So you’re planning your trip and looking for the best places to stay in New York City? We got you. Before we were locals, we traveled to New York City countless times and have stayed all over the city. Not to mention, we still do a staycation from time to time (even though we live here) and know not only all the best places to stay in New York City, but also the safest places to stay in New York City.
It can be really overwhelming to determine the best area to stay in New York City if you’re not familiar (or even if you’re a return visitor just trying to discover another area to stay in). That’s why we are going to help you pick the best places to stay in New York City by neighborhood along with our favorite NYC hotel recommendations.
Are you wondering if you should stay around Central Park? How about staying in Times Square? Maybe you want to stay in Brooklyn? Don’t worry, we got you covered.
For each area we recommend to stay in NYC, we’ll break down an overview of each neighborhood including the nearby attractions and any other important highlights that you may need to know about picking where to stay in New York City.
Oh, and if you need help planning other parts of your New York City trip we can help with that too. Check out our popular New York City guides to help you plan your trip.
- 100+ Best Things to do in NYC
- How to Spend 3 Days in NYC Itinerary
- How to Spend 4 Days in NYC Itinerary
- How to Spend 5 Days in NYC Itinerary
- How to Spend 7 Days in NYC Itinerary
- How to Spend a Weekend in Brooklyn Itinerary
Oh and if you’re worried about spending too much money, we have guides to help you save money! Check out how to travel New York City on a budget and our picks for the best affordable hotels in NYC.
Disclaimer: This post contains commissionable links.
Where to Stay in New York City by Neighborhood
Best Area to Stay in New York City: Midtown
You could say that Midtown, Manhattan is the heart and soul of NYC. It’s home to some of the most iconic landmarks and attractions in New York City, including the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Times Square, and the Theater District to name a few.
The neighborhood starts at Union Square and reaches all the way to the southern edge of Central Park, meaning some of the best areas to stay in New York City are in Midtown near Times Square and Central Park.
Midtown is a fine mix of touristy areas, business areas, and even pockets of residential areas. Midtown is one of the best places to stay in New York City if you want to be in the middle of the action where you can find hundreds of hotel options including options for any budget! We always recommend Midtown for first time visitors since it’s near all the top spots people visit on their first trip to the city.
Other areas on the west side of Midtown include Hell’s Kitchen where you can find trendy restaurants and attractions, this side of Midtown can’t quite let go of its gritty aesthetic, and we love it! On the west side, Gramercy Park and Murray Hill make up a charming residential area with an old-school charm.
And running up the spine of Midtown is where it all happens! There’s bustling Union Square, the Diamond District, Little Korea, the Garment District, the Theater District, and of course Times Square !
It’s the hub of Manhattan’s tourism, where you’ll find Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, and more.
Something that’s great about all the best hotels in Midtown is that they are just a short walk away from many attractions, in fact, most first-timers to the city spend almost the entirety of their trip around Midtown because there are that many things to do and see!
Go shopping at the flagship stores on 5th Avenue, including Gucci, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Tiffany’s, which are especially fun when the holiday window displays are up. Be sure to check out Rockefeller Center, if you’re visiting in the winter it’s home to some of the best ice skating in NYC.
Take advantage of going to see a show on Broadway in the Theater District, or seeing a show at other popular venues like Radio City Music Hall, people watch at Union Square, or explore the halls of Grand Central Station and feel the energy of the buzzing main terminal.
Or you can find many of the best observation decks in NYC in Midtown like Summit One Vanderbilt. There are great museums like the MoMA, all the awesome things to do in Times Square, and some of the best things to do in NYC at night can be found in Midtown.
Pros of Staying in Midtown: central location near many attractions, many options for any budget, great for first time visitors
Cons of Staying in Midtown: congested, noisy
Where to Stay in New York City: Midtown
$ Yotel New York Times Square
You won’t break the bank with this stylish, modern hotel less than a mile from attractions like Macy’s and Grand Central Station. Yotel New York Times Square offer guests free buffet breakfasts, a rooftop lounge, and a full gym. Book here.
$$ The Knickerbocker
The Knickerbocker has been one of the premier Times Square hotels since 1906, continuing their quality service through the fine details. Enjoy amenities like Diptyque toiletries, terrycloth robes, specialized packages, and 24/7 room service. Book here.
$$$ The Langham
Just 2 blocks north of the Empire State Building, you may not want to leave your hotel when you stay at the luxurious Langham on Fifth Avenue. Rooms feature a contemporary style in wood and marble with stunning skyline views, and you’ll enjoy features like a full-service spa and even a Michelin-star restaurant on site. Book here.
Best Area to Stay in New York City: Greenwich Village & West Village
Today, Greenwich Village is known for its artisan shops, off-Broadway venues, and the unique characters of Washington Square Park. Home of NYU, the “Village” is a healthy mix of college neighborhood with great bars, restaurants, cafes, and often live music at each.
The West Village is also a section of Greenwich Village, known as a bougie artsy neighborhood where you can find boutique shopping, and attractive homes, and is steeped in literary, jazz, and home to the infamous Stonewall Inn.
This is also a famous neighborhood for popular tv shows and movies in New York to be set like Friends, Sex and the City, and And Just Like That since Carrie Bradshaw’s infamous brownstone is located here.
The greater area is now popular for its designer shops, hip restaurants, stunning carriage houses, and brownstones. But Greenwich Village has always been the heart of NYC’s LGBTQIA+ community. It was notoriously the neighborhood that housed the countercultures of New York City. In fact, it’s where the Village Voice was founded and continues to be put out.
Because of the Village’s past as the home to outcasts, the historic neighborhood has been shaped by all kinds of personalities and voices. It’s one of the best areas to stay in New York City if you want to immerse yourself in the local cultures with a touch of the best attractions in NYC.
While you can find great nightlife here, you will also find that this is one of the best areas to stay in New York City if you want something more quiet than Midtown.
Attractions in Greenwich Village & West Village
Just walk up and down the streets and avenues and enjoy the atmosphere and blend of historic buildings, beautiful brownstones, trendy boutiques, charming cafes, and some of the best restaurants in New York City.
Along the Hudson River, check out Little Island, one of the newest parks in NYC that floats on an elevated platform above the water.
If you like looking for filming locations in NYC, you can find Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment on Perry Street. There’s also the Friends apartment on the corner of Bedford and Grove!
A little further south is Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park, both now monuments to the gay liberation movement.
We recommend getting ice cream at Morgenstern’s and walking to Washington Square Park, one of the best places for people-watching in the city. You’ll also find some of the best restaurants we mentioned above, bars, and clubs along Christopher Street and Bleeker.
Also, take advantage of seeing a show at the Comedy Cellar if you’re staying in Greenwich Village!
Pros of Staying in Greenwich Village: More quiet, beautiful neighborhood, still a central location near many Midtown attractions
Cons of Staying in Greenwich Village: Not many budget-friendly options
Where to Stay in New York City: Greenwich Village & West Village
$$ The Walker Hotel
The Walker Hotel feels frozen in time, calling back to 1920s Greenwich Village with a stunning art deco design in every detail of this higher-end, mid-range hotel that feels straight out of a Wes Anderson set. Enjoy dinner and a cocktail at the timeless Society Café or venture out to the restaurants along 6th Avenue. Book here.
$$ The Standard High Line
A stay at the Standard High Line means an amazing location actually above The Highline elevated park, one of the coolest spots in the city that borders the happening neighborhood of Chelsea also featured as one of the best areas to stay in New York City!
Every room in this iconic building has unobstructed views of lower Manhattan and the Hudson River, and guests can enjoy tons of great amenities and you’re within walking distance to great shopping, dining, galleries, and nightlife. Book here.
Best Area to Stay in New York City: Flatiron District
The Flatiron District has always been a small commercial neighborhood with a central location, technically within Midtown but worth mentioning on its own, making it one of the best places to stay in New York City. It centers around its namesake, the Flatiron Building, as well as Madison Square Park.
Walk up and down the streets of the Flatiron District and you’ll see businesses, factories, wholesale retailers, and more. But the neighborhood is also home to a largely residential community with many condo buildings. Because of this, the Flatiron District is always full of people and is a great place to shop, eat, and find things to do.
Flatiron District Attractions
A must-see here is the Flatiron Building, the highly photographed triangle-shaped building sitting at Broadway, 5th Avenue, and E 23rd Street. Built-in 1902, it features Renaissance Revival architecture in limestone and a glazed terra cotta base. Enjoy the unique building from the outside because it’s a private office building.
There’s also the beautiful Madison Square Park, known for the fun art installations that regularly rotate through. It’s a nice place to have a picnic or sun on a grassy lawn. Plus, there’s a top-notch dog park along the 5th Avenue side, and it’s been newly renovated. The original Shake Shack is near the Madison Square Fountain, and you’ll find chairs and tables under the trees.
Don’t miss checking out Eataly while you’re here either! This Italian marketplace has shops, bakeries, and one of the best rooftop restaurants in NYC at Serra by Birreria, which always does something beautiful with its decor every season.
All around the park and throughout the Flatiron District are places to eat, from fine dining establishments to fast food stops. Take a stroll down W 25th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues for thrift shops, vintage stores, and The Chelsea Flea. And on 5th Avenue in the lower 20s, you’ll find name brands like Nike and Madewell.
Pros of Staying in the Flatiron District: central location, great dining options
Cons of Staying in the Flatiron District: can be noisy and congested
Where to Stay in New York City: Flatiron District
$ Freehand New York
If you’re looking for a hip, affordable place to stay near some of the best attractions in NYC, look at the Freehand Hotel. Each room is adorned with artwork by local art students, and you can enjoy onsite amenities like a vintage bar and an art gallery. Book here.
$$ Sonder Flatiron
The triangular Sonder Flatiron is the perfect fit for the neighborhood. The rooms are beautiful with classic designs and modern art, with many rooms boasting 180-degree views of Broadway! Book here.
$$$ The New York Edition
Make the most of your New York City visit by booking a room at the luxurious New York EDITION which overlooks Madison Square Park. After a day of sightseeing, you can book a treatment at the full-service spa or have dinner at The Clocktower restaurant. Book here.
Best Area to Stay in New York City: SoHo
SoHo famously reaches 5 blocks south of Houston Street to Canal Street. East to west, its boundaries are roughly the West Side Highway to Lafayette Street. Closer to Lafayette is NYC’s historic Little Italy. And to the west, Hudson Square is a quiet, historic area full of industrial buildings and 19th-century townhouses. At the center of SoHo, Broadway is hopping with shoppers, tourists, and locals out for a night on the town.
SoHo has a long history and has had many identities over the years. A former commercial area, it features the largest number of industrial cast-iron buildings in the world. Come here to see the buildings’ elaborate cast-iron architecture throughout SoHo. Step into a store along Broadway to see the interiors, featuring oversized windows, high ceilings with support columns, and detailed windows in Italian and French styles.
Things to Do in SoHo
This is where you want to come for the best shopping, restaurants, and classic tourist attractions. If you’re looking for things to do in NYC with kids or a kid-at-heart, check out The Color Factory, the Museum of Ice Cream, and the New York City Fire Museum.
For iconic places to eat, stand in line for a slice at Prince Street Pizza, or enjoy the French cuisine at Balthazar. And for drinks, head over to Manhattan’s first distillery since the prohibition at Great Jones Distillery.
And make sure to at least window shop the storefronts in SoHo! Besides places like Zara, Bloomingdale’s, and TJ Maxx, there are also street vendors and markets along Canal Street.
Pros of Staying in SoHo: less crowded, nearby great shopping & dining
Cons of Staying in SoHo: not many budget-friendly options
Where to Stay in New York City: SoHo
$ Arlo Soho
One of the best places to stay in New York City is the Arlo SoHo, nestled in a quiet part of SoHo. You get a huge bang for your buck in this hip, industrial hotel that provides guests with complimentary bikes and modern amenities. Book here.
$$ The Dominick
Stay on Spring Street, just a short walk to some of the biggest attractions in NYC. At The Dominick, guests get royal treatment with perks like Nespresso machines, a rooftop pool, and a spa with Turkish baths. And their rooms have stunning views, upgrade to a suite for one of the best hotels in NYC with views! Book here.
$$$ Crosby Street Hotel
Located in the heart of SoHo, the Crosby Street Hotel offers an elevated, stylish stay that feels like a retreat. Join the masses nearby on Broadway or enjoy a drink by the fireplace in the hotel lounge. Book here.
Best Area to Stay in New York City: Chelsea & Hudson Yards
Historically, Chelsea and Hudson Yards to the north were made of a blend of tenements, apartments, and industrial buildings. Today this historic neighborhood is still largely residential. With around 200 art galleries, Chelsea is home to one of the highest-density art scenes in the city, as well as an impressive food scene and other touristy attractions.
West of 9th Avenue to West Street, things feel industrial with old warehouses and train tracks. Walk away from the water and you’ll see all kinds of residential buildings for all economic levels. There are housing developments and rowhouses to million-dollar condos, brownstones, and old renovated tenements. Some of these homes date back to before the Civil War.
If you walk along 10th Avenue, you’ll catch glimpses of the High Line above you. This elevated park was built on top of an old railway system. Today it’s a treasure of Chelsea and NYC!
Things to Do in Chelsea & Hudson Yards
On the northern side of Chelsea, you can see a game or concert at Madison Square Garden or enjoy the food court in Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station.
Visit the observation deck at The Edge in Hudson Yards or check out the impressive honeycome shaped structure, the Vessel. Along the Hudson is Hudson River Park, or there’s Chelsea Piers, which has a great indoor ice-skating rink.
Walk the High Line, which runs 1.45 miles along 10th Avenue in Chelsea. There are gardens, viewpoints, benches, and vendors selling goods and foods along the length. Come down from the Highline at 16th Street to visit Chelsea Market. It’s fun to explore the gourmet eateries, boutique shops, and the Artist & Flea located here, inside an old industrial building that was where to Oreo cookie was invented.
Chelsea is home to a handful of excellent venues like the Joyce Theater and Gotham Comedy Club. You’ll find several great bars like the speakeasy-style Bathtub Gin on 9th Avenue. And while Oscar Wilde is technically a bistro, they have wonderful cocktails, and the place is a must-see, especially since its decked out for just about every holiday.
Pros of Staying in Chelsea & Hudson Yards: central location, great dining options, shopping, & galleries
Cons of Staying in Chelsea & Hudson Yards: the closer you are to the Hudson River in winter it can feel colder because of the wind
Where to Stay in New York City: Chelsea & Hudson Yards
$ Chelsea Savoy
The no-frills Chelsea Savoy hotel offers a cozy place to rest your head and a great location on 7th Avenue in Chelsea. 24-hour front desk services and a continental breakfast add to a quality stay at the Chelsea Savoy. Book here.
$$ Motto by Hilton
Motto by Hilton Chelsea is the perfect Manhattan hotel with “travel-sized rooms.” Not only do they have top-notch city views, but many also feature wall beds and bunk beds and connecting rooms making it great for families or groups of friends. Book here.
$$$ The Equinox Hotel
You’ll appreciate the beauty of The Equinox Hotel from the moment you walk up to the sleek highrise on 34th Street in Hudson Yards. Enjoy luxury amenities that focus on wellness like barrel saunas next to a rooftop pool and yoga equipment in every room. As a matter of fact, they have one of the best spas in New York City that guests can take advantage of! Book here.
Best Area to Stay in New York City: Financial District & Seaport
Did you know that NYC’s financial center is also one of the best places to stay in New York City for tourist attractions? The southernmost neighborhood in Manhattan, it spans from Chambers Street and City Hall down to Battery Park.
Like many parts of NYC, it’s a scrambled mix of historical landmarks, commercial buildings, tourist attractions, and residences. It can be quiet or bustling, depending on where you are.
On the Hudson River side of the Financial District is residential Battery Park City, with the historic Seaport area on the East River Side. The central part of the neighborhood holds the courts, banks, historic buildings, and the Stock Exchange. The Financial District is also home to the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center. And it’s where you can catch a ferry to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island, and more places.
Financial District Attractions
Starting in Battery Park City, you can enjoy views of the Hudson River inlet from the lawns and gardens of Rockefeller Park, or check out the high-end shops, restaurants, and art installations at Brookfield Place Mall. Nearby is the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, or you can go up and enjoy the views from One World Observatory.
Of all the amazing things to do in Lower Manhattan, the beautiful Trinity Church is a wonderful NYC treasure, and you can continue down Broadway from there to see the Charging Bull of Wall Street.
Walk over to 55 Water Street to enjoy the views from the Elevated Acre, a public rooftop park overlooking Hudson Bay. Or check out the pedestrians-only Stone Street, lined with a dozen different restaurants and bars.
At the Seaport, you’ll find all kinds of cool NYC attractions, including historic portside buildings along cobblestone streets that house retail shops, restaurants, and museums. There’s also the Pier 17 mall and music venue, where you can also enjoy great views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Pros of Staying in the Financial District & Seaport: good location for business travelers, close to Lower Manhattan attractions
Cons of Staying in the Financial District & Seaport: things close earlier in the Financial District and there’s a lack of nightlife options
Where to Stay in New York City: Financial District
$ Hilton Garden Inn
Stay on Water Street, close to Battery Park at the affordable Hilton Garden Inn. Enjoy all the classic amenities you’ve come to expect from Hilton, including daily breakfasts, a 24-hour convenience store, and Keurig coffee makers in every room. Book here.
$$ 33 Seaport
33 Seaport Hotel is nestled away on a quiet residential street of the historic Seaport district right next to amazing views of the Brooklyn Bridge. This hip boutique hotel offers spacious rooms with terraces and lovely rooms, not to mention this is one of the most charming areas to stay in New York City. Book here.
$$$ The Beekman
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to stay at the breathtaking Beekman Hotel near Park Row. This historic Victorian-era building is a work of art with a 9-story atrium, moody lounges, and a stunning bar. Not only is this one of the best places to stay in New York City, but it has one of the most attractive areas to enjoy a cocktail. Book here.
Best Area to Stay in New York City: Upper West Side
Manhattan’s Upper West Side is a beautiful residential area between the west side of Central Park and the Hudson River. It’s also home to important NYC cultural institutions including Lincoln Center and Columbia University and it happens to be one of the best places to stay in New York City if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Midtown.
We suggest winding up and down the streets and avenues, especially from the 80s and up. It feels like a charming urban neighborhood of brownstones and townhouses with grocers, gardens, tree-lined streets, and parks.
The first homes on the Upper West Side or UWS, were built in the late 1800s, but the neighborhood really exploded after the city’s first subway line was created there. It’s a family-friendly neighborhood with lush gardens and parks and quiet streets with local corner stores.
While the neighborhood is unobtainable for many, with condo buildings and high-rise apartments, you might find more affordable digs the higher you go.
Upper West Side Attractions
Beacon Theater calls the UWS home, hosting the biggest names in music, comedy, and entertainment. And then there’s Lincoln Center further south, where both the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera perform. And you’ll find the renowned Columbus Circle at the southeastern corner of the neighborhood.
Along the entire length of Broadway, you’ll find bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and every kind of retail store you can think of. Zabar’s is a fun place to shop for groceries, and there are so many retro diners that are the real deal, like Manhattan Diner and Metro Diner.
Get outdoors and enjoy the scenic views from Riverside Park. There are walking trails, playgrounds, ballparks, and more. Or across the neighborhood, Central Park features more green spaces, as well as iconic spots like the Strawberry Fields memorial and Tavern on the Green.
If you have kids and need things to do in NYC, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is one of the best. And the Museum of Natural History is great for all ages. Or if you love flea markets, Grand Bazaar NYC is a year-round flea that’s held every Sunday at 100 W 77th Street.
Pros of Staying in the Upper West Side: more residential and quiet than Midtown or the Financial District, convenient subway lines connect this neighborhood to Midtown attractions in minutes, proximity to Central Park
Cons of Staying in the Upper West Side: fewer accommodation options, can be further away from some attractions
Where to Stay in New York City: Upper West Side
$ The Lucerne Hotel
Enjoy a luxury stay at an affordable price with an unbeatable location at The Lucerne Hotel on Amsterdam Avenue. Guests can book in-room spa treatments, enjoy spacious rooms and suites, or dine at a highly-rate French-Mediterranean restaurant. Book here.
$$ Arthouse Hotel New York City
Arthouse Hotel compliments its vintage roots with modern touches and refined amenities. Located in the heart of the Upper West Side, you can enjoy great views from private terraces and a sidewalk café. Book here.
$$$ Mandarin Oriental
The dreamy Mandarin Oriental hotel is a luxury stay that will take your NYC trip to the next level. Enjoy floor-to-ceiling views of Central Park and Columbus Circle from your bed, jetted tub, and even the indoor pools! This is one of the best places to stay in New York City if you’re looking for a luxury experience. Book here.
Best Area to Stay in New York City: Upper East Side
Classically NYC’s wealthiest neighborhood, the Upper East Side is the place to find some of the best museums, restaurants and designer brands making it one of the best places to stay in New York City if you want to be close to attractions and feel like you’re living the life of New Yorkers you’ve seen portrayed in movies and tv shows. It’s a gorgeous neighborhood with luxury co-ops, colorful townhomes, and stately brownstones.
The area has drawn the wealthiest of New York City society since the infamous Gilded Age of the late 19th century. Families like the Rockefellers and the Whitneys built stunning mansions west of Park Avenue with poorer tenement buildings lining the Hudson side of the neighborhood. Sadly, by 1915, most of these early structures were torn down for larger upper-class apartment buildings that line the UES today.
The Upper East Side runs from E 59th Street north to either 96th Street or 106th Street, so not as far north as the Upper West Side.
Many of the century-old co-ops facing Central Park along 5th Avenue are protected today as historical landmarks. Both sides of Park Avenue tend to be quiet family neighborhoods, except for along the main thoroughfare of Park Avenue.
Upper East Side Things to Do
The Upper East Side or UES, is the best area to stay in New York City for access to Central Park and Museum Mile. There’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim, the Jewish Museum, and more.
North of 96th Street there are even more quality museums like the Museum of the City of New York and El Museo del Barrio.
Central Park along the Upper East Side offers access to many park attractions. There’s the Central Park Zoo, Pilgrim Hill, The Mall, and Bethesda Terrace. It’s where you can find many of the beautiful bronze statues in the park, as well as the Conservatory Water Pond and Conservatory Garden.
You can find one of the few remaining Gilded Age mansions located directly across from the Met. Built in 1901, the Benjamin N. Duke house is a private residence, so you can’t go inside. But it’s nice to see a stunning example of the era in the elaborate Beaux-Arts-style mansion.
Pros of Staying in the Upper East Side: more residential and quiet than Midtown or the Financial District, proximity to Central Park
Cons of Staying in the Upper East Side: less subway lines run up here, fewer accommodation options, generally dining and shopping are more expensive in this neighborhood
Where to Stay in New York City: Upper East Side
$ The Gardens Sonesta
Perfect for larger groups or extended stays, The Gardens Sonesta is a bright, airy hotel with options like in-room massages and grocery deliveries. The hotel is located on a quiet residential street within walking distance of everything to do on the UES. Book here.
$$$ The Plaza
While technically not on the Upper East Side, if you have a chance to stay at the iconic Plaza Hotel just around the corner, why wouldn’t you? Spend your day exploring the historic UWS nearby and then come back to every decadent perk of this refined stay. Book here.
$$$ The Pierre
Another recognizable landmark hotel, The Pierre boasts stunning Central Park views and a warm atmosphere. Guests will enjoy star treatment with designer bath products, a butler service, deep soaking tubs, and more. Book here.
Best Area to Stay in New York City: Williamsburg
One of the best places to stay in New York City is Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a neighborhood dripping with culture, entertainment, and history. It also offers easy access to Manhattan via the North Williamsburg or South Williamsburg ferry, as well as the L train.
Williamsburg largely centers around the Williamsburg Bridge, which is named after the neighborhood.
The southern boundary of the neighborhood is Flushing Avenue while Nassau Avenue makes up the northern boundary. In the 19th century, Williamsburg was mostly an industrial area, and all the warehouses and factories that remained in the 20th century were gutted for retail and residential purposes.
South Williamsburg had a noticeably large Hasidic Jewish community. Central Williamsburg has a strong Puerto Rican and Dominican community, and to the north and east is where you’ll find the artists and more ‘hipster’ population. This information is important to note because these cultural groups have shaped and defined Williamsburg today.
After a huge shift in the early 2000s that included gentrification of the area, Williamsburg developed a large indie community with a focus on music, art, and entrepreneurship.
While the neighborhood continues to develop and evolve, Williamsburg is a vibrant place with layers and details that make it a fascinating and entertaining place to explore and is one of the most popular places to stay in New York City, especially for return visitors who are looking for somewhere to stay outside of Midtown.
One of our favorite things to do in Williamsburg is checking out all the murals and street art! A large portion of them are along Bedford Avenue, and Broadway as well, but you can find them everywhere. And there’s no end to the vintage shops and thrift stores in Williamsburg, especially North of Metropolitan Avenue.
Broadway is also where you’ll find Peter Luger’s Steakhouse which dates back to 1887 for a taste of old-school Brooklyn, not to mention it’s one of the best steakhouses in NYC.
Or there’s the fun and exciting food scene that’s exploded across Williamsburg! We recommend walking down Bedford Avenue, where you can check out bars and restaurants with fun concepts. And you can check out the original Smorgasburg at Marsha P. Johnson State Park on Saturdays from April through October.
If you want to get outdoors, Domino Park is a must-see. The old sugar production factory-turned-park offers lovely views of Manhattan. Plus, you can enjoy the cool industrial structures in the park made from old factory parts. Or enjoy the sprawling lawns, gardens, and the public pool at McCarren Park.
Pros of Staying in Williamsburg: easy to get in and out of Manhattan using the subway or ferry, great neighborhood for shopping, dining, & nightlife, way less crowded than Midtown, there are several affordable Williamsburg hotels too.
Cons of Staying in Williamsburg: younger, hip scene here so not best for families, can be noisy
Where to Stay in New York City: Williamsburg
$ Hotel Le Jolie
Enjoy the central location of Hotel Le Jolie on Meeker Avenue and is one of the best places to stay in New York City if you’re traveling on a budget. The refreshingly designed boutique hotel offers beautiful rooms and perks for guests like free parking (which parking in NYC is a nightmare and often expensive) and continental breakfasts. Book here.
$$ The Hoxton
Enjoy gorgeous views of Midtown Manhattan across the East River from your room at The Hoxton. Set in an old factory building, every space is designed with a mix of industrial and warm midcentury modern styles for a luxurious and relaxing retreat. Book here.
$$$ William Vale
The William Vale is a groundbreaking high-rise hotel offering luxurious amenities like a rooftop pool and bar. Stay in rooms or suites with furnished balconies, hot tubs, and views of the Manhattan skyline, this is one of the most luxurious places to stay in New York City and you can’t beat the views. Book here.
Best Area to Stay in New York City: DUMBO
DUMBO is one of the best places to stay in New York City if you want to have access to Manhattan and have incredible views. The neighborhood is one of Brooklyn’s oldest and contains both Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.
It’s one easy stop via the A, C, 2, or 3 train to the Financial District. Or you can take a scenic ferry ride from Empire Fulton Ferry to Corlears Hook on the Lower East Side.
The neighborhood has gone by many names and identities since the late 1700s. In the early 2000s, the area was dubbed DUMBO, an acronym for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” It covers the space between the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, as well as a swath of land from the Manhattan Bridge to Bridge Street.
The small area of land was originally an industrial area with large warehouses and cobblestone streets. Eventually, those buildings were repurposed to house trendy restaurants, art galleries, vintage shops, and performance spaces. It’s also a great area to enjoy stunning views of lower Manhattan from waterfront parks or between the beautiful old industrial buildings running under and between both bridges.
One of the best things to do in DUMBO is visiting the northern section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Empire Fulton Ferry. Here, you can ride the vintage Jane’s Carousel, catch the ferry, or just enjoy views of Manhattan from the grass and walkways.
Take a walk along Water Street between the bridges to get a feel for the area and stop at Washington Street for an iconic photo opportunity! Or April through December, you can peruse the vendors at the Brooklyn Flea on Anchorage Place under the Manhattan Bridge.
Lining the park are Empire Stores, an old industrial complex housing clothing stores, bakeries, and Time Out Market NYC. This also has a great viewing area for epic skyline photos!
There’s also St. Anne’s Warehouse, where you can see off-Broadway musicals, concerts, fashion shows, and more. And one of the best art galleries in DUMBO is AIR, which rotates collections by up-and-coming female artists.
And one of the top reasons why this is one of the best places to stay in New York City has to be the accessibility to cool Brooklyn neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, and Fort Greene.
Pros of Staying in DUMBO: easy to get in and out of Manhattan using the subway or ferry, beautiful skyline views
Cons of Staying in DUMBO: things close earlier around here
Where to Stay in New York City: DUMBO
$ The Tillary
Just a short walk to the Brooklyn Bridge Walkway and DUMBO, The Tillary is a chic hotel in a prime location making it one of the best places to stay in New York City. Rooms and suites feel like calm retreats, and you can enjoy the hotel’s beer garden and rooftop lounge. Book here.
$$ New York Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge
Stay in the heart of bustling Downtown Brooklyn near some of the best things to do in Brooklyn, DUMBO, and a short commute to Manhattan. Take advantage of services like a hair salon, spa, and lap pool at the New York Marriot at Brooklyn Bridge. Book here.
$$$ 1 Hotel
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge offers luxurious destinations, and its Brooklyn Bridge location doesn’t disappoint with one of the best rooftop bars in the city. Enjoy incredible views of the NYC skyline outside your window and loaner bikes to explore DUMBO and the area nearby. Book here.
Best Neighborhoods in NYC to Stay Summary
- Greenwich Village
- Flatiron District
- Chelsea & Hudson Yards
- Financial District & Seaport
- Upper West Side
The best area to stay in when visiting New York City depends on what you’re doing on your trip. The most common areas to stay include Midtown near Times Square and Central Park.
Neighborhoods and areas in New York like the Financial District are also popular among visitors as well as the waterfront Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and DUMBO because of their incredible skyline views and short commutes into Manhattan.
First time visitors to New York City should stay in Midtown as you’re close to many of the popular NYC attractions and you’re close to all the main transportation hubs and well connected to just about any part of the city using the subway.
Depending on what you want to do during your trip to NYC, it can be beneficial to stay in Brooklyn or better to stay in Manhattan. If it’s your first time in NYC, it’s best to stay in Midtown Manhattan as you’ll be close to all the top tourist attractions.
But it’s also great to stay in Brooklyn waterfront neighborhoods like DUMBO or Williamsburg as they both have short commutes into Manhattan and you have incredible skyline views and quieter neighborhoods to enjoy.
Enjoyed this guide the best places to stay in New York City by neighborhood or found it helpful? Bookmark for later or share below on Pinterest.