Where to Stay in New York City: Neighborhood Guide & Hotels Under $200 Per Night

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where to stay in new york city neighborhood guide


Where to Stay in New York City

The Best Neighborhoods in NYC for First Time Visitors


You really can’t go wrong no matter where you stay in New York – after all this is the city that never sleeps! That being said, first time visitors to New York most likely are here to experience NYC’s museums, restaurants and shopping so here are some suggestions for the best neighborhoods to position yourself.




The Best Hotels in New York under $200 a Night

Around where I grew up, if you were willing to spend $200 on a hotel, you would be hooked up with the penthouse suite, fancy take-home toiletries, and at least a two bathrobe situation.

Granted you would be in the penthouse suite because it would be on the third floor of a franchised hotel, but that’s beside the point. New York is a different ball game, though. While there are solid hotel options in Manhattan that are more affordable, these options can start getting you a luxury experience (although maybe just one bathrobe) if you’ve got a little room in the budget.

Here are 5 of the best hotels to stay in New York City if you’re on a budget and want to visit without breaking the bank. Every NYC hotel listed below runs generally under $200 per night! I know, sadly that’s cheap by Manhattan standards of living..



1. The Gatsby Hotel

Single Rooms from $126

Neighborhood: Lower East Side


As its name might suggest, the Gatsby Hotel is a sleek, 45-room hotel that was newly refurbished in 2016.  The early checkout at 1100 AM is a tad annoying, but the hotel’s minimalist yet bright design and amenities (read: bathrobes!) more than make for a great experience.  

SoHo, the East Village, Chinatown, and the West Village are all within a 25 minute walk, creating an unrivaled ability to make the most of your time in New York. The best part about the hotel’s location, though? Try being just four blocks away from the world-famous pastrami sandwiches of Katz’s Delicatessen!

Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com 

Read reviews: Trip Advisor



2. Hotel Americano

Single Rooms from $150

Neighborhood: Chelsea


Stocked with two restaurants, multiple bars, and an outdoor pool, the Hotel Americano is so plentiful you may never need to leave this chic hotel that is, believe it or not, a converted parking garage.

However, what the hotel makes up in global amenities it lacks in room accouterments – closet space, bathrooms, and beds have gotten only fair reviews.

With that said, urban explorers will love both its location in Chelsea’s art gallery district and its walking-distance proximity to The High Line, Chelsea Piers, and Hudson Yards.  

Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com

Read reviews: Trip Advisor



3. The Time Hotel

Single Rooms from $159

Neighborhood: Times Square


Ah, good ole’ Times Square.

Hotel rooms can be notoriously small (not to mention loud), but boutique hotels know that must offer great building amenities to continue attracting guests, and The Time Hotel does this in spades.

The greenhouse-style Legrande Lounge offers cocktails over stunning views of Times Square’s bright lights, and all guests have complimentary access to the adjacent Equinox gym. If you’re a theater buff or haven’t visited Times Square yet, definitely mark The Time near the top of your list.

Check rates: Booking.com 

Read reviews: Trip Advisor


 Read more:  The Best Times Square Hotels



4. NYLO Hotel

Single Rooms from $169

Neighborhood: Upper West Side


Exposed brick, leather, and what seems like 50 shades of black evoke Upper West Side class in this stylish boutique located in the heart of the neighborhood’s shopping district.

The distance from Midtown shows in the above average sized rooms and spacious lobby bar replete with a typically New York vine-adorned outdoor seating area. Thespians and nature lovers alike will love the NYLO, which is just a short walk from both Lincoln Center and the heart of Central Park.

Check rates: Booking.com 

Read reviews: Trip Advisor



5. Hotel Hugo

Single Rooms from $183

Neighborhood: SoHo


True to its neighborhood, the Hotel Hugo goes above and beyond when it comes to amenities and entertainment options. The rooms have sleek, minimalist designs with floor-length windows offering great views of Midtown Manhattan and the Financial District.  The absolute star of the hotel is Bar Hugo, a duplex rooftop bar that offers priceless sunset views over the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty and New Jersey.  

Check rates: Booking.comHotels.com 

Read reviews: Trip Advisor



Visiting New York City


New York Travelling Tips

If this is your first time visiting New York and you’re not sure where to orient yourself, never fear! Manhattan is really a small island compared to some of the world’s largest cities (London, Tokyo, etc) and luckily the majority of New York is organized in an easy grid system.

Avenues run parallel from north to south and start at 1st Avenue on the East Side, to 12th Avenue on the west side. Meanwhile, streets run east to west and are numbered from 1st street in southern Manhattan to 220th Street in the north.


Fun Tours in New York


What’s the Best Area to Stay in New York?

Most of the tourist sights are concentrated in midtown and downtown so I would recommend starting your New York City hotel search in these general areas. If you aren’t sold on the bustle and noise of city life, you might prefer to choose a hotel close to Central Park South.

In any case, here’s a neighborhood guide and quick overview of some of the best places to stay in new york city:



Midtown is the section just south of Central Park and primarily a business and tourist district. Here you’ll find towering skyscrapers, each jockeying for a view of the park; luxury shopping on 5th Avenue and tons of classic New York City cabs and hot dog stands on the streets.

While no one in their right mind wants to live in Midtown, given how hectic it is, many visitors to NYC will like how centrally located this neighborhood is!

You can walk straight into Central Park for a picnic, zip up the 4, 5 and 6 trains north to the classic museums on the Upper East Side or walk downtown to Rockefeller Center and Times Square. Midtown just south of Central Park is the a fantastically swanky spot and the best place to stay in New York if you like luxury hotels, have business meetings or want epic views of the park.

Otherwise, if you’re a budget traveler or a family with kids, you’re likely looking for more affordable accommodation in New York City. Keep reading!



Greenwich Village and the West Village

This wide section is what most people think of when they envision “Classic New York” – the beautiful chestnut brownstone buildings, the leafy sidewalks and the hip cafes and small boutiques.

This is after all, where Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw character had her apartment in Sex and the City! If you plan to go out at night, stay in the Village for easy access to some great bars and jazz clubs as well as trendy nightclubs in Meatpacking.

The Village is one of the best places to stay in New York if you want classic Manhattan facades and a small town charm in the big apple.


Soho and the East Side

Soho is particularly great for shopping while the Lower East Side is the spot for great food, drinks and bars. If you’ve seen all the touristy sights and just want to live like a local for a weekend in New York, this is the hip section of Manhattan to stay!

You can grab authentic Chinese food in Chinatown, grab a cannoli in Little Italy or shop till you drop on any of the endless chain stores and boutiques all throughout Soho. For my fashionistas and nightlife lovers, Downtown Manhattan is the place to stay in New York.


best affordable hotels in manhattan


The Best Hotels in New York City

To summarize, here’s a handy chart of our recommended best Manhattan hotels. All include free wifi and are known for comfort, great locations and great customer service.

Name Location Best For Price
Gatsby Hotel Lower East Side All travelers Check rates & availability here
Hotel Americano Chelsea Families Check rates & availability here
The Times Hotel Times Square All travelers Check rates & availability here
NYLO Hotel Upper West Side Families Check rates & availability here
Hotel Hugo SoHo Shoppers Check rates & availability here
 Read more:  Where to Stay in New York for Under $150/night


Will this be your first time visiting Manhattan? 


Visiting NYC – Travel Checklist

New York City has 3 airports: John F Kennedy (JFK), the bustling international hub; LaGuardia (LGA), the run down smaller airport near Astoria Queens; and Newark Airport (EWR) which is actually in New Jersey. You can check for flight deals here for your upcoming trip – for better rates, make sure you include all 3 airports.

Be sure to visit New York with travel insurance. Whether you get injured and need to be hospitalized, or your phone gets stolen, or a delayed flight leaves you with nothing but the clothes on your back, travel insurance will help when you need it most. I use and recommend Allianz travel insurance.

Everything about the city is expensive (sorry). From food to accommodation to sights, try to save up a healthy vacation fund and then enjoy the entire visit. I do recommend booking hotels in NYC – the city is cracking down on AirBnBs and slowly declaring them illegal. You can check here for last minute accommodation deals.

Getting around, on the other hand, is easy! The subway system is extensive and follows a North South grid (for the most part). If you want to avoid the grime, use Uber and Lyft on your phone or hail a cab by sticking out an arm. Cabs with lights on the roofs mean they’re open and available!


 You Might Also Enjoy: 


New York City Vacation Planning Articles

An Insider’s Guide to New York City Museums

Guide to the Best Coffee Shops and Acai Bowls in NYC

The Best NYC Furniture Stores for Every Budget


Fun Events & Things To Do

Institute of Culinary Education Class Review (+ Promo Code)

NY Botanical Garden: Orchid Evenings

Art After Dark at the Guggenheim Museum

Cherry Blossoms on New York’s Roosevelt Island

Christmas & New York City’s Holiday Train


New York City Eats & Restaurant Reviews

Asian: Cha-An, Hatushana Sushi, Mihoko’s 21 Grams, Jinya Ramen

Brunch: The Wren, The Meatball Shop, Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg

Dinner: The Wayfarer, L’Artusi, Racines, Tamarind, Sociale

Fine Dining: Musket Room, River Café, The Modern, AnnisaBenoit


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