• Paul Welling

Explore the 12 New York City Neighbourhoods

New York is undeniably one of the most iconic cities in the world. You have seen it all in the movies; the unmistakable skyline, the theatres, Central Park and of course the yellow cabs! Getting around New York City is very easy too and with a bit planning of knowing which neighbourhood has what attraction will make your New York city break so much more rewarding. So New York is what everyone knows a Manhattan Island which is further broken down into 12 distinct neighbourhoods.

At the USA Holiday Company, our consultants have visited NYC many times so we are well placed to advise on where to go and what to see. A brief breakdown of each neighbourhood follows and having completed the New York City marathon myself a few years ago, I definitely feel I know each of these areas.


Let's start with everyone's favourite shall as this is where the most famous sites are such as The Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, The Rockefeller Centre and of course the bright lights of Times Square. You have to ascend one of these buildings to get the most amazing views across the city and Central Park to the North. Theatre lovers enjoy Midtown New York as it's home to Broadway and all the shows. Please note though that in this area you can expect more for food and drink the restaurants etc than other parks of New York City and it does get very busy with tourists at certain times of the year. We suggest staying at the Riu Plaza Times Square when on holiday in this neighbourhood.


Where Midtown is expensive, Lower East Side is great value. Its a great area for bargain shopping and with Little Italy and Chinatown found here you can eat and drink with the locals and immerse yourself in the pockets of culture for a fraction of the cost. We love all the market stalls and supermarkets of Chinatown and if you are in New York for the summer months then Little Italy is the place for Al Fresco dining.


Although this neighbourhood doesn't sound very glamorous it has shaken off the image of the slaughter industry from years gone by and is now quite 'hip & trendy'. If you are a fan of the TV programme 'Sex in the City' you will be familiar with the trendy shops and nightclubs that can be found in this New York City district now. It's home to cobblestone streets, culture cafes and some historic buildings. Found in Lower Manhattan its well worth a visit we reckon.


Wow, we love this neighbourhood as its central on Manhattan Island so easy to reach from whichever New York hotel you are staying in. Home to the Flatiron building (as above) it is also great for shopping on Lades Mile, grabbing some food on Restaurant Row or alfresco in the square itself. We base ourselves in the Park South Hotel when in this neighbourhood as we love the bar there!


No, it's not where all the episodes of Gordon Ramsay TV show is filmed but it is the ultimate NYC area for food spots! In days gone by you used to find bootleggers and gangsters ruling this manor but you are more likely to spot actors from the big screen now as you wander around. Right on the Hudson River in Midtown West you get some great views across to New Jersey.


At the Lower End of Manhattan Island, Tribeca is a hustling hub of activity and is a very vibrant neighbourhood. A little known fact is that Tribeca stands for 'Triangle Below Canal Street' Like most of New York it has great shopping, restaurants and some excellent urban style hotels. The cobblestones and red brick historic buildings give it a unique character and the New York Mercantile Exchange dates back to 1884 in this area.


This area is also known as Lower Manhattan or Downtown and is where you find 'Wall Street' and the stock exchange. Its a great mix of modern skyscrapers and historical buildings and of course is home to Ground Zero. We love Battery Park area as its spacious open park is great to wander around and looking at the artists displaying their wares. A top tip from us is that from Battery Park you can hop on the Staten Island Ferry which is a free commuter ferry and this takes you right past the Statue of Liberty. So you can up a very close up view for free on this ferry.


Years ago Greenwich Village was the heart of Bohemia but it has since gone a bit more upmarket. You can even find some Off-Broadway shows here now and on Bleeker Street you have some quite fancy restaurants, shops and clubs to entertain you.


So if you are a designer shopping type of person then head to the Upper East Side. Seriously pricey brands can be found in this area which sidles up to Central Park and the Trump Tower. The most expensive part of New York City for real estate you will find the likes of Tiffanys in this neighbourhood. We can recommend some amazing hotels to stay in here but be prepared to pay for it.


SoHo stands for South of Houston and is a great area for shopping. It also has the largest selection of cast iron buildings in the world. It is an art lovers paradise too and we love all the street vendors selling their art or jewellery which gives it a unique market type vibe.


Head across the Brooklyn Bridge (1st bridge on right in image above) and leave Manhattan Island behind. Brooklyn these days is home to trendy eateries, bars, museums and galleries and has iconic brownstone houses along tree lined streets. Brooklyn is a great neighbourhood to base yourself in to escape the hustle and bustle of New York city itself. Hotels in New York can be expensive and we at the USA Holiday Company advise our customers to stay in Brooklyn where they get a lot more hotel for their money. Cheaper accommodation doesn't mean lesser quality and you still have easy access across the river back into Manhattan.


We consider this as the true home of New Yorkers' in this area and is very residential with the tall apartment/condo style blocks. It has some great restaurants here and of course Central Park on its doorstep for outdoor activities at all times of year. When in this area you do have to visit the Museum of Natural History too!

So if you are looking to visit New York on a holiday or city break then talk to us first as we can advise on which neighbourhood will suit your holiday style. Each area has a unique flavour and vibe so its important you get what is right for you. At the USA Holiday Company we have a wide range of tailor made holiday options and can include flights, attraction tickets and airport transfers with the hotels.