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Hotels in New York

Affectionately known as the Big Apple, New York is a city that is made up of dreams as much as it is skyscrapers. It is a place that tops many travel bucket lists because of the plethora of historical and cultural attractions that have become iconic in popular culture. 

In New York City you can stand beneath the shadow of the Empire State Building, sail past the Statue of Liberty, admire the architecture of the Guggenheim, or take in as much history as you can at the Museum of Natural History.  

New York is absolutely huge, and generally tourists stay in the central hub of Manhattan where the majority of the sites are situated. However, it should be noted that the transportation in the city is excellent and each borough, from Manhattan to the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and lastly, Staten Island, each has their own distinctive personality and charm.

Where should you stay in New York?

Manhattan

Greenwich Village

The popular neighbourhood of Greenwich Village is one of the more romantic areas of New York. Its brownstone buildings and slightly traditional feel mixes well with the young New Yorkers flocking to live and work in this part of the city to take advantage of the shops, restaurants, bars and nightlife. Expect to find gorgeous boutique and heritage hotels in this part of town.

Union Square

Union Square and the neighbourhoods that surround it, like the Flatiron District and Gramercy Park, are great areas to base yourself if you want to be close to the sites of New York. The proximity to Union Station is also an advantage if you want to explore further afield, and see the attractions of the other boroughs of the city. There are other things to recommend this area too, such as the farmer’s markets, great selection of restaurants, and especially its reputation as the Off-Broadway district, where playhouses run wonderful shows that aren’t the run-of-the-mill musicals. Best of all, you can find moderately priced accommodation here, even if it is very central.

Times Square

Not for the faint of heart, the centre of this city is frenetic, loud and never sleeps. Connected to the Midtown West, this neighbourhood is brilliant if you’re in New York for the shows, as you are right by the Theater District, where most of the celebrated Broadway Houses are. From here, you can also dip into a few other big New York landmarks, such as the Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Art, and Macy’s. Don’t expect that you’ll get a room where you can shut out the sheer energy of this part of the city, but do expect that you will be able to find hotels and hostels of all kinds in this part of town.

Upper West Side

If you’re travelling with your family, it is hard to beat the Upper West Side. Unlike the Upper East Side which is perhaps the swankiest neighbourhood in New York, the west side has a less snooty vibe. It is here that a huge glut of attractions, that will appeal to kids and adults alike, cluster. There is the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the American Museum of Natural History, and of course, Central Park and its zoo. This neighbourhood won’t have the edgy and trendy eateries, but it will have moderately priced hotels, and family friendly options.

Brooklyn

Trendy Brooklyn is large borough, so there are plenty of areas to choose to stat in. However Brooklyn Heights remains a favourite; this affluent neighbourhood has glorious views of Manhattan’s skyline, and a great restaurant culture. Park Slope is also an excellent place to stay, and will give you a chance to visit Prospect Park, another beautiful park designed by the landscape architect who created Central Park, Frederick Law Olmstead. If you do decide to stay in this part of New York, you will be able to see the wonderful Brooklyn Academy of Music and the famous Coney Island, which makes for a wonderful day trip if you’re travelling with kids. You can find budget hotels all over Brooklyn, but in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights expect prices to be heftier.

Transport in New York

The public transport in New York is comprehensive and extensive. The subways and buses run by the MTA run 24/7 throughout the city. You can purchase a MetroCard which is a smart travel card that you can top up at subway stations and automated machines. These can be used on the buses and the rail system. You can also grab a ride with the famous yellow cabs, just remember that tolls are added onto the fare, and passengers are expected to tip 15-20% after each trip.