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Where to stay in New York – let us find your NYC sweet spot

First time going to the Big Apple, or just haven’t been for a while? Looking at where to stay in NYC can be overwhelming with the number of options and locations. Luckily, we've got some great pointers on what the different New York neighbourhoods are like, and how to figure out where to stay during your visit. Read on to find your perfect match!

While Covid-19 has hindered a lot of travel plans, we hope our travel content can continue to provide you with inspiration for your future journeys—so when this does pass, you’ll be ready to get back out into the world.

Wherever you choose to stay in New York, the best NYC hotel location is always near a subway station. If not, your weary feet will be killing you every evening. Taxis and buses can be useful for shorter distances, but nothing beats the subway in speed and avoidance of clogged up streets. Which means that figuring out the distance from the subway to hotel before booking is essential.

Use the golden rule of thumb when calculating distances hotel <-> subway on a map: The distance from street to street is much shorter than the distance from avenue to avenue. If you want to calculate a specific walking distance, this is the golden rule of thumb:

  • 20 street blocks = 1 mile.
  • 3-ish avenue blocks = 1/2 a mile
  • 6-ish avenue blocks = 1 mile.
  • In short: It’s better to find a hotel that is 2 street blocks away from the subway, than one that is 2 avenue blocks away.

Midtown West, Manhattan

Perfect for: New York first-timers who want to absorb everything the city has to offer.

What to do in Midtown West: Broadway, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Columbus Circle, Macy’s, Restaurant Row, Bryant Park, Penn Station, Intrepid, New York Public Library.

If you want the main sights within walking distance from your hotel, Midtown is for you. Please note; Midtown is bustling with tourists and streets are busy 24/7. So if you prefer quiet nights after a day of sightseeing, this isn’t a natural hotel fit for you. Perhaps you’re looking to ‘do Broadway’, if so, you’ll find plenty of hotels in the Theatre District. Broadway Tip: Go to the TKTS Discount Booth on Times Square early in the day for the best chance of picking up show tickets at discount prices.

Right at the heart of Midtown, you’ll find the ever eventful Bryant Park – swing by any time of year, and you’ll be in the midst of one of the thousands of free events on offer: Free movies, free ice skating, free Broadway pop up shows, the annual Skate-tactular (lighting of the Christmas Tree), Holiday Markets, Winter Village. You can also join tours and classes on arts&crafts, yoga, fencing, poetry, beekeeping and kung fu – to mention a few! Bryant Park is right next to the fantastic New York Public Library and only a few blocks from Grand Central Station, proving that Manhattan is bursting with sights within walking distance.
NYC can be an expensive city, but you’ll also find an abundance of free things to do in New York.

All that walking will give you a healthy appetite: Go all in on gourmet French seafood at Le Bernardin (155 W 51st 7th Ave), best prices at lunch, or feast on inexpensive – but delicious! – Ethiopian food at Meske (468 W 47th, 10th Ave). At Meske you’ll be scooping up your spicy food with spongy bread – no utensils – which feels just right for this tasty food. Or visit City Kitchen (700 8th Ave), a huge food market crammed with good food – wear elastic waist trousers or joggers…

One of THE best views of Manhattan you’ll find at the Press Lounge at the Kimpton Ink 48 Hotel (653 11th Ave). Visit this incredible hotel rooftop with to-die-for panoramic skyline views, comfy sofas and a 70-foot-long reflecting pool – you get up there by the hotel elevator, and yes, it’s allowed for non-guests.

Many subway lines converge in Times Square. This makes it easy to get to and from many parts of the city and to boroughs like Brooklyn and Queens. Subway lines include the N,Q,R,S,W,1,2,3,7.

From JFK Airport: The AirTrain at JFK transfers you to Jamaica Station. From here, you’ll have to take the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) which goes to Penn Station on 34th Street in Midtown, a central location for getting to your accommodation in Manhattan. Cost is $15. Travel time about 30 minutes.

From LaGuardia Airport: If you’re arriving in New York from LaGuardia, take the airport shuttle NYC Express Bus. Cost is $16 USD one-way.

From Newark Airport: Newark airport is next door in New Jersey, and you can can connect to Manhattan via the NJ Transit train from the airport. Travel time is about 30 minutes and you’ll arrive at Penn Station. One-way tickets: $13.

Shuttle services like the Airlink NYC can be arranged to transport you from any New York City airport to your hotel 24 hours/day. Depending on your time of arrival/departure from New York and where you stay in New York, this just might be the cheapest and easiest option of all.

Midtown East, Manhattan

Perfect for: (First time) visitors focused on having main sights within walking distance.

What to do in Midtown East: MoMA, Empire State Building, 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station, Top of the Rock, Saks Fifth Avenue, Radio City Music Hall, United Nations, St. Patrick’s Cathedral.


Midtown East is home to some of the most iconic NYC landmarks, so expect a high frequency of tourists. This means hotel and dining prices tend to be more expensive here than in the rest of the city. However, staying in Midtown East is perfect if you want to spend minimum time on transport, and you have a travel budget to match this area. When visiting sights, don’t miss out on the observation decks at Empire State Building or Top of the Rock. Both offer incredible views – but if you loathe standing in line, you’ll need plenty of snacks to keep you occupied, the lines can belong here. Apart from the main sights, get adventurous and visit these semi-hidden gems: Little Brazil (Brazilian restaurants) and Koreatown (bakeries, bookstores, tchotchke (knick-knack) shops, hair and nail salons, noraebang (Korean karaoke) singing bars, nightclubs). In both, you’ll get a true feel of the diversity of this great city.

When in Midtown East, pop in at legendary P.J. Clarke’s (915 3rd Ave) for a taste of the ‘Cadillac of Burgers’ (thus named by Nat King Cole in the 1950s). It’s as good now as it was then. Not enough meat in a burger? Want a bonafide all-American Steak with a capital S? Go to iconic meat-eaters paradise Smith & Wollensky (797 3rd Ave), and try their signature Colorado Steak. This famed eatery has been serving up the best cuts since 1977 and is still going strong. All beefed up? Try some of NYC’s best Ramen at Totto Ramen (248 E 52nd St), or visit NYC landmark Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant, for super-fresh sea-food and sparkling drinks.

From March 2020, you can visit New York’s brand-new 1100 feet sky-high observation deck Edge at Hudson Yards. Edge is suspended in mid-air (gulp), and you’ll feel like you’re floating in the sky, as you look up and about from the highest sky deck in the Western Hemisphere, and then down through the glass floor (gulp)- while enjoying a heavenly glass of champagne (yum).

Lexington Avenue is the farthest in Midtown East served by a nearby subway line. These trains include the B,D,F,E,M,N,R,W,Q,S,6,7. The further east your hotel is (2nd Ave, 1st Ave, and beyond) the longer you will have to walk to a subway, or possibly connect with a city bus first.

From JFK Airport: The AirTrain at JFK transfers you to Jamaica Station. From here, you’ll have to take the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) which goes to Penn Station on 34th Street in Midtown, a central location for getting to your accommodation in Manhattan. Cost is $15. Travel time about 30 minutes.

From LaGuardia Airport: If you’re arriving in New York from LaGuardia, take the airport shuttle NYC Express Bus. Cost is $16 USD one-way.

From Newark Airport: Newark airport is next door in New Jersey, and you can can connect to Manhattan via the NJ Transit train from the airport. Travel time is about 30 minutes and you’ll arrive at Penn Station. One-way tickets: $13.

Shuttle services like the Airlink NYC can be arranged to transport you from any New York City airport to your hotel 24 hours/day. Depending on your time of arrival/departure from New York and where you stay in New York, this just might be the cheapest and easiest option of all.

Lower Manhattan (Financial District)

Perfect for: If you prefer quieter evenings, history and waterfront views

Distance to Midtown Manhattan: 3 miles

What to do in Lower Manhattan: Statue of Liberty departure piers, Wall St, Stock Exchange, One World Observatory, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport, Battery Park, Ferries to Staten Island & Governor’s Island, Trinity Church, Federal Hall.

Lower Manhattan, aka The Financial District, is the main artery of the American economy – and much of the global economy as well – and there’s a rush of energy here that is very palpable. Nights and weekends are quiet(er), but on weekdays this is a hustle-bustle place. Located at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, you’ll find lovely views across the water of Statue of Liberty and New Jersey, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges. Being in the Financial District, you must take a walk down Wall St. and strike a pose in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This is a location filled with a money-buzzing here-and-now as well as of history – this used to be the northern border of the city (New Amsterdam), and it’s the most iconic landmark in this neighbourhood. It’s also a great spot for some serious people watching, as high flyers and up- and down-comers scoot about. If you’re interested in history, you can visit several sights connected to George Washington – including Federall Hall where he was inaugurated. Hotels here tend towards the more expensive, but you might pick up a cheap (for this area) NY hotel deal here for a weekend.

Don’t miss out on the lovely Battery Park by the water offering a view to the Statue of Liberty – you can stroll among the many monuments and sculptures in the park. Do you have ancestors who immigrated to the US in the early 1800s? This is where the ships from Europe arrived then, pre Ellis Island. A newspaper report from 1855 described the atmosphere like this: ‘the Brits were fighting, the French refusing to speak anything but French, the Italians all shouting…’ However, everyone got a toffee apple upon arrival – stroll along the pier and imagine it all.

Visit cosy South St. Seaport (former fish market), a local favourite and a lovely historic area offering shops, bars, and restaurants. A well-chilled drink? Go to Stone Street, a New York institution: This pedestrian street is lined with bars and restaurants, offering everything from Irish bars to a Bavarian bier house – and Vintry, a wine & whiskey bar that will charm you.

There’s no shortage of trains that head south to Lower Manhattan. These include the A,C,E,R,W,J,Z,1,2,3,4,5,6. Some trains might run a little less frequently on weekends. Lower Manhattan has easy train access to Brooklyn.

From JFK Airport: The AirTrain at JFK transfers you to Jamaica Station. From here, you’ll have to take the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) which goes to Penn Station on 34th Street in Midtown, a central location for getting to your accommodation in Manhattan. Cost is $15. Travel time about 30 minutes.

From LaGuardia Airport: If you’re arriving in New York from LaGuardia, take the airport shuttle NYC Express Bus. Cost is $16 USD one-way.

From Newark Airport: Newark airport is next door in New Jersey, and you can can connect to Manhattan via the NJ Transit train from the airport. Travel time is about 30 minutes and you’ll arrive at Penn Station. One-way tickets: $13.

Shuttle services like the Airlink NYC can be arranged to transport you from any New York City airport to your hotel 24 hours/day. Depending on your time of arrival/departure from New York and where you stay in New York, this just might be the cheapest and easiest option of all.

Upper West Side, Manhattan

Perfect for: Families, lovers of green spaces and local markets

Distance to Midtown Manhattan: 2 miles

What to do on Upper West Side: Central Park, Hudson River Bike & Walking Path, Lincoln Center, Riverside Park, American Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, New York Historical Society, Levain Bakery, cosy tree-lined brownstone streets.

This area combines the liveliness of Broadway with the tranquility of some of the best parks in New York. Shop on Broadway, then stroll along leafy paths in the parks, or along quiet brownstone-lined streets. You’ll find great cafés and restaurants to relax and reboot on good food and excellent coffee between sights. One of the best bakeries in NYC – and that’s saying a lot – is right here on Upper West Side: The famed Levain Bakery, offering up some of the best treats you’ll ever have. At night, visit the Metropolitan Opera or the New York City Ballet, and stroll back to the hotel after, taking in the lights of New York.

Upper West Side is one of the safest places to stay in New York. If you’re travelling with children, this area is a great choice. Upper West Side also offers some great eateries. If you’re into deliciousness and a unique ambience, head to Shalel Moroccan Lounge (65 West 70th St.), a wonderfully atmospheric, family-owned and subterranean (!) Moroccan lounge with romantic decor and tasty food. Shalel means waterfall, and there is indeed a waterfall room here. Perfect for dinner and cosy lunches. Looking for brunch? Try Gazala’s (447 Amsterdam Ave) for a middle eastern twist to it – every brunch includes a drink and a dessert. And by drink, we mean Mimosa, Bloody Mary etc.

The greatest city on Earth! The Big Apple! Much in NYC is about being the biggest – why not bang your own drum and visit Septuagesimo Uno (256 West 71st Street), the smallest park in New York. This sweet spot has the feel of a garden, and it’s perfect for sipping coffee, reading a newspaper and pretending you live in NYC. More local feel: Visit Westsider Rare & Used Books (2246 Broadway) – hunt around in the vast book collection (incl. records like Lightning Hopkins’ greatest hits), and find the cut out of Henry Van Dyke, Michael Jackson or Bob Dylan.

Upper West Side is serviced by the 1,2,3 trains. It’s a quick ride to Midtown West and the Broadway theaters. You can connect at Times Square and access numerous other subway lines.

From JFK Airport: The AirTrain at JFK transfers you to Jamaica Station. From here, you’ll have to take the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) which goes to Penn Station on 34th Street in Midtown, a central location for getting to your accommodation in Manhattan. Cost is $15. Travel time about 30 minutes.

From LaGuardia Airport: If you’re arriving in New York from LaGuardia, take the airport shuttle NYC Express Bus. Cost is $16 USD one-way.

From Newark Airport: Newark airport is next door in New Jersey, and you can can connect to Manhattan via the NJ Transit train from the airport. Travel time is about 30 minutes and you’ll arrive at Penn Station. One-way tickets: $13.

Shuttle services like the Airlink NYC can be arranged to transport you from any New York City airport to your hotel 24 hours/day. Depending on your time of arrival/departure from New York and where you stay in New York, this just might be the cheapest and easiest option of all.

Upper East Side, Manhattan

Perfect for: Art-lovers and luxury shoppers looking for high-end NYC

Distance to Midtown Manhattan: 2 miles

What to do on Upper East Side: The Guggenheim, Central Park, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frick Collection, The Cooper-Hewitt, The Asia Society, high-end shopping.

This is where you find ‘the Museum Mile’, located between 82nd and 105th St. The abundance of NYC museums here means it’s a good idea to do some planning ahead, so you don’t panic at the sheer number of unique artworks to see. This goes for the shopping in this area as well, as Upper East Side is home to the glittering shops on Madison Avenue as well as Bloomingdales. Upper East Side hotels are pricey. But if you’re looking for a milieu of upscale museums and high-end shopping, this is where to stay in New York for you. Upper East Side unabashedly puts the U in Upper: This residential area is one of Manhattan’s richest, peppered with grand apartment buildings and expensive private schools.

As you scoot around Upper East Side, grab a hot dog at Papaya King (179 East 86th St)– a famous NYC institution. Later, skip by Uva (1486 2nd Ave) – a small, quaint wine bar with good tapas. Or dine at French cuisine at Café Boulud (20 East 76th Street) – sister restaurant to top-rated Daniel (65th & Mad), both owned by celeb chef Daniel Boulud. Bolud is less expensive than Daniel, but not cheap. Jackets recommended for men.

Elegance is key to Upper East Side, and the timeless Dempsey & Carroll stationery shop (1049 Lexington Ave) is where you’ll find plenty: If you like handwritten notes or letters, you’ll love this historic paper goods shop, that’s been here since 1878. You can customize your own stationery, design an engraving plate with your monogram and choose your paper style and colours. Now, who will you write to?

The 4,5,6 trains run along Lexington Avenue. The 2nd Avenue subway stops at 96, 86, and 72nd Streets. When finding where to stay, try to stay within easy access to one of these subway lines – or face long walks.

From JFK Airport: The AirTrain at JFK transfers you to Jamaica Station. From here, you’ll have to take the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) which goes to Penn Station on 34th Street in Midtown, a central location for getting to your accommodation in Manhattan. Cost is $15. Travel time about 30 minutes.

From LaGuardia Airport: If you’re arriving in New York from LaGuardia, take the airport shuttle NYC Express Bus. Cost is $16 USD one-way.

From Newark Airport: Newark airport is next door in New Jersey, and you can can connect to Manhattan via the NJ Transit train from the airport. Travel time is about 30 minutes and you’ll arrive at Penn Station. One-way tickets: $13.

Shuttle services like the Airlink NYC can be arranged to transport you from any New York City airport to your hotel 24 hours/day. Depending on your time of arrival/departure from New York and where you stay in New York, this just might be the cheapest and easiest option of all.

Chelsea, Manhattan

Perfect for: Urban peeps who want to feel like locals

Distance to Midtown Manhattan: 2 miles

What to do in Chelsea: Antique as well as vintage flea markets, Chelsea Market, Union Square market, Rubin Museum of Art, Eataly, Flatiron Building, the Highline, Chelsea Piers and the iconic Chelsea Hotel.

Hello nightlife and urban feels. Chelsea on Manhattan’s west side has long been and still is, one of NYC’s trendiest neighbourhoods. Chelsea is perfect for visitors who want to be close to the main sights of midtown but want a more relaxed atmosphere in the evenings. The cobblestone streets, the Highline, the boutiques, the green market in Union Square and the many local cafés and bars give Chelsea an inviting urban chic feel. And don’t miss out on the vivacious Chelsea (flea) Market. People in Chelsea are very open-minded and easy-going which leads to a noticeable chill atmosphere. Walking through the area, you’re surrounded by tons of art galleries, bars, pubs and restaurants, as well as quaint, tiny and unique stores. Chelsea at night is lively; Hip Hop and R&B fans flock here nightly thanks to some of the greatest clubs in NYC, including Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club. If you enjoy an evening with great food, local vibe and drinks at a chic-and-cosy place, Chelsea is for you.

In the daytime, stroll into The Hudson River Park, the second largest park in Manhattan after Central Park. Besides being a beauty, offering gorgeous views over the river, Hudson River Park offers some fun activities; mini-golf, carousels – and you can go kayaking for free on the Hudson River from here! You won’t go hungry in Chelsea either: Grab some lovely food Italian food-heaven Eataly, or dine in one of the best restaurants in New York; The Frying Pan at Pier 66 near the river. Relish your food on a real-life lightship with beautiful views of Manhattan and New Jersey. The ship was sunk, underwater for 3 years, then hauled up, restored, and is now a great restaurant. So New York. Go here by sunset!

Gallow Green Rooftop Gardens is a fairy-tale rooftop bar located above McKittrick Hotel, covered in rich foliage, and smothered in twinkling lights. Enjoy lush drinks in this loveliest of rooftop gardens.

Chelsea and Union Square are served well by several subway lines that will take you easily to and from midtown. Subway lines include the A,C,E,B,D,F,M,L,1,2,3 trains.

From JFK Airport: The AirTrain at JFK transfers you to Jamaica Station. From here, you’ll have to take the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) which goes to Penn Station on 34th Street in Midtown, a central location for getting to your accommodation in Manhattan. Cost is $15. Travel time about 30 minutes.

From LaGuardia Airport: If you’re arriving in New York from LaGuardia, take the airport shuttle NYC Express Bus. Cost is $16 USD one-way.

From Newark Airport: Newark airport is next door in New Jersey, and you can can connect to Manhattan via the NJ Transit train from the airport. Travel time is about 30 minutes and you’ll arrive at Penn Station. One-way tickets: $13.

Shuttle services like the Airlink NYC can be arranged to transport you from any New York City airport to your hotel 24 hours/day. Depending on your time of arrival/departure from New York and where you stay in New York, this just might be the cheapest and easiest option of all.

Soho & Tribeca, Manhattan

Perfect for: If you’re looking for the buzz of NYC movies & TV creatives

Distance to Midtown Manhattan: 3 miles

What to do in Soho/Tribeca: Art galleries, street art, small shops in abundance, Dominique Ansel Bakery (home of the famed Cronut), cobblestone streets, Fanelli’s Cafe.

In Soho and Tribeca you find legendary eateries (like ‘home of the cronut’ Dominique Ansel Bakery), on-trend boutiques and an array of upscale galleries, and celebs on every corner (almost). This a vivacious part of NYC, and it might seem oddly familiar; it’s been the backdrop for many films and commercials. Soho and Tribeca isn’t where you find the cheapest NYC hotels, but you do find a vibrant part of the NYC movie, TV and art scene, and the street vendors line the streets with everything you can possibly imagine, including original art. The Soho and Tribeca restaurants are fantastic, and there is a good chance you’ll be lunching with a celeb (don’t lose you cool). Tribeca is also home to the famed Tribeca Film Festival every spring, featuring films and various film & music events. Relax at Jimmy’s Bar on top of the James Hotel, a great rooftop bar offering a wonderful view – open for non-hotel-guests in the evening. And don’t miss out on legendary Fanelli’s Cafe, whether looking for a quick bite, a lunch, a cool drink, this has some of the best of everything. And Fanelli’s cheesecake will have you humming while eating…

Your ice cream loving heary will jump for joy at the Museum of Ice Cream (558 Broadway) – a flagship galore for all ice cream lovers, with scoops of MOIC signature flavours, sweet specialty sundaes, and events. Seasonal opening hours, check website before going. Drop by Converse Speciality Store SOHO (560 Broadway, Prince St subway) and slip into a good deal on a pair of iconic all-American Converse shoes – or why not design your own Converse – yes, you can personalise your new Convo’s here.

The R,W,C,E,B,D,F,M,6 subway lines make stops in Soho (i.e. Prince and Spring Streets, as well as Broadway-Lafayette). You can also take a subway to Canal St. and walk north for Soho or south for Tribeca.

From JFK Airport: The AirTrain at JFK transfers you to Jamaica Station. From here, you’ll have to take the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) which goes to Penn Station on 34th Street in Midtown, a central location for getting to your accommodation in Manhattan. Cost is $15. Travel time about 30 minutes.

From LaGuardia Airport: If you’re arriving in New York from LaGuardia, take the airport shuttle NYC Express Bus. Cost is $16 USD one-way.

From Newark Airport: Newark airport is next door in New Jersey, and you can can connect to Manhattan via the NJ Transit train from the airport. Travel time is about 30 minutes and you’ll arrive at Penn Station. One-way tickets: $13.

Shuttle services like the Airlink NYC can be arranged to transport you from any New York City airport to your hotel 24 hours/day. Depending on your time of arrival/departure from New York and where you stay in New York, this just might be the cheapest and easiest option of all.

Greenwich Village, Manhattan

Perfect for: If you want to chill the NYC way and embrace a young, artistic lifestyle

Distance to Midtown Manhattan: 2 miles

What to do: Spot homes to countless artists, Sex & the City filming locations, Washington Square Park, Chumley’s, Bleecker Street, brunch spots, comedy clubs, bars, live music, IFC Center for independent films, Grove Court, Whitney Museum of American Art, Meatpacking District.

Greenwich Village (‘the Village’) and West Village are iconic areas of NYC, both resonating with a strong artistic vibe, and you can find cute boutique hotels here – as well as more traditional ones. The Village is very much about chilling: Feast on delicious street food, or languish away at romantic cafes on tiny streets, followed by a stroll along the curving lanes. The Village has a local, authentic and cool vibe. Skyscrapers are non-existent in Greenwich Village, this is a place of brownstones and townhouses dating all the way back to the beginning of the 19th century. Head to Washington Square Park; you’ll see the Washington Square Arch which is a replica of the arch in Paris. You’ll probably recognise it from numerous movies, it’s both an iconic location and an NYC’s go-to spot. Feeling peckish? Foodies, make your way to MacDougal Street, a cosy street loaded with bars and restaurants. Other Village treats: Try some of NYC’s best pizza in Bleeckers St Pizza (69 7th Ave South), a cool brew in a beer garden like Arts & Crafts Beer Parlour, or try out some of the tiny local eateries – the Village is the place to dive in and explore. Nightlife? Head to the Meatpacking District, and bust your moves.

The “Friends” Apartment (90 Bedford St): Since you’re cruising around the Village, pop by the apartment building where the legendary sitcom Friends was shot (the exterior part). If you’re a Friends-fan, it’s selfie time. Want to get down with some NYC jazz? Head to Fat Cat (75 Christopher St) for drinks, ping pong, cosiness, and some sweet sounds.

The Village is easy to get to and from, particularly from midtown and Chelsea. The 1 train stops at Christopher St. and the A,B,C,D,E,F,M lines makes a stop at W. 4th St.

From JFK Airport: The AirTrain at JFK transfers you to Jamaica Station. From here, you’ll have to take the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) which goes to Penn Station on 34th Street in Midtown, a central location for getting to your accommodation in Manhattan. Cost is $15. Travel time about 30 minutes.

From LaGuardia Airport: If you’re arriving in New York from LaGuardia, take the airport shuttle NYC Express Bus. Cost is $16 USD one-way.

From Newark Airport: Newark airport is next door in New Jersey, and you can can connect to Manhattan via the NJ Transit train from the airport. Travel time is about 30 minutes and you’ll arrive at Penn Station. One-way tickets: $13.

Shuttle services like the Airlink NYC can be arranged to transport you from any New York City airport to your hotel 24 hours/day. Depending on your time of arrival/departure from New York and where you stay in New York, this just might be the cheapest and easiest option of all.

Lower East Side, Manhattan

Perfect for: Foodies looking for every variety of food imaginable

Distance to Midtown Manhattan: 4,7 miles

What to do in Lower East Side: Tenement Museum, Merchant House Museum, Eldridge Street Synagogue, The New Museum, walking distance to Little Italy & Chinatown.

The Lower East Side is a foodies dream location; you’ll find every kind of cuisine and creative food eateries that will make your tasting buds sing with joy. And this is home to the most iconic deli in New York, Katz’s Deli (205 E Houston St), serving up incredibly scrumptious food since 1888. You’ll also find great bars with secret entrances – one is Back Room, one of only two remaining speakeasies in New York. Prepare for roaring 20’s vibe, drinks served in teacups, and finding the entrance hidden at the end of a dark underground staircase…

Lower East Side has some great vintage shops, and you can find a great vintage bargain here. Learn about NYC’s urban immigrant history at Tenement Museum, or visit the New Museum – a museum of new ideas and new art. When in Lower East Side, you’re within walking distance of Little Italy and Chinatown, which means even more cultural variety – and more delicious food. Please note, this is not the easiest neighbourhood to commute to, so if your trip to New York is only for a few days you might prefer to stay closer to midtown. But if you’re into diversity and great food, this is you, so start looking for that fairly priced NYC hotel.

Bleep bleep bleep. Whether an arcade aficiniado or not, Two Bit’s Retro Arcade (153 Essex St) is a pretty fun place. With more than 20 vintage arcade games like Pacman and Tetris and plenty of drinks this is where you’ll find some gamely (!) downtime.

The F,J,M,Z make stops at Lower East Side, as well as stops in the areas of Chinatown and Little Italy nearby. Beware, this can get a bit tricky: The F and M trains run from other points in Manhattan, while the J and Z lines only come from Brooklyn.

From JFK Airport: The AirTrain at JFK transfers you to Jamaica Station. From here, you’ll have to take the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) which goes to Penn Station on 34th Street in Midtown, a central location for getting to your accommodation in Manhattan. Cost is $15. Travel time about 30 minutes.

From LaGuardia Airport: If you’re arriving in New York from LaGuardia, take the airport shuttle NYC Express Bus. Cost is $16 USD one-way.

From Newark Airport: Newark airport is next door in New Jersey, and you can can connect to Manhattan via the NJ Transit train from the airport. Travel time is about 30 minutes and you’ll arrive at Penn Station. One-way tickets: $13.

Shuttle services like the Airlink NYC can be arranged to transport you from any New York City airport to your hotel 24 hours/day. Depending on your time of arrival/departure from New York and where you stay in New York, this just might be the cheapest and easiest option of all.

Brooklyn

Perfect for: 1/ you’ve been in NYC before and want to expand your NYC experiences – or 2/ you’re young, artsy and looking for your tribe

Distance to Midtown Manhattan: 9,6 miles

What to do in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, trendy eats, vintage, Smorgasburg, street art, flea markets, artisan shopping, Coney Island, Barclays Center.

Looking for a mid-range or budget-friendly New York hotel deal? Meet Brooklyn: Entrepreneurs, galleries, local feel, heaps of scrumptious food, cosy beer gardens, artists and quaint coffee shops. Though you have to set aside some time to commute to Manhattan, fear not: Almost every subway line cuts through Brooklyn, so getting to/from other parts of NYC is easy. You’ll also soon find that there’s plenty to explore in Brooklyn itself, being the most populous borough in NYC. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge will give you a full view of the New York Harbour, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. At Brooklyn Heights, aka “America’s first suburb”, the pedestrian promenade offers a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline – at night you can drink in the sight of the many sparkling lights of NYC, a truly cinematic experience.

Street art lovers must head to Bushwick Collective Street Art Gallery, then explore the Brooklyn streets – and then head to the Brooklyn Museum offering an impressive app. 1.5 million works. Tip: Entrance is free on the first Saturday of every month, 5 – 11 PM.

Refurbished warehouses and some of the city’s best pizza can be found in DUMBO in the northeast of Brooklyn, one of NYC’s trendiest neighbourhoods, with plenty of NYC history as well. Check out the DUMBO Flea Market (April-October), named as one of the best flea markets in the world. Another Brooklyn gem is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a peaceful oasis you will cherish. If you’re here in the spring, the Cherry Blossom Festival here is pure poetry. Brooklyn isn’t midtown, but a world of its own. If you’re into a bohemian living, then Brooklyn is for you. Oh, and you have to visit Vinnie’s Pizzaria (vegan/gluten-free options). Vinnie’s place might not look like much from the outside, but for more than 50 years locals have been munching away on heavenly slices here. So Brooklyn.

Hasidic Walking Tour: Visit the Hasidic area in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighbourhood, and learn about this fascinating culture from a local guide. Tour group size is max 12 people, which makes for a great intimate feel. Hasidic shops, eateries, synagogues, schools and historic sights – dive into one of the signature cultures of NYC.

Many parts of Brooklyn have great subway access, as nearly every train line makes stops somewhere in Brooklyn. Tip: Use Google Maps to know which subway station is closest to the hotel you’re thinking of booking.

JFK is the closest airport if you’re staying in Brooklyn. The cheapest and most convenient way to get from JFK to Brooklyn is to take the AirTrain, then a subway or bus transfer.

If you’re arriving at LaGuardia Airport, you can take the airport shuttle NYC Express Bus ($16 USD one-way) with service to Manhattan – then take the MTA to your Brooklyn hotel.

Note: You can also try for rideshares or taxis (not recommended during rush hour). If you’re arriving in NYC outside of rush hour, you might be able to do the trip in 30 minutes.

Long Island City, Queens

Perfect for: If you’re looking to do New York on a budget

Distance to Midtown Manhattan: 3,2 miles

What to do in Long Island City: Jaw-dropping city views from the waterfront promenade and parks, MoMa PS1, Noguchi Museum.

Finding out where to stay in New York will quickly show you how expensive this city really is. If you want to do New York on a budget, Long Island City is a good bet. Long Island is upcoming, but it doesn’t (yet) offer as many eateries and sights as other neighbourhoods. But it offers something very rare: The chance of a cheap hotel deal in New York. You’ll find a number of subway lines to the city, running all day and all through the night. Tip: Checking the distance from hotel to nearest subway station is very important in this area, or you might face loooong walks. Though Long Island City isn’t Manhattan, it does have a quirkiness to it that just might charm you: Gantry Plaza State Park is the most popular park in Queens, and overlooks the Manhattan skyline and the 59th Street Bridge. Or pop by the Sculpture Center, a contemporary art museum with a relaxed atmosphere. And uniquely, Long Island City is home to MoMa PS1, the little sister of top tier MoMa in Manhattan that is rapidly winning fame for displaying frontrunning experimental art – and a HUGE annual summer party.

Feeling peckish? Let Canadian chef Hugue Dufour spoil you at M. Wells Steakhouse (43-15 Crescent St)- a unique experience due to Dufours adventurous twist to what might seem a classic menu.

Up, up and away: You can’t really have enough of the Manhattan Skyline – which is why this Long Island City rooftop bar, Penthouse 808 is perfect: A grand view of the skyline, and a great place to just relax and have a good time with friends.

The area has a good number of trains including the E,M,R,N,W,F,7. Not every train will be at every station, though, so know which subway line your hotel is near – use google maps. Subways run all through the night, so if you’re considering a cost-friendly hotel here, you don’t have to worry about missing the last train back. Tip: Check the MTA website if there’s any weekend subway work – that could affect service.

The New York City airports closest to Queens, and thereby Long Island City, are LaGuardia and JFK. Both airports are located in the borough of Queens, which offers various options to get from the airport to your hotel in Long Island City.

From LaGuardia Airport: Buses Q33, Q47, Q72 and Q48 buses make connections between LaGuardia and Queens. Then take the subway to your hotel in Long Island City. Use the MTA trip planner to plan your connection from the airport shuttles and the MTA. Travel time: approximately 1 hour.

From JFK Airport: Take the AirTrain to Jamaica Station. From here you can use New York’s MTA to get to your hotel in Long Island City Travel time can be from 45 minutes to over an hour – depending on the location of your hotel.