blog.categories.trip-and-adviceArea guide
Casey Makovich

Which Area of New York Should You Stay in for Sightseeing?

Wondering where to stay in New York City? Planning a sightseeing tour of the Big Apple can at first seem overwhelming. There are so many attractions in the city that you won't want to miss, but seeing all of New York City can take a lifetime. The neighborhood in which you're staying plays a huge role in your trip. You want to choose a hotel that's located in an area close to major attractions, such as:

  • The Empire State Building
  • Rockefeller Center
  • The 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • The Intrepid
  • The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • Museum Mile on the East Side of Central Park

Free Entry with The New York Pass®

Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. Of course, this list includes just a few of the hundreds of attractions that are sure to strike your interest. To plan the best possible trip, you should research the neighborhoods of New York first. Choose the one that most interests you and offers easy access to your must-see attractions.

Where to Stay in New York City - 5 Neighborhoods to Consider Times Square/The Theater Distinct/Hell's Kitchen

The Times Square area is probably one of the most iconic parts of New York and one of the most popular places to stay for sightseers. It's centrally located to many of the biggest attractions. Times Square is in roughly the same area as the Theater District and the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. This part of New York has everything. Times Square itself is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions. You'll be walking distance from attractions such as Ripley's Believe it or Not and Madame Tussaud's. From Times Square, you're just a brief walk from major Broadway theaters in the city including the Shubert Theatre, the Minskoff Theatre, the Winter Garden Theatre, and the New Amsterdam Theatre. If you like to eat good food when you're on vacation, you won't be disappointed by the offerings of Hell's Kitchen. This area of the city is notorious for its culinary offerings and offers world-class cuisine from all over the world. Stay in the Time's Square/Theater District neighborhood if you want to be conveniently located to attractions like the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center and also hit a few Broadway shows during your stay.


Chelsea is located to the south of Hell's Kitchen. The area extends from around 15th Street to 38th Street on the west side of Manhattan. If you're wondering where to stay in New York City to fully experience the arts and culture scene, Chelsea delivers. Known as one of NYC's premier artsy destinations, Chelsea is filled with tons of art galleries that rival the MoMA and fine dining restaurants. If you stay in this neighborhood, one of its highlight attractions is Chelsea Market, a historical area that's home to a variety of eating establishments and little shops that sell fresh produce, meats, baked goods, crafts by local artisans, and more. Another attraction that's convenient to Chelsea hotels is the Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex on the Hudson River. This is a sporting complex offering a spa, indoor soccer fields, a rock climbing wall, ice skating rinks, and a marina. Chelsea is right next to Hell's Kitchen, so it is also not too far from attractions like the Empire State Building, the Broadway theaters, and Rockefeller Center.

Union Square/Flatiron

Union Square is centrally located toward the southern tip of Manhattan. It is just east of Chelsea and northeast of Greenwich Village. The Flatiron building, which was constructed in the early 20th century, is probably the most iconic sight in this part of the city. One of the biggest advantages of the Union Square/Flatiron area is that it is located at a central hub of the New York City subway system, making it a convenient place to stay for those who are planning on getting around by subway. Tip: Union Square/Flatiron is a good option for an area to stay if you want to hit both Midtown attractions like Times Square and the Empire State Building while also making it to some of the major attractions way downtown like the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

The Financial District

The Financial District is located down at the southern tip of Manhattan. This area offers vacationers a bit more quiet than more bustling neighborhoods like the Theater District and Chelsea. However, the Financial District is also home to some attractions that most vacationers visiting New York won't want to miss. Most people who sightsee in New York these days will want to see the emotionally-charged World Trade Center Complex and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, an essential attraction that recognizes one of the most important events in New York's history. The Financial District is close to other important historical attractions like the Statue of Liberty. In addition to being located near these attractions, the Financial District is the home of Wall Street and perhaps one of the most important business hubs in New York City and the entire world.

The Upper East Side

Historically, the Upper East Side (UES) has been home to some of the crème de la crème of New York society. This is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city with some of the most valuable real estate. The UES is also an ideal place to stay if art and culture are what is drawing you to New York. It's convenient to Museum Mile and some of the best art museums in the city. Museum Mile is the stretch of Fifth Avenue that runs along the East side of Central Park and is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. In addition to the art museums, Central Park itself is very accessible to hotels on the Upper East Side and is a must-see New York attraction.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

Choosing where to stay in New York City to maximize your sightseeing itinerary is a great start to planning your trip. Next, choose the hotel in that area that works best for your budget and needs. And remember, being in close proximity to the most popular attractions can save you time in your day and allow you to visit more attractions. With more stops on your itinerary, that means you'll be spending more money on admission. Therefore, you should look into purchasing a New York Pass which grants you free entry to over 90 attractions in New York City. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.

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