Nestled along the Hudson River and flanked with striking brownstones and trendy restaurants, the West Village is one of the most vibrant areas of New York. Whether you’re in a group or travelling solo, you’ll find many reasons to love the neighborhood. From world-class galleries and historic landmarks to fantastic theaters and comedy clubs, you’ll never be bored here. So, if you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple and would like to spend some time in the West Village during your stay, have a read through some of our favorite things to do in the area! 

 

Get Cultured

 

 

A well-recognized hub of innovation and artistry, the West Village has much to offer in the museum department. For first time visitors, a trip to The Whitney Museum of American Art is essential. Founded in 1930, the museum has grown to become one of the leading institutions for modern and contemporary art. The repository features many styles of artwork, from minimalist pieces to conceptual mind-benders. Visit to see works from renowned artists including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Georgia O’Keeffe. 

 

 

An artists’ enclave-turned-current hipster hotspot, the West Village presents a wealth of fantastic cultural institutions for theater lovers. First opened in 1923, The Cherry Lane Theatre is now recognized as the oldest continuously running off-Broadway theater in New York City. The playhouse runs everything from total classics to side-splitting comedies, all under one roof. With its unique charm and elegance, this venue provides an intimate experience that you won’t find at other places. Though the theater is small, this spot has amassed quite a reputation – for this reason, we recommend booking ahead of time. 

 

Cinephiles taking a trip to the West Village will be blessed with countless options for places to catch a movie. Still, our resounding favorite for independent cinema has to be the IFC Center. Formerly the Waverly Theater, this place is famed for popularizing the Rocky Horror Picture Show back in 1976. Nowadays, the venue regularly screens an eclectic mix of independent, foreign, documentary and classic films. With its fantastic film picks and laid-back atmosphere, this stop is great for spending time with friends and family. 

 

Find Fun Activities

 

Another one of our favorite things to do in the West Village is visit the Museum of Illusions. Breaking away from the traditional museum experience, this spot offers more brain-tricking, eye-tricking fun than any other entertainment location in the city. Learn about vision, perception and the human brain through the institute’s intriguing walkthrough exhibits. From kaleidoscopes and holograms to tiled and reverse rooms, this place is a total feast for the senses. Don’t forget to bring your phone to capture some snaps for Instagram! 

 

 

The West Village isn’t just home to some fantastic cultural amenities and interesting historic sites – it's also a total foodie’s paradise! Whether you’re looking for fine dining, a romantic date spot, or maybe just a quick bite, the area has something to suit all tastes and budgets. For those harnessing a sweet tooth, we recommend checking out Milk Bar. Founded by James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi, this place is famed for its cutesy, nostalgic treats which taste as good as they look. If you’re looking to satisfy all of your savory cravings, head over to John’s Pizzeria. Serving up coal-fired thin-crust pies since 1929, this authentic spot has more than mastered the art of the perfect slice. 

 

Though the city is perhaps best recognized for its towering skyscrapers and modern structures, it's also home to some wonderful urban green spaces. Those looking to get some fresh air might enjoy Hudson River Park for its beautiful scenery. Running from Battery Park to 59th Street, the park attracts millions of visitors each year with its stunning views of the river and Manhattan skyline. There are flowers, benches, beaches, and many exciting activities to try out – including kayaking and sailing tours. Take a stroll, have a picnic, or watch the sun set over the river – the world’s your oyster! 

 

Spot the Famous Landmarks

 

 

Teeming with living history and culture, the West Village presents many interesting anecdotal sites to be explored. Recognized as the most famous gay bar in the world, the Stonewall Inn gave its name to the spontaneous demonstrations of 1969, which set the LGBTQ+ rights movement into motion. Today, the bar draws in a diverse crowd in celebration of the history and progression of the gay liberation movement. A National Historic Landmark and mainstay of West Village culture, this place should be at the top of your itinerary. Before visiting, we suggest checking online for drag shows, themed nights and karaoke. 

 

The concrete jungle has long been a popular filming destination, with some of the TV’s most recognizable sites tucked away in the West Village. For comedy lovers and pop culture fans, one of the best spots in the city is none other than the original Friends apartment building. Situated at 90 Bedford Street, this redbrick building attracts thousands of fans to catch a glimpse of TV history. Though you can’t go inside the building, this place makes for the perfect photo opportunity! 

 

The list of TV shows shot in the picturesque center of New York City is endless. With its beautiful parks and historic architecture, the West Village has long been a favorite for the small screen – in fact, the area minds the home of one very famous New Yorker: Carrie Bradshaw. Sadly, the inside isn’t open to the public, though we like to imagine it overflowing with Manolo Blahniks and Vogues. Undoubtedly stunning and quintessentially NYC, this stop is a total must-see for any Sex and the City fan. Whilst you’re in the area, take time to explore its designer boutiques and hip restaurants in true Carrie Bradshaw style. 

 

Well, there you have it: our list of the best things to do in the West Village. Still, to face the facts, you could live in the neighborhood for years and not experience everything that it has to offer, because there’s simply so much to see and do! Whether you’re looking to catch a play with some friends, taste some of the best pizza in the city, or admire the views at Hudson River Park, you’ll find many reasons to love the area. Explore New York to its full potential with Go City’s All-Inclusive Pass or Explorer Pass. If you’d like to know more, connect with us on Instagram and Facebook. With Go City, you can see more, for less. 


 

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