Where to stay in New York – find the best location

Are you visiting New York for the first time and want to know where to stay to make the most out of your vacation? Find out everything you need to know about the best areas in New York.

where to stay in new york first time

With its unique energy, impressive buildings and famous tourist sites, New York really doesn’t need that much of an introduction. The city is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world with iconic sights such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

To get the most out of your vacation in New York, have a look at our guide to the city that never sleeps. Here we have gathered information about the most popular areas, tips on where to stay as a family or on a budget and much more.

Find the best place to stay – popular areas in New York

When it comes to finding the best location for your New York vacation, there are a lot of areas to choose from. Listed below you find some of the most popular alternatives.

  • Midtown Manhattan: This is a great choice if you are visiting New York for the first time, and this is also where most of the accommodation is located. In Midtown Manhattan you have lots of the most famous tourist sites within walking distance, such as Times Square, Central Park and Broadway.

  • Upper East Side: If you are looking for fine dining, interesting art and lots of sightseeing possibilities, the Upper East Side is the place to choose.

  • Lower East Side: Located a bit further from the major tourist attractions is the Lower East Side. In this multicultural part of town you find lots of interesting restaurants and bars.

  • Meatpacking District: If you are looking for great nightlife, this is the place to go. You also find boutiques from some of the most famous fashion designers in the world.

  • Harlem: This historic part of New York City is famous for its vibrant culture and rich history. Harlem is also home to great restaurants and jazz music.

  • Upper West Side: Just west of Central Park you find this family-friendly part of New York. This is the perfect mix between green landscapes and lots of attractions.

  • SoHo: SoHo provides a unique atmosphere and here is no shortage of art galleries, shops and designer boutiques.

Visiting New York on a budget

In general, the price for a hotel room in New York is pretty high, even for the hotels with a lower number of stars. This is especially the case if you choose a hotel in Manhattan. With that being said there are a few good areas to choose if you want to find something a little cheaper.

One option is to choose the Lower East Side, which is one of the more residential and less “touristy” parts of Manhattan. If you don’t mind staying outside the most central parts of New York you can also check out Union City, which is located across the Hudson River.

Where to stay in New York with family

New York is a pretty family friendly location with things to experience for all ages. If you want to find somewhere nice to stay that is a little more quiet with your kids, we recommend that you look for a hotel in the Upper West Side. This is known as one of the safest parts of New York City and is located close to Central Park. You also find lots of kid-friendly activities in the area.

best area in new york times square manhattan

Things to do in New York – sightseeing

New York is packed with famous landmarks and tourist attractions that you can’t miss when visiting the city. Take a look at some of the most popular alternatives in the compilation below.

  • Times Square: This iconic part of New York is known for its brightly lit billboards, large advertisements and endless entertainment. Times Square is actually one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the world.

  • Central Park: In the heart of Manhattan you find Central Park, which is the most visited urban park in the United States. The park has a number of attractions and a zoo.

  • Broadway: Another unique experience found in New York is the theater scene on Broadway. If you get the chance we recommend that you take the chance to see one of their spectacular shows.

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: This is the most visited museum in New York with 5,000 years of art from all parts of the world.

  • Empire State Building: Another must-see when visiting New York is the Empire State Building. The 340 meter tall skyscraper was once the tallest building in the world.

  • Statue of Liberty: One of the most symbolic parts of New York is probably the Statue of Liberty. Located in Liberty Island, the statue is originally a gift from the people of France.

How to get around New York

There are a number of ways to get around New York, and the most convenient one is definitely the subway. The subway is easy to access and takes you to pretty much every part of the city. Another given choice is to go by taxi – you find the yellow cabs everywhere you look in the central parts of town.

Arriving to New York by air – JFK, Newark or LaGuardia

Just like many other large metropolitan areas, New York is served by more than one airport. The busiest one, and the one receiving the most international flights, is John F. Kennedy International Airport – also known as JFK. JFK is located about 26 kilometers southeast of Manhattan and the transfer time by car/cab is about 30 minutes.

The second airport in the New York area is Newark Liberty International Airport, which is found on the opposite side of Manhattan with pretty much the same distance as JFK. 20 minutes east of Manhattan you find the third option – LaGuardia Airport. This airport mainly handles domestic flights.

Home / United States / New York

Where to stay – finding the best location

By combining our large hotel database together with thorough research from our editors, Wheretostayin.com can give you a great chance of finding the optimal spot to stay in each city. To help you find your perfect accommodation we have also considered circumstances such as which budget you are traveling on, what your traveling constellation looks like and how long you are staying.