Neighborhoods to Visit in Manhattan
Manhattan is the quintessential New York City borough. For most visitors, this is what they think of when they think of the city. It's where you'll find the iconic skyscrapers, world-class museums, and the famous Central Park. It' located at the center of the five boroughs, and despite being geographically small, it's filled with dozens of neighborhoods and constantly changing atmospheres. Manhattan is synonymous with a bustling, energetic lifestyle, and this fast-paced borough will never bore.
Below are some of the many interesting neighborhoods that you can explore in Manhattan.
Next to Greenwich Village, West Village has a relaxed vibe with many cafes and shops. It's a charming area that's the perfect place to take a walk. There are many classic brownstones that line the street, with a number of great diners and vintage clothing stores that are fun to explore.
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side offers easy access to Central Park and Riverside Park. It's also where you'll find the American Museum of Natural History. This neighborhood comes to life during the day when there are great running trails, awesome restaurants, and unique shopping opportunities, but you may want to look elsewhere for nightlife as the neighborhood quiets down as the evening arrives.
Upper East Side
The opulent Upper East Side of New York City is known for its wealthy and well dressed residents. This neighborhood also has some of the city's most expensive real estate with apartments that span entire floors or elegant penthouses that look out over the city. The neighborhood has many elite private schools, and you'll likely see uniform-clad students catching the train or hanging out in the park.
Tribeca, which stands for "Triangle Below Canal" was historically a warehouse district in New York. It's evolved through the years and now it feels a bit like SoHo with a lively atmosphere and trendy restaurants and shops. The neighborhood is also one of the more expensive areas in New York City.
SoHo has evolved over the years from an eclectic artsy neighborhood in the 1970s and 1980s to the trendy shopping district that it is today. SoHo stands for South of Houston Street, and while there are still many galleries, much of the local vibe has been replaced with high end commercial boutiques. The neighborhood also has many great restaurants and boutique hotels.
NYC, New York, 10012
Nolita, or North of Little Italy, is a popular shopping area in NYC with it's many trendy boutiques and one-of-a-kind shops. You can pick up stylish clothes, high end perfumes, and custom jewelry. This area is also popular for its indie bookstores.
NoHo, which stands for North of Houston, is an upscale area with chic cafes, high end gyms, and low rise apartment buildings. This neighborhood offers easy access to all of the major subway lines and is a trendy and hip place to spend time. The neighborhood also has a lively nightlife scene with a number of bars and clubs that are popular places to see and be seen.
Midtown Manhattan is at the heart of New York City tourism. It is where you'll find many infamous landmarks including the Empire State Building and Times Square. The area is one of the most crowded and energetic parts of the city, and if you want to see it at is most intense, visit during New Years, when the crowds pile in to see the iconic ball drop.
This stretch of Madison Avenue, from 57th to 79th streets, is where you'll find trendy, high end boutiques, designer shops, and luxury brands. You may even spot a celebrity or two, as this area often prices out the ordinary folks. Brands include Ralph Lauren, Lalique, and the original Vera Wang bridal boutique.
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side is where you'll find Chinatown, Little Italy, and tons of great ethnic restaurants. The neighborhood has a long history of bringing immigrant populations together. There are also many museums, galleries, and nightlife in the area.
Little Italy is a popular tourist neighborhood with its traditional Italian restaurants, bakeries, and cute shops. The neighborhood has narrow streets that fill with people during the frequent festivals. The main thoroughfare through the neighborhood is Mulberry Street, which becomes a pedestrian mall on summer weekends.
Despite its edgy name, Hell's Kitchen offers a fun setting with a vibrant theater and restaurant scene. They've renamed the neighborhood Clinton, but the old-school name is still well established in local dialect. The neighborhood has many Broadway and off-Broadway theaters, several green spaces, an ice skating rink, and easy accessibility to Times Square.
Harlem is located to the north of Central Park. It's a diverse and cultural neighborhood and it's also home to Columbia University, The Apollo Theater, City College of NYC and the Manhattan School of Music. Historically, Harlem was at the heart of the Harlem Renaissance and it was the home of many African American scholars, writers, musicians, and intellects.
Greenwich Village, also called "The Village," was once a Bohemian neighborhood but it has evolved to become a more expensive area that attracts families, artists, and young professionals. The community is very friendly with a lot of bakeries, restaurants, and festivals including a Halloween Parade and the Gay Pride Parade.
This is a commercial neighborhood that is usually referred to as the Fashion District by locals. It's where you'll find many bulk clothing shops, but the entertainment options area limited in the area.
The Flatiron District gets its name from the Flatiron Building. The area is near Madison Square Park and includes the Financial District.
New York City's financial district is constantly buzzing with life and activity. The blocks are filled with glamorous skyscrapers and this is also where you'll find Wall Street. During the day the streets fill up with business men and women and on weekends the restaurants and bars come to life. Popular places to hang out include the pedestrian-only Stone Street and South Street Seaport. This neighborhood is also where you'll find the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the observatory of One World Trade Center.
Fifth Avenue is a world famous shopping street that is recognized for its high end flagship designer stores which include Cartier, Tiffany, Bergdorf-Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue. The street is an interesting place to wander, whether you're in to high end fashion, or simply want to take in the sites. For the most interesting stretch, explore between the south end of Central Park and the New York Public Library, with the blocks between 60th Street and 40th Street offering the most.
This artistic neighborhood has a history of welcoming struggling artists and writers. Today it's home to a diverse population of immigrants and blue collar workers as well as students from NYU, Pratt, and The New School. The neighborhood has a number of great ethnic restaurants, coffeeshops, and eclectic stores that are fun to wander through.
Chinatown's many street markets and authentic Chinese restaurants bring tourists from around the globe. This neighborhood is a popular tourist destination for both eating and shopping, but there are also museums, galleries, and parks in the area that are worth checking out.
Chelsea is an artsy neighborhood with more than 300 art galleries. It's also been home to many famous artists and is filled with cultural activities as well as restaurants, bars, and shops. If you want to enjoy a touch of nature in the city, head to High Line Park, or you can get an impressive view of the city from the observatory deck at the Empire State Building, which is within walking distance.
Battery Park City
Battery Park City is another major tourist area in New York. This is where you pick up tours for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. There are also street performers and boat tours, as well as impressive waterfront views. The neighborhood is right by the Hudson River and there are a number of upscale high-rise apartments as well as restaurants and shopping areas. There's also running and bike paths along the river.
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $6 to $1,301. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $198. A few of the best options are below.
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