East Village – Generations of artists, from the Beatniks to Punk Rockers have come of age in the East Village. Whether you’re looking for late-night action, diverse ethnic cuisine or boutique shopping, the East Village is the place to be.
Alphabet City – This is a hip, bohemian enclave inside the East Village. Starving artists once considered this neighborhood their home, and the creative culture they established still shows through in the colorful murals and cool spaces that crowd its streets. Alphabet City has steadily evolved since the early 20th century, and it now overflows with trendy bars and stylish restaurants.
Lower East Side – The Lower East Side (or LES) is best known these days for its trendy night life. The neighborhood has a gritty history as a center of early immigrant living throughout the 19th are early part of the 20th century. Nowhere else can you find well-heeled club goers waiting in line across the street from a tenement museum.
West Village – Much of the West Village’s charm rests in its 19th-century townhouses and cobblestone streets. The area was the birth place of the gay rights movement in 19699 when the Stonewall Riots took place. The neighborhood proudly displays its diversity and dedication to tolerance and inclusion. Today it is filled with great restaurants, live music venues, theaters and nightlife.
Greenwich Village – Washington Square Park is a people-watcher’s paradise. Musicians, sunbathers, skateboarders, dog owners, pickup chess warriors and NYU students all hang out around the historic fountain in the shadow of the arch, often used as a location in films and televisions shows. This is the neighborhood where Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez began their careers. Today it is known for its restaurants and nightlife.
Tribeca – Once home to industrial warehouses, TriBeCa is now the land of celebrity-owned lofts. The neighborhood offers a spectacular view of the Hudson River on its western border. It’s home to notable restaurants along with a number of luxury hotels and other accommodations. The area is also home to Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Grill and Film Festival.
Financial District – No NYC neighborhood has greater historical resonance than Lower Manhattan. This is, after all, where the City began. Here you can see Trinity Church, Federal Hall, Wall Street, One World Trade and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
Flat Iron District – The cast-iron and beaux-arts architecture gives this area its historic charm. The neighborhood is filled with shops selling clothes and housewares. Food trucks line up and down Fifth Avenue and Broadway. Nearby are Eataly, the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park.
Chinatown – Chinatown is one of NYC’s densest neighborhoods. Walk its busy, narrow streets to find Chatham Square’s statue of Lin Zexu, a Qing dynasty official who led the fight against Britain’s illegal importation of opium; the odd pagoda-style roof and Buddhist temple; and atmospheric Doyers Street, with its basement bars and a speakeasy among them. Come hungry and work your way through the many dim sum palaces, dumpling dens and inexpensive noodle joints.
Soho – The famously arty neighborhood of the ’70s and ’80s has evolved into one of New York City’s prime shopping districts. SoHo features galleries, boutique shopping and beautiful loft apartments. The area has many excellent restaurants, bars and elegant boutique hotels.
Little Italy – When Italian immigrants moved to this Manhattan neighborhood in the late 1800s, they brought their customs, food and language. That heritage remains evident today. Little Italy’s streets are lined with restaurants, bakeries, cheese shops and cafes. One of NYC’s oldest street fairs, the annual Feast of San Gennaro, celebrates the patron saint of Naples every September with food and festivities.
Noho – NoHo (an acronym for “North of Houston Street”) is an area rife with history. The neighborhood was home to artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol as well as the legendary rock club CBGB’s. The neighborhood also features a great array of excellent dining and nightlife options.
NOLITA – NoLIta is an acronym (for North of Little Italy). The area is home to stylish boutiques and a burgeoning bar scene. There are many independent designer as well as acclaimed restaurants and lounges.
Chelsea – Manhattan’s art district, Chelsea, is filled with galleries. It is also home to the High Line, a park built on an abandoned elevated railroad track. Here you will also find fashionable shops, the Chelsea Market and many excellent restaurants.
Meat Packing District – This former industrial area is now one of New York’s most fashionable neighborhoods. It is filled with hip restaurants, exclusive clubs, and expensive boutiques. Despite gentrification the community still retains its blue-collar edge, thanks to the many wholesale meat companies that still operate out of the area.
Union Square – There’s a lot of action in Union Square’s namesake park, where dog lovers and chess players strut their stuff, activists speak their minds and break-dancers and skateboarders spin and shred. It’s the site of the much-loved Union Square Holiday Market and a year-round Greenmarket.
Gramercy Park – President Theodore Roosevelt, Oscar Wilde and James Cagney are a few of those who’ve resided in this upscale residential neighborhood. A stay at the Gramercy Park Hotel comes with a key to the private Gramercy Park—which is ordinarily open only to the area’s residents.
Korea Town – Koreatown is just a few Midtown blocks in size, but dishes out a big slice of Asian culture. Naturally, there’s plenty of Korean barbecue, but also of interest are Asian dessert shops, cutting-edge karaoke and a bookstore that sells Korean-language literature and periodicals, including translations of American and world classics.
Upper East – The Upper East Side is an upscale residential neighborhood known for culture and shopping. Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile includes world class institutions The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of the City of New York and the Frick Collection. The shopping options offer a chance to get a new wardrobe from luxury boutiques and high-end department stores.
Yorkville – This residential community on the Upper East Side is situated between 79th and 96th Streets, from Third Avenue to the East River. The area was home to many immigrants from Germany as well as Czechs, Slovaks and Hungarians in the early 20th century. Highlights of the neighborhood include Carl Schurz Park along the East River where the mayor’s home Gracie Mansion is located.
Upper West Side – The Upper West Side is situated between Central Park to the east and Riverside Park to the west. It’s a neighborhood where you can frequently see families pushing strollers, walking dogs and heading out for brunch on weekends. The area is also home to cultural institutions the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Historical Society, Beacon Theatre and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. You will also find plenty of shopping, dining options and nightlife.
Harlem – Harlem has long been synonymous with black culture. During the early 20th century the neighborhood was the setting for African-American-led movements in music, literature, dance and art, collectively known as the Harlem Renaissance. That legacy is still evident today, especially along the area’s main thoroughfare, 125th Street, which is anchored by the Apollo Theater and the Studio Museum in Harlem. There are also great restaurants like Sylvia’s, Amy Ruth’s and Red Rooster.
East Harlem – An Italian neighborhood during the 1800s and early 1900s, East Harlem, now known as “El Barrio”, welcomed a wave of Puerto Rican emigrants beginning in the 1920s. You can see the influence of the “Nuyorican” community (New York plus Puerto Rican) in cultural institutions like El Museo del Barrio, which focuses on Latin American and Caribbean artists. There are also a slew of Cuban, Mexican and Spanish restaurants in the neighborhood.
Morningside Heights – College students mingle with urbanites and professionals in Morningside Heights. Thanks to nearby Columbia University, local shops and cafes often cater to a youthful crowd in this neighborhood. Both the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Riverside Church are located here. Nearby Riverside Park offers plenty of recreational space.