Everyone knows that Harlem is one of the most culturally diverse areas in Manhattan. It’s renowned for it’s iconic jazz clubs, theaters and soul-food restaurants. Commonly identified as a centre for African-American culture, Harlem is home to some of the most incredible tourist attractions including the Apollo Theater and the ornate façade of the First Corinthian Baptist Church. If you’re keen on staying here, Harlem is a place where strangers greet each other on the street, families share stoops on summer evenings and B&Bs outnumber hotels. Just avoid parks at night and mind your wallet in big crowds!
Upper East Side
If you’ve ever watched Gossip Girl, you’ll know that the Upper East Side is home to young, popular, rich New York socialites like Serena and Blair. The Upper East Side is also packed with museums and art galleries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. Another of this district’s key features is the fact it runs parallel to Central Park… which gives you something incredible to peek at from your five-star residence, of course. If you decide to stay on the Upper East Side, make sure you bring your credit card (s) as it’s right around the corner from some of the city’s finest designer boutiques.
Midtown is smack bang in the middle of Manhattan, where many of the city’s best known and loved locations can be found. Staying in Midtown means you’ll be within walking distance of the legendary Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Rockefeller Centre. Though not many New Yorkers live there, Midtown is the perfect spot for sightseeing, with much of the city’s best shopping (including the famous Saks Fifth Avenue department store) nestled in with the other designer outlets.
West Village and Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village may not be as boho as it was in its heyday, but it's still home to some of the city's best old-time jazz clubs, pubs, bars, restaurants and delis. There aren’t many hotels in the area so your best bet is to get an Air BnB and stay in a real, genuine NYC apartment.
The West Village is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan with its 19th-century townhouses, hidden gardens and cobblestone streets. It’s as popular with celebs like Leo DiCaprio and Julia Roberts as it is with the common civilian. Whether your budget allows a pair of Jimmy Choos or just a cupcake, there’s something for absolutely everyone in West Village.
Home to a dense population of Asian immigrants, Chinatown is bursting with authentic culture, exciting chaos and sumptuous food. If you’re a night owl, Chinatown is a great place to stay. Accommodation is cheap, shops are open late and you’ll be able to get a meal at any hour. Between dim sum, shopping and treating yourself to a massage, make sure you visit the open-air fish markets (beware of the smell), entertaining souvenir shops and the Museum of Chinese in the Americas.
Downtown, or Lower Manhattan, is the oldest part of the city, and considered the financial capital of the country. It’s surrounded by attractions such as the Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, South Street Seaport and the Brooklyn Bridge. Whether you’re grabbing coffee at a trendy cafe or partying until the break of dawn, the Lower East Side bustles with ample excitement on every corner. Most hotels in the Financial District are geared towards business travelers, so if you’re planning a weekend visit you’ll definitely pick up some great rates.