5 Best Areas to Stay in New York
Off to discover the Big Apple for the very first time? Surely, you have a lot of questions in advance. And a major one might be:
“What’s the best area to stay in New York?”
You don’t just want to stay somewhere, right? Your preferred hotel or apartment should be in a safe area that is close to the most famous attractions. No problem – Let us help you making the right decision!
At VOLATOUR we have compiled a top 5 list of the best areas to stay in New York as a tourist and rated each neighborhood’s safety level, vicinity to attractions, quality of restaurants and hotel prices for you.
Times Square, Midtown Manhattan
#1 Midtown Manhattan
Great for Sightseeing!
Midtown Manhattan is definitely the best area to stay in New York for tourists who want to be close to a ton of attractions. This neighborhood is stuffed with many famous landmarks that are only minutes apart from each other. To name a ‘few’: Times Square, the Theater District/Broadway, Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue, Bryant Park, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Central Park, Columbus Circle, Macy’s and of course, the Empire State Building. On top of that, there are dozens of affordable restaurants and rooftops with stunning views.
Staying right in the heart of Manhattan comes with a price tag though. On average, you can expect $150/night for a double room. However, if you use your research skills, you can also get away with rooms below $100/night. Our safety rating is just a little bit lower than five stars. Due to the nature that you are right in the middle of the tourist crowds, it might happen, that some pickpockets are after your backpack – and we all know they like tourist crowds (and we also know, that this can happen anywhere else in the world, not just New York City).
Lower East Side, Manhattan
#2 Lower East Side and East Village
Great for Foodies!
Manhattan is well known for its great dining culture – and the Lower East Side and East Village are the best areas to stay in New York to experience all the popular and hidden restaurants the city has to offer. Obviously, you can also find a variety of cozy little bars and a vibrant nightlife in this neighborhood.
Its vicinity to other interesting neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Little Italy or Brooklyn guarantees a cultural variety only minutes away from your hotel or apartment. Being so close to historic landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Square Park or the One World Trade Center also minimizes the walking distances and lets you save on transportation costs.
#3 Lower Manhattan/Financial District
Great for experienced travelers!
Experience the hustle and bustle of the busy banking world like a real New Yorker. Staying in Lower Manhattan definitely has its perks. Not only will you be close to famous attractions such as the Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge or the One World Trade Center. You also don’t have to travel too far to see the Statue of Liberty, as all the popular cruises to Lady Liberty are starting from the southern tip of Manhattan: Battery Park.
However, Lower Manhattan isn’t the best area to stay in New York if you are a tourist on a budget. Standard double rooms start on average at $170/night. You should also know that the street arrangement is not a simple grid anymore once you are below West 14th Street and East Houston Street. So, in case you are from outside the US, make sure you have at least internet coverage to navigate through Lower Manhattan easily. Rest assured, even if you might end up in a different street than you wanted to, it’s still a very safe area! And who knows, you might even discover one of those hidden bars or restaurants.
Upper West Side, Manhattan via blog.hellomoved.com
#4 Upper West Side
Great for families!
Many famous artists like Madonna, Bruce Willis, and Bono have a home on the Upper West Side. This neighborhood benefits from being a little bit off the ever crowded city center. It is more residential and therefore not so fast paced – ideal for families. The Upper West Side is the best area to stay in New York with a family not only because it’s affordable, very safe and quiet, but also because it offers a great deal of attractions to discover. From the American Museum of Natural History, the Dakota Building (where John Lennon used to live) and of course, Central Park.
And if you feel like exploring Midtown or Downtown Manhattan, you can just take the subway which gets you to your desired area in approximately 20 – 40 minutes. Special family tip: Affordable supermarkets are all over the place in case you prefer to make your own sandwiches for a family day trip!
Upper East Side, Manhattan via ubiqny.com
#5 Upper East Side
Great for museum lovers!
The Upper East Side has always been a more residential neighborhood of New York City and is famous for its high density of museums along 5th Avenue – also called the Museum Mile. By staying in this area, you will not only have short walks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Frick Collection. You are also close to Central Park’s top attractions such as the Central Park Zoo and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. The Upper East Side is just about the best area to stay in New York, if you want to enjoy nature while also being close to the most famous museums in the world.
A trip to Midtown or Lower Manhattan by subway takes approximately 15 – 30 minutes. The different subway lines will drop you off at popular stations/places like Grand Central Terminal, Times Square or Battery Park. Hotels are rare and expensive on the Upper East Side so you might want to consider renting an apartment.
We hope that our list helped you finding the best area to stay in New York for your purposes. If you follow our recommendations, nothing can go wrong and you’ll have an absolutely great time. Promised!
See you in New York!
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Hi! We are team VOLATOUR. Our commitment is to provide the best guided sightseeing experience in and around New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami in order to ensure an unforgettable vacation from start to finish for you and your loved ones.