New York City Neighborhood Guide

Every corner of NYC tells a different story. From the bohemian style of the East Village to the glamour of Meatpacking, each neighborhood is a hidden treasure. We have written you a New York City neighborhood guide so you can experience and explore the entire city as a local.

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Bryant Park

Bryant Park is more than your average park. This midtown oasis has a full year-round line-up of activities and events. In the fall check out fashion week, when NYC’s elite come out to play and strut their stuff.  In November and December, explore the wintertime marketplace featuring a skating rink and seasonal bar complete with fire pits, blankets, and festive beverages like spiked hot chocolate and mulled wine.  In the warmer months, Bryant Park features movies, puppet shows, games and yoga.

Featured Hotel: The Westin New York Grand Central 

Photo courtesy of NYC GO/Marley White

Brooklyn
 
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the ideal borough to get outside and get moving. This borough has a variety of interesting and unique activities that embody the neighborhood’s quirky vibe and “live well” mantra. Complete a run over the Brooklyn Bridge or Manhattan Bridge, both considered “bucket list runs,” or take a class at IMAXshift, the only IMAX spinning studio. For something with slightly less cardio, rock climb at Brooklyn Boulders where you will find yourself both physically and mentally engaged.

Featured Hotels: Sheraton New York Brooklyn Hotel and Aloft New York Brooklyn

Photo Courtesy of NYC GO/ Julienne Schaer

Hell's Kitchen
 
Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen is a trendy, creative extension of its neighbor The Theater District. HK is also the spot for musical theater fans to treasure hunt for one of a kind memorabilia in shops like Triton Gallery. It is also home to one of NYC’s best dance companies. See a performance; then show off your moves at one of the many bars and clubs in the area.

Featured Hotels: The Westin New York At Times Square, Element New York Times Square West, Four Points Midtown Times SquareW New York – Times Square, Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Midtown West, and Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel

Photo courtesy of Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service

Chinatown
 
Chinatown

With the recent influx of cozy, stylish bars and restaurants, Chinatown has become a perfect pick for date night. Start the night off with one of Chinatown’s little bars with big ambiance like Apothéke or Genuine Liquorette. Then head to one of many trendy eateries for dinner like Fat Raddish, the veggie-focused spot with trendy clientele, or Nom Wah Tea Parlor, one of NYC’s first Dim Sum houses. Finally, wrap up with singing a love song, or a breakup anthem depending on the night, at one of the many karaoke bars like Asia Roma or Bar On. 

Featured Hotels: Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel

Photo courtesy of NYC GO/Kate Glicksberg

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SoHo

Although originally a cheap haven for bohemian artists, SoHo has been transformed into one of NYC’s chicest shopping spots. Instead of visiting the chain retailers, explore the local NYC brands and boutiques. Check out the global flagship stores of Supreme, the revolutionary streetwear clothing line, KITH, NYC’s newest label sported by supermodels and style icons, and Birchbox, the only brick-and-mortar store for the original beauty subscription service.

Featured Hotel: Four Point By Sheraton Manhattan SoHo Village

Photo Courtesy of NYC GO/ Alexander Thompson

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Chelsea

Primarily associated with upscale art galleries like Agora Gallery and David Zwirner Gallery, Chelsea Piers is the hidden gem of this swanky neighborhood. The recreation center is Manhattan’s most popular destination to learn, practice, play and compete in 25+ different sports.  Chelsea piers offers a variety of different daily drop- in activities such as ice skating sessions, rock climbing,  a golf driving range overlooking the Hudson river (perfect for your Instagram), and bowling that converts into a sleek nightclub at the end of the night, or early morning depending on your perspective.  

Featured Hotel: Four Points By Sheraton Manhattan Chelsea

Photo courtesy of NYC GO/Yvonne Jukes

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Times Square

Times Square is considered the entertainment capital of the world. If you forgot to buy your Hamilton tickets two years in advance, don’t worry we did too. Try something less mainstream like The New Vincery Theater, premier host of family performances including acrobats, magic, and dance, or Drunk Shakespeare, where actors perform after a few drinks. Area restaurants, like The Lambs Club at The Chatwal, also have pre-theater dinner specials designed for those going to a performance after.

Featured Hotels: Sheraton New York Times Square HotelW New York - Times Square, Element New York Times Square West, Four Points Midtown Times SquareThe Westin New York At Times Square, and The Chatwal

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Union Square

Centrally located with easy access by public transportation, Union Square is commonly referred to as a favorite spot for locals and tourists. With a variety of activities going on inside the park, it is hard to choose a highlight but most can agree that the Greenmarket is a must-see. This farmers market features local vendors, letting you sample the best products from across all 5 boroughs. Check out Irvington restaurant at W New York - Union Square featuring fresh menu items made with local produce from the farmers market. 

Featured Hotels: W New York - Union Square

Photo Courtesy of NYC GO/ Christoper Postlewaite

Upper Manhattan
 
Upper Manhattan

Upper Manhattan is the perfect place to bring your favorite animal lover. The Upper East Side houses the Central Park Zoo, filled with over 2,000 animals, while the Upper West Side features the American Museum of Natural History, showcasing everything from dinosaurs of the past to aliens of the future. For an experience even more hands on, visit Art Farm in The City. This interactive, animal play facility features a USDA licensed indoor petting zoo, games, crafts, and play groups. 

Featured Hotel: Le Parker Méridien New YorkThe St. Regis New York, and Aloft Harlem

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Tribeca

Tribeca’s name is derived from its location: triangle below Canal Street. These few city blocks have a strong art scene. Tribeca is not only packed with galleries and art shops, but it is also the home of New York Academy of Art, the premier visual fine arts graduate school and museum. The Academy maintains an active exhibition and events schedule ideal for those who want to see some of the best up-and-coming artists.

Featured Hotel: Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel

Photo Courtesy of NYC GO/ Kate Glicksberg

Queens
 
Queens

Home to the original “graffiti Mecca” 5Pointz, Queen’s has a vibrant street art scene.  Although 5Pointz has closed, there are still many places to see this underground art. Outside of a Long Island City warehouse, “Top to Bottom” project features dozens of works by local and international artists and near the Astoria waterfront, “Welling Court Mural Project” has featured over 130+ murals over 30 years. If you work up an appetite from touring the various street art, visit Chinatown in Flushing for flavorful and authentic Chinese cuisine.

Featured Hotel: Aloft Long Island City

Photo Courtesy of Ezmosis/ CC BY-SA 3.0

West Village
 
West Village

As the home of quintessential American writers like Earnest Hemmingway, Dylan Thomas, Norman Mailer, and E.E. Cummings, the West Village has become permanently entwined with literature. Explore White Horse Tavern and Kettle of Fish, where America’s literary heroes would grab a drink (or many drinks in the case of those like Hemmingway and Thomas). As a memento for the day, purchase a book from one of the West Village’s quirky bookstores. Visit Left Bank Books for first editions and collectible copies, Bookmarc by Marc Jacobs for trendy coffee table reads, and BookBook Bookstore for a bit of everything.

Photo Courtesy of NYC GO/ Alexander Thompson

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Financial District

Located at the most southern tip of Manhattan, the Financial District, nicknamed FiDi, offers breathtaking skyline views unencumbered by buildings. After a full day of touring sites like One World Observatory, South Street Seaport, 9/11 Memorial, and Francis Tavern Museum, unwind with a cocktail on a rooftop bar and witness an amazing sunset. Check out the Living Room Bar and Terrace at the W New York - Downtown. This spot offers cityscape views, cocktail specials, and more.

Featured Hotels: W New York - Downtown Aloft Manhattan Downtown - Financial District, and Four Points by Sheraton Downton New York Downtown

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Meatpacking

Meatpacking, home of Manhattan’s trendiest nightclubs, becomes more casual and less crowded during the daytime, making brunch the ideal time to visit. End your weekend getaway by brunching at Bubby’s, Cookshop, or Fig & Olive.  If the wait for a table is on the longer side, utilize the free time to walk along the highline or stroll through the flagship stores of NYC based clothing brands such as Rag & Bone, Alice + Olivia, and DVF.

Photo courtesy of NYC GO/ Julienne Schaer

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Little Italy

With origins dating back to the late 1800s, Little Italy has some of New York’s oldest still-operating shops, including Ferrara Bakery and Di Palo’s. Savor these and other authentic old-world Italians restaurants like Umberto’s Clam House and Caffe Palermo. Although the neighborhood is known for its native cuisine, Little Italy has more than Italian food. Visit the menu-less, hidden bar Mulberry Project, famous for their experienced bartenders or the Mexican food stand La Esquina and its ultra-exclusive, swanky downstairs counterpart, La Esquina Brasserie & Tequila Bar. 

Photo Courtesy of NYC GO/ Will Steacy

East Village
 
East Village

As the neighborhood known for the birth of underground and counterculture movements, it is no surprise that the East Village is home to some of NYC’s best speakeasies, or unmarked, hidden bars. Walk through the telephone booth inside the restaurant Criff Dogs to enter Please Don’t Tell, or push open the wooden wall in the waiting area of Village Yokocho to be transported to Angel’s Share, a sophisticated cocktail lounge.

Hotels featured in this article

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