New York City Guide:
Neighborhoods & Things to Do


Here’s a crazy fact. The Big Apple is home to over 8 million people. That means that one in every 38 people in the U.S. lives in New York City. People in the city speak over 800 languages and 40% of households speak a language other than English. It’s a diverse melting pot with many opportunities. No wonder so many people flock to the city! And people who live and work here are some of the fittest people in the country. They walk everywhere. Walking a few miles a day just to get from home to work and back again is the norm for most New Yorkers, so make sure you have a few pairs of good walking shoes. When you’re ready to make the move to the Big Apple, be sure to check our New York City guide to find a neighborhood and rentals that fit your needs and aesthetic.

New York City highlights

New York City has so much to offer to its visitors and residents alike. Here are just a few of the fun, exciting events and inspiring locations you’ll get to experience regularly when you find your dream apartment using our New York City guide.

  • Midtown Manhattan: One of the first things people think about when they think of Midtown Manhattan is Times Square – but it’s so much more than that. You can also see the Empire State Building, shop on Fifth Avenue, visit Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Terminal and enjoy an afternoon at the huge New York Public Library.
  • Central Park: No visit to NYC is complete without an outing to Central Park. It’s a beautiful green space for walking, picnicking, jogging or even going for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. You can even go on a guided bike tour of the park. Central Park is 693 acres of gardens, hillsides and forests. For some locals, it’s a must-visit destination on a daily basis.
  • Take a Helicopter Ride: There is no greater way to NYC than in a helicopter. This is one of the most popular ways for first-time visitors to see the city, though locals like to do it, too. You’ll be able to experience a panoramic view of the NYC skyline, the Hudson River and bay, as well as the major landmarks around the city.
  • Whitney Museum of American Art: Fifty thousand square feet of galleries. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? There are multiple outdoor exhibition spaces, a bar and a restaurant, too. Head to the top of the building to see panoramic views of the Hudson River. Works on display include those by Alexander Calder and Jean Michel Basquiat. From paintings and sculptures to incredible architecture, this museum has it all!
  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum: Every American should not only take a trip to NYC at least once in their life, but they should also visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The Memorial and Museum pays homage to what was lost on that fateful day and encourages visitors to reflect live a life full of gratitude.

New York City guide to the best neighborhoods for renters

One of the first questions you’ll need to ask yourself before moving to NYC is which neighborhood is going to fit your unique needs the best. Following are some of the most popular neighborhoods in New York.

Lower East Side

The Lower East Side is an eclectic neighborhood with a unique mix of tenement-style buildings and upscale apartments. The neighborhood is diverse and is great for families. The nightlife here is one of the many perks of the neighborhood with all the restaurants, trendy bars and music events. The neighborhood has a strong Jewish heritage which is seen by its traditional delis, old-world fabric stores and museums.

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side is an elegant residential neighborhood complete with designer shops and fine dining establishments. You’ll find a mix of lux high-rise apartment/condo buildings, as well as the classic brownstones New York is famous for. As far as amenities go, the Upper East Side has some of the best in the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, access to Central Park, the Guggenheim Museum, as well as bars, restaurants, coffee shops and parks. The neighborhood is made up mostly of retirees and young professionals, though there are plenty of families here, too.

Chinatown

Chinatown is a densely populated neighborhood (over 24,000 people) that is a haven for foodies. You’ll find it hard to choose which South Asian or Chinese restaurant to choose from – and don’t forget the bubble tea shops, as well as the markets that sell fresh fish and Asian herbs and spices. The neighborhood is known for its diversity and nightlife. Most people living in Chinatown rent. Nearly all the schools in Chinatown are not only above average but have reached the excellent range.

Greenpoint

Nearly 43,000 people live in Greenpoint, which has a large Polish American community. The neighborhood is in Brooklyn, and it has a definite hipster appeal. You’ll find traditional Polish shops alongside trendy eateries, as well as bars and other venues with live music. Art studios and galleries abound in the multitude of converted warehouses. The East River waterfront area of this neighborhood has several high-rise buildings, some of which are apartment complexes that have stunning views of midtown Manhattan.

Harlem

Harlem is known for its African American heritage and draws a diverse crowd of visitors and people who want to call this area home. The neighborhood is a mix of high-rise buildings and traditional brownstones, both of which serve as wonderful homes depending on your style and budget. Harlem is known for its jazz clubs, hip bars and overall energetic nightlife. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the numerous restaurants, many of which serve delectable soul food. When you move to this neighborhood, make sure to check out the historic Apollo Theater.

Upper West Side

If you’re looking for a neighborhood that oozes luxury, refinement and culture, you need to check out the Upper West Side. This neighborhood is home to the Lincoln Center, which hosts the New York City Ballet, as well as the Metropolitan Opera Company. Because of all the amenities of the neighborhood, it is one that also has the highest price tag.

Prospect Park

Prospect Park is a New York suburb with tree-lined streets, spacious rental houses and beautiful Victorians. It’s a family-friendly neighborhood that’s quiet and safe. Residents like living near NYC but they also enjoy the peace and quiet of their neighborhood. The Prospect Park Zoo is in your backyard. It’s a fun Zoo for the whole family to enjoy walking tours, animals and summer movies under the stars. The residents of this neighborhood are all about conserving the beauty and slow pace of the neighborhood, so there are plenty of community activities to help do just that.

Williamsburg

Another hip Brooklyn neighborhood is Williamsburg. It draws a lot of young professionals and artists to the area with trendy boutiques, cafés and restaurants. Artists have painted murals and street art throughout the neighborhood making it extra colorful and inviting. There are several outdoor concerts throughout the year, as well as dance clubs and music halls. With nearly 157,000 residents, this is an urban neighborhood. It’s filled with young professionals, most of whom rent.

Fort Greene

Looking for a diverse, accessible neighborhood? Look no further than Fort Greene, a neighborhood of over 39,000 people. It is in the top 10 most diverse neighborhoods in NYC. It’s a quiet neighborhood that’s family-friendly, made up of row houses and brownstones. There are a few walk-up buildings and high-rises with doormen, though, too. The residents here are down-to-earth and love living away from the Rat Race of Downtown NYC.

Carroll Gardens

Carroll Gardens is in Brooklyn and is famous for its Italian-American roots. You’ll find several traditional Italian shops, cafes and restaurants. The neighborhood is also on the trendy side with lots of hip boutiques, bars and restaurants. The streets are lined with trees and brownstones, as well as single-family residences with lovely front gardens. Most of the residents here are young professionals or young families.

Chelsea

Chelsea was the original bastion of the LGBT+ community, so there are several gay bars in the area. Chelsea also has over 200 art galleries and upscale restaurants. Most residents rent their homes – and they have an abundance of home styles to choose from. Options range from luxury high-rise apartment complexes to townhouses and low-rise apartment buildings.

SoHo

If you’re looking for something more on the high end with a trendy vibe, you should check out SoHo. The neighborhood is made up of high-end designer boutiques, chain stores and art galleries. You’ll also find that the streets are full of street vendors during the daylight hours who sell original artwork and handcrafted jewelry. It’s a major shopping destination for residents and visitors alike. The neighborhood has a lot of historic charm, too, with cobblestone streets and cast-iron facades on the residential buildings.

Greenwich Village

Located in Lower or Downtown Manhattan, Greenwich Village is famous for being the mecca of the 1960s counterculture movement in NYC. Things haven’t changed much in recent years. It’s one of the most LGBT+-friendly neighborhoods in the country. Residents regularly congregate in Washington Square Park, as well as enjoy the numerous restaurants, bars and cafes. The streets are lined with old trees, providing much-needed shade during the hot summer months and beautiful greenery among all the brownstone buildings. Greenwich Village is also home to New York University so expect plenty of students and professors in this relatively safe neighborhood.


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