Soho, United States

This former manufacturing district in Lower Manhattan (formally known as South of Houston Street)has cast off its Hell’s Hundred Acres nickname, but kept the exquisite cascading cast-iron fire escapes and colonnaded and brightly hued façades. Artists attracted to its cheap lofts in the 70s and 80s have long since moved on, but amid its lavish boutiques (Prada, Vuitton, Bloomingdales…) and quirky cult brands there are some well-respected galleries (Team Gallery, Swiss Institute). Once you’ve furnished yourself with staggeringly expensive finery, head on a cocktail hunt: dive bars, buzzy rooftops, lengthy wine lists and dimly lit spaces for a Dark and Stormy, this dashing neighbourhood will happily oblige.

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When to go

Flights to New York are a little cheaper during its winter months, from January to March, but temperatures can dip to icy lows. For more clement pavement-pounding weather, visit in spring or summer, just as bar rooftops are reopening.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    International and domestic arrivals and departures can be made at LaGuardia, 18 miles away.
  • Trains

    Penn Station on 7th Avenue and West 32nd Street is roughly a 20-minute cab ride from the neighbourhood, and is served by Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, the Long Island Railroad and the subway.
  • Automobiles

    Pricy parking, jam-packed lanes and omnipresent canary-yellow cabs make driving in the city an unnecessary nuisance. However, those who want to try their luck can hire some wheels from the airport.