New York City is a great place to live, but it can be overwhelming to decide where in the city to live.
This article has the best and safest neighborhoods in NYC, so you can easily find a good neighborhood to live in.
There is also a list of average apartment prices for every neighborhood in the article.
- 1 Safest Neighborhoods in NYC
- 2 Best Neighborhoods in NYC
- 3 Apartment Costs by Neighborhood
- 4 Common Questions about NYC Living
Safest Neighborhoods in NYC
First, we have listed the safest neighborhood or area in each of the five boroughs.
The data is from the New York Government website and is based on the crime rate over eighteen months per one thousand residents in each neighborhood.
The neighborhoods and areas listed are the safest relative to the others in their borough.
Upper West Side – Manhattan
The safest place neighborhood in Manhattan which people move to is the Upper West Side. The south half has less than twelve crimes per every one thousand crimes, and the north half has just over twelve crimes. There is more information about the neighborhood in the next section since it is one of the best in NYC.
Borough Park – Brooklyn
Borough Park is in the west-central part of Brooklyn, and New York City Police reported less than seven crimes per one thousand residents.
North and Western Queens
The north and west parts of Queens are very safe, with less than one crime reported per one thousand residents. Astoria, a neighborhood on our list of best places in NYC, is included in the safest region of Queens.
Riverdale – The Bronx
Riverdale is the safest neighborhood in the Bronx, with the lowest crime rate. It is in the very northern part of the Bronx, and it is the most northern part of New York City. Just north of Manhattan, it’s one of the affordable places to live in NYC.
Every police precinct in Staten Island had less than one crime reported per every one thousand residents, making it a very safe place to live no matter where you are on the island.
Best Neighborhoods in NYC
Since New York City is so large, it can be hard to decide where in the city you should live. We have listed the ten best places to live in NYC so you can find the best neighborhood for you.
Each neighborhood has great attractions, plenty of transportation options to help you get around the city, and great housing and food options.
#1 Upper West Side
Another upscale neighborhood in Manhattan is the Upper West Side. It sits on the west side of Manhattan between Central Park and the Hudson River. The neighborhood borders 59th Street to the south and 110th Street to the north.
The buildings in the area are some of the most historical in the whole city, and there is a variety, including smaller apartment buildings, historic homes, and high-rise buildings.
Columbia University is in the neighborhood. Not only do students enjoy the neighborhood, but many residents appreciate the beauty of Columbia, and it is a great place to walk through.
Another good outdoor space is Central Park which has many play areas, pedestrian paths, and green spaces adjacent to the neighborhood, so residents can easily access it.
Other popular attractions in the neighborhood include the massive American Museum of Natural History, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and many other theaters and museums that everyone in the neighborhood will enjoy.
From the Upper West Side, it is very easy to get to Lower Manhattan by train. The 1, 2, and 3 lines run through the neighborhood center, and the A, B, C, and D lines run along the east side of the neighborhood next to Central Park.
#2 Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is on the east of Central Park and spans to the East River. 96th Street lines the north border of the neighborhood, and it runs south to 59th Street.
The neighborhood is one of the nicest in the entire city and has had many prominent residents over the past century, including Andrew Carnegie, the Rockefellers, the Kennedys, and the Roosevelts.
The neighborhood is a great place to live if you love museums, especially art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met, is the largest art museum in the United States, and it is on the west side of the neighborhood. A few streets north is the Guggenheim, another art museum focusing on modern and contemporary art.
In addition to the two famous art museums, other cultural and historical museums line Fifth Avenue in the section known as the Museum Mile, all in the west part of the neighborhood next to Central Park.
As for transportation in the neighborhood, there are a couple of train lines, including the 4, 5, and 6 lines and the N, Q, R lines. You can also travel on one of the more than ten buses that have stops in the area.
Moving to the Upper East Side, you’ll also see smaller neighborhoods of Lenox Hill, Yorkville, and Carnegie Hill.
#3 Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village is a large neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan between 14th Street and Houston Street from north to south.
The neighborhood borders the Hudson River on the west, and the east border is Broadway Street.
One of the biggest draws of Greenwich Village is NYU which has its main campus in the center of the neighborhood. While the neighborhood has many students from the college living there, it is just a small part of the neighborhood’s demographics at ten percent.
Over forty percent of people who live in Greenwich Village are between the ages of twenty-five and forty-four, so most of the neighborhood is young.
Another big attraction is Washington Square Park which spans nearly ten acres. The park is one of New York City’s most popular, with a famous fountain and the iconic Washington Square Arch. You can also find many smaller parks and playgrounds throughout the neighborhood.
Greenwich Village also has a high number of off-Broadway theaters and shows. There are music shows, many of which highlight jazz music and comedy shows. There is also an art museum presented by NYU adjacent to Washington Square Park.
It is easy to get around the city using the many train lines that run through the neighborhood. Most of the train lines that run through Manhattan have stops in Greenwich, including the A, C, E line in the western part, and the B, D, F and 1, 2, 3 lines through the middle.
The West Village and the Meatpacking District are smaller sub-neighborhoods within Greenwich Village.
#4 West Village
The West Village is on the west side of Greenwich Village, opposite the East Village. The neighborhood goes to the Hudson River on the west and from 14th Street to West Houston Street from North to South.
The High Line starts in the West Village, a unique place to enjoy some green space in the city. The High Line is a great place to spend time outside, get some exercise, and enjoy the city.
Hudson River Park is another park in the neighborhood on the West Side. It spans more than the West Village, but within the neighborhood, there are multiple piers in the park in addition to paths for walking and biking, playgrounds, and sports fields.
The West Village, real estate market has the most expensive home prices in the United States, with more than two thousand dollars per square foot.
As for transportation in the West Village, the A, C, E lines run through the center of the neighborhood in addition to many buses and the NYC bike share program.
#5 East Village
The East Village is between Greenwich Village the East River to the west and east, respectively. On the south border is East Hudson Street, and 14th Street is to the north.
East River Park is the largest park in the East Village, spanning more than fifty acres between the East Village and the Lower East Side.
Tompkins Square Park is another large park in the neighborhood. It covers over ten acres, and it has many areas for recreational activities like a baseball field, basketball courts, a dog run, and multiple playgrounds.
Within the East Village are three smaller neighborhoods: Alphabet City, the Bowery, and Little Ukraine. Alphabet City is the area that includes Avenues A, B, C, and D, and it is an ethnically diverse area. The Bowery has many luxury apartment buildings. Little Ukraine has been home to many Ukrainian Americans for the past two centuries.
The best way to get around New York City from the East Village is by taking the more than ten buses that run through the neighborhood. There are also stops for a few train lines, including the F train, the 6 train, and the L train.
#6 Battery Park City
Battery Park City is a neighborhood located on the southern tip of Manhattan. The Hudson River surrounds the neighborhood to the south, north, and west. To the east is the Financial District and the West Side Highway.
Many of the buildings in the neighborhood are high-rises, some of which are considered the best in the city, like Millennium Point and The Solaire. There are also some offices in the area, so it is a great place to live if you happen to work in Battery City Park.
A large part of the neighborhood is parks and green spaces. Teardrop Park is the most popular, and it is near the One World Trade Center. Other parks, playgrounds, and sports fields are found throughout the neighborhood, so you can easily find a place to enjoy the outdoors.
While there are no subway lines in the neighborhood to take you to other parts of New York City, it is easy to walk to the east and catch a train in the Financial District. You will also be close to the water taxis and ferries that run from Manhattan to New Jersey and Staten Island.
SoHo is in the center of Lower Manhattan. It is just south of Houston Street, which is where the name of the neighborhood comes from.
On the southern edge is Canal Street, 6th Avenue is to the west, and Crosby Street is on the east edge.
The biggest attractions of SoHo are the trendy art galleries, boutiques, and many other popular stores.
Like Greenwich Village, most residents are in their twenties, thirties, and forties, so the neighborhood leans younger and more hip.
Since 1978, most of SoHo has been listed as a National Register of Historic Places. The historic area is called the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, which contains many buildings made with cast-iron elements.
Many of New York’s subway lines run through SoHo, including the A, C, and E lines, the 1 and 2 trains, and the 4 and 6 trains. Three buses run through SoHo.
Astoria is in the northwestern part of Queens. It is on the west side of the East River, and it is surrounded on the other side by other Queens neighborhoods.
One of the biggest attractions in Astoria is Astoria Park. It is the largest park in the neighborhood, and it has the largest public pool in New York City. There are also other sports areas for tennis, basketball, soccer, and more.
There are many museums in Astoria and a Sculpture Park, the oldest Beer Garden in New York City, and a historical society. The Hell Gate Bridge connects Astoria and Queens to Manhattan.
Due to its proximity to Manhattan, you can easily commute between Astoria and Manhattan. The train lines in the neighborhood include the M, N, R, and W trains. Ten buses have stops in Astoria.
#9 Park Slope
Park Slope is a neighborhood in New York City’s borough of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is to the west of Prospect Park, and it slopes downward, hence the name.
Nearby Prospect Park is one of the best parts of living in Park Slope. The park covers more than five hundred acres, and it is the second largest in Brooklyn.
There are many sports areas, playgrounds, and picnic areas in the park. There is also a lake with a boathouse and an outdoor concert area, so the park is a great place to live next to.
In addition to the park, some of New York’s best restaurants and bars are in Park Slope. You can also find many historic buildings in the area, both residential and others.
From Park Slope, it is easy to get around Brooklyn and to other areas in NYC. There are many train lines in the neighborhood, including the F and G trains and the 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains, among others. There are also a few bus lines that you can use to get through Brooklyn.
#10 Prospect Heights
On the north side of Prospect Park and Park Slope is Prospect Heights. The neighborhood is small compared to others in Brooklyn, but it is a great place to live and is very culturally diverse.
The biggest attraction in Prospect Heights is the Barclays Center. It is a large arena where professional basketball teams, the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Liberty play.
In addition, other events are held here like concerts, other sporting events, and conventions. The Barclays Center is a great place to live near if you like going to the games and shows, but the neighborhood does get busy on event days.
You can find many options for places to live in the Brooklyn neighborhood. The buildings in Prospect Heights are diverse, ranging from historic buildings dating back to the nineteenth century to new high-rise apartments.
It is easy to get around NYC from the neighborhood. Five buses run through the neighborhood and multiple train lines, including the 2, 3, B, and Q trains.
Apartment Costs by Neighborhood
These are the ten best neighborhoods to live in in New York City, but how much does it cost to live in each neighborhood?
We have listed the median monthly rent price for a studio, a one bedroom, and a two bedroom apartment, according to Zumper.
The neighborhoods are listed from most expensive to least based on the one bedroom monthly rent.
But, remember that a more expensive neighborhood can be worth the cost because of the central location, the quality of housing, and the safety and amenities of the neighborhood.
#1 Greenwich Village
- Studio Apartment: $2,823
- One Bedroom: $3,900
- Two Bedrooms: $4,175
#2 Battery Park City
- Studio Apartment: $2,998
- One Bedroom: $3,765
- Two Bedrooms: $5,445
#3 West Village
- Studio Apartment: $2,639
- One Bedroom: $3,700
- Two Bedrooms: $5,543
#4 Upper West Side
- Studio Apartment: $2,300
- One Bedroom: $3,210
- Two Bedrooms: $4,800
- Studio Apartment: $2,520
- One Bedroom: $2,900
- Two Bedrooms: $8,200
#6 East Village
- Studio Apartment: $2,565
- One Bedroom: $2,768
- Two Bedrooms: $3,410
#7 Upper East Side
- Studio Apartment: $2,000
- One Bedroom: $2,600
- Two Bedrooms: $3,896
#8 Park Slope
- Studio Apartment: $1,975
- One Bedroom: $2,595
- Two Bedrooms: $2,700
#9 Prospect Heights
- Studio Apartment: $2,121
- One Bedroom: $2,398
- Two Bedrooms: $2,948
- Studio Apartment: $1,684
- One Bedroom: $1,900
- Two Bedrooms: $2,200
Common Questions about NYC Living
Here are answers to some of the most asked questions about living in New York City.
What salary do you need to live in NYC?
The rule for determining what salary you need to live in NYC is to multiple your rent by three.
For example, if your rent costs two thousand dollars, multiply by three and you need to make six thousand dollars a month before taxes. This is equal to seventy two thousand dollars per year pre-tax.
You can also determine where you can live in NYC. If you make sixty thousand dollars per year, or five thousand dollars per month, you can divide five thousand by three to find your monthly rent should be no higher than $1,666.
What salary do you need to live comfortably in NYC?
While the salary that you need to live in NYC should be three times your rent, you should make more if you want to live comfortably. The cost of living in New York City is one of the highest in the country. Entertainment, housing, food, and transportation all cost more than they do in other cities.
For example, a meal out at a mid-priced restaurant can cost around fifty dollars per person, and a meal at a nice restaurant can easily cost over one hundred dollars. This can make a big dent in your wallet if you dine out frequently and only make three times your rent.
If you make four to five times your rent, you will have extra spending money for shopping, entertainment, and food without having to worry about your budget. If you live an even more luxurious lifestyle, you will want to make even more than five times your rent.
Where do Millennials live in NYC?
Millennials in NYC tend to live in Lower Manhattan, specifically near SoHo and Greenwich Village.
While these neighborhoods can be more expensive, they are near a lot of shops, nightlife, and they have an easy commute to anywhere in Manhattan.
For millennials who are established in their careers and have a high paying job, the higher cost of living in Lower Manhattan is worth it.
Where should I live in New York in 2021?
Since 2020, people have been leaving cities for suburban homes with more space. This migration has caused a drop in prices in NYC real estate in an attempt to keep people in the city.
Because of the drop in prices by landlords desperate to rent out their properties, you can afford to live in a neighborhood that was too expensive before. Year over year, home and apartment prices have decreased significantly. (Source: Norada Real Estate, July 2021)
For example, if your budget for rent is twenty three hundred dollars per month, you might be living in Brooklyn or Queens prior to 2021. But with dropping rent prices, you may be able to find a place in Manhattan that is in your budget.
You could also stay in your favorite Queens or Brooklyn neighborhood and upgrade to a larger apartment.
Remember that your rent price can go up at the end of your lease. If you want to keep your lower rent price, you can sign a longer lease, such as an eighteen month lease instead of twelve.
How to move to New York?
Relocating to New York City is a challenge, it’s not called the city that never sleep for nothing. If you’re moving to the city, be sure to get the services of NYC moving companies.
You can choose from available small load movers if you don’t have a lot of items to transport.
If you need to save cost, there are cheap affordable New York movers based locally.