New York is an incredible city! That being said, it’s so much more than just one place, it’s a huge mix of communities, neighborhoods, and the best areas of New York that are dotted all across the city.
Honestly, New York is a place that’s filled with a heap of free things to do, awesome viewpoints, and a heap of secret spots. Though these are often all mixed across the best areas of New York and there will be lots of planning needed to see them all. This is exactly why I wanted to share some of the best areas of New York to visit on your trip to the city.
Over the years, I’ve visited New York countless times, with each time bringing about a whole new experience. To be honest, that’s the beauty of the city, it’s always changing and there’s always something new going on.
Anyway, I don’t wanna ramble on too long; but I really want to share some of the best areas of New York you should think of visiting on your own trip to the Big Apple!
Take a look, below, at the best areas of New York to explore. Have the best time in the city.
1.) Wall Street & Tribeca
Being the financial heart of New York City, it’s easy to assume that Wall Street is just stockbrokers and traders! That being said, mixing both the area around Wall Street and Tribeca, means you’ll get to experience one of the best areas of New York during your visit.
Once here, make sure to explore the Federal Hall in all its historic glory. Interestingly, this was actually the place where George Washington was sworn in as the very first president of the United States! It totally gives an insight into the birth of the American nation.
Plus, always make sure to visit Battery Park if you’re already at the tip of Manhattan. It played a vital role in being the first immigrant depot for people arriving at the newly founded republic. Also, it’s also a perfect place to jump on one of the ferries to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, too.
For a great place to stay, check into the Roxy. We stayed here on our last visit to New York and totally loved it. They’ve also got the coolest jazz club in their basement and it’s a great place to spend an evening.
If you’re hungry, check out Two Hands for brunch. We visited here a few times and the food is always so good! It’s a great place to start your day before exploring the rest of Tribeca and the area around Walla Street.
If it’s lunch you’re after, pop into Bubby’s who conjure up some tasty treats and some epic spiked lemonade, too.
Afterward, by heading down to the Wall Street area, you can stop off at Trinity Church, see the Oculus and pay your respects at the site of the World Trade Center.
Finally, after seeing the Stock Exchange, head across to the National Museum of the American Indian that’s just a few minutes walks away.
It really is one of the best areas in New York to explore, especially if you want to see some of the city’s iconic spots.
One of my favorite things about Brooklyn is the multitude of live music venues that showcase everything from; traditional folk to things like American soul.
Now, it’s hard to whittle down just a few venues you might like but places like; the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Baby’s All Right, and National Sawdust. It really just depends on the type of music you like and the size of the venue you’re wanting to visit.
Honestly, every night, there’s a heap of venues, bars, and concerts that go on in Brooklyn (especially in Williamsburg) that it’s well worth a visit.
Plus, the whole area of Williamsburg has some cool cocktail bars and eateries that are amazing for a night out. For instance, Maison Premiere is totally stunningly lovely place to chill out with a few drinks. Their adonis cocktail is immense!
Now, I was told that New Yorkers seemed to fall out of love with Coney Island in the 1990s. That being said, thanks to its preservation, Coney Island has once again become a great place to visit. This is especially true as it’s so unique and easily one of the best areas in New York to see whilst enjoying some saltwater taffy and bumper cars.
Oh, and pop over to Dumbo if you want to capture one of those iconic “New York” pics, too. It’s become a popular place over the last few years.
Plus, don’t forget about Brooklyn Heights, too. having some epic views of Manhattan, it’s one of the best areas in New York to explore if you’ve just walked over the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan itself.
For me, I loved taking a stroll through some of the quaint early 20th-century streets that still line the waterfront. This is especially true as you’ll find loads of coffee spots, restaurants, and cute independent stores, too.
Eat at Henry’s End which has some of the tastiest lunches this side of New York. Their Spicy Andouille Sausage is literally mouth-watering.
Finally, if you want some classic American-style tavern, head to Jack The Horse Tavern is your place to go. The tavern itself is a stylish throwback and fashionable restaurant to enjoy some North American seafood. They even have their own Oyster bar close by.
3.) Lower East Side
Now, the renovated lofty warehouses and tenements of the Lower East Side look quite different from the high-rises of midtown that tower in the distance. That being said, don’t be fooled into thinking that size is everything in New York; the buildings might be smaller but the whole area is a buzzing spot to visit and explore when seeing the best areas of New York.
First off, it’s well worth remembering that this area was traditionally the industrial trading heart of Manhattan, with lots of its buildings still intact to this day. That being said, as times have moved on, this area has become synonymous with artists, foodie spots, and a heap of history to explore.
If hunger beckons, make sure to pop over to Russ & Daughters where you can experience some tasty smoked and pickled fish. Inspired by the Lower East Side’s Polish heritage, this diner provides a historic insight into the melting-pot that is New York.
Also, make sure to visit the unpretentious Katz’s Delicatessen that’s something of an institution in New York. Here, you’ll grab one of the tastiest sandwiches in the city.
After filling up at lunch, make sure to visit the Tenement Museum to learn more about the area and pop into Vanessa’s Dumpling House for some no-frills (but totally yummy) dumplings.
Finally, for shopping and foodie markets, head to Essex Market where you’ll get a proper taste of this area. Plus, many of the shops around this area sell loads of vintage treasures.
4.) Hell’s Kitchen
For some visitors, Hell’s Kitchen has (at least, historically) been one of the forgotten areas of New York to visit. That being said, it’s having a total revival over the last decade and it’s certainly a great place to head to for a different vibe.
One of the coolest cabarets to experience has to be at Don’t Tell Mama. Here, you can enjoy some of the very best bourbons and live music almost every night. Plus, it’s close to many of the Broadway theatres, so it’s a great stop for a post-theatre tipple.
For a tasty lunch, head to Gotham West Market that’s like a massive food hall with loads of different vendors. Here, you can grab any kind of food you can imagine. it’s delicious.
If it’s views and cocktails, you’re after pop into The Press Lounge at the Ink48 Hotel. It’s got some pretty decent cocktails with an amazing view over the Hudson River.
For some treasures and trinkets, head to Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market that’s in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. Here you can grab some unique gifts and something souvenirs that are great keepsakes.
Oh, and don’t forget, just on the very fringe of Hell’s Kitchen is the Vessel (in Hudson’s Yard). Here you can book free tickets (well in advance) and head up the Vessel to see one of the shiniest art installations in New York. Honestly, it’s one of the best areas in New York to explore.
Okay, so, home to Time Square, Midtown is probably one of the best areas in New York that you’ll almost be guaranteed to see when visiting Manhattan.
Love it or hate it, Time Square is a sight to be seen and pretty much unlike anywhere in the world. After taking in all the shiny lights and the bamboozling amount of people, head across to the TKTS booth right in the heart of Times Square.
Here, they offer unsold tickets for today’s Broadway performances at about half the usual price. It’s a great way to seal a bargain and make your New York budget last a little longer.
Afterward, make sure to pop into Grand Central Station to see the main concourse. It’s stunning and such an iconic piece of New York.
Oh, and make sure to take in the views at the Top Of The Rock, it’s always one of my favorite places to visit in New York.
Just make sure to book tickets in advance and for the sunset slot so you can see the city transform from day into night.
Plus, if you’re wanting to visit an iconic building, you can head up to the top of the Empire State Building, too. This is just a little further down from the Rockefeller Center and really easy to visit.
If you’re wanting to see a stunning library in New York, head across to the Morgan Library & Museum, too. We found this on our most recent trip and the rooms are stunning. It’s well worth seeing and a great little stop before lunch.
Finally, for some great cocktails head towards the Monarch Rooftop for some great cocktails whilst overlooking one of the best areas in New York.
The best of New York is more than a place – it’s a state of mind! One minute you’re walking the catwalk at Fashion Week, and the next you’re sipping wine in Brooklyn. Our Guide to New York City will help you find what suits your style and budget. From Harlem’s historic brownstones to Williamsburg’s cutting-edge art scene and the hip streets of SoHo, the Big Apple has got all kinds of places that call out to be explored.