New York Nightlife
The main attraction at the swanky 230 Fifth rooftop bar is the panoramic view. Join the after-work crowd on the roof terrace to see the Empire State Building and Manhattan skyline, or relax inside the 8000-square-foot lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows and 1940s modernist decor.
With decor like a minimalist-style apartment, busy bar APT in the Meatpacking District plays house and underground music. Once through the inconspicuous entrance, young professionals sip rum punch or pastis and lounge effortlessly on sofas upstairs, while downstairs DJs spin tunes on the decks.
A tiny Brooklyn bar named after the Parisian area famed for North African music, Barbès hosts an eclectic programme of live performances. Nightly DJs or acoustic acts include Balkan gypsy music, 1920s jazz or Algerian Rai, enjoyed by global music connoisseurs.
The East Village's Beauty Bar, once a hair salon, is one of the most amusing and kitsch drinking experiences in New York. Sit back in an old barber's chair, slip underneath a 1960s hairdryer and order yourself a good strong cocktail.
Something of a gay Manhattan institution, Beige at the B Bar is an upmarket, urban sophisticate night where media wannabe's hang out hoping to catch a glimpse of a true star. Well-dressed preppies and muscle-bound boys mingle to drink, talk and catch each other's eye. Dancing is limited but in the summer months the action spills out onto the patio.
Birdland, named after Charlie "Bird" Parker, is a smart uptown jazz club in the heart of Manhattan's theatre district. It's often worth ringing ahead to find out who's playing and then booking a table to ensure you get in.
In this jazz-loving city, the famous Blue Note in Greenwich Village has hosted performances by legends including BB King, Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck. At least two live sets every night showcase established and up-and-coming musicians, and there's also a Sunday jazz brunch.
It's in Greenwich Village, it's the largest gay watering hole in the area and there's no cover charge. No wonder it's popular. This roomy bar attracts a young and attractive mix of (mostly) gay men and lesbians.
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Opened in 1861, Brooklyn Academy of Music is America's longest-running performing arts academy. Annual highlights include Next Wave Festival every winter, showcasing experimental performance. There are also classical music performances (by the Brooklyn Philharmonic), along with opera, dance and drama.
Built with money mostly donated by the Scottish-born industrialist Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Hall opened in 1891. Originally called Music Hall, it was renamed after Carnegie in 1898 and has hosted the world's top artists and orchestras for over 100 years.
Those that get past the discerning doormen at Cielo in the Meatpacking District enter a bar with 1970s-style decor, top-rated sound system and European DJs spinning deep-house music. The chic crowd flock to the central dancefloor, surrounded by brown suede banquettes.
Join the crowds in the Comedy Cellar basement club (busier at weekends) for up to six different comedians per show. A Greenwich Village institution, sharp wit is guaranteed, along with cappuccinos and cocktails at the Olive Tree Café & Bar upstairs.
An emblem of the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance, the Cotton Club is best known for its gilded past and for providing residencies to Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. Some 80 years later, the club is still going strong.
Known as "Nanny's" locally, this long-running Village haunt has become a permanent fixture in the NY scene. Quiet(ish) during the week, it really comes into its own as a noisy bar-with-disco at weekends.
The king of sports bars, ESPN Zone on Times Square is dedicated to sports and those who watch them. Giant screens and hundreds of smaller monitors mean that no matter where you are you won't miss a thing.
Enoteca I Trulli
An offshoot of restaurant I Trulli, Gramercy winebar Enoteca I Trulli has over 40 Italian wines chosen by its owner. Perch at the bar with local wine lovers and enjoy a glass of crisp Falanghina or full-bodied Rosso Toscana with charcuterie or cheeses.
Fifty Seven Fifty Seven
For those who know what the authentically chic New York drinking experience is all about, Fifty Seven Fifty Seven is the place to be. Glamorous ladies and gentlemen fill a bar that combines sophistication and elegance with a sense of reality.
Free Jazz in Harlem
Soak up the Harlem jazz Scene at EZ's Woodshed - New York's only free jazz day club, with its very own gift shop, art gallery and cafe. Live bands play the venue each day, and surprise guest vocalists and soloists take pleasure in stopping by this Harlem hangout on the boulevard that brought the world Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong.
Home to New York's hottest lesbians and gay-boy friendly, Henrietta Hudson prides itself on its diversity and offers something different every night of the week.
Waverly Theater was taken over by the Independent Film Channel, renovated and renamed the IFC Center. It is now one of Manhattan's finest movie theatres and proud of the fact that it shows no advertisements on any of its three screens.
Harlem's Historic Lenox Lounge is a wonder of the Art Deco movement. It is in the famous Zebra Room that Billie Holiday first crooned her way to stardom and hosts live jazz sessions every night of the week.
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
The Lincoln Center is a 15-acre complex of cultural buildings in New York City, home to 12 art companies. It was built during Robert Moses' programme of urban renewal in the 1960s and has been the site for many famous performances.
Lucky Cheng's is a wonderfully kitsch Asian drag bar/theme restaurant in New York's East Village, where you can catch comedy cabarets and karaoke every night.
McSorley’s is thick with the feel of yesteryear. The eight-ounce mugs of either light or dark ale are charming and while the saloon is often packed with dudes in ball caps aim for a weekday afternoon beer break for a quieter experience.
Metropolitan Opera House
Part of the Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera House in Clinton is one of the world's finest. Top soloists have included Pavarotti and Domingo, astounding sets cost millions, and subtitles are discreetly placed on seat screens. Ballet is also on the programme.
Nuyorican Poet's Cafe
A community arts centre with hip-hop and provocative drama, the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe in East Village is legendary for its Slam poetry competitions. Friday nights are liveliest with open-mic nights that include fast-talking poets and an enthusiastic audience.
Opium Den is a laid-back lounge in the East Village with DJs spinning nightly.
S.O.B. stands for Sounds of Brazil and that's the general theme here at this lavish Latin music venue. The Greenwich Village institution offers up a variety of DJs and bands playing an eclectic mix of Afro-Latin music.
Sapphire on New York City's Lower East Side is an intimate club with a small bar and discerning clientele. A great spot to enjoy a few drinks or get down to some serious dance music from resident and guest DJs.
An intimate basement jazz club in Greenwich Village, Smalls was created in 1993 and has launched the career of many established musicians, including Norah Jones and Josh Redman. Two bands play nightly at this informal, bohemian venue.
A legendary New York gay hotspot, Splash lives up to its name by having a shower in the midddle of the bar!
Sullivan Room in Greenwich Village is an unpretentious club dedicated to the underground music scene, playing deep house and techno. A launching ground for many young DJs, the atmosphere only really livens up after midnight. Most people go there to dance, but there's seating for those needing a break.
The Campbell Apartment
Located inside Grand Central, The Campbell Apartment was formerly the luxurious office of 1920s mogul John Campbell. Its renovated interior now makes a relaxing place to enjoy a cocktail in the leather sofas while admiring the stone fireplace, intricate beamed ceiling and leaded-glass windows.
There are Irish pubs all over the world, but few will be able to match The Kinsale's extensive range of beer (151 in all) and traditional food. The bar also shows American football, ice hockey and sports from across the pond like soccer and rugby.
Serving the gay community of New York for over 20 years, The Monster has outlived trends to become something of an institution.
A former funeral parlour which may still be haunted, the spooky Urge Lounge is a noirish, fashionable gay New York nightspot. The owners claim to have encountered a poltergeist during renovations and you may have your drink mysteriously upended, but the club still packs them in.
The Webster Hall (known in the '80s as the Ritz) is a mainstream-glam dance shack. Within this tremendous historical ballroom lie NYC's hottest DJs, six separate lounges and what is arguably the best stage in New York City.
The Zinc Bar is a happening jazz dive on the edge of Soho and the West Village that hosts small-name bands and poetry evenings.