Manhattan neighborhoods

When most people think of New York City they likely picture the glittering skyline of Manhattan or one of the borough’s other iconic landmarks. From Times Square to Central Park to Rockefeller Center to the Empire State Building & World Trade Center, Manhattan is the beating heart of NYC so it’s no surprise that the city’s most iconic neighborhoods are located within the borough. Our in depth guides will let you dive in and explore the best of Manhattan’s neighborhoods, from their nightlife and entertainment scenes to their storied history.

Manhattan’s Most Popular Neighborhoods

The most popular neighborhoods in Manhattan on PropertyClub

Battery Park City

With over a third of the neighborhood being designated as parkland, Battery Park City is a tranquil community known for its lush greenery, suburban vibe, and scenic waterfront esplanade. The 92 acre neighborhood was built through a land reclamation project in the 1970’s and has quickly become one of the most modern and luxurious neighborhoods in New York City. In recent years the neighborhood has benefited from the renovation and expansion of Brookfield Place as well as the construction of a passageway linking it to the new World Trade Center complex. While its abundance of green spaces and its stunning riverfront setting make it great for lovers of the outdoors, families and pet owners alike, there are no subway stops within the neighborhood’s boundaries and there is little in the way of nightlife. That being said, the nearest subway stop is only a 5-10 minute walk away as is neighboring Tribeca, with its posh entertainment scene.

Bowery

An iconic New York City neighborhood that has historically been considered part of the Lower East Side and associated with urban decay for much of the 20th century, the Bowery has experienced a revival since the 1990's making it one of Manhattan's edgiest, most exciting neighborhoods. Its once run down industrial buildings have been renovated and are now home to chic boutiques, cool bars and popular restaurants. The neighborhood has quickly become known for its eclectic architecture and vibrant cultural scene, delighting artists and creatives with its street art including the famous Bowert Mural, as well as venues like the Bowery Poetry Club. The neighborhood is also home to a vibrant nightlife scene with hotspots like the Bowery Ballroom drawing large crowds each evening . A bevy of young New Yorkers have moved into the neighborhood in recent years, drawn in by a mixture of the Bowery’s unique character, central location (which offers residents better subway access than the neighboring East Village and LES) and attractive real estate prices (compared to other downtown hotspots like Soho, Noho and Greenwich Village).

Chelsea

Chelsea, which 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, stands at the crossroads of Midtown and Downtown Manhattan. This is reflected in the neighborhood’s architecture, an eclectic mix ranging from historic 19th-century brownstones and townhouses to ultra-contemporary, glass, high-rises. 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 it’s uncanny ability to combine classic New York City sophistication, posh and ritz with a more subtle, and cool downtown vibe.

Chinatown

Set foot in Chinatown in Lower Manhattan and you'll find yourself transported to a different world. Vendors line the bustling streets selling everything from tropical fruits to live eels to knock-off designer watches, handbags and perfumes while the neighborhood’s many eateries release intoxicating and exotic smells, which swirl through the air tickling your senses and beckoning you through their doors. The neighborhood has been an enclave for Chinese immigrants since the middle of the 19th century, and is currently the largest “Chinatown” in the US, and serves as the center of the New York Metro area’s Chinese community, the largest such community outside of Asia. Well known for its many eclectic markets as well as its food scene the neighborhood is home to some of NYC's best ethnic restaurants, making it a popular destination for foodies as well as tourists looking to get an authentic taste of China.

East Harlem

East Harlem is a vibrant uptown neighborhood, with a large residential population, that is located just north of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, running roughly from East 96th street to East 138th street between Fifth Ave and the East River. Long home to large Puerto Rican and Latin American communities the neighborhood is also known as Spanish Harlem (oftentimes shortened to SpaHa) or El Barrio. This rich and diverse heritage has left its mark on East Harlem, influencing its thriving cultural and entertainment scenes, which is reflected through the neighborhood’s soulful music, exciting street art and excellent ethnic restaurants. Apartment prices in East Harlem have remained low in comparison to its southern neighbor, the Upper East Side, yet the neighborhood offers residents many of the same perks as the UES, including easy access to central park. This combined with East Harlem’s attractive real estate prices has helped spark a new development boom, leading to an influx of new residents moving into the neighborhood in recent years.

East Village

The East Village is a lively neighborhood, rich in culture and style, that has long been known for its amazing bars, trendy restaurants and vibrant entertainment scene as well as for being home to one of the coolest parks in New York City, Tompkins Square Park, one of the cities best spots for people watching. The neighborhood gives off an energetic, unabashedly creative vibe that appeals to the many artists and bohemians who call the East Village home. The neighborhood is also popular with students and the under-30 crowd and is home to many student-housing complexes for nearby NYU. The East Village offers a fantastic mix of value, (mostly due to the fact that some parts of the neighborhood have limited subway access), and entertainment (thanks to its prime location in the heart of Manhattan and its hip residents and venues).

Financial District

Long known as one of the worlds financial hubs and as the home of Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange the Financial District (also known as FiDi) is quickly becoming one of Manhattan’s most exciting up-and-coming residential neighborhoods. With a population that has almost trebled since 2000 (from 23,000 to 60,000) the neighborhood is quickly becoming a hotspot for New Yorkers looking for great deals on luxury apartments and a convenient commute (FiDi is one of the cities only neighborhoods to offer convenient access to both the east and west side of Manhattan. This influx of people and residential development has led to numerous new shops and restaurants opening in the neighborhood, most notably the Oculus Mall, Fulton Center, and Brookfield Place in neighboring Battery Park City.

Flatiron

Named after the iconic Flatiron building, completed in 1902 as one of the first skyscrapers in the world, the Flatiron District offers an energetic downtown vibe in a more tranquil and relaxed package. The neighborhood is known for its excellent shopping, dining and entertainment scenes as well as its distinctive cast-iron and Beaux-Arts architecture. The Flatiron District is central located in the heart of midtown, bordering Union Square, Gramercy Park, Chelsea and Nomad, and offering residents easy access to both the east and west sides of Manhattan. Madison Square Park is also located in the neighborhood, and offers a great place to escape the urban jungle and relax, enjoy some pop-art, or catch a concert. The neighborhood is also home to the International Toy Center and was known as the Toy District prior to its evolution from being a primarily commercial neighborhood to a residential one, which is when residents and real estate agents started calling the area the Flatiron District.

Gramercy

Located in the heart of midtown Gramercy has long had a luxurious mystique about it. With its sophistication and grandeur the neighborhood has attracted many famous residents over the years. Even the Roosevelt family called Gramercy home for much of the 20th century. This picture perfect neighborhood is known for its stunning brownstones, townhouses, tree-lined streets, and its namesake park. Gramercy Park is the only private members only park in Manhattan, one of only 3 private parks in the state, and requires a key for entrance. The neighborhood is home to many acclaimed restaurants and a lively bar scene which picks up during happy hour. With its central location offering easy access to the nightlife and shopping of Union Square and the Village as well as easy access to both the east and west sides of Manhattan, Gramercy offers a unique mix of exposure to the best New York City has to offer combined with unparalleled seclusion and tranquility which is ever so hard to come by in the city that never sleeps.

Greenwich Village

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 coffeeshops, 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 neighborhood 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. Also home to New York University and a large student population, the neighborhood has a youthful, creative, and intellectual vibe and is home to numerous art galleries and a bustling cultural scene.

Harlem

Harlem has long been the cultural heart of Upper Manhattan, and is known for its rich history as well as for being the birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural, social and artistic movement that took place in the neighborhood in the 1920’s and 30’s. This creative spirit is still in the air today as the neighborhood is known for its world class jazz clubs, art scene, and vibrant nightlife with the famous Apollo Theater being the neighborhoods most iconic landmark. There’s also a burgeoning culinary scene, with an eclectic mix of ethnic and fine dining establishments opening in recent years culminating in Frederick Douglass Boulevard being dubbed Harlem's restaurant row. The neighborhood’s great cultural and entertainment scenes combined with better apartment prices than the Upper East and Upper West Side, along with its convenient location with easy access to both the east and west sides of Manhattan have made Harlem one of NYC’s most exciting neighborhoods, drawing an influx of new residents in recent years.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen is quickly becoming one of Manhattan’s most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods. Although its moniker comes from having been home to numerous gangs and mobsters for most of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Hell’s Kitchen is now known for its many restaurants, off-Broadway theaters, and colorful nightlife. The neighborhood attracts people of all backgrounds, offering residents a little bit of everything, and also offers some great values, especially when it comes to high-end luxury apartments, as it has experienced a residential building boom in recent years sparked by the extension of the 7 train and the Hudson yards mega development. The neighborhood is also known for it’s great culinary scene with the stretch of West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Aves being aptly named “restaurant row” and many of the cities most renowned restaurants being located in the area.

Kips Bay

Centrally located in midtown Manhattan, running from East 23rd to East 34th streets between Park Ave and the East River, Kips Bay offers its residents a convenient location mixed with great value, as real estate prices in the neighborhood have remained attractive in comparison to other parts of midtown and downtown. The neighborhood has a quieter more residential vibe than most of the rest of midtown and is also within walking distance of many of the New York City’s prime shopping and nightlife districts including Union Square, Flatiron, and Greenwich Village. The neighborhood is also well known for its casual bar, lounge and entertainment scene. This, combined with the fact that the Kips Bay offers more affordable housing than surrounding neighborhoods has made Kips Bay popular with many young professionals, students, and recent college grads as the combination of location and value the neighborhood offers is hard to beat.

Little Italy

As its monicker suggests Little Italy has been at the heart of New York City’s Italian community for well over a century. Although the neighborhood is quite compact it's made a name for itself and is known the world over for its many traditional Italian shops, delis, cafes and restaurants and its welcoming and lively European ambiance. Little Italy has also been the backdrop for many classic films including The Godfather, Mean Streets and Leon: The Professional. The neighborhood is a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat or to sit back and enjoy an authentic Italian espresso while people watching from one of the neighborhoods many restaurant or cafes’ terraces. With dozens of Italian flags hanging from colorful buildings and its outspoken yet friendly ambiance you will constantly be reminded that Little Italy is rich in history and culture, making it one of Manhattan’s most charming and vibrant neighborhoods.

Lower East Side

Edgy, lively and slightly gritty, the Lower East Side has a big reputation and is known for its amazing bars, live music venues, restaurants, coffeeshops, and nightlife. Originally a neighborhood of working class immigrants, the Lower East Side (often abbreviated to LES) has experienced rapid gentrification in recent decades, attracting a slew of new residents and businesses, and making the LES one of Manhattan’s most exciting up-an-coming neighborhoods. The always vibrant Lower East Side abuzz at all times of the day and gives off an energetic, creative vibe that appeals to the flocks of artists, students, and bohemians who call the neighborhood home. The Lower East Side has one of the cities best restaurant and entertainment scenes with the party often going into the wee hours of the morning. The neighborhood also offers fantastic value with its many pre-war walk-up apartment buildings being some of the best deals in lower Manhattan.

Morningside Heights

Morningside Heights, which is located uptown, on Manhattan’s west side, just north of the Upper West Side, is a neighborhood that is in many ways defined by Columbia University, whose open campus is located in the heart of Morningside Heights. The neighborhood maintains a college-town vibe and is one of NYC’s artistic and intellectual hubs, with students, professors, and other academics calling it home. If you're a laid-back New Yorker looking for a quaint, bohemian neighborhood to call home, Morningside Heights should be on the top of your list. Besides the wonderful cultural scene, other perks of living in the area include more affordable real estate prices than its southern neighbor, the UWS, convenient subway access to Manhattan's west side, and a bevy of parks and green space as the neighborhood borders Morningside Park and Riverside Park, while also being just a few blocks away from Central Park. As you might expect, Morningside Heights also has vibrant culinary and nightlife scenes, with numerous award-winning restaurants and a variety of excellent music, and entertainment venues.

Murray Hill

Murray Hill is centrally located in the heart of midtown Manhattan, running from East 34th to East 42nd streets between Madison Ave and the East River. With its central location which borders Grand Central Terminal, the neighborhood offers residents a convenient commute with easy access to all corners of the city. The neighborhood is only a short walk from many of midtown’s most iconic buildings and attractions including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Brant Park, the New York Public Library and the United Nations. Murray Hill’s proximity to the UN as well as its supply of historic pre-war brownstones and mansions has made it a popular location for foreign embassies and diplomatic missions. The neighborhood is also home to a bevy of casual restaurants, coffeeshops, pubs, and sports bars, which when coupled with the neighborhood’s abundance of tree-lined streets, historic 19th century brownstones and verdant parks gives Murray Hill a distinctive college-town vibe.

Noho

NoHo, which stands for North of Houston Street, is centrally located in the heart of lower Manhattan, between Greenwich Village and the East Village, and just north of SoHo (from South of Houston Street). The NoHo monicker is partly due to the neighborhood’s architecture which is dominated by cast-iron facades and more similar to the architecture found in its southern neighbor, Soho, than in the villages. The real estate market in NoHo is quite similar to that in Soho, and can best be described as exclusive as it is amongst the most expensive in New York City. The market is primarily dominated by large open lofts and some newer condos and luxury rental buildings, keeping rents and sales prices high. Overall the neighborhood maintains a trendy yet unassuming bohemian vibe, making it popular with artists, intellectuals and creative types. The neighborhood’s central location means you’re never far from the action as residents have unparalleled access to the fine-art galleries, chic boutiques, and world-class dining and nightlife Noho and neighboring Soho and the villages have to offer.

Nolita

Nolita, short for North of Little Italy, is a compact downtown neighborhood that is rich in history and filled with European charm. Historically considered part of Little Italy, the neighborhood still retains much of its heritage and character and is filled with numerous authentic Italian restaurants, bakeries, cafes and slaughterhouses. The neighborhood is also home to St. Patricks Old Cathedral, completed in 1815, and the former seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York prior to its move to the current St. Patricks Cathedral. In recent years however Nolita has been greatly influenced by it’s western neighbor, Soho, and northern neighbor, Noho, helping create a diverse cultural and entertainment scene. Trendy new boutiques, chic art galleries and hip bars have popped up on the Nolita’s picturesque, tree-lined streets. The neighborhood's Italian roots remain strong and Nolita (along with Little Italy) still plays host to the Feast of San Gennaro Festival each year, creating an eclectic mix of new an old in picturesque Nolita.

Roosevelt Island

Technically part of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island feels more suburb than city. Best known for its iconic tramway, idyllic green spaces and riverfront lifestyle, this 2 mile long island with a population of 12,000 has transformed itself since the 1970’s when redevelopment of the island began. Luxury residential apartment buildings now dot the island and the growing population has resulted in a wave of new shops, restaurants and amenities, most of which are concentrated on the island’s appropriately named Main Street. Slip away to the northern or southern tips of the island however to walk on the neighborhood’s picturesque promenade, taking in jaw dropping views of NYC, or venture further off the beaten path to discover some of Roosevelt Island’s many historic landmarks such as 18th century Blackwell House, the lighthouse and abandoned smallpox hospital.

SoHo

SoHo, which stands for South of Houston Street, has long been considered one of New York City’s most charming and desirable neighborhoods. 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 finest 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 neighborhoods picturesque streets, leading to SoHo being dubbed “Manhattan’s Shopping Mall”.

Stuyvesant Town

Stuyvesant Town (or more formally Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village), known to its residents and New Yorkers simply as “Stuy Town”, is a large residential development on Manhattan’s east side spanning the blocks from East 14th and East 23rd streets between 1st Ave and Avenue C. Stuy Town was initially planned as a post-war housing project in response to the city’s housing crisis and opened to residents in the late 1940’s, with preference given to applicants who were veterans. The neighborhood has a tight knit community and maintains its own newspaper as well as a bevy of amenities and facilities that are available to all residents including a gym, lounge, playgrounds and basketball courts. Stuy Town is known for its relatively attractive real estate prices compared to other Manhattan neighborhoods as well as its abundant supply of no fee rental apartments. This along with the area’s residential feel has made the area popular with anyone looking for good deals on spacious, family friendly apartments located in a quiet neighborhood that maintains a bit of a sleepy college-town vibe.

Sutton Place

Sutton Place is quaint residential neighborhoods in midtown Manhattan, spanning from East 53rd to East 59th streets, between 1st ave and the east river. The district is named after Effingham B. Sutton, a 19th-century shipping tycoon who sparked development in the area by building numerous residential brownstones between 57th and 59th Streets. Over the years the neighborhood has proven to be popular with well-heeled New Yorkers who enjoy its relative isolation and unique character. Some notable residents include Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, and Sigourney Weaver. The neighborhood is also home to several luxurious townhouses including the official residence of the UN Secretary-General, which was originally built as a home for JP Morgan’s daughter. One of the best things about living in Sutton Place is the stunning views of the east river and Roosevelt Island. The neighborhood’s streets end in charming cul-de-sac’s, oftentimes leading to parks that are cantilevered over the FDR drive, and which offer direct, unobstructed views of the waterfront.

TriBeCa

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 neighborhood has transformed itself since artists began to move in during the 1970's with large-scale residential redevelopment beginning in the 80's. 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 largely 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.

Union Square

Centered around its iconic, namesake park, the Union Square neighborhood offers up an eclectic yet dazzling mix of downtown cool and midtown chic. The neighborhood, a vibrant melting pot of artists, professionals and all those in between, is always abuzz with Union Square Park playing host to numerous street performers, artists, musicians, outdoor markets, and chess players. The neighborhood is located in the heart of Manhattan, sandwiched between Chelsea, Flatiron, Gramercy, the East Village and Greenwich Village. This central location at the crossroads of midtown and downtown has made Union Square a transportation hub, providing residents with easy and convenient access to all parts of the city. With such a prime location, the Union Square neighborhood is never short on the action with plenty of shops, galleries, and coffeeshops to explore during the day or great bars, restaurants and lounges in the evenings.

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 extremely elegant 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 largest 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.

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 neighborhood 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 located 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 Reaves, 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.

Washington Heights

Washington Heights is located in upper Manhattan, north of Harlem and Hamilton Heights, and south of Inwood. The neighborhood is named for Fort Washington, a revolutionary war era fort built to defend New York from the British. The fort no longer stands, but it was built on the highest natural point in Manhattan, which is located in what is now Bennett Park. While that point is only 265 ft above sea level, Washington Heights is the hilliest neighborhood in Manhattan and is one of the only places in the city where you’ll find step streets, the longest of which rises 65 vertical feet and connects Fort Washington Ave and Overlook Terrace at 187th Street. With its centuries-old history and unique character it’s no surprise that Washington Heights has a thriving cultural and art scene. Real estate prices in the neighborhood are amongst the lowest in Manhattan, making it attractive to the cost-conscious as well as those who enjoy green space, something Washington Heights has plenty of as it’s sandwiched between Fort Washington Park and Highbridge Park.

West Village

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.