Deciding where to stay in New York City can be overwhelming. There are so many awesome neighborhoods in New York that cater to different travel experiences. From iconic places like Times Square and the Empire State Building to the world-famous landmarks of Central Park and the Statue of Liberty, New York City will always leave wanting more. We’ve enlisted the help of a local travel expert and New York City photographer, James Maher to help you decide where to stay in NYC to make the most of your trip.
Best Places to Stay in New York City
Anyone who visits New York will no doubt have their hands full with a packed itinerary. This is just one of the reasons you will want to choose a place to stay that is the most central to everything you want to do. When choosing the best New York City neighborhoods to suit your needs, you’ll want to decide what your objective is.
If you are a first-time visitor, you’ll want to have a central location and be close to the subway station. Business travelers may want to stay in the Financial District and budget travelers may want to stay a little farther out from the downtown area where hotel prices are lower. Along with the recommendations by James, The Planet D team has also added some of the best neighborhoods to stay in NYC. So let’s get started.
Best New York City Neighborhoods
- East Village – Where to Stay in New York City for Nightlife
- SoHo – Where to Stay in NYC For Shopping
- Midtown Manhattan And Times Square – Where to Stay in New York City for First Timers
- Upper West Side – Where to Stay in New York City For Families
- Upper East Side – Best Area to Stay in New York City for Culture and Luxury
- Lower East Side – Where to Stay in New York City on a Budget
- Queens / Long Island City – Where to Stay in New York City on a Budget
- Financial District / Lower Manhattan – Where to Stay in New York City for Business Travelers
One thing is for certain, New York City’s coolest neighborhoods have something for families, foodies, romantics, and well-seasoned travelers to enjoy. Stay close to all the action in Midtown and Times Square or choose to stay in the Chelsea neighborhood where you can take advantage of the trendy restaurants and nightlife.
Best NYC Hotels
In a hurry, here are some of the best hotels in New York City to get you started.
The Best Neighborhoods To Stay in New York City
New York consists of 5 Burroughs or areas which are Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island. These are further broken down into neighborhoods that have their own unique charm and feel. We are going to share the 12 best neighborhoods with the pros and cons of why you should choose these places to stay in New York.
1. Midtown Manhattan and Times Square
Midtown Manhattan is the best area to stay in New York City for first-time visitors.
We love staying in the heart of Manhattan near Times Square and Central Park. This central location is not only easy to get to other NYC neighborhoods by subway but you are also within walking distance of so many top New York attractions including Central Park and The Empire State Building. Plus, when you are visiting New York for the first time, you never tire of coming back to the hustle and bustle of the neon lights of Times Square. The energy is electric.
The hotel options in Times Square are plentiful with luxury hotels and some mid-range accommodations. Read more: Three Perfect Hotels Near Times Square for All Budgets
Best Hotels in Midtown / Times Square
Things to do in Midtown Manhattan you will find
Midtown Manhattan was the area that we stayed in when we visited New York City for the first time and we still stay there from time to time. It offers some of the best hotels in New York and you have everything at your fingertips.
There are so many things to do here, you won’t need to leave the area if you haven’t been to New York Before. Just a 10-minute walk from Grand Central Station, Time Square is the hub of New York City. You are near Broadway, Bryant Park, The Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, and Radio City Music Hall. We have an entire article dedicated to the Best Things to do in Time Square here.
Central Park is a hop skip and a jump away, and the most popular museums in New York are close by including MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Madame Tussauds.
The main thing we loved about Times Square / Midtown is that you are within walking distance of many of the famous New York attractions including Central Park. It really allows you to explore a lot in a small amount of time. It may not be the cheapest area in New York City but if you want to be close to everything this area is perfect. Check out Things to Do in Times Square – A Walking Tour and Nearby Attractions.
Pros of Staying in Times Square
- Plenty of options for luxury hotels and budget accommodations
- Perfect for first-time visitors and families.
- You are within walking distance of so many attractions:
- including Times Square and Central Park
- Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall
- Bryant Park and the Empire State Building
- Fifth Avenue
Cons of Staying in Time Square
- It is very crowded crowded
- Restaurants are overpriced
- It is loud
- It is very touristy and not a local New York feel
- Hotels can be pricier
2. SoHo and Tribeca
When choosing where to stay in New York, SoHo is an excellent place for a local feel and for shopping. SoHo and Tribeca are becoming hot neighborhoods to visit and live in Manhattan. So much so that they are two of the top five most expensive areas for real estate in New York City. That being said, you should at least visit here while in NYC.
When staying in SoHo (South of Houston Street) you’ll feel like a true New Yorker as it has a residential feel with far fewer crowds than Times Square and Central Park.
SoHo is close to Little Italy, The West Village, and Lower Manhattan with plenty of dining and shopping. This area has upscale galleries and old warehouses transformed into luxury condos and boutique shops. It’s the perfect place to sit back at one of its coffee shops to do some people-watching.
Best Hotels in SOHO / Tribeca
Things to do in SOHO
Historically the factory center of Manhattan the SoHo and Tribeca neighborhoods of New York City are for architecture buffs. You can explore endless streets of the most stunning cast-iron buildings in the world, with gorgeous pillars, fire escapes, water towers, and cobblestone streets.
Located in Lower Manhattan it is close to the Financial District, Brooklyn Bridge and
As the factories left New York in the ’60s and ’70s, artists moved in turning them into lofts. Galleries followed, and then shopping, turning the area into a giant shopping mecca. The Film Forum is also nearby for film buffs to catch a classic movie.
Pros of Staying in Soho Tribeca
- Great Architecture and photography
- Several food options and chic bars and restaurants
- Plenty of Shopping
- Convenient to downtown areas
Cons of Staying in SoHo / Tribeca
- It is expensive
- Certain areas are crowded
- A little farther away from famous New York City attractions
3. Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village is one of the best places to stay in New York City for nightlife, LGBTQ2+, and a neighborhood feel. Also known as the Village and West Village, Greenwich Village was the first place we stayed in New York City and we loved it.
For history buffs, there are few neighborhoods as evocative as The Village. If you want to stay in an area that has an authentic feel of New York, this is one of the best neighborhoods. The Village was once the Bohemian capital of New York and the center for the LGBTQ+, ’60s Counterculture, and Beat movements. While that era is long gone, the feel of the neighborhood is not.
Best Hotels in Greenwich Village
Things to do in Greenwich Village
There are plenty of attractions in Greenwich Village that are worth visiting in their own right. Get lost on a side street after side street marveling at gorgeous townhouses and tree-lined blocks. The neighborhood is simultaneously quiet and happening at the same time with a great music scene. If you are looking for where to stay in New York City which has a great history this is it!
Visit Washington Square Park, the Cherry Lane Theater (New York’s longest continuously running Off-Broadway theatre), see a jazz performance at Blue Note or Village Vanguard in the West Village or have a drink at the White Horse Tavern, Chumley’s, or the Stonewall Inn.
Pros of Staying in Greenwich Village:
- walking distance to many downtown neighborhoods
- Washington Square Park
- Cinema Village
- Angelika Film Center
- Shopping, music and close to NYU
Cons of Staying in Greenwich Village:
- Close to NYU so a lot of students
- Can be very loud at night
4. Lower East Side / East Village / Nolita
When looking for where to stay in New York City on a Budget, the Lower East Side has a lot of options.
These three neighboring neighborhoods cover a vast amount of the most vibrant real estate in Manhattan and are situated on the East River side of the island. The Lower East Side, East Village, and Nolita are filled with incredible and varied restaurants and gorgeous old tenement buildings with beautiful fire escapes. You feel what it is like to “live” like New Yorkers do if you stay in these areas of Manhattan.
Best Hotels on the Lower East Side
Things to do in the Lower East Side
The best thing I love about these neighborhoods is that many parts of the city are easy to get to on foot from here. Most importantly for some, the people-watching can be the best in the city! There is a range of bars and nightlife for every type, from younger clubs to old, grizzled dive bars.
It is located roughly between the Bowery and the East River from Canal to Houston Street you can see a lot of New York neighborhoods easily from here. You can walk along the Brooklyn Bridge to explore Brooklyn, hit the Financial District, or even pop into Chinatown, or LIttle Italy.
The restaurant/food scene is one of the best in the city and includes numerous old mainstays such as these New York Foodie Mainstays; Katz’ Delicatessen, Russ & Daughters, John’s of 12th, Emilio’s Ballato, Economy Candy, Veselka, as well as newer trendy restaurants that are too numerous to name.
Pros of Staying in Lower East Side:
- Proximity to Chinatown
- Walking distance to some of the best downtown areas in Manhattan
- Incredible food, cultural institutions, and theaters (including the Tenement Museum)
- Shopping, bars and clubs, many new hotels.
- Close to the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Staten Island Ferry and the Financial District.
Cons of Staying in the Lower East Side
- Nightlife in certain areas can get very loud and crazy (particularly on Avenue A and in Hell Squarez)
- Some places may not be as safe at night.
5. Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is a wonderful Manhattan neighborhood near Central Park. Families particularly like staying in the Upper West Side, but we enjoyed it as a couple as well. We recently returned from New York and stayed at the historic Hotel The Beacon in this area and loved it. It is not as hectic as some of the other areas but still close to cool things like Central Park, Lincoln Center, American Museum of Natural History, and Riverside Park (along the Hudson River).
Bordered by the Hudson River on one side and Central Park on the other this New York City neighborhood is an excellent place to make a base.
The hotels are more affordable, the trains are good and reliable, and the area – while still vibrant – is not packed with people. If you are looking for where to stay in New York City that is family-friendly this is where you will want to stay. It gives you easy access to the subway lines and some great eats as well.
Best Hotels on the Upper West Side
Things to do in the Upper West Side
There are so many things to do on the Upper West Side, especially for families. There is the Museum of Natural History, Central Park and the Lincoln Center. The Beacon Theatre attracts A-list musicians and comedians.
It is on the Upper West Side that you’ll also find The Dakota, the famous apartment building where John Lennon was shot just across from Central Park. You can then go into Central Park to see the Imagine Memorial, Central Park Zoo, and other nearby attractions. .
It’s easy to get around this neighborhood with subway access whisking you away to anywhere in the city. We enjoyed staying in the Upper West Side because we spent the day in the hustle and bustle of New York City, but felt more calm and quiet here.
Pros of Staying in Upper West Side:
- Close to Central Park and Riverside Park
- Easy Access to the Museum Mile, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and all the other cool museums in New York
- It is quieter than other New York neighborhoods.
Cons of Staying in Upper West Side:
- Far from The Lower East Side, the Financial District, and Brooklyn.
- Not the most interesting people watching
- Hotels are quite expensive.
6. Upper East Side (Manhattan)
If you are looking to have a bit of culture in New York City, the Upper East Side is the Best Neighborhood To Stay in NYC for Museum Lovers. Read more: 26 Best Things to do in Manhattan
The Upper East Side is definitely one of Manhattan’s wealthiest areas so the Upper East Side is also a good place to stay if you are looking for a luxury stay in New York City. Located between 59th and 96th streets to the north and south and the East River and Central Park to the east and west, it is a quieter area to stay in comparison to Chelsea or Midtown.
Best Hotels on the Upper East Side
Things to do on the Upper East Side
The Upper East Side has many of New York’s best attractions. It is here where you will find the Museum Mile which runs along Central Park. The Museum Mile houses a lot of New York’s best museums including, the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, and the Goethe Institute just to name a few.
Hotels here are on the expensive side, but if you are into shopping you are close to Bloomingdales, Fifth Avenue, and one of the best shopping streets, Madison Avenue.
Pros of Staying in Upper East Side:
- Close to all the Museums
- Access to Central Park
- Some of the most upscale dining in NYC
- A quiet residential neighborhood
Cons of Staying in the Upper East Side:
- Hotels are expensive
- You are further away from NYC’s main attractions like the Empire State Building and Financial District.
- Not much in the way of Nightlife
7. Financial District
The Financial District of New York City is the best place to stay in New York City for business travelers. But there are plenty of attractions in the Financial District so it works for tourists visiting NYC as well.
Located in Lower Manhattan at the Hudson River, you are close to attractions in New York Harbor like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Staten Island on One Side with the Brooklyn Bridge and East River on the other. We have stayed in this neighborhood and found it to be a great base. You’ll find accommodations to fit every budget and style, ranging from the luxurious to the modest.
Best Hotels in the Financial District
- Luxury: The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel – Nestled in the heart of Lower Manhattan, this landmark 19th-century building radiates historical charm with its decadent design and artful decor.
- Mid-range: Courtyard by Marriott New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area – This Lower Manhattan hotel offers comfortable rooms with fantastic city views and modern amenities. I
- Budget: The Artezen Hotel – A great option for the budget-conscious traveler, the Artezen offers comfortable, clean rooms with modern amenities.
Things to See and Do in the Financial District
There are plenty of things to do in the Financial District. This neighborhood is the jumping-off point for the Statue of LIbery and Ellis Island from Battery Park. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is located in the Financial District and it is here you’ll see the Wall Street Bull and the New York Stock Exchange.
The South Street Seaport is a historic area features some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, along with a plethora of shops, restaurants, and often live music.
Pros of Staying in the Financial District
- Proximity to Landmarks: Many of the city’s iconic landmarks are within walking distance.
- Excellent Transportation: The area is well-served by the subway, making it easy to explore other parts of the city.
- Less Touristy: Unlike Times Square or Midtown, the Financial District is less crowded, offering a more relaxed New York experience.
Cons of Staying in the Financial District
- Less Nightlife: The Financial District quiets down significantly after business hours and on weekends, so if you’re looking for bustling nightlife, this might not be the best location.
- Limited Dining Options: While there are some great restaurants, there are fewer dining options compared to neighborhoods like SoHo.
- Expensive: As this is a prime business location, some amenities and services can be pricey.
8. Chelsea (Manhattan)
This is my, James’ favorite Neighborhood In New York City. Chelsea is a great area to stay in as it is so central to everything. It is near the meatpacking district with fantastic dining options and is close to Greenwich Village. This is a really cool place to stay if you have been to New York before. If you want to be in the heart of it all without all the craziness then this is the place to stay.
It is near the Flatiron District, Madison Square Park, Union Square, The Highline and Chelsea Market.
Best Hotels in Chelsea
Things to do in Chelsea
Located on the west side of Manhattan between Midtown and Greenwich Village and close to the Hudson River. We loved walking around cobblestone streets, sitting in one of the trendy cafes sipping a latte, and just getting lost in the vibe that comes with being in this part of the Big Apple. People love it.
You must make sure to visit Chelsea Market and take a stroll over to Union Square where they have a great Greenmarket every Monday and a cool Christmas Market during the winter. Madison Square Garden is near this area of New York as well.
The High Line is still very fun with the incredible Hudson Yards development to the north and the vibrant and crazy nightlife of the Meatpacking District to the south. The Whitney has some great works of art and wonderful views. And there is some serious shopping around as well. There is a lot to do here without ever leaving the neighborhood.
Pros of Staying in Chelsea:
- Close to almost everything including public transportation.
- Packed with tourist-friendly locations
- Great nightlife
- Trendy restaurants and bars
Cons of Staying in Chelsea:
- Not evocative of the real old New York
9. Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Located across the East River from the East Village in Manhattan, and connected by Williamsburg Bridge, Williamsburg, Brooklyn is where you want to stay if you want to get away from the craziness of Manhattan.
Williamsburg is also one of the best places for views and rooftop bars with views of the Manhattan Skyline. Read: 30 Best New York Views – Where to See the Manhattan Skyline
This trendy neighborhood of New York City has plenty of nightlife, boutique galleries, coffee shops, and restaurants. Williamsburg is easily accessible to Manhattan via subway and it’s a great place to escape the hectic life of downtown Manhattan once you are finished your New York City sightseeing for the day.
Best Hotels in Williamsburg
Things to do in Williamsburg
We recommend staying in the Williamsburg neighborhood if you are looking for a hipster vibe with plenty of dining. You are still close enough to the main sights (only a 20-minute subway ride away from Times Square) but it is a more residential neighborhood feel. There are great places to eat, cafes and pubs as well as great accommodations. This can be a nice reprieve, especially if you are not a first-time visitor to NYC.
Pros of Staying in Williamsburg
- Close to public transportation to reach Manhattan tourist attractions.
- Great nightlife
- Best views of New York City Skyline
- Trendy restaurants and bars
Cons of Staying in Williamsburg:
- Further away from main tourist attractions
- Can be expensive
- Busy at night
10. Downtown Brooklyn
Downtown Brooklyn offers an alternative to Manhattan’s hustle and bustle, providing a more neighborhood-oriented experience. From luxury to budget, it has accommodations for every traveler. The area’s offerings in terms of attractions, accessibility, and ambiance make it a unique choice for your stay in New York. Whether its pros outweigh its cons will largely depend on the type of NYC experience you’re seeking. Read more: 25 Best Things to do in Brooklyn, New York
Best Hotels in Downtown Brooklyn
- Luxury: The William Vale – While technically in Williamsburg, this hotel is a short subway ride or walk away from Downtown Brooklyn and offers a unique luxury experience. With its modern, artistic design, each room offers floor-to-ceiling windows with a panoramic view of the city skyline. Enjoy the 60-foot pool, diverse dining options, and the stunning rooftop bar, Westlight.
- Mid-range: NU Hotel – This boutique hotel located in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn provides spacious, clean rooms with a minimalist aesthetic. The hotel offers complimentary bike rentals, which is a great way to explore the nearby neighborhoods.
- Budget: Brooklyn Way Hotel, BW Signature Collection – For those on a budget, this hotel offers value-for-money accommodations. The rooms are comfortable and equipped with all the necessary amenities, and the hotel provides a complimentary breakfast.
Things to See and Do in Downtown Brooklyn
Downtown Brooklyn has a multitude of exciting attractions. With the Brooklyn Bridge in its sights, you can walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge right into Manhattan. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a waterfront park that offers some of the best views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. You can walk along the waterfront or take a ride on the historic Jane’s Carousel.
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is a great walk along the river with views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty, this pedestrian walkway is perfect for an evening stroll. And if you want to do some shopping, the Fulton Street mall is an excellent shopping destination with a mix of popular clothing brands and unique local boutiques.
Pros of Staying in Downtown Brooklyn
- Less Crowded: Downtown Brooklyn is often less crowded than Manhattan, offering a more relaxed, neighborhood feel.
- Proximity to Parks and Recreation: With access to waterfront parks and the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park, there’s a wealth of outdoor activities available.
- Easy Access to Manhattan: The area is well-served by several subway lines, making it a quick and easy ride into Manhattan.
Cons of Stayin Downtown Brooklyn
- Nightlife: While there are bars and restaurants, Downtown Brooklyn may not provide the bustling nightlife seen in areas like Williamsburg or Manhattan.
- Less Touristy: While this can be a pro for some, others might miss the iconic New York landmarks and the vibrancy that areas in Manhattan offer.
- Construction: Downtown Brooklyn is undergoing rapid development, which can mean construction noise in certain areas.
11. Queens / Long Island City
If you are looking a place to stay on a budget, Queens is a great place to stay. Queens, the largest borough in New York City, offers a variety of accommodations for every type of traveler. You can get into Manhattan via train quite easily, however, it does take some time. We loved staying out in Queens at an apartment rental after spending a week in New York.
Queens offers an experience of New York that’s distinct from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Its multicultural environment, affordability, and easy airport access make it an attractive option for many travelers. However, whether it’s the right choice for you will depend on what you’re seeking from your NYC experience.
Best Hotels in Queens
- Luxury: The Boro Hotel – Located in Long Island City, the Boro Hotel offers minimalist, industrial-chic rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. The hotel also features a rooftop bar, modern restaurant, and an outdoor terrace.
- Mid-range: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York Queens/Queensboro Bridge – This hotel offers comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi, desks, and flat-screen TVs. There is also a fitness center, a bar, and complimentary breakfast.
- Budget: The Queens Hotel – This budget-friendly option in Woodside offers clean and comfortable rooms. It’s close to the subway, making it easy to explore the rest of the city.
Things to See and Do in Queens
Queens is a diverse borough with a lot to offer in terms of attractions. So, even if you go into New York City for a few days, you can spend some time sightseeing in Queens as well. Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the largest park in Queens and has been the site of two twentieth-century World’s Fairs, it features the Unisphere, Queens Museum, New York Hall of Science, and the Queens Zoo.
Located in Long Island City MoMA PS1 this art institution is a branch of the Museum of Modern Art and is dedicated to showcasing the most experimental art in the world.
Foodies will enjoy Astoria which is known for its diverse food scene, you can find everything from Greek and Italian to Middle Eastern cuisine here. Don’t miss the Museum of the Moving Image and the Socrates Sculpture Park.
Pros of Staying in Queens
- Cultural Diversity: Queens is considered one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas in the world. This translates to a vibrant culinary scene and numerous cultural festivals.
- Value for Money: Generally, accommodations and dining in Queens can be less expensive compared to Manhattan.
- Access to Airports: Queens is home to both JFK and LaGuardia airports, making it convenient for travel.
Cons of Staying in Queens
- Distance from Manhattan: While Queens has excellent subway connections, it can still take a bit of time to reach Manhattan, where many of the city’s major attractions are located.
- Nightlife: While there are local bars and restaurants, Queens does not have the same level of nightlife as Manhattan or Brooklyn.
- Tourist Attractions: While there are interesting things to see and do, Queens doesn’t have as many iconic tourist attractions as Manhattan.
12. The Bronx
If you are heading to New York City for a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, want to visit the Bronx Zoo, or are interested in seeing the Bronx Botanical Gardens you are going to want to make a base here. The Bronx has seen its share of crime over the years, but this area of New York has made a significant shift transforming it into one of the most culturally interesting places in New York. Hip-hop was born in the Bronx and that history can be seen in the street art of Whitlock Avenue.
If your main goal is to see a baseball game at Yankee Stadium this is a good place to stay. Accommodation options in the Bronx are more budget-friendly.
Best Hotels in the Bronx
- Luxury: Residence Inn by Marriott The Bronx at Metro Center Atrium – This mid-range hotel offers spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens, a fitness center, and a complimentary breakfast. The hotel’s comfortable amenities make it an excellent choice for extended stays.
- Mid Range: Opera House Hotel – This boutique hotel, formerly an Opera House, is now an elegantly designed luxury destination with chic rooms. They offer quality service and amenities, including a fitness center and a business center.
- Budget: Days Inn by Wyndham Bronx Near Stadium – Located near Yankee Stadium, this budget-friendly hotel offers basic amenities, including free Wi-Fi and breakfast. The rooms are clean and comfortable.
Things to See and Do in The Bronx
The Bronx is often overlooked compared to other boroughs of New York City, but it has some very unique attractions that are worth visiting. The Bronx Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the United States housing more than 4,000 animals making it an ideal destination for families.
If you’re a baseball fan, don’t miss catching a Yankees game. Even if you are not a baseball lover, the stadium offers tours to see where Babe Ruth made his mark and get a peek into the history of this legendary baseball team.The New York Botanical Garden is a 250-acre site that is home to a wide range of plant collections and gardens. Don’t miss the beautiful Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
If you want some Italian Food, visit Arthur Avenue. Known as the “Real Little Italy of New York,” this area offers some of the best Italian food in the city.
Pros and Cons of Staying in The Bronx
- Cultural Experience: The Bronx is rich in culture and is the birthplace of hip hop.
- Access to Parks: The Bronx is home to numerous parks and the city’s largest botanical garden.
- Affordability: Generally, accommodations in The Bronx can be less expensive than those in Manhattan.
Cons of Staying in the Bronx
- Distance from Major Attractions: Many of NYC’s most famous attractions are in Manhattan, so expect longer transit times.
- Nightlife: If you’re seeking bustling nightlife, The Bronx might not meet your expectations.
- Safety: Although The Bronx has seen major improvements in safety over the years, perceptions can still affect a visitor’s experience.
What You Need to Know Before Booking New York City Hotels
Additional Fees: Most people are unaware that in addition to the cost of your hotel the city also implements a 14.75% hotel tax on the total cost of the room and an occupancy tax of $3.50 USD per day. When looking at New York City hotels make sure to see if these are included or not.
New York City hotel rooms are small. I mean really small. It is not uncommon to pay $200-300USD for 160-170 square feet. This usually comes as a shock to most first-time visitors so pack accordingly. Even some of the best hotels have smaller-than-expected rooms.
Room Rates are expensive. In fact, budget hotels are almost non-existent. You can expect to pay around $200 USD/night for mid-range hotels in a good location.
Book Early. NYC is an incredibly popular destination and good hotels fill up fast. Our suggestion is to book at least 3 months out if you can. More if you are traveling during peak season.
Try to stay close to a subway station with access to multiple subway lines. This will make getting around the city easier and faster.
Best Hotels in New York City FAQS
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What is the most iconic NYC Hotel?
The most famous hotel in New York City is The Plaza Hotel. Located on Fifth Avenue on the corner of Central Park, this is the epitome of luxury hotels with the history to back it up.
Should I Stay in Manhattan or Brooklyn?
This is really a personal choice but most people stay in Manhattan as it is centrally located and close to all the major sights. If you are looking for some more affordable hotel options, that are a little further away, then the best area would be Brooklyn. Regardless of whether you decide to stay in Manhattan or Brooklyn both offer great hotel choices and you are almost always near a subway so getting around NYC won’t be a problem.
Getting Around New York
Take the subway. It’s faster! You can purchase a MetroCard at any station as an individual ride card or a 7-day or 30-day unlimited card.
Download the Citimapper app to tell you the fastest ways to travel throughout the city.
Avoid empty subway cars! It’s too good to be true. Usually, the AC is broken or there is a terrible smell.
New York is a walking city but pace yourself, make sure to stay hydrated and give yourself enough time to rest.
Don’t stop suddenly in the middle of a busy sidewalk. Walk to the sides before stopping, and make sure to look behind you before you stop short.
Get the Curb Taxi App or use Uber or Lyft: Note from Deb and Dave: Taxis and Ubers in NYC are very reasonable and make it easy to get around.
How to Get to New York City
New York City is a significant transportation hub, with multiple ways to reach it, including by air, train, and road.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK): JFK is the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America and the largest airport in New York City. It is located in Queens, and from there you can get to Manhattan by taxi, rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft, airport shuttle, the AirTrain JFK (which provides a connection to the subway system), or bus.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA): Also located in Queens, LGA is the closest airport to Manhattan. Similar to JFK, you can reach Manhattan from LaGuardia via taxi, rideshare apps, airport shuttle, or public bus service (MTA).
By Train: If you’re coming from the North or East, you might arrive in New York City via Grand Central Terminal. It is the terminal station for Metro-North Railroad lines, which serve the northern parts of the New York metropolitan area. The terminal is located in Midtown Manhattan at 42nd Street and Park Avenue.
Amtrak: If you’re coming from other parts of the United States, you might arrive in New York City via Amtrak. The primary New York City station for Amtrak is Penn Station, which is located in Midtown Manhattan at 34th Street and 8th Avenue.
Many bus companies operate services to New York City from cities all over the Northeast and beyond. These companies typically drop passengers off in or near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, which is located in Midtown Manhattan at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue.
Remember, once you’re in the city, New York’s public transportation system is extensive and can get you just about anywhere you need to go. You can use the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s subways and buses to navigate the city. Additionally, taxis and rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are widely available.
Final Thoughts on the Best Neighborhoods in New York City
Regardless of whether you are planning a trip to see the many art galleries and museums or take in the popular attractions like the Rockefeller Center and the Statue of Liberty, New York has a great mix of different neighborhoods that appeal to every type of traveler.
I hope this guide to New York accommodation helps make your next vacation planning a little easier. We have covered everything we feel you need to know. From the layout of the city to our hand-picked personal recommendations for hotels in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. We have not included the Financial District, which is the area near Battery Park, Wall Street, and the World Trade Center because we have not stayed there personally. If you do know of any great hotels near the Wall Street / World Trade Center Area please let us know in the comments.
As an added resource we also consulted New York City local James Mahar and got his recommendations and inside tips as well.
If you have any more suggestions be sure to leave them in the comments below.