Manhattan is a wonderfully diverse island made up of many eclectic neighbourhoods, which can be daunting for first-time visitors. Whether you want to hang out with the hip crowd, indulge in world-class cuisine or get your very own snap of an iconic attraction, we’ve pulled together a guide to find your perfect NYC neighbourhood.
Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is more than just home to New York's socialites. It is packed with museums and art galleries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim, some of the city's finest designer boutiques, and classic New York dining. Another key feature of this district is that it runs parallel to Central Park.
Midtown is, you guessed it, right in the middle of Manhattan. Here you'll find many of the city's best known and loved locations. Staying in Midtown means you’ll be within walking distance of the legendary Empire State Building, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center. Though not many New Yorkers actually live there, it is the perfect spot to be based for sightseeing. It also has some of the city’s best shopping including the famous Saks Fifth Avenue department store, nestled amongst countless other designer stores.
West Village and Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village may not be as bohemian as it was in its heyday, but it's still home to some of the city's best jazz clubs, pubs, bars, restaurants and delis. The West Village is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan with its 19th-century brownstones, hidden gardens and cobblestone streets. It’s as popular with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Julia Roberts as it is with the locals. Whether your budget allows for a pair of Jimmy Choos or just a fancy cupcake, there’s something for absolutely everyone in the West Village.
Home to a dense population of Asian immigrants, Chinatown is bursting with authentic culture, exciting chaos and sumptuous food. If you’re a night owl, Chinatown is a great place to stay. Accommodation is affordable, shops are open late and you’ll be able to get a meal at any hour. Between dim sum meals, speakeasy cocktail bars, open-air fish markets and even massages, there's no chance for a dull moment in Chinatown.
Lower Manhattan and Lower East Side
Downtown, or Lower Manhattan, is the oldest part of the city and considered the financial capital of the country. It’s surrounded by attractions such as Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, South Street Seaport and the Brooklyn Bridge. Most hotels in the Lower Manhattan are geared towards business travelers, so if you’re planning a weekend visit you’ll definitely pick up some great rates.
The Lower East Side neighbourhood bustles with ample excitement on every corner. Though it has been significantly gentrified, the aura of a grittier New York still runs deep in the LES. This walkable area will keep you entertained with its limitless cafes, independent art galleries, amazing shopping, and underground music venues.
Harlem is one of the most culturally diverse areas in Manhattan. It’s renowned for its iconic jazz clubs, theatres and soul-food restaurants. Commonly identified as a centre for African American culture, Harlem is home to some of the most incredible tourist attractions including the Apollo Theater and the ornate façade of the First Corinthian Baptist Church. If you’re keen on staying here, Harlem is a place where strangers greet each other on the street, families share stoops on summer evenings and bed and breakfast accommodations outnumber hotels.