Whisper sweet nothings in speakeasy-style cocktail bars and cozy up in a rooftop greenhouse with our couples-ready guide to date-night spots in Manhattan.
The New York dating scene is considered one of the most diverse, dynamic and demanding in the world – so it pays to bring your A-game. Thankfully, the Big Apple isn’t short of outstanding spots, especially in its buzzy and bohemian East Village neighborhood. So, whether it’s a swipe-right meet-up or long-term lover, crucial second date or rekindled old flame, here’s our pick of candlelit dining, intimate cocktail bars and romantic hotels – bookable on Culture Trip – to help set the scene.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Set in the heart of Alphabet City, this timeless Italian restaurant is the perfect place for a cozy, uncomplicated dinner date. It offers unpretentious Tuscan cooking, allowing you to spend less effort deciphering the menu and more time turning on the charm. Its truffle pasta is particularly dreamy and sure to get your date beaming with delight. For a bit of fun, the wine list comes as a collection of tagged bottles in a crate. Want to recreate the Lady and the Tramp (1955) spaghetti scene? This is the place to do it.
With a name like Lovers of Today, it’s hardly the most subtle of choices, but there’s a good reason why this East Village bar is so popular with dating couples. Down a twinkly alleyway with a neon heart marking the entrance, this snug haunt really sets the mood just so. Booth seating is intimate, lighting is low, and cocktails are effective. Also, it’s supposedly Taylor Swift’s favorite bar in NYC.
While not quite high enough to afford panoramic views over the Manhattan skyline, there’s still plenty romantic about a date on this 12th-floor rooftop bar. Glammed-up backyard vibes come courtesy of eclectic garden-style seating, strung lights and a healthy collection of plant life. Drinks in cans and coolers add to the casual outdoors feel, and retractable glass walls and ceilings transform it into greenhouse mode in colder weather. It’s popular, so make a reservation if you don’t want to waste precious date time standing in line.
If kooky is the new sexy, the vintage-store chic at Joyface scores highly for seductive potential. There’s no drinks menu, but you can ask for any cocktail and bar staff will oblige. Alternatively, pull some ingredient names out of the lucky dip bowl for a bit of random fun. Mellow lighting and a glitter ball add to the bar’s intimate basement vibe, complete with squishy sofas and a glowing gas fireplace. If it doesn’t feel too forward, you could head to the waterbed in the corner with your drinks.
With its bowler-hatted doormen and tasseled door keys, handsome log-fire lounge and cultivated old-world ambience, the Bowery Hotel occupies a world of timeless New York luxury. While plush common areas bask in a low glow, guest rooms are flooded with sunlight through factory-size windows. Towering 17 floors skyward, the hotel dwarfs most of its East Village neighborhood and affords some spectacular Manhattan snapshots (which you can often enjoy without leaving your bed). Marble bathrooms with deep tubs – perfect for soaking à deux – also feature in the deluxe rooms and suites.
The absence of a reception at Public lends this immaculately swish, unerringly on-point hotel a glorious sense of anonymity – check-in is via cell phone or lobby tablet. An abundance of plant life in its public spaces also creates the feel of a fabulously secluded oasis, from the ground-floor garden to the spectacular rooftop bar. Gorgeously minimalist guest rooms feature Scandinavian wood and floor-to-ceiling windows that make the most of New York’s timelessly romantic skyline.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.