As a self-respecting world traveler, you know your bucket list has to include New York City. Incomparable entertainment and shopping, dining, museums, and galleries galore … what doesn’t this megacity have? But with a wealth of neighborhoods and hotels to choose from, figuring out where to stay in New York City can be tricky.
For most visitors, the sweet spot is Midtown Manhattan, home to many of the best hotels in New York City. And thanks to Midtown’s subway station network, big-ticket items like Times Square, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center are a “New York minute” away.
But you don’t have to stop your accommodation hunt there. Other NYC neighborhoods like Chelsea, Soho, and the Upper East Side offer a fantastic range of excellent dining options, along with solid options for accommodation. And you can count on NYC’s abundant transportation options to get you where you want to go in a flash.
Want to nail down the perfect home base? Discover all the best places to stay in New York City with this guide to the top areas, neighborhoods, and hotels.
Best places to stay in New York City, NY
New York City is big – so big that it’s made up of five mini-cities (aka boroughs): the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island—each with dozens of neighborhoods adding their own local vibe. Hang out with the hipsters in Brooklyn, explore beautiful waterfront parks on Staten Island, or dive into the food and sports scene in Queens.
With over 20 million people, the City that Never Sleeps buzzes with energy 24/7. This tourist magnet attracts a diverse crowd, so you’ll see accommodations ranging from hostels for under $50 a night to luxury suites that go for thousands.
Outside Midtown, gentrified neighborhoods like SoHo, Greenwich Village, and Chelsea are known for their character – and they charge accordingly. You can likely snag a better deal in the Financial District for a weekend stay ‒ but you won’t be as close to major NYC tourist attractions.
You can’t beat Midtown when it comes to proximity to attractions. And because it’s the hub of NYC tourism, it offers a good selection of affordable options.
Ready to take a bite out of the Big Apple?
The best areas to stay in New York City are:
✓ Best place to stay in NYC for first-time visitors
Planning a first-time trip to New York City? Then you’ll want to make Midtown Manhattan your home base. The world’s largest central business district, Midtown Manhattan is home to many of NYC’s iconic landmarks, including the Empire State Building and the Museum of Modern Art. Toss in popular tourist attractions like Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and Times Square – and you’ve got a jam-packed roster.
Want to get the big picture? Even if you only have 24 hours in New York City, be sure to head over to the Top of the Rock, the observation platform at the top of Rockefeller Center, and take in incredible skyline views of the entire city.
After a day of sightseeing, take a stroll down Fifth Avenue towards Times Square and enjoy a break from the Concrete Jungle in Bryant Park. This gorgeous garden-filled oasis is one of the loveliest green spaces in NYC.
Midtown’s central location offers easy access to entertainment options – but when you want to venture further afield, you’re covered. Thanks to convenient subway connections and Penn Station’s train service, the whole city is at your doorstep—along with many of the best day trips from NYC.
Ease yourself in at the Hotel Scherman. Set on Midtown’s west side, it’s a family-friendly mid-range hotel just a short walk from Fifth Avenue, Central Park, and the Theater District. Enjoy a continental breakfast before heading out for the day. When you’re ready to refuel, explore the area’s many coffee shops and excellent dining options – or hit the hotel’s rooftop terrace for a cocktail and unparalleled views.
The highly-rated citizenM New York Square Times Square describes itself as “affordable with everything you need and nothing you don’t.” It’s ideal for travelers who’ll be spending most of the day out exploring, don’t want to spend a lot – but want comfort when they call it a day. No frills, but a solid mid-range hotel with three nice perks: proximity to attractions, a gym with incredible skyline views, and a rooftop bar.
If you’re looking for upscale and upbeat, head for the Park Terrace Hotel. Set in the heart of Midtown, it’s just steps away from Broadway, endless restaurant options, and upscale shopping on Fifth Avenue. The rooms feature bright, airy décor and natural light. Top off your day with dinner and cocktails at the Terrazzo Terrace & Lounge, overlooking Bryant Park.
A chic getaway in the midst of the urban action, LUMA Hotel – Times Square offers a beautiful space to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Its spacious, modern rooms are filled with natural light. With modern practical spaces and amenities, it’s ideal for business travelers. Enjoy a continental breakfast, and unwind in the evening with a cocktail in the sleek lobby bar.
✓ Best area to stay in NYC for fashionistas and foodies
Once a bastion for struggling artists, SoHo is now a favorite haunt of fashionistas and foodies. Named for its location south of NYC’s Houston Street, SoHo is set on the lower west side of Midtown Manhattan. Book into one of the great hotels here, and you’ll experience all the delights this neighborhood offers, including upscale shopping, trendy restaurants, music venues, and loads of nightlife options.
Stroll SoHo’s cobblestone streets, and you’ll discover loads of designer boutiques, shops, and art galleries. Bonus: As this is a more residential neighborhood, you won’t have to elbow through crowds to get into major attractions.
When hunger hits, you’ve got a bunch of food options, including high-end bakeries and restaurants like Laudurée and Dominique Ansel. You’ll want to check out some great neighborhood options to savor some of the best pizza in New York City.
Take a stroll through the West Village, an intriguing neighborhood known for its bohemian roots, landmark brownstone architecture, and vibrant arts and music scene.
The Soho Grand Hotel couldn’t be more central: it’s right on Broadway! This luxury hotel is close to art galleries, designer shops, and popular restaurants. The Soho Grand features an outdoor restaurant, and all rooms have cityscape views. Work up a sweat in the 24-hour gym, then treat yourself to a cocktail in the Club Room, or slip out to the patio to enjoy an alfresco meal.
If you’re looking for a solid mid-range option, check out SIXTY SoHo. This boutique hotel in the heart of Soho features contemporary rooms complete with elegant marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and well-stocked minibars. Hit the gym, then hit Bistro Leo for a sampling of French cuisine. Slip up to the rooftop lounge for a cocktail and some stunning city views.
Savor the luxe life at The Dominick Hotel, the only Five-Diamond property in SoHo. Featuring four restaurants, a terrace, an outdoor pool, and a full-service spa, this 46-story Manhattan hotel has rooms that offer floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views of Manhattan and the Hudson River. And it’s all within a mile of the High Line, Washington Square Park, and other NYC hotspots.
Set on a cobblestone SoHo street, this charming boutique hotel features bright, modern rooms with high ceilings and full-length windows overlooking a beautiful courtyard. Step into the Crosby Bar and Terrace for a cocktail and gourmet treats, or enjoy afternoon tea with pastries and sandwiches. Hit the 24-hour gym to burn off those carbs – or just relax by the fireplace in the plush drawing room.
✓ Best neighborhood to stay in NYC for cool creatives
If you want to experience one of NYC’s trendiest neighborhoods, you’ll want to chill out in Chelsea. Set on Manhattan’s West Side, this area now hums with industrial spaces that have been reimagined as cutting-edge galleries, trendy boutiques, and irresistible eateries.
Hit The High Line, one of NYC’s favorite attractions. A repurposed rail line suspended above the streets, this “floating park” winds between Chelsea and the Hudson Yards. Hop off at the Chelsea Market for a snack and a browse.
Want to check out the legendary Madison Square Garden? Just hop aboard a train to 34th Street–Penn Station, and you’re there. Head east and stroll down Fifth Avenue to reach the Flatiron District, named after an iconic triangular building constructed in 1902. Take a breather in Madison Square Park at the foot of the Flatiron, and grab a bite at neighborhood fav Shake Shack.
Just south of Chelsea, explore the century-old Meatpacking District – now a hotspot for high-end shopping, dining, and nightlife. Its cobbled streets are also home to cutting-edge galleries and amazing museums, including the renowned Whitney Museum of American Art.
If you want to check out the picturesque brownstones and romantic cafes of Sex and the City, you’ll want to take in the Greenwich Village vibe, just a two-minute subway ride away. A stroll through Washington Square Park, with its iconic century-old arch, is a great way to end the day.
Towering 42 stories over Chelsea, the unique Motto by Hilton New York City Chelsea is art-deco-meets-modern. It’s just a mile from The High Line, Chelsea Market, Times Square, and Greenwich Village, and it’s within walking distance of dozens of outstanding eateries, bars, museums, and shops. Done a day of walking? Just relax with a drink and a bite at Motto’s bar and restaurant.
A unique blend of Italian romantic and American modern, the award-winning Moxy NYC Chelsea features a full roster of amenities at an affordable price. You’ll enjoy cozy bedrooms flooded with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel’s design reflects the neighborhood and its past with its industrial façade and soaring atrium. Settle in and unwind at the bar and restaurant, or head up to enjoy incredible skyline views from the glass-enclosed rooftop lounge.
You’ll imagine you’re on a scenic cruise at the boutique Maritime Hotel, a delightful, first-of-its-kind, nautical-themed hotel located at the heart of the Meatpacking District. Featuring playful signature porthole windows and elevated outdoor terraces that overlook Ninth Avenue, this was the district’s first luxury hotel. Unique wood paneling gives the rooms a cool but cozy retro vibe.
Talk about central! Just steps away from Times Square and the Empire State Building, Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel is at the hub of the action. (Heads up, shoppers: It’s a four-minute walk from Macy’s!) The hotel suites are fitted with a mini fridge and flat-screen TV. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the Versa restaurant, or go alfresco on the outdoor terrace.
Upper East Side
✓ Best neighborhood to stay in NYC for upscale shopping and museum browsing
World-class museums meet haute couture on New York City’s legendary Upper East Side. Set across from Central Park and spanning 59th street to 96th street, this posh neighborhood is home to luxury apartments and townhouses, upscale restaurants, and designer shops. Take a stroll around the neighborhood (and try not to drool) as you admire the stunning brownstones, grand stoops, and ornate architecture.
Shopaholics can get their fix at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street. If you want to give your wallet a workout, head over to Madison Avenue and feast your eyes on goods by Lanvin and Laboutin set in stunning store windows.
But the Upper East Side is more than just a well-pampered face. It’s also home to Museum Mile, a stretch of Fifth Avenue along Central Park which features some of the finest museums and cultural institutions in NYC, including the Guggenheim, El Museo del Barrio, and the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Get away from it all at the Courtyard New York Manhattan/Upper East Side. A short walk from the Guggenheim and Central Park, this quiet residential location on the East River offers easy access to everything the neighborhood offers. The stylish rooms feature flexible work areas, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. When you’re ready to rev up or wind down, hit the fitness center – complete with sauna and steam room.
Housed in a handsome brownstone capturing 19th-century glamour, voco® The Franklin combines historic appeal with contemporary convenience. Set on a quiet, tree-lined street neighboring Central Park, this charming hotel offers easy access to both the Museum Mile and the high-end shopping of Madison Avenue. You’ll also enjoy loads of great dining choices in the area. Canine companions are welcome – so you and Fido can enjoy some quality time in Central Park.
If you’re looking for an ideal blend of classic luxe and quick access to nearby attractions, book in at The Sherry Netherland. For nearly a century, “The Sherry” has been Manhattan’s luxury hotel of choice thanks to its five-star service and high-end accommodations. Set on the corner of Fifth and 59th at the entrance to Central Park, it’s steps away from both Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue shopping.
If you’re craving a taste of the lavish, The Pierre, A Taj Hotel New York will deliver. Opened in 1930, this iconic building is ideally situated across from Central Park on the corner of Fifth Avenue. Savor rich culinary offerings ranging from Imperial crab to warm chocolate cake. Then pull up a chair to take in the hotel’s renowned live entertainment (and maybe a cocktail or two).
✓ Best area in NYC to stay for budget-conscious and business travelers
Don’t let the name fool you. There’s much more to NYC’s Financial District than high-flying financiers. Yes, it’s the thumping heart of the financial world, home to glittering skyscrapers and legendary Wall Street. But the financial district offers other treasures to explore.
Stroll the legendary cobbles of Stone Street, dating back to 1658. Take in the neighborhood’s stunning architectural features, or check out quirky hole-in-the-wall eateries. Head harbor-side for some great photo ops. Stand at the top of One World Trade Center for breathtaking vistas of the city, and pay your respects at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
Craving some buzz? Head up to Union Square on 14th Street to browse the market. Want an iconic eyeful? Then jump on a ferry at Battery Park for a cruise around the Statue of Liberty. Ready to hang with the uber-hip? Meander over to Tribeca, a reimagined industrial area that’s home to some of the trendiest restaurants and boutiques in town.
Tip: Since most business travelers vacate at week’s end, you can usually find good deals on weekend stays.
The Artezen Hotel makes it easy to unwind. This four-star luxury hotel features a business center in-room workspaces, WiFi, flat-screen TV, and a state-of-the-art gym. Just steps from the Fulton Center transit hub, you’ve got great access to local subway lines. Take in the view from the terrace – or hop on a rental bike to explore.
If you’re looking for a great home base to explore Lower Manhattan and beyond, the World Center Hotel is a perfect choice. After a day of discovery, relax on the hotel’s sky-high terrace. You’ll wake up to amazing waterfront views of the Hudson River and New York Harbor – ready to hit the ground running.
Experience the “FiDi” vibe at Moxy NYC Downtown, set at the bustling juncture of Tribeca, the Financial District, and Chinatown. Step into the lobby and take a selfie at the glowing LED wall. Relax in a room decked out with 50-inch LED TVs and surround sound speakers. Check out Recreation, a work/play hub where you can sip a cocktail while trying your hand at old-school arcade games.
If you’re after affordable comfort and convenience, Residence Inn by Marriott New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area is a solid mid-range choice. Close to landmarks like the World Trade Center, it also provides easy access to Midtown via the Fulton Center subway station. Start your day with a workout at the fitness center and a complimentary breakfast, and wind down at the day’s end in the restaurant or lounge.
✓ Best neighborhood to stay in NYC for escape artists and culture vultures
If you’re ready to get off the beaten tourist path, Brooklyn is a fantastic option. This bustling borough has its very own vibe, a mix of laid-back ease and this-moment edge. It offers loads of things to see & do without being overwhelming.
Let’s build out from the classic cornerstones. Brooklyn is home to the revered Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Brooklyn Museum, which houses the second-largest public art collection in the US. Enough said?
On a different note: If you’re looking for Brooklyn’s hipster hangout and a foodie favorite, head for the Williamsburg neighborhood. No longer a well-kept secret, this area is becoming increasingly popular thanks to its thriving art scene and vibrant nightlife.
Check out “DUMBO” (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) for amazing street art. This reclaimed industrial area features cobblestone streets, beautiful brick buildings, and fantastic food options – plus spectacular views of the Lower Manhattan skyline.
If you’re looking for minimal chic combined with affordability, Pod Brooklyn is it. This mid-range Williamsburg hotel offers comfortable, efficiently-designed rooms for very reasonable prices. This ultra-modern hotel features a pared-down industrial aesthetic with all the high-tech amenities – plus loaner bikes and walking tours! Scoot over to the neighboring burger joint to fuel up on breakfast or lunch, or savor a craft beer.
Discover downtown Brooklyn from a comfortable base at the Hilton Brooklyn New York. The hotel is just a block from the subway and mere steps away from a fantastic stretch of restaurants and shops on Smith Street. Unwind at the end of the day at the fitness center, then treat yourself to room service or a meal at the on-site restaurant.
Looking for sleek, up-to-the-minute accommodation? You can’t do better than Hotel Indigo – Williamsburg – Brooklyn, an IHG Hotel. Set amidst Williamsburg’s repurposed industrial warehouses and unique shops, this boutique hotel boasts ultra-contemporary architecture and design – plus on-site subway access. Chill out at the pool and sundeck as you take in stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.
Where do high-grade hipsters lay their weary heads? At the Ace Hotel Brooklyn, nestled in laid-back Boerum Hill at the edge of downtown Brooklyn. Exposed concrete and floor-to-ceiling warehouse windows give off an industrial vibe, while the vintage furnishings and pops of color add a retro flavor. Amenities include a restaurant, fitness center, and free WiFi. Some rooms include loaner guitars and vinyl record players. Cool!