NYC Neighborhoods

What are the different areas of New York City?

New York City is full of things to see. Great restaurants, sights, and arts influenced by the many different cultures in the NYC neighborhoods are making it almost impossible to decide where to begin. Let’s dive deeper into the NYC neighborhoods and the 5 boroughs. New York is a magical place that somehow managed to create many different communities within the city. 

Geographically, New York is a city with 5 boroughs, 59 community districts and hundreds of different neighborhoods that are continuously evolving. It’s not uncommon that there are new NYC neighborhoods developing all the time such as Hudson Yards in 2019. New York City never fails to amaze us with its ongoing transitions and its very own distinctive atmosphere. In total there are 1,000 cultural organizations across the five boroughs.

Know the 5 boroughs of New York

New York City has 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. As a matter of fact, each borough is part of 5 New York’s counties. These counties were joined in 1898. Until then the city of New York was only formed by Manhattan.

What are the 5 Boroughs?

Each NYC borough has its own charm. Manhattan is probably the most famous NYC borough. Manhattan is known to be the cultural, financial, media, and entertainment capital of the world and is the number one destination for many tourists visiting New York City.

Brooklyn is just as popular but very different at the same time. Brooklyn is not only larger, both in terms of land area and population than Manhattan but is also the melting pot in New York City. Brooklyn is an eclectic hotspot for art and culture. But also offers lots of entertainment and a lively food scene.

Queens is not as glamorous as Manhattan and definitely not as cool as Brooklyn but by being the most diverse NYC borough it is just as exciting and worth exploring. Costs of living are also cheaper in Queens. There are so many really fun things to do in this fun NYC borough and it is never as crowded as Manhattan.

New York neighborhoods are full of attractions. Head uptown to the Bronx and explore the birthplace of rap/hip hop music. Fun fact the Bronx is the NYC borough with the highest percentage of land dedicated to parks. To many disbelieves the Bronx is actually are a much safer place than it used to be. Many areas of Brooklyn are considered way more dangerous. 

Last but not least Staten Island is the least populated of all of New York’s five boroughs. The original home of the Wu-Tang Clan is today famous for its great residential areas and the opportunity to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Staten Island Ferry makes living on the island easier in case you work in Manhattan.

Get to know the New York Neighborhoods

While visiting New York City there are so many different NYC neighborhoods explore. Hang along for our NYC neighborhoods map, a full list of the NYC neighborhoods and some really fun facts like how NYC neighborhoods got their names and what is the most dangerous neighborhood in New York City?

NYC neighborhoods map


Our NYC neighborhoods guide

For each and every NYC neighborhood, we have prepared you a complete guide for the best things to do in each NYC neighborhood. From a day full of sightseeing in Midtown to pure relaxation on Brighton Beach in Coney Island.

Things to do in Manhattan

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Things to do in Queens

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Things to do in Brooklyn

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Things to do in the Bronx & Staten Island

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FAQ about New York neighborhoods

What is the most dangerous neighborhood in New York City?

Certain areas in New York City having a bad reputation for being dangerous or unsafe. But if you asked me what is the most dangerous part of New York City? Well, to be fair, New York City is a pretty safe place. Brooklyn is a little bit more unsafe in some areas like East New York, Brownsville, or some parts of Bushwick for instance.

The Bronx and Harlem are up and coming and way safer than they used to be many years ago. Of course, even there, there will always be a few blocks you shouldn’t go to at night. Parts of the Bronx like the South Bronx are still known to be as a little rough.

For me personally, I would avoid NYC neighborhoods at night like the Theater District, Hells Kitchen and even Central Park. As a woman living in the city, I also don’t take the subway late at night and do not walk around alone by yourself in those areas mentioned above.

What is the coolest neighborhood in New York?

The hippest and coolest neighborhoods in New York City are for sure Williamsburg, Astoria, Dumbo, and Harlem. As mentioned before every district somehow creates its very own vibes and is a small city itself. Everywhere you’ll find deep cultural roots, art, hip locals and many fun things to explore.

Which ones are the safest neighborhoods in NYC?

If you’re looking for the safest neighborhoods in NYC, consider Tribeca, Battery Park City, Nolita and DUMBO as the safest all over NYC.

How NYC neighborhoods got their names?

A lot of the NYC neighborhood names were influenced by the Dutch or wealthy residents in the neighborhoods or boroughs in the past. Here are some of my favorites:

Red Hook is a maritime district that has always been defined by the port and shipping that made Brooklyn one of the country’s busiest regions. Red Hook got its name from the Dutch “Roode Hoek,” which refers to the red clay soil of the neighborhood.

The Meatpacking District used to be home to over 250 slaughterhouses and meatpacking markets whereas the Garment District got its name from housing half the City’s textile manufacturing plants in the 20th century. The Flatiron District found its name thanks to the (guess what) the Flatiron Building. All the acronyms you see in the NYC neighborhoods are pretty simple to explain  as well:

  • SoHo – SOuth of HOuston Street
  • NOHO – North of HOuston Street
  • TRIBECA – TRIangle BElow CAnal Street
  • NOLITA – NOrth of LIttle ITAly

Profilbild Steffen Kneist
About the author

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

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