Planning to visit the Big Apple for the first time? Well, you are in for treat because the city never sleeps! From dynamism, different cultures and heterogeneity, this city will make you feel brand new indeed. Sometimes it feels like a whirlwind to even roundabout the countless places where you can stay in New York City.
New York City offers excellent places to stay at and there is always something available for everyone. Since there are thousands of places to choose from, one might find themselves in a dilemma. If you are one of them, don’t worry, I got you covered! This guide will help you choose the best areas to stay in New York City.
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Overview of the Best Areas to Stay in New York City
NYC consist of five different boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island) and there are hundreds of distinct neighborhoods throughout the boroughs. Although Manhattan is the smallest of the five boroughs, it’s undoubtedly the most popular one among tourists looking for the best areas to stay in New York City.
New York City is a place that has something for everyone. Generally speaking, in order to avail the best offers and the best experience, you need to look out for the low seasons. However, there is no surprise that New York City is filled with globetrotters all year round. So, one of the best NYC travel tips I can give you is that if you found a great place to stay, make sure to book well ahead of schedule!
Here’s a quick overview of the best areas to stay in New York City with hotel recommendations for each area.
Best Areas to Stay in New York City
Wondering where to stay in New York City? Don’t worry, I got you covered! In this article you will find all the best areas to stay in New York City together with a bunch of useful information about each area, pros and cons, and some hotel recommendations. If you’re a visual type, you can use the below map for getting familiar with each areas mentioned in this article. Let’s dive right in!
1. Midtown Manhattan – Best area for first timers to New York
Midtown Manhattan is the best area to stay in New York City for first timers. If you stay in Midtown Manhattan area, the famous sightseeing destinations like 5th Avenue, Times Square, Broadway Theatres, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Rockefeller Centre, Central Park and Empire State Building will be just a stone’s throw away.
This way, you can explore New York City on foot without having to spend on transportation. By avoiding the tiring journey to the sightseeing spots, you will also save a lot of time.
Midtown Manhattan is also well connected to other parts of New York City. If you want to visit the far-off destinations in NYC, you are in for a treat as very major subway line runs through Midtown Manhattan.
Pros and cons of staying in Midtown Manhattan
- Very well connected with other parts of NYC
- Huge variety of hotels available at every price range
- Famous tourist destinations within walking distance
- Less number of restaurants
- Overcrowded with tourists
- Can get extremely noisy sometimes
Best places to stay in Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan indeed is one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in NYC. If you want something fitting your budget perfectly, here are some recommendations that you can consider looking into.
LUXURY – 1 Hotel Central Park
Offering a restaurant and a fitness centre, 1 Hotel Central Park is located right next to Central Park. Each room will provide you with air conditioning, a seating area and a private bathroom. The on-site restaurant, Jams, features an open kitchen and it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
MID-RANGE – Hyatt Place New York/Midtown-South
Just 5 minutes’ walk from the Empire State Building, this Manhattan hotel offers free Wi-Fi and modern rooms equipped with a flat-screen TV. The 34th Street—Herald Square underground station is 4 minutes’ walk away.
BUDGET – MOXY NYC Times Square
Just 5 minutes’ walk from the Empire State Building, this Manhattan hotel offers free Wi-Fi and modern rooms equipped with a flat-screen TV. The 34th Street—Herald Square underground station is 4 minutes’ walk away.
2. Lower Manhattan – Best for affordable accommodation
Lower Manhattan is undoubtedly among the best areas to stay in New York City for tourists on a budget. Why? Excellent accommodation options are available to book at a pocket-friendly tariff.
Lower Manhattan is also known for many walkable tourist spots like the Wall Street district, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, World Trade Centre, 9/11 Memorial, and Battery Park. This helps you save on transportation costs and you can also walk to some fantastic neighbourhoods around the Lower Manhattan area like Greenwich Village, East Village, Little Italy, and Nolita.
Pros and cons of staying in Lower Manhattan
- Excellent sightseeing spots at a walkable distance
- Best location to stay in New York City for amazing nightlife
- Affordable accommodation
- Less greenery
- Less spacious
Best places to stay in Lower Manhattan
LUXURY – Crosby Street Hotel
Located on a cobbled street in the SoHo neighborhood, this contemporary design hotel features a beautiful inner courtyard and an on-site terrace restaurant. The Crosby Street Hotel offers bright, modern rooms with high ceilings and full-length windows.
MID-RANGE – Hotel 50 Bowery
A member of the Joie de Vivre hotel group, Hotel 50 Bowery in Chinatown is a boutique hotel that enables guests to easily access Lower East Side, Tribeca, Soho, Little Italy and Brooklyn neighborhoods. Complimentary WiFi, 24-hour fitness centre and an onsite restaurant are available.
BUDGET – East Village Hotel
Located in Manhattan’s East Village, this hotel is surrounded by restaurants, bars, and night life. Each guest studio of this private residence offers queen size bedding, stainless kitchen appliances, including fridge, stove, dishwasher, and microwave, as well as all necessary utensils and cutlery.
3. Upper East Side – Best area for museum lovers
Thanks to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sex and the City, and Gossip Girl, for the most part, you already know what the Upper East Side is all about. Once home to the empires like the Rockefellers, Whitney’s, and Astor’s, the Upper East Side area in New York City is a sweet haven for all the luxury lovers.
Apart from luxury hotels and star restaurants, 5th Avenue at Upper East Side is the best neighbourhood to stay in New York City as it is adorned with the city’s most famous museums that display NYCs finest collection of art, history, design, and culture.
Also known as the Museum Mile, 5th avenue consists of museums like the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, the Goethe Institute, and the Neue Galerie. At Upper East Side, things are a lot quieter, hence you can take a leisurely walk or go for a run in the famous Central Park.
Pros and cons of staying in Upper East Side
- You can find major museums within walking distance
- Central Park is just a stone throw away
- Quieter neighborhood
- Expensive hotels
- Restaurants and bars with a lower price range are harder to find
- You have to consider a long journey while exploring the south of Manhattan
Best places to stay in Upper East Side
LUXURY – The Pierre, A Taj Hotel
The Pierre, A Taj Hotel is located across from Central Park at 61st Street. A part of the New York City skyline with its copper mansard roof, The Pierre offers guests white glove luxury service. The hotel is close to high-end shopping destinations and is only steps away from Bergdorf Goodman.
MID-RANGE – Courtyard New York Manhattan/Upper East Side
Located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, this hotel is within 15 minutes’ walk from Guggenheim Museum and Central Park. A fitness centre is available. Tastefully decorated, each room is equipped with coffee-making facilities and a desk.
4. Upper West Side – Best for architecture buffs
Located on the west side of Central Park, Upper West Side is hands down one of the best areas to stay in New York City. The Upper West Side area is famous amongst architecture lovers who can stroll along Central Park West, West End Avenue, and Riverside Drive to marvel at the large, ornate buildings and apartments.
The Upper West Side area is also known for housing pristine institutions like the Lincoln Centre, Juilliard School, Fordham University, and American Museum of Natural History. If you are a Beatles fan, staying at Upper West Side could be the best way to feel close to them by paying homage to John Lennon at the Strawberry Fields memorial.
Pros and cons of staying in Upper West Side
- The area is extremely family-friendly
- Global cuisines are available for all budgets
- Best area of New York to stay in for its greenery
- Even mid-range hotels could be a tad bit expensive
- Not the right area for party-lovers
Best places to stay in Upper West Side
LUXURY – Trump International New York
Located at the juncture of Columbus Circle and Broadway, this 5-star hotel is minutes from Central Park. Each spacious room at Trump International New York provides large windows with views of the city or Central Park. It also features Jean Georges and Nougatine restaurants.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Beacon
This hotel has rooms and suites with kitchenettes and living roomseating areas. The Hotel Beacon is on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, 805 m from Central Park. There’s a business center for guest use and the hotel offers laundry service and luggage storage.
BUDGET – HI NYC Hostel
The Hostelling International New York offers dormitory-style rooms with shared bathrooms. Linens, towels and a housekeeping service are included. Some rooms include breakfast. This uptown New York hostelis 1 block from Broadway Street and a 10-minute walk from Central Park.
5. Chelsea & Greenwich Village – Best area for party lovers
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or the billionth time in New York City, Chelsea and Greenwich Village are some of the best neighbourhoods to stay in New York. Greenwich Village with the Washington Square and Chelsea with the High Line Park offers amazing New York City views and are filled with life.
The areas also have their fair share of glitz and fashion. They are home to the high-end boutiques of Diane Von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, and Alexander Wang. If you are a real foodie, you can enjoy your food at one of the many beautiful restaurants these areas have to offer. Also, if you are looking to tickle your funny bone, Greenwich Village has amazing comedy clubs that you should visit.
Pros and cons of staying in Chelsea & Greenwich Village
- It’s a place for an authentic local experience
- Best location to stay in New York City for nightlife and classy restaurants
- Chic hotels at every price rate
- No sightseeing at walking distance
- Greenwich Village is rapidly disappearing due to commercialization
Best places to stay in Chelsea & Greenwich Village
LUXURY – The Standard, High Line New York
Featuring a roof terrace with a hot tub, The Standard, High Line New York is located in the Meatpacking District, 29 m from the High Line. Every room at the hotel features floor-to-ceiling windows and a city or river view. Each room also comes with a flat-screen TV, an overstocked minibar and a private bathroom.
The non-smoking Fairfield Inn Manhattan offers bright rooms with cable flat-screen TV and work desk, just one block from Broadway. Rooms are accessible by elevator and fitness equipment is available.
BUDGET – Moxy NYC Chelsea
The property boasts a fitness centre, a shared lounge and a bar. Moxy NYC Chelsea is located in New York and is 800 m from Madison Square Garden. All guest rooms in the hotel are equipped with an air purifier and a flat-screen TV with cable channels.
6. SoHo & Lower East Side – Best for vintage lovers and foodies
SoHo stands for South of Houston Street, and Lower East Side is surrounded by Houston Street in the north and South Street in the south. If you are longing for a hipster vibe, travel directly to the SoHo and Lower East Side areas. From vintage clothing stores to drooling restaurants, SoHo and Lower East Side has it all.
You can have a laid-back experience in SoHo with bountiful cast-iron buildings, vintage art and design stores, and a quiet wine and dine. The Lower East Side is a unique area with lots of history housed in the Tenement Museum, the International Centre of Photography Museum, and the New Museum.
If you have visited all the famous tourist spots New York City has to offer, then you can experience the local life in these areas of the town. Don’t forget to visit Little Italy, the Bowery, and Chinatown located within walking distance.
Pros and cons of staying in SoHo & Lower East Side
- Best neighbourhood to stay in NYC to experience local life
- Restaurants, bars, and stores are abundant and available at every price range
- Best area of New York to stay in for party lovers
- Limited in terms of subway access
- You have to take the daily commute to explore the other sightseeing destinations
- You may have to put up with excessive noise and crowds
Best places to stay in SoHo & Lower East Side
LUXURY – The Dominick Hotel
Featuring a full-service spa and 4 restaurants, this 46-story Manhattan hotel has rooms that offer a personalized minibar and floor-to-ceiling windows. The Dominick Hotel provides relaxing, contemporary rooms with custom-made furniture and an Italian marble bathroom.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Indigo Lower East Side
At Hotel Indigo Lower East Side you will find a 24-hour front desk. Each room here will provide you with a minibar. Featuring a bath or shower, private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer. Guests can dine at Mr. Purple or enjoy a dip in the open-air, heated pool.
Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan SoHo Village is just 1 block from the Houston Street Subway Station. It features an on-site restaurant, state-of-the-art gym and contemporary rooms with free Wi-Fi. The cream-colored guest rooms offer a flat-screen cable TV with in-room movies.
7. Long Island City, Queens – Best areas for travellers on budget
Situated just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan, you can easily reach Long Island City with a quick subway ride. The area hosts several flea markets and is home to the famous MoMA PS1 gallery and Silvercup Studios.
Long Island City is the best area to stay in New York City for travellers who want to save up on Manhattan’s expensive stay options.
Pros and cons of staying in Long Island City, Queens
- Lower cost of living as compared to Manhattan
- Very well connected – just one subway stop away from Manhattan
- No sightseeing destinations at walking distance
- Staying in Long Island means putting up with a lot of traffic
- Far from the happening areas of the New York City
Best places to stay in Long Island City, Queens
LUXURY – The Collective Paper Factory
Located in a 100-year-old paper factory, this boutique hotel in Long Island City is 6.1 km from Manhattan. Each room at The Collective Paper Factory offers a flat-screen TV, coffee machine, 12-foot ceilings and cozy decor. Every room has a private bathroom with a hairdryer and bath amenities. Select rooms offer a city view.
MID-RANGE – Aloft Long Island City-Manhattan View
Featuring free WiFi and a sun terrace, Aloft Long Island City-Manhattan View offers pet-friendly accommodation in Queens. The rooms include a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Some rooms include a seating area to relax in after a busy day. You will find a coffee machine in the room.
BUDGET – LIC Hotel
Featuring a terrace with city views and an on-site bar, LIC Hotel is located in Queens, New York. Private parking and free WiFi access are available. A refrigerator and a flat-screen TV are included in each guest room. For your convenience, the private bathrooms are equipped with free toiletries and a hair dryer.
8. Harlem – Best for food and jazz lovers
If you want to have an exotic African-American experience while visiting NYC, make sure to stop by and stay in Harlem. With a vibrant street life and West African soul food cuisines, Harlem treats people who love jazz.
Internationally known as the centre of Black Heritage and Culture, Harlem has everything to enjoy, from music to food to theatre. Apollo Theatre, the Studio Museum, and the National Jazz Museum are must-visits while staying in Harlem.
Pros and cons of staying in Harlem
- Amazing South African comfort food experience
- Vibrant street life with cool jazz bars
- You won’t be centrally located so travelling to other parts of the city can be tiring
- It is one of the less clean areas of New York City – you may come across many homeless people and a lack of hygiene
Best places to stay in Harlem
MID-RANGE – Aloft Harlem
Located in Harlem, this stylish New York hotel features a bar and fitness centre just 3 minutes’ walk from Apollo Theatre. Free WiFi access is available. Each room at Aloft Harlem offers a flat-screen TV, work desk and tea and coffee making facilities.
BUDGET – Irving Manor
Ideally set in the Harlem district of New York, in Irving Manor all rooms boast a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a shared bathroom. The accommodation offers a shared kitchen and free WiFi throughout the property.
9. Williamsburg, Brooklyn – Best area for shopping
Williamsburg, Brooklyn has become a rapid zone of expansion. Bedford Avenue, situated at heart, is now flooded with beautiful cafes and boutique shops. But compared to Manhattan, Brooklyn still has less crowd, feels calmer, has more trees, and is cheaper. Other than this, Brooklyn is home to extremely famous rooftop cocktail lounges and beer gardens.
There are some fantastic places to visit in this area like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Museum and the Prospect Park. When strolling through the streets in Brooklyn, make sure to hit the Promenade, which will put you face to face with the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline, all from one location.
Pros and cons of staying in Brooklyn
- Beautiful coffee shops and restaurants
- Amazing cocktail lounges
- Lesser expensive than Manhattan
- Other tourist destinations are not within walking distance
- There’s no nightlife in Brooklyn, most shops and eateries close by 11pm
Best places to stay in Brooklyn
LUXURY – Wythe Hotel
Housed in a converted 100-year old factory, the 70-room Wythe Hotel is located on the Brooklyn waterfront. All rooms boast 13-foot high, original timber ceilings, windows and heated concrete floors. Some rooms offers a view of the New York City skyline while others offers guests a peek into the Brooklyn and Williamsburg neighborhoods.
MID-RANGE – The Williamsburg Hotel
Located in North Brooklyn, in the Williamsburg neighborhood, this hotel is in close proximity to many dining and shopping destinations. The rooms come with 10-foot window views of Manhattan or Brooklyn. Many rooms offer a private balcony. All furnishings are custom designed by Michaelis Boyd Studio.
10. Staten Island – Best for smart travellers
Staten Island is one of the best areas to stay in New York City for people looking for accommodations at a reasonable rate and still want to stay in scenic locations, which offers a view of the NYC skyline. The area has great shopping malls and restaurants.
The Staten Island area is filled with parks on every corner and is the best area to stay in NYC for someone looking for a relaxing vacation. While staying in this area, don’t forget to get on The Staten Island Ferry trip, a sight to see. For travellers who are exhausted from exploring the popular hotspots of NYC, Staten Island offers new and exciting places to visit like Staten Island Museum, Fort Wadsworth, and Snug Harbor Cultural Centre.
Pros and cons of staying in Staten Island
- Cheap hotel prices than the other areas in NYC
- Offers excellent skyline view of the Lower New York Bay
- Not well connected to the other parts of the city
- No nightlife
- Lots of traffic and crowds
Best places to stay in Staten Island
The Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island provides guests with complimentary airport shuttle service to Newark Airport and the Staten Island ferry. The hotel also features an on-site restaurant, offering award-winning cuisine and Broadway-style entertainment.
New York Staten Island offers wireless internet to its guests free of charge. Manhattan is just 30 minutes’ drive away. Guests can also take a break from working to exercise in the on-site fitness centre. Free public parking is offered. Complimentary shuttle service to the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan is also available.
BUDGET – Harbor House Bed and Breakfast
Featuring views of the Manhattan skyline, this Staten Island bed and breakfast is 7 minutes’ drive from the Staten Island Ferry terminal. Each guest room is equipped with cable TV. A daily continental breakfast is served, offering donuts, cereal, fruit juice, coffee, and more. Free parking is available on site.
I hope you liked this article about the best areas to stay in New York City and you managed to find the perfect area and the best hotel for your next trip to NYC. If you’re planning to visit New York for the first time, make sure to check out my NYC travel guide which was specifically written for first timers and includes all the useful information you need to know about New York City.
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Do you know some other great areas in New York City you would like to add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
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