Neighborhoods in Manhattan – Enjoy the Best of New York City

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New York City is a melting pot of cultures, experiences and offers a collection of neighborhoods that epitomize the inherent variety of reasons why the Big Apple is renowned as one of the best cities in the world. Whether you are a frequent visitor to New York City or simply planning a first-time visit, you can be sure there is something for every type of traveler. Comprising of five different boroughs located where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean, New York City is a haven of diversity. However, we want to focus our attention on the best neighborhoods in Manhattan – the undoubted focal point of any visitor to NYC!

brooklyn bridge new york city

Manhattan is at the core of New York City and although it’s not the largest, it’s certainly the most expensive, lucrative and focal point of the city. With over 50 distinctive neighborhoods spanning from Upper Manhattan to the tip of the borough in Lower Manhattan, there is a wide collection of areas waiting to be explored. Some are incredibly well known, others are much quieter and “off the beaten path”.

Instead of highlighting every neighborhood (we obviously want to allow you to explore some for yourselves in addition to those we recommend), we are going to highlight a collection that we truly believe creates a perfect representation not only of the borough of Manhattan but also New York City as a whole.

the vessel hudson yards new york city

Neighborhoods in Manhattan

Before delving deeper into some of the specific neighborhoods, it’s important to know that there are A LOT of different areas that collecting creates the Manhattan landscape. Forget about NYC being associated with the amazing skyline (of course it is probably the most iconic in the world!), and instead, focus your attention on a distinctive group of neighborhoods that create this amazing melting pot that NYC is proudly associated with.

I am sure many of the below-listed neighborhoods will sound very familiar but there are likely several others that are not quite as recognizable (unless you are of course a local NYC resident!). This is by no means an exhaustive list but it’s a great place to start if you are looking to explore the best of NYC culture.

  • Chelsea
  • Chinatown
  • Columbus Circle
  • East Village
  • Flatiron District
  • Garment District
  • Gramercy
  • Greenwich Village
  • Hell’s Kitchen
  • Lincoln Square
  • Little Italy
  • Lower East Side
  • Meatpacking District
  • Midtown
  • Morningside Heights
  • Nolita
  • Soho
  • TriBeCa
  • Upper East Side
  • Upper West Side

We have brought in some of the best experts in the business to share some of their local, expert thoughts on why each of the following neighborhoods offers such a unique experience for visitors. Let’s take a look at which NYC Manhattan neighborhoods should be on your radar when you next visit the Big Apple!

times square new york city


Every time we’re visiting New York for a few days, we always gravitate towards staying in Chelsea. The area is quiet at night and there are a number of hotel options to choose from, but best of all, there are so many things to do!

Cafe Grumpy is the best place to grab a quick morning coffee. Not only is their logo super cute and grumpy but their coffee is a great start to the morning. Best Bagel & Coffee is a nice neighborhoody spot known for its delicious bagels. No trip to New York City is complete without eating a bagel!

For lunch, Chelsea Market has so many options, there’s definitely something for everyone, from sandwiches and salads to lobster, cupcakes, and more.

chelsea market new york city

After exploring Chelsea Market, be sure to check out High Line Park. The city’s coolest park was built on what were once railroad tracks that took the meat to various butchers in the Hell’s Kitchen area. It’s not just a great place to learn about New York City history but also a great place for a stroll.

Thanks to Constance from The Adventures of Panda Bear for highlighting why Chelsea is such a vibrant neighborhood. We LOVE this area of New York City and below are a few additional reasons why we think this is the perfect place to visit while exploring Manhattan.

The Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan is epitomized by a collection of high-rise residential buildings, trendy art galleries and of course, the focal point of this area, Chelsea Market. Offering a variety of upscale, local food purveyors, restaurants, coffee shops and more, this indoor market space is a popular spot among locals and visitors alike. Take a Chelsea Market tour to experience the very best of this eclectic neighborhood.

chelsea market manhattan

Visitors to Chelsea Market can spend several hours experiencing the boutique establishments that have found space among the “foodie hotspot” of Chelsea, while for those that want to get away from the retail therapy or food scene, a short stroll over to the iconic High Line awaits. This elevated urban park can be found atop former railroad tracks, reflecting how much of the Chelsea area has been transformed over recent decades and renovated from what was once a thriving industrial scene.


Chinatown is actually one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods. It got its start when immigrants started moving in around 1870, well before Ellis Island even opened as an immigration station that would see some 12 million people pass through.

chinatown new york city

Any foodie simply must stop by Chinatown, where you can find a number of authentic restaurants still serving up their Chinese-American creations. A personal favorite of Luxe Adventure Traveler’s foodie couple, Jennifer and Tim, is Shanghai Dumpling (still referred to by locals by its original name, but rebranded as Shanghai Cafe Deluxe since 2018). Order the number 2 on the menu, the pork Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings. It’s what all the locals come for at this Chinatown spot. And bring cash, because cards aren’t accepted.

chinatown dumplings

While you’re in Chinatown, also stop by the Tenement Museum. This lesser-known NYC museum is a true gem. Some apartments have been restored to their original state, from during the height of immigration to New York City. Take a tour and see how immigrants lived for a fascinating trip back in time.

Thanks to Jennifer and Tim from Luxe Adventure Traveler for sharing some of their favorite spots in the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan. For the authentic Chinese experience, this is certainly one of the best places to visit.

Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle is named after the famous Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. It is located at the heavy traffic intersection at Eighth Avenue, Broadway, West 59th Street, and Central Park. In the center of the Columbus Circle is a monument of Christopher Columbus and the iconic steel globe.

columbus circle new york city

The neighborhood stretching a few blocks away from that intersection is referred to as the Columbus Circle neighborhood. It features some of the best things to do in New York City such as Central Park and the Shops at Columbus Circle.

Visitors wanting to get off-the-beaten-path can try an unusual attraction in NYC such as the SPYSCAPE museum, an interactive spy museum fun for everyone in the family. For anyone looking for a unique dining experience with spectacular views of Central Park, try Per Se, an elegant French restaurant. It is a newly-opened restaurant by the famous chef Thomas Keller! Don’t miss it on your New York City trip!

Thanks to Sean Lau from LivingOutLau for highlighting why Columbus Circle is an area of Manhattan close to Central Park that is well worth visiting. A frequently visited area, this neighborhood is one that you really cannot miss if you have plans to visit one of the most famous urban parks in the world.

East Village

Located in Lower Manhattan, between 14th St to the north, Houston St to the south, the East River to the East and Third Ave/Bowery to the West, the East Village of New York City is one of the city’s most artistic neighborhoods. At the same time, it has some residential feel. The low-rise shabby apartment and brick condo buildings are shorter and older, and the hustle and bustle of midtown are left behind for a quieter, more tranquil type of atmosphere.

Though it’s a fairly cozy and calm neighborhood during the day, it does get louder at night due to a thriving bar scene. Along with that, the East Village used to be the center of counterculture, where American punk rock was formed and whose cheapness made it a center for struggling artists and writers back in the 1950s. Today, the area is full of excellent food options, art, entertainment, and nightlife! So if you want a taste of New York’s avant-garde side, then East Village has got you covered!

east village new york city

The East Village offers a plethora of cuisines from around the world that reflect the ethnic diversity of NYC. Check Superiority Burger for some vegetarian options, Ho Foods for a bowl of perfectly al-dente noodles andHanoi House for traditional Vietnamese dishes. The general vibe of this neighborhood is bohemian. The small side streetsare filled with vintage clothes shops, art boutiques, small independent book, and record stores. Be sure to pay a visit to Veniero’s, a family-owned Italian pastry shop. East Village has numerous landmarked buildings dotted around, telling the stories of thousands of immigrants that settled here.

Discover New York’s Dutch roots at Saint Mark’s-in-the-Bowery Church, which was built in 1799. Walk past the house of the German American Shooting Society, which was built in 1888, when the East Village was known as Little Germany. Visit the former site of CBGB, the famous music club where punk rock was born in the 1970s. Go shopping at Trash and Vaudeville, the rock ‘n’ roll clothing store where the Ramones and Debbie Harry of Blondie shopped.

Thanks to Ivan from Mind The Travel for detailing some of the amazing experiences and encounters you can expect if you visit the East Village in Manhattan.

Flatiron District

The Flatiron neighborhood assumed its name from the famed triangular Flatiron building at its center. The Flatiron building itself was an architectural marvel. No one could believe in 1902 that a triangular building would ever stand the test of time. Department stores started moving into the area due to the crowds the Flatiron building was drawing, and women flocked to these stores to go shopping. The area soon became known as Ladies Mile. It is one of the few historic districts in New York City and it is the only one to be named after a building.

flatiron building new york city

There are many shopping and dining opportunities in the Flatiron District; notably Eataly. This massive Italian specialty shop is filled with specialty items, restaurants, cooking classes, and more. Eisenberg’s Deli, opened in 1929, is a famed celebrity sandwich spot and Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is Manhattan’s only cheese factory.

Madison Square Park, home of the original location of Madison Square Garden, is also located in this neighborhood. Many people come here to eat at the original Shake Shack, enjoy festivals, local vendors, or simply sit on a bench and enjoy the view of the Flatiron Building.

Union Square Market is also on the edge of this neighborhood and is home to various local shops as well as national retail shopping chains. If you’re looking to take in the Flatiron food, history, and architecture of this famed neighborhood, I highly recommend taking a walking food tour to experience this area in a different way.

Thanks to Margie from DQ Family Travel for highlighting some of the amazing things to do and experience in the neighborhood surrounding one of New York City’s iconic buildings.

Garment District

New York City’s Garment District is a bustling neighborhood in the greater Midtown Manhattan area where you better watch out for rolling racks full of clothes and interns in a hurry when exploring. The neighborhood while small footprint wise is full of high rises full of the offices of a lot of your favorite big-name designers and home of even more small factories making clothes for those brands.

garment district new york city

For the common traveler, it is full of great stores of fabric and trims for your own fashion masterpieces. The most well-known fabric store is Mood Fabrics, made famous by Project Runway, but there are many more if you happen to need something you can find there.

As far as food the options are only getting better! What once used to be a wasteland for decent food now has a wonderful selection of fast-casual chains like Dig Inn and ‘WhichCraft. If you are craving a coffee Culture Coffee is the place to stop, they make great coffee and have an amazing chocolate chip cookie!

If you love fashion or sewing make sure to stop by the Garment District on your next visit to NYC!

Thanks to Candiss from Lost Not Found for highlighting one of New York’s trendiest neighborhoods and why this needs to be on our itinerary next time we visit Manhattan.


If you want to stay in a slice of the real New York — a place that’s more residential than touristic, where there aren’t a lot of attractions per se but it has a lot of local appeal — then look to the lovely neighborhood of Gramercy. Located due north of Union Square, Gramercy stretches from Park Avenue to the East River between 14th and 23rd street.

gramercy park

While the neighborhood doesn’t encompass either Union Square Park or Madison Square Park, it’s close enough to both that you can stop by either frequently. Gramercy does have one park, but it’s New York’s most exclusive — access is only by key, and keys go for tens of thousands of dollars for access, something which was squarely out of my budget when I lived in Gramercy as a college student! Gramercy is also nearby Murray Hill, locally known as “Curry Hill,” for its preponderance of delicious Indian restaurants in the neighborhood.

gramercy gated private park

In terms of what Gramercy itself has to offer, it’s mostly residential, so think cute tree-lined side streets and shopping along the main avenues. One of the best places to shop is 23rd Street, especially for secondhand lovers — you’ll find Housing Works here as well as City Opera Thrift Shop, both of which tend to house more high-end, curated finds at great prices. Other shops such as Fish’s Eddy for quirky housewares are also local favorites.

gramercy manhattan

There are also fantastic restaurants in the area, my favorite of which is Gramercy Tavern for a special occasion. Prices aren’t cheap, but it’s worth it for one of the best tasting menus in Manhattan!

Thanks to Allison Green from New York Revealed for enlightening us to the highly sought after neighborhood of Gramercy. We can attest after walking around this area recently that this is very much a residential part of Manhattan but certainly one that is worth exploring if you love architecture and want to sample some of the best local eats.

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village has been one of the coolest neighborhoods in New York City for more than a century. Almost every major artist and writer who has been in NYC, from Robert DeNiro to Bob Dylan, has spent time here. And Greenwich Village is still a great place to take in experimental theater at venues like the Cherry Lane Theatre or the Minetta Lane Theater. You can also catch excellent jazz performances at places like Smalls or the Village Vanguard.

washington square park greenwich village nyc

The most famous attraction in Greenwich Village is Washington Square Park with its stunning triumphal arch. The park has some lovely flowers, but it’s better known for the constant activity from political protests to chess players to musicians jamming on every kind of instrument including the piano.

There is delicious food in Greenwich Village for every budget. Because NYU is located in the neighborhood, there are many cheap restaurants serving almost every type of cuisine imaginable. Locals love the falafel at Mamoun’s or the Indian-Latin tacos at Taco Mahal. For a sit-down but still affordable meal, the hamburgers at both Minetta Tavern and JG Melon are legendary. And for a special occasion, Blue Hill serves one of the finest tasting menus in the city with only locally sourced ingredients.

Thanks to Stella Jane from Around The World in 24 Hours for highlighting why Greenwich Village is certainly a vibrant neighborhood where all the infamous celebrities have visited over recent decades.

Hell’s Kitchen

Nestled in the west side of Midtown, you’ll find the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, stretching from about 34th Street to 59th Streets, and west from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River.

Although this spot in NYC used to be rather gritty, don’t be fooled by its name. This now trendy neighborhood has gone through rapid change in the last few decades. Crime is no longer prevalent, and new spaces like Hudson Yards and the High Line have popped up.

hell's kitchen new york city

Be sure to check out the following spots:

  • The Hudson River Park: home to the Intrepid, the Sea, Air & Space Museum, and plenty of space to hang out by the water.
  • Totto Ramen: Ramen in Hell’s Kitchen? Yup. Head to Totto Ramen for authentic Japanese ramen, the best in the city. They have two locations in the neighborhood.
  • Amy’s Bread: Freshly baked bread, gooey pastries, and hot coffee await hungry patrons at this Hell’s Kitchen staple.
hell's kitchen neighborhood manhattan

Thanks to Candy Pilar Godoy from Boogie The Pug for sharing some of the best spots to explore in Hell’s Kitchen. The name may not be the most appealing neighborhood to visit but don’t let that stop you from exploring one of the up and coming areas of New York City…you will not be disappointed.

Lincoln Square

Lincoln Square is one of the popular cultural attractions in New York City and is the name of the square and immediate neighborhood surrounding the area of the upper west side of Manhattan. Actually located on a hill called San Juan Hill, Lincoln Square bordered by Amsterdam Avenue, 59th street on the south of the square and 65th on the north side.

lincoln square opera house new york city

Built by John D. Rockefeller and other important business leaders, Lincoln Center was created and includes important cultural sites like the Juilliard School, The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Metropolitan Opera House, David Geffen Hall, David Koch Theater and other public buildings that center on the arts and evolving performances.

It is a beautiful space and square with events and happenings daily both indoors and outside by the famous fountain area. If you are looking to visiting the area and things to do on their calendar, check out their website here for more details. Also if you are visiting the city, check out this post on the top things to do in New York City here for more inspiration.

Thanks to Noel Morata from Travel Photo Discovery for highlighting some of the gorgeous architecture and other attractions worth experiencing in Lincoln Square.

Little Italy

Little Italy is a 14 block neighborhood in Lower Manhattan devoted to all things New York Italian! The neighborhood is bordered by Broome Street to the north, Canal Street to the south, Lafayette to the West and Bowery to the East. The main street is Mulberry.

Little Italy is filled with great places to eat, cute and cool shops, street art and life. In the summer, Mulberry Street becomes a pedestrian thoroughfare on the weekends and in September it celebrates its heritage at the San Gennaro Festival. And don’t miss its Christmas lights!

little italy new york city

But really the highlight of Little Italy is so many outstanding places to eat in such a small area! For classic Italian, order the antipasto platter at Emilio’s Ballato, see if Lombardi’s really is home to the best pizza on the planet, enjoy the meatballs at Parm or enjoy homemade mozzarella and ricotta at Di Palo’s Fine Foods.

For non-Italian treats, enjoy outstanding Falafels at Taim’s on Spring Street, endless delicious variations on yogurt at Greecologies on Broome Street, rice pudding, like you have never experienced it before at Rice to Riches on Spring Street and modern Australian style brunch at Two Hands, located on Mott Street.

little italy street art new york city

Thanks to Amanda O’Brien from The Boutique Adventurer for sharing another of our favorite areas of Manhattan. When it comes to delicious, authentic Italian, this is definitely the neighborhood of New York City you need to visit.

Lower East Side

If you asked someone to tell you which neighborhood is quintessential Manhattan, but you’d get several different answers. Everyone has a neighborhood that screams New York City more than others, I’m sure. But, you’d be hard pressed to not have at least some answers be the neighborhood of the Lower East Side.

lower east side donuts

The Lower East Side is the kind of eclectic and gritty neighborhood that makes me fall in love with New York City every time. With trendy bars and restaurants, plenty of music venues, independent bookstores, a mixture of tenement-style buildings and upscale buildings, the Lower East Side is a must-visit Manhattan neighborhood.

The Lower East Side also has a lot of Jewish heritage and therefore you’ll find lots of traditional delis, but you’ll also find some of the best vegan food in Manhattan in the Lower East Side.

Make sure to also visit the Tenement Museum to understand the history of immigration and the fundamental role it has played in defining our country.

Thanks to Ashley Hubbard from Wild Hearted for sharing some of the best things to explore in the Lower East Side of Manhattan…of course, a visit to this area wouldn’t be the same without sampling the decadent donuts from Erin McKenna’s Bakery on Broome Street.

Meatpacking District

One of the coolest things to do in New York is visiting the Meatpacking District. This area is packed with interesting, unique attractions.

high line meatpacking district

Among the places you should visit there, make sure to go to High Line. This is a former railway viaduct that cuts in two the west side of Midtown Manhattan. It was abandoned in the 1980s and then turned into an elevated park, which opened in 2009. The good news is that the park is free to visit. It’s also very close to Chelsea Market, a perfect place to grab a bite before you continue your exploration of the area.

meatpacking district manhattan

In Meatpacking District you will also find the Ground Zero Museum Workshop, which has an exhibit of photos and audio files taken during the rescue works during the aftermath of 9/11.

Last but not least, make sure to pay a visit to the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has a fantastic collection of works by a multitude of American artists. Among the best places to eat in the Meatpacking District, there is Hao Noodle, which specializes in Sichuan cuisine. For brunch, head to the Wild Son.

Thanks to Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across The World for outlining why the Meatpacking District is one of the most frequently visited neighborhoods in Manhattan, given the myriad of things to do and intriguing places to dine.


Midtown gets a bit of a bad rap in NYC, especially from locals, as being simultaneously too boring and too touristy. And while, sure, there are plenty of office buildings in Midtown and you’re generally not going to find the trendiest bars and best brunches in the city here, Midtown is a delight for tourists, and virtually every visitor to New York will stop by.

Some of the best things to do in Midtown count not only among the most famous things to do in New York but the most famous tourist attractions on the planet!

midtown manhattan

Come to Midtown to admire the view from the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock, stroll down Fifth Avenue, see a Broadway show, marvel at Times Square, check out the most famous branch of the New York Public Library, and enjoy the beauty of Grand Central Station. While you’re there, consider stepping (ever so slightly) off the beaten path to check out lovely Bryant Park, admire the beauty of the Morgan Library & Museum, and snap photos of the gorgeous Chrysler Building.

Don’t leave without eating, either – Midtown is home to both Koreatown and Murray Hill (a hotspot for Indian food in the city), and it’s absolutely worth slowing down your time in Midtown in order to enjoy a giant meal in either place.

Thanks to Kate Storm from Our Escape Clause for highlighting perhaps the most infamous neighborhood in New York City, thanks predominantly to the collection of amazing buildings and structures worth experiencing here. This is undoubtedly one of our “go to” areas each time we visit NYC and it’s just one of those neighborhoods where you can never get bored.

Morningside Heights

Morningside Heights is more commonly associated with Columbia University, but this little gem of a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan has its own sights and amazing places to eat. Places to see include Columbia University, Grant’s Tomb (free and open to the public), Riverside Church, and St Patrick’s Cathedral. There’s also Riverside Park and Morningside Park if you’re in the mood for open spaces in the neighborhood.

morningside heights new york city

Local places to eat include Uncle Luoyang’s Food Truck – located near the 116th St subway station in front of Columbia University. Get there early as they close up shop once everything is sold out. They serve heaping servings of homemade Chinese food. The original food truck became so popular that it led to an actual restaurant in 106th Street/Amsterdam.

Thanks to Ruby Escalona from A Journey We Love for sharing one of Manhattan’s lesser-known neighborhoods. With a plethora of amazing food options and architectural gems, this is certainly an area that should be on everyone’s radar.


Nolita is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan to explore. Besides being one of the most trendy neighborhoods in the city, Nolita is filled with plenty of activities to enjoy from great restaurants, shopping, famous filming locations, and deep ties to mafia history in the city.

nolita in manhattan

Nolita is a smaller neighborhood that means, North of Little Italy. But don’t let the size fool you, the streets are lined with one amazing eatery after another, adorable boutiques, and even home to one of the most famous small green spaces in NYC, Elizabeth Street Garden.

I recommend getting a delicious meal, my pick would be a brick oven pizza at Emporio then walk around the charming neighborhood finding the different filming locations from The Godfather trilogy and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to name a few while stopping in shops and taking in all that there is to appreciate here.

Thanks to Megan from Bobo & Chichi for highlighting why this area just north of Little Italy is such a gorgeous neighborhood to explore in New York City. In addition to Manhattan, Megan is also a local expert on the nearby borough of Brooklyn, so be sure to check our Your Brooklyn Guide if you want to experience another amazing part of NYC!


Soho (which stands for SOuth of HOuston) is not only my home, it is also one of the premier shopping districts in New York City. Almost every designer has a flagship store here, and it is fun to browse (or buy). More affordable options are on Broadway between Houston and Canal Street.

However, Soho is much more than just shopping. The streets get crowded during the day, especially on the weekends, but early in the morning, wandering the empty streets is magical. Many of the narrow streets are still cobblestones and many of the buildings are light-filled cast iron. The technology of cast iron made it possible for columns to be narrow and windows large, creating the beautiful, light-filled buildings that Soho is famous for.

soho new york city

There are plenty of great places to eat in Soho too. Dominique Ansel Bakery on Spring Street is the creator of the original cronut – a delicious combination of croissant and donut. For old-world New York, it’s hard to beat the pizza at Fanelli’s on Prince Street. Or try the tiny Blue Ribbon Sushi, the charming The Dutch, both on Sullivan Street, or Chobani’s flagship store on Prince.

Soho is also famous for large lofts and art galleries, and this is one of the best places in New York to find galleries, where you can admire the art or pick up a new piece. There is something for everyone in Soho.

Thanks to James from Travel Collecting for sharing some of the best things to experience in Soho. How could anyone resist the temptation of the original cronut…we are certainly sold on that alone!


TriBeCa, short for the “Triangle Below Canal” street, is located along the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan. Once a thriving industrial neighborhood known for its textile and dry goods, the area was left abandoned in the mid-1900s.

tribeca neighborhood new york city

It wasn’t until artists discovered TriBeCa’s abandoned factories and large warehouses, that this district reinvented itself. The raw, historic architecture and Belgian-block streets soon made TriBeCa one of the most sought-after Manhattan neighborhoods. Behind the cast-iron facades, you’ll find fancy lofts and quaint eateries such as the Angelina Bakery for breakfast, Smith & Mills for lunch and Bubby’s for that well-earned afternoon treat.

But there’s more to this hip district than cobbled streets and fine dining. Its Hudson-side location offers plenty of space to unwind. At Pier 25, the longest pier in Hudson River Park, you’ll find beach volleyball courts, a skate park, miniature golf, a children’s playground, small boat moorings, and a panoramic oyster bar. It’s the perfect place to escape the crowds while watching the sun set over Lower Manhattan.

tribeca hook and ladder firehouse

Thanks to Sarah Vanheel from Cosmopoliclan for sharing some of the highlights in one of our favorite NYC neighborhoods also. I would also add the infamous Ghostbusters Firehouse to the list of attractions worth visiting in this part of the Big Apple.

Upper East Side

New York City’s Upper East Side, UES is a cool neighborhood bordered by the East River on the west, Central Park on the west, 59th street on the south and 96th street on the north.

central park upper east side nyc

It is here in this cultural powerhouse where you’ll find the biggest chunk of Museum Mile containing The Met, The Frick, The Museum of the City of New York, the Guggenheim and much more. Central Park, with its 850 acres of parkland, meadows, lakes, and amusements is the neighborhood’s front lawn and Carl Schurz Park fronting the river is its back yard. It is also the location of Gracie Manor, home to NYC’s mayors.

This neighborhood has one of the largest concentrations of restaurants in the city from the most high-end to a wide variety of small ethnic vendors. During the summer the UES’s avenues fill with lively street fairs and bike routes and just about every significant parade from St. Patrick’s to the Thanksgiving Day parade pass through its streets.

Thanks to Talek Nantes from Travels With Talek for highlighting some of the best things to do in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Upper West Side

If culture and fine arts are of interest, then a visit to New York City’s Upper West Side is a must! As its name states, the area is located in uptown Manhattan on the west side of Central Park.

While there are countless things to do, I have my favorite Upper West Side attractions. I love to hit up the Natural History Museum to see a complete T-Rex, the Easter Island Head replica affectionately known as “Dum Dum” from the film, Night At The Museum, as well as any rotating exhibits.

upper west side new york city

Of particular interest is the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. From performances by the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera to house tours, current films and more, there is something for everyone even kiddos.

Also in the area are the famed Juilliard School and the studio where Live! with Kelly and Ryan is filmed. This is a great (and free) chance to see Ryan Seacrest up close and get fantastic shots as phones are permitted!

Don’t miss out on eating and shopping on the Upper West Side. For shopping, I love the Peruvian Connection. For some of NYC’s yummiest food, hit up Alice’s Tea Cup, Sarabeth’s, Magnolia Bakery, Sugar Factory, Emack & Bolio’s, and Insomnia Cookies just to name a few!

Thanks to Heather Trimm from Trimm Travels for showcasing one of NYC’s cultural hotspots and convincing us all to explore the Upper West Side during our next visit to the Big Apple!


New York City is blessed to have an eclectic collection of diverse neighborhoods that are worth exploring. Whether you are an avid foodie, architecture aficionado or simply just love to wander around and experience new things, the borough of Manhattan is inundated with unique, charismatic neighborhoods that you will never tire of exploring.

empire state building new york city

We want to reiterate our appreciation to all of our friends from across the globe for sharing some of their favorite things to do and places to eat in the Big Apple. We hope that you will be inspired to explore some of the lesser-known areas during your next trip to New York City and as always, please feel free to leave your comments on other cool things to do. As with most places, NYC is an ever-changing landscape and every time you return there will be something new to experience.

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Chris Boothman
Chris Boothman is the co-founder of A Brit and A Southerner. Born near Manchester, England, Chris moved to USA in 2006 where he soon after met his wife and travel partner in crime, Heather. They have since embarked on an amazing journey of travel as they challenge others to follow in their paths of working full-time but also being able to travel frequently! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Chris at [email protected]


  1. Great post! I wish more people would go a little off the beaten path and explore some of the great neighborhoods in NYC. When I lived there, one of my favorite things to do was just wander around. I saw so many interesting things like that.

  2. This is such a great list! I’ve only been to NYC twice and was super pressed for time. If I make it back I’ll definitely venture to the other neighborhoods! Thanks for sharing.


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