East Village" was not historically part of Greenwich Village and is still considered by many New Yorkers to be part of the Lower East Side, but the term "West Village" is synonymous with Greenwich Village, or at least that part of the neighborhood that is west of 6th Av. or so. In the 19th century, Greenwich Village's eastern portion was better known as Washington Square. Washington Square Park remains a neighborhood landmark, but the terms "The Village," "Greenwich Village," and "West Village" are practically interchangeable.

Get in

Greenwich Village Map

By subway

Greenwich Village is served by many subway lines:


The PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) train, a subway-style transit system, is convenient and inexpensive for going to points on 6th Av. up to 33 St. (one block east of Penn Station) and to Hoboken and Journal Square in New Jersey. One can transfer from Journal Square to the PATH line that terminates at Newark - Penn Station (not to be confused with New York's Penn Station), and get from there to Newark Airport by local Newark bus. Within Greenwich Village, the PATH stops at Christopher St. between Hudson and Greenwich Sts. and at both 9th St. and 14th St. at 6th Avenue.

By bus

The double-decker tour buses whisk their way up 6th Av., but why not take an MTA bus, get off, and do your own tour?

In this neighborhood, the following uptown/downtown buses operate:

There are also crosstown buses:

The M14 is by far the most frequent at all hours. There is also a crosstown bus on Houston St., the M21, but it runs fairly infrequently and tends to get backed up in traffic, so it is not recommended if there is a good alternative. The M21 does not run between approximately midnight and 6AM See the MTA website for more information.

On foot

A tree-lined street in Greenwich Village

If you are close enough to walk to the Village, do it. Walking is the best way to experience the character of neighborhoods in Manhattan and the contrast and continuity between them.

By bicycle

The park along the Hudson River has a popular bike path. Many people also ride along city streets in this neighborhood, many of which are pretty quiet side streets.

Get around

It is possible to take some of the aforementioned buses along the avenues in the Village, but there are so many side streets that are worth wandering on and cannot be accessed by public transit. Walking is really optimal, or you can cycle. Cabs are numerous throughout the neighborhood, too.



Cherry Lane Theater

Greenwich Village has developed as a home for a significant number of off-Broadway theater companies and lots of music venues.




The Northern Dispensary at 167 Waverly Place near Christopher Square was built as a clinic for the poor in 1831, when Greenwich Village represented the far north of New York City

The Village is full of unique stores, sometimes so specialized in what they sell that you might feel as if you just walked into your secret collection of some obscure item that you assumed nobody else cared about. There are record stores which sell only oldie vinyls, bookstores larger than an average library, and chess shops where a full chess set might rival with a car in price.


Groceries and Eateries can be found on almost every street of Greenwich Village

You'll find hundreds of restaurants and sidewalk cafés of virtually every culture. All-American, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Polish, Pakistani, Spanish, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese...the list goes on... At many spots you'll find affordable eats with the chance to enjoy your meal on the sidewalk. There are also some well-known upscale restaurants in the neighborhood.


The Stonewall Inn



The Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library, formerly the Jefferson Market Courthouse


The Village thrives on French tourists, honeymooners from Texas, and day-trippers from uptown and all around the region. Having lots of people around all the time makes it feel safer, and the residents appreciate that. Most will happily take your picture, give you directions, and advise you about where to eat, etc. At the same time, the Village isn't an amusement park. The people who live there are generally rather sedate, and they cannot be on perpetual holiday. Most need a good night's sleep so they can get up for work in the morning. Have a heart: Don't make a lot of noise, or do anything else in public that you wouldn't want someone to do in front of your house!

Go next

Routes through Greenwich Village

Theater District Chelsea  N  S  Soho (1) → Tribeca Financial District
Theater District Chelsea  N  S  Soho Financial District
Midtown Gramercy Flatiron (F, M)  N  S  Soho Downtown Brooklyn
Midtown Gramercy Flatiron  N  S  Soho Downtown Brooklyn
END  W  E  Gramercy Flatiron/East Village East Brooklyn
END Hoboken  SW  NE  Chelsea Theater District
END Jersey City  SW  NE  Chelsea Theater District

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, January 11, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.