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Exploring NYC Communities: Top 10 Must-Visit Neighborhoods

City Guide July 24, 2023


In the words of pop icon Taylor Swift, Welcome to New York, it’s been waiting for you. When you consider visiting the United States, New York is usually on that list. NYC is huge, and there are so many neighborhoods and spaces that it can be overwhelming when you’re trying to figure out where to stay that’s not Times Square (not that there’s anything wrong with it). This is why we’re here exploring NYC communities to tell you about the Top 10 Must-Visit Neighborhoods and give you a better understanding of them.

Before venturing off into the city, we recommend being luggage-free. Navigating the New York alleys with bags is not a good idea. If you’re looking for luggage storage for a day in New York City, Nannybag is here to do just that. How convenient! To store your luggage or big bags, you can download the mobile app and see where we’re located around the city. Our locations have been vetted, so you can roam the city free, knowing your bags are in good hands. Now onto our Top ****10 NYC Neighborhoods!



We’re starting the list off in Brooklyn because we’re different, calm, and unlike other guides. Williamsburg is the hip and slightly edgy neighborhood of Brooklyn. Here you’ll find a vibrant community of creatives, and you'll find them frequenting the trendy coffee shops. Oh, and the coffee shops here are another highlight. Your caffeine cravings will be more than satisfied, from artisanal lattes to nitro cold brews.

In the streets, you’ll find funky street art and colorful murals popping up at every turn. Williamsburg sits right along the East River, giving you some killer views of Manhattan. Whether taking a stroll along the waterfront or hopping on the East River Ferry, the sights are breathtaking.

The nightlife here is a bonus, with a mix of funky bars, live music venues, and rooftop hangouts. There’s something for everyone.

Fun fact: Some of the world's most renowned street artists have turned the neighborhood into an open-air gallery of colorful artworks.

Closest Metro Stop: Bedford Avenue Station (L Train)



This area is much more than a Brooklyn Bridge backdrop. DUMBO stands for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass" and does offer a picturesque waterfront setting with stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline. But this artsy neighborhood is a treasure trove of art galleries with many art galleries showcasing all sorts of creative stuff. From quirky local art to mind-blowing international pieces, you can soak up some serious artistic vibes here. The killer views, artsy vibes, and awesome atmosphere make it a top-notch destination.

Fun fact: Before becoming the artsy hotspot it is today, DUMBO was once a major industrial area filled with factories and warehouses. This is your sign that you, too, can reinvent yourself— if you want.

Closest Metro Stop: York Street Station (F Train)



Park Slope

Often ranked in the list of best NYC neighborhoods, Park Slope exudes an air of sophistication with its opulent brownstones and row houses, some fetching millions of dollars. This part of the city is more family-centric and invites young professionals seeking a quieter place. While you’re there, visit Union Hall, a one-of-a-kind bar spanning 5000 square feet, adorned with bookshelves and inviting leather couches, creating an intimate ambiance. In the mornings, visit Prospect Park and get a coffee from Cafe Regular.

Fun fact: Park Slope was one of the first neighborhoods in New York City to embrace composting!

Closest Metro Stop: BMT Fourth Avenue Line (R Train)



Ok, now moving into Manhattan. BMT Fourth Avenue Line (R Train). Immerse yourself in a world of vibrant culture and flavors from all over Asia. This neighborhood showcases authentic Asian markets, traditional eateries, and ornate temples. Discover hidden gems, sample delectable dim sum, and experience a fusion of East and West here. The cool thing about Chinatown is that it's super budget-friendly, which makes it a real gem for peeps on a budget looking for a sweet spot in the city. This area can be busy and overstimulating, but if you want a taste of Asian culture, it’s one of the NYC neighborhoods you must visit. And don't miss the Museum of Chinese in America, a total cultural gem that'll take you on a wild journey through the rich history and heritage of the Chinese-American community.

Fun Fact: Chinatown has the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere.

Closest Metro Stop: Canal Street Station (J, N, Q, R, W, Z, 6 Trains)



Hell’s Kitchen

Despite its name suggesting aggression, Hell's Kitchen is a vibrant and enjoyable neighborhood, according to the locals. Hell's Kitchen holds numerous Broadway and off-Broadway theatres, making it a hub for theater lovers. For those seeking green spaces, Bryant Park offers an ice skating rink in winter and free movie screenings in the summer. Located in Midtown Manhattan, striking a balance, being close enough to the chaos of Times Square yet offering a slightly more tranquil atmosphere.

Fun Fact: Hell’s Kitchen was originally called Clinton, and many still refer to the city by its original name.

Closest Metro Station: 50th Street Station (C and E trains)


East Village

The East Village embodies an electric mix of counterculture, artsy venues, and a thriving nightlife that stands as one of the most artistic parts of the city. The East Village is unique compared to other Manhattan neighborhoods due to its prior immigrant population. Historically, the majority of the population was blue-collar and lower-working class. Currently, it’s a neighborhood full of students from NYU, Pratt, The New School, and post-grad 20-somethings, so do with that what you may. If one word could describe this area, it would be fun. The apartments here aren’t luxurious, and there aren’t many subway stops around this area, so you might want to think twice if you're a commuter. While here, don’t miss the chance to savor the area's legendary New York pizza.

Fun fact: East Village was the birthplace of the punk rock movement in the 1970s!

Closest Metro Stop: Astor Place Station (4, 6 Trains)



Lower East Side

This fun and vibrant neighborhood is similar to the East Village, but it has its differences— I mean, why else would it be on this list? The area has a big party culture and newer buildings than those found in the East Village, so if you’re looking for more luxurious amenities, I would check this one out.

Spend your time here exploring vintage shops, enjoying live music venues, and savoring an array of international cuisines from Chinatown and Little Italy that are nearby. There are also museums and galleries sprinkled throughout the area.

Fun fact: During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, millions of immigrants arrived in the United States through Ellis Island, with many settling in the Lower East Side.

Closest Metro Stop: Delancey Street-Essex Street Station (F, J, M, Z Trains)



It is situated north of Central Park and stands as one of the most culturally vibrant and diverse New York City communities. The city has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. Harlem has long been a haven for black writers, musicians, and intellectuals, and it was the epicenter of the famed Harlem Renaissance. Being up north in the city does mean you’ll need to commute more to get into more central parts of the city. But this spot carries huge significance in the city, and seeing New York City through its community is an experience like no other.

Fun fact: The ice cream cone was created here!

Closest Metro Stop: 125th Street Station (A, B, C, D Trains)



Greenwich Village

Often referred to as "The Village,” Greenwich Village is a bohemian neighborhood with an artistic and countercultural past. A highlight of the neighborhood is the iconic Washington Square Park. In your free time, you can sit on a park's benches, surrounded by musicians, performers, and chess players, soaking in the atmosphere.

Due to its recent popularity, the prices have spiked due to the limited size. In the small area, you can, however, find the city’s best bakeries, such as Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street. Greenwich Village is a hotspot crowded during holidays, such as the Halloween Parade and the Gay Pride Parade, which you should experience at least once if you live in NYC or you’re visiting then!

Fun fact: The Stonewall Inn is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and an iconic symbol of LGBTQ+ resilience and activism.

Closest Metro Stop: West 4th Street Station (A, B, C, D, E, F, M Trains)


Upper West Side

The Upper West Side is an elegant and family-friendly neighborhood that boasts beautiful architecture and a strong cultural scene. It’s family-friendly, making it popular among families and young professionals. You can also find the Lincoln Center, one of the world's premier performing arts venues, is a cultural beacon that hosts an array of ballet, opera, theater, and symphony performances.

From its proximity to Central Park, Riverside Park, and the American Museum of Natural History, this area offers a blend of sophistication and natural beauty. The Upper West Side also boasts a diverse culinary scene, with an array of top-notch restaurants, cafes, and gourmet markets. This area doesn’t have a huge nightlife

Fun fact: John Lennon was killed here. This one isn’t fun, just interesting.

Closest Metro Stop: 72nd Street Station (1, 2, 3 Trains)

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