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New Haven

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New Haven

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The New Haven Green, created in the 1630s, is the perfectly-preserved center of the first planned city in the United States.
Harkness Tower, part of the Yale University campus in downtown New Haven

New Haven [2] is a city in Connecticut, and is perhaps best known as the home of Yale University [3]. With a downtown population density of 6,000 people per square kilometer, New Haven has one of the densest downtown areas in the United States. As a result, hundreds of shops, cafes and top-rated restaurants have proliferated, and the area has recently become a major regional tourist attraction for shopping and dining. Ethnic restaurants include Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Eritrean, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, Mexican, Thai, Indian and Malaysian cuisines, among many others. According to the Hartford Courant, New Haven has more pedestrian activity than any place between New York City and Boston, and also has a burgeoning nightlife scene.

The area is a center for bicycling and hiking, with nearby East Rock Park, West Rock State Park, and Sleeping Giant State Park. Together, they provide many miles of hiking trails and summits with expansive views over hundreds of square miles. Bicyclists enjoy cruising along the beautiful shoreline, or along the Farmington Canal Trail, a former canal and railroad that has recently been converted for recreational use.

Get in

By car

  • New Haven is located at the junction of Interstates 91 and 95.

By air

  • Tweed New Haven Regional Airport (IATA: HVN) (ICAO: KHVN), 155 Burr Street, Phone: +1 203 466-8833, [4]. Served only by USAirways.
  • Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks (near Hartford) is an alternative with service by nearly all major carriers.

By train

  • Metro North Railroad provides service between New Haven, New York and intermediate points.
  • Amtrak provides direct service from Virginia to Boston and intermediate points (including all major cities on the Northeast Corridor). Amtrak also provides direct service between St. Albans, Vt. and New Haven and intermediate points (including to and from Springfield, Mass. and Hartford, Conn.)
  • Shore Line East provides weekday service between New Haven and New London, Conn. and intermediate points. It also operates a small number of trains between New Haven and Stamford, Conn.

Get around

  • Downtown New Haven is compact enough to be traversed by foot.
  • The city is also served by an efficient public bus system.
    • CT Transit, Phone: 203-624-0151, [5]. Bus stops are marked with signs or a white stripe around utility poles in some cases. Busses all have bike racks.
  • Metro Taxi, Phone: +1 203 777-7777.
  • Devil's Gear Bike Shop, Chapel St., Phone: +1 203 773-9288, Provides low-cost daily or weekly bicycle rentals.


  • Yale University, 149 Elm St. (Visitor Center), Phone: +1 203 432-2300, [6].
  • Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University, Whitney Avenue and Sachem Street, Science Hill cience Hill section of the Yale campus, Phone: 203-432-5050, [7]. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Adults $7, ages 3-18 $5.
  • Shoreline Trolley Museum, 17 River St., East Haven, Phone: +1 203 467-6927,[8]. Su in Apr,Nov, Sa,Su in May,Sep,Oct; Daily Memorial Day through Labor Day, Saturdays and Sundays in December through the 17th. $6/$3.
  • Yale University Art Gallery, Chapel at High St., Phone: +1 203 432-0600, [9]. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Th until 8PM from Sep-Jun, Su 1PM-6PM. Free.
  • The Green. Public park in the center of the city. 350+ years old and recognized as one of the best 100 public spaces in the United States. Frequent festivals are held here, such as the renowned New Haven Jazz Festival, which draws hundreds of thousands of people [10].
  • Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University includes the The Yale Babylonian Collection donated by JP Morgan in 1910, as well as many other world-renowned artifacts and collections.
  • Knights of Columbus Museum, [11] 1 State Street, 203-865-0400.


Free community bike rides leave various bookstores and cafes each day; check with the Devil's Gear Bike Shop to rent cycles or find out about community rides. Local beaches are also a short bike ride or drive from the city center, and provide additional recreational opportunities.

Dine at one of Wooster Street's popular Italian Restaurants. New Haven is famous for its old-world style pizza.

Visit the Crypt, an ancient graveyard under the Center Church on the Green. It is open April-October, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm ET. See for more info.

Yale Athletics

St. Patrick's Day Parade, one of the oldest in the United States.

Visit Summit of East Rock Park and West Rock Park[12] where you can see the Three Judges Cave and hike along miles of trails.

Tour Yale University.

See an avant-garde jazz concert at Firehouse12, a firehouse converted into a modern bar and cutting-edge concert venue/recording studio.

See a show at the famous Toad's Place, a must for any music lover.

Bicycle along Farmington Canal, or shoreline bike routes.


When visiting, pick up a copy of the Downtown Guide at a local shop or restaurant. It will provide you with up-to-date information on the hundreds of restaurants downtown, as well as shopping opportunities. New Haven abounds with hundreds of retailers, ranging from pricey local boutiques to art galleries to national chains such as Urban Outfitters.


New Haven has many famous pizza parlors and is often credited with having introduced pizza to the United States, although New Havenites themselves often contend that New Haven-style apizza is a separate food from pizza altogether. The pizza has a thin, bitter crust, offset by high quality ingredients, making for one of the world's best pizza experiences. The most famous apizza locations are Pepe's and Sally's, which are over 80 years old and usually have lines going around the block. Modern Apizza—a more recent arrival further from the city center—has nonetheless usurped these establishments as the local favorite in recent years. For a real New England New Haven experience, order the white clam back pizza—the simple toppings of garlic, olive oil, and New England clams against the backdrop of the bitter, oven-scorched crust for a delight of the senses.

While it is a bit sacrilegious to pass through New Haven without trying the pizza, the small city has an astonishing wealth of fine dining establishments—easily rivaling the dining scene of any of New York's outer boroughs. The blocks just south of Yale University along Chapel, Crown, and George Streets are home to the majority of the city's best restaurants. The two "top" restaurants that vie for the attention of elitist Yalie parents are Roomba and the Union League Cafe, but there are fantastic options around every corner in this part of town to try.

Wooster Square

  • Sally's Apizza, 237 Wooster Street, Phone: +1 203 624-5271.
  • Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, 157 Wooster Street, Phone: +1 203 865-5762.


  • Bangkok Gardens, 172 York St, +1 203 789-8684 (fax: +1 203 789-0336). Lunch: 11AM-3PM daily, Dinner: M-Th 5PM-9:45PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM, Su 5PM-10PM. If you are looking for a casual, but high quality restaurant within walking distance of the University, take your budding scholars here. The food is up to New York standards, prices are reasonable, and the location enviable. $8-17.
  • Claire's Cornercopia, 1000 Chapel Street, Phone: +1 203 562-3888.
  • Pacifico, 220 College St, +1 203 772-4002. Latin American seafood dishes with a upscale New York sensibility served at this LGBT-friendly restaurant. $15-30.
  • Roomba, 1044 Chapel St (in Sherman's Alley), +1 203 562-7666. Top notch contemporary Caribbean/international cuisine served with a lively atmosphere.
  • Royal Palace Chinese Restaurant, 32 Orange St, +1 203 776-6663. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10PM. Very reasonably priced authentic Chinese cuisine plus friendly service equals a great find. Definitely do not pass up on the honey walnut shrimp. $7-18.
  • Temple Grill, 152 Temple Street, Phone: +1 203 773-1111.
  • Union League Café, 1032 Chapel Street, Phone: +1 203 562-4299.[13]
  • Zinc, 964 Chapel Street, Phone: +1 203 624-0507.

East Rock

  • Modern Apizza, 874 State St, +1 203 776-5306, [1]. This New Haven-style apizza place has really stirred up the waters of New Haven cuisine in recent years, dethroning the seemingly invincible Pepe's and Sally's as the city's (and quite possibly the world's) best pizza place. You'll need a car to get here.


Crown and Chapel Streets run through downtown New Haven and are packed with hundreds of restaurants, cafes, wine bars, lounges and the like. New Haven is the primary entertainment destination for the 800,000 people who live in the immediate area. When driving, watch pedestrians since the crowds can be thick, especially on weekends.

  • Anna Liffey's, 17 Whitney Avenue, Phone: +1 203773-1776.
  • Archie Moore's, 188 Willow Street, Phone: +1 203 773-9870.
  • Bar and the Brü Rm, 254 Crown Street, Phone:+1 203 495-1111 , [14].
  • Delaney's, 882 Whalley Avenue, Phone: +1 203 397-5494.
  • The Playwright, 144 Temple Street, Phone: +1 203 752-0450.
  • Toad's Place, 300 York Street, Phone: +1 203 562-5589, [email protected], [15].


  • Courtyard New Haven at Yale, 30 Whalley Ave, Phone: +1 203 777-6221, Fax: +1 203 772-1089, [16].
  • Fairfield Inn New Haven, 400 Sargent Dr, Phone:+1 203 562-1111, Fax: +1 203 865-7440, [17].
  • Residence Inn New Haven, 3 Long Wharf Drive, Phone:+1 203 777-5337, Fax: +1 203 777-2808, [18].

Stay safe

As with nearby New York City, New Haven's crime rate has gone down considerably since the early 1990s, and it is now considered to be a safe city, at least in the downtown area. Today, there is very little risk involved with traveling to New Haven's tourist attractions as streets bustle with crowds generated by hundreds of restaurants, cinemas, theaters, cafes and stores. Luxury apartments and million-dollar condominiums have proliferated, adding a large population base to formerly industrial or commercial zones. In such areas, the downtown area is generally safe at night, but like other cities, late night travel through certain city neighborhoods outside the downtown, without someone who knows the area, is not recommended. When visiting, exercise the same precautions you would use in any large city.

Get out

Surrounding towns have their own appeal, including the shoreline area with the towns of East Haven, Branford, and Guilford. Hiking and camping are abundant in the area to the north and northwest of New Haven. And New York City is 1 hour 45 minutes away on the Metro-North train.

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