Where to Stay in New York City 🇺🇸: Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in NYC

Updated on April 13, 2024
by Alex Miller

With its renowned museums, iconic landmarks, and nonstop excitement, New York City offers endless possibilities for visitors. But with its massive scale, deciding where to stay in New York can feel overwhelming. The key is choosing the right neighborhood that matches your interests and budget.

The good news is that New York has a diverse array of neighborhoods, each with its own vibe and attractions.

Our pick of the best hotels in New York 🔝

In addition to location, your accommodation itself makes a difference. Options range from luxurious five-star hotels to convenient budget chains. Unique boutique hotels and historic properties also provide one-of-a-kind experiences.

This article breaks down the best areas to stay for different types of visitors along with recommended hotels.

Quick Guide to the Best Areas to Stay in New York 📝

1. West Village – Where to Stay in NYC for the First Time 👀

Nestled between the Hudson River and Fifth Avenue, the West Village exudes old-world charm like no other area of Manhattan.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable streets: The neighborhood covers half a square mile, making it very walkable. Additionally, several subway lines service the area, including the:

  • 1, 2 and 3 trains
  • A, C and E trains
  • F and M trains

👟 Short stroll: Just a short walk north takes you to Chelsea and the High Line park. Head east to reach Union Square. The financial district and 9/11 memorial are also easily accessible by subway.

🎓 College vibe: As the home of New York University, the West Village brims with college students. Young creative types also flock to the neighborhood for its artsy vibe. Nestled among them you’ll find celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker or Matthew Broderick, longtime “Villagers.”

🏳️‍🌈 Historic hub: Historically, the area nurtured famous activists and artists. Local landmarks honor their legacy:

  • The Stonewall Inn – Site of 1969 riots catalyzing the gay rights movement
  • Cherry Lane Theatre – Longtime pillar of off-Broadway scene
  • Bleecker Street – Home to 1960s folk music venues

🎶 Live music: I also recommend listening to live music at small venues like the legendary Blue Note Jazz Club. And be sure to check out Cafe Reggio, a historic Italian cafe opened in 1927.

Nowhere else in Manhattan can you get a stronger sense of old New York.

All hotels in West Village →

Where to stay in West Village? 🏨


  • Gansevoort Meatpacking – a modern boutique hotel with panoramic views of the Hudson River and Manhattan, offers luxurious designer rooms.
  • Walker Hotel Greenwich Village – an elegant Art Deco hotel with upscale service and fine dining, located in the historic Greenwich Village neighborhood.


  • Incentra Village Hotel – cozy small hotel with a homey atmosphere, offers comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.
  • Washington Square Hotel – european style hotel with panoramic view of Washington Square, comfortable rooms with all amenities.

2. East Village – Best Place to Stay in New York for Nightlife 💃🏻

🗽 Iconic area: Despite its small size, East Village packs quite a punch when it comes to arts, entertainment, and dining. Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time in the Big Apple, the East Village is a must-see on any itinerary.

👣 Walkable: Just a quick subway ride from major attractions like Times Square and Central Park, the area boasts a prime location. The neighborhood itself also has excellent walkability.

📸 Photo ops: Some top spots first-timers won’t want to miss include:

  • St. Mark’s Place – This iconic stretch serves up vintage shops and punk rock vibes
  • Tompkins Square Park – A local gathering place featuring monuments, basketball courts, and a farmer’s market
  • The Strand – The famous bookstore housing new and used books
  • Webster Hall – A legendary concert venue and nightclub operating since 1886

🚇 Subway access: Transportation around the neighborhood couldn’t be simpler with six different subway lines servicing the area. Key stops include 8th Street-NYU on the N/R lines, Astor Place on the 6, and 2nd Avenue on the F train.

All hotels in East Village →

Where to stay in East Village? 🏩

Luxury Hotels:

  • The Bowery Hotel – an elegant boutique hotel in a historic building with luxurious rooms and a restaurant serving contemporary American cuisine.
  • Hyatt Union Square New York – a modern Hyatt hotel with a convenient location and good value for money.
  • The Standard – a modern designer hotel with panoramic views of Manhattan and excellent amenities.

Mid-range hotels:

  • East Village Hotel – a small, cozy hotel in the heart of the East Village with friendly staff.
  • Moxy NYC East Village – a stylish budget hotel with bright interior design and compact rooms.
  • Sixty LES – a modern hotel with spacious rooms, a restaurant and a cozy lobby bar.

3. Tribeca – Best Neighborhood for Art & Culture Lovers 👩🏻‍🎨

🎨 Artsy vibes: Tribeca radiates an artsy, upscale ambiance. As one of New York City’s most popular neighborhoods, Tribeca entices visitors with its charming streets lined with historic warehouses, boutique shops, and celebrity-chef restaurants.

🚲 Easy exploring: Compact in size, Tribeca makes getting around a breeze. If venturing beyond, Citi Bikes and buses readily connect you to other parts of the city.

🎭 Creative activities: From browsing museums and art spaces to high-end shopping and dining, popular things to do include:

  • Checking out creations at the Tribeca Film Festival, founded by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal
  • Marveling at works by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Visiting The Oculus – A winged structure with shops and restaurants inside
  • Stumbling upon street performers and live music in charming Duane Park

🚊 Well-situated: Tribeca lies conveniently close to many of New York’s main attractions. A quick subway ride takes you directly to:

  • Empire State Building – 4 stops
  • Times Square – 6 stops

🍴 Foodie faves: When you’ve worked up an appetite from sightseeing, Tribeca’s top-rated restaurants dish up menus from around the world. Some of the best include 1803 NYC, Scalini Fedeli and Bubby’s.

All hotels in Tribeca →

Where to stay in Tribeca? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price range:

Budget Hotels:

4. The Financial District – Where to Stay in NYC for History 🏙

💼 Business hub: Located at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, the Financial District is the historic hub of New York’s financial and business industries. Despite the constant hustle and bustle of Wall Street brokers and bankers flocking between skyscrapers, the neighborhood offers plenty for visitors to see and do.

🚆 Well-connected: The Financial District is incredibly easy to access, with nearly all subway lines passing through the area. Key stations include Wall Street, Broad Street, Fulton Street, and Bowling Green—all a quick walk from iconic landmarks.

🔝 Historic sites: Can’t miss attractions and architectural marvels in the Financial District include:

  • The New York Stock Exchange (11 Wall St) – This historic stock market sees over $150 billion in daily trading and only admits limited visitors to its gallery.
  • Federal Hall National Memorial (26 Wall St) – The original U.S. Capital building where George Washington took his first oath of office in 1789.
  • Trinity Church (89 Broadway) – A stunning Gothic Revival church and burial ground with ties to Alexander Hamilton and other historic figures.
  • One World Trade Center (285 Fulton St) – The premier building of the new World Trade Center complex and the Western Hemisphere’s tallest tower at 1,776 feet. You can even see the Statue of Liberty from the upper floors.
  • Charging Bull Statue (Bowling Green Park) – A popular 7,100 lb bronze icon that has come to symbolize Wall Street and American financial optimism.

From prominent national monuments to sleek modern highrises, the Financial District’s ever-evolving cityscape never disappoints.

The New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange
Federal Hall National Memorial
Federal Hall National Memorial
Federal Hall National Memorial
Federal Hall National Memorial
Trinity Church
Trinity Church
Trinity Church
Trinity Church
Trinity Church
Trinity Church
One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center
Charging Bull Statue
Charging Bull Statue
Charging Bull Statue
Charging Bull Statue

🍸 Laid-back weekends: Though it teems with traders Monday through Friday, the neighborhood transforms into a laidback local scene on nights and weekends. Sip craft cocktails at historic taverns, catch standup comedy at basement clubs, or go museum hopping—all within blocks.

All hotels in the Financial District →

Where to stay in Financial District? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

  • Courtyard by Marriott WTC – a practical Marriott chain hotel with good value for money, great for business travelers.
  • Club Quarters Hotel, WTC – an affordable extended stay hotel with fully equipped kitchens and work areas.
  • World Center Hotel – a simple and inexpensive hotel with a convenient location across from the Memorial Complex on the WTC site, suitable for short trips.

5. Chelsea – Best Area in New York for Young Travelers 💑

🎭 Artsy neighborhood: Chelsea is full of art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and nightlife spots which make it a vibrant place for tourists to visit. This puts you in the heart of Manhattan – just south of Times Square and west of the famous museums on 5th Avenue.

🔥 Make sure you:

  • Walk along the High Line park, a one point five mile above-street green space created by a former railroad track.
  • Try gourmet food and artisanal treats from any of many dozens of eateries and shops in Chelsea Market.
  • Go see some experimental installations at any modern art gallery on Tenth or Eleventh Avenues.
  • Go club hopping in bars along 8th Avenue through the night.

And also go see a show at another vibrant off-Broadway theater in Chelsea.

🚅 Well-connected: For convenience purposes, Chelsea has been laid out as a series of blocks making it very pedestrian friendly. On 8th avenue, we have subways C/E that will take you to other parts of Manhattan. On the north edge of Chelsea lies Penn Station which connects to subway lines, NJ transit trains as well as Amtrak.

High Line park
High Line park
High Line park
High Line park
Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market

Wherever your interests lie, Chelsea promises dynamic New York experiences.

All hotels in Chelsea →

Where to stay in Chelsea? 🏩

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price range:

Budget Hotels:

6. Midtown (Manhattan) – Best Place to Stay in NYC for Sightseeing 🛕

💃🏼 NYC heartbeat: Located in the center of Manhattan, Midtown is the vibrant beating heart of New York City. This is where you’ll find some of the Big Apple’s most iconic landmarks..

👣 Well-connected: Midtown stretches from 14th Street to 59th Street between the Hudson and East Rivers. It is conveniently located near main transit hubs like Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, making it easy to access by public transportation from anywhere in the city.

🗽 Famous sights: Within Midtown, key attractions include:

  • Times Square – The bright lights and giant billboards of this world-famous intersection.
  • Broadway Theater District – Home to over 40 theaters where you can watch smash hit musicals and plays.
  • Rockefeller Center – The famous ice rink with the towering Rockefeller Center Christmas tree during the holidays. Go to the Top of the Rock observation deck for stunning city views.
  • Fifth Avenue – Upscale shops and luxury flagship stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman.
  • Bryant Park – A lovely green oasis with seasonal attractions like holiday shops and ice skating.
  • Grand Central Terminal – The historic train station featuring the starry celestial ceiling mural.
  • Chrysler Building – An Art Deco masterpiece with its distinctive spire and gargoyles.

You can also find banks, pharmacies, retail stores, and restaurants on practically every block, so you’ll never be far from whatever you need.

🏨 Logical stay: While Midtown lacks the residential neighborhood vibe of other areas, its central location and proximity to top NYC sights makes it a logical home base. Hotels range from budget chains to luxurious options.

All hotels in Midtown →

Where to stay in Midtown? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Mid-range price range:

Budget Hotels:

7. Upper West Side – Where to Stay Away from the Hustle and Bustle 🕊

🏘️ Quiet & charming: Upper West Side is one of the most sought-after residential neighborhoods in Manhattan.

🏛️ Historic sites: Despite its residential character, the Upper West Side has plenty to see and do. The neighborhood’s northern boundary runs along West 110th Street, home to the famous Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

🎭 Big arts scene: Heading south, culture lovers can spend hours wandering the halls of the American Museum of Natural History or catching a concert at the Lincoln Center performing arts complex.

🚇 Getting Around the Upper West Side

  • The subway makes it easy to zip downtown or cross town. Key stations include 72nd St, 81st St, 86th St, and 96th St serviced by the B,C trains. The 1,2,3 lines run up Broadway.
  • CitiBike stations dot the streets, providing quick access to short distance cycling.
  • Buses along main thoroughfares like Amsterdam, Columbus, and Broadway connect to destinations throughout Manhattan.

So if you’re looking to experience classic New York away from the crowds, consider staying in the Upper West Side neighborhood during your trip.

All hotels in Upper West Side →

Where to stay in Upper West Side? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price category:

  • Hotel Lucerne – an elegant boutique hotel with European charm, offers comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.
  • Hotel Belleclaire Central Park – a budget hotel with basic amenities and a good location near Central Park.
  • Arthouse Hotel – a stylish budget hotel with a colorful design, offers friendly service and a convenient location.

Budget Hotels:

  • West Side YMCA – simple and inexpensive rooms in the YMCA building with a great location in the heart of Manhattan.
  • HI New York City Hostel – a popular hostel with amenities for travelers in a convenient neighborhood.

8. Upper East Side – Where to Stay in NYC with Family 👨‍👩‍👦

💰 Old money: The Upper East Side is one of the most exclusive and wealthy neighborhoods in all of New York City. Located on the east side of Manhattan, it stretches from 59th Street to 96th Street between 5th Avenue and the East River.

🌳 Tourism central: For first-time visitors to NYC, the Upper East Side puts you right in the heart of the action. Central Park borders the neighborhood to the west, allowing easy access to attractions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Central Park Zoo.

🎨 Museum Mile: Heading east leads you to Museum Mile, a section of 5th Avenue renowned for its concentration of world-class museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The Jewish Museum.

🏘️ Gilded homes: As you stroll down past brownstones and doormen-attended apartment buildings, you’ll feel transported back to New York’s Gilded Age. This is where the “who’s who” of New York’s high society live, from old money families like the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts to celebrities and business moguls.

🚊 Well-connected: Getting around the Upper East Side is remarkably easy, whether you travel by foot, taxi, bus, or subway. Fifth and Lexington Avenues are main thoroughfares running the length of the neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants. Several subway lines stop on Lexington Avenue and 5th Avenue, including the 4, 5, 6, Q, and R trains.

All hotels in Upper East Side →

Where to stay in Upper East Side? 🏩

Expensive Hotels:

  • The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York – a luxurious historic Fifth Avenue hotel with exquisite design and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
  • The Plaza – gothic style hotel with panoramic views of Central Park, offers luxurious accommodations and first-class service.
  • The Sherry Netherland – an elegant Fifth Avenue hotel known for its personalized service and suites with views of Central Park.

Mid-range price:

9. Williamsburg (Brooklyn) – Where to Stay for Alternative Culture 🔮

Williamsburg is known for its thriving art, music and foodie scenes; it offers visitors a uniquely urban experience.

🚇 Well-located: Located in the northern part of Brooklyn just a quick subway ride from Manhattan on the L train, this neighborhood was once an industrial area but has since been transformed to become a hub for young creatives with many of the converted factories and warehouses now housing galleries, shops, restaurants and bars.

🏙️ Street art: This artsy vibe is reflected in the streetscape which features colorful murals, quirky boutiques, and cafés lining the streets.

🔝 Some of the top attractions and activities found in Williamsburg include:

  • The Williamsburg Art & Historical Center – This non-profit gallery housed in a renovated bank building accommodates exhibitions, concerts and educational programs.
  • East River State Park – A waterfront green space that provides wonderful skyline views as well as an popular urban beach during summer months.
  • Brooklyn Flea Market – During April through October every Saturday this enormous outdoor food market takes over an empty lot complete with 100+ vendors serving up amazing worldwide cuisine.
  • Shopping – A fun shopping trip can be a vintage store excursion or visiting boutiques, record shops along Bedford Ave among other indie retailers.

🌎 Diverse character: Despite experiencing rapid gentrification, Williamsburg still retains much of its character from when it was originally developed as a working-class immigrant community. This is evident by the fact that there are still many diverse Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Italians, and Jews among the residents.

All hotels in Williamsburg →

Where to stay in Williamsburg? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Arlo Williamsburg – a stylish boutique hotel with original interior design and panoramic views of Manhattan.
  • The William Vale – a luxury hotel with ultra-modern design, rooftop pool and views of Manhattan.
  • Hotel Indigo Williamsburg – a cozy vintage-style hotel with good value for money.

Medium price range:

  • Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg – a modern industrial-style hotel with stylish rooms at an affordable price.
  • The Hoxton Williamsburg – a hotel with loft interiors, a cool bar, co-working areas and reasonable rates.
  • The Wythe Hotel – a historic building turned into a chic boutique hotel with a rooftop restaurant and bar.

Budget Hotels:

  • Pod Brooklyn – minimalist capsule hotel with small rooms at an affordable price.
  • Hotel Le Jolie – simple rooms at low prices in a convenient Brooklyn location.
  • Penny Williamsburg – a hostel with minimalist rooms and common spaces at a budget price.

10. Long Island City (Queens) – Budget Options in New York 💸

Located directly across the East River from midtown Manhattan, Long Island City is one of New York City’s most rapidly developing neighborhoods.

🗺️ Well-positioned: District is located in the northwest corner of Queens, bordering the East River. It’s just one subway stop away from midtown Manhattan on the 7, E, M, and G trains, making it easy to access major NYC attractions like Times Square, the Empire State Building, and Central Park. The neighborhood is also close to LaGuardia Airport, located just 15 minutes away by taxi or rideshare.

🔥 Top Sights and Activities:

  • Gantry Plaza State Park – Stunning riverfront park with views of Manhattan
  • MoMA PS1 – Cutting-edge contemporary art museum housed in a former school building
  • Restaurants – Trendy cafes, taco joints, Brazilian steakhouses, and more line Jackson Avenue, Vernon Boulevard, and Queens Plaza
  • Beer gardens – LIC Landing and Alewife Brewery have spacious outdoor seating right on the waterfront.
  • Shopping – Boutiques, bookstores, pet stores, and art galleries can be found along 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard.

🚲 On the move: Citi Bikes and buses provide further transportation options for getting around Long Island City and to nearby Astoria.

All hotels in Long Island City →

Where to stay in Long Island City? 🏨

Medium price range:

Budget Hotels:

  • LIC Hotel – simple and inexpensive hotel with basic amenities, good for budget travelers.
  • Hyatt Place Long Island City – modern hotel with spacious rooms and free breakfast.
  • The Local NY – a mini-hotel in a residential neighborhood with a homey atmosphere and affordable rates.

Where NOT to Stay in NYC ❌

You’ll want to steer clear of Brownsville in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, it has a reputation for high crime rates and gang violence. As a tourist, you’re better off avoiding this area.

Similarly, parts of the South Bronx have struggled with poverty and crime. While efforts have been made to revitalize the South Bronx, as a visitor you’ll probably feel more comfortable staying in other boroughs.

Midtown Manhattan may seem like an obvious place for tourists, but avoid the area around Penn Station late at night. The neighborhood can get a little dicey after dark due to the high volume of transients.

In Queens, there are a few housing projects where crime persists as an issue. These include the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City and the Astoria Houses. Steer clear of these specific complexes after dark.

Finally, while East Harlem has a vibrant culture, some blocks have problems with gangs and drugs. Be cautious walking around late at night, when muggings do occur. Stick to busier streets if you find yourself in the area after dark.

The good news is that New York City’s overall crime rate has dropped dramatically since the 1990s. By using basic street smarts and avoiding problem areas like these at night, your visit to New York should be safe as well as fun!

Top Tips for Your New York City Trip 🔥

1. Neighborhood Know-How 📝: Dive into NYC’s diverse neighborhoods to find the local vibe. From SoHo to Harlem, each area has its charm. Knowing the lay of the land boosts your confidence and safety. Get a feel for the neighborhoods, and you’ll navigate like a seasoned New Yorker.

2. Subway Savvy 🚇: Don’t fear the subway; embrace it. Master the system with a map and a MetroCard. The subway isn’t just transport; it’s a cultural journey. Plan ahead, ride confidently, and experience the city like a true local.

3. Blend In, Stay Smart 🧠: Dress comfortably, ditch the tourist look, and blend in with the locals. Stay vigilant in crowded areas, secure your belongings, and be aware of your surroundings. Vigilance enhances safety without stifling your enjoyment.

4. Beyond Manhattan Adventures 🔮: Look beyond Manhattan. Brooklyn’s trendy spots, Queens’ diverse culture, the Bronx’s sports scene – each borough offers a unique NYC experience. Go beyond the usual sights for a richer, more authentic adventure.

5. Enjoy the City’s Rhythm 💃🏻: Stay street-smart, embrace the city’s energy, and let its rhythm become yours. The key is to enjoy the adventure, wherever it takes you!

Best Hotels near John F. Kennedy Airport 🛫

1. Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at Resorts World New York:

It is a great choice if you want to have some luxury and amusement. It offers a resort-like experience, with state-of-the-art facilities and a lively atmosphere.

Imagine this: once you’ve finished going round the world, you may take it easy at the in-house casino or have a delicious dinner in one of their restaurants.

2. Fairfield Inn by Marriott JFK Airport:

Seeking a reliable and comfortable stay? This hotel is known for its consistent quality and excellent service.

The rooms are cozy, the staff is friendly, and with a complimentary shuttle to the airport, your travel logistics become a breeze. It’s a straightforward choice for those who value reliability without compromising on comfort.

3. Cozy Studio, Lower Level Unit:

For a more personalized experience, consider the “Cozy Studio, Lower Level Unit”. Perfect for those who prefer a quieter atmosphere or appreciate the flexibility of a studio space.

It’s a great option for a more relaxed and private stay, away from the hustle and bustle of larger hotels.

Best Neighborhoods in NYC on a Map 🗺

FAQs about Staying in New York City ❔

Which area of New York is best to stay?

For an optimal stay in New York, consider Manhattan, particularly areas like Midtown, Times Square, or Chelsea. These locations offer convenient access to major attractions, restaurants, and entertainment options.

How much money do I need for New York for 5 days?

Budgeting for a 5-day stay in New York varies based on personal preferences, but a moderate estimate could range from $1,500 to $2,500. This should cover accommodation, meals, transportation, and attractions. Keep in mind that New York can be expensive, so budget accordingly.

What are the safest parts of New York City to stay?

Opt for neighborhoods like the Upper East Side, Battery Park City, or the West Village for a safer stay. These areas generally have lower crime rates and are popular among tourists for their security and accessibility.

Is Brooklyn good for tourists?

Absolutely! Brooklyn offers a unique and vibrant experience for tourists. Areas like Williamsburg, DUMBO, and Brooklyn Heights boast trendy shops, diverse dining options, and cultural attractions. Don’t miss the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the scenic Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Where to stay in New York for christmas?

Embrace the festive spirit by staying near Rockefeller Center or Times Square. These areas dazzle with holiday decorations, and you’ll be close to the iconic Rockefeller Christmas Tree, holiday markets, and Broadway shows with a magical atmosphere.

Where do students live in New York?

Students often reside in neighborhoods with a youthful energy and affordability. Areas like the East Village, Harlem, and Astoria offer a mix of cultural experiences, budget-friendly living options, and easy access to universities and colleges throughout the city.