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Where to Stay in New York City

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This post is about how to choose where to stay in New York City, particularly for your first and second times visiting the city.

With hundreds of NYC hotels to choose from, up may be feeling overwhelmed!

If this comment posted on our NYC Travel Tips Facebook Group sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place!


How We’ve Organized Our Recommendations 

Our hotel recommendations are broken down by neighborhood.

First, we explain a bit about the area, what makes it special and who might enjoy staying there.

We list the best sights and attractions in that neighborhood. 

We then break down hotels into price ranges: budget (under $200 per night), mid-range ($200 - $400 per night) and luxury ($400 - $600 per night).

Average NYC Hotel Rate

Note that we do not include NYC occupancy tax of 14.75% or resort fees that may be added to your stay in our price brackets. 

Lastly, we make recommendations for some of the best places to stay in New York for families, for a quiet stay, for free, delicious breakfasts and amazing rooftops.

TIP: If you are on a tight budget, take a look at our post on 15 Ways to Find Cheap Accommodation in NYC as well as this list of 25 Best Cheap Hotels in New York City.


Why Trust Our Advice?

Why should you rely on our information? Because we speak with tourists every day during our walking tours. 

New York Walking Tours

They tell us what they like and don’t like about their accommodations around the city. Some rave and some rant.

We listen and then share what they tell us with our readers.

We learn even more from the hundreds of detailed comments and recommendations from visitors on our Facebook group which has over 90,000 members and growing every day!

These comments are filled with up-to-date hotel recommendations with detailed information from actual hotel guests.

New York Travel Tips

Places To Stay In New York City By Area

Below are some of the best hotels to stay in New York City selected from popular neighborhoods.

We also include hotels in nearby New Jersey. 

There are many other great hotels in lots of neighborhoods in NYC, but we can't cover them all here.

For more recommendations, join our NYC Travel Tips Facebook Group


Times Square - Bright Lights! Big City!

If you are looking to be within walking distance to great attractions and you love an electric vibe, then Times Square is where to stay in New York City! 

Times Square at night

You’ll find a wide range of room prices and a variety of hotel styles. Some hotels have rooftop bars with great views.

While it is true that the neighborhood is not as pretty as others, it is a one-of-a-kind atmosphere! 

Recommended Hotels

You can also check out our more in-depth post on Times Square hotels where we include over 70 options.

Budget 

Mid-Range 

Luxury

For Families

Attractions within Walking Distance 

For more things to do in the area and restaurant recommendations, read our post on things to do in Times Square


Midtown Manhattan - The Heart of New York City

Midtown is one of the best areas to stay in New York City, with both posh and pricey hotels and minimalist-style hotels with lower prices.

Midtown Manhattan is a large part of Manhattan and encompasses several neighborhoods like Chelsea, NoMad, Murray Hill and others.

St. Patrick's Cathedral Midtown Manhattan Tour

Staying in Midtown Manhattan is a good choice if you’d like to be close to major attractions you can reach by foot or by relatively short subway rides. 

The vibe is lively with tourists and businesspeople day and night. But late at night, it is somewhat quieter, depending on what part of Midtown you stay in. 

Midtown Manhattan is also one of the best photography locations in NYC.

Recommended Hotels

You can also view all hotels in Midtown Manhattan and set filters.

Budget

Mid-range

Luxury

For Families

Nearby Attractions 

Read our post on things to do in Midtown Manhattan.


Central Park and Upper West Side - Nature and Elegance 

Staying near Central Park is a great idea if you want to get off the tourist track and see how the natives live. 

Most of the affordable hotels near Central Park are on the Upper West Side which is a lovely and safe part of Manhattan. The area is family-friendly as well. 

Bow Bridge in Central Park

However, most of NYC’s best attractions will not be within walking distance.

Also, many of the hotels closest to Central Park are some of the most expensive hotels in the city.

You will pay more to be near Central Park than if you stayed in other neighborhoods and used the subway to get to the park. 

Recommended Hotels

*Price brackets are higher than for other neighborhoods

Budget

Mid Range  

Luxury

For Families

Nearby Attractions

Join one of our pay-what-you-like guided Central Park tours.


Lower Manhattan - Where Old Meets New

Lower Manhattan is where New York City was born back in 1624!

The area is a combination of historic buildings, old narrow streets and modern skyscrapers with the graceful 9/11 Memorial in the center of it all.

Trinity Church NYC

Just about every subway line runs through it which means you can get anywhere in the city easily.

While the streets are bustling by day, at night it is fairly quiet. You can find some pretty great prices in the area too!

Recommended Hotels 

Budget

Mid-Range

Luxury

For Families

Nearby Attractions 

Read our post on things to do in Lower Manhattan or join us for our pay-what-you-wish Lower Manhattan guided walking tour!


SoHo And The Lower East Side - Chic and Historic

SoHo’s streets and historic cast-iron buildings are charming. The Lower East Side is edgy and eclectic.

Both offer fantastic food, non-stop nightlife and trendy shopping. They also happen to be rich with history! 

Both neighborhoods are within a quick subway ride to Midtown Manhattan, Times Square, and Lower Manhattan and are within walking distance to Little Italy, Chinatown and Greenwich Village.

Note that if you are traveling with children, it can be noisy at night, so you may want to look at some other areas of the city.

Recommended Hotels 

Budget

Mid-Range

Luxury

For Families

To find out all the great things to see and do in these neighborhoods, read our posts on SoHo and the Lower East Side

Check out our pay-what-you-like Lower East Side Food Tour and our pay-what-you-like walking tour of SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown Tour.


Brooklyn - Skyline Views And Charming Brownstones

If you don’t mind taking a subway to Manhattan to see the sights, consider staying in Brooklyn.

At some Brooklyn hotels, you will pay less for more space than you would in Manhattan, especially those located in Downtown Brooklyn.

The best Brooklyn hotels fall into the mid-range to expensive price category.

That’s because many of Brooklyn’s hotels are in the trendy neighborhood of Williamsburg and have amenities like rooftop bars with amazing skyline views! 

Recommended Hotels 

Budget 

Mid-Range

Luxury

For Families

Check out our pay-what-you-like Brooklyn tours including our Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO Guided Walking Tour or our stand-alone Brooklyn Heights Tour.


New Jersey - More Space For Less

If you are a large group, like a family of four or more, or you are coming by car, staying in New Jersey might be right for you.

You will also love the breathtaking views of Manhattan and New York Harbor. 

View of Lower Manhattan from New  Jersey

If your only reason for staying in New Jersey is to cut costs significantly you may be disappointed.

Room prices are lower generally, even for the nicest hotels that are a quick PATH commuter train or ferry ride to Manhattan.

But prices are not dramatically lower. 

However, New Jersey occupancy tax is about 50% less than NYC hotels, so you save money right there.

If you are arriving by car, you will still have to pay for parking, but you won't pay as but not as much as you would in Manhattan.

See our post about parking in New Jersey.

Recommended Hotels 


Best Places To Stay In New York City For Families

When deciding where to stay in NYC with kids, there are a few factors to keep in mind.

You will want to stay in a hotel that is close to subway lines so those little legs don't have to put in overtime! 

Children looking at New York City skyline

Next, you will want a hotel that does not attract party people. Also, if you want to save money on food, look for a hotel with a kitchenette.

Lastly, decide if you would rather be in a neighborhood that is family-friendly or busy night and day.

Look for hotels on the Upper Side and Midtown Manhattan. Brooklyn is also one of the best places to stay in New York City when traveling with kids.

Recommended Hotels 

Check out our post on things to do with kids in New York City.


NYC Hotels With Special Features

Choosing a hotel is more than just picking a location. The amenities hotels have to offer are important considerations.

Below are recommended hotels that meet some of the most frequent features people seek when deciding where to stay in New York City.

Where To Stay In NYC For Peace And Quiet

Where To Stay In NYC For Free (And Good!) Breakfasts

Where To Stay In NYC With Amazing Rooftops

Rooftop at Hyatt Centric Hotel

Tips For Choosing A Hotel In NYC

  • Make a list of the NYC attractions you want to visit then plot them on a map. This way you can see what neighborhoods you plan to spend most of your time in and choose a hotel in that area.
  • Pick a hotel near a subway station. Don’t add extra walking time to your day of NYC exploration. If this is your first visit to NYC, you may find our post on navigating the NYC subway helpful.
  • Look out for resort fees. A resort fee is an additional fee per day added on top of your room rate. Resort fees can be high, so before booking, check to see if the hotel charges one. 
  • If you are traveling in a big group (over four people), make sure that the hotel offers rooms that can accommodate your entire group. Otherwise, you may have to book two rooms. In that case, remember to request that the rooms be next to each other, or even adjoining rooms.
  • You can save money on weekend rates if you stay at a hotel that caters to business people. During the week, they charge a premium for people who are in tow for work. On weekends capacity is low and prices may be lower to fill rooms.
  • Look into booking your hotel through a website like Hotels.com. See why we like Hotels.com below.

Benefits of Using Hotels.com

Of all the online hotel booking companies, our pick is Hotels.com to find the best places to stay in NYC. Here’s what we like about them.

  1. Free cancellations! Most rooms allow you to cancel, without any penalty, even up until the day of your arrival. You get the full refund! 
  2. The price you see is the price you pay. Do look to see if local tax is excluded - some cities have high local hotel taxes - so you will want to make sure you see the total price before booking.
  3. Their loyalty program, Genius, is great! After you book a certain number of hotel stays, you get discounts on hotel prices, free breakfasts, and other perks. It is free to create an account.
  4. Hotels.com’s app is awesome. This user-friendly app has your confirmation information, so no need to print anything. Manage your booking through the app. You can even chat with your booked hotel through the app.
  5. They have a price match guarantee. If you do find a cheaper rate, Hotels.com will match it. Though you will need to show proof of the lower price you found elsewhere.
  6. Over 93 Million Reviews! Unbiased reviews help you decide what hotel is good for you.

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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: November 17th, 2022
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