When talking about areas to live in New York City, it soon strikes you that there’s no such thing as a run-of-the-mill neighborhood – each is iconic in its own unique way. It’s also surprising just how much variety there is when it comes to lifestyle preferences.
If you want to join the 8,379,552 residents enjoying New York City, here are ten of the top New York neighborhoods to live:
10 New York neighborhoods at a glance
Upper East Side, Manhattan
The Upper West Side, Manhattan
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
East Village, Manhattan
Park Slope, Brooklyn
Long Island City, Queens
Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
1. Greenwich Village
We begin with the particularly arty neighborhood of Greenwich Village. It’s a fairly expensive option but considered by many to be one of the nicest spots to live in New York City.
Greenwich Village boasts beautiful architecture, a variety of lovely public parks, and many properties with waterfront views across the Hudson River. It’s also a popular place for many New Yorkers from far and wide to head to enjoy the plethora of retail, cuisine, and nightlife options on offer; the famous MacDougal and Bleecker Streets are particular hotspots. There’s a certain charm to Greenwich Village that can’t be ignored.
2. Upper East Side, Manhattan
Manhattan’s Upper East Side borders Central Park, running from East 96th St up to East 59th. The Upper East Side is all class, and despite being home to some major colleges, it is home to a somewhat older age group. This prim and proper neighborhood features some of the very best in NY museums, including none other than The Smithsonian and The Guggenheim.
The Upper East Side is well-known for being a high-end district, and for being one of Sex and the City’s major filming locations – so, as you can imagine, it’s not short of designer shopping options.
3. The Upper West Side, Manhattan
Across Central Park from the East Side lies the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Rather more relaxed than its East Side cousin, the Upper West Side is a popular neighborhood full of life. There are plenty of sophisticated nightlife options, and just a quick subway ride away from Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Couple that with being right next to Central Park, and the Upper West Side is hard to beat!
Although it’s a popular choice for the younger demographic, the Upper East Side is actually quite family-oriented, too, featuring some of New York’s most prestigious schools.
4. Bayside, Queens
Bayside appeals to residents wanting the best of both worlds – a tight-knit community feel that still offers plenty of city vibes. It’s well-known amongst New Yorkers for being a relatively quiet, safe option, and with plenty of highly reputable schools that have the latest security technologies such as classroom security locks.
Bayside is particularly popular for young families who want to live in a relatively peaceful, family-friendly neighborhood a stone’s throw from everything the city life has to offer.
5. Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Heights consistently rates highly for being one of the most desirable places to live in NY. Beautifully landscaped walkways, elegant brownstones, and the tree-lined promenade from which you can take in glorious views of Manhattan are just a few of its charms.
Its super convenient position makes it popular, too – young professionals and families love what Brooklyn has to offer, and Brooklyn Heights is one of its most sought-after neighborhoods – although it does come at a price.
6. Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg is known for its indie music scene and is a hip neighborhood popular with the young and edgy. Outdoor concerts, dance clubs, food markets – you name it, Williamsburg is rocking it. There is also a thriving contemporary art scene.
It’s also very close to Manhattan (across the Williamsburg Bridge), giving residents even more to see and do. While it’s not the safest of the Brooklyn neighborhoods, crime is still relatively low.
7. East Village, Manhattan
East Village is another artsy pocket of NY; known to be the birthplace of American punk rock, and once home to an assortment of famous artists and musicians, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Madonna, and the Strokes.
Packed with speakeasies, funky (and impressive) street art, and vibrant nightlife options, East Village is the quintessential choice for creative NY living.
Despite its continued indie energy, the neighborhood also features a wide range of high-end restaurants. Property prices no longer accommodate struggling artist types, although there are plenty of options. The dining options in this neighborhood can now be compared to the recognized restaurants in Paris or London.
8. Park Slope, Brooklyn
Park Slope is one of those neighborhoods that offers up a wonderfully laid-back atmosphere for families, students, and young professionals alike.
Teeming with iconic Brooklyn brownstones, Park Slope features stunning, tree-lined streets, casual dining options, and the beautiful Prospect Park, beloved by locals who use it for jogging, picnicking, and attending outdoor concerts. Local markets and excellent schools add that extra charm for families looking for a quaint community feel in NYC.
9. Long Island City, Queens
Many Manhattan workers prefer to escape the hustle and bustle, but don’t want a long commute – which makes Long Island City the perfect spot. Just 25 minutes away from the big smoke, Long Island City appeals to young professionals as well as creative types and features trendy restaurants, bars, and art galleries.
Long Island City is a redeveloped industrial area, so it largely comprises gleaming high-rises with killer views. Many of the apartments are larger than average city offerings, so it’s surprisingly family-friendly, too.
10. Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
Hell’s Kitchen might not sound like a desirable place to reside, but it’s actually one of the most happening, brilliant spots to call home.
Full of nightlife, bars, hotels, and restaurants – whatever you want, you’ll likely find it in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s home to a varied demographic, with both families and students enjoying the vibrant energy it exudes. It sits between the Hudson and Time Square, with easy access to iconic NY attractions such as the Lincoln Center and the Empire State Building; that said, it isn’t teeming with tourists. Hell’s Kitchen is one of the coolest NY neighborhoods to call home.
When it comes to choosing the best neighborhood to live in, New York City is bursting with options that each offer its own unique vibe and lifestyle. For a city that supposedly never sleeps, there are some surprisingly peaceful pockets, but certainly no shortage of lively locations either. Truly something for everyone.