An Area Guide to New York; Where to Stay in Manhattan and beyond

New York City; a bustling metropolis brimming with iconic sites, vibrant cultures and endless opportunities for adventure. Whether you’re drawn to the historic streets of Manhattan or the trending avenues of Williamsburg, finding the perfect place to stay is crucial for an unforgettable trip. Travelista’s Editor Jessica Ruth Gibson takes us through this Area Guide to New York.

This area guide to New York will navigate you through some of the most desirable neighbourhoods in New York City, helping you find your hotel in New-York that suits your travel style and preferences.

This article has been written in partnership with Voyage Prive. All words and view are that of the author.

Discovering Manhattan: An Area Guide to New York

Soho: The Fashionista’s Paradise

Soho, known for its exquisite architecture, cobblestone streets, and unparalleled shopping experience, stands out as a top choice for those looking to dive into New York’s fashionable heart. The area is not only a haven for stylish retail therapy but also home to numerous art galleries and some of the best restaurants in the city (we loved Jack’s Wife Freda at 226 Lafayette St). Staying in Soho means being at the centre of Manhattan, with easy access to other parts of the city while enjoying a chic, artistic atmosphere. The James New York – NoMad offers a perfect retreat for visitors looking to immerse themselves in soho. Located in Midtown’s NoMad neighbourhood, it’s close enough for easy access to Soho’s fashion-forward areas, complete with a buzzing cocktail bar and 24-hour on-site gym.

West Village: A Quaint and Historic Haven

The West Village, with its picturesque streets and Carrie Bradshaw-style brownstones, offers a more laid-back experience. This neighbourhood is famous for its bohemian past and remains one of the city’s most charming spots, with cosy cafes, trendy boutiques, and an impressive array of restaurants. It’s the perfect locale for those seeking a quieter retreat within the bustling city, providing a sense of community and warmth. To comfortably explore this area, consider staying at The Viceroy New York. While it’s not directly in West Village, its central location offers easy access to this quaint area, blending seamlessly into the neighbourhood’s historic charm and modern conveniences.

East Village: The Cultural Melting Pot

Diverse and dynamic, the East Village is a blend of cultures, tastes, and experiences. Known for its vibrant nightlife, eclectic dining scene, rich music and art history, this neighbourhood attracts a younger crowd seeking adventure and authenticity. The East Village is ideal for travellers eager to experience the city’s cutting-edge side while soaking up its historical essence. The Sanctuary Hotel New York, offering a peaceful retreat amidst bustling Midtown, is ideally situated for those wishing to explore the vibrant East Village.

Downtown / Financial District: Where History Meets Modernity

The Financial District, or FiDi, located at the southern tip of Manhattan, is where New York began as a bustling port city. Today, it’s a major global financial hub, home to Wall Street and the stunning One World Trade Centre. FiDi offers more than just business; it’s a neighbourhood rich with historical landmarks, luxury shopping and impressive architecture. Staying here puts you close to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, making it a great base for exploring New York’s past and present. Westhouse New York presents an elegant stay for those drawn to this area with its chic Art Deco-inspired design. A short distance from the Financial District, it serves as a luxurious base for exploring both the historic and modern marvels of downtown New York.

Upper East Side: The Epitome of Sophistication

For those seeking elegance, peace and luxury, the Upper East Side is unparalleled. Known for its upscale residential streets, world-class museums along the Museum Mile and luxury boutiques, the UES offers a serene escape from the city’s frenzy. It’s the perfect area for culture enthusiasts and anyone exploring Central Park’s scenic beauty.  The Surrey New York, a boutique hotel oozing glamour on the Upper East Side, welcomes guests with a spa, restaurant, and bar, encapsulating the area’s sophistication.

New York Central Park

Upper West Side: The Cultural Heart

The Upper West Side, characterised by its laid-back atmosphere, is a cultural hub with iconic institutions like the American Museum of Natural History and the Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts. It offers a blend of residential comfort with the sophistication of cultural landmarks set against the backdrop of Central Park. This neighbourhood is ideal for families and those looking for a culturally enriching stay. Parker New York, just blocks from Central Park, offers a fantastic rooftop pool and speakeasy spa, making it a prime location for those wanting to immerse themselves in the cultural heart of the Upper West Side.

Venturing Beyond Manhattan: Brooklyn and Williamsburg

Brooklyn contrasts Manhattan’s hustle with its relaxed pace, creative energy, and community vibe. Neighbourhoods like Williamsburg are at the forefront of art, music, and culinary innovation, making Brooklyn a must-visit for those looking to experience New York’s trendsetting side. With unique shops, bustling markets, and panoramic views of Manhattan, Brooklyn provides a diverse and enriching experience. Staying in nearby Manhattan hotels like The James, New York, or The Viceroy, New York could be a great call for easy access across the Hudson. Their proximity to Brooklyn and ease of access via public transportation make them ideal bases for discovering the trendsetting playground of Brooklyn and Williamsburg.


No matter which area you choose to stay in New York City, all of these neighbourhoods are well worth visiting and exploring on foot during your time in the city. Each offering a totally different vibe and atmosphere, there’s bound to be a place to suit your own travel-style, budgets and interests in the Big Apple.

What did you think of our area guide to New York? Which neighbourhood would you stay in or if you’ve been to New York, which would your recommend to a friend? Leave a community comment to let us know.

Jessica Ruth Gibson is the Founder and Editor of Travelista and an award-winning travel content creator of 10 years. She lives in York, UK with her son and has travelled to over 50 countries; her favourites being Italy, Canada and Vietnam.

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