Brooklyn vs. Manhattan: Which Is Better?

If you are moving to New York, you may be wondering which borough is the best.

Brooklyn and Manhattan are both great places to live, but how do they compare? And which borough is the best one to live in?

This article will compare the two New York boroughs and help you determine which one is best for you. We will answer some common questions about Brooklyn and Manhattan, which one is more expensive to live in, which borough is safer than the other, where you should live in each borough, and finally, how to get around the city from both boroughs.

Which borough is better will depend on your lifestyle, but Manhattan and Brooklyn are great places to live. They each have their benefits, which is why New Yorkers love them both.


Comparing Brooklyn vs Manhattan: Common Questions

There are many questions that people ask when comparing the two boroughs. If you are looking to move to one of them, these questions will answer some initial questions so you can decide which one is best for you.

Are Manhattan And Brooklyn The Same? How Is New York City Different?

New York City is made up of five main areas, called boroughs. Manhattan and Brooklyn are two of the five boroughs, along with Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Within the five boroughs are smaller neighborhoods.

Typically when people refer to New York City, they refer to Manhattan because that is where many of the popular neighborhoods, biggest attractions, and city life are. But, Brooklyn is a part of New York City too.

When comparing Manhattan vs Brooklyn, the two are completely separate areas that sit across the East River from each other. So, Brooklyn and Manhattan are not the same, but they are both a part of New York City.

Is Manhattan Bigger The Brooklyn?

Manhattan is smaller than Brooklyn in both population and geographical size. Manhattan is just over thirty-three square miles in size. Brooklyn is nearly three times larger at ninety-seven square miles. Manhattan has over one million, six hundred thousand residents.

Brooklyn has nearly nine hundred thousand more with two and a half million residents.

However, Manhattan is denser than Brooklyn, with nearly seventy thousand residents per square mile, which is double Brooklyn’s density of thirty-five thousand people per square mile.

Where Are Brooklyn And Manhattan?

Manhattan is on an island between the Hudson River and the East River, west of Queens. There are a few smaller islands that are also part of Manhattan. The island is separated into three parts, Uptown, Midtown, and Lower Manhattan.

Brooklyn is southeast of Manhattan and south of Queens on the western tip of Long Island. To get between Brooklyn and Manhattan, you need to cross the East River, which is possible by car, bus, foot, bike, and subway.

What Is There To Do In Brooklyn and Manhattan?

Many tourists who visit New York City choose to visit Manhattan over the other four boroughs. Manhattan has the biggest NYC attractions like Central Park, Times Square, Broadway, and many skyscrapers with viewing decks.

Manhattan is also home to the United Nations Headquarters, Wall Street, and many museums like the American Museum of National History and the MET or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

While tourists do not visit Brooklyn over Manhattan, there are many things to do there. Brooklyn has Coney Island, an old amusement park, and two large parks: Prospect Park and Marine Park. There are many ethnic neighborhoods with authentic restaurants and cultural events. There is also a lot of art and innovation in parts of Brooklyn.

Is Brooklyn Or Manhattan More Expensive?

Manhattan is the most expensive borough to live in. The housing costs are higher in Manhattan than in Brooklyn for both renters and owners.

According to Rent Café, the average rent in Manhattan is $3,872 per month, with an average apartment size of 701 square feet.

Ninety-five percent of apartments in Manhattan have rent prices of two thousand dollars or more. The remaining five percent cost between fifteen hundred and two thousand per month.

As for Brooklyn, rent is much cheaper than Manhattan, according to Rent Café. The average rent in Brooklyn is $2,810 per month, and the average apartment is 685 square feet. While seventy-five percent of Brooklyn apartments cost more than two thousand dollars per month, the other twenty-five percent cost between one thousand and two thousand.

When you break the monthly rent cost down by the number of bedrooms, a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan averages $3,431 per month. A one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn is $2,808 per month. For two-bedroom apartments, you will pay an average of $5,046 per month in Manhattan versus $3,295 per month in Brooklyn. (Source: Apartment List)

There are also family homes for sale in boroughs. The median home price for listings in Manhattan is one million, three hundred thousand dollars. The average price per square foot is one thousand four hundred dollars. (Source: Realtor)

The median home price for listings in Brooklyn is nine hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars. The average price per square foot is seven hundred and twenty-five dollars. (Source: Realtor)

Living in Brooklyn is significantly cheaper than living in Manhattan.

Where Should I Live In Manhattan?

Manhattan has some of the city’s best neighborhoods, and Greenwich Village and the Upper East Side are among the best.

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village is a neighborhood where you can find some of the trendiest places in NYC, including shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

The West Village is part of Greenwich Village, and it borders the Hudson River. The West Village neighborhood has many small theaters, musical performances, and small boutique shops.

The average rent in Greenwich Village is $4,024 per month. The average rent in the West Village part of the neighborhood is slightly more expensive, at $4,304 per month.

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side is between Central Park and the East River. Over history, it has been home to many prominent figures. Some of the nicest places to live in the city are in the Upper East Side, but it also has some of the highest real estate prices.

The rent prices on the Upper East Side range from $2,200 for a studio apartment to $3,400 for a two-bedroom apartment. Still, many people move to Upper East Side because of the location and opportunities.

Where Should I Live In Brooklyn?

Brooklyn has many diverse neighborhoods to suit any lifestyle. There are many family-friendly neighborhoods, and downtown Brooklyn offers great proximity to Manhattan.

Downtown Brooklyn

Downtown Brooklyn is in the northwest part of the borough and is surrounded by neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene.

There are many high-rise buildings and shopping areas in the neighborhood.

To the north are the East River and the Manhattan bridge. Just west of the neighborhood is the Brooklyn Bridge which runs between Brooklyn Heights and Manhattan. The average rent in the Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood is $3,340 per month.

Family-Friendly Neighborhoods

There are a lot of options for families in Brooklyn. Neighborhoods like Park Slope near Prospect Park and Fort Green near Downtown Brooklyn have single-family homes and apartment buildings that are great for families.

There are many tree lined streets and playgrounds in these neighborhoods for kids.

Is Manhattan Or Brooklyn safer?

Crime occurs everywhere, including in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New York City. But, there are safer areas than others.

Safe Neighborhoods in Manhattan

Manhattan is safer than Brooklyn when you compare the lowest violent crime rates per capita.

Out of the twenty safest neighborhoods in NYC, six of them are in Manhattan.

Here are the prettiest Manhattan neighborhoods that are safe and best to live in:

• Sutton Place
• Beekman
• Battery City Park
• Carnegie Hill
• Tudor City
• Roosevelt Island

These neighborhoods are spread out across the island, so you have some options if you choose to move to one of them.

Safe Neighborhood in Brooklyn

On the other hand, Brooklyn only has one of the twenty safest neighborhoods: Bergen Beach, in the southeast corner of Brooklyn.

We have a comprehensive article on the best areas to live in Brooklyn, check them out.

High Risk Neighborhood in Brooklyn

When we look at the twenty most violent neighborhoods in NYC based on violence per capita, eight of them are in Brooklyn, more than any other borough.

Here are the eight Brooklyn neighborhoods on the highest violence list:

• Vinegar Hill
• Downtown Brooklyn
• Greenwood Heights
• East New York
• Ocean Hill
• Fort Greene
• Brownsville
• Navy Hill

High Risk Neighborhoods in Manhattan

Manhattan has five of the most violent neighborhoods in NYC. The number is less than Brooklyn, and the neighborhoods with the highest crime tend to be where tourists go when they visit New York City.

So, you will be safe if you keep an eye on your belongings and do not have any flashy or expensive items on you. Still, Manhattan has fewer areas with violent crimes compared to Brooklyn.

Here are the five neighborhoods in Manhattan that make the list of top twenty violent crime rates per capita:

• Times Square & The Theatre District
• Meatpacking District
• Koreatown
• Garment District
• Union Square

Therefore, if you want to live in a safer borough, you should live in Manhattan and avoid the neighborhoods with the highest violent crime rates.

How Do I Get Around The City From Brooklyn And Manhattan?

Public transportation is a huge part of life in New York City. Since many New Yorkers do not own cars, they rely heavily on trains and buses, especially in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The Subway System

The NYC subway system is the largest in the world, with four hundred and seventy-two stations. It is also one of the oldest, opening in 1904.

There are twenty-eight subway lines, and twenty-five of them have stops in Manhattan. The only three that do not are the G subway line, the Franklin Avenue Shuttle, and the Rockaway Park Shuttle. In Manhattan, over seventy percent of residents use public transportation to commute to work.

The G line and the Franklin Avenue shuttle both operate in Brooklyn, along with seventeen others. The Franklin Avenue Shuttle runs between Franklin Avenue and Prospect Park. More than ninety percent of Brooklyn residents take the subway when they travel into Manhattan.

New York City Buses

Both boroughs have a high number of buses that run through them. There are local buses and express buses. Local buses have more stops, and express buses stop less often and are great for getting between the two boroughs.

Other Transportation Options

Taxis are a great way to get around Manhattan with more than thirteen thousand authorized yellow cabs. Taxis are not as prominent in Brooklyn, but there are also private vehicle services that you can hire. Or you can use a ride-share service like Uber and Lyft, which operate in both boroughs.

There is also a bike share program called Citi Bike. You can get a membership and borrow one of the twenty thousand bikes from any of the more than thirteen hundred stations.

There are stations throughout all of Manhattan and in the northwest part of Brooklyn, closest to Manhattan. You can also get a single ride or one-day pass to use a Citi Bike.

Why Do People Move From Manhattan To Brooklyn?

While Manhattan is the better choice for most people, there are some benefits of moving to Brooklyn instead.

First, Brooklyn is cheaper to live in. You can save an average of one thousand dollars per month if you live in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan. There are also many ethnic and diverse neighborhoods in Brooklyn if you want to live in a neighborhood with many people from a specific country or ethnicity.

The ethnic diversity extends into the restaurants and entertainment in Brooklyn. If you love a specific country’s food or shows from a certain nationality, you can easily find them in Brooklyn. For example, Bergen Beach has a large population of Italian Americans.

Finally, Brooklyn has more low-rise apartment buildings and single-family homes, whereas Manhattan has more high-rise condominiums. If you want to live in a place more suited for families or want to avoid tall skyscrapers, you will be much happier living in Brooklyn.

Which Borough Is Better?

The debate between the two New York boroughs is never-ending. You will love living in Manhattan if you want to live in a bustling part of the big city, with proximity to entertainment, offices, and more.

The cost of real estate is much higher than in Brooklyn, but the great neighborhoods, extensive transportation options, and many entertainment options nearby.

Brooklyn is a cheaper place to live, and it still has major benefits. There are lots of ethnic neighborhoods, cultural restaurants, and there are many ways to get to downtown Manhattan for work and entertainment.

Most people will undoubtedly choose Manhattan over Brooklyn if they can afford it. Unless you want to find a tight-knit, ethnic community with cheaper housing, Manhattan is better than Brooklyn.

You will need to choose which one fits your lifestyle the best when debating Manhattan vs Brooklyn, but New Yorkers love both boroughs, so you can’t go wrong with either.

If you’re looking to relocate to a neighborhood in Brooklyn or Manhattan, you can hire an  NYC moving company. Looking to move affordably, we found a cheap NYC mover here.


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