Greenwich Village attractions and museums to visit

Discover the best attractions, museums and places to visit in Greenwich Village, including Washington Square Park and AIA Center for Architecture.

Greenwich Village is home to one of the best New York attractions—Washington Square Park—but there's more to do during the day in the neighborhood. Check out an art gallery or a free museum, and make sure to take a leisurely stroll around the quaint Village streets. We recommend Washington Mews (between Fifth Ave and University Pl above Washington Sq Park North). Built as carriage houses in the 19th century, the Mews are now owned by NYU and open to the public only during the daytime.

RECOMMENDED: Greenwich Village guide

Washington Square Park

Critics' pick

RECOMMENDED: 50 best New York attractions The hippies who famously turned up and tuned out in Washington Square Park are still there in spirit, and indeed often in person. In warmer months the park—which was once a potter’s field—is one of the best people-watching spots in the city, hummings with musicians and street artists, while skateboarders clatter near the base of the iconic 1895 Washington Arch (a modest replica of Paris’s Arc de Triomphe). Plus, kids can splash in the area's new fountain on sweltering days.

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Greenwich Village Free

Algus Greenspon

Veteran gallerist Mitchell Algus, famous for showing the work of outsider artists and New York natives, has teamed up with dealer Amy Greenspon, in a downtown space that opened in September 2010.

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Greenwich Village Free

Forbes Galleries

Nestled on the ground floor of the Forbes publishing headquarters in Greenwich Village, this toy trove maintains a low profile even among the most culturally savvy parents. Children can peer at the Forbes family’s personal collection of more than 500 toy boats, dating from the 1870s through the 1950s, and several thousand toy soldiers, from inch-high Aztecs battling Spanish conquistadors to jousting knights and battalions from various eras.

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Greenwich Village Free

Angelika Film Center

When it opened in 1989, the Angelika immediately became a player in the then-booming Amerindie scene, and the six-screen cinema still puts the emphasis on edgier fare, both domestic and foreign.

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Greenwich Village

Judson Memorial Church

Founded by Baptist preacher Edward Judson in 1890, this place of worship features beautiful stained glass and old-world architecture. In addition to its religious programs, the institution has long been associated with the arts—poets, avant-garde dancers and theater performers still show work there today.

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Greenwich Village Free

Cinema Village

Critics' pick

A classic marquee that charmed Noah Baumbach long before he made The Squid and the Whale, this three-screener specializes in indie flicks, foreign films and cutting-edge documentaries.

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Greenwich Village

Seguine Mansion

This 18th-century mansion is named for the Seguine family, whose riches came from a variety of business ventures (including oyster harvesting, candle making and oil). The house is open only for scheduled tours, conducted by the Urban Park Rangers.

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Greenwich Village Free

Pratt Manhattan Gallery

The Pratt Manhattan Gallery is the Manhattan exhibition outpost for Brooklyn's Pratt Institute. Much like the school itself, the gallery hosts programs from a number of diverse artistic disciplines.

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Greenwich Village

AIA Center for Architecture

Critics' pick

After five years of planning, the Center for Architecture opened to acclaim in the fall of 2003. Founded in 1867, the organization languished for years on the sixth floor of a Lexington Avenue edifice, far out of sight (and mind) for all but the most devoted architecture aficionados. After a design competition, Andrew Berman Architect was chosen to transform the space into a fitting home for architectural debate. Berman cut away large slabs of flooring at the street and basement levels, converting underground spaces into bright, museum-quality galleries. The building is New York’s first public space to use an energy-efficient geothermal system. Water from two 1,260-foor wells is piped through the building to help heat and cool it.

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Greenwich Village Free

John Tishman Auditorium (at the New School)

This 500-seat campus venue hosts not only New School programs, but significant cultural event rentals from outside the university. Most of the lectures and readings, often featuring prominent figures in the worlds of letters, art or film, are open to the public.

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Greenwich Village

Grey Art Gallery/NYU

New York University's fine-arts museum looks out onto historic Washington Square Park, one of the most vibrant public squares in the city. Fittingly, its programming reflects the rich history of cultural life in the city through exhibitions on art and social dynamics.

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Greenwich Village

Zürcher Studio

This ground-floor space is the New York branch of Galerie Zürcher, Paris, and features an international roster of contemporary artists.

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Greenwich Village Free

New York Public Library, Mosholu Branch

Though the city's made up of five boroughs, it has just three public library systems. The largest—the NYPL—runs all libraries in Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx. Hours at the branches vary, but all have a dedicated section of children's books, and many a separate room for the use of kids up to fifth grade. Storytimes, craft and cultural projects, and poetry writing workshops are just some of the offerings on tap; check the website (nypl.org) for detailed information on each branch.

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Greenwich Village Free

Judson Memorial Hall

Founded by Baptist preacher Edward Judson in 1890, this place of worship features beautiful stained glass and old-world architecture. In addition to its religious programs, the institution has long been associated with the arts—poets, avang-garde dancers and theater performers still show work their today.

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Greenwich Village

King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center (at NYU)

This space located in New York University's Judson Hall was created to promote research and teaching about Spain and its culture. The lecture hall is also a popular venue for groups unaffliated with the center.

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Greenwich Village Free

Leo Baeck Institute New York

Located in the Center for Jewish History, the Leo Baeck Institute is a research library devoted to the history and culture of German-speaking Jews. The space also hosts occasional performing-arts events.

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Greenwich Village Free

New York Public Library, Jefferson Market Library

Though the city's made up of five boroughs, it has just three public library systems. The largest—the NYPL—runs all libraries in Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx. Hours at the branches vary wildly, but all have a dedicated section of children's books, and many a separate room for the use of kids up to fifth grade. Storytimes, craft and cultural projects, and poetry writing workshops are just some of the offerings on tap; check the website (nypl.org) for detailed information on each branch.

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Greenwich Village Free

The Center for Architecture

The Center for Architecture holds frequent hands-on programs for kids, often taught by leaders in the field. Families can look for single sessions and family days, or sign their creative kids up for ongoing after-school classes and week-long summer camps. Exhibitions in the gallery space change every few months.

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Greenwich Village

The New School, J.M. Kaplan Hall

Critics' pick

The MFA in Creative Writing program at The New School sponsors occasional visiting writer and panel events available to the public. Tickets are usually no more than $5, making the events a good bet for learning more about contemporary writing.

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Greenwich Village
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