When most people think of New York, Manhattan is usually the image that springs to mind. New York City is known as “the city that never sleeps,” and as the densest of the five boroughs of the city, Manhattan is also one of the liveliest.
With so much to see, do, and explore, deciding where to stay in Manhattan can be tricky. There’s so much accommodation in Manhattan that it can be hard figuring out the best one for your travel type.
To help you out, we’ve created this guide on the best places to stay in Manhattan. We’ve include areas to suit a variety of travel styles and budgets, as well as the best hostels, hotels, and Airbnbs on offer!
- Where to Stay in Manhattan
- Manhattan Neighborhood Guide
- Manhattan’s Top 4 Neighborhoods to Stay In
- 1. Midtown – Best Place to Stay in Manhattan for your First Time
- 2. Upper West Side – Where to Stay in Manhattan on a Budget
- 3. Chelsea – Best Neighborhood in Manhattan for Families
- 4. Lower East Side – Best Neighborhood in Manhattan for Nightlife
- Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Manhattan
Where to Stay in Manhattan
The Best Hotel in Manhattan – Freehand New York
Great for solo travelers, couples, groups, or families, Freehand New York brings out the historic and artistic side of the city. Located on the edge of the Chelsea neighborhood, you’ll be close to city parks and museums. The nearest subway is just a few blocks away, so you can easily explore other spots around Manhattan.
The Best Condo in Manhattan – Over the Top Condo
Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could do some sightseeing right from your accommodation in Manhattan? Well, you’re in luck, because at this stellar, centrally located condo in Midtown, you can enjoy sweeping views of the city during your entire stay! This spot is perfect for travelers looking to stay near the tourist scene and within walking distance of main attractions like Broadway and Times Square.
The Best Hostel in Manhattan – Hi NYC Hostel
Enjoy the largest private outdoor patio in Manhattan when you stay at the Hi NYC Hostel. Just blocks from Central Park, subway stations, and surrounded by the great dining options of the Upper West Side, this hostel is your answer to comfortable and budget-friendly accommodation.
Manhattan Neighborhood Guide
There’s no doubt that the heart of the action in Manhattan is Midtown. If you’ve never been to New York City before, then this is the neighborhood you’ll want to be in to see all the top sites like Times Square, the Empire State Building, and Broadway.
Upper West Side
Still close to the central action but without the same crazy tourist vibe of Midtown, the Upper West Side is a good spot for budget travelers. Sandwiched between The Hudson River and Central Park, the Upper West Side also has a lot more options for green retreats to escape city traffic.
Finding a spot in Manhattan that is suitable for a family vacation can be a bit difficult-not to mention expensive. The neighborhood of Chelsea offers the best of all worlds for families traveling to Manhattan.
The Lower East Side
If you’re coming to Manhattan to get in on the party scene, then the Lower East Side is the neighborhood for you. This trendy neighborhood has a modern vibe, great bars, and awesome restaurants.
Manhattan Island is huge, and from one neighborhood to another, you’ll feel like you’re in a totally different city. Whether you’re coming for the music and art scene or hoping to party all night long, there’s an area in Manhattan to go with it.
First-timers and those looking to see the major tourist attractions should stay in the Midtown area. Here, you’ll find the Theater District where you can catch a famous Broadway show or explore the iconic Times Square.
Farther north in the city, the Upper West Side boasts great access to parks and museums while still being close to Midtown attractions. Both the Upper East and Upper West Sides also have reputations for being some of New York’s safer areas.
The southern part of Manhattan includes eclectic cultural neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little Italy, plus a vibrant nightlife scene in the Lower East Side. Close to the famous Brooklyn Bridge, there’s the bustling financial district along with hip and trendy areas like Tribeca where history meets modern culture.
Chelsea is great for families, as it’s a bit removed from the main tourist scene yet still close to New York’s top attractions. Tree-lined streets, museums, parks, and excellent restaurants characterize this neighborhood.
Still not sure where to stay in Manhattan? Read on for a more detailed guide of each area below!
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Manhattan’s Top 4 Neighborhoods to Stay In
1. Midtown – Best Place to Stay in Manhattan for your First Time
There’s no doubt that Midtown is at the heart of the action in Manhattan. If you’re visiting New York for the first time, then this is the neighborhood you’ll want to be in. Here, you’ll find top sites like Times Square, the Empire State Building, and Broadway.
Although it can be a bit pricier than other areas, Midtown is definitely the best neighborhood in Manhattan if you really want to get in on the tourist scene. It’s hard to beat being able to walk to Times Square, eat lunch at one of the famous restaurants, and catch a Broadway show all in the same day!
Best Condo in Midtown – Over the Top Condo
Hoping to see the Empire State Building? Times Square? The World Trade Center? Well, you’re in luck, because from this lofty condo you’ll have a view of it all!
Centrally located in Midtown, you’ll be within walking distance of many top attractions like Central Park. Plus, subway stations are just a few steps away to take you to other destinations in the city.
Best Apartment in Midtown – The Artist’s Experience
If you’re in search of a unique place to stay in Manhattan, then this apartment is the spot for you. Centrally located in Midtown within walking distance of restaurants, theaters, and the nightlife scene of Hell’s Kitchen, you’ll also have your own sunny oasis boasting a unique artistic vibe to return to after a day of exploring Manhattan.
Best Hostel in Midtown: Jazz on Columbus Circle
This centrally located hostel is perfect for travelers wanting to stay in central Manhattan on a budget. It’s a pretty simple hostel, offering dorms, wifi, and cozy lounge areas.
The hostel is a stone’s throw from Columbus Circle and Central Park, with other top attractions in easy reach.
Best Hotel in Midtown – Room Mate Grace Boutique Hotel
Travelers who prefer the convenience of a hotel should check out the Room Mate Grace. It offers a superb location right next to Times Square, not to mention rooms with a cool and eclectic artistic style.
Just three blocks from the nearest subway station, it’s easy to explore all of New York. At the end of the day, you can take advantage of the indoor pool and swim-up bar for a well-deserved, relaxing evening.
Things to See and Do in Midtown
- Take a stroll through Central Park .
- Appreciate the lofty view from the observation deck of the Empire State Building.
- Get tickets to a Broadway show.
- Check out the famous Grand Central terminal (it’s also free!).
- Satisfy your hunger cravings at the City Kitchen food market.
- Spend an afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art.
- “See” your favorite celebrity or star at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
- Shop ‘til you drop at the stores along 5th Avenue.
- Get photos of the neo-gothic St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
2. Upper West Side – Where to Stay in Manhattan on a Budget
The Upper West Side is a good spot for budget travelers, as it’s still close to the action without being as touristy as other areas. Sandwiched between The Hudson River and Central Park, the Upper West Side also has a lot more options for green retreats to escape city traffic.
It’s a convenient neighborhood to stay in thanks to its proximity to the nightlife in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, the fine arts scene of Lincoln center, and the bustle of city life in the downtown area. Plus, the area is known for its excellent dining scene and artisanal bakeries to help you satisfy your sweet tooth.
Best Apartment in the Upper West Side – Private Brownstown Flat
A whole apartment to yourself in NYC might sound too good to be true – especially if you’re on a budget. However, this cozy one-bedroom Airbnb in Manhattan is the answer to your vacation dreams!
Just a few minutes walk from Central Park and the Natural History Museum, close to subway stations, and with lots of restaurants around the corner, you’ll practically have the best deal in the whole city.
Best Homestay in the Upper West Side – Cozy Private Room near Broadway
Cheap accommodation is hard to come by in Manhattan, which is why you’ll love this comfy little private room.
Right next to Broadway, you’ll be in the heart of the action and within easy walking distance of Columbia University and Times Square. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy homey comforts without missing out on any of the action or overspending your budget when you travel to Manhattan.
The Best Hostel in the Upper West Side – Hi NYC Hostel
Budget travelers are typically familiar with staying in hostels, but the Hi NYC Hostel might surpass your expectations.
The large sunken patio offers an ideal spot to stretch out and relax outdoors away from the busy street traffic, and with two metro stations within two blocks, it’s easy to get out and explore. It’s one of the best hostels in New York, let alone in Manhattan!
Things to See and Do in the Upper West Side
- Escape city traffic by walking through Riverside Park.
- Spend a day exploring the exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History.
- Watch a show at the Beacon Theater.
- Walk, bike, see a live music performance, rent a rowboat, or have a picnic in Central Park.
- Treat yourself to artisanal cheese and baked goods at Zabars.
- Shop and dine at the Time Warner Center.
- Experience the performing arts scene of NYC at the Lincoln Center.
- Find antiques or a souvenir at the Sunday Grand Bazaar NYC.
- Take in the view from The Empire Hotel Rooftop.
- Get a sugar high from one of the artisanal bakeries like the famous Levain Bakery.
- Admire the architecture of the Gothic Revival Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
3. Chelsea – Best Neighborhood in Manhattan for Families
Finding a spot in Manhattan that is suitable for a family vacation can be a bit difficult – not to mention expensive. The neighborhood of Chelsea offers the best of all worlds for families traveling to Manhattan. There are lots of parks and outdoor activities, great museums for all ages, and a spectacular dining scene where even the pickiest of eaters will be satisfied.
There are plenty of attractions and things to do, but you can also benefit from a slightly quieter and more residential environment. It’s also much closer to the southern part of the city if you’re interested in exploring the Lower East Side, Chinatown, or SoHo.
Best Boutique Hotel in Chelsea – Freehand New York
The artsy, historic decor sets this boutique hotel apart from other accommodation in Chelsea. Order room service or check out one of the restaurants in the neighborhood – Chelsea is known for its great food scene!
When bad weather ruins your plans, you can have fun in the game room or ask for board games or cards to play in your own room.
Best Historic Hotel in Chelsea – The Jane
The Jane has a unique flair, even by New York City standards. The building itself has an interesting history, serving as a hotel for sailors up until the 1940s. Now renovated, The Jane maintains its nautical charm, but with modern comforts like Wi-fi and AC.
Hop on one of the free bikes to explore the neighborhood and enjoy fresh Italian cuisine onsite at the Old Rose restaurant.
Best Hotel in Chelsea – Moxy NYC Chelsea
Who said a family vacation couldn’t be luxurious? Situated right next to Madison Square Garden and with a killer view of the city, Moxy NYC doesn’t leave much to be desired.
Start your day off right with a continental breakfast which is included in the room price, before hitting the streets. The Manhattan Mall is within easy walking distance and there are subway stations just a few blocks from the hotel property.
Things to See and Do in Chelsea
- Take a leisurely stroll through the seven-acre landscaped Madison Square Park.
- Play a game of basketball or let children run around the playgrounds at Chelsea Park.
- See a performance at the Atlantic Theater Company.
- Find a unique souvenir or even a collectable at the Chelsea Flea Market.
- Enjoy the views along the 1.45 mile long High Line Park aerial greenway.
- Tour the Rubin Museum of Art to see Indian and Himalayan art and artifacts.
- Take a river cruise from the Chelsea Piers for a unique city view.
- Escape city traffic and let kids play at the playground in Clement Clarke Moore Park.
- Enjoy the fine dining scene of Chelsea like the Pastai artisan pasta bar.
- Pick up ingredients for a fresh meal from the Down to Earth Farmers Market.
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4. Lower East Side – Best Neighborhood in Manhattan for Nightlife
If you’re coming to Manhattan to get in on the party scene, then the Lower East Side is the neighborhood for you. This trendy neighborhood has a modern vibe, great bars, and awesome restaurants. Although it’s a little farther away from the attractions of Midtown, it’s still easy to hop on a subway line to explore other parts of the city.
There are also some cool galleries and museums where you can discover the extensive art scene of the area. In between partying, make sure you visit some of the highly acclaimed traditional delis for a delicious meal or afternoon treat.
Best Apartment in the Lower East Side – Private Loft near Chinatown
Enjoy a quiet, residential apartment where the Lower East Side meets Chinatown. It’s the perfect spot to check out nightlife while still having the comforts of home.
Subway stations are just down the block, or there are nearby places to rent city bikes to explore the neighborhood. If you’re feeling tired after a night out, the apartment is the perfect place to relax and appreciate a lovely view of the garden from the huge windows.
Best Hotel in the Lower East Side – The Allen Hotel
Comfort and luxury don’t always need to come at an exorbitant price in Manhattan. This Lower East Side hotel is just a block away from the Tenement Museum and right next to great restaurants.
Plus, in addition to the excellent location, you can enjoy some singular style at the hotel thanks to the crystal chandeliers, marble floors, and exotic orchid arrangements in the lobby.
Best Hostel in the Lower East Side – Blue Moon Hostel
If you’re looking for a spot to meet other travelers during your time in Manhattan, then the Blue Moon is the place for you. Take your pick between a dorm or a private room depending on your budget and how social you want to be.
Walking distance from Chinatown, Little Italy, and Greenwich Village, you’ll be perfectly situated for sightseeing as well as checking out the great nightlife and dining scene on the Lower East Side.
Things to See and Do in the Lower East Side
- Check out the arts, crafts, and food at the Hester Street Fair.
- Get tickets to a music performance at the Bowery Ballroom.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth at Economy Candy, an old-fashioned (and delicious) candy emporium.
- Grab a bite to eat at the famous Russ & Daughters Jewish grocery.
- Stroll through the outdoor (and free!) Museum of Street Art.
- Visit the Angel Orensanz Foundation, the city’s oldest synagogue.
- Get a tasty treat at the Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery.
- Learn a bit of history at the Tenement Museum.
- Walk or cycle the Williamsburg Bridge (weather permitting of course).
- Check out one of the year-round events like Pickle Day or Lower East Side Film Festival.
- Try delicacies at one of the famous Jewish eateries like Katz’s Deli and Kossar’s Bialys.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Manhattan
There you have it, travelers! The best accommodation in one of New York’s coolest neighborhoods. At any of these places, you can enjoy a great night’s rest and a convenient location.
If you’re still unsure where to stay in Manhattan, we recommend the Upper West Side. It’s close to everything while offering more budget-friendly accommodation, so you’ll have more cash to spend on your adventures!
Thanks for reading – that was fun! 😀
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