Williamsburg Coolest Place To Stay In New York City
Across the East River in cool Brooklyn, youll find Williamsburg, a hipster hood that oozes cool around every turn.
Williamsburg isnt just the coolest neighbourhood in New York City it routinely ranks as one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the world, characterised by its thriving arts scene and vibrant nightlife. This is the place to see and be seen in New York.
At the centre of Brooklyn, Williamsburg is well connected to Manhattan and easy to reach from the rest of NYC. Its home to eclectic restaurants, boutique shops, stylish bars, hip tattoo parlours, and rustic rooftop patios.
Ultimate Guide To Affordable Budget Hotels In Nyc
When people think of the Big Apple, one word that comes to mind is expensive. Those people would be correct, to an extent. Surprisingly, there are actually quite a few affordable hotel options both in and around New York City, you just have to know where to look. Researching all that can take a while though, so we took the liberty of doing all the research and finding the best budget hotel options.
For Upper East Side Regality: The Mark Hotel
The Mark, one of our picks for The Best Luxury Hotels in the World, offers a very particular look at New York City. The Upper East Sider POV means the Met Gala is in your backyard, which may as well be Central Park theres personal shopping at Bergdorf Goodman an onsite Frédéric Fekkai hair salon top-tier, 1,400-square-foot fitness center avant-garde furnishings and decor as well as fine dining at The Mark Restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges. This is the poshest way to experience the city, but a grounded one at that, thanks to The Marks affinity for cheek.
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Getting From Jfk To Manhattan:
Leaving from JFK Terminal 4, you have to purchase the $5 JFK AirTrain ticket which will take to Jamaica Station. From there you can connect to the NYC Metro and buy the 7-day Metro pass or a single ticket for $2.75 . Then take the Long Beach line, Babylon line, or the E line into Manhattan and to your hotel. Total time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Save Up To 70% With The New York City Attraction Passes
If its your first time visiting the Big Apple and you want to see all the major attractions on a budget, then the New York CityPASS is the way to go. The prices start at $136 per adult and $112 per child, so while its not cheap up front, it does save money if you plan to see NYCs six biggest attractions.
Included in the price you can visit:
- Ferry access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
- Guggenheim Museum OR Top of the Rock Observation Deck
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The bonus is that you will wait in a separate line at most of these places, which is much shorter than the regular ticket line. When you consider that entering the Empire State Building costs $66.41 and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck costs $41.37, the New York CityPASS more than pays for itself by using it to see just three attractions.
Recommended budget tip:New York Pass Comparison Which New York Pass should you buy?
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Best Hostel In Upper West Side Hi Nyc Hostel
The HI NYC Hostel is conveniently located on the Upper West Side. It is well-connected throughout the city via the subway and a short walk to restaurants, parks, cafes, and landmarks.
HI NYC Hostel has an in-house theatre, billiards table, comfortable lounge, and recently renovated bathrooms. It also offers a laundry service and free wifi.
Things To See And Do In East Village New York
- Dine on delicious dishes and enjoy a chill atmosphere at Mayahuel Mariposa.
- Sip urbane cocktails at Amor y Amargo.
- Enjoy outstanding drinks and an intimate setting at Death & Company.
- Dance the night away at Webster Hall.
- Try a variety of craft beers at Proletariat, a dark and cosy East Village hotspot.
- Indulge in the incredible dishes at Momofuku Ko.
- Treat yourself to a divine breakfast at Russ & Daughters.
- Savour fresh and flavourful dishes at Prune.
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Best Cheap Mid Budget And Luxury Hotels Near Soho New York City
SoHo is another area in which you can easily find a hotel to suit your travel budget. NobleDEN and CitizenM are top rated budget hotels, which we highly recommend.
We stayed at Arlo SoHo and it was fine, but in the budget price point, we suggest either of the other two if more affordable.
The Crosby Street Hotel is stunning. If you can afford to splurge and stay here, do it! Along with its Central Park sister The Whitby Hotel, they are the two top rated hotels in NYC on Booking.com.
Here are the best hotels for each budget around SoHo :
- 9. Luxury The Crosby Street Hotel 9.5 *
Best Cheap Mid Budget And Luxury Hotels Near Times Square New York City
Times Square hotels are plentiful and span the entire travel budget range. This area has the highest concentration of low budget rooms in NYC.
We stayed at AC Hotel for a night, which was great. It has a rooftop bar and affordable room rate. The Riu Plaza often runs discounted prices but our top pick for Times Square is CitizenM as long as you can get it at a good rate.
Top tip: If youre a photographer and cant afford to stay at Renaissance Times Square, go in to the lounge for a drink and youll get one of the most iconic views over Times Square.
Here are the best hotels for each budget around Times Square :
- 10. Luxury The Chatwal 9.1
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Midtown South Manhattan Where To Stay In New York City To Be At The Heart Of Everything
Midtown South in Manhattan is about the closest area we could come up to encompass the strip of real estate between Madison Square Park and Bryant Park, sandwiched between 5th and 6th avenues.
This central strip of Midtown South is where you will find NoMad, Koreatown, Empire State Building and Macys department store.
Technically this area could stretch a little further South and West into Chelsea, which we loved walking around but think is more for third, fourth or fifth time visitors to NYC.
East Village Where To Stay In New York For Nightlife
East Village is one of the most vivid and energetic areas in the entire New York and its my recommendation for people interested in nightlife and exploring the best pubs and bars!
The East Village is a pretty unique and special area, as it has an interesting mix of old and new, modern and old-school, which can be seen everywhere from the streets to the buildings and the overall vibe. There are also plenty of rooftop bars and late-night clubs here, so you can rest assured that you can never get bored here, even if you try!
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New York City On A Budget: 17 Money
Its true: New York City aint cheap! Accommodation is notoriously expensive, and food can add up if you dont know where to find cheap eats! But theres good news: Weve rounded up our top tips for traveling to NYC on a budget so you dont come home from the Big Apple completely broke! Read up on money-saving advice, cheap places to eat and free things to do in New York City.
New York City is notoriously expensive, but that doesnt mean you cant stick to a budget. There are plenty of free things to do in NYC and other ways you can save money during your trip.
Weve put together our best money-saving tips for traveling in NYC so you dont come home from vacation completely broke!
Whether this is your first time visiting New York City or The Big Apple feels like your second home, these tips will help you travel NYC for cheap!
Disclaimer: There may be some affiliate links on this page, which means when you click we get a small percentage of the purchase at no extra cost to you. This allows us to keep sharing great travel tips, so feel free to click away!
What Gives Us Credibility
Why should you trust us to know what were talking about?!
Well, New York was so irresistible to us, we actually moved to the city for three months in early 2021 and spent our entire temporary residency relentlessly exploring the city.
That certainly doesnt make us NYC experts, but it means we have a deeper knowledge and understanding of the popular places to stay than most.
For the purposes of this guide, we spent our own time, effort and money staying at many of the hotels we recommend below.
But perhaps more importantly, we have not recommended some of the hotels we stayed at if we didnt think they would be a good fit for visitors who dont know the city well.
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Where To Stay In The Lower East Side
Historically the epitome of multiculturalism, the Lower East Side is today one of Manhattans most exciting neighbourhoods, with the citys best vintage-clothing stores, restaurants and especially happening spots for drinking, dancing and live music.
Best for traditional meets modern: Blue Moon Hotel
Lower East Side tenement transformed into a luxurious boutique hotel, with rooms named after 1930s and 1940s starlets and decked out with period iron-frame beds and the odd antique.
Best for boutique charm: The Ludlow
Chic boutique hotel with gorgeous terraces, black and cream silk rugs, white-marble tables and round brass chandeliers from Morocco.
This feature contains affiliate links you can find out more about why weve partnered with booking.com here. All recommendations are editorially independent and taken from The Rough Guide to New York City.
Our Methodology For Choosing The Best Hotels
In addition to the criteria previously listed above, we considered these additional factors:
Price: We looked for typical starting room rates under $230 per night, with most hotels coming in under $200 per night in low season.
First-hand experience: Every hotel on this list was stayed at and vetted by our team. We considered the value rooms offered, location, decor and design, and more.
Reviews: In addition to our own first-hand stays, we thoroughly researched reviews and ratings on trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor, Hotels.com, and Booking.com, and took into account the experience and reviews of other recent guests.
Guests: We chose the best cheap hotels in New York City for a wide audience, including families, couples, solo travelers, and business travelers.
Amenities: We looked for hotels with great amenities that go beyond the usual chain offerings, from excellent dining options and rooftop bars to free bike rentals.
COVID-19 safety: In light of the pandemic, we selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of guests with strict new cleaning policies.
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The Best Hotels In New York Are:
- Best for art: The Whitby,Booking.com
- Best for history: The Inn at Irving Place, Hotels.com
- Best for design: The High Line Hotel, Booking.com
- Best for value: The Marlton, Booking.com
- Best for families: The Carlyle, Booking.com
- Best for hipsters: The Ludlow, Booking.com
- Best for views: Standard High Line, Booking.com
- Best for shopping: The Mercer, Booking.com
- Best for eco chic: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Booking.com
- Best sense of place: The Wythe, Wythehotel.com
- Best for New York first-timers: INNSIDE Nomad, Booking.com
- Best for a touch of class: Soho Grand, Booking.com
- Best for some zen: MADE Hotel, Booking.com
- Best for atmosphere: The Bowery, Booking.com
- Best for longer stays: Loews Regency, Booking.com
The Independent’s hotel reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and book, but we never allow this to affect our coverage.
Where To Stay In New York For A Unique Stay
If you are looking for a very unique experience during your stay in New York, there are two neighborhoods for you to consider.
These two have the typical New York look and feel but with a little bit of edge and hints of evolution.
They also happen to offer exclusive boutique accommodations, unlike anything you will find in other parts of New York.
So what are these mystery locations you ask?
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Check The Neighborhood First
This is my biggest tip as a few people have reached out to me after booking a cheap place to stay in New York City only to realize upon arrival that the neighborhood wasnt great and they didnt feel safe walking at night there.
I tend to use caution in recommending neighborhoods to tourists as New York City has crime and carrying your expensive camera around certain areas is likely to attract attention. I especially recommend using caution if youre a woman traveling solo in New York City. I strongly recommend looking up the neighborhood before booking.
My recommended NYC neighborhoods to stay in on a budget: I recommend staying in the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Astoria, Williamsburg, and Long Island City. If youre open to it, consider staying in Staten Island or Jersey City for lower rates.
Neighbourhood: Long Island City
Directly opposite Manhattan across the East River, Queens Long Island City offers ever-evolving art, food and drink scenes, superior skyline views, and much bigger hotel rooms than youll find over the water at more affordable rates. Case in point: The Boro, a super-slick, industrial-chic bolthole, where guests stylish digs have 10ft ceilings, and refreshingly roomy en suites . Downstairs, the lobby bar does a fine line in crispy, thin-crust pizzas and Negronis on tap. Dont stay inside too long, though: youre only two subway stops from Manhattan, and walking distance from Astoria, recently named a coolest neighbourhood in the world by the international team at Time Out. LC
Price: Rooms from $159
In case an in-room hammock isnt enough to sell you on Nu Hotel , theres also the fact its ideally located for exploring the best of Brooklyn, without paying oh-so-trendy Williamsburg rates. In between Cobble Hills beautiful brownstones, Atlantic Avenues boutique shopping, and Downtowns commercial convenience , youre also a short walk from seven different subway lines, so getting to artsy DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights elegant waterfront, and Williamsburgs restaurants and bars is a breeze. Inside, minimal but bigger-than-average, light-filled rooms boast cork floors and organic linens. You can even borrow a cruiser bike free of charge, the Brooklyn hipsters transport of choice. LC
Price: Rooms from $111
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Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Part of the gentrification of the once gritty Lower East Side, the Ludlow opened in 2014 opposite Katzs Delicatessen. The days of artists living in cheap lofts are long gone, but the hotel lobby evokes a louche 1980s vibe of dive bars and underground recording studios, with a sociable work-rest-and-play space with low-slung leather sofas and giant Marshall speakers.
Bedrooms are bright and breezy, and most have incredible views over the city. A perk of staying in this place is that you can also leapfrog the techpreneurs and art-world hotshots who hang out here to get into the popular ground-floor restaurant, Dirty French, which is always booked up. JK
Prices: Doubles from $195
Get Discount Broadway Tickets
Seeing a Broadway show is on most peoples Bucket List when visiting NYC. If you dont do much research, you can expect to pay a hefty price for those tickets.
But luckily there are ways to score seats at a Broadway show for cheap! The most common way to get your tickets for cheap is to head to a TKTS booth where you can score same-day tickets that can be up to half-off! Or you can check online at TodayTix to find hot deals today.
Heres everything you need to know about getting discounted tickets to Broadway shows.
And if you cant get a cheap ticket, but still want to be entertained, head to Ellens Stardust Diner, order a milkshake and fries, and prepare to be wowed by the talented performers that are sometimes up-and-coming Broadway stars!
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Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Having the top-hatted bellhops at this Beaux Arts brick building open the door to you in the same way they do for high-profile dignitaries is enough to give you a thrill. Find your way to one of its 188 rooms and suites, and you dont know which VIP or celebrity you might pass last time I was there, Daphne Guinness was getting a blow-dry in the salon.
The eye-popping cityscape views from the upper floors evoke sweeping opening scenes from the movies. George Gershwin spent time here in the 1930s, and today Woody Allen is known as a weekly regular, having played the clarinet with Café Carlyles resident jazz band. Although it recently underwent a refurb, Bemelmans Bar is as atmospheric as ever, with murals hand-painted by and named after Ludwig Bemelmans, author of the Madeline childrens books, who painted the bar in return for living here in the 1950s. Because of the link, the hotel is a good bet for well-heeled families, with Madeline-themed packages and good provisions for children. JK
Price: Doubles from $800
Hip hotelier André Balazs may have sold his pop culture-loving hotel brand, but its most iconic 18-floor high-riser still straddles the High Line in the heart of the Meatpacking District, an arms length from Chelseas galleries and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Voyeurs and exhibitionists alike appreciate the wall-to-wall windows in the 338 rooms, which ensure you can see and be seen .
Prices: Doubles from $295