Updated: May 21, 2015
Greenwich Village Walking Tour MapOther New York Walking Tours:
- Brooklyn Heights Walking Tour
- Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour
- Chinatown Walking Tour
- Plus handy New York City Neighborhood Map
You can read more about the history of Greenwich Village here. Below is the detailed Google Map that shows the walking tour. This is an interactive map - you can drag it around, zoom in and out, switch to satellite or street view to see what the buildings look like, click on the blue markers to see what they highlight, or click the VIEW LARGER MAP link at the bottom to open this map in a larger, separate window. Scroll down a little farther to see a map you can print out and take with you on your Greenwich Village walking tour.
First off, the details on this walk. It is just over 3.5 miles in length -- sounds like a lot, but in New York City that's just a normal morning stroll. Plan on it taking 2-3 hours, depending on how fast you walk and how much looking around you do. There are plenty of places for snacks, meals, and drinks along the way. You may want to start around 10:00 in the morning and then finish with lunch. Or start at 3-4PM and finish with drinks or early dinner. Don't get too confused looking at the path marked on the map -- we will be doing a few zigzags as we explore each street in some areas, but in general we are starting in the southwest part of the map, heading to the northwest, crossing 7th to the northeast section, then finishing in the southeast section. If you follow the detailed walking instructions below and keep an eye on the map for reference, you should be fine. The map below is the version you can print out.
OK, so we will start in the center of Greenwich Village (marked START on the print out map below), at the Christopher St./Sheridan Square subway stop (this is 7th and Christopher, Greenwich Village, if you are taking a cab to get there..) -- it's marked with a big "M" on the map right in the middle of 7th Avenue. The 1 train stops here (alternatively, you can arrive at the 4th Street Station on the A,B,C,D,E,F,V trains, then walk up 4th Avenue 3 blocks to where it meets Christopher Street). As you get out of the cab or subway, take a second to get your bearings. 7th Avenue is the main commercial thoroughfare that bisects the Village. You should see Christopher Street (it crosses 7th right here) and you should see Christopher Park -- the Park is on the east side of the street, the other side is the west, heading towards the Hudson River. If you're facing the park, your left hand is pointing north up 7th Avenue towards midtown, while your right hand is pointing towards downtown. Got it? We'll be walking down many angled streets here, but it helps if you have some idea which way is up and down, east and west. The map might look a little confusing -- just keep in mind you will be following the letters and arrows, and stopping at the blue marked points of interest along the way.
So let's start by walking down 7th Avenue half a block to Grove Street (if you hit 10th Street, you're going the wrong direction, turn around!). TURN RIGHT onto Grove Street. Immediately on your right you'll come across two famous buildings. (2014 UPDATE: actually, take a look at the building on the corner first, 61 Grove St., a 5 story red brick building with odd green bay windows on one angled side facing 7th Ave... Prior to 1914, 7th Ave ended at 11th St., a few blocks north. But in 1914 the 7th Ave subway line called for extending 7th Ave down to Varick, clearing out an almost 100 foot wide stretch of homes and buildings that used to occupy what is now 7th Ave right next to you.. Oddly enough, 61 Grove St. had just a corner wedge of it shaved off to accommodate the city plans - hence this odd, trimmed corner of the building!)
"A": This is the area marked "A" on the print out map. Thomas Paine House (59 Grove St) - Thomas Paine, one of the early American patriots (he was English, like most of them..) famed for his writings like "Common Sense", he helped inspire the American Revolution. He spent his last years at this address, though the original house is gone. He died in 1809. Marie's Crisis, a piano bar, now occupies the spot. Right next door is Arthur's Tavern (57 Grove St.) - Jazz and blues have been flowing from this place since the 1930s. Charlie Parker used to play here. There is no cover charge for live music nightly. ArthursTavernNYC.com. There are a lot of jazz places here in Greenwich Village -- consider stopping by one after dinner one night (even if you hate jazz, the experience and atmosphere is worth it).
Keep walking down Grove Street. After you cross Bleecker St, keep an eye out for John Wilkes Booth House (45 Grove St) - This house was built in 1830. It is most famous as the site where John Wilkes Booth planned the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Of course the actual assassination took place in Washington, DC, but it all got started here.. The next intersection you come to is Bedford Street -- before crossing, you'll want to take a look at the buildings on both corners. On your right is 1822 Wooden House - Rare wooden house (wooden houses were banned in 1866 due to fire hazards), built in 1822. Check out the odd-looking gabled home behind it as well.. This house served as a brothel during the Civil War. On your left is "Friends" Apartment Building (90 Bedford) - The exterior of this apartment building (Little Owl Restaurant downstairs) on the corner of Grove and Bedford (opposite the old wooden house) was used as the setting for the TV show Friends. The show wasn't actually filmed here of course, but in cutaway and setting shots, they would show this exterior. You'll recognize a lot of familiar-looking settings from TV and movies as you explore the Village -- there are even studio backlots in Hollywood built to look almost exactly like some of the streets here. Now cross Bedford and keep walking down Grove Street.
As Grove Street veers right, stay on the left side of the street and at the corner peer past the private gate into the park-like setting of Grove Court. This was once a low-rent area since it had no street frontage, but today it is prized for it's tranquil setting. Not many places in New York have an enclosed private park in the front yard for kids to play in.. So scenic, we watched them do a Fall photo shoot for something here on our last visit in 2012.. Continue down Grove Street to the intersection of Hudson Street.
"B": This is the area marked "B" on the print out map. Hudson Street - A few hundred years ago, this street got it's name from the fact that the Hudson River was right here. But a few centuries later, landfill has pushed the riverfront several blocks further west. Right across the street is Church of St. Luke in the Fields (487 Hudson St.) - Third oldest church in NY, built in 1821, one of its founders was Clement Clarke Moore who wrote "Twas the night before Christmas." Memorial service for Dylan Thomas was held here in 1953, which was attended by poet ee cummings among many others. We'll mention Dylan Thomas a few times on this walk. If you're not familiar with Dylan Thomas' poetry, ("Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light."), you can read most of his work here. If you're facing the Church still, TURN LEFT down Hudson Street. We'll walk 2 blocks down Hudson, then TURN LEFT into Morton Street.
"C": This is the area marked "C" on the print out map. Stroll down Morton St. The house at 66 Morton was used for the movie Working Girl (Harrison Ford lived there). John Belushi was living in 64 Morton when he died in 1982. On the other side of the street is 65 Morton, where the alleged Communist spies, the Rosenbergs, lived. They were executed (in the electric chair at Sing Sing in 1953). The next block is Bedford -- TURN LEFT on Bedford Street. As you approach the next block, look at the last 2 houses on your left.
"D": This is the area marked "D" on the print out map. Narrowest Home in NYC (75 1/2 Bedford St.) - An architectural oddity at less than 10 feet wide, this tiny home occupies what used to be the driveway/carriageway of the home next door. Pulitzer Prize winner Edna St. Vincent Millay lived here, among others, over the years.. The house next to in on the corner, 77 Bedford, is the oldest in Greenwich Village (built in 1799, though the facade is newer). TURN RIGHT up Commerce Street. Near the end of the block is the Washington Irving House (11 Commerce St.) - Washington Irving, author of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, lived here in the early 1800s. Just ahead you will run into 7th Avenue again - TURN LEFT up 7th Avenue, then TURN LEFT AGAIN immediately down Barrows Street. Enjoy the scenery for 1 block, then TURN RIGHT onto Bedford again. Midway down the block on your right is Chumley's (86 Bedford St.): As of 2012, CURRENTLY CLOSED - the chimney collapsed in April 2007, leading to a fullscale renovation of the 1831 built building. (call to see if open, 212-675-4449) - The unmarked front door, secret back entrance (off Barrow St.), and complicated staircase entry hint at the Prohibition past of this famed speakeasy. This historic literary bar has been a hangout for the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, TS Eliot, Faulkner, William Carlos Williams, Ginsberg, Dylan Thomas, and many others. It opened in 1928 in what used to be a blacksmith shop. Hidden away behind an unmarked door along a residential street, it can be tough to find, but the warm fire on a cold winter day makes this a place worth searching for. They serve food and drink in a very casual atmosphere, normally open at 5PM but I've had lunch there on weekends. Great place with great history - let's hope it reopens in old form soon, though after 5+ years I am losing hope.. Continue along Bedford, you'll pass the intersection you saw before with the old wooden house, KEEP STRAIGHT ON BEDFORD until reaching Christopher Street.
"E": This is the area marked "E" on the print out map. You're at the corner of Bedford and Christopher. TURN RIGHT onto Christopher Street. There are a number of bars and stores along here that cater to the gay community -- keep that in mind if you decide to drop in somewhere for a drink! At the next corner, you'll TURN LEFT onto Bleecker Street. On the far corner, what used to be Goodfellas is now Bleeckers Corner -- regardless, the quaint little 3-story, brickfront building it sits in is one of the Village's oldest, built in 1802.
"F": This is the area marked "F" on the print out map. CONTINUE 4 BLOCKS NORTH on Bleecker Street -- the next few blocks you don't have to do anything besides window shop. This stretch of Bleecker has a lot of cool little shops - enjoy. You'll cross 10th, Charles St., Perry St., and then arrive at 11th. Take a look at the store on the right (east) side corner -- Magnolia Bakery. "Sex and the City" fans might recognize this as the place with the great cupcakes that Carrie and Miranda enjoyed - those weren't just Hollywood props, they really make incredibly rich cupcakes -- why not grab one for the walk? Yes, there is often a line as they control how many people crowd into the bakery - we waited about 10 minutes on a Fall Sunday afternoon.. Anyways, we are TURNING LEFT onto 11th. One block ahead is Hudson Street, and right across the street on the corner is The White Horse Tavern.
"G": This is the area marked "G" on the print out map. White Horse Tavern (567 Hudson St. @ 11th) - Another famous literary bar, frequented by the likes of Norman Mailer, Kerouac, Anais Nin, Jim Morrison, and Dylan Thomas. This pub is one of the oldest in NY, dating to the 1880s. Dylan Thomas allegedly drank himself to death here, claiming to have set a record with 18 straight whiskies - he never recovered. The Tavern opens daily at 11AM. Now we are going to backtrack a block - turn around and walk back down 11th the way you came. Stay on 11th, cross Bleecker (past Magnolia Bakery again -- you've walked about 1 mile so far..), and walk 2 blocks down 11th to Waverly Place. Enjoy this stretch of Greenwich Village homes, nothing to do the next few streets but take in the scenery (we're going to do a few zigzags here). When you hit Waverly, TURN RIGHT onto Waverly.
"H": This is the area marked "H" on the print out map. One block down is the intersection with Perry Street, while 7th Avenue also intersects at a diagonal angle. On your left as you approach the intersection is a triangle shaped building-- TURN LEFT onto 7th and wrap around it and stop at the The Village Vanguard (178 7th Ave.) - (VillageVanguard.net) this is an old-school jazz club - they've been here since 1935. Ever hear of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk? They've all played and recorded albums here. They offer nightly music, doors open at 8, sets start at 9PM (cover charge $30-$35, drinks are $5-$10). (NOTE: another block and a half up 7th -- betw. 11th and 12th -- is St. Vincent's Hospital, famed for caring for survivors of the Titanic!). Turn around to where you just came from (30 feet back down 7th), and TURN RIGHT onto Perry Street.
We're going to walk 2 blocks down Perry; after you cross 4th Street, look for 66 Perry St. -- the exterior of this building was supposed to be where Carrie Bradshaw lived in "Sex and the City", even though it was supposed to be in the Upper East Side, miles away. Continue on to the end of the block and TURN LEFT onto Bleecker Street. You've seen this stretch before, but we will be making another quick LEFT TURN onto Charles Street. A few famous writers and artists lived along Charles Street in this first block - Sinclair Lewis at #69, Maurice Sendak at #92, Hart Crane at #79. Woody Guthrie lived in #74. Cross 4th and keep going on Charles. A gorgeous group of 3-story brick rowhouses is on your right as you approach 7th Avenue. When you reach 7th, TURN RIGHT onto 7th Avenue. 7th Avenue is the main commercial thoroughfare that runs through Greenwich Village. We are going to walk 2 blocks down 7th Ave., cross the street and TURN LEFT onto Christopher Street.
"I": This is the area marked "I" on the print out map. Immediately on the corner is Christopher Park, but first take a look at Kettle of Fish (59 Christopher St.). The Kettle of Fish is a great little local bar that sees a lot of college kids and tourists as well (WARNING: home to Packer fans during NFL season). It has moved several times over the years, and currently occupies that spot at 59 Christopher St. where a prior famous literary bar stood, The Lion's Head. Norman Mailer, Frank McCourt, and many others were regulars -- it was a hot spot for newspaper men as well, with editors and reporters swapping stories and tips. Now cross Christopher Street and enter Christopher Park. The area around this small angular park was home to the gay rights movement in 1969; the park commemorates this with two same-sex statue pairs. This small park is a delightful, shady spot to sit in the summer, though it appeared to be the site of a homeless speak-easy on an October Sunday in 2012 - stopping is optional! Walk through the park and out the corner farthest from 7th Avenue, continuing along Christopher Street.
Just beyond the park is Waverly Place. At the corner of Waverly, you'll see a 3-story, oddly-shaped, brick building on an oddly-shaped lot (kind of sitting in the intersection), the Northern Dispensary, reminiscent of a smaller scale Flatiron Building. Built in 1831, this was a free clinic for area residents ("Heal the Sick", is imprinted on the wall). It once served Edgar Allan Poe but has been vacant since 1998 (it was a dental clinic into the 1980s, but they were sued and closed down after refusing to treat a patient with HIV). Continue walking down Christopher Street another block until you reach Greenwich Avenue. TURN LEFT onto Greenwich Avenue, then make the NEXT RIGHT onto 10th Street. Half a block up on the left is:
Patchin Place - Little gated alley off 10th St, ee cummings (#4 Patchin Place) lived here for 40 years; Theodore Dreiser lived here as well. There are only 2 old gas lamps still left in NYC - you can see one of them at the back of the alley (though it's electric these days). Though the entrance to the alley is gated, it is unlocked and you are allowed to venture in for a peak, so go for it -- just be respectful of the offices and homes here. Turn around and look at the Jefferson Market Library (425 6th Ave) - Originally a courthouse, this magnificent building (it looks like a castle) was built in 1875 and is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in New York. A firewatcher used to be housed in the 100 foot tall tower, on the lookout for fires in the Village and ready to call out the firemen. It has served as a library since 1967. Continue the last few feet up 10th Street, and TURN LEFT onto 6th Avenue. Go up 1 block and TURN RIGHT onto 11th Street.
"J": This is the area marked "J" on the print out map. Take a stroll down 11th Ave - we'll be walking 1 long block here before turning right. This is a charming section of the Village with beautiful homes along a tree-lined street. One house to note as you approach 5th on the right hand side is #18 - it was accidentally blown up in 1970 by the 60s radical group The Weathermen during bomb-making practice (oops). Dustin Hoffman lived next door in #16. When you reach 5th Ave, look across the street -- Marlon Brando used to live in the building on the northeast corner of 5th and 11th. But we are TURNING RIGHT down 5th Avenue. You can make an optional RIGHT TURN down 10th Street to see the Mark Twain House (14 W 10th St) about halfway down the block. Famous author Mark Twain lived here in 1900 when he moved to New York. After seeing the house, make a U-turn and return to 5th Avenue, and again TURN RIGHT onto 5th Avenue, same direction you were going before. Cross 9th and 8th, then make a LEFT TURN into the alley called Washington Mews.
"K": This is the area marked "K" on the print out map. Washington Mews - Tucked into the alleyway between University Place and 5th Ave, just north of Washington Square Park, is Washington Mews, an historic collection of homes. Most of these home were stables for the larger houses on Washington Sq. North and 8th Street. Homes on the south side were converted/built in the 1930s, while the north side is even older. It's one of the few genuine cobblestone streets you'll find in New York. Though it is a private alley, pedestrians are allowed to walk in, so enjoy this step back into history. Walk to the end of the block and TURN RIGHT onto University Place, then TURN RIGHT AGAIN onto Washington Square North.
Now you're walking along Washington Square Park, which is on your left. The homes along here were some of the finest of their day. When you get to the huge Washington Arch, make a left into the park and walk through it, heading for the fountain area ahead. This area has served many uses over the centuries, from a cemetery (something like 10,000+ bodies were removed when the park was built) to a gallows site -- today you'll find students, hippies, tourists, druggies, street performers, and just plain old Village residents in abundance. The magnificent arch was built in 1892. Explore the park a bit if you want, but the goal is to walk directly across it past the fountain area and out the other side and EXIT to Thompson Street.
After one block, TURN RIGHT onto 3rd Street. On your right will be the Edgar Allan Poe House (85 W 3rd St) - the famous poet spent some time here -- he lived on the third floor. You can almost hear the Raven tap, tap, tapping at his window.. A lot of this area is now part of NYU. We'll continue on for 2 blocks, crossing Sullivan and then TURN LEFT onto MacDougal Street. (You've walked 3 miles now...) One block down, at the corner of Minetta Lane on your right, will be the Minetta Tavern (113 MacDougal St) - A speakeasy during Prohibition (when it was called the Black Rabbit), the Minetta Tavern was closed in early 2008 and scheduled to re-open as a restaurant, presumably of the same name. E.E. Cummings, Ezra Pound, and Hemingway hung out here. Reader's Digest supposedly began publishing here in the basement in 1923. Famed for its murals and drawings and unique decor, let's hope it looks the same when it reopens. Continue a another block down MacDougal to the corner of Bleecker Street.
"L": This is the area marked "L" on the print out map. Right on this corner was Carpo's Cafe (San Remo Cafe) - (189 Bleecker St) - CLOSED AS OF 2008 - At the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal, this was a popular writer's hangout for decades. The 50s and 60s saw Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, and many others visiting this cafe. Like a number of other historic spots in the Village, it's closure is a real disappointment. TURN RIGHT onto Bleecker Street. Go up a block and see Minetta St. coming in at a sharp angle on your right. Make this backwards turning right onto Minetta Street. Curvy Minetta Street is named after the Minetta Brook that used to flow through here (nowadays underground). It started up around 22nd St and made it's way to the Hudson River, so imagine this being an old creek bed in the old days...
We're almost done now. TURN LEFT on Minetta Lane, go one block and cross 6th Ave (Avenue of the Americas) -- Minetta Lane turns into Carmine Street on the other side of 6th. Follow Carmine Street one block and TURN RIGHT onto Bleecker Street. Two blocks up, look on the left for John's Pizzeria (278 Bleecker St.) - this pizza joint has been here since 1929. Stop in for some pizza for lunch or a late afternoon snack - some of the best pie in NYC. They open at 11:30 daily, except 1PM on Sundays. 212-243-168. And check out the Blind Tiger Ale House across the street - more than 25 draft beers and 50 specialty bottled beers.
That's it. One hundred feet ahead is 7th Avenue. Turn right and walk up a block or two and you're right back at Christopher Street, where we started. Congratulations on completing the Greenwich Village Walking Tour. We hope you enjoyed it -- and hope you feel a little part of the Village belongs to you now!