South of Houston Street is a historic district famed for its artistic atmosphere and cast-iron façades.

TravelCurious Tip

SoHo remains on the cutting edge in many ways. It is, for example, the home of the Cronut — an ingenious hybrid of croissant and donut. You won’t be disappointed

SoHo is an trendy neighbourhood in Lower Manhattan, full of beautiful people and upmarket outlets. Its name refers to the area being “South of Houston Street”, and also acknowledges Soho in London’s West End. This naming convention really caught on: see TriBeCa, DUMBO and NoHo, among others.

SoHo is perhaps New York’s foremost example of inner city regeneration and gentrification, a process now known as the “SoHo effect”. After World War II, the textile industry that had occupied the area largely moved to the South. This triggered the area’s decay, until the point in the 50s when it became known as “Hell’s Hundred Acres” — an industrial wasteland.

However in the 60s artists began to be drawn to the empty manufacturing lofts and the distinctive cast iron architecture. Iron is pliable and easily moulded, allowing for sumptuously curved window frames of considerable height, reaching from floor to ceiling of the tall rooms designed to hold sizeable manufacturing equipment. Even if the artists have mainly moved on today, the industrial facades, luminous lofts and cast-iron lampposts, balconies and fire escapes that drew them there remain.

New York, New York

SoHo’s Film Forum is the only not-for-profit movie house in the City. The passion and curatorial mastery are evident in the programmes, with endless series of classics, and retrospectives of seminal directors. The retrospectives often also feature a Q&A by a star, academic or someone involved in production, so a visit is a must for any cinephile.

Young Guns

Although the art scene is not as edgy here as it once was, it is still going strong. Pay a visit to Team Gallery, The Drawing Centre and the Artists Space for a variety of digital and avant-garde art from a range of artists, including some of the country’s young talent.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in New York
Greenwich Village
The bohemian capital of the world - and these days one of America's priciest neighbourhoods.
E. V. Haughwout Building
Created in 1856, this cast-iron landmark is home to the first passenger elevator.
Old Police Headquarters
Today a group of luxury apartments, the NYPD's former headquarters is one of the finest Beaux-Arts buildings in all New York.
John Gotti
John Gotti was an American gangster and boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. Known as ‘the Teflon Don’, he was caught by the NYPD at the Ravenite Club in 1992.
Hearty Italian food
Delicious Italian meatballs on tour!
Murder Scenes
Visit the multiple murder locations, including Umberto's Clamhouse where Crazy Joe Gallo was shot.

Related Tours

Little Italy, Greenwich Village, Soho & Chinatown: Private Tour
Welcome to New York City and Manhattan - the core of the Big Apple! Made up of several cool and quirky neighbourhoods, full of iconic New York history and made famous in movies and TV series, this fascinating private tour will take you around the trendy and bohemian areas of Little Italy and Greenwich Village, Soho and Chinatown. 

 On your private tour, you will:  

  • Begin your tour in the bohemian Greenwich Village - where Hemingway, Poe and Jackson Pollack have all lived; 
  • See where the ‘Friends’ flat was, and the Washington Arch;
  • Learn about the Stonewall Riots, and see the Monument dedicated to it;
  • Visit the artistic soul of New York City in Soho, filled with galleries and art museums;
  • Learn about the cast iron facades that flank the streets;
  • See the Haughwout Building - home to the first safety elevator and the Old Police Headquarters;
  • Learn about the history of the immigrants in Little Italy and Chinatown, and how each neighbourhood has come to be a local diaspora;
  • Admire Old St Patrick's Cathedral built between 1809-1815;
  • Pass by the Ravenite Club - a famous gangster hangout - and hear some of the dramatic stories of the Mafia;
  • Stop outside Lombardi's Pizzeria - the very first pizzeria in the entire country opened in 1905;
  • Step inside Alleva Dairy - the oldest cheese shop in NYC;
  • Your tour ends in the heart of Little Italy - where your guide will happily recommend some of the best Italian restaurants and shopping areas.

Simply known as “The Village” and much loved by native New Yorkers, Greenwich Village is home to America’s Bohemian scene. Filled with artisanal coffee houses, art galleries, and chic boutiques you will see where the ‘Friends’ flat was located, explore Washington Square Park, a buzzing city hangout, and see beautiful architecture, including 19th-century brownstone carriage houses. 

See some unusual spots like the home where John Wilkes Booth spoke openly of his plan to murder President Abraham Lincoln. On your way out of the neighbourhood, you'll see Jefferson Market Library and Bleecker Street, as well as where Hemingway, Edgar Poe, and Jackson Pollack lived and worked. 

Next venture through vibrant Soho, where your guide will tell you about its transformation from its humble beginnings as a centre for the rag trade industry, eventually becoming an extravagant artist community. See Soho's unique collection of cast iron buildings such as the Haughwout Building, home to the first safety elevator, and the Old Police Headquarters— the 1909 Beaux-Arts building.
From there, while walking the narrow cobblestone streets in the heart of Little Italy, you will learn about Mafia hangouts, the most famous of which is the Ravenite Club. Pop into the oldest cheese shop in NYC and the first pizzeria, Lombardi's, and explore Old Saint Patrick's Cathedral. 

Journey through NYC’s Chinatown, walk along Canal and Motts Streets, the former Five Points District, and the Old Opium Den, where you will hear stories of Chinese immigrants who came to Manhattan to build a future of their own. Your expert local guide will also tell you all about the violent gangs that sprang up around them, fighting for dominance. 

Your tour will finish in the vibrant, cultural heart of Little Italy - filled with restaurants, shops and good vibes! Your guide will happily direct you to any number of eateries where you can rest and recharge before continuing to explore at your leisure. 


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