How to Get to SoHo in NYC

By Johanna Read

Fancy Some SoHo Shopping?

How to Get to SoHo in NYC

SoHo, a New York neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, is an acronym meaning "South of Houston Street." This neighborhood is a rectangle with Canal Street as its southern border, Sixth Avenue to the west, Crosby Street to the east and West Houston Street to the north. Keep in mind that New Yorkers pronounce Houston not like the Texas city but as “house-ton.”

Walking is possible from nearby neighborhoods

SoHo itself is completely walkable, but getting there from elsewhere in Manhattan or another borough likely requires using another form of transportation. It is possible to walk from nearby neighborhoods like NoLIta, Little Italy, TriBeCa and Greenwich Village.

Subway is the easiest option

Generally, the best way to get around New York City is by subway. While the subway map might appear confusing at first glance, the system is quite easy to navigate. First, look at the colors of the various subway lines to tell at a glance which run from various parts of the city to SoHo.

Many lines run to SoHo’s nine stations. Don't forget to check which trains stop at the station you want because some trains skip certain stations.

  • The blue line runs down the western border of SoHo, with the C and E trains stopping at Spring Street, and the A, C and E trains stopping at Canal Street.
  • Just before entering SoHo, the orange line changes its north-south route to run east over to Brooklyn. The B, D, F and M trains stop along Houston Street at Broadway-Lafayette, near the northeast corner of SoHo.
  • The north-south green line runs near SoHo’s eastern border. The 6 train stops just north of SoHo at Bleecker Street and then again at Canal Street.
  • The yellow line has two stops in SoHo: the R and W trains stop at Prince Street and the J, N, Q and R trains stop at Canal Street.
  • The red line’s 1 train stops just to the west of SoHo in TriBeCa at both Houston Street and Canal Street.

To get to SoHo, it takes about 15 minutes by train from 42nd Street and about five minutes from Union Square.

A MetroCard makes subway riding even easier. Purchase one for $1 at a machine at almost all subway stations (there will be a sign if they’re not available). Many visitors find the $32, seven-day unlimited ride option ideal for getting around the city. The card pays for itself after 13 rides.

MetroCards can be loaded with stored value, with a minimum purchase of $5.50. It costs $2.75 per ride, and more than one person can use the same card. Without a MetroCard, single ride tickets cost $3.

Taking surface streets to SoHo

Buses such as the north-south M5 and M20 and the crosstown M21 stop in SoHo, but they can be confusing for visitors because the route isn't as clear as the subway route. Buses have a further disadvantage because they can't avoid New York’s heavy traffic.

Similarly, taxis are an easy way to get to SoHo, but they can be slow and expensive due to traffic. It is possible to drive a private vehicle to SoHo, but parking can be very pricey and hard to find.

Making the most of the experience

SoHo used to be a popular spot for indie boutiques and galleries, but rents are now so high that most artists and their studios have moved elsewhere. Don't come here set on finding an original painting or one-of-a-kind designer clothing. High-end chain stores predominate. The abundance of shopping brings a similar abundance of crowds, especially on weekends. Veering off busy West Broadway to smaller, cobblestone side streets will provide some relief. Or, visit in the winter or early mornings to admire the cast-iron architecture without getting jostled by too many people.

About the Author

Johanna Read is a Canadian freelance writer and photographer specializing in travel, food, and responsible tourism. Writing for a variety of Canadian and international publications, she likes to encourage travel that is culturally, economically, and environmentally sustainable. Links to all her travel stories are at www.TravelEater.net. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEater and on Instagram @TravelEaterJohanna.