Where to Stay in New York City – The Best Area for First Timers!
Planning a city trip to New York City? Cool! You’re going to love the Big Apple! But finding a hotel in New York can be really stressful. Especially if it’s your first time traveling to New York. In this post, we’ll help you get your bearings in New York. We’ll show you the best areas to stay and share our personal hotel tips.
Your trust is really important to us: This post contains so-called affiliate links. More information
Your trust is very important to us: This post contains affiliate links. If you book your hotel using one of these links, we get a small commission. It won’t cost you any extra and it’s an easy way for you to support our work. Thanks, we really appreciate it! – Jenny & Basti
Hi! We are Jenny & Basti.
We’re head over heels in love with photography and traveling. On our travel blog, we share useful travel tips and give you practical photography advice.
We’re head over heels in love with photography and traveling. We turned our shared passion into our profession and have been at home everywhere in the world ever since. On 22places we share everything about our travels: with a lot of attention for details, inspirational, authentic, and above all: always honest. On our travel blog, we share useful travel tips and give you practical photography advice.
It’s no secret that New York isn’t exactly the cheapest destination for a city trip.
But let’s be honest: This sprawling metropolis is most definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Sure, staying in New York isn’t a bargain by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s worth every cent!
There are so many posts offering travel hacks to find the cheapest place to stay in New York, and yeah sure, beds for under 120 dollars a night do exist.
But it’s true what they say: “You get what you pay for.” Quality has its price.
To make sure you find the perfect accommodation in New York, first you should consider the following question: Which part of New York is the best place to stay for you?
Jenny was fortunate enough to have lived in New York for a whole year and knows the city inside and out! We want to share her insights with you in this post.
We’ll show you how to get the most out of your stay in New York, share some helpful accommodation tips, and help you figure out the best place to stay in New York for your trip.
1 Week New York
Our itinerary for 7 days
Helicopter tour NY
Costs, experiences & best offers
New York viewpoints
The most beautiful views
Finding your bearings in New York
At around 8.5 inhabitants, New York is the city with the biggest population in the United States.
There’s a reason Manhattan is packed with skyscrapers: All those people have to fit into a relatively small area, and over 50 million tourists who visit New York every year need a place to stay, too.
Of course, that means it can be a bit overwhelming at first if you’re used to comparatively tiny and laid-back European cities.
The five boroughs of New York City. The most interesting area to stay is Manhattan, marked in turquoise on the map.
New York City consists of 5 large districts, which are known as boroughs.
- Staten Island
If you’re traveling to New York for sightseeing, Manhattan is your only real option. All the most famous and important sights of New York are located here. 4 of the 5 areas in New York that we recommend are in the borough of Manhattan.
Tips for staying in New York
Considering New York’s exorbitant real estate prices, it’s no wonder that budget hotels are so scarce. If you want to spend as little as possible on your accommodation in New York and you don’t mind the commute, then we have a few tips for finding cheap places to stay in New York later on in the post.
But if you’re more like us and enjoy a comfortable hotel (at a fair price!) and love being in the center of the action, then this is the perfect post for you.
But let’s talk room rates: Decent mid-range hotels in a good location start at around 200 dollars per night. Cheaper hotels are generally of much lower quality. It’s almost impossible to find a room in a good location for less than 120 dollars.
If you prefer a bit more luxury and comfort and want a larger room, then you can expect to pay 300, or even 400 dollars per night. The price also depends on the travel season.
The lowest room rates are available in January, February, July, and August. Rooms are the most expensive during the peak seasons, e.g. April, May, September, and October.
Attention: Hotel and occupancy tax
This is where the hotel and occupancy tax is displayed on booking.com.
The City of New York charges a hotel tax of 14.75 percent, plus an occupancy tax of 3.50 dollars per day.
These fees are generally not included in the room rates posted online and are added in top at the end.
On booking.com you will find that information once you chose a hotel and look then if your preferred days are available.
You can see it on our screenshot under the turquoise-colored arrow.
You will then find the final price in the next booking step.
Quality vs. price
If you look for hotels with good ratings when you book, you can’t really go wrong. But you should be aware of a few things: Hotels in New York are tiny. And when we say tiny, we mean tiny.
While not quite as extreme as the super-tiny hotels in Japan, we’re still talking about around 15 sqm for about 200-300 dollars, depending on the location. That doesn’t really bother us, but first-time visitors are often shocked when they see their room.
You should take this into account when packing for your trip. Our philosophy for city trips is: Pack light and take as little as possible.
If you need some inspiration on what to bring, then check out our post on what to pack for city breaks. It’s always best to come prepared, that way you can avoid the stress of having to make room for all your luggage when you arrive.
An important tip for finding a place to stay in New York is to book as early as possible. The metropolis is a popular tourist destination all year round.
Hotels fill up quickly, especially during the peak travel season, and then you have to make do with what’s left.
Where to stay in New York? Book a hotel in the right New York neighborhood
The main thing to watch out for in New York is where you want to stay. The best place to stay in New York for your trip depends a lot on how long you’ll be staying and what you’re planning on doing.
Whichever New York neighborhood you decide on, you should always make sure there’s a subway station nearby. Now let’s find out which part of town is the best one for you.
Our tip: By the way, read our New York Pass comparison to find out which pass is the best for you.
Where to stay in New York – The best neighborhoods on a map!
To help you find your bearings, we’ve compiled a map for you with all the best places to stay. To give you an even better sense of where everything is in Manhattan, we’ve added 10 popular tourist attractions of New York.
We recommend staying in one of these 5 areas:
- Midtown: Ideal for your first visit to New York.
- Upper East Side: Ideal for luxury, shopping, and museum lovers.
- Chelsea & Greenwich Village: Ideal for New York romantics.
- Soho & Lower East Side: Ideal for hipsters and coolhunters.
- Queens: Ideal for travelers on a budget.
In the next sections, we’ll take a look at each of these areas to help you find the right one for you.
Our New York hotel tips for each neighborhood
We always provide a selection of around three hotels per neighborhood, sorted by price. We picked all the hotels we link to here according to our personal preferences for accommodation. We generally recommend choosing a mid-range hotel because they offer the best value for money.
Our personal top hotel recommendation for New York
Our favorite hotel in New York is the citizenM Hotel just off of Times Square, which offers excellent value for money in a perfect location. We had already stayed at a citizenM in Rotterdam before and were really impressed with it.
Each hotel only has a single room category, and all the rooms have the same layout with super-modern furnishings. We’re total fans of citizenM and would recommend the hotel to anyone.
A new CitizenM recently opened in the Bowery. If you’ve been to New York before and don’t want to stay around Times Square, then the citizenM in Bowery is a great alternative.
Our room at the citizenM Times Square in New York
For first-timers: Midtown
Midtown is the right place to stay for you if this is your first time in New York, you want to see a lot of sights in the shortest time possible, and you want to avoid long travel times.
This part of town is perfect for about 90% of New York visitors. Midtown isn’t just the most popular district for hotel searches, it’s also the area with the largest selection of hotels in every price range.
You’ll be staying within walking distance of many of the most important and most famous sights: 5 th Avenue, Times Square, the Broadway theaters, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.
From Midtown you can easily explore the city on foot and it’s perfectly connected to all the other parts of the town. All the major subway lines run through Midtown, so it’s really easy to get to any other station in the city. In other words: perfect!
Pros of staying in Midtown:
- Super-well connected
- Huge selection of hotels in every price range
- Lots of sights within walking distance
Cons of staying in Midtown:
- An area for tourists, not for locals
- Fewer cool restaurants than in other districts
- A never-ending throng of tourists
- Noise (check the hotel reviews to find a quiet hotel)
Our personal hotel recommendations for the Midtown
For luxury lovers Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is the right area to stay for you if you like things a little quieter, you want to go for a run in Central Park in the morning, and you plan to explore the best museums of New York.
Although the Upper East Side has changed a bit over the years, people still think of it as the neighborhood of the rich and beautiful, with expensive clothes and tiny dogs in handbags.
Of course that’s a bit of a stereotype, but there’s more than a kernel of truth to it. In spite of that, or perhaps because of it, it’s worth staying in the Upper East Side.
It’s full of beautiful buildings and luxury boutiques, with Central Park as a scenic backdrop. 5 th Avenue, which runs east of Central Park, is home to the city’s most famous museums.
This part of 5 th Avenue is also known as Museum Mile. There you’ll find the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, the Goethe Institute, and the Neue Galerie.
Pros of staying in the Upper East Side:
- Within walking distance of many of the city’s major museums
- Central Park is right next door
- Quieter than the other districts
Cons of staying in the Upper East Side:
- Hotels are a bit more expensive than in the other districts
- Smaller selection of restaurants and bars, especially in the lower price ranges
- Slightly longer journey to the sights in the south of Manhattan
For romantics: Chelsea & Greenwich Village
Chelsea and Greenwich Village are the right places to stay for you if you’ve been to New York before, have already checked out the main sights, and now want to immerse yourself deeper into New York life.
But they’re also great as an alternative if you don’t want to stay in tourist areas, but would rather experience an authentic slice of New York life.
Greenwich Village is the art district and, just like Chelsea, it’s teeming with life. You can spend hours on Washington Square just listening to street musicians and watching passers-by without ever getting bored.
Or you can take a stroll through narrow, winding streets and admire New York’s typical sandstone buildings, or enjoy a meal at one of the many cute little restaurants.
Greenwich Village also has some excellent comedy clubs, and you should visit at least one of them. If you’re into jazz bars, then the Village is a dream come true.
If you like swanky clubs, you’ll find several of those in the Meatpacking District, which also belongs to this part of town.
Pros of staying in Chelsea & Greenwich Village:
- An authentic New York experience
- A large selection of great restaurants in every price range
- A wide range of very stylish hotels at reasonable prices
- The major sights in the south (Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty) are only a short subway ride away
Cons of staying in Chelsea & Greenwich Village:
- The sights in Midtown aren’t within walking distance
- It can get a bit loud here in the evening and at night (make sure to check the hotel reviews for noise complaints)
For hipsters: Soho & Lower East Side
Soho and the Lower East Side are the right areas to stay for you if you’ve already explored the main sights of New York and want to experience life in different parts of town. Both districts are achingly hip.
Soho borders Greenwich Village to the south and is best-known for its beautiful cast-iron buildings and its many art and design shops. Just like Soho, the Lower East Side is a typical New York residential neighborhood. So you won’t find any super-famous sights here.
But what both neighborhoods have to offer instead is an incredibly diverse street scene, and a mix of super-trendy restaurants and boutiques in all price ranges. The best thing about the neighborhoods is that you can get to many other parts of the city on foot from here.
Nowhere else in New York do you get so swept up in life on the streets. Little Italy, the Bowery, Chinatown – everything’s just a stone’s throw away.
Pros of staying in Soho & the East Village:
- You’ll be staying where New Yorkers live
- There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and stores for every budget
Cons of staying in Soho & the East Village:
- The East Village in particular isn’t that well connected
- You have to take public transport to all the important sights
Cheap accommodation in Queens
Queens is the right district to stay for you if you’re looking for cheap accommodation in New York. You’ll get a lot more value for your money and won’t have to spend upwards of 200 dollars for your room.
We’ve deliberately chosen Queens as our sole recommended district outside of Manhattan because it’s just a short ride from there to Midtown by subway (about 15 minutes). And it has some really nice hotels at a fair price.
If you don’t mind taking the subway from Queens to Manhattan every day and you want more for bang for your buck, then Queens is the right place for you.
Pros of staying in Queens:
- Better value for money than in Manhattan
- Cheaper, but still fairly close to the most important sights
- Queens offers a beautiful panoramic view of the New York skyline
Cons of staying in Queens:
- Located outside of Manhattan
- You always have to take the subway to go sightseeing
Our personal hotel recommendations for Queens:
The right hotel, in the right part of New York, will make your stay that much more special! And our hotel tips will help you find it!
Cheap accommodation in New Jersey
New Jersey is another state, but is located right across from Manhattan on the other side of the Hudson River.
Jersey City is right across from Manhattan and especially the hotels right at the water habe a beautiful view of the Manhattan Skyline. However, the hotel prices are not cheaper than in Manhattan, simply because you can get there pretty fast by subway.
If you really want to save money, you should look at the hotels in Newark. They don’t offer a view on Manhattan, since Newark is located a little further outside, but a good room costs between 120 and 170 dollars.
You should definitely book a hotel close to the Newark Penn Station. With the red PATH Train Line you will need 22 minutes to the World Trade Center. A one way ticket costs 2,75 dollars (approximately 3,20 euros).
Pros of staying in Newark:
- You get more for your money than in Manhattan
- If you land in Newark, you are closer to the airport
Cons of staying in Newark:
- You will need 20 to 30 minutes to get to Manhattan
- You don’t have a view on the skyline, so you don’t get that authentic New York feel
Our personal hotel recommendations for Newark:
Element Harrison-Newark Directly at the PATH station Harrison
Cheap accommodation in New York with Airbnb?
If you look on Airbnb, you’ll often find apartments listed that are considerably cheaper than comparable hotel rooms. We’d still advise against staying in an Airbnb apartment in New York.
Airbnb ruins the housing market for locals
We used to be huge fans of Airbnb. For two reasons: It allows you to rent out your apartment when you’re on vacation, and you get to stay at a private apartment instead of a hotel and feel at home everywhere in the world.
The basic concept is great. But these days, Airbnb is full of professional vacation rentals leased for the sole purpose of putting them on Airbnb and filled with random ugly furniture to make a quick buck by renting them out 365 days a year.
The result: The housing market in major cities has become even more overcrowded and prices have skyrocketed. People are being driven out of popular districts, which then devolve into total tourist traps. That really sucks and we don’t want to contribute to this cycle any longer.
We’ve had several bad experiences with Airbnb.
What’s more, we’ve had some very bad experiences with Airbnb apartments over the past few years and were very disappointed with their customer service.
We ended up emailing back and forth with Airbnb’s customer service for several days, sometimes even weeks, only to come to the realization that guests ultimately get the short end of the stick when problems arise.
Airbnb has been illegal in New York since October 2016 (with some exceptions)
New York has never been a place for affordable housing. So it didn’t help that the city was full of apartments with the sole purpose of being rented out on Airbnb.
Just to give you a rough idea of the rent situation on the New York housing market: A small room in a shared apartment (a window is a luxury!) with a private bathroom in Manhattan starts at 1,700 dollars and can cost as much as 3,500 dollars!
No wonder then that New Yorkers spend an average of 60 percent of their income on rent. Airbnb exacerbated the situation in recent years, and so stricter regulations were put in place.
According to the new laws, renting out apartments for short periods of time (less than a month) is illegal – regardless of whether it’s a private apartment that’s only rented out from time to time, or an apartment that’s essentially a full-time vacation home.
The only exception: Up to two people can stay at an apartment with a New York resident if you share the apartment with them. The introduction of these strict guidelines was also accompanied by a major crackdown on illegal rentals.
At first it targeted providers who rented out several apartments on Airbnb, but in the past months it’s also been extended to private landlords, incurring severe penalties.
Okay, now we’ll get off our soapbox – we just think it’s important to give you a little context about New York and Airbnb.
We’ve consciously decided against staying at Airbnb apartments because we’ve experienced the issues that arise from a crowded housing market first-hand in our adopted home of Berlin.
Where did you stay in New York?
Have you ever been to New York? What part of town did you stay in? Would you recommend your hotel? Please let us know in the comments below! – Jenny & Basti
Also read our other posts
Helicopter tour NY
Costs, experiences & best offers
New York Museums
The most beautiful museums
New York viewpoints
The most beautiful views
Statue of Liberty
Info for your visit and tickets
1 Week New York
Our itinerary for 7 days
New York Sights
The top 22 highlights in New York
New York Pass Comparison
Which pass is the best?
what is your recommendation for a hotel with a pool? Traveling with a child and will need affordable activities so were not stuck in room all the time nor spending money every where we turn.
Hi. This articles has been very useful! Thanks!!
Can you give me your recommendation? Seton hotel or Hilton Garden Inn Midtown East.
I looked forward your Hotel recomendations but they are sold.
Thank you very much.
Where would be a good place to stay with children. I have checked NYC but it’s so expensive and I’m not comfortable doing an airbnb. Can you recommend so areas will to stay in an area a longer as the area is safe
Thank you so very much for putting together this information. I’m (40F) taking my 16 year old niece in two weeks and I’m overwhelmed by the amount of things to see and do on a 3-4 days trip. Your site narrowed it down, while giving a personal touch. This will definitely help!
Thanks for the great information.
This is amazing to read thank you !
Thanks for putting the article together! We’ve just booked a trip for February and we’re staying in CitizenM thanks to your recommendations! We can’t wait!
Thanks so much for sharing this information. Just starting to think about planning a trip next year, i have a better concept of the city layout now and what will work best for us. cheers from Austrlaia
I will be attending a play at Gershwin. Never driven to New York myself. We will be goin to the serendipity 3 restaurant and also doin shopping. Other than that the schedule is free. Considered staying at a hotel walking distance from Gershwin. This is pretty close to all the action and I’m intimidated about driving in this part. Any ideas or suggestions. Thanks you
I’ve never been to New York. Thinking of going for Xmas. Good read and helpful information. Only one complaint with your article: your article is written in English, New York is in the US, so why the heck are you pricing everything in euros?? Those prices were absolutely no help whatsoever. Otherwise, good job.
It’s such a pity that Airbnb has been given such a bad name here. I have been using this since 2012 and have stayed in over 90 different places from all over the world, including the States, as well as Europe and Asia. My main reason for doing so was cost, in that Airbnb allowed me to visit places where hotel rooms were so much higher, and the fact I was giving business to every day people, not large companies or multinationals. Now – my reasons for always choosing Airbnb are more distinct, as a mum of two small children, staying in an apartment is more attractive as its more relaxing, I can actually cook meals which is a bonus when having kids, plus you get to stay in local areas tourist’s would not venture to otherwise. It therefore brings in money to local businesses rather than have visitors concentrate only in tourist hotshots. Oh and these Airbnb apartments are usually more affordable too, another huge bonus when you love to travel, have children but you’re not rolling in cash.
This article also said about experiencing bad Airbnb’s, and I’m sure this happens. But in the over 90 I’ve stayed in, I have never experienced a bad one. When I was travelling in California three years ago and ended up in hospital for a month, I had to contact Airbnb to cancel my Airbnb bookings (we were on a road trip). Airbnb in fact responded quickly and I was refunded everything I had booked and were very supportive. The hotel companies I had booked through were much less so, in fact they both refused to refund me anything despite evidence from the hospital of my situation. It just says it all really. It’s such a shame places are clamping down on free enterprise, New York is sounding more like Beijing. I’m sure even with the ban of short term rentals in the city the rent and real estate prices will still rise massively over the years, and then who will be blamed for that?
Do you have recommendations for family friendly hotels and best areas to stay with young families.
If this is your 1st trip there THE CROWNE PLAZA in Times Square is a great central location. We loved it.
Where to Stay in New York City with Family: Best Areas for Families
New York City is one of the top destinations for tourists, and justly so. To give you an idea, the city was visited by more than 66 million people back in 2019. The bustling streets, the culture, food, shopping, and the art scene are what attract millions to this free-spirited city. Personally, it’s the energy and diversity of this place that has always drawn me in.
This concrete jungle, where dreams are made, is a place of inspiration, world-famous landmarks, and excitement. If you plan to travel to this happening city with your family, a brief guide to the city will surely come in handy…like this one!
Check out these best options on where to stay in New York City with family.
New York Marriott Marquis is a unique hotel located in the heart of Times Square and the Theater District. Enjoy the Broadway Ballroom with 29,000 square feet of flexible space, modern rooms with flat-screen TVs and marble bathrooms, three restaurants, lounge offering panoramic views of Times Square and two terraces.
Ideally located within one block of Times Square, Hilton Garden Inn Times Square is the perfect Manhattan hotel for business or leisure travel. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour gym and business center, and our spacious rooms with 42′ flat-screen TVs. Take advantage of our convenient location by visiting nearby attractions like Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center and the Museum of Arts & Design — book your stay today!
Located in the former George Washington Hotel, once home to many storied writers, musicians and creatives, the Freehand New York features five restaurant and bars, a custom art partnership with Bard College, and design by Roman and Williams.
Table of Contents
Where to Stay in New York City with Family
Personally, if I ever travel with family, I consider three points.
- Amenities (Free is obviously better)
New York has five boroughs where many tourists stay, including The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, further divided into more counties. So, New York would be a good place to start if you ever want to revisit your middle school geography class.
Best Family-Friendly Places to Stay in New York City
Nevertheless, the best family hotels in New York City are in the locations mentioned above. I’ve focused on these counties and adjoining neighborhoods to search for the best hotels for your New York family trip.
To find the best family-friendly hotels, I’ve jotted down the list of hotels with the best safety provisions, how close they are to tourist attractions and what type of amenities they provide.
New York City is blessed with many hotels, so you will not have a hard time finding one. However, it’s confusing to choose a hotel with so many available options. Thankfully, there are many hotels in New York city that are kid-friendly and facilitate tourists in many ways.
Some NYC hotels are cost-effective, but some places also ask for a splurge. So, it really depends on your budget and what you are looking for in family hotels.
Flatiron and NoMad
Flatiron and NoMad are renowned for their family-friendly environment; these areas are neighboring each other. The Flatiron building is a famous landmark of New York City, while NoMad has risen in popularity in the past few years.
The area is great for kids; NoMad and Flatiron are neighborhoods separated by Madison Square Park. The area sees a rush of the crowd with trendy cafes, busy bars, and big restaurants.
The NoMad district also has a National Mathematics Museum NoMath (pun intended), which is a children’s and adults’ favorite…well, seeing as it’s about math, “favorite” might be a bit generous, but it is honestly pretty darned interesting.
The area has some of the best family-friendly hotels to offer, with The Freehand NYC being the most affordable one out there.
The Freehand NYC – Flatiron
If you think about pocketbook-friendly hotels, this one offers large social areas and spacious rooms. The atmosphere is elevated with large plants and a touch of wood furniture.
The best part? They have three’s company and quad bunk bedrooms that are perfect for big families. Also, super reasonable if you want to save money for the price of four separate spacious rooms.
Freehand NYC is situated in the heart of the Flatiron District. It is literally within seven minutes’ walking distance from the great flatiron building.
Yes, the same one you must have seen in Spiderman or Godzilla movies! Kids would love that!
Heritage Hotel New York City – Flatiron
Nothing too fancy but not a bad choice either, you also have the Heritage Hotel New York City. Once in the city, you will often set your foot out to explore it, so if you just want a quick check-in and quick check-out, go for Heritage Hotel – Flatiron.
Madison Square Park is only three minutes away from this hotel, and you have the options of double, triple, quad, and family suite rooms at affordable prices.
The front lobby and staff are extremely accommodating. The rooms are small yet provide all amenities, including a personal coffee machine.
MADE Hotel – NoMad NYC
If money is not an issue for you, splurge on this exquisite modern, state-of-the-art hotel in New York City. This NYC hotel has rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows with a breathtaking city view. In addition, the hotel offers coffee shops, beautiful outdoor space, and restaurants inside if you want to stay.
It is one of the best family hotels in New York, located in a safe and lively neighborhood. A little heavy on the pocket, but the hotel has plenty of offers and discounts to accommodate families.
The location offers many subway routes to tourist attractions, so you do not have to work out different ways to travel around the city.
Check out bookings, reviews, and a show map of the MADE hotel.
Midtown West – Times Square
The first things that come to mind when you think about New York are the Broadway performances, streets lined with skyscrapers, hotdog carts, and giant billboards. Times Square is the quintessential heart of New York City; I mean, if you ever visit the city and do not take a pic for the ‘gram in Times Square, did you even go to New York?
Jokes aside, Midtown West and Times Square are the perfect places for families to stay in. Before you choose a hotel here, bear in mind that New York sees the most tourists in this area.
So it goes without saying that Times Square is filled with expensive resorts and hotels. Only problem? They are often full, but you can still find some places that are budget-friendly.
In my opinion, Midtown Manhattan is probably the best place to visit if you’re a first-timer in New York. It always keeps you within 15 to 20 minutes’ distance from your hotel.
Tourist attractions like The Empire State Building, the Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA), and Times Square in Midtown East are all within the surrounding area. Although the hotels may cost you a little bit, the location saves your traveling cost a lot.
Some of the MTA New York City Transit is also close to midtown Manhattan like 34 St – Penn Station and 34 St – Herald Sq Subway Station.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York City
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: W New York – Time Square
- Best Budget Hotel: The Hotel At Time Square
Midtown East – New York
The birthplace of infamous artistic and historical sites like Rockefeller Centre, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, and much more. Shop at Fifth Avenue or enjoy the beautiful Manhattan skyline; the area is filled with picturesque monuments. Good thing is, that it is relatively quieter than Midtown Manhattan.
In addition, you have various options for condos, hotels, and rental spaces in Midtown east. Not forgetting the East River, the place is filled with high-rise skyscrapers. Some views even stretch out to Queens. The Manhattan skyline in this area is to die for, and most hotels take leverage of this fact but hey, who’s complaining?
Hilton Garden Inn – Downtown Times Square
One of the most popular among NYC hotels, the Hilton Garden Inn is within one block of walking distance from Times Square. The place offers free Wi-Fi and spacious rooms which have separate flat-screen TVs along with a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker.
Need I say more? While Central Park Zoo is about 1 mile away from the hotel, the nearby attractions include Radio City Music Hall, the Museum of Arts and Design, and Rockefeller Centre of New York.
Find booking details, a city map, and reviews about the family-friendly hotel.
CitizenM New York – Times Square
In New York’s central location, this CitizenM New York hotel is only 1 minute away from Times Square and 5 minute’s walk from Central Park and Columbus circle.
Among the best-rated hotels in New Yew York, the CitizenM is one of the most family-friendly hotels that offer rooms with a high-floor city view, and trust me, you do not want to miss out on the city view of Middletown west.
The hotel offers a contactless stay with their app, so you do not even have to go to the front desk for every little thing. The MoodPad from CitizenM lets you control room settings for an enjoyable stay and make it one of the best places to stay in New York.
The hotel has a contemporary touch. The fun hotel is digitalized to make your stay super easy. It also has a fully-functional gym, yoga center, and a rooftop bar.
In addition, the hotel has an open bar, a 24-hour front desk, and facilities for disabled guests. For reviews, booking, and details, check here.
Millennium Times Square – Broadway Times Square
Located in the center of midtown Manhattan, this hotel is a great one to stay in for a family vacation in New York. Millineum Times Square is a Hilton affiliate hotel. The hotel is close to many tourist sites like the infamous Madame Tusaades, Broadway theatres, Majestic, and the Palace theatres.
Plus since, it is better to stay close to an airport, JFK airport is about 20 miles from it. You can find better hotels than this if you ask me, but it is not a bad option if you prefer to stay around the midtown west area. It also offers double rooms with a city view and ball drop view.
The hotel has free Wi-Fi, a gym, a business center, and an “Ask Alfred” children’s program, which ensures every kid that comes into the hotel has a memorable experience; they give the kids plushies, snacks, and kid-friendly menus.
These facilities make this hotel a kid-friendly family hotel in New York.
Pod 51 – Midtown East
If you are looking for a creative, fun place to stay for your family vacation in New York, Pod 51 is perfect for you. It is located in the heart of New York, so the location is in close range to all the tourist sites like the grand central station and central park.
Moreover, it is within walking distance of 0.8 km to Rockefeller center, Chrysler building, and 0.3km from 51st Street Lexington Avenue line.
The hotel has family-friendly accommodations with outdoor spaces like gardens and rooftops. You can also get a standard bunk bedroom with flat-screen TVs and a shared bathroom.
They have multilingual consigliere staff and provide complimentary daily tours for guests. So what more can you ask for in hotels in New York for a family vacation?
Lotte New York Palace – Midtown East New York
Located on Madison Avenue, this palace is filled with luxuries compared to other family hotels in New York. If you’re searching for where to stay in New York with a family, the hotel is located in an exceptional neighborhood inside the city center and built like a castle.
It is rare to find such traditional buildings in New York, and the Lotte New York Palace offers a spa for a relaxing experience and a fitness center.
What makes it the best family hotel is the family-friendly deals they offer. The friendly concierge hall and spacious royal suites are breathtakingly beautiful. They also have family suites with two king beds and a sleeper sofa, which can accommodate up to six guests simultaneously.
If you plan your trip around Christmas, the hotel is close to Winter Village at Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
What’s more appealing is that Lotte New York Palace really gives you a luxurious experience. The tower and palace option in the heart of New York makes you feel like royalty.
They also have a Christmas tradition called “Letters to Santa,” which replies to your kid’s Christmas letters and delivers them straight to your room; it is a great activity for children. In this hotel, babysitting services can also be arranged. This is why this palace takes the cake for being one of the best kid-friendly family hotels in New York.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: The Kimberly Hotel
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hotel Boutique Grand Central
- Best Budget Hotel: Pod 51
Upper West- Upper East Side
It’s not just about hotels; if you need a staycation for your family vacation in New York, you can get plenty of personal spaces in the upper east side and upper west side of the city.
If you’re wondering where to stay in New York with family, you will find the upper west and east sides great for family hotels. The location is surrounded by residential areas and some major tourist attractions.
Such as the American Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, which are suited best for families.
Brooklyn – New York
Brooklyn, New York County, is filled with major tourist attractions and vibrant places such as the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, East River, and Hayden River. It’s pretty easy to get into Manhatten for sightseeing as well, making it one of the best places to stay outside of Manhatten. The area has a vibe of old New York with traditional limestone and granite buildings.
Of course, who can forget among the best family tourist attractions in New York City, Coney Island, and Prospect Park? Brooklyn is rich with historical landmarks and fun-filled activities for kids.
One subway from Manhattan will take you back to the streets of fresh bagels. Your family can enjoy Brooklyn’s museums, gardens, food markets, and much more.
Here are some of the places you can stay in Brooklyn.
The Box House – Brooklyn Downtown
If you want a homely vibe and the upscale modern look of a hotel, the Box House Hotel is exactly that. What makes this the best family hotel are the spacious family rooms and beautifully decorated lofts overlooking New York City.
The hotel is on Box Street, connecting the Upper East Side, and is just 4 miles away from Times Square. The hotel offers a fitness center, ATM, business center, bar, and laundry facilities.
The place is best to accommodate a family and includes a two-bedroom duplex loft (one king bed, one queen bed, and one sofa bed). You can also get a one-bedroom suite that comes with one queen bed and one sofa bed and a terrace to enjoy the city’s midtown Manhattan view.
Check out the booking details and reviews about The Box House Hotel here.
Holiday Inn – Brooklyn New York
Located at a central location in Brooklyn downtown, the Holiday Inn is a well-recommended place for family-friendly hotels in New York City. The hotel is the most convenient to travel being only a km away from One MetroTech Centre.
It is always a good idea to choose hotels close to airports, and JFK Airport is only 11 minutes away from this New York hotel, Holiday Inn. The hotel facilities include an indoor pool, private fitness center, restaurant, and bar. In addition, the hotel is pet-friendly and allows you to host three guests at a time.
Holiday Inn is often fully booked, but you can enjoy many discounts if you pre-book and use the flexible plans of NYC hotels.
Ace Hotel – Brooklyn New York
One of the top-rated NYC hotels, Ace Hotel, is the best family hotel near a few popular tourist sites: Coney Island and Grand Army Plaza, 8.1 miles and 1.2 miles away from the hotel, respectively. To no surprise, the Ace Hotel in New York City is also near Barclays Centre and Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The rooms are spacious and modern, with windows opening to New York City. The hotel is also pet-friendly and has a fitness center, restaurant, free Wi-Fi, a bar, ATM, and facilities for disabled hotel guests. Find booking details, a road map, and reviews about Ace Hotel.
Franklin Guesthouse – New York
If you are tired or overwhelmed by the city’s noise, this guesthouse offers some peace and quiet. The hotel is in a central location and equipped with many amenities. Selected rooms have a private patio, and the deluxe loft suite has a kitchenette with a sofa bed, making it kid-friendly. In addition, all the rooms have coffee makers and free Wi-Fi.
For commuting, you have bike hire and shuttle services within walking distance of a 1-mile radius. Guests love it because of its room amenities, making it one of the best family hotels in New York City.
Henry Norman Hotel – NYC Hotels
The familiar brick wall in New York City’s signature and the Henry Norman Hotel provides a cozy, family-friendly environment with a mix of modern and classic architecture.
The rooms are larger than most hotels and include a bathtub or a shower in the private bathroom. The hotel has a variety of rooms, from penthouses with roof decks and loft-style rooms complete with a terrace and city view.
The New York hotel lobby is cozy and includes family rooms to book where you can play board games, and they have a kid-friendly environment.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hampton Inn Brooklyn/Downtown, NY
- Best Budget Hotel: Nu Hotel
Tips for Traveling in NYC
Here are some travel pointers for you before we get down to the real business.
Do Your Research
A buzzphrase of the times, and worth it in this context! The city of New York can be overwhelming. So, before you travel, make sure to do your research on the places you want to visit.
Get a city map or use geolocation, so you don’t get lost. Trust me, in a big city like this, it is pretty common to lose track of the streets and areas, especially when one block looks like the next.
If keeping track of street names is too tough, keep an eye out for particular landmarks, like graffitied walls, monuments, buildings that stand out, or something else that strikes you in the city.
So just be observant, and you will find your way back!
Travel Around With Public Transport
The city is filled with people’s cars, and yellow cabs and the best way to travel around the city is via public transportation. Traffic is insane in this city, and driving can be a real pain, so catch a subway or get a cab, and be wary of renting a car. That could get you stuck in traffic for like a lifetime!
There are several guides that show you how to navigate through the city through subways and a New York Pass, so get one yourself for your New York family trip.
Some Days are Better Than Others
New York City is one of the largest metropolises on Earth and (as of 2019) has a population of 8.4 million. Imagine that added to the number of tourists the city sees every year!
Tourism increases every year in New York City (with 2020 being an obvious exception), which makes it pretty crowded on the weekends. So much so that you might not be able to enjoy and take in the real beauty of sightseeing if you plan on weekend visits.
If you prefer the noise and energy of crowded places, then I won’t stop you; you do you! That said if you want to make the most of your visit and shirk the large crowds, hit up the more tourist-trap locations (e.g. the Empire State Building) in New York City during the week.
Be Careful on the Streets
If you take a family vacation in New York and travel with kids, you need to be extra careful on the streets. Ramps, bike paths, and unfortunately, even sidewalks have their risks.
The city never stops for anyone. Not only the transport but even the people are very busy. It seems like everybody is late for something, which is kind of the whole vibe of New York City; rush, rush, rush.
So, just be careful and keep an eye out when you take a stroll. I almost forgot, don’t stop in the middle of the crowd. It’s almost like a serious offense in the city as if you are blocking the street between 4 pm to 7 pm at Brooklyn Bridge.
No good comes out of that, and the locals will let you know in the colorful way New Yorkers do.
Where to Stay Outside of New York City: 7 Best Areas
Are you planning to travel but don’t know where to stay outside of New York City? Well, if you are a budget-minded traveler seeking cheaper accommodation with easy access to the Big Apple City, here is your answer.
With over 65.1 million visitors each year, over 20% of which are international travelers, New York is undoubtedly a hub of activities and one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
Popularly known as the Big Apple, the city is an ultimate representation of a cosmopolitan destination, and a true definition of urban living. This has made the cost of living here quite unforgiving, and even the long-time dwellers are increasingly searching for alternatives.
For budget-conscious travelers, staying in NYC during your vacation, therefore, becomes something you should try to avoid. Life here is quite expensive, and accommodation costs won’t spare your wallet. For this reason, you should have an idea of where to stay outside of New York City before you even travel.
New York City comprises 5 boroughs, namely Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. But, when people talk of the high-cost NYC; what they are mostly referring to is Manhattan.
Manhattan is the most expensive of all NYC’s boroughs, and it’s the epicenter of NYC’s economic activities. It also serves as the City’s administrative center, as well as its historical and cultural identifier. When looking for where to stay outside of New York City, you’re probably being pushed away by the high costs in Manhattan.
Located in the vibrant Exchange Place district of Jersey City, this hotel features a rooftop lounge and modern suites with kitchens. All rooms include a flat-screen TV and private bathroom. A complimentary continental breakfast is also included each morning. Full kitchens are in all suites at Hyatt House Jersey City, helping you save time and money on meals during your stay.
Williamsburg Hotel is a stylish hotel, with modern furnishings, located in the heart of Williamsburg. The hotel offers 10-foot views of Manhattan or Brooklyn through custom windows by Michaelis Boyd Studio, a marble and brass bathroom by Waterworks, handmade by Apotheke toiletries and a share friendly dining experience featuring sustainable ingredients from local farmers.
This New Jersey hotel is located 1,250 feet from Newport Center Mall’s shopping and dining. The Bistro serves breakfast, dinner and cocktails. There is also an on-site fitness center and 24-hour front desk. Rooms are air-conditioned, though the hotel offers free WiFi in public areas. The nearby Newport Center PATH train offers easy access to New York City.
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Best Places to Stay Outside of Manhattan
1. S unset Park, Brooklyn
This is one of the cool areas to stay outside of Manhattan. It is a beautiful and upcoming neighborhood in Brooklyn, which for decades, has been home to many old families. However, new vibrant, and young residents have also started living in the region some of them have made it their permanent residence.
This stunning waterfront area derives its name from Sunset Park, which is found within the region. It is a good area to relax as you enjoy the sunset or even swim in the community pool.
If you ever travel to Manhattan and are looking for an affordable place outside of New York City with a cool community park, consider Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Transport to New York City from Sunset Park is not a problem as one can take a subway. It takes around 35 minutes to get to Times Square in New York City, while it might take less than 20 minutes to get to some other parts of the city.
There are several accommodation options in the sunset area, but the most notable hotels include Williamsburg Hotel, Refinery Hotel, and Wyndham Garden.
While Wyndham has some of the highest rates with $40 more than the other chain hotels, it has the most positive reviews without any consistent complaints.
The region is suitable for travelers who are on a budget or individuals who want to feel part of the Brooklyn community. The city center is easily accessible from Sunset Park, and hotel costs here are cheaper than in Manhattan and most other parts of Brooklyn.
Where to stay near Sunset Park
- Best Luxury Hotel: Insignia Hotel Ascend Hotel Collection
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Ace Hotel New York
- Best Budget Hotel: Days Inn by Wyndham Brooklyn
2. Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
While most parts of Brooklyn are quite posh and expensive, Atlantic Avenue is one of the regions that will let you stay in Brooklyn without hurting your budget.
Atlantic Avenue is a long street in Brooklyn that has lots of fun places packed along the street. The region is a great spot for visitors and families as it offers several restaurants and access to the Prospect Park Zoo.
Besides, the street is home to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum which happens to be among the oldest children’s Museums. It also hosts the annual Atlantic Antic festival where families and couples come to celebrate the neighborhood with music, food, drinks, and much fun.
This makes Atlantic Avenue one of the best places to stay outside Manhattan. Atlantic Avenue is a 40-minute ride using the Subway from Midtown Manhattan and has cheaper accommodations compared to Manhattan.
The average rate of hotels here is about $176 per night. Check prices now via Booking.com to get the lowest price.
Where to stay near Atlantic Avenue
- Best Luxury Hotel: New York Marriot at Brooklyn Bridge
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriot New York Brooklyn
- Best Budget Hotel: Hampton Inn Brooklyn/Downtown, NY
3. Jersey City
Jersey City is one of the top places to stay outside of NYC. It is a city in New Jersey, but it’s rapidly becoming one of the popular neighborhoods for people working in Manhattan.
Although it is in a different state, Jersey City’s proximity to Manhattan has made it a perfect neighborhood for people who want to live outside the city. With the heavy commuter traffic in Jersey City, it means that the best things to do are around the PATH stations.
From various regions of Jersey City, one can easily get to Manhattan within 20 minutes via the PATH. Besides, there are various options to get to Manhattan as you can use a public bus, subway, ferry, train, or hotel shuttle.
Most people, including travelers and locals, prefer staying in this area since it is close to the city but cheaper than staying in Manhattan. There are several hotels in the area that offer accommodation, but you can start your search by checking out Candlewood Suites and Marriott by Courtyard, which is near the Hudson River.
The two hotels are elegant and offer quality services. While the accommodation rates over the weekends are comparable at both hotels, Candlewood Suites is $100 cheaper over weeknights.
Where to stay in Jersey City
- Best Luxury Hotel: Global Luxury Suites at The Convention Center
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: The Westin Jersey City Newport
- Best Budget Hotel: Bluebird Suites near the PATH
Edgewater is another incredible town that should be on your list of where to stay outside of New York City. It is next to Jersey City, just across the Hudson River from Upper Manhattan.
From Edgewater, one can enjoy the sweeping views of Manhattan, thus making it a perfect area to chill out among other surrounding areas. While in Edgewater, you don’t need to go to Manhattan to enjoy what NYC has to offer. The small town has a few of its attractions, such as playing tennis at Binghamton Racquet Club or taking a walk along the Hudson River Waterfront Trail.
Most residents within the region prefer staying within the tiny borough due to its proximity to the city as well as its calm and serene environment. One can easily commute from Edgewater using public buses or a 15-minute ride on a ferry to Manhattan.
However, it is advisable to take note of the ferry’s schedule as it is usually not in service over the weekends and late evenings. Among the various hotels in the region, I would advise budget-minded travelers to check out the Comfort Inn.
Although it’s quite basic, it is also comfortable, clean, and has all the requirements, with an average accommodation rate of $139/night.
Where to stay in Edgewater
- Best Luxury Hotel: Courtyard by Marriot Edgewater NYC Area
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Homewood Suites by Hilton Edgewater-NYC Area
- Best Budget Hotel: Comfort Inn Edge on Hudson River
Another neighborhood in New Jersey yet close to New York City is Rutherford. Rutherford is a booming city that is just ten miles away from Manhattan. Over recent years, the region has won the hearts of many visitors with various sporting events, performing arts events, as well as good restaurants.
Most families within New York City find Rutherford quite a peaceful and calm place to live in. It is a comfortable yet inexpensive suburban that offers easy access to New York City.
It only takes 30 minutes to get to Midtown New York using the New Jersey Transit.
A car might be necessary t o get around Rutherford as it covers quite a large area. But, to get to Manhattan, it is highly advisable to use the New Jersey Transit trains that will get you to New York Penn Station.
From the station, you can then take the Subway or Amtrak to other parts of the city.
With Rutherford on your list, you won’t have to worry much about where to stay outside of New York City.
It offers numerous affordable hotels to suit your budget, such as the Homewood Suites, which is a walking distance of Rutherford Station.
The hotel has an indoor pool, and complimentary breakfast, and the suites have kitchenettes, thus making them great for business and family travelers.
Where to stay in Rutherford
- Best Luxury Hotel: The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Residence Inn by Marriott East Rutherford Meadowlands
- Best Budget Hotel: Lic Hotel
6. Fort Lee
Still can’t figure out where to stay outside of New York City? Fort Lee might also be a good consideration. The region is across the George Washington Bridge from New York and is easily accessible from I-95. Fort Lee is quite famous for its beautiful waterfront areas on the Hudson River.
Also, the area is known for its heavy traffic as it is one of the main routes to get in and out of New York City. However, don’t let the heavy traffic make you frown, as the region also boasts of a diverse neighborhood with inexpensive rent and easy access to Manhattan.
Fort Lee has a large Koreatown with a large population of Koreans, which makes it a perfect spot for enjoying great exotic food and shopping. In addition to the Korean community, there is also a Russian community and a rich history of Italian and Greek immigrants. It is a great area for those who want to stay in a suburban setting and interact with a diverse community.
If you are staying at a hotel in Fort Lee, most of them offer shuttle service to Midtown Manhattan; hence transport is not a bother. You can also drive or take a bus to the city’s epicenter, but a subway train is the best option. However, if you just want to tour around the city and enjoy the view from the region, a car would be the best option.
I would recommend travelers check out the DoubleTree hotel that is within the region as it has pocket-friendly accommodation rates of around $142 per night. The DoubleTree by Hilton has a reliable shuttle service, offering transport to NYC eight times per day.
Where to stay in Fort Lee
- Best Luxury Hotel: Hyatt Place Fort Lee/George Washington Bridge
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Fort Lee – George Washington Bridge
- Best Budget Hotel: Opera House Hotel
7. New Rochelle
“Heathcote Bypass – New Rochelle, New York” by Dougtone is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
New Rochelle is a tiny city located in Westchester County, New York. The neighborhood has a diverse and close-knit community. Most of the families consist of individuals who work in Manhattan but wish to raise their families outside the large city. The small city is easily accessible from Manhattan as it is only a 40-minute drive from Midtown Manhattan.
Else, you can use the transit train to commute to Manhattan as most residents do. A car would be suitable to move around New Rochelle or to Manhattan as it would allow you to explore other towns and see the most. In New Rochelle, two hotels offer accommodation near the train station, which is suitable for new visitors who are not very familiar with the region.
They include the Radisson and the Residence Inn, with Radisson having slightly lower rates on most days. It has been a quiet region, but new restaurants are popping up from various corners as travelers flock to visit the area.
New Rochelle has some cool parks that are great for both adults’ and kids’ amusement. Therefore, if you’re yet to decide on where to stay outside of New York City, you should consider New Rochelle.
Where to stay in New Rochelle
- Best Luxury Hotel: Residence Inn by Marriot New Rochelle
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: The Local
- Best Budget Hotel: Ravel Hotel, Trademark Collection by Wyndham
Is It Better to Stay in Manhattan or Outside?
Besides being the heart of NYC’s economic activities, Manhattan also has numerous attractions for tourists. This means that it’s ever flocked with people working there, as well as the numerous tourists frequenting the city.
But is it worth staying in Manhattan? Well, the answer depends on various factors such as your budget and proximity to the city center. Accommodation costs in Manhattan are a bit pricy while staying outside Manhattan might require you to make longer commutes and transport arrangements to the city center.
Nonetheless, cost-conscious travelers should consider staying in the cool neighborhoods surrounding Manhattan that are a bit budget-friendly as transport in New York is not a problem.
These neighborhoods allow you to enjoy the breathtaking views of iconic skyscrapers lining the horizon, as well as burgeoning art without incurring high accommodation costs.