The 17 Best Things To Do in West Village NYC

The West Village, along with Greenwich Village, forms the neighborhood that New Yorkers just call “The Village.” Both neighborhoods are quite similar, with the West Village being less dominated by students and more by the upper middle class population. 7th Avenue divides The Village into the two neighborhoods in a western part (unsurprisingly the West Village) and the eastern part (Greenwich Village).

What is West Village known for?

You can expect a wide selection of fantastic restaurants, cafes, wine bars and bars. Since the West Village is a residential area, there are no major attractions to see – yet this neighborhood is one of my favorites because the beautiful Hudson River Park is adjacent, the art scene is very active and there is plenty for families to discover.

The architecture is dominated by Brownstone and Federal-style townhouses, which served as a set in many famous movies and series. Sex and the City (go here for the best tours on that) and Friends are just two of them. Sarah Jessica Parker liked it here so much that she owned a house in the West Village of New York for a long time.

Everything you need to do, see and eat in the West Village, I’ll tell you here in my ultimate guide!

By the way: you’ll find many more New York City spots in our Loving New York travel guides.

My TOP 5 Things To Do in the West Village

TOP 5 Things To Do in the West Village

  • Stonewall Inn: The place is a National Historic Landmark and was the site of the 1969 riots that focused on the relationship between the police and the LGBTQ community.
  • Discover the neighborhood with the New York West Village Food Tour
  • Watch the sunset at Drift In
  • The “Friends” Apartment – Everyone is familiar with the TV sitcom “Friends.” It’s considered one of the greatest sitcoms of all-time. Lucky for you, the Friends apartment is located right here in Greenwich Village.
  • Visit the Museum of Illusions

Where is the West Village located?

The West Village is the easternmost neighborhood of Downtown Manhattan and is bounded on the north by 14th Street (where the Meatpacking District and Chelsea begin). 7th Avenue marks the eastern border and W Houston Street the southern border.

West Village NYC Map

How to Get to the West Village

  • Subway: Take the 1 2 train to Christopher St Station, or 1 2 3 to 14 St.
  • Hop on Hop Off Bus: Stop 6 of the downtown loop of BIG BUS or stop 7 and/or 8 of the downtown loop of Gray Line Sightseeing. Here you find more about Hop on Hop off in NYC.

    My tip:
    the tickets for the buses are included in many of the New York City passes – which one is the best for you, you can see in my Pass Comparison for New York!

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The 17 Best Things To Do in the West Village of NYC

Here are some more things that you can explore if you have more time.

  1. 01

    Sex and the City Hotspots Tour in New York

    Walking Tour in Midtown Manhattan
    Sex and the City Hotspots Tour in New York
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    The Sex and the City tours in New York City are among the most popular tours of all – in addition to the Sex and the City tour by bus, there is this walking tour that takes you to the most important spots of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte.

    What to expect on the three-hour Sex and the City Hotspots Tour in New York

    You will meet with a local guide at Central Park to start your tour. The first destination is the famous The Plaza Hotel, which played an important role between Carrie and her Mr. Big at the end of season 2.

    After that, you’ll head to Perry Street in beautiful West Village – it’s one of my absolute favorite neighborhoods in New York (not only because of Sex and the City). As fans of Sex and the City New York, you of course know what is located here: the apartment of Carrie Bradshaw

    • Fun Fact #1: in the series, the apartment was on the Upper East Side, so in a completely different part of NYC (“245 East 73rd Street”).
    • Fun Fact #2: Sarah Jessica Parker lived just a block away from Perry Street on Charles Street until the end of 2020.

    What can’t be missed on a Sex and the City tour? The Magnolia Bakery! Although it was only featured briefly on the show, it became one of the most important spots for Sex and the City fans. Do just as Carrie and Miranda do: buy a delicious cupcake and you’re good to go!

    By the way, in addition to Magnolia Bakery in the West Village, there are now other branches in New York. You can also buy the cupcakes made famous by Sex and the City at Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, Bloomingdales, Columbus Circle and the Upper West Side.

    Next stop on the walking tour is the Buddakan restaurant. This is where the rehearsal dinner was held before Carrie’s wedding – and therefore couldn’t be left off the list. 

    The same goes for Onieal’s Bar and Restaurant in Little Italy, which is another important stop. It is just as significant for Sex and the City fans as the Central Perk café is for fans of the “Friends” series. 

  2. 02

    Feel the rich LGBTQ+ history of The Stonewall Inn

    Bar in West Village
    Stonewall_inn_191023115231003
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    The Stonewall Inn located in the West Village/Greenwich Village neighborhood in NYC is a gay bar and recreational tavern. But, it’s just not an ordinary bar. The place is a National Historic Landmark and was the site of the 1969 riots that focused on the relationship between the police and the LGBTQ community. This jump-started the gay rights movement that we see today and has made a lasting impact. 

  3. 03

    Trick your mind at the Museum of Illusions

    Museum in West Village
    Museum
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    This is one of the most fun museums in NYC for kids right now. It’s a pop-up museum that will make you question your sense of reality with optical illusions. The museum guarantees a great time, lots of laughter and the funniest photos. 

    The exhibits will stimulate your cognitive abilities in a way that it will be hard for you to believe your eyes. An alternative to the Museum of Illusions is a visit to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. 

    Out of the two, I highly urge you to see the Museum of Illusions, though!

  4. 04

    New York West Village Food Tour

    Walking Tour in West Village
    kulinarische_tour_durch_west_village_in_new_york_in_new_york_city_150035_2
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    Go on one of the famous Food on Foot Tours. During the 3-hour tour, you will discover many great little restaurants and bakeries. A total of 6 of them are on your program on this walking tour, which is one of the most popular in the West Village. For foodies this tour is a must!

  5. 05

    Take photos of the Friends apartment

    Other Attraction in West Village
    friends_apartment_new_york_170315165740092
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    Everyone is familiar with the TV sitcom “Friends.” It’s considered one of the greatest sitcoms of all-time. Lucky for you, the Friends apartment is located right here in Greenwich Village. The exterior of the apartment was shot in NYC, but the rest of the show was shot in a studio in Los Angeles. 

    The apartment is located on the corner of Bedford and Grove St. You’ll always see a flock of people taking pictures, so you can’t miss it. If you’re a true Friends fan, you definitely won’t miss it.

  6. 06

    Enjoy a jazz concert at Village Vanguard

    Jazz Club in West Village
    Best Jazz Clubs in NYC
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    The Village Vanguard is located at Seventh Ave South in the West Village. It was first opened by Max Gordon in 1935, making it New York City’s oldest operating jazz club. Though, many people didn’t realize that this venue actually hosted beat poetry and folk music until 1957, when it became a home for jazz music. Even the legends John Coltrane and Miles Davis played here.

  7. 07

    Visit the Whitney Museum

    Museum in Meatpacking District
    whitney_museum_170314171556002
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    Newly opened in 2015, the Whitney Museum in New York shines in a whole new light. The Whitney Museum has one of the most spectacular collections of contemporary art that focuses on American art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Rauschenberg are just a few of the names whose paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and installations are part of the exhibits at the Whitney Museum. More than 21,000 works of art are permanently showcased here. The museum is located in The Meatpacking District in Manhattan.

  8. 08

    Relax and enjoy river views at the Hudson River Park

    Park in Chelsea
    Our Highlight
    hudson_river_park_190723105731001
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    With a size of 2.2 square kilometers, the Hudson River Park is the second largest park in Manhattan.

  9. 09

    Have a romantic evening at the LELABAR

    Wine Bars in West Village
    wine_bar_new_york_200227123801001-1
    Close up shot of a bartender pouring red wine into a glass. Hospitality, beverage and wine concept.
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    The wine bar LELABAR is one of our absolute highlights, you can find it in a small street in the West Village. It’s small, cozy, straightforward and definitely one of the best in the city. That’s exactly how we imagine a wine bar where locals go for a good wine in the evening.

  10. 10

    Hudson Clearwater: Eat one of the best avocado toasts in NYC

    Other Restaurants in West Village
    Our Highlight
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    This beautiful little restaurant has everything I like: it is cozy, beautifully decorated, the food is delicious and in summer you can sit together romantically in a small courtyard!

  11. 11

    Have an ice cream from the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

    Ice Cream in West Village
    190306110751001_Ice_Cream_NYC
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    Big Gay Ice Cream is one of the most famous ice cream shops in New York City. Here you can get fancy ice creams, which for us are among the best in town!

  12. 12

    Stroll along the High Line

    Park in Meatpacking District
    Our Highlight
    High_Line_New_York_171012162730002_1600x960
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    There are few parks as unique as the High Line. The elevated freight rail line was repurposed as a public green space that opened in 2009 and now offers amazing views of the city, as well as a place to relax and unwind. Its plant life is based directly off what was growing there while it was abandoned, giving this park a unique and interesting atmosphere! The High Line stretches from The Meatpacking District all the way to Hudson Yards-34th Street.

  13. 13

    Watch the Sunset at the Skyline Rooftop Bar & Lounge or ...

    Rooftop Bar in Hell's Kitchen
    Skyline_Rooftop_Bar_New_York__210525142348005
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    The Skyline Rooftop on top of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York hotel is one of the few rooftop bars in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s just one block from Macy’s and two blocks from Hudson Yards, and the view from here is really special!

  14. 14

    .. from the Drift In.

    Sea Food Restaurant in West Village
    Our Highlight
    Drift in New York Sun
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    The Drift In is one of my latest new discoveries in New York: it’s located right on the Hudson River promenade in the West Village. They serve oysters and the best lobster roll in town – no wonder, the team behind the Drift In is the same as at my beloved PILOT Brooklyn and GRAND BANKs. Just great!

  15. 15

    Employees Only: one of our favorite speakeasy bars in NYC

    Bar in Meatpacking District
    Our Highlight
    Employees_only_Bar_New_York_11
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    A bar where you can dive into the 20s and 30s of New York. The Speakeasy Bar was voted into the TOP 20 of the best bars in the world – the drinks are of the finest. Attention, the entrance is a bit hidden: you’ll find it next to the neon “Psychic” sign.

  16. 16

    Enjoy Aussie-Style coffee at Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen

    Café in West Village
    Merriweather_Coffee_West_Village_NYC_Best_Coffee_210826120329005
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    Inspired by Sydney’s hottest beach cafes, the founders opened this great location in the heart of The Village. Te Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen is located just across the street from Hudson Clearwater, one of our favorite breakfast spots in the West Village. If you want to grab a delicious coffee in a hipster atmosphere afterwards, Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen is the perfect spot.

    I can recommend the Flat White as well as the sandwiches – with a little luck you can sit at the window and watch the hustle and bustle of the locals.

  17. 17

    Have a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery

    Café in West Village
    211221145232001_Magnolia_Bakery_Bleecker_Street
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    The classic! Carrie and her girls have eaten delicious cupcakes here. An absolute must-do for Sex and the City fans and all those who can’t resist the sweet treat.

Best Attractions in the West Village of NYC

Many of New York’s major New York attractions are located in this part of Manhattan so make sure to add them to you travel itinerary:

  1. friends_apartment_new_york_170315165740092

    01 Friends-Apartment

    Everyone is familiar with the TV sitcom “Friends.” It’s considered one of the greatest sitcoms of all-time. Lucky for you, the Friends apartment is located right here in Greenwich Village. The exterior of the apartment was shot in NYC, but the rest of the show was shot in a studio in Los Angeles. 

    The apartment is located on the corner of Bedford and Grove St. You’ll always see a flock of people taking pictures, so you can’t miss it. If you’re a true Friends fan, you definitely won’t miss it.

  2. Gallery

    02 Grey Art Gallery NYU

    This is New York University’s fine art museum in Greenwich Village. It is right on Washington Square Park therefore making it a great location to visit. The museum puts on exhibitions about human culture where they acquire and preserve different artifacts that pertain to that specific subject.

  3. 160908135545023

    03 Grove Court

    Nestled between six brick red townhouses on Grove Street in the West Village, Grove Court is one of many courts spread throughout the city of NYC. The court is between 10 and 12 Grove Street and even though it’s pretty exclusive, there are always people at the game peeking in. If you’re ever in the West Village make sure to check this out.

  4. Museum

    04 Museum of Illusions

    This is one of the most fun museums in NYC for kids right now. It’s a pop-up museum that will make you question your sense of reality with optical illusions. The museum guarantees a great time, lots of laughter and the funniest photos. 

    The exhibits will stimulate your cognitive abilities in a way that it will be hard for you to believe your eyes. An alternative to the Museum of Illusions is a visit to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. 

    Out of the two, I highly urge you to see the Museum of Illusions, though!

Save big on New York attractions and tours

Budget Tip

    Go New York Explorer Pass 

Many of the attractions and tours of the West Village and the surrounding neighborhoods are included in one of the New York City passes. So you can easily and quickly save up to 70% – how does it work?

You can see that in my ultimate 👉  New York Pass comparison, here you can see my personal 👉  New York Pass Reviews after more than 20 visits to New York and our free New York Pass Advisor answers the question: “Which New York Pass is the best?

Compare New York Passes

Best Guided Tours in the West Village

There are a lot of very popular tours where New York guides show you the best parts and the history of this neighborhood:

These are the most popular walking tours that we can recommend to you:

  1. High_Line_New_York_171012162730006

    01 Friends of the High Line Walking Tours

    The High Line Park takes you along the old tracks of the elevated railway to the Meatpacking District. Thanks to the initiative “Friends of the High Line” the park exists at all, because originally the construction was supposed to be torn down. And the best thing? They offer free tours!

  2. kulinarische_tour_durch_west_village_in_new_york_in_new_york_city_150035_2

    02 New York West Village Food Tour

    Go on one of the famous Food on Foot Tours. During the 3-hour tour, you will discover many great little restaurants and bakeries. A total of 6 of them are on your program on this walking tour, which is one of the most popular in the West Village. For foodies this tour is a must!

  3. Pride_Tours_NYC_s_LGBTQ_Historical_Walking_Tour

    03 Pride Walking Tour

    Learn about the most significant historical event in the LGBTQ movement, the Stonewall Uprising in 1969 in NYC. Visit famous LGBTQ sites, like the Stonewall Inn, on a 1 hour and 15-minute walking tour beginning at Christopher Park.

If guided tours interest you, be sure to check out the Best Walking Tours NYC!

Best West Village Restaurants in NYC

  1. Drift in New York Sun

    01 Drift In

    The Drift In is one of my latest new discoveries in New York: it’s located right on the Hudson River promenade in the West Village. They serve oysters and the best lobster roll in town – no wonder, the team behind the Drift In is the same as at my beloved PILOT Brooklyn and GRAND BANKs. Just great!

  2. 190127105335003_

    02 Hudson Clearwater

    This beautiful little restaurant has everything I like: it is cozy, beautifully decorated, the food is delicious and in summer you can sit together romantically in a small courtyard!

  3. Five Guys

    03 5 Guys Burger and Fries

    Just like Shake Shack, the 5 Guys Burger and Fries have become a burger chain that is very popular. Again, the good ingredients are the basis of everything – if you’re looking for a 5 Guys in New York, there are several of them!

  4. Restaurant_170423115755029-1

    04 Decoy

    Here you get the best Peking duck in town. The restaurant is well known beyond the city limits.

  5. JacksWifeFreda7

    05 Jack's Wife Freda

    The trendy café is a magnet for lovers of healthy, authentic cuisine. One could describe it as: “South African Israeli Jewish Grandmother Cuisine”. At Jack’s Wife Freda, the cuisine is predominantly vegan, kosher and, of course, low-calorie.

Looking for more recommendations? We’ve got you covered! Here you find the Best West Village Restaurants in NYC.

Best West Village Bars in NYC

And these are my personal recommendations when it comes to bars in the West Village – you will love it!

  1. Drift in New York Sun

    01 Drift In

    The Drift In is one of my latest new discoveries in New York: it’s located right on the Hudson River promenade in the West Village. They serve oysters and the best lobster roll in town – no wonder, the team behind the Drift In is the same as at my beloved PILOT Brooklyn and GRAND BANKs. Just great!

  2. Bar_170423115755006-2

    02 Hudson Bar and Books

    There are several Bar and Books locations in New York – but the one near the Hudson is the best whiskey bar of all. It has its very own charm and offers a huge selection of whiskey, scotch and co. If you’re looking for a whiskey bar where you can also relax and smoke a cigar, you’ve come to the right place.

  3. cocktail_bar_New_York_200227165449001
    Cocktail drink on night club. Cocktail concept.

    03 STK Downtown & Rooftop

    The Rooftop Bar can be found above the STK Downtown Steakhouse. With a delicious cocktail you can enjoy the fantastic view of the Hudson River and the New York skyline.

  4. Stonewall_inn_191023115231003

    04 The Stonewall Inn

    The Stonewall Inn located in the West Village/Greenwich Village neighborhood in NYC is a gay bar and recreational tavern. But, it’s just not an ordinary bar. The place is a National Historic Landmark and was the site of the 1969 riots that focused on the relationship between the police and the LGBTQ community. This jump-started the gay rights movement that we see today and has made a lasting impact. 

  5. white_horse_tavern_170315165740018

    05 White Horse Tavern

    Built in 1880 and still operating today is the White Horse Tavern which became popular because writers, poets and artists such as Dylan Thomas made this bar their go-to spot. It is said that Dylan Thomas had his last drink at White Horse Tavern before dying at the Chelsea Hotel. 

    Even today, portraits of Thomas hang in the restaurant and reminds everyone of their famous guest. This bar is one of the 10 oldest in New York and has physically survived the changing times over the years.

Looking for more recommendations? We’ve got you covered! Here you find the

Best West Village Cafés in NYC

If you don’t want to necessarily dine-in, you can always check out some cafes. There are artisanal tea and coffee shops and bakeries throughout the neighborhood and are great places to visit for a quick break.

  1. Cafe

    01 Bus Stop Cafe

    Bus Stop Cafe is one of our favorite breakfast spots in the West Village. It is a charming place and exactly what you call and expect as a typical American diner. Very authentic, friendly and therefore absolutely recommendable!

  2. 211221145232001_Magnolia_Bakery_Bleecker_Street

    02 Magnolia Bakery

    The classic! Carrie and her girls have eaten delicious cupcakes here. An absolute must-do for Sex and the City fans and all those who can’t resist the sweet treat.

  3. Merriweather_Coffee_West_Village_NYC_Best_Coffee_210826120329005

    03 Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen

    Inspired by Sydney’s hottest beach cafes, the founders opened this great location in the heart of The Village. Te Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen is located just across the street from Hudson Clearwater, one of our favorite breakfast spots in the West Village. If you want to grab a delicious coffee in a hipster atmosphere afterwards, Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen is the perfect spot.

    I can recommend the Flat White as well as the sandwiches – with a little luck you can sit at the window and watch the hustle and bustle of the locals.

Best West Village Hotels in NYC

Staying in the Village has many advantages. You’ll always be surrounded by some of the best bars, restaurants, cafes, galleries and shops in NYC. If you decide to stay in the neighborhood please check out these amazing hotels.

  1. Incentra_West_Village_hotrel_nyc_37268186

    01 Incentra Village Hotel

    3 Stars | The Village House with its Victorian style also impresses with its location. The High Line Park is only a few minutes’ walk away. There is a small kitchen in each of the rooms.

  2. jane_hotel_west_village_nyc_135475853

    02 The Jane Hotel

    2 Stars | This historical and cozy hotel is located just 1.6 kilometers from Union Square. The hotel might only have 2 stars, but the rooms are modern and some even have a terrace. If you want to explore New York by bike, you can rent one for free at the hotel.

Recommended article: The Best Hotels in Greenwich Village NYC.

Neighborhoods Nearby

The West Village is right next to some of the most popular neighborhoods and definitely worth a visit.

Neighborhoods that are Similar

If you enjoyed Alphabet City, then here are neighborhoods that have a similar feel:

About the author
Steffen

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

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