Best Neighborhoods in Manhattan
- Upper East Side
- Greenwich Village
- Upper West Side
- West Village
The best place to live in Manhattan is Tribeca, but it is also the most expensive neighborhood. Tribeca offers an unbeatable combination of amenities, entertainment, and luxury living in a glamorous setting away from the hustle and bustle of Midtown.
Tribeca, which stands for Triangle Below Canal Street, is easily one of New York City’s most desirable neighborhoods to call home. A former manufacturing hub for much of the late 19th century and 20th century, the area has transformed itself since artists began to move in during the 1970s with large-scale residential redevelopment starting in the '80s.
Tribeca is now well known for its many spacious, converted industrial lofts, luxurious boutiques, and trendy restaurants, as well as its posh residents. The neighborhood’s unique industrial character combined with its tranquil residential vibe (the neighborhood is mostly free of the tourist and nine to five-foot traffic that is so common in neighboring SoHo) and central location have made the real estate market in Tribeca one of the hottest and most expensive in New York City.
The neighborhood is also home to the Tribeca Film Festival and is known for its many celebrity residents, luxurious vibe, and stunning views of the Hudson River.
SoHo, which stands for South of Houston Street, has long been considered one of the most charming and desirable neighborhoods in Manhattan. As a former manufacturing center for over 100 years, Soho is well known the world over for its iconic cobblestone streets, cast-iron architecture, and industrial facades.
This unique and dramatic architecture has led to most of the neighborhood being designated a NYC Landmark as the appropriately named SoHo Cast Iron Historic District. These imposing buildings are now home to some of New York City’s most beautiful art galleries, trendiest boutiques, and best restaurants.
The shopping scene in the neighborhood is truly unparalleled, with many famous designers and fashion houses opening shop on the neighborhood's picturesque streets, leading to SoHo being dubbed “Manhattan’s Shopping Mall.”
3. Upper East Side
As one of New York City’s quintessential neighborhoods, the Upper East Side has long been known for its luxurious real estate, excellent schools, and many affluent residents (over the years, many famous families including the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Roosevelts, and Carnegies have called the UES home).
This exquisite neighborhood has it all at an upscale level. Posh streets from 5th Ave to Park Ave, with their grand residential buildings, upscale boutiques, high-end department stores, and charming restaurants; Central Park, Manhattan’s most abundant green space, where residents and visitors alike jog, picnic, paint or simply enjoy a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city; and the Museum Mile with its nine museums including the MET and Guggenheim.
These are just a few of the many perks that have made calling Manhattan’s Upper East Side home so alluring for New Yorkers for so many years.
4. Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village is another one of the best places to live in Manhattan. Known for its picturesque brownstones, tree-lined streets, vibrant entertainment scene, and the iconic Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, or simply “The Village” is New York’s bohemian capital.
Residents and visitors alike frequent the charming boutiques, music venues, trendy coffee shops, and restaurants that make Greenwich Village one of New York City’s most iconic and beloved neighborhoods.
Centrally located in the heart of Manhattan and offering easy access to both the east and west sides of the city, the area is popular among celebrities, with many calling it home. You may also easily recognize the neighborhood due to its being the setting of numerous films and tv shows including Friends, Mad Men and Sex and the City, among others.
Greenwich Village is home to New York University and a large student population, giving the neighborhood a youthful, creative, and intellectual vibe. The neighborhood is also home to numerous art galleries and a bustling cultural scene.
With its hip, bohemian vibe, Greenwich Village is one of the best places to live in NYC if you're in your 20s or 30s.
5. Upper West Side
Another one of the best neighborhoods in Manhattan is the Upper West Side. Located on the west side of Manhattan, between Central Park and Riverside Park, the Upper West Side (often abbreviated to UWS) is a tranquil, residential neighborhood that has long been known to be one of New York City’s premier cultural and intellectual hubs.
The northern part of the UWS is home to many students and academics as both Columbia University and Barnard College are located just north of West 110th Street, the traditional border between the Upper West Side and neighboring Morningside Heights. Many of NYC’s swankiest and most well-known residential addresses are in the Upper West Side, particularly along Central Park West.
With unparalleled access to and stunning views of Central Park, this area has attracted numerous celebrities over the years, including John Lennon, Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Donna Karen, and Bono, among many others. The neighborhood is also home to many cultural attractions, including the Lincoln Center, the Natural History Museum, and the Beacon Theatre.
6. West Village
The West Village is also one of the best neighborhoods in Manhattan. The West Village is a primarily residential neighborhood known for its picturesque brownstones and tree-lined, cobblestone streets. Having a distinctly European vibe, the neighborhood offers up a never-ending supply of history and charm.
Magnificent townhouses, intimate restaurants, trendy cafes, and chic boutiques abound in the West Village, a neighborhood that is almost entirely devoid of office buildings. Peaceful afternoons give way to lively evenings in this sophisticated neighborhood, as well-heeled residents take advantage of the neighborhood’s thriving entertainment scene.
The northwestern corner of the neighborhood encompasses the Meatpacking District, one of New York City’s premier nightlife destinations. The Whitney Museum relocated to the Meatpacking District in 2015 and is one of the neighborhood’s newest landmarks.
This area also marks the beginning of the famous High Line, a unique park built on an old elevated railroad, which offers residents and visitors a unique perspective on the city.
Chelsea is also one of the best places to live in Manhattan. This neighborhood is located on the west side of Manhattan between 14th and 34th streets, is known the world over for its abundance of high-class art galleries as well as its sophisticated cultural and entertainment scene, and stands at the crossroads of Midtown and Downtown Manhattan.
This is reflected in the neighborhood’s architecture, an eclectic mix ranging from its historic 19th-century brownstones and townhouses to Chelsea’s luxury apartment buildings and its ultra-contemporary, glass, high-rise condos.
Chelsea is also home to the High Line, an elevated park in the western part of the neighborhood which opened in 2009, sparking new interest in the formerly industrial West Chelsea area and leading to a wave of new residential development.
The neighborhood is a popular one due to its prime location in the heart of Manhattan, world-class nightlife, and its uncanny ability to combine classic New York City sophistication, posh, and ritz with a more subtle and laid-back downtown vibe.