Our Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in New York City
If you’re thinking about moving to New York City, Landing can help you find your footing across the area—starting with finding the right neighborhood in NYC for you. Below are our guides to the best neighborhoods in New York City, including the best places to eat and drink, how to navigate public transportation, where to get groceries, and more.
Astoria is just one neighborhood in Queens, particularly popular not only because of its young and artsy vibe, but also because of its proximity to Midtown Manhattan by subway. The area is budget-friendly, active, close-knit, and alive with the spark of its many cultures, including a longstanding Greek community and Little Egypt. There’s a cool, thrifty, lo-fi feel to it. If Manhattan is Rodeo Drive, then this part of Queens is Melrose Street.
The Brooklyn Heights neighborhood sits just across the Brooklyn Bridge from downtown Manhattan. It is peaceful, with tree-lined streets, cobblestone sidewalks, and a variety of idyllic architecture such as brick Federal houses, brownstones, and charming carriage homes. Its location also means there are plenty of places to relax by the waterfront and take in the picture-perfect view of downtown Manhattan. While living in Brooklyn Heights comes with a higher price tag, the perks are certainly worth it.
Midtown West and Chelsea
Midtown West/Chelsea is probably what comes to mind when you think of Manhattan: Times Square, bright lights, flashing billboards, and taxis and crowds everywhere (along with a life-size Elmo!). This area has tons of restaurants and is home to the Highline, Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, and a strong gay nightlife scene.
Financial District (FiDi)
Better known as FiDi, the Financial District bustles with business folk during the day and then severely quiets down at night. Home to Wall Street as well as the offices at One World Trade, the Financial District feels buttoned up. It’s one of the cleanest neighborhoods in the borough and is riddled with history.
Boasting a square mileage that rivals Manhattan’s, Jersey City spans from the Hudson River to the east and the Hackensack River to the west. A foodie paradise, this city’s downtown continues to grow and attract more music and culture. You’ll also find stunning views of Manhattan from Liberty State Park.
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side is perhaps the trendiest part of the city and a major hub for nightlife, music, and young artists (at least those who can afford to live in this part of Manhattan!). The boutiques, high-end restaurants, underground music venues, and velvet-roped nightclubs make it one of the most desirable neighborhoods for young people in Manhattan.
Murray Hill encompasses a tidy square on the east side of the city. Because of its proximity to Midtown and the banking district, it’s home to a lot of young professionals and is a popular neighborhood for recent college graduates. The area is a bit more tranquil and out of the chaos of the heart of Midtown, and buildings are a bit lower than nearby skyscrapers. Murray Hill is a popular happy hour destination, and there is a lot of fantastic food in the area bordering Kips Bay and Koreatown.
North Union City
Also known as “Havana on the Hudson,” Union City is considered a suburb of NYC and is located across the Hudson River from Manhattan. It sits squarely above popular Hoboken and west of Weekhawken (which borders the Hudson River). This New Jersey city is far more affordable than Manhattan, but also proves to be more price-friendly than Hoboken and Jersey City. Made up of apartment buildings, condos, and many multi-family houses, Union City still has that density, aliveness, and, at times, the anonymity of the big city.
Upper East Side
The Upper East Side has the historic reputation of wealth and poshness, filled with a high-class, affluent feel and high-end boutiques. The architecture and feel of the neighborhood is similar to the Upper West Side, with doorman buildings and brownstones common. There’s an air of classical culture (the path known as Museum Mile is a hallmark of the area), and the streets are some of the cleanest in Manhattan. If you’re looking for a place outside the hustle and bustle with a touch of austerity, the East Side is for you.
Upper West Side
With close proximity to the Theatre District and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Upper West Side is made for the cultured, filled with young couples, families, and of course, the older Manhattan elite. The West Side is home to multiple subway lines, making it the busier side of Manhattan, but that also means it’s well-connected to the rest of the city. This neighborhood also borders Central Park, giving you plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. You can live here for years and still find more nooks and crannies to explore amid the park’s green space.
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