Published Nov 16, 2020
It’s not a secret that The Big Apple is not an affordable place to visit. In fact, “not affordable” is an understatement. It’s one of the most expensive places in the country, both for tourists and locals. This is why if you’re visiting, choosing the best places to stay in New York will help you maximize your stay.
But despite its hefty price tag, a visit to the city that never sleeps is worth every penny. It doesn’t just house the Statue of Liberty, one of the most iconic American symbols. It’s also one of the country’s topmost shopping hub. It’s no wonder why the city receives millions of tourists the whole year round.
The city’s top tourist destination status might mean that it’s crowded most of the year. But it also means that there are thousands of hotels, Airbnb’s, hostels, and Bed and Breakfasts you can choose from. There’s practically a place to stay that would suit even the pickiest visitor.
But before you go on picking a hotel, you should first decide which part of New York you’re going to stay. NYC is a huge sprawling metropolitan about half the size of Greater London. It’s made up of five boroughs: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. These boroughs are essentially a city within a city. Each has dozens of neighborhoods, cuisines, and tourist spots lending them a distinct local flavor.
Because of this diversity, there really is no “one” best place to stay for tourists. Each borough has something unique to offer. To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of neighborhoods and places that are most suitable for tourists:
If you’ve seen a Hollywood film set in New York that uses tall skyscrapers as background, chance are it’s filmed in Midtown Manhattan.
Aside from being the largest business district in the world, it’s also home to some of the most iconic NYC tourist spots. This includes the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square.
Thanks to its ideal location, tourists gravitate towards it like a moth to a flame. But it’s also because of this that rent and hotel prices in the area are some of the world’s highest. A hotel room in Midtown Manhattan can range from $200 – $400 a night. Airbnb’s, on the other hand, averages at $75 per day.
2. Lower East Side
Traditionally an immigrant, working-class settlement, the Lower East Side is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. It’s distinguishable by high-rise tenements with arched windows and turn-of-the-century facade.
In recent years, however, the neighborhood has undergone rapid gentrification. So aside from historic buildings, you’ll also see modern high-rise towers. The gentrification also transformed the neighborhood into a contemporary art hub. Aside from numerous art galleries, the Lower East Side also has a thriving nightlife. Orchard, Ludlow, and Essex, in particular, comes to life at night with jam-packed bars and performance places.
NYC’s Chinatown, one of the largest Chinese communities in the west, is also on the Lower East Side.
3. Upper East Side
If you’re planning to explore the glitzy and glamorous side of New York, better start browsing hotels in the Upper East Side area.
Mainly known for its wealthy residents, the UES is a hub for high-end department stores and luxury boutiques. It’s also regarded as the home of the city’s elite with celebrities and billionaires hobnobbing in fancy restaurants.
Because of this reputation, accommodations in UES also tend to be on the upper end of the price spectrum. Hotel rooms can range from $300 to almost $600 per night.
Just like UES, Soho is known as one of the country’s premier destinations for luxury shopping. Famous for its iconic cast-iron facades and cobblestone streets, it’s a haven for the fashionable elite. From fancy chain stores to high-end art galleries, this neighborhood will definitely satiate your cravings for rare and luxury goods. Outside the opulent shops, you’ll also find street vendors selling everything from jewelry to original artwork.
5. East Village
Also in Manhattan, this former immigrant neighborhood has evolved into a home for musicians, artists, and hippies. This interesting mix of dwellers has given the neighborhood a distinct identity.
Thanks to its large population of artists and performers, East Village is now known for its epic nightlife scene. Old-school bars and music venues stand side by side with posh cocktail lounges and hip restaurants. During the daytime, the atmosphere is more laidback with people mostly just browsing boutiques, vintage shops, and tattoo parlors.