NYC Boroughs

by Female Abroad

The big apple. The city that never sleeps. Empire City. Whatever you call it New York is the city that the majority of people want to visit. Whether you go to make it big, take in a show, or to culture yourself there is something for everyone.

Now if the only New York City you know is through photos, movies, and TV shows then you are would be generally thinking of Manhattan which is only a small part of New York City. The entire city is made up of five boroughs (pronounced bur-row) although some people will argue six.




Staten Island


While I won't talk about the sixth borough here, the New York times did a great piece on it back in 2004 (you can read it here)

Which borough you stay in is dependent upon how much time you have and what you want to see. Usually people will stay in Manhattan just for the ease of access to all three airports (JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark), the cruise terminal, and just general access to all the boroughs in general.

Manhattan: economic and administrative center, culturally significate as this is where the city started, densely populated

Queens: found on Long Island, most ethnically diverse urban area in the world

Bronx: the only borough that is mostly on the mainland; known for where Jennifer Lopez comes from and where Edgar Allen Poe died, home to the Yankees and Rikers Island

Staten Island: the "arm pit of New York", "the forgotten borough", originally part of New Jersey

Brooklyn: also on Long Island but connected to Manhattan and Staten Island by bridges, most populated of the five boroughs, lots of hipsters and families

A typical stay in New York is about a week and these people will stay in Manhattan (usually midtown) as they are there to catch some shows or a taping and will pop on the subway if they want to explore upper or lower. Business people or people with more time will stay in Lower Manhattan as the financial district is here, there are lots of walkable places, and it is easy to jump on the ferry to head to Queen, Staten island, Brooklyn, and even New Jersey.

If you are staying in Upper Manhattan or midtown expect to spend a pretty penny on accommodation. Upper Manhattan is where you will find all the high end chains. Midtown will have midlevel accommodations but as they are close to everything tourists want to see don't be surprised if you see U$ 3-400/night for a tiny standard room for two. For downtown Manhattan, hotels will be pricier during the week as they cater to business clientele mostly.

Also note that in Manhattan the majority of people don't drive. They will cab (expensive), uber / lyft, or take the subway so if you do need to travel around keep this in mind as traffic can get pretty bad and not all hotels will offer parking.

Anything longer than two weeks (or if you are looking for cheap accommodations) then people will normally venture outside of Manhattan. Depending on what their interests are / what you will be doing will determine which boroughs you will want to be in (check out my other pages on the borough specifics). Generally however the second most popular borough after Manhattan is Brooklyn since it still has a variety of things to do and if you get a car rental then you can explore the area/boroughs easily.

What is your favorite borough? Drop us a line and let us know!