How do you decide where to stay in New York? For dynamism, cultural impact and sheer diversity, it's a hard city to beat. It's also a global leader in art, architecture, music and food. It's crammed with iconic sights, too, from the raised torch of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building to Coney Island and some of the top beaches on the East Coast. So it's often difficult to know which is the best area to stay in New York City.
But with accommodation in NYC eating up the lion’s share of most travellers’ budgets, deciding where to stay may be your most important choice. So, whatever kind of trip you’re planning, here’s the lowdown on where to stay in New York, area by area.
These days the Meatpacking District is the domain of late-night clubs, wine bars and fashion designers. Here the boutiques of Diane Von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, Alexander Wang and friends line the cobblestone streets. Just to the north, Chelsea has been at the heart of New York City’s art scene since the 1990s, with hundreds of galleries slotted into warehouses beneath the High Line.
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Harlem, a historic neighbourhood in New York City, is renowned for its vibrant cultural heritage, rich history, and influential contributions to art, music, and literature. Harlem has not been spared New York City’s rapid gentrification, but it remains a bastion of African-American culture. This is where to stay in New York for vibrant street life, fabulous West African and soul food restaurants, a dynamic local jazz scene and some of the city's prettiest streets.
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If you want to know exactly where to stay in New York City, what to do and what to see, take a look at Rough Guides tailor-made travel service and let us help plan a fully personalised trip just for you.
A once-gritty Brooklyn community, Williamsburg is a dynamic neighborhood. It is known for its hipster culture, trendy shops, eclectic eateries, and thriving art scene. This is a fantastic choice for those travelling to the Big Apple alone.
Check out Bedford Avenue at the heart of Williamsburg's rapidly expanding zone of coffee shops, boutiques and bars where you'll find everything from the taproom at the Brooklyn Brewery to venerable Pete’s Candy Store. It's also home to some of the city’s swankiest rooftop cocktail lounges, beer gardens and cool places to stay.
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The Upper East Side has been home to dynasties such as the Rockefellers, Whitneys and Astors since the 1890s. It's an indulgent area famous for its luxurious residences, prestigious museums, elegant boutiques, and refined dining options.
Aptly portrayed in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, this is where to stay in New York if you're searching for the plushest hotels, and the swankiest shops. Looking for somewhere more affordable? See our guide to the cheapest places to travel.
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Midtown Manhattan is the most obvious area to stay in New York. It’s where most of the city’s accommodation is located, nearly all within walking distance of key attractions such as Times Square, MoMA and Central Park. You’ll be sharing the sidewalk with plenty of other tourists but the proliferation of hotels means there are lots of bargains to be had (in New York terms, anyway).
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This up-and-coming neighbourhood in Queens lies just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan (effectively a short subway ride away). Long Island City itself boasts one of the city’s best flea markets, as well as the highly rated MoMA PS1 gallery and Silvercup Studios.
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New York may not be the most beautiful city in the world, but it is thrilling. And today, one of the most exciting areas in Manhattan is the Lower East Side. Historically the epitome of multiculturalism, this is the neighbourhood for the city’s best vintage-clothing stores, restaurants and especially happening spots for drinking, dancing and live music.
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If you prefer to plan and book your trip to New York City without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.
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