Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched the best neighborhoods in Manhattan for you, so you don’t have to (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—your friendly New York City movers). We’ve examined what it’s like living in each of these highlighted neighborhoods and created in-depth guides with insider scoops on close-by, popular destinations. Soon, you’ll be living like a local. 

The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Manhattan Bellhop Blog

A Little About Manhattan and its Neighborhoods

It’s one thing to visit the Big Apple and explore the typical tourist spots. It’s another to live day-to-day on Manhattan’s busy streets. But locals have found that living in Manhattan is like finding out your favorite book is part of a long series. The excitement doesn’t end or wear off the longer you stay here—in fact, locals say it only gets better.

Manhattan changes faster than teenager moods. But regardless of all the development and differences, locals can always access anything they want or need within a few blocks. From necessities to luxuries, Manhattan locals have it all right around the corner. 

Despite what tourists think, Manhattan residents are quite friendly, and it’s not uncommon for a stranger to start up a conversation with the person standing next to them in line. These neighborly locals have all claimed spots amidst Manhattan’s 53 distinct neighborhoods. 

“The City That Never Sleeps” does have its calm moments. Despite the fact that over 1.6-million people call Manhattan home, there are quiet corners where residents can be removed from the bustle and relax. And although outdoor space is at a premium in this shiny built-up city, nearly every corner of Manhattan has a safe, clean public park. 

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But the never-ceasing excitement is always just a block or two away. And, in our opinion, this quick-paced, anything-can-happen ambiance of Manhattan’s streets is its most magical and alluring quality. 

So where should you put down roots? Which unique Manhattan neighborhood is the best for you? Below, we’re diving in and exploring the 5 best places to live in the magnetic Manhattan.


Appropriately named, this area of NYC is home to many of the city’s financial institutions like the Federal Reserve Bank and the New York Stock Exchange. The Financial District also holds well-known landmarks like the One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial. 

Within the past few years, this district has been transforming into a residential-friendly neighborhood, with close to 30,000 New Yorkers calling it home. The area is an excellent spot if you want to be close to every mode of transit NYC offers. And sitting smack dab in the heart of the city, the Financial District is the quintessential New York neighborhood, densely populated within the Manhattan borough.

What’s Happening in the Financial District

If you can believe it, they’re still squeezing new construction and developments into this tightly-packed Downtown Manhattan neighborhood. Hundreds of new units and rental apartments are underway along the southern edge of Manhattan as well as on Platt, Broad, and Dutch Street. 

The Financial District is also about to see some updates to their dining scene. Already an incredible drinking and dining hub, pulsing with the energy of world-class chefs, Pier 17 will have several new additions this year, like The Fulton seafood restaurant. 

David Chang – known for his Momofuku Noodle Bar – is opening Bar Wayō this summer. And fresh farm-to-table dishes will soon be served at the upcoming Malibu Farm. For an extensive list of FiDi’s best restaurants and bars, check out this piece by Eater New York. 

Schools in the Financial District

Schools in the area include Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, Blue School, and Stuyvesant High School among others. 

Homes in the Financial District

Housing in the Financial District doesn’t come cheap. Expect to lay down a few (um, like four) thousand dollars each month for your one-bedroom rent. 


Once a poor, working-class neighborhood, this inner-Manhattan district has steadily become one of the most sought-after and densely populated neighborhoods in the city. Skyscrapers, crowds, massive screen ads, tourists, and traffic jams – if you’ve visited NYC, you’ve seen Midtown. Closeby Broadway theaters, the well-known Actors Studio, and tons of nightlife hubs, this energetic area is a hot spot for young professionals and aspiring actors. 

What’s Happening in Midtown

The options are endless in Midtown. Drinking, dining, shopping, touring – this is where NYC’s energy explodes. Midtown is also home to many of NYC’s biggest tourist attractions. If you haven’t already, visit Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, and Koreatown. 

Moving slightly off Midtown’s center, you’ll find the more elegant Midtown East. This area boasts beautiful architecture and notable structures like Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building. Midtown East is also home to several famous department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s. For a (somewhat) escape from the crowds, visit the elegant New York Public Library. 

Schools in Midtown

Schools in the area include The Epiphany School, Saint Thomas Choir School, and Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts among others. 

Homes in Midtown

The demand for housing in Midtown hit a high a few years ago. But the supply outpaced the need slightly, giving buyers a negotiating advantage. Real estate investors are moving in fast, taking advantage of this window of opportunity. But it won’t last long. Check out the local listings and see if you can snag a deal.


The super-exclusive Gramercy has been described as “a Victorian gentleman who has refused to die.” But New York Times writer Charlotte Devree didn’t know that when she wrote this in 1957, the neighborhood would still be kickin’ it over 60 years later. And we hope that the former home of figures like President Theodore Roosevelt, Oscar Wilde, and James Cagney won’t be re-developed anytime soon.

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Gramercy is a private neighborhood in Manhattan that collects annual fees from its residents in exchange for a key into the community. At its center sits one of the two private parks in NYC, Gramercy Park. And while the park can only be used by residents, the surrounding streets and sidewalks are commonly spotted with dog-walkers and joggers. 

One of NYC’s most upscale neighborhoods, Gramercy is commonly considered to be quiet and safe. But a few blocks away, businesswomen and men bustle around vendors and activists. Gramercy sits just north of the vibrant and urban Union Square – a stark and energetic contrast to Gramercy’s serenity. 

What’s Happening in Gramercy

Gramercy residents have an easy reach to several landmarks on NYC’s east side (look below for an extensive list of Upper East Side activities). During your visit, check out the Spanish-language theater, Repertorio Español, the live music at the Gramercy Theater or Jazz Standard, and the National Arts Club. You can also stay at the Gramercy Park Hotel and have a sneak peek of what it’d be like strolling through your own private gardens. 

Schools in Gramercy

Schools in the area include Learning Spring School, New Explorations into Science, Technology & Math School, and Stuyvesant High School among others. 

Homes in Gramercy

The beautiful historic homes of Gramercy mesh well with the 19th-century buildings surrounding the neighborhood. You’ll find many Italiana and Greek Revival-style homes in the area. 


Home to some of New York’s swankiest streets as well as down-to-earth spots like Yorkville, Upper East Side is like two neighborhoods in one. The area features gorgeous townhomes, the Mayor’s Mansion, and luxury shopping. And across the street, you’ll find casual eateries, families taking walks, dog parks, and sports bars. It’s a beautiful blend of what NYC has to offer—fame, wealth, fortune, and fun—all with nearby hubs like the East River Esplanade.

What’s Happening in Upper East Side

The seven world-class cultural institutions along Museum Mile deserve a day of your visit. Madison Avenue boasts of big-name designers and resale shops as well as every cuisine under the sun. For a longer list of this area’s many amenities, scroll through this helpful Upper East Side Guide.

Schools in Upper East Side

Schools in the area include Marymount School of New York, The Hewitt School, and The Dalton School among others. 

Homes in Upper East Side

You can go big here and find a luxury, multi-million dollar home. But this area is also popular among families and new homeowners looking for something a little more affordable. 


This lovely waterfront neighborhood has significantly lower rates of assault, theft, and homicide than the national average. It’s frequently rated as one of the best neighborhoods to raise a family in the city. Think quiet on the weekends, Michelin-starred French cuisine, farmers’ markets, and tennis courts. Oh, and Leonardo DiCaprio–he lives here.

Located against the Hudson River in Downtown Manhattan, Battery Park is a planned community. Properties here are beautiful but don’t have the historic character of some surrounding neighborhoods like Tribeca. However, if newer-built homes with chic, standard aesthetics and waterfront views are what you’re looking for, Battery Park should be a must-visit on your list. 

What’s Happening in Battery Park City

Battery Park was developed strategically with a suburban feel. There are no subway stations in the neighborhood. Residents are smack dab in the middle of the city’s action, but the area is quiet enough that kids can ride bikes and scooters down the clean streets. 

One-third of the neighborhood has been reserved for parkland. And on another side of the neighborhood, West Street acts as a border between it and Manhattan. Among its attractions are the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Irish Hunger Memorial. Major downtown destinations like the 9/11 Memorial and Trinity Church are nearby.

Visiting for the first time? Stop by and shop at the upscale Brookfield Place mall or take in the waterfront views while walking through Hudson River Park. 

Schools in Battery Park City

Schools near Battery Park City include Battery Park Montessori, Battery Park City School, and Stuyvesant High School among others.

Homes in Battery Park City

Living in the area requires a sizable income, whether you’re planning on renting an apartment or buying a family-sized home. Currently, Battery Park’s median home value is right under $1M. 

There you have it: the 5 best neighborhoods in Manhattan!

We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. As we said, we coordinate local and long-distance moving services in NYC, and we would love to help.

Harrison Stevens