Greenwich Village is not only the home of NYU’s Manhattan campus, but it’s also a historic neighborhood in Downtown Manhattan. With establishment going back to the 1630s Dutch settlement, Greenwich village flourished into an epicenter of culture and activity in NYC over the centuries. The village includes a beautiful mixture of modern office space and historic brownstones. The classical yet innovative atmosphere of Greenwich Village continues to make the neighborhood one of the most frequented areas in Manhattan and the number of unique experiences in the tight 185 acres of Greenwich Village is something to behold.
Overwhelmed with what to do in Greenwich Village? Look below for a great guide to have a great time in the village:
6:00 A.M. Early Riser Walk on Bowery
A very special time in New York City that not many people are aware of is 6:00am. 6:00am, especially on the weekends, seems like the most ghostly you’ll ever find NYC with most people not yet up for the day. Experience this isolating magic with a walk on Bowery Street— as the cold air hits your skin you may appreciate the solitary of no crowds around you.
7:00 A.M. Sweat the day off right at Barry’s Bootcamp.
It is no secret that New Yorkers like to keep fit, and a popular way to clock in your activity for the day is a workout class. One of the best options for ridding your toxins from the night before would be a quick 50 minutes at Barry’s Bootcamp. Located on Lafayette Street, Barry Bootcamp’s NoHo location blends cardio and weight building into an intense yet rewarding workout.
“I really enjoy how Barry’s Bootcamp takes the group workout experience and rally tailors it to make you feel as if you have your own private trainer,” TCU graduate and Greenwich Village Resident Andrew Lee said.
The class alternates 15 minutes of running on a treadmill with another 15 minutes of bodyweight workouts such as pushups and dumbbells. Barry’s promotes a wide range of instructors who all do a great job of pushing their cliental. When you’re done cool down at the each Barry class focuses on a different body area such as abs and a**, abs and arms and abs and chest so check the schedule accordingly and get ready to sweat.
8:00 A.M. Breakfast at Banter
Located on Sullivan Street Banter Cafe is a cozy yet vibrant breakfast cafe. With a breakfast menu sprawling with sweet treats such as Nutella Stuffed French Toast to more savory options such as Bacon and Egg Roll, Banter will be sure to satisfy your early morning breakfast craving. Banter is a great place for sitting outside and people watching as well. It is important to note that this cafe does not take reservations, so if you want to secure a table get there closer to opening at 8:00am.
9:00 AM: Walk down fifth avenue
One of NYC’s most famous avenues starts right at Greenwich Village. Take a stroll and see some beautiful apartments such as One Fifth and 24 Fifth Avenue. Businessmen, families, NYU students and adorable dogs walking around are some of the locals you’ll see on this stroll. Once you finish your stroll you should be right at Greenwich Village’s very own centerpiece: The Washington Square Arch.
10:00 A.M. Chill out at Washington Square Park
Welcome to Washington Square Park, one of the most famous NYC parks. The 9.75-acre greenspace includes two playgrounds for young kids, a dog park for the K9s, multiple street performers for entertainment and a lot of benches for those who want to relax. There is a reason while this park is such a staple for Greenwich Village.
11:00 A.M. A game of Chess
Looking to put some strategy skills to use? The westside of Washington Square Parks provides public chess boards. Make sure you bring your own pieces and a timer (for those really intense about chess) and try your hardest to capture that King piece. These chess boards are always a hot commodity, so if you don’t have anyone to play with it won’t be hard to create a new friend and kill some time on the boards.
12:00 P.M. Lunch at The Dutch
The Dutch is a very established NYC hotspot with an upscale take on American Cuisine. Located on Sullivan Street, this menu has classics such as Cheeseburgers, Caesar Salads and Pork Ribs but with a modern twist of flavor and spice. The brunch at the Dutch is very recommended which also includes fun cocktails and fluffy pancakes. Book a reservation at the Dutch on their website.
1:00 P.M. Board Game and Coffee at the Uncommons
Are you still on that Adrenaline high from chess, do you want to continue the competition? Head over to The Uncommons on Thompson Street behind Washington Square Park. Grab a coffee or beer and of course the board games that are included at the café. This cafe provides multiple cards and board games from Monopoly, Battleship, Sorry, Uno, Cards against Humanity for the price of $10 ($8 with a valid student ID).
2:00 P.M. Catch an Indie flick at IFC Center
Opened in 2005, IFC is not your typical blockbuster cinema. While you won’t get the latest Avengers movie, you’ll have a selection of fantastic independent films for screening. Ranging from dramas to documentaries, there are a bunch of great niche films that will expand your horizon at this theater. Right now the Cinema screens a handful of Oscar Nominated Short-Films, but if your into older films be sure to check out the classic films they show every 11:00am Friday-Sunday.
3:00 P.M. Strand Book Store
Strand Book Store is a very popular spot in NYC, as you’ve likely seen someone wearing a Strand Sweatshirt or using a tote bag across Greenwich Village. This broadway bookstore offers a diverse range of novels. New York City gives its flowers back to locally owned bookstore, as most bookstore, such as Strand, are slammed packed on the weekend. It isn’t without reason as this is a historic and consistently great shop.
“Strand Book Store always has some of my favorite reads, it is also a great spot for discovering great new books,” Elon freshman and frequent Greenwich Village Visitor Celie Sherrill said.
This is with great reason, as Strand Book Store carries over 2.5 million books, used and new curated by the Book loving Staff. The family-owned Bookstore has been a staple in Greenwich Village for almost a century remains as a must-visit when you’re in town. Boosting a large range of genres from Romance to Adventures and from Stephen King to JK Rowling you’ll certainly find the book you’re looking for here. The attentive staff at Strand will help you locate what you’re looking for quickly and efficiently. Also make sure to pop outside to see all the books on sale in the carts, you’ll save some money on these great reads.
4:00 P.M. Throw some punches at Rumble
Still feeling some energy to burn after Barry’s Bootcamp? If you’re looking for another class, try a “swing” at Rumble. Rumble is a class that mixes boxing with bodyweight exercises. An intense 50 minutes, this class will have you throwing some uppercuts and jabs while burning off calories and building muscles. The Rumble class is welcoming to any prior experience of boxers, from experts to first timers.
5:00 P.M. Happy Hour at Botanica
After that grueling workout, you’ve earned yourself a drink to say the least. Head over to Houston Street and hit up Botanica bar for a Happy Hour Special. Unlike most bars, Happy Hour at Botanica is 7 days a week. With $2 off draft beers and $6 wine and well drinks from 4 through 7:00pm, Botanica will make you feel good not only with the savings, but with the drinks as well.
6:00 P.M. Back at the famous Arch for the Sunset
There’s a reason that Washington Square Park popped up on this list a few times already. It’s history and beauty remain a stable representation of Greenwich Village. When it’s time for the sun to go down, make sure you’re at the right place for it— right next to the arch. The vibrant orange beams will make this image something you’ll never forget. For my personal favorite view, if you are a NYU student use your ID to go to the 7th floor of the Kimmel Center for an incredible panoramic view.
7:00 P.M. Get transported to Italy at Olieu E Pieu
A personal favorite of mine, this Greenwich Avenue Neapolitan restaurant has a refined selection of pastas, pizza and wine that will make you feel like you’re eating right in Naples, Italy. All of the menu selection includes homemade dishes from the pizza to pasta. This cozy spot has a real authentic Italian atmosphere inside. Make sure you check out the seasonal changes in the menu.
“I really love Olieu E Pieu, it’s not as exclusive as some of the super expensive New York restaurants, but it still has a very fancy atmosphere,” TCU graduate and frequent Greenwich Village Visitor Ruthie Roberts said.
You can make a reservation at this fantastic Italian restaurant on their website. Personal favorite of mine that this restaurant offers is their Rigatoni topped with Pork Ragu and Branzio (grilled seabass). For dessert their famous Olive Oil cake never disappoints. Whether you’re craving pizza, pasta, wine or coffee you won’t be let down at this Italian staple restaurant right where Greenwich Village and the West Village meet.
8:00 P.M. Night walk around SoHo
SoHo is a very electric neighborhood right next to Greenwich Village. However, over the years the crowds have gotten bigger making it a little overwhelming during the days. Despite the area being exceptionally busy during the day, once the sun goes down SoHo becomes your own personal playground. Walk down the cobblestone roads on Mercer and Crosby Street, as you pass down the beautifully exterior designer stores, hotels and Miquelon restaurants. SoHo by no means is cheap, but walking around and breathing in the classy atmosphere remains priceless especially with no crowds around.
9:00 P.M. Grab a laugh at the Comedy Cellar
The Comedy Cellar is one of the most iconic comedy stages in New York with legends such as Jon Stewart, Nikki Glasser, Andrew Schultz and Kevin Hart that have taken center stage. The comedy cellar is an inanimate setting, where you can order drinks and appetizers as you watch comedians crack jokes for about a two-hour show. Since the Comedy Cellar is a smaller venue reservation are required in advance. Participants must be 21 or older, or 18 and older attending with a parent.
10:00 P.M. Hear some live music at the Red Lion
After laughing your brains out, it would be a good idea to mellow out with some acoustic music. The Red Lion is right across the street from the comedy cellar on Bleecker Street. The Red Lion has been one of Greenwich Village hottest sports bar and live music spot for ages now. With a $10 cover charge, the Red Lion will provide you with a good amount of beer, food and NYC singer/songwriters performing covers of hits songs and some originals from time to time also.
11:00 P.M. Fig 19
Thirsty for a cocktail? This swanky yet surprisingly affordable hideaway NoLita bar vvis a hidden gem. Fig 19 has a unique cocktail menu such as the Ginger Sling (Rum, Prosecco, Ginger Syrup and Lime) and the Vanishing Point (Vanilla and Cinnamon gin with agave). You’ll also find familiar favorites such as a Manhattan or Martini. The atmosphere is conversational and still funky with fresh house beats. While this place is walk-in, it can get crowded, so make a reservation in advance.
12:00 P.M. Home Sweet Home
Wanting to sweat out your cocktail on the dancefloor? You don’t need to look any further, all you need to do is have luck below. Home Sweet Home is a bar in the basement of the Fig 19 building— with a unique vibe that borders grungy and disco. You’ll meet so many fun people and dance to a lot of fun throwbacks and disco tunes in this. Beware though, in the summertime this basement can get a little steamy so be prepared to sweat!
1:00 A.M. Tom and Jerry’s Bar
Head back closer to Greenwich Village and stop by Tom and Jerry’s Bar on Elizabeth Street in NoHo. This laidback bar can get surprisingly vibrant at night. With a unique rustic vibe Tom and Jerry’s Bar attracts many business professionals who like to let back on the weekend. Try some microbrews or some classic beers at their bar. Bring some cash here as there is a $20 card minimum.
2:00 A.M. Bowery Electric
Want to turn up the volume on your evening vibe? Head over to Bowery Electric on Bowery Street. This bar has big EDM themes, with cool LED and neon lights inside— that will make sure to turn up the energy of your night. Bowery Electric is located right on Bowery street in the middle of Greenwich Village.
3:00 A.M. Experience St Marks Place
St Marks place is one of the most unique and “in your face” blocks in NYC. With multiple popup shops, street vendors and illuminating store lights, St Marks is definitely an “of its own” New York City Spot. Be careful though, this fun experience can quickly turn into a scary sight if you’re alone. However this doesn’t mean St Marks should be entirely avoided.
4:00 A.M. Pizza at Rays Pizza and Bagel Cafe
Rays Pizza and Bagel Cafe located right next to St Marks and is one of Greenwich Village incredible Pizza spots. Usually having an out the door line well into the night this pizza spot has a great selection of slices, bagels and sandwiches. This 24/7 pizza spot will never let you down with their food selection. The restaurant has a great indoor/outdoor patio you can people watch as you devour two greased up slices of heaven. A night out without pizza in NYC is a night wasted, so head over to Rays to cap off your night.
5:00 A.M. Watch the sunrise at Astor Place
A New York sunrise is a sight to behold to say the least. One of the greatest spots to watch it is at Astor Square. This spot will allow you to see the sunrays reflect off the many glass skyscrapers hovering around the plaza. As you watch all the yellow taxi’s take passengers away, you’ll see the orange over the horizon. You’ll understand the objective beauty of Greenwich Village in this specific sunrise spot at Astor Place.