Gay Guide • NEW YORK | What to See, Where to Stay, Best Gay Bars and Restaurants | LGBT Guide
GAY NEW YORK
Discover this City with our Quick and Practical Guide to Visit the Best Attractions, Savor Typical Dishes and Have Fun in the Best Gay Bars. All this through the Rainbow Eyes of the World Mappers
What to See, Best Places to Sleep, Where to Eat and to Have Fun in NEW YORK?
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Consult the Practical Information for the trip
Watch here the Official Video • New York
DISTRICTS TO SEE IN NEW YORK
New York is huge, seeing it all at once or in a short time is impossible. It seems simplistic to summarize its beauties in ten points (as for the other Map'City), for this we present the different areas of the city, with their attractions and the best neighborhoods to explore, to have a richer vision of what it offers and, believe us, we still feel like we've excluded too much.
Statua della Libertà & Ellis Island
The quintessential symbol of New York. It can be reached by boat from Battery Park to Liberty Island. In addition to the boat, the ticket includes access to the area surrounding the Statue, an audio guide and admission to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum (click here for timetables and tickets). To access the Pedestal or the Crown, however, an additional ticket is required. Ellis Island is the next stop after the Statue. The view of Manhattan from the boat and Liberty Island is worth the price of admission.
This neighborhood south of 14th Street is probably one of our favorite parts of New York. Forget the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan and immerse yourself in a much calmer atmosphere. The run-up to Halloween here is magical. Each house is decorated with pumpkins and skeletons, and a grand parade is held on Halloween night. Get yourself a costume in one of the many temporary shops open for the occasion and have fun! We did it!
Meatpacking District & The High Line
An elevated park built on a section of the tracks that once ran through the West Side of Manhattan. The High Line starts (from the south) from Gansevoort Street, in the Meatpacking District, and with a length of more than two kilometers it crosses the Chelsea district. It is not just a beautiful promenade with a view of Manhattan and the Hudson River but a meeting place where art exhibitions and public events are held (consult the website to find out about all the initiatives).
Name that comes from Triangle Below Canal, or triangle under Canal Street, the name recalls the shape of this neighborhood in the southwest area of Manhattan.
In the southeast area near the Manhattan Bridge. Chaotic like all the Chinese neighborhoods of all cities in the world. Ideal for a snack based on excellent Asian food. Here our mothers (yes, we were traveling with them) got lost in the thousands of low-priced souvenir shops.
For years this neighborhood was the home of Italians who arrived in America in search of fortune. Today Little Italy is reduced to a few streets due to the expansion of Chinatown. But we found a good Italian Espresso all the same.
Elegant neighborhood in the southwest area of Manhattan, home to shopping: from luxury boutiques to the most famous chains. The main drag is Broadway Street. Here we bought some beautiful custom shoes at the Converse Store.
9/11 Memorial & Museum
The 9/11 Memorial is the memorial to the 9/11 attacks in the area once occupied by the World Trade Center complex. The Reflecting Pools area, the two pools located where the Twin Towers once stood, left us speechless. In addition to the memorial, the related museum can also be visited (visit the website for timetables and tickets). In the same area as the 9/11 Memorial is The Oculus, the magnificent World Trade Center station by Calatrava, with an adjoining shopping mall.
Framing this whole area is One World Trade Center or Freedom Tower and its Observatory. Among the observatories in the city, it is the most recent and the most "technological" (if we exclude The Edge, in Hudson Yards which was still under construction when we were in New York). From here the 360° view of New York and its Bay is beautiful. We prefer the view from the Top of the Rock though. If you don't know how to choose, do like us, an Observatory during the day and one in the evening to see the lights of the city. Tickets have a fixed day and time (for more info see here).
Wall Street & Financial District
Not far from the World Trade Center is the financial heart of New York (Financial District), a district in the south of Manhattan, home to the American stock exchange and the most important government offices.
It needs no introduction. We never get tired of seeing her. The only advice is to let yourself be overwhelmed by the chaos and the thousand lights of the signs. She is beautiful during the day but even more fascinating in the evening.
Empire State Building
One of the symbols of the Big Apple and probably the best known skyscraper in the world. It is one of four observatories in New York (along with the Top of the Rock, One World Trade Center and the very recent The Edge). In this building there are two observatories: the Main Deck, an open terrace on the 86th floor and the Top Deck on the 102nd, but indoors.
Rockfeller Center & Top of the Rock
On 5th Avenue Rockefeller Center is an impressive complex of buildings. If you go to New York in the winter you can skate on the rink set up in Rockefeller Plaza or participate in the live worldwide lighting of the Christmas tree. The Top of the Rock Observatory is located on the 70th floor. Though the lowest of the observatories, it's our favourite! The view of Central Park on one side and the Empire State Building on the other is wonderful. It is on this terrace that Simone asked me to marry him ... she will always remain in our hearts.
The most famous street in New York. Many of the places we have described so far are located along or near this road. Follow it and lose yourself among the thousands of luxury shops and boutiques until you reach Central Park. If you want to dream a little, stop by the legendary Tiffany & Co windows on the corner of 5th and 57th Streets, just before the Park.
The Museum of Modern Art. On 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
Grand Central Terminal
The Midtown Terminal Railroad Station. The lobby is nothing short of stunning, it feels like stepping into the past. Look up and admire the starry sky. Inside the station, among the shops and restaurants, take a look at the Gran Central Market, the prices in our opinion are a bit high but it is worth a visit (if you are a spice lover like us, you will be fascinated by the Spices and Teas stand).
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
It's strange to think of a Cathedral "stuck" between skyscrapers, yet here it is, a few steps from Rockefeller Center, on Fifth Avenue. Access is free and guided tours are also available if you wish.
In our opinion, one of the most fascinating skyscrapers in New York. Made in Art Deco style, it is famous for the windows inspired by the shape of the radiators of vintage cars and for the legendary Gargoyles. Only the atrium can be visited.
New York Public Library
One of the largest libraries in the world. The palace is worth a visit and it's free (even with a guide if you want).
The "iron" shaped building that gave the neighborhood its name, the Flatiron District. Impossible not to take a picture of the pedestrian crossing and the skyscraper in the background.
If you are an art lover, this is the neighborhood for you. Also known as the Art District, Chelsea is home to an ever-expanding number of art galleries. While exploring Chelsea you cannot miss a visit to Chelsea Market. We recommend a stop here at lunchtime. The gastronomic choice is truly endless. We tried the Chelsea Creamline burgers that we will never forget. If you are walking on the High Line, access to the building that houses the market is direct. In this neighborhood there are also many Gay clubs that you can find in our dedicated section.
North of Chelsea directly on the banks of the Hudson River. A neighborhood full of shops and restaurants. We went in search of Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, a perfect flea market for those who love vintage style.
Unfortunately when we were in NYC (in 2018) this new building complex along the Hudson River between Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen was still under construction. Here is the fourth observatory in New York, The Edge, inaugurated on March 11, 2020. Who knows, maybe this will become our favorite!
In the northern part of Central Park, the center of the African American community in Manhattan. In this area it is nice to take a relaxing walk away from the chaos of the city centre. We took a tour of the Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market, an African-style market. Also do not miss the opportunity to participate in a Gospel mass, consult our Advice to find out where and how.
Another New York spot that needs no introduction. We were lucky enough to see it in the fall and believe us, the colors are crazy. The thing we liked the most? Take a rowboat ride while observing the skyscrapers that surround the park. If you have time, rent a bike to explore the whole park...it's huge.
“The Museum Mile”, a section of Fifth Avenue where some of the most important museums in New York are located. Here are the ones we visited:
not exactly on the Museum Mile but just cross Central Park towards the West Side to reach it (at 79th street).
Brooklyn Bridge & Brooklyn Heights
The famous bridge that connects Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn. Take the time to cross it on foot and enjoy the view of the city's skyscrapers. The neighborhood deserves a separate guide. Do not miss the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, the promenade along the coast, from which you can admire a breathless view of Lower Manhattan.
North of Brooklyn, this neighborhood struck us for the Street Art that characterizes it. You will feel like being catapulted into an open-air museum with works literally on every corner; impossible to see them all. If you are a fan of the genre you can not miss it.
Adjacent to Bushwick is now one of the trendiest neighborhoods with pubs, trendy clubs, art galleries, vintage shops and much more. A fantastic example of the redevelopment of a once run-down area.
(Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) In the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge there is a retro atmosphere with old warehouses and former factories converted into trendy clubs. Became famous for one of the most "instagrammable" photographs of New York: the Manhattan Bridge framed by the typical buildings of the neighborhood.
To see a slightly different New York without skyscrapers but with amusement parks and a waterfront. It is a typically summer destination (the parks are closed in winter) which is why we didn't go there. Here every year, on the first day of summer, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade takes place, a parade of decidedly Gay-Friendly mermaids and marine characters.
QUEENS & BRONX
New York's two largest boroughs are mostly residential areas. Some areas of Queens can be a valid alternative for those who want to save a little on accommodation without being too far from Manhattan. Unfortunately we didn't have time to visit these areas. We would have loved to see, for example, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
Visiting this city at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
Day 1 - Ellis Island, Statua della Libertà, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Freedom Tower, Trinity Church, Wall Street, Brooklyn, Dumbo - Google Maps
Day 2 - Midtown (Times Square, Empire State Building, Rockfeller Center, MoMA, Fifth Avenue, Bryant Park, Chrysler Building, etc...) - Google Maps
Day 3 - Greenwich Village, Meatpacking District, High Line, Chelsea & Flatiron District - Google Maps
Day 4 - Central Park, Musei di New York (MET, Guggenheim o Museo di Storia Naturale), Hell's Kitchen & Broadway - Google Maps
Day 5 - Harlem, Bushwick & Williamsburg - Google Maps
Day 6 - Tribeca, Chinatown, Little Italy & Soho - Google Maps
(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)
Click'n'Go - Click on Hotels, Restaurants, Bars & Clubs
to find them on the Map or visit their Website
WHERE TO SLEEP in NEW YORK?
10 BEST GAY FRIENDLY HOTELS in NEW YORK
Choosing an overnight stay in New York can be very complex if you don't know the various neighborhoods, here is a brief description of what you can find in each of them:
Midtown - the best area to stay in New York Upper West Side - ideal for sleeping in New York with the family Upper East Side - very exclusive and the Golden Mile
Soho - chic area with designer shops and avant-garde restaurants Financial District - Wall Street area and One World Trade Center
Lower East Side - good restaurants and nightlife Chinatown - to experience Chinese culture
Koreatown - near the famous Empire State Building, great oriental restaurants
Hell's Kitchen - not very far from Times Square
Theatre District e Times Square - very central, but very expensive and busy Greenwich Village, Meatpacking District and Chelsea - bohemian and artsy area Brooklyn - to save on accommodation ® Tested by World Mappers - We have opted for an apartment in this area, you can find it here link - Triplex Carriage House Queens - cheap accommodation in New York
The St. Regis New York ***** (area: Midtown)
The William ***** (area: Brooklyn)
The New York EDITION ***** (area: Flatiron District)
The Standard Hotel **** (area: Meatpacking District)
W New York - Times Square **** (area: Times Square)
Kimpton Hotel Eventi **** (area: Koreatown)
Stewart Hotel New York **** (area: Koreatown)
The Bernic Hotel New York City by Hilton *** (area: Midtown)
YOTEL New York *** (area: Hell's Kitchen)
Hotel St. James ** (area: Times Square)
WHERE TO EAT in NEW YORK?
5 BEST RESTAURANTS in NEW YORK Quality / Price
You can't say you've been to New York if you haven't tasted a Hot Dog from one of its kiosks or if you haven't swallowed a succulent Cheeseburger. In addition to these street delicacies, we recommend a couple of killer places here, keep in mind that New York offers delicacies for every type of palate:
€€ - SoHo-Delicatessen ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Tick Tock Diner NY ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Keens Steakhouse ® Tested by World Mappers
€ - Gray's Papaya (Take Away) ® Tested by World Mappers
€ - Burger Joint ® Tested by World Mappers
GAY NIGHTLIFE in NEW YORK
10 BEST GAY CLUBS & BARS IN NEW YORK
Stonewall Inn (Gay Bar) (area: West Village) ® Tested by World Mappers
Julius (Gay Bar) (area: West Village)
Cubbyhole (Gay Bar) (area: West Village)
Barracuda Lounge Bar (Gay Bar) (area: Chelsea) ® Tested by World Mappers
Industry Bar (Gay Bar) (area: Hell's Kitchen)
Nowhere (Gay Bar) (area: East Village)
Phoenix (Gay Bar) (area: East Village) ® Tested by World Mappers
Club Cumming (Gay Bar & Club) (area: East Village)
Metropolitan (Gay Bar) (area: Williamsburg)
The Rosemont (Gay Bar) (area: Williamsburg)
GAY NIGHTLIFE in NEW YORK
5 BEST GAY CLUBS IN NEW YORK
The Monster (Gay Disco) (area: West Village) ® Tested by World Mappers
Club Evolution (Gay Disco) (area: Jackson Heights)
Hombres Lounge (Gay Disco) (area: Jackson Heights)
ICON (Gay Disco) (area: Astoria)
House of YES (Gay Disco) (area: Bushwick)
3 BEST EXCURSIONS from NEW YORK
Philadelphia & Amish Country
TRAVEL TIPS about NEW YORK by World Mappers
Which City Pass for New York?
When organizing a trip to New York one of the main doubts is whether or not to buy a City Pass and which one to buy among the many offered. What is a City Pass? A cumulative ticket that allows you to visit more attractions based on the "package" chosen, saving on the price of individual tickets. There are so many passes offered for New York and we refer you to the specialized sites to understand which features are right for you (we recommend this site, which in our opinion is very clear and exhaustive). Essentially, the choice depends on how much time you have and how many/which museums, skyscrapers and attractions you want to visit (in fact, not all of them are included in each pass). Keep in mind, for example, that a single standard admission to one of the city's observatories costs around $38. If like us you want to get on everyone, the accounts are quickly done. Another aspect not to be underestimated, especially if you are short on time, is that passes often allow you to skip the line. Our choice fell on the Sightseeing Flex Pass which allows you to visit a number of your choice (from two to twelve depending on the package) among more than 90 attractions.
How does the Metrocard work in New York?
Exploring New York on foot is wonderful but it is impossible to reach all the most beautiful places, often very far from each other, just by walking. The best way to get from one end of the city to the other is the subway (Subway). We opted for an unlimited ride pass valid for seven days (Unlimited Ride MetroCard). Also in this case there are many solutions and it depends on how much you intend to use the metro and public transport, which are included in the Metrocard. The Cards can be purchased at the vending machines of the stations, 1 dollar for the card must be added to the cost of the chosen season ticket (details and prices can be found here). Remember that none of the City Passes seen above include a public transport pass, but they can only include the classic Hop-on Hop-off tourist buses, in our opinion a good alternative to see the main points of the city if you are short on time.
Choosing a Hotel or Apartment in New York?
You know, staying in New York can be very expensive. If you want to save a little, we advise you to do like us, book an apartment. We have listened to the advice of some friends who have indicated the Brooklyn area to us as an excellent compromise. The "rent" costs are lower than in Manhattan, the neighborhood has many attractions and the city center can be reached easily and in a short time (half an hour) by subway.
The BEST ROOFTOP BARS in NEW YORK
If you are not tired of going up and down from one Panoramic Observatory to another, then one of the best things to do in New York is to admire the Skyline from one of its Rooftop Bars while sipping a good aperitif (although alcohol here is quite expensive). In these places, admission is almost always free, but a certain type of dress and a reservation may be required. We list some of the best Rooftop Bars in New York (some we have tried, others have been recommended to us by friends returning from the Big Apple). Click on the name of the place to see its location.
230 Fifth - Located on 5th Avenue, it is one of the most famous rooftops in New York due to its privileged position and breathtaking view of the Empire State Building.Open year-round, cocktails here start at $15 and up.
Westlight at William Vale Hotel - Atop the William Vale Hotel, in the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) neighborhood, offering 360° views.
Rare Bar View - Not one of the most well known, but it was recommended to us by some friends.There are two Rare Bars in New York: one in Chelsea and one in Murray Hill, with great panoramic views of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.We stayed in the latter.
The Bain at The Standard Hotel - The Hotel is located right on the High Line in the Meatpacking District.On the top floors of the hotel there is a swimming pool, a disco and a bar with a beautiful terrace.
Pod 39 - On 39th Street in Murray Hill in the homonymous hotel, a few steps from the most beautiful places in New York.
The Ides - On the roof of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg.
McCarren Hotel - This Williamsburg hotel also has a great pool.
Berry Park - In the Williamsburg neighborhood.A much less formal place than those seen so far but with an equally beautiful view of the New York skyline.Here cocktails and beers cost a little less.
Harriet's Rooftop & Lounge - The Rooftop Bar of the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, right next to the bridge.An advice?Go to the bathroom!We've never seen a bathroom with a view like this!
Magic Hour at Moxy NYC Times Square - The rooftop terrace of the Moxy Times Square Hotel on 36th Street.
Most BEAUTIFUL STREET ART WORKS in NEW YORK
If like us you love Street Art then New York is the perfect place for you (see our map here). Urban art is very present in the city and with Instagram it has become even more fashionable to look for the most "instagrammable" murals. If you don't want to venture independently in search of these real works of art, some dedicated Walking Tours are available (here).
The area par excellence when it comes to Street Art is Bushwick. Here the murals are part of a redevelopment project (The Bushwick Collective) of the entire neighborhood. Roam the streets freely and discover new ones at every corner. We were advised to start from the Jefferson Street Metro Station (Line L) and consider it a great starting point for exploring this "open-air museum". From Bushwick you can then move on to nearby Williamsburg. There are some really nice ones here too. Even in the Harlem neighborhood we found some beautiful works mostly with an African-American theme. If you go to the Coney Island amusement park, check out the Coney Art Walls. Murals and graffiti can also be found in slightly more central areas. One of the most famous, and for us the most beautiful, is the Audrey Hepburn of Mulberry Street.
The Most BEAUTIFUL MARKETS in NEW YORK
When we visit a city we like to discover the local markets and in New York you really are spoiled for choice. We point out here the best markets in New York and which we particularly liked.
Brooklyn Flea Market - Weekend flea market with many stalls.
Chelsea Market - in the neighborhood of the same name, covered, famous for its gastronomy but also for some very special shops.
Winter Village al Bryant Park - When we were there in November, the Bryant Park Christmas market was already open, with an adjoining skating rink in the shadow of the Empire State Building.
Grand Central Market - Inside the station (direct access from Lexington Avenue, on 43rd Street) Defining it as a market is an understatement, to us it looks like a gastronomic boutique.
Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market - For lovers of ethnic markets and African style in particular.
Seeing a Gospel Mass in New York?
Gospel Masses in Harlem: It was one of the wishes of our travel companions.. the mothers! On Sunday morning it is possible to participate in the religious functions of the African American community. A truly exciting experience. Unfortunately there are churches literally besieged by tourists. So remember to pay due respect: wear suitable clothing for the occasion, do not take photographs and do not go out before the end of the ritual (for this, count on at least a couple of hours). We attended the service at Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem. The most famous churches are found here but they can also be found in other neighborhoods (one of the most famous is Times Square Church).
GAY FRIENDLY TOURS
Do you want to discover the city more deeply through New York's Best Gay Tours? We recommend the following local operators:
Gaily Tour - Tour Operator offering tours and excursions dedicated to the LGBT + community throughout Europe. Special Tours and Gay & Lesbian Friendly Guides ready to make you discover the beauties of this destination. Info & Booking: info@GailyTour.com
NYC Gay Tour ® Tested by World Mappers
What to See near New York ?