Midtown And Times Square Best Place To Stay In New York For First
Like any major city, New York has uptown, midtown, and downtown areas. Midtown New York City is the most desirable place to stay in New York, and it is often described as the district where tourists can get the true feeling of the metropolis.
Midtown is a place that already lives in your mind before you arrive you have seen it in countless movies and also as the backdrop of many television shows. The sightseeing in Midtown is top-notch if your stay in New York is entirely spent in this district, you will have seen and experienced a lot of what the city has to offer.
From theater to shopping and from sightseeing to dining, Midtown has it all, and it also has the greatest concentration of iconic buildings. If you are a fan of architecture, Midtown is where you will want to stay in New York, and the same goes for visitors who are into the performing arts because Times Square is just blocks away from the renowned Broadway Theater District.
Midtown is highly recommended to those who prefer a more pedestrian approach to their vacations even though you should take at least one subway ride for the experience, you can actually cover all of the citys major tourism attractions when you stay here.
You will invariably visit Times Square for its billboards, which sine 2012 have been synchronized to put on a show just minutes before midnight. At any given time, you can find interesting public art installations for the benefit of visitors and all passerby.
Itinerary For 2 Days In New York City
This itinerary focuses on the highlights of the city, and is ordered by the way we would suggest you do the route.
Of course, as with all our itineraries, this is just a suggested starting point to help you plan your trip. Feel free to adjust this itinerary to suit your particular interests New York City truly has something for everyone. In addition, many attractions are open quite late, so you can definitely fit a lot in if you are up for it.
Its also always worth checking each attraction you plan to visit for opening hours and dates. Although most of the attractions on this list are open 7 days a week, some are closed, have seasonal hours, and may be closed for holidays and special events. So we always recommend checking dates and hours for any attractions you really want to visit before your trip to avoid disappointment.
New York: Day 1
Your first day in New York has you focusing on the southern end of Manhattan island, starting with the citys most famous statue.
Where To Stay In New York City: Best Places And Hotels For All Budgets
Figuring out where to stay in a place like New York City can be a daunting task. There are thousands of hotels scattered around dozens of neighborhoods and that can quickly become overwhelming. But in this comprehensive guide, we are going to help you choose the best place and hotel to stay in NYC based on your travel style and budget.
Should you stay around Central Park? How about Times Square? Maybe Brooklyn?
We will explain all you need to know about each of the popular tourist neighborhoods, including things to do, nearby major attractions and what makes it a desirable area to stay in NYC.
You can then choose the best New York City neighborhood for your style.
Can you afford to splurge or do you need to keep things low key? Are budget hotels in New York up to scratch?
Within each neighborhood we will show you only the top rated hotels across all budget ranges, many of which we have stayed in ourselves. That means the highest guest ratings on Booking.com, combined with best prices and locations.
Combine these two essential elements and as a result you will be able to pick the perfect hotel for your budget.
Get this part of planning right and great NYC memories will become unforgettable NYC memories, so lets find you the perfect hotel!
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Best Hotels For Business Travelers
Business travelers will appreciate the comfort and amenities of the Kimpton Hotel Eventi. It has a huge, inviting lobby with multiple food-and-beverage outlets and rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and luxurious Frette sheets. Youll also be close to many of the best spots in Chelsea, including the High Line, making it the perfect base to explore the city after a day of work.
Near many of the citys biggest financial institutions, the Conrad New York Downtown provides business travelers a luxurious and peaceful place to lay their heads after long days filled with meetings and presentations. But, the hotel isnt just conveniently located for business engagements. Its adjacent to the relatively new Brookfield Place development, which has a plethora of shopping and dining opportunities. Plus, youre just a short walk from many West Side neighborhoods like Tribeca and the West Village, where youll find even more dining, shopping and entertainment.
If work brings you closer to Midtown or practically any neighborhood of the city the Grand Hyatt New York is connected to Grand Central Terminal, providing convenient access to many of the citys main subway lines as well as several commuter trains. This hotel is a Category 5 property in the World of Hyatt award chart, meaning a free night will cost you 20,000 points.
Holiday Inn Manhattan 6th Ave
If youâre looking for where to stay in NYC with a family and prefer a well-known brand of hotels with great facilities, then consider the Holiday Inn Manhattan on 6th Avenue. This is a 4-star hotel in the trendy area of Chelsea that provides contemporary and stylish rooms and is one of the best hotels for kids in Manhattan.
Family rooms include two double beds, as well as a flat-screen TV with cable channels, free WIFI, air-conditioning and heating and ironing facilities.
The Holiday Inn is located in the trendy area of Chelsea, with the famous Empire State Building just a 10-minute walk away and only 450 metres from the 28th Street Subway Station, which will get you to all the main NYC tourist attractions.
Why We Love it?
Located in the gorgeous area of Chelsea, with easy access to public transport. The views are amazing, from whichever corner you happen to land.
Whatâs Not to Love?
This is one of the more expensive family friendly hotels NYC has in these reviews, but you are paying for the location and the Holiday Inn name.
The Holiday Inn is a great choice for those wanting family lodging, New York City offers with a well-known hotel chain in the super trendy area of Chelsea.
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Langham Place Fifth Avenue
Langham Place, Fifth Avenue is a landmark hotel located on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Towering 60 stories into the sky, this hotel represents style and sophistication. Signature services make a stay at the Langham a great experience, even for the most veteran travelers. The property enjoys a worldwide reputation for impeccable service, attracting both business and leisure travelers. There are 214 rooms and suites. Many of the rooms are very spacious, giving your the experience of a small private apartment. Inside the rooms, you will find Pratesi linens, Duxiana beds, artwork and full-length windows with city views. Hand-selected Rosewood, Walnut and Calacatta Marble is used in the bathrooms.
Ai Fiori is an elegant restaurant serving Mediterranean, European and world cuisines. Measure bar and lounge has both British and American decor accents. The drink menu includes classic cocktails, new and old world wines, and the best beers you can find in NYC. The cocktails are from a world famous mixologist. Measure lounge serves breakfast the morning and live jazz too in the evenings. The spa has 11 private spa rooms, including couples’ treatment rooms. Stone vanities, limestone and black oak floors make the ambiance just perfect for a relaxing afternoon. Guests get to choose from many organic and natural treatments. Room rates start at USD $695 per night .
Not All Locations Are Easy To Get To Manhattan From Within New York City
A lot of people think that New York City is smaller than it is. Its a huge city, so I recommend checking how long it will take to get to Midtown as many first time tourists to New York City spend most of their time in Manhattan.
If its over thirty minutes or theres multiple transfers, you might want to reconsider your choice as trains can break and taxis can be expensive
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The Boroughs of New York City: If you have time to tour areas outside of Manhattan, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find. Take a trip on the Staten Island Ferry and discover the sights of Staten Island. Hop on the subway and explore the attractions of Queens. Walk or bike over the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy the numerous attractions in Brooklyn. Lastly, home to the Yankee Stadium and the largest zoo in the United States, it’s worth taking some time to visit the Bronx
Where to Go near New York City: If you want a quick break from New York, have a look at our top day trips from New York City or our best weekend getaways. In summer, you might even want to consider heading out to explore the best beaches on Long Island.
Lower Manhattan Neighborhoods To Explore
In this section, we summarize most of the major neighborhoods in Manhattan south of 14th Street all the way to Battery Park.
In each summary, we link to a more in-depth post on things to do in that particular area. Neighborhoods are listed from south moving northward.
You can also click on the interactive map below.
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Why Stay In Lower Manhattan
A quieter spot than some of the other tourist hubs of Manhattan thats still very much close to all the action. Theres a laidback vibe in the area, plenty of cafes, bookstores, and shops to wander. Its also known as the financial district so caters a lot towards people here for business meaning you might get some hotel deals on the weekend when its quieter. Theres plenty to do in the area, its within walking distance to Little Italy, the 9/11 memorial museum, and the ferry to Staten Island which offers great free views of the State of Liberty. Theres also a lot of history in the area so plenty to uncover for culture vultures and youre just a short train ride to Brooklyn and Midtown.
Why Stay In Lower East Side
The artsy, creative hub of Manhattan, theres plenty to do here for people who love vintage stores, artisan cafes, speakeasy bars, and cocktails. Youre also within walking distance to some of the best foodie areas in the city like Chinatown, Little Italy and some fantastic delis a Katzs sandwich is a must-try experience. There are also several trains running to Brooklyn meaning you can explore popular areas like Williamsburg easily. This is ideal if you like to be based in an edgy area. There are some key things to do in the area like the Tenement Museum, Merchant House Museum, and Eldridge Street Synagogue so theres plenty to keep you busy.
How To Choose The Right Hotel
The key to choosing the best hotel in the perfect area is to ask yourself three questions:
- First What are the best things to do in NYC that you just cant miss?
- Second Do you want to be in thick of the action or more relaxed on the periphery?
- Third How much money do you want to spend?
If youre not sure about the answers to any of those questions, we will cover everything you need to know in this guide.
But if you already know exactly what you want to do in NYC, pin them on a map and look at where the highest concentration of pins are located. That will give you a good idea about which areas you will spend most of your time.
We will show you some of the top rated hotels in each area so you can get booked up in advance. Then you can start working on the fun part building your bucket list NYC itinerary.
Upper Eastside And Upper West Side: The Best Area To Stay In New York For Families
The Upper Eastside and Upper West Sides are packed with classic townhouses and leafy streets. It is the best area to stay in New York for families because it is quiet and filled with family-friendly establishments. While it is a little outside of the hustle and bustle of the Midtown and financial districts, it is well connected by the subway.
It is also just a few minutes walk from Central Park, which is great to explore whether you have kids or not.
If you have kids, this might be the best area to stay in New York City.
Things To Do In Upper Eastside and Upper Westside
Where To Stay In Upper East Side and Upper West Side
On the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side, you wont find too many hotels, but its a great place to stay in an Airbnb, which will give you your own personal space and the option to cook and save money on eating out, both of which are important for traveling families.
Best Overall Hotel: The Beacon
The Beacon Hotel is one of the few apartment hotels in New York and is perfect for traveling families. While there are plenty of amazing restaurants and cafes around to keep you busy for your stay, all of the rooms have kitchenettes.
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Saving Money On New York Attractions
New York is not what you might call a budget destination. Whilst we have tried to include many free sights and attractions on our itinerary, many locations do charge an entry fee, and this can be quite high. This is fairly standard across the USA, and is one of the main costs of travel in the USA.
The good news is that if you plan on visiting a number of attractions, you can take advantage of one of the various city passes that is available. If you take advantage of everything these passes offer, you can end up saving a lot of money. However, you will have to decide if each pass is worth it for your visit, based on the attractions you really want to see. We have a detailed guide to the various New York attraction passes here, which we suggest checking out.
For this itinerary though, we recommend the New York Pass. Nearly everything is included, and at time of writing, the New York Pass offers free entry to over 100 attractions across the city. These include a lot of high value and popular items like the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, Hop on Hop Off Bus, Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Met, and many many more.
The card also includes walking tours, bike rentals, rides at Luna Park even a Yankees Game!
If you were to visit all the paid attractions in our list, including taking the Water Taxi and Hop on Hop Off bus tour, you would be looking at over $300 in attraction entry costs. So straight away the New York Pass would save you over $100!
Where To Stay In Harlem
The most famous black community in America, Harlem has not been spared New York Citys rapid gentrification, but it remains a bastion of African-American culture, with a vibrant street life, fabulous West African and soul food restaurants, a dynamic local jazz scene and some of the prettiest streets in the city.
Best for guesthouse vibes: Soul Food
Elegant 19th-century brownstone, just across from Marcus Garvey Park, with shared kitchen and freshly baked cakes every day.
Best for an apartment stay: The Harlem Pearl
Small apartments with kitchenettes, in a lovely building, that dates from 1910, in the Sugar Hill neighbourhood.
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Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island Wall Street 9/11 Memorial Museum
A visit to New York is not complete without going to the Statue of Liberty. We put this first on our NYC itinerary because it starts in the south of Manhattan and it is a good idea to get there first thing in the morning.
- Looking for where to stay in this neighborhood, we have an entire breakdown of New York City Neighborhood Hotels. But you may want to check out The Bowery Hotel Gorgeous lobby, loft-style rooms with Hardwood floors & floor to ceiling factory windows and an excellent restaurant. Check out Availability and prices on TripAdvisor or Booking.com
Why Stay In Brooklyn
This is another great option for people looking to stay in New York on a budget, Brooklyn, however, is much more than a budget option now offering a microcosm of culture of its very own to explore. With popular areas such as the hipster Williamsburg offering artisan cafes, markets, vintage stores, and art galleries to the popular areas on or near the waterfront like Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, and Dumbo. The Museum of Moving Images is a popular destination as well as the various flea and antique markets that happen on a daily basis and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Its very easy to take the train or the ferry into Manhattan so theres no need to miss out on any of the sights there either. Perfect for people who like a more relaxed, edgy vibe.
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