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Where To Stay In NYC: The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide

20 November, 2021by Bounce

So you've come to New York in hopes of exploring Central Park, venturing inside the Empire State Building and exploring neighborhoods like Midtown Manhattan. Is Times Square on your itinerary? Brooklyn Bridge Park? How about Madison Square Garden?

With a busy holiday lined up with plans to view art galleries, try amazing restaurants within walking distance of your hotel and visit must-see places like Battery Park and Grand Central Terminal, you must be wondering which New York City hotels should be on your list of places to stay.

To make it simple, New York City is divided into five boroughs: Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, and Manhattan. Each borough is separated into neighborhoods. If you ask the locals in each of these five boroughs, they will certainly tell you that their borough is the best in NYC!

From a historic hotel on the East River to a boutique hotel on the Upper West Side, a stay in New York is always a terrific one.  Store your bags with one of our luggage storage lockers in New York City and hit the streets to scope out the places to stay in NYC. There are so many fabulous hotels to check out such as the Hotel Indigo, Plaza Hotel, and Empire Hotel.

Where to Stay in Lower East Side/East Village of New York City

Located south of 14th Street, east of 3rd Avenue, and north of Houston, the East Village is an upscale and trendy neighborhood that was once the epicenter for edgy punk rock in NYC. East Village is brimming with shops, eateries, bars, and concert or conference venues. It is now mostly filled with welcoming hipsters and several friendly ethnic groups. 

When here, head to St. Mark’s Place where you will find great vendors and kitschy shops. But the best place to hang out is Tompkins Square Park, just east of St. Mark’s Place. If you head down near Chinatown you will hit the Lower East Side. This neighborhood is filled with people new to the city trying to make a new life.

The Tenement Museum is an interesting museum to visit when you are here as are the International Center of Photography and New Museum. Spend some time at Sara Roosevelt Park if you have children; there are so many great things for kids to do. Find a trendy hotel and stay awhile!

Where to Stay in Williamsburg and Bushwick

Williamsburg is another neighborhood that has attracted a lot of hipsters and is one of the best kept secrets. If you are looking for trendy boutiques and fantastic eateries, look no further. And if you happen to be a huge music lover, this is the place for you; it is the best music scene in NYC.

Spend some time at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on North 6th Street. After watching one of your favorite Indie bands perform at the Music Hall, make your way to the National Sawdust where you can enjoy all different forms of live music.

Bushwick, to the east of Williamsburg, has really drawn a lot of young professionals and is home to several stylish shops and restaurants. Most of the shops, clubs and eateries are housed in former warehouses.

When searching for a great dance club, head to Bushwick and check out Mood Ring, Jupiter Disco or Bossa Nova Civic Club. Live music and dancing can be found at Market Hotel, Elsewhere and Alphaville.

Where to Stay in the Upper East Side of New York City

When you are looking to do a little museum-hopping while in New York City, the Upper East Side is where you will want to stay and focus your attention. The Upper East Side is only a few minutes from downtown New York but it is a more peaceful neighborhood than the fast-paced hustle and bustle of many NYC neighborhoods.

While there are plenty of shops and restaurants, the Upper East Side is best known for its cultural influences. This neighborhood is a melting pot of young professionals, old money and blue-collar laborers. Here, small upscale shops compete with big-box chains and Michelin-starred restaurants with street food vendors.

Fifth Avenue, near Central Park, is best known by locals as the Museum Mile which goes from 82nd Street to 104th Street. The Metropolitan Museum of Art shares the same street as the El Museo del Barrio, the Jewish Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum can also be found along this stretch.

There are too many museums to name that are found along the Fifth Avenue Museum Mile, but you can certainly stay in the Upper East Side and spend a weekend checking them out and learning more about the history and culture of New York City.

Several museums that are worth checking out on the East Side but are not part of the Museum Mile include the Asia Society and Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Frick Collection, and the Museum of Arts and Design. Find a nice budget hotel in the neighborhood so you have more to spend on exploring museums.

Where to Stay in Greenwich Village

Not all of New York City is photogenic enough to be used in film and television, but there is definitely one neighborhood that has become very popular in the television industry. Greenwich Village seems to be the epitome of what Hollywood thinks a New York City neighborhood should look like.

With its adorable brownstones, trendy restaurants, adorable shops, and tree-lined streets there have been so many fictional characters who have called this place home. Fans of Sex and the City will flock to 64 Perry Street where Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment was located. Even though it really isn’t Bradshaw’s apartment, many tour buses drive by each day to check it out. 

Then there is 90 Bedford Street, only a few blocks to the south of Perry Street, where you cannot miss the apartment building where Monica and Rachel and Chandler and Joey resided in Friends. And finally, turn east and head to 104 Waverly Place near Washington Square Park for a glimpse of Don Draper’s apartment in Mad Men.

This romanticized NYC neighborhood has a rich bohemian history and a charming small-town feel that draws tourists in and makes them not want to leave. Locals feel the same way and prefer to keep Greenwich Village one of the best-kept secrets in New York. Stay in one of the hotel rooms that overlooks the shady streets of Greenwich Village.

Where to Stay in SoHo and Chinatown

Step into a whole new world when you visit Chinatown, bordered by the Lower East Side and iconic Little Italy. The heavily congested sidewalks and streets make it next to impossible to freely move throughout, you sort of have to go with the flow of the crowd and then duck into shops, attractions, and restaurants along the way.

If you want to be right in the heart of the action check out the Hotel 50 Bowery with its fantastic rooftop bar. There are several other hotels, budget hotels and even an upscale hotel in the area, many with amazing views of the Manhattan Bridge. Columbus Park is filled with locals, many practicing Tai-Chi and other interesting arts.

The SoHo neighborhood is located south of Houston Street. It began as a place for artists to hang out and live but has since become more of a well-to-do neighborhood pushing the artists out. The upper-class influence has brought stylish shops and trendy restaurants. Shopaholics rejoice when they come to New York City SoHo.

You can also drop by the Children’s Museum of the Arts with over 2,000 art pieces that were created by children from around the world. SoHo is the best place to find the best luxury hotels, some with a rooftop swimming pool.

Where to Stay in Queens and Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights is a neighborhood in north-central Queens and is best known for being one of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City. With about 60% of Jackson Height’s residents being born outside the United States, there are over 150 different languages spoken in the neighborhood which could get confusing for tourists.

Many of the people prefer to stay within their own ethnic group but visitors will still get a sense of each nationality represented in the neighborhood. The biggest ethnic population is Latino but that includes people from Mexico, Peru and Colombia. There are also newcomers from South Asia, Bolivia, India, the Middle East, and Nepal.

When searching for delicious international cuisine, head to Roosevelt Avenue where North Indian, Tibetan, Colombian, and Mexican dishes can be found in sit down restaurants or from the diverse street food vendors. There are several wonderful tourist attractions in Jackson Heights.

 Jackson Heights has one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in New York City and is also where you can catch the Queens Pride Parade every June. Check out some of the hotels available in Queens near Jackson Heights so you are close to the action.

Where to Stay in Chelsea

 While Jackson Heights has one of the biggest LGBTQ+ communities, Chelsea is quickly becoming a beehive of activity for the community. Stonewall Inn is located in Chelsea and is the site of the gay rights riots of 1969 which started the entire gay rights movement. Christopher Park is nearby and was a very popular spot for rioters in 1969.

Christopher Park has since been designated as a national park and the Stonewall Inn has been listed as a historic national landmark. When staying in Chelsea, make time to visit both of these historic places and learn more about the history of each. The famed Chelsea Market is a perfect place to explore for a few hours.

Running along 14th Street, Sixth Avenue, and 23rd Street and down to the Hudson River, Chelsea is definitely a neighborhood you want to see and explore. There are even cultural experiences to have such as the Rubin Museum of Art. Take a stroll through the High Line, an elevated park that was once a railroad line.

Where to Stay in West Village and the Meatpacking District

The West Village and Meatpacking District is a popular tourist area even though there are a lot of homes and apartments. You can find a good, quality hotel nearby so you are close to the action, many offering nice amenities and budget-friendly.

Drop by one of New York City’s most famous public parks, Washington Square Park and its arch which closely resembles the Arc de Triomphe. Sit and watch street performers, grab a snack from a street food vendor, attend a demonstration or political rally when at the park.

Head to the southwest corner of the park to play a game of chess at one of the outdoor chess tables. Many call this section of the park the gateway to the chess district in Manhattan.

Where to Stay in NYC?

Even though New York City is only divided into five boroughs, each borough has several neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own vibrant personality. Whether you are looking for a quiet neighborhood to explore or a fast-paced, nightclub around every corner neighborhood, you will find one that fits you just right.

There are NYC hotels throughout these neighborhoods that will best suit your budget and personality. Most hotels are near great restaurants, have amazing amenities such as a fitness center, and near attractions like One World Trade Center and the Natural History Museum.

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