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There are so many unique places to visit in the United States, with destinations for every traveler. If you are looking for a beach-centered holiday, you will likely choose Hawaii, but for an iconic getaway, the place to be in is New York City. 

A popular destination like no other, you might feel like you know New York even before stepping into the city as it is featured in countless movies. To have the best vacation, you must carefully plan where to stay in New York.

To help you plan your stay in this not-to-be-missed city, we prepared this guide so that you can better navigate New York’s many neighborhoods and choose the ones most adapted to your travel needs. We will also lay out the top attractions of each neighborhood and share useful travel tips.  

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Where To Stay In New York

view of new york city buildings lit up from waterview of new york city buildings lit up from water

New York is a huge city comprising five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. The best neighborhoods in the city for accommodations are in Manhattan, as it is where the majority of the tourist attractions are. 

In this “Where to Stay in New York” guide, we’ve included a detailed breakdown of Manhattan’s best districts plus a bonus neighborhood, Brooklyn, so you can easily choose your favorite one.

The main neighborhoods of New York

Here’s an overview of the best places to stay in New York for a top-notch vacation.

1. Midtown Manhattan – This neighborhood is as central as it gets and features the city’s most famous attractions, from Times Square to the Empire State Building.  

2. Financial District – Revolving around Wall Street, the area is rather tranquil and boasts the unmissable Ground Zero and the ferry to get to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

3. Greenwich Village – This neighborhood is at the center of the city’s LGBTQ+ history and battle for rights, and offers amazing cultural opportunities and movie sets.

4. Upper West Side – This gorgeous residential area’s shiny star is the iconic Central Park.

5. Harlem – The historic Afro and Latinx neighborhood, Harlem is the spot in the city for an authentic cultural experience centered on art, music, and food. 

6. Brooklyn – Connected to Manhattan by the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, this neighborhood is trendy and is perfect for seeing a different side of New York. 

New York travel tips

How to get around 

There are many options when it comes to getting around New York City. With over twenty million residents in the metropolitan area, the city is well-equipped with public transport.


The most popular way to get around New York is by metro. The city has the largest metro system in the world, operating 24 hours a day across 36 lines and 472 metro stations. Although its magnitude is large, it is very easy to navigate your way into the city’s metro system. 

Each station is well signposted, and the sign indicates which routes are served at that metro station. This way, you will always know if you are in the correct spot, which you can also check on the official website of the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA).

To enter the metro, you can purchase the tickets, pay with a contactless payment device, or use the MetroCard


There are around 6,000 buses in New York. They cover over 322 routes and are classified as local or express. The express routes connect the busier areas of Manhattan to the outer neighborhoods. 

You can reach every corner of New York City by bus, but they are slower than the metro since the city’s streets are always full of traffic.

To use the public bus in New York, you can resort to the same payment methods as the metro.


The iconic yellow taxi is a popular transfer option in the city. Taxis show availability by illuminating the yellow light, and you can take them to go wherever in New York. However, getting a taxi is the most expensive way to move around the city, with fares increasing all the time.

On foot

New York is big, but it’s more than possible to explore it on foot. The sidewalks in many neighborhoods are busy and the streets have a lot of traffic, but if you are careful, you can easily walk around and see the city from another perspective. 

Neighborhood map 

New York is a large city, so a map highlighting the best neighborhoods is essential to orientate your accommodation choice.

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Map via NewYorkWelcome

Plan your trip 

Get a New York CityPASS – Since you’ll want to see as many things as possible during your trip, consider purchasing the New York CityPASS to save money and access the city’s top sights at a discounted price. 

Plan Ahead of Time – New York is one of the most touristy places in the world, so planning ahead is essential to do everything you want. From reserving your spot in specific attractions like the Empire State Building to restaurants to rooftop bars, making up your mind beforehand is a must.

15%-25% System Tip – Tipping is part of the American way. In New York City, patrons are expected to tip 15%-25% at restaurants and 15% at coffee shops and cafes

Wear Comfortable Shoes – Although you will likely get around with the metro for longer distances, you will probably walk a lot to explore the different neighborhoods. So packing a comfortable pair of shoes is crucial to enjoying your visit to the city. 

Be Mindful of Rush Hours When using public transportation, especially the metro, avoid rush hours to not being inside excessively packed and uncomfortable coaches.

1. Midtown Manhattan

night life at times squarenight life at times square

What’s there and why visit

Midtown Manhattan is the best area to stay in New York for first-time travelers. This neighborhood boasts some of the city’s best attractions, like Times Square and the Empire State Building, so it is where most tourists stay. This means that the area is never quiet and always busy, but the energy in Midtown is electric. The area has convenient metro connections everywhere in NYC, so it’s incredibly easy to explore other parts of the city from Midtown. 

The neighborhood offers more nightlife opportunities than you can take advantage of, memorable eateries and rooftop bars, and art-centered spots (like the unmissable MoMA).

Suggested hotels near Midtown Manhattan 


hilton garden inn west 35th street main entrancehilton garden inn west 35th street main entrance

Hilton Garden Inn West 35th Street

This hotel is situated right in the middle of all the big attractions! Within walking distance you’ll find the Empire State Building, Times Square and Madison Square Garden, as well as all the best shopping spots, including Macy’s at Herald Square. The hotel features a fitness center, a restaurant on-site and a 24-hour convenience pantry.


homewood suites midtown manhattan times square south double studio room with kitchenette and couchhomewood suites midtown manhattan times square south double studio room with kitchenette and couch

Homewood Suites Midtown Manhattan Times Square South

This hotel offers studio and suite style rooms, both styles including a fully equipped kitchenette. The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, a 24-hour complimentary coffee service, hot and cold breakfast options, and a mini-market. It’s located within walking distance to Times Square and Madison Square Garden.


crowne plaza hy36 midtown manhattan king bed by window suitecrowne plaza hy36 midtown manhattan king bed by window suite

Crowne Plaza HY36 Midtown Manhattan, An IHG Hotel

“Very comfortable bed and two of my favorite pillows. Great location close to Penn Station and not far from Broadway and other Manhattan sights. Loved the floor to ceiling windows, and well laid out closet. Being greeted whenever we returned.”


conrad new york midtown living quarters with floor to ceiling windows/drapesconrad new york midtown living quarters with floor to ceiling windows/drapes

Conrad New York Midtown

This hotel is a quick walk to Central Park, in which many of the hotel’s suites have views of, and the popular Fifth Avenue. Times Square and Rockefeller Center aren pretty close as well. The hotel features a 24-hour health club with state-of-the-art equipment and offers 24-hour room service, a turn-down service, restaurant and bar.

Things to see near Midtown Manhattan 

Times Square – The most iconic place in the city, Times Square has been a hub since the mid-1800s, and it is featured in every shot of New York. Take some time to admire the square and its bright screens featuring upcoming movies, concerts, and advertisements, and then explore the area’s many restaurants, rooftop bars, and pop-up shops.

Empire State Building – Another symbol of New York, this is the tallest building in the world thanks to its 102 stories. The Empire State Building was inaugurated in 1931, and a proper visit to the city needs to include its two observation decks to soak in breathtaking skyline views.

The Museum of Modern Art – The MoMA is the unmissable museum of the city. Located in the heart of Manhattan and famous for hosting the celebrity-centered MET Gala, the Museum of Modern Art displays a huge amount of artwork. The museum’s permanent collection includes pieces by Picasso, Warhol, Van Gogh, and Monet. If you love ancient and contemporary art, you will have a blast at the MoMA. 

Rockefeller Center – This complex of buildings is mainly famous for one thing: the giant Christmas tree that transforms New York into a winter wonderland every year. The Rockefeller Center is home to private businesses, retail stores, and television studios where filmed shows like Saturday Night Live take place. However, the real reason to visit it is for the three-level observation deck knowns as Top of the Rock, from where to admire special views of Manhattan. 

Bryant Park – This lovely park lined by skyscrapers is one of the best green spaces in the city. Bryant Park is always packed with people and a perfect spot to mingle with the locals. 

There’s always something going on in Bryant Park, from locals playing chess under the trees to summer movie screenings on the lawn. Right next to the park is the New York Public Library, another must-visit in New York.

Getting there 

Times Square – Many metro lines arrive in Times Square. You can get off at the Times Square / Station 42 St stop by taking the red, purple, yellow, or gray metro lines.

Empire State Building – Eight metro lines arrive at the Empire State Building, four yellow lines and four orange lines. So there is nothing easier than this! The station you need to get off at is 34 Street / Herald Sq Station. Then you just need to walk left on 34 Street for 4 minutes to reach your destination.

The Museum of Modern Art – Take the metro lines M or E and get off at the stop 5 Avenue / 53 St Station. Then, walk northwesterly on E 53rd St toward 5th Ave, and the museum will be on your right.

Rockefeller Center – By taking the metro orange lines, you need to stop at 47-50 St / Rockefeller Center Station. The main entrance is on 5th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Bryant Park – Take the metro’s orange lines and get off at 42nd St / Bryant Park stop, right at the park’s corner. 

Suggested activities in Midtown Manhattan

NYC: Empire State Building Tickets & Skip-the-Line – Make your way to the impressive Empire State Building observation decks with these skip-the-line tickets for enjoying unforgettable panoramic views of New York City.  

NYC: Best of the Metropolitan Museum Guided Tour – Join this tour to discover the best the MoMA offers, from ancient Egypt finds to contemporary art expressions, alongside an expert guide that will disclose the museum’s highlights. 

2. Financial District

world trade center ground zero names on plaque world trade center ground zero names on plaque

What’s there and why visit

The Financial District is the epicenter of the city’s economic powers. Located in Lower Manhattan, the neighborhood is home to the famous Wall Street and it is primarily frequented by business travelers. However, the district is steeped in history, featuring cobblestone streets and historic restaurants and bars dating back to the 1800s.

Another historical link of the Financial District is the presence of Ground Zero, the memorial of the 9/11 attacks. You won’t be able to visit it without feeling overwhelmingly emotional!

From the Financial District also departs the ferries to reach the Statue of Liberty, so it’s a perfect area to stay in.

Suggested hotels near Financial District 


aloft manhattan downtown financial district entrance with neon lighting aloft manhattan downtown financial district entrance with neon lighting

Aloft Manhattan Downtown – Financial District

Located right in the middle of the Financial District, this hotel is just steps away from Wall Street and the 9/11 Memorial. The hotel features a 24-hour fitness center, a bar and a snack bar, and rooms include their own coffee makers. You can find the subway close by to make navigating the city super easy!


hilton garden inn nyc financial center suite with desk and window viewhilton garden inn nyc financial center suite with desk and window view

Hilton Garden Inn NYC Financial Center/Manhattan Downtown

This hotel is so close to some well known attractions, such as Battery Park and the Charging Bull, and it’s close to Wall Street and multiple subway stations. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at Garden Grille & Bar located on-site, or visit the on-site 24-hour fitness center or convenience store.


mint house at 70 pine large room king bed, desk and windowsmint house at 70 pine large room king bed, desk and windows

Mint House at 70 Pine

“The building itself is beautiful and the apartment looks great with its modern design. I also love the phonograph and records. There are restaurants, a gym, and a supermarket downstairs, which made our stay more enjoyable. It’s very easy for us to walk around downtown or take subway to any other places in Manhattan.”


where to stay in new york the beekman hotel suite with king bed, seating chairs and chandelier where to stay in new york the beekman hotel suite with king bed, seating chairs and chandelier

The Beekman A Thompson Hotel

This sophisticated hotel offers guests a luxurious stay with its 9-story atrium that has a pyramidal glass ceiling at the top, and artwork covers the walls. Rooms include custom beds, leather headboards, oak floors, craft cocktail tables and marble bathrooms. There are three restaurants on-site and you can see the Brooklyn Bridge from your balcony!

Things to see near Financial District 

Wall Street – New York’s most famous street, Wall Street is the beating heart of the neighborhood. Aside from its various beautiful buildings, the must-see attraction is the so-called Charging Bull. This statue symbolizes financial optimism and prosperity, and you will see tourists and go-passers touching the bull’s bronze balls in looking for luck! 

Ground Zero – This is by far the most impressive spot in the city. Dedicated to commemorating the victims of the 9/11 attacks, Ground Zero hosts the 9/11 Museum and the 9/11 Memorial. You will hardly forget the memorial: two giant chasms where the twin towers used to stand and where large waterfalls now flow. If you are looking for some strong emotion, don’t miss a visit to Ground Zero. 

Battery Park City – This charming green area features several points of interest, including a memorial to commemorate the victims of World War II and a sculpture dedicated to AIDS victims. However, you will surely visit Battery Park City to take the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island, where you will admire the almighty Statue of Liberty.

Trinity Church – In the middle of Wall Street’s skyscrapers is one of the city’s most beautiful churches, Trinity Church. Built in a neo-Gothic style in the early 18th century, its high bell tower is immediately recognizable. Inside, you can admire gorgeous glazed windows and a stunning pipe organ, which is no longer functioning due to the ash and dust that reached the church after the 9/11 attacks. 

Getting there 

Wall Street – By metro red (lines 2, 3), get off at the Wall Street / William Street stop. You can also arrive on Wall Street by metro green (lines 4, 5), getting off at the Wall Street Station stop and walking in a northeasterly direction on Broadway toward Wall St. Then take the first street on the right, and you will be in Wall Street.

Ground Zero – There are many metros stops nearby. The closest one is Cortlandt Street Station, which you can reach by yellow lines N, R, and W. One out of the metro station, walk left for two minutes to reach Ground Zero. 

Battery Park City – Take the metro yellow (lines N, R, W) and get off at Whitehall St, which is located at the ferry terminal. You can also arrive in Battery Park City by metro green (lines 4, 5), and the stop Bowling Green is right beside the park. 

Trinity Church – The nearest metro stop is Wall Street Station, which you can reach by metro green lines 4 and 5. The metro is right beside the church.

Suggested activities in Financial District  

NYC: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Guided Tour with Ferry – With this guided tour, you will sail at the discovery of the Statue of Liberty while marveling at the New York City skyline before continuing to Ellis Island to visit America’s Immigration Museum.

New York City: 9/11 Memorial Tour and Museum Ticket – Enjoy a visit to the poignant 9/11 Memorial following an expert guide who will then accompany you to the 9/11 Museum. 

3. Greenwich Village

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Image via Unspalsh by Simi Iluyomade

What’s there and why visit

The Greenwich Village is a stunning neighborhood with plenty of things to do. Home to the New York University, the area has a vibrant vibe and boasts great bars, restaurants, and cafes with live music shows. 

The “Village”, as the district is referred to, is the center of NYC’s LGBTQIA+ community as the groundbreaking Stonewall Riots took place here. This neighborhood has a strong personality, making it the best accommodation in New York to immerse yourself in the local cultures. 

The Greenwich Village will also make the joy of movie and tv series fans as it was used as the set for popular shows like Friends and Sex and the City

Suggested hotels near Greenwich Village


the jane hotel standard room with bedthe jane hotel standard room with bed

The Jane Hotel

“Great hotel with single cabins. Nowhere else like it! I’ve stayed before and really hope it keeps this specification. Each cabin is small but has everything you need for a comfortable stay and is reasonable value for New York. It’s also in a great location. It’s very close to the HighLine and surrounded by restaurants, Easy walking to the Metro.”


moxy nyc east village outdoor bar and lounge under night sky and string lightsmoxy nyc east village outdoor bar and lounge under night sky and string lights

Moxy NYC East Village

This 4-star hotel features a fitness center, lounge area, a restaurant and a rooftop bar, a terrace, private parking and bikes free of use to guests, which comes in handy in the popular biking area. It’s within walking distance to New York University, Washington Square Park and the popular Bloomingdales.


walker hotel greenwich viallage large suite with bed, desk and windowwalker hotel greenwich viallage large suite with bed, desk and window

Walker Hotel Greenwich Village

This 1920s inspired boutique hotel is within walking distance to New York University, Washington Square Park, Union Square and Union Square subway station, making it simple to get around the city. The hotel features an on-site restaurant, café and bar for guests to enjoy at their pleasure.


where to stay in new york the greenwich hotel in room fireplace and seatingwhere to stay in new york the greenwich hotel in room fireplace and seating

Greenwich Hotel

Luxury is the definition of this hotel, featuring beautiful artifacts from all over the world decorating the rooms. The hotel includes an underground pool and fitness center, as well as an on-site restaurant and spa. The Tribeca Performing Arts Center and Washington Market Park are both within walking distance.

Things to see near Greenwich Village 

Washington Square Park – This 10-acre park is frequented by artists, musicians, chess players, and NYU students, making it one of the most lively in the city. Besides people-watching and relaxing, in Washington Square Park, you can see a monumental arch and the “Hanging Tree”, believed to be Manhattan’s oldest tree at 300+ years old.

Friends Apartment Building – If you are a fan of the sitcom Friends, visiting Friends apartment building is a must! Head to 90 Bedford Street to watch the outside of the building where Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey lived for 10 seasons. 

Carrie Bradshaw Apartment – Another street in Greenwich Village hosts a famous TV apartment. At 64 Perry Street, you will find the one and only apartment of Carrie Bradshaw, the iconic fashionista of Sex and the City. Carrie’s apartment is one of the top sightseeing spots in New York! 

Stonewall Inn – The absolute must-visit in the neighborhood is the Stonewall Inn. This bar is where the fight for gay rights took a turn that changed history forever after the infamous Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969. The bar was a gathering place for the LGBTQ+ community and is today a national historic landmark. 

Getting there 

Washington Square Park – The nearest metro stop is West 4th Street / Washington Square. You can arrive here by blue lines (A, C, E) and orange lines (B, D, F, M). Exiting the metro, take West 3rd Street, then turn left to reach 4th Street and walk for a few minutes to reach the park. 

Friends Apartment Building – Take the metro red (lines 1, 2) and get off at Christopher St Station. Proceed in a southwesterly direction on 7th Ave S toward Grove St., and immediately turn slightly right to take Grove St. Walk the street to the end, and at the intersection with Bedford St., turn left on this street and look for house number 90.

Carrie Bradshaw Apartment – Take the metro red (lines 1, 2) and get off at Christopher St Station. Once out of the metro, walk on West 4th Street for 3 minutes to arrive at 64 Perry Street, where the building is located.

Stonewall Inn – From Christopher St Station (metro red lines 1, 2), walk easterly on Christopher St toward West 4th Street. The bar will be in front of you after 1 minute. 

H3 Suggested activities in Greenwich Village

New York City: Greenwich Village 2-Hour Tour – Explore Greenwich Village’s counterculture and history by joining this 2-hour-long walking tour leading you through the neighborhood’s unmissable sights. 

New York City: Pride Walking Tour – Embark on a journey to discover the history of New York City’s LGBTQ+ movement with this walking tour that stops by Stonewall Inn and the original Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop.

4. Upper West Side

life-size statue of whale display at american museum of natural historylife-size statue of whale display at american museum of natural history

What’s there and why visit

The Upper West Side is a residential area with a lot of charm. Set between the west side of Central Park and the Hudson River, this neighborhood began to be built in the late 1800s and has grown ever since. One of the best things to do in the Upper West Side is stroll around its streets and avenues to admire the typical brownstones and townhouses. 

Besides the wonderful Central Park, the neighborhood has many lush gardens, parks, and tranquil streets, so it’s perfect if you are traveling with your kids or just want to be in a central location without crowds.

Suggested hotels near Upper West Side


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La Quinta by Wyndham New York City Central Park

This hotel is just one block from Central Park and a short walk to the American Museum of Natural History. The 72nd Street Subway Station is also just one block away, making it easy to get places. The hotel features complimentary breakfast for guests and concierge services are available.


where to stay in new york hotel belleclaire central park large studio suite with bed, couches, chandelierswhere to stay in new york hotel belleclaire central park large studio suite with bed, couches, chandeliers

Hotel Belleclaire

“Beautiful building, the French bakery in the lobby and their treats were perfect. Our room had queen beds which was essential for sharing large gorgeously appointed bathroom. We were greeted with Prosecco on our arrival and we enjoyed one of their free wine nights. The great location to the subway contributed to making our stay easy to access all our site seeing goals.”


hotel lucerne king suite with deskhotel lucerne king suite with desk

The Lucerne Hotel

The hotel features an on-site restaurant with optional outdoor seating, on-site spa services, fitness and business centers, ticket services and child care. It’s located close to the Museum of Natural History, Central Park, Columbia University and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The 79th street metro station is within walking distance.


hotel beacon living space with stairs leading out to private terracehotel beacon living space with stairs leading out to private terrace

Hotel Beacon

At this hotel, all rooms and suites include kitchenettes and a living room with seating, suites’ living spaces include a sofa bed. It sits right across the street from the Beacon Theatre on Broadway and is within walking distance to the American Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center Plaza and a subway station.

Things to see near Upper West Side 

Central Park This world-famous park is a must for every New York trip. Spanning 840 acres, Central Park is perfectly embedded in the city’s architecture. Central Park is the most filmed location in the world and has many sections that you can explore on foot or by renting a bike. Don’t miss the Shakespeare Garden, the Belvedere Castle, and the Sheep Meadow for a picnic New Yorker-style.

American Museum of Natural History – This incredible museum houses 33 million specimens and is one of the greatest museums in the world. The entry hall welcomes guests with two massive dinosaur skeletons, which already give the dimension of the collections you will see inside. The American Museum of Natural History’s best part is the Hall of Ocean Life which displays a life-size model of a 94-foot blue whale.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts – This complex of buildings is the cultural spot of the neighborhood. The Lincoln Center houses five concert/theater venues, particularly the Metropolitan Opera House, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet. Whether you love a world-class opera, a jazz concert, or a ballet, you will make unforgettable memories at the Lincoln Center.

Beacon Theatre – Another art-centered venue in the district is the Beacon Theatre. Opened in 1929, this theater is so big that it takes up an entire city block and can seat 2,600 people. Thanks to its state-of-the-art acoustic, the Beacon Theatre had seen world-famous artists like Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Mariah Carey perform here. If you have the chance, attend a show at this theater!

Getting there 

Central Park There are three entrances to the park. For the southwest gate, take the metro red (lines 1, 2) and get off at 59 St / Columbus Circle. The west entrance can be reached by the metro blu (lines A, C) and orange line B, and by getting off at the following stop: 72nd St, 81st St, 86th St, 96th St, 103rd St, and 110th St. Lastly, the southeast gate can be accessed from the 5 Av / 59 St stop (metro yellow lines N, R Q).

American Museum of Natural History – By metro blue (lines A, C) and orange (line B), get off at 81 Street / Museum of Natural History Station stop. 

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts – The closest metro stop is 66 St / Lincoln Center, just 1 minute away from the Lincoln Center. To reach it, you need to get the metro red (lines 1, 2).

Beacon Theatre – By metro red (lines 1, 2, 3), get off at 72 St stop. Then walk in a northwesterly direction on W 73rd St toward Verdi Path. Turn right and take Broadway, and the destination is on your right.

Suggested activities in Upper West Side

NYC American Museum of Natural History Guided Museum Tour – Join this 2.5-hour tour of the incredible American Museum of Natural History following a guide that will disclose the history of the museum’s main highlights.

New York City: Central Park Movie Locations Walking Tour – Stroll through Central Park on this 2-hour guided walking tour to see with your eyes the sites from many movies, like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Avengers, and learn all the secrets of their filming process. 

5. Harlem

where to stay new york older apartment buildingwhere to stay new york older apartment building

What’s there and why visit

This historic neighborhood is where to stay in New York for a culturally rich vacation. Inhabited by African Americans and Latinx, Harlem is a vibrant area with West African and soul food restaurants, incredible street arts and art galleries, and a dynamic jazz scene.

If you are looking for a well-rounded experience with lots of music, art, culture, food, and nightlife opportunities, you can’t go wrong with Harlem!

Suggested hotels near Harlem


the park ave north standard double bed room with windowsthe park ave north standard double bed room with windows

The Park Ave North

“The location is really good because it’s relatively close to the subway stations (5-10 min by walk). The hotel itself is simple and small yet comfortable for a short stay. The property is clean, and the neighborhood is calm. The staff is kind and willing to help.”


where to stay in new york harlem grand large bedroom with seating and windowswhere to stay in new york harlem grand large bedroom with seating and windows

Harlem Grand

This B&B is very close to Central Park, and not far from Columbia University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you’re a baseball fan, this is the place for you as it’s just a couple of miles from Yankee Stadium. All rooms include a private bathroom and some even include a kitchenette.


renaissance new york harlem hotel king bed roomrenaissance new york harlem hotel king bed room

Renaissance New York Harlem Hotel

This hotel offers so much for their guests, including a bar and on-site restaurant, a terrace, a 24-hour front desk, room service, a concierge service and luggage storage. It’s right by Columbia University and not too far from Yankee Stadium, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park.


the international cozy inn large room with fireplace and chandelierthe international cozy inn large room with fireplace and chandelier

The International Cozy Inn

This boutique hotel features modern styled rooms, each with its own unique furniture and décor. Every room has its own kitchenette and seating area. Central Park, Apollo Theatre and Columbia are all within walking distance to the Inn, as well as the 125th Street underground rail station.

Things to see near Harlem 

The Apollo Theater – This legendary theater has been open since 1914 and has launched many careers in the music industry. The Apollo Thaeter’s stage hosted royalty as James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. Still a top-notch attraction, head to the theater to attend a comedic or musical event or the famous Amateur Nights on Wednesdays.

El Museo del Barrio – This fantastic museum was founded in 1969 to draw attention to underrepresented black and latinx artists. The El Museo del Barrio boasts a permanent collection with 6,500 objects ranging from 20th-century Nuyorican prints to contemporary art from Latino artists.

Sylvia’s Restaurant – A staple of the neighborhood, Sylvia’s Restaurant is the place to enjoy some Southern comfort food. Serving all the classics, from fried chicken and waffles to barbecue short ribs, the restaurant also features Gospel Brunch Sundays and Live Music Wednesdays. 

Graffiti Hall of Fame – New Yorker Ray “Sting Ray” Rodriguez created this attraction in 1980 before street art was regarded as artistic expression. The Graffiti Hall of Fame is a proper open-air museum that features pieces from locals and far-flung artists. 

Getting there 

The Apollo Theater – By metro blue (lines A, C) and orange (lines B, D), get off at 125 St stop. Walk 4 minutes on the left (on W 125th St/Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) to reach the theater. 

El Museo del Barrio – The closest metro stop is 103 Street Station, which can be reached by green lines 4 and 6. Once out of the station, walk left towards Central Park, and the museum is on 104th St.

Sylvia’s Restaurant – Get off the metro red (lines 2, 3) at the 125 Street Station stop. Walk northeast on Lenox Ave/Malcolm X Blvd for a minute, and the restaurant will be on the right. 

Graffiti Hall of Fame – From the 110 Street stop (metro green lines 4 and 6), walk northwesterly on E 110th St/Tito Puente Wy toward Park Ave. Then turn left to take Park Ave, and the destination is on your right after 4 minutes.

Suggested activities in Harlem 

4-hour Harlem Gospel Tour in New York City – Join this 4-hour walking tour of Harlem and the Upper West Side to discover the gospel side of New York City by exploring sights like the Apollo Theater and attending a gospel choir for mass for a thrilling experience.

New York City: Harlem Renaissance Walking Tour with Lunch – Discover some of the neighborhood’s most beautiful theaters, ballrooms, and churches with this 3-hour walking tour before stopping for a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. 

6. Brooklyn: DUMBO

distant view of brooklyn bridge into city over boat in riverdistant view of brooklyn bridge into city over boat in river

What’s there and why visit

Outside of Manhattan, Brooklyn is the best area to stay. Made up of different districts, DUMBO is the most popular choice for its trendy vibe and stunning views of the New York skyline. The neighborhood has cobblestone streets, brick buildings, and repurposed warehouses. 

Walking around Brooklyn and stopping by an edgy eatery, a market, or a waterfront park will make your holiday unforgettable. 

Two other perks of staying in Brooklyn? The iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the fact that here you will find the best hotels in New York.

Suggested hotels near Brooklyn: DUMBO


where to stay in new york the brooklyn standard king room with windows and deskwhere to stay in new york the brooklyn standard king room with windows and desk

The Brooklyn

“The hotel is located near an underground station, which makes it really convenient for a tourist to move around the city. The beds are also very comfortable, so after a long walk you get a good night’s sleep. The room includes a small fridge, a microwave, and a coffee maker so even if you do not purchase meals, you can bring in whatever you like and manage with that.”


pod brooklyn single bed pod with deskpod brooklyn single bed pod with desk

Pod Brooklyn

This unique hotel offers rooms amongst four separate buildings, separated by a common courtyard, connected with bridges. There is a food hall available to guests offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. It sits close to the Music Hall of Williamsburg and State of New York – East River State Park, as well as the subway station.


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Henry Norman Hotel

This boutique-style hotel features a fitness center, sauna, terrace, family rooms and a concierge service. A continental breakfast is offered every morning to guests. The Chrysler Building and the Flatiron building are just a couple miles away, while the famous Brooklyn Bridge is about 3 miles from the hotel.


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Franklin Guesthouse

“Perfect location. So many great places within walking distance to experience. Staff was excellent and very helpful. Such a unique vibe: sort of in between a hotel room and Airbnb, with very comfortable accommodations. The first level room was really great with natural light and high ceilings. The adjacent restaurant Madre had the best cocktails and staff, too.”

Things to see near Brooklyn: DUMBO 

Brooklyn Bridge – One of the most iconic spots in the city, walking the Brooklyn Bridge is a must-do! Its construction began in 1870, and it took 13 years of work to be completed. The pedestrian walkway from DUMBO is hands down the most scenic walk in the city. It will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to walk it, depending on how many stops you take to shoot amazing pics. 

Brooklyn Bridge Park – Right beside the Brooklyn Bridge is the stunning Brooklyn Bridge Park. This big park is among the best spots to admire panoramic views of the New York skyline. Relax along the water, have a picnic with a view, play some sports, or mingle with the locals, all while taking amazing photos!

Jane’s Carousel – This classic carousel is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park, but it’s so gorgeous that it merits a visit per itself! Built in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, the Jane’s Carousel has stunning wooden horses and carriages. Taking a ride on Jane’s Carousel is a perfect way to enjoy spectacular views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the East River, and the Manhattan skyline.

Brooklyn Flea – New York is a popular venue for shopping, and the Brooklyn Flea is the ideal venue to do it. Every Sunday, the area under the Manhattan Bridge Archway hosts around 80 vendors selling everything from vintage furniture to clothing to delicious food. Characterized by a unique atmosphere, the Brooklyn Flea is New Yorkers’ favorite market.

Getting there 

Brooklyn Bridge – You can get to the Brooklyn Bridge by metro red (lines 2, 3) and get off at Fulton St stop. Your other option is to take the metro yellow (lines N, R, W) and get off at City Hall Station stop. 

Brooklyn Bridge Park – Taking the metro blue (lines A, C), get off at High Street / Brooklyn Bridge and walk 9 minutes towards the left to reach it. Alternatively, you can access the park from the end of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Jane’s Carousel – The carousel is inside Brooklyn Bridge Park, on the right side of the bridge.

Brooklyn Flea – Take the metro orange line F, get off at York St’s stop, and walk in a northerly direction on Jay St toward York St. Turn on the first left to take Front St., then turn on the first street (Pearl St). You will be right on the site of the Brooklyn Flea.

Suggested activities in Brooklyn: DUMBO 

NYC: Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo District Walking Tour – Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge by joining this guided walking tour leading you through the DUMBO neighborhood to discover its scenic waterfront views, shops, and movie location.  

NYC: Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO Neighborhood Food Tour – Get ready to explore Brooklyn’s exciting food scene with a local guide by strolling around and stopping in various restaurants, bars, and the renowned Time Out Market. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to stay in New York for first-time travelers?

Midtown Manhattan is ideal for first-time visitors as it is the heart of the city, where you will live the typical New York experience. The area has the city’s top attractions and is easily accessible by foot and public transportation.

What is the cheapest period to visit New York?

January-March. After New Year’s, the prices go down and stay low until March. The reason is that the peak holiday season is over, and the freezing weather is not attractive for tourists. 

Is New York City safe?

Yes, New York is perfectly safe. However, as it goes with all the big cities, you should be careful when going around at night and in lesser-popular neighborhoods. 

When is the busiest period in New York?

The periods when the city is packed with tourists are Thanksgiving through New Year’s and the summer months.

Final Thoughts

New York is one of the most popular destinations in the world. You will love every second of the time spent in the city, walking around while looking up to the sky to admire tall skyscrapers, relaxing in the iconic Central Park, and catching a musical on Broadway.

The city is giant, so deciding where to stay in New York requires careful planning. With this detailed guide, we hope to have helped you choose the best neighborhood to stay in for your travel preferences and needs.

What you should read next

Travel Resources For Your Next Trip

If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.

Credit cards: Don’t get burned by hidden fees on top of terrible exchange rates. When we travel now, we use the Wise Card. Simply load it with the currency you need before you go and use it as a regular VISA or their digital wallet card. Use their free app to track how much you have and top up when you need to.

Flights: Of all the booking search engines, Skyscanner is the most helpful and easy to use thanks to their Everywhere feature. Kayak is also another that’s we will often check as well.

Car Rental: If you’re looking to save money, these car rental coupon codes will be a true game-changer. Otherwise, DiscoverCars and RentalCars are great places to start.

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Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.

Data: We’ve been a huge fan of wifi hotspot devices like PokeFi because their rates are so good and you can use it globally but recently, we’ve really loved using eSIMs. The best one is Airalo. Save money by getting region-specific eSIMs and use referral code WILLIA9500 to get $3 USD credit on your first purchase. Ubigi is another one that we’ve had success with where they uniquely offer 5G coverage. Use code AWESOME10 to save 10% on your first order.

Hotels: Our go-to is because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs plus they have their Genius tier discounts. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.

Vacation Rentals: Your first instinct will be to check Airbnb but we always recommend checking VRBO as well if you’re looking for a vacation rental.

Tours: When planning our trips, we always check both Viator and GetYourGuide to at least see what’s out there in the destination that we’re going to. They often have different offerings and prices so check both.

Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.

  • Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
  • RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
  • SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
  • Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
  • InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.

If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.

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