The 8 Best Neighborhoods in New York City

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More than 8 million Americans call New York City home. The “Big Apple,” stands as a global hub of culture, diversity, and opportunity and boasts endless iconic landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. 

The city is a mosaic of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own charm, character, and unique identity. Whether you’re a tranquility-seeker, a foodie, an art enthusiast, or one of the millions of residents that earned NYC its title as the “city that never sleeps,” you’ll find a neighborhood that feels like home. 

Here’s our personal roundup of the eight best NYC neighborhoods.  

Image courtesy of NYC Tourism + Conventions

Greenwich Village, Manhattan

  • Average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment:  $3,500 to $4,500 per month
  • Average home sale price: Approximately $2.5 million for condos. 

Image courtesy of Near+Far

Greenwich Village is the bohemian hub of New York City. This upscale neighborhood in Lower Manhattan is a haven for artists, musicians, young professionals, and New York University students, and its streets echo the influence of icons like Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. 

Despite its relaxed atmosphere, Greenwich Village doesn’t compromise on convenience. It’s served by multiple bus lines and two subway stations, streamlining travel within Manhattan and beyond. It is also extremely walkable, with convenient access to shops, restaurants, and parks.

However, this all comes at a price. Aside from the high cost of living, future Greenwich Village residents should prepare for crowds.

Astoria, Queens

  • Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: Between $2,000 and $2,500 per month
  • Average sale price for a condo or apartment: $800,000. 

Image Courtesy of Suitcase and Heals

Astoria, Queens is known for its vibrant community atmosphere and ethnic diversity. Young professionals and artists are often drawn to this neighborhood. Here, you’ll find a range of international food options, including mouthwatering Asian and Latin American cuisines, as well as a thriving nightlife. Popular attractions include the Museum of the Moving Image and Astoria Park, a beautiful public park along the water. 

Astoria is generally walkable, and the neighborhood offers excellent public transport connections. It’s served by the E, M, N, R, and W subway lines, along with multiple bus routes. While it’s easy to access Midtown from Astoria, it can take nearly an hour to reach Brooklyn and the Lower East Side on public transportation, so if you’re drawn to the nightlife in these areas, Astoria may be a bit out of the way. 

Prices in Astoria, however, are lower than in other areas of the city. 

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Long Island City, Queens

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: Between $3,000 and $4,000
  • Average selling price for condos/luxury high-rise apartments: Around $1 million. 

Image Courtesy of NYC Tourism + Conventions

Located in Queens, Long Island City offers affordable waterfront living and a vibrant arts scene. The area is also home to breweries, restaurants, trendy cafes, and cultural institutions, including the Noguchi Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, and MoMA PS1.

Public transportation is excellent here. The area is serviced by eight subway lines, 15 bus lines, three ferry landings, and the Long Island Rail Road. It is also a relatively walkable area. The area is particularly popular among young couples and artists. However, due to the neighborhood’s rapid development, overcrowding could become a problem in the future. 

East Village, Manhattan

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  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: Between $3,500 and $4,500 per month.
  • Average selling price for condos/luxury high-rises: Around $2 million. 

Just a short distance from Greenwich Village lies the East Village, a vibrant neighborhood teeming with life and diversity. Known for its amazing bar and club scene and perpetual celebration, the East Village is a haven for young, single people looking to socialize.

The neighborhood’s walkability is another significant advantage. Green spaces like East River Park and Tompkins Square Park make the area enjoyable to explore on foot. Getting around the city is also a breeze, with decent accessibility to public transportation.

As far as cons go, the most notable is the high rent prices. The East Village area can also get noisy, and there is limited parking

Central Harlem, Manhattan

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: Between $2,000 to $3,000 per month
  • Average selling price for condos/luxury apartments: $1.2 million, approximately 

Located in the northern part of Manhattan, Central Harlem pairs affordability with rich culture. This historic area is home to brownstones, and cultural landmarks like the Apollo Theater. Thanks to Central Harlem’s rich jazz history, you’ll also be within walking distance of iconic venues like the Red Rooster.

Schools like the High School for Math Science & Engineering at City College and Tag Young Scholars showcase Central Harlem’s dedication to providing great education. With an average commuting time of just 8 minutes to Midtown Manhattan, Central Harlem also offers convenient public transportation options in addition to being walkable. 

Overall, the area is very diverse and attracts many families. 

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Midtown East, Manhattan

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: Between $3,500 and $5,000 per month
  • Average selling price for condos/luxury high-rises: $1.5 million. 

Image Courtesy of Compass

Situated in the heart of Manhattan, Midtown East is an upscale urban neighborhood in Manhattan, just a stone’s throw away from business centers, including the bustling Lower East area. Several subway lines, including the E, M, and 6, serve this highly walkable area, providing residents with convenient transportation options.

Popular attractions abound in Midtown East. Here, you’ll find the United Nations Headquarters, Grand Central Terminal, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. There’s high-end dining, upscale shopping, and cultural attractions such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Rockefeller Center.

While the convenience is unparalleled, the cost of living reflects this. The prices to both rent and buy are steep. 

Battery Park City, Manhattan

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: Between $4,000 and $6,000 per month
  • Average selling price for condos/luxury high-rises: Around $2 million. 

Image Courtesy of The Deermar Paper

Battery Park City, Manhattan, is a modern, family-friendly neighborhood. This planned community emerged in the 1970s and offers a variety of housing options, from condos to luxury high-rise buildings. The highly rated public Battery Park City School makes the area a great place for raising kids. 

The neighborhood isn’t just about residential bliss. It offers top attractions such as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, Brookfield Place, and Rockefeller Park. Battery Park City is highly walkable, with picturesque waterfront views and green spaces.

Just remember, the area’s waterfront living and scenic views come at a cost. 

Prospect Park, Brooklyn

  • Average rent for a private room: Between  $2,500 to $3,500 per month
  • Average selling price for condos/brownstones: $1.5 million 

Image courtesy of NYC Parks 

Thinking of moving to Brooklyn? Prospect Park is a great choice. This diverse, family-friendly area has a strong sense of community. This neighborhood boasts stunning brownstones, lush tree-lined streets, and rich cultural institutions like the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Prospect Park is served by nine subway lines and numerous bus routes. The area is walkable and offers plenty of green spaces, including Prospect Park itself, the largest park in Brooklyn. 

Things to Consider When Moving to New York City

If you’ve never lived here, a move to NYC can be intimidating. For starters, the cost of living in NYC far exceeds the cost of living in other cities, plus there’s a competitive job market. Not to mention, life in NYC is fast-paced, and the constant hustle and bustle can be overwhelming for newcomers.

Here are some tips that might help you adjust to life in New York City: 

Utilize Public Transportation

 Familiarize yourself with the subway and bus systems, which are the lifelines of the city. Invest in a MetroCard for convenient travel, and remember that NYC’s public transportation network can get crowded during peak hours.

Stay Safe and Informed

NYC is generally safe but staying informed about your surroundings is essential. Use NYPD’s Crime Map to stay up-to-date about crime and take advantage of NYC’s 311 service to report any non-urgent issues.

Budget Wisely

Above all, New York City is expensive. Prepare for a higher cost of living by creating a realistic budget that accounts for rent, groceries, transportation, and entertainment expenses.

You can also cut housing costs by downsizing. If you have belongings that you won’t be able to fit into your new apartment or home, consider taking advantage of a nearby storage unit or a self-storage marketplace, like Neighbor

General Moving Tips

Moving is never easy, so we’ve compiled a list of some helpful moving guides. 

Summary

Embark on your NYC adventure and settle into one of these neighborhoods today. Remember that feeling lonely is normal after a move, so take advantage of the city’s many cultural institutions, parks, restaurants, and entertainment venues to get out and meet new people.  

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