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Click to read 16 Incredible Souvenirs from New York

Where to stay in New York

A comprehensive guide on finding the best accommodation in New York City for first time visitors that want to make the most out of the holiday. Here's where to stay in New York!

Where to stay in New York

You must be so excited about going to New York. It's now time to check where to stay in New York to make sure you are close to all the attractions and have the best holiday.

New York defies expectation, especially because it's been featured in so many movies. You practically know about it all already. You can come to New York City with any goal in mind, as it's often seen as the city that makes dreams come true.

New York City is a big place, and you can easily get overwhelmed when looking for the best places to stay. There are so many New York City hotels, ranging from luxury to budget. In this comprehensive guide, we'll help you find the best area to stay in New York and the best hotel to suit your budget and travel style.

So, what is the best area to stay in New York first time? The city is always in flux, with Manhattan neighbourhoods providing authentic local foods from every corner of the globe, and areas like Brooklyn's Williamsburg becoming a hub of unique hipster coffee shops, bookshops, and record stores. Between every iconic landmark are a thousand wonderful distractions to spellbind every visitor to this wonderful city that refuses to be bottled and labelled.

Let's have a look at every area you need to know about and help you find your best place to stay in New York.

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Where to stay in New York?

Choosing where to stay in New York City is a difficult one, every district is brimming with its culture and distractions. This is one of those wonderful cities that's very possible to explore on foot and opens up to visitors who decide to do so, especially since there are so many things to do in New York.

However, wherever you're based, the simple to navigate subway system has got your back. Wondering what's the best place to stay in NYC? The majority of visitors decide to stay on the island of Manhattan, where you'll find most of the city's major landmarks, museums, and notable restaurants.

Chances are you've seen so many of the neighbourhoods featured in movies already, so some visitors might want to pick their place to stay based on their favourite film.

The cool Brooklyn and Queens areas are fast becoming hipster hubs, attracting tourists who want a cheaper option without sacrificing things to do.

Where to stay in New York city

Midtown West – Broadway and Times Square

Why stay in Midtown West

One of the most coveted spots for tourists in New York, is the area that makes up Times Square, Broadway and stretches all the way West to the Hudson River. When you picture New York, this is the area people usually imagine and is perfect if you want to be in the middle of all the action in terms of bright lights, performances, shopping, and people.

You'll also be nearby of these key areas as well as Macy's, Madison Square Garden, making it ideal if you would like to traverse New York by foot. It's also perfect transport wise, since most of the major subway lines and bus routes run through this area.

If you intend to be in the centre of it all, then staying near Times Square is the best place to stay in New York, especially for first time visitors.

Some main attractions here include it's Times Square, the Empire State Building, Museum of Modern Art, the Flatiron Building, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Madison Square Park, Bryant Park, the High Line, Broadway, Grand Central Station, the Vessel, Fifth Avenue. Honestly, the list can continue. You can see why it's such a great place to stay in New York.

Chance are, you will also have a subway station so close to your hotel. There are plenty of luxury hotels in the area, so expect a premium price given your proximity to all the tourist attractions.

Times Square in Manhattan is a vibrant place to stay in NYC especially for first time visitors

Why avoid Midtown West

Midtown Manhatthan is an expensive area, and it gets busy. This may not be the ideal location if you're a light sleeper or want to be somewhere quiet. Regarding prices, expect hotels to be on the luxury and pricier side. You will struggle to find a great budget hotel here, so it may not be the place if you want to save money.

Midtown Manhattan is where you'll feel in the centre of New York, close to all attractions. You'll get all the brights from all the billboards. Obviously, it's a very touristy area, so you won't get much of local life here, but it's what the flashy New York City is all about.

Where to stay in Midtown West

Luxury: Hotel Arlo Midtown

Arlo Midtown has a restaurant, fitness centre, a bar and shared lounge in New York. This 4-star hotel is near Madison Square Garden, Times Square and Macy's.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Luxury: Hotel Margaritaville Resort Times Square

Margaritaville Resort Times Squareoffers clean and comfortable rooms with a desk, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a shower.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Scherman

Hotel Scherman is a boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan. The spacious rooms feature pillow-top mattresses and guests will have access to daily newspapers and housekeeping services A continental breakfast is served every morning at this Manhattan property.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Empire state building during sunset - stay in midtown to be close to attractions

Midtown East – See as much as possible on your doorstep

Why stay in Midtown East

Very convenient for lots of New York biggest sights, you're near Times Square, the Theatre District, the Rockefeller Center, the New York Public Library and MOMA. You're also next to some interesting cultural areas like Korea Town where there are some interesting restaurants, shops, and karaoke bars. Basically World Class museums are also in the vicinity, just a few minutes from your hotel.

Some of the most iconic tourist attractions like the Empire State Building and Grand Central Terminal are right on your doorstep. This is an ideal area if you're in New York for a few days and want to see as much as possible as easily as possible.

Stay in Midtown East if you want to be close to many tourist attractions and be in a central location. Besides, you are close to one of the entrances to the Central Park.

Why avoid Midtown East

It's one of the main tourism and business hubs, meaning it's incredibly busy most of the time. It's also costly to eat locally, and the choice of restaurants isn't as extensive as in other areas. You won't find many budget hotels here, either. If your budget allows it, it's a fantastic place to stay in New York.

Where to stay in Midtown East

Luxury: Hotel InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel, an IHG Hotel

This 5-star hotel, located in the center of Manhattan, is only a 10-minute walk to Times Square. The elegant hotel features a 24-gym, on-site restaurant and in-room refrigerator. Each room at the New York Barclay InterContinental includes an iPod docking station and cable TV with a DVD player.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Lotte New York Palace

With free transfers to Wall Street and Broadway theatres available twice a day, the Lotte New York Palace is located across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. All rooms at this Midtown-Manhattan hotel come with a marble bathroom and some rooms offer a view of the Cathedral.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Aparthotel Lombardy Hotel

The Hotel Lombardy is less than 1 miles from Grand Central Station. Rockefeller Center is 3,200 feet from this hotel. It offers clean and comfortable rooms.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Wall street in the Financial District in NYC - stay here for a quiet and great time in NYC

Financial District – Quieter Alternative to Midtown

Why stay in Financial District

A quieter spot than some other tourist hubs of Manhattan that's still very much close to all the action. There's a laidback vibe in the area, plenty of cafés, bookshops, and shops to wander.

You'll be close to the Brooklyn Bridge as well as the Manhattan Bridge. Being in the Financial district means you'll be able to see the Wall Street in all its glory.

There's plenty to do in the area, it's nearby to Little Italy, the 9/11 memorial museum (where once the World Trade Center stood), and the ferry to Staten Island which offers great free views of the State of Liberty. There's also a lot of history in the area, so plenty to uncover for culture vultures, and you're just a short train ride to Brooklyn and Midtown.

To see it all, book a Statue of Liberty Ticket, 9/11 Memorial (World Trade Center) and Wall Street tour.

Why avoid Financial District

While there are great hotels and several tourist attractions here, you will have to rely on the public transport to take you to other parts of Manhattan, where the city comes to live. You won't get much nightlife or party vibes here.

Where to stay in Financial District

Luxury: Hotel citizenM New York Bowery

Situated in the Lower East Side district in New York, citizenM New York Bowery is minutes away from the nightlife and restaurants of Bowery. The property is around an 8-minute walk from Bloomingdale's and within 20 minutes' walk of SoHo, Lower Manhattan, and Little Italy.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Fairfield Inn

Located in New York, 650 feet from Ground Zero and 1,000 feet from National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area provides rooms with air conditioning and free WiFi. Rooms have a private bathroom with a shower.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: World Center Hotel

This New York City hotel is opposite of Memorial Plaza and within 2,150 feet of Battery Park. Each of the rooms at the New York World Center Hotel is decorated in neutral tones and includes a desk.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Central park as seen from above - stay here for quick access to leafy greens and boulevards

Upper West Side – Family Friendly, Central Park Area

Why stay in Upper West Side

Anyone looking for some peace and quiet will feel right at home in the Upper West Side. Known for Central Park, this is the place to be if you want to combine shopping, a plethora of museums, and peaceful tree-lined streets.

This is an ideal area for families due to the family-friendly restaurants and wide-open riverside spaces that are ideal for cycling or walking. It's also effortless to get to the other popular areas on the subway due to the good connections, so you're not sacrificing action for the quieter location. Upper West Side in New York also known to be one of the safest areas in the city and a great place to stay in New York City.

Why avoid Upper West Side

This isn't the area for nightlife or particularly varied cuisine. You'll find many chain restaurants here, so if you're a foodie or a night owl this might be too quiet for you.

Where to stay in Upper West Side

Luxury: Arthouse Hotel

Greeted by custom artwork, an original fireplace and a 1920’s elevator system in lobby, guests at this century-old hotel in Upper West Side will be 2,150 feet from the Central Park. Rooms and suites at Arthouse Hotel include flat-screen TVs and desks.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Lucerne

This hotel is 500 feet from the 79th street metro station and 1,050 feet from the Museum of Natural History. Rooms feature light colors and offer luxury bath products. In-room coffee and a work desk are also included.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Beacon

This hotel has rooms and suites with kitchenettes and living room seating areas. The Hotel Beacon is on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, 2,650 feet from Central Park. Each room and suite offers free cable on flat-screen TVs, iPod docks and WiFi access.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Stay in upper east side in Manhattan

Upper East Side – Upscale, relaxed area with museums

Why stay in Upper East Side

Featuring the ‘museum mile' and various upscale buildings, dining, and department stores, this is the area to stay in if you want a swanky, quiet area not far from Central Park with lots to do. You could easily spend your entire trip visiting galleries and museums, being based here, and not even start on the usual sights of Manhattan. If upscale shopping is your thing, then you'll also be thrilled here.

Why avoid Upper East Side

It's a quiet area, suited to families and people looking for a relaxing getaway, so may not suit everyone. It's also a generally high-end area, so not suited to the budget traveller.

Where to stay in Upper East Side

Luxury: The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel is located across from Central Park at 61st Street. A part of the New York City skyline with its copper mansard roof, The Pierre offers guests white glove luxury service. The hotel is close to high-end shopping destinations and is only steps away from Bergdorf Goodman. The boutiques of Fifth & Madison Avenues are in proximity. The Pierre has played host to many society events since opening in 1930.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Luxury: Loews Regency New York Hotel

Located on famous Park Avenue, this modern family-friendly hotel is 2 blocks from Central Park and a 17-minute walk from Rockefeller Center. The neutrally colored guest rooms at Loews Regency New York Hotel include modern furnishings and a flat-screen TV.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: The Mark New York

Located in Manhattan just 1 block from Central Park, this boutique hotel features The Mark Restaurant. With an artistic design, Mark Hotel includes a state-of-the-art gym and spacious guest rooms.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Chelsea in New York - stay here for lots to do and galleries

Chelsea – Quieter, Stylish Area with Lots to Do

Why stay in Chelsea

A great hub for foodies, and people who love trendy bars, cobbled streets, art galleries, and nightlife. It's an ideal alternative to the busy Midtown and is located just West of there, so it's not far from most of the number one tourist sights of Manhattan.

The Flatiron building is in this district as well as Union Square with plenty of coffee shops, small restaurants, and bookshops including the famous Strand bookshop.

Close to the east side of Chelsea you've got NoMad, a hotspot of luxury flats, luxury hotels, trendy bars and lounges. Chances are, you'll come here for a drink in a cool rooftop bar.

It's a great choice for people who love markets as this is the sight of the famous Christmas Market, the Green market four days a week, and various other flea and antique markets throughout the week. There's plenty to do after dark regarding entertainment, so it's an ideal base for people who like to be kept busy.

Why avoid Chelsea

Depending on where you are in the area, it can either be very noisy after dark or eerily quiet with not much to do, so positioning yourself on a good side street is key to enjoying the area to its fullest. There isn't a lot of budget accommodation here in Chelsea and the food and drink options lean towards the more expensive here.

Where to stay in Chelsea

Luxury: Motto by Hilton New York City Chelsea

Motto by Hilton New York City Chelsea is situated1,650 feet from Flatiron Building and 2,300 feet from Madison Square Garden. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The property is close to popular attractions like Bryant Park, The High Line and Times Square.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Cambria Hotel New York - Chelsea

Featuring a rooftop bar and lounge with a city view, Cambria Hotel New York - Chelsea is located 1,650 feet from Empire State Building, 1,650 feet from Madison Square Garden and 1,650 feet from Penn Station.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Budget: Holiday Inn Express

Located 1,050 feet from Madison Square Garden, this Manhattan hotel offers a daily continental breakfast and rooms with free WiFi and a cable TV. Penn Station is also 1,050 feet away. Free access to the on-site fitness room is offered to all guests.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Vibrant street in Soho New York - stay here for the coolest neighbourhood in NYC

Soho & Tribeca – Upscale, boutique area

Why stay in Soho & Tribeca

If you're looking to stay in the most upscale part of Manhattan, this is it. It's a shoppers' paradise with boutique stores and vendors selling handcrafted, and artisan items. You know you're in an exclusive area as the avenues are lined with leafy trees and well known luxury brands.

It's a romantic area in the heart of Manhattan, just South of Washington Square Park. You can take your pick of fine dining establishments to eat at in Tribeca after visiting the multitude of art galleries and photographing the beautiful architecture that's hard to miss.

Why avoid Soho & Tribeca

This is one of the most expensive places to stay in New York, and there's very little budget accommodation on offer here. It can also get very busy with foot traffic as it's popular with tourists.

Where to stay in Soho & Tribeca

Luxury: NoMo SoHo

Located in New York City's trendy SoHo district, this 5-star hotel is inspired by the Jean Cocteau Film, "La Belle et la Bête". Down bedding and a marble bathroom are also included in each room. In-room spa services are available. Little Italy and various art galleries and shops are within a 5-minute walk of the hotel.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Sonder Duane Street

Surrounded by art galleries and shops in the lively Tribeca neighbourhood of lower Manhattan, this hotel offers TV and free Wi-fi Rooms at Sonder l Duane Street are furnished with hardwood floors and work desks and bathrobes are also provided.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Roxy Hotel New York

This Tribeca hotel welcomes you with a complimentary glass of champagne on the weekends and offers free WiFi. Use the 24/7 fitness room and concierge. The hotel provided free bikes to explore the surrounding areas.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Greenwich village - stay here if you want to be in the heart of LGTBQ district

Greenwich Village – Great for nightlife and quaint pictures

Why stay in Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village is the epicenter of the city's 1960s counterculture movement. Find Jazz clubs and Off-Broadway Theaters and see all the rainbow flags which tell the world this is a LGBT-friendly neighbourhood.

The area isn't quite as grid-like as most of the city, and features cobblestones and winding streets. It's one of the best areas for nightlife as the Meatpacking District has you covered for breweries, bars, live music halls, and clubs.

It's also a hotspot for foodies with numerous choice regarding restaurants, small eateries, and cafés.

With some of the most boutique hotels in Manhattan in the area, this is a perfect place to stay in New York if you want something a little different with lots to do and good transport links.

Why avoid Greenwich Village

The nightlife scene, while a huge draw does make it very noisy and busy at times, particularly on the weekend. It's quite an expensive area despite the edgy vibe so people on a budget may not find this the ideal location.

Where to stay in Greenwich Village

Luxury: The Standard, High Line New York

Every room at the hotel features floor-to-ceiling windows and a city or river view. The hotel offers several on-site bars and restaurants. There is also 24-hour room service and complimentary bike hire as this pet-friendly hotel.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Walker Hotel Greenwich Village

Nestled in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, this boutique hotel is 2,650 feet from New York University and Washington Square Park. It features elegant 1920s-inspired décor. Union Square and the Union Square subway station is 1,600 feet from the property.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: The Marlton Hotel

Located in the heart of Greenwich Village and housed in a restored historic building, this Manhattan boutique hotel features free WiFi access and on-site dining, including a complimentary daily breakfast. It is 550 feet from Washington Square Park.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Lower East Side – Arty, grungy area with great food

Why stay in Lower East Side

Lower East Side is the artsy, creative hub of Manhattan. There's plenty to do here for people who love vintage stores, artisan cafes, speakeasy bars, and cocktails. You're also within walking distance to some of the best foodie areas in the city like Chinatown, Little Italy and some fantastic delis – a Katz's sandwich is a must-try experience.

There are also several trains running to Brooklyn, meaning you can explore popular areas like Williamsburg easily. This is ideal if you like to be based in an eclectic side with gritty alleys and young crowds. There are some key things to do in the area like the Tenement Museum, Merchant House Museum, and Eldridge Street Synagogue, so there's plenty to keep you busy.

The east village is known for its nightlife, with its old school bars and posh cocktail lounges. During the day, come here to browse the vintage boutiques and chill in one of the hip restaurants. It's a brilliant place to get souvenirs from.

Why avoid Lower East Side

The transport links here aren't great, so if this is your first time in the city, and you're hoping to see lots of the main tourist sights, then this may be a bit of an awkward location.

It's quite busy and crowded, and there's not a huge range of accommodation. It is quite residential in parts, so it may not have the New York bright lights vibe many are looking for.

Where to stay in Lower East Side

Luxury: Hotel on Rivington

Hotel on Rivington is situated in New York in the New York State region, less than 0.6 miles from Bloomingdales and a 16-minute walk from NYU - New York University. Some rooms at the property have a balcony with a city view.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: The Allen Hotel

The Allen is located in the Lower East Side district of New York near Bloomingdales, Brooklyn Bridge and One World Trade Center. Rooms are complete with a private bathroom equipped with a bath or shower and free toiletries, while selected rooms also have a balcony.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Train to Long Island during sunset

Long Island City – Cheaper alternative not far from the action

Why stay in Long Island City

New York City can be a challenge for those on a budget but not impossible. Anyone who's looking to save some money on accommodation may find Long Island City a great choice, as there's a plethora of budget hotels and hostels in this up-and-coming neighbourhood.

Not too far from the city, there are several convenient train lines running through Long Island City that will get you into Manhattan in no time. You also get the bonus of incredible skyline views of the city.

Why avoid Long Island City

There are fewer bars, restaurants, and general things to do in the area as it's still up and coming, so if you like many things to do nearby then constantly getting the train may not suit you. This also won't suit people seeking a high-end experience, being a largely residential area.

Where to stay in Long Island City

Luxury: Courtyard by Marriott Long Island City

Courtyard Long Island City has three subway stations within 2,100 feet of the property. Museum of the Moving Image is 1 miles away. Some rooms offer stunning views of the city.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel

This Long Island City hotel features a 24-hour gym, free WiFi and rooms with a flat-screen TV. The 21st Street Subway Station is 550 feet away so you can quickly access Manhattan. All rooms at the Best Western Plaza hotel offer a refrigerator, coffee maker, and a spacious work desk.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Budget: Home2 Suites Long Island City/Manhattan View

Home2 Suites Long Island City/Manhattan View offers pet-friendly accommodation in Queens, only a 2-minute' walk from the subway station.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Brooklyn bridge inbetween two brick buildings

Brooklyn – Budget, hipster central with lots to offer

Why stay in Brooklyn

This is another great option for people looking to stay in New York on a budget.

Brooklyn, however, is much more than a budget option now offering a microcosm of culture of its very own to explore. With popular areas, such as the hipster Williamsburg offering artisan cafés, markets, vintage stores, and art galleries to the popular areas on or near the waterfront like Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, and Dumbo.

The Museum of Moving Images is a popular destination as well as the various flea and antique markets that happen daily and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

It's straightforward to take the train or the ferry (which offers fantastic views of Brooklyn Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge) into Manhattan, so there's no need to miss out on any of the sights there either.

Perfect for people who like a more relaxed, edgy vibe.

Why avoid Brooklyn

As nice as being outside the city can be, you will have to get the train or a taxi to see the big sights of New York City, so if it's your first visit you may find the travel to and from Brooklyn eating away at your time.

Where to stay in Brooklyn

Luxury: The Hoxton, Williamsburg

The Hoxton, Williamsburg is situated in Brooklyn in the New York State region, 2.7 miles from Barclays Center and 11.2 miles from Coney Island. The Hoxton, Williamsburg features some rooms with city views, and each room comes with a coffee machine.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Pod Brooklyn

The Pod Hotel Brooklyn is located 2,100 feet from the Music Hall of Williamsburg and 3,150 feet from State of New York – East River State Park. The rooms are housed in four buildings that are separated by a courtyard and connected by bridges.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Budget: Bklyn House Hotel New York Brooklyn

This hotel is located in Brooklyn, 3.1 miles from Barclays Center. Every air conditioned room at this hotel features a TV. Each room has a private bathroom with a bath or shower.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Stairs in Bronx NY which appeared in the movie The Joker

Where should I avoid in NYC?

Like every large city, there are areas you want to avoid in NYC. Don't go to Brownsville, Soundview, and much of the Bronx.

Don't leave your valuable unattended, don't go into dark alleys at night, and don't use the empty subway carriages at night. If you need to ride the subway at night, get into busier ones or in the conductor's carriage. As always, don't travel without travel insurance and make sure to buy it today!

What do you think?

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Your Comment

H
Hamid
26 Aug 2022

than you for sharing the best tips for staying in NYC on a budget

A
Affan
14 Aug 2022

best useful information about New York City, and which places to visit. thank you for sharing knowledge
Regards