Best NYC Neighbourhoods

There are five boroughs in New York City; Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. Many people the world over have pictured themselves living in New York City neighbourhoods, spending their days strolling through the bustling streets with their iconic cast-iron architecture, iconic city skyline, and cosmopolitan vibe. What’s the next best thing to being a local New Yorker? Booking a stay at a hotel in NYC and setting off to explore the city by foot. If this is also you, dream no more because, with our insider NYC travel guide, you’ll feel like a lifelong New Yorker and a habitue of these streets! 😉

With just under nine million people, New York City is densely stacked with every kind of eatery and every kind of entertainment – each area having its own distinct flavour. Here are five of our favourite neighbourhoods in NYC to explore the next time you’re in the Big Apple.

Photo: Sehee in New York City for Flytographer. Joanne and partner capture memories on a trip to NYC with a couple photoshoot.

1. Midtown & Times Square

What do you think about when you think of New York City? If the dazzling lights of Times Square, the hustle-bustle of the Grand Central Terminal, or the breathtaking skyline views of Manhattan from above come to mind, you’re thinking of Midtown, NYC’s most celebrated neighbourhood. Midtown is the city’s beating heart with lots of things to see and do – from admiring contemporary artworks at the Museum of Modern Art to experiencing the glitzy magic of Broadway shows. Midtown is also packed with many foodie pockets such as the Hell’s Kitchen district to experience. Technically, it all happens between 14th Street and Central Park South.

It’s the largest central business district in the world—the Empire State building is here, along with the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center and Broadway. Mile-high skyscrapers abound, but then you have the 843-acre patch of sprawling lawn, tree and water feature-filled green space, Central Park. It sits between the American Museum of Natural History, the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side, bridging the city together. Another quite prominent intersection in NYC is Fifth Avenue and Broadway, where you’ll find the historic triangular-shaped Flatiron Building.

NYC’s busiest neighbourhood can indeed be overwhelming, so we’re here to help you out with this mini travel guide with tips on the best things to do in Midtown Manhattan. 🏙

Photo: Amanda in New York City for Flytographer. Jody and daughter capture memories on a trip to NYC with a family photoshoot.

2. Greenwich Village

We are talking about one of New York City’s most charming, hip, artsy, food-packed areas. The Village includes the neighbourhoods of the West Village and Meatpacking District. Washington Square Park is one of New York City’s most recognizable parks with its famous arch and fountain — icons of the Village. Home to the Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village is the birthplace of the gay rights movement and the most colourful of the New York City neighbourhoods! 🌈

West Village, or “Little Bohemia” is an area inside Greenwich Village, on the west side of Manhattan. It’s long been a hub for artists and creatives and their progressive ideas, and over the years it has fostered this bohemian lifestyle and the Village’s icons reflect that. The Cherry Lane Theatre, established in 1924, is New York City’s oldest running Off-Broadway theatre. Also along this vein, the Whitney Museum of American Art started here, the West Village hosted the first racially integrated nightclub in the U.S., called Café  Society, with artists that included Nat King Cole, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Ella Fitzgerald to name a few. Are you looking for some instagrammable shots? The High Line in the area by Chelsea is another one of the best places to take pictures in NYC.

Read on to hear all of the best things to do in Greenwich Village from a genuine New Yorker and one of our very own – Flytographer Amanda

Photo: Flytographer in New York City. Melissa and partner capture memories in NYC with a couple photoshoot.

3. SoHo

Nestled between Tribeca and Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan and only a stone’s throw away from Little Italy, Chinatown, and the Bowery lies one of New York City’s most fascinating neighbourhoods. South of Houston Street, or SoHo as it’s known to the world, is an area in Lower Manhattan that is a shopper’s paradise.

In the 1970s and 80s, SoHo was an artsy neighbourhood; today, it maintains its creative allure, but it has also developed into a prime shopping district full of luxury boutiques and fine art galleries. Today you’ll find its Belgian block buildings and big-windowed lofts housing designer flagships for Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, along with Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. 🛍

Without further ado, here is our list of hidden gems and top things to do in SoHo NYC.

Photo: Armando in New York City for Flytographer. Meredith and friends capture memories on a girls’ trip to NYC with a friends photoshoot in SoHo.

4. Brooklyn & DUMBO

When you think about New York City neighbourhoods, iconic structures dotting the famous Manhattan skyline probably come to mind: Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Chrysler Building, and maybe even the Brooklyn Bridge. 🗽 Crossing this famous bridge gets you to the heart of the borough of Brooklyn! Here, the buildings are shorter and the pace is slower (okay, not that slow! This is still NYC, after all, 👟💨), but culture, flair, and things to do certainly aren’t lacking.

Head to the corner of Washington Street and Front Street to get that iconic Insta view of the circa 1912 Manhattan Bridge. Is it Sunday? That means you’ve got to check out the upscale market Brooklyn Flea Dumbo (part vintage bazaar, part food bonanza), which runs April through October. Brooklyn Bridge Park covers 85 acres along the East River, so a summer stroll here in the sunshine, taking in the views of Manhattan is a must. From here you can watch the Staten Island Ferry pass by on the way to view the Statue of Liberty from the waterway (the best view of the iconic structure)!

Wander the idyllic, residential streets of this established neighbourhood just south of Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn Heights features cobblestoned streets lined with posh brownstones making for a charming and much less crowded backdrop for photos.

This expansive borough across the East River includes neighbourhoods like Williamsburg, Flatbush, Greenpoint, Gowanus, Bushwick, and more, and each has its own unique personality. ✨ We’re bringing you our mini travel guide for the best things to do in Brooklyn!

Photo: Marilyn in New York City for Flytographer. Jessica and partner capture memories in NYC with a couple photoshoot near the Brooklyn Bridge.

5. Central Park

A magical respite in the middle of Manhattan where the noise of the city vanishes — Central Park is one of the most remarkable places in all of New York City and we are might just be saving the best for last.

Central Park is massive, running from 59th Street to 110th Street (that’s 2.5 miles/4.0km tall)! The Park includes a zoo, castle, carousel, theatres, ice skating rinks, playgrounds, a swimming pool, sculptures, restaurants, lakes, ponds, a reservoir, gardens, meadows, lawns, sporting fields & courts, waterfalls, trails, wildlife, and somehow, a whole lot more. 🌳

It’s easy to get lost, and impossible to take it in all at once. Central Park is a backyard to New Yorkers and a wonderland to visitors. The juxtaposition of this giant gem 💎  of solitude right in the middle of one of the loudest, most chaotic cities in the world makes it a must-see. Check out the lower east side towards Greenwich Village for a bite if you get hungry in your walking tour of Uptown.

Read on to find out all the best things to do in Central Park from our local Flytographer, Amanda.

Photo: Amanda in New York City for Flytographer. Hillarie and family capture memories in Central Park with a family photoshoot in NYC.

Capturing memories in NYC

There’s so much more to see and do in Manhattan neighbourhoods. You might also want to explore the Long Island City and borough of Queens or catch a show at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Perhaps you’re looking for another natural respite in your city tour and wish to take a stroll through Battery Park. To make your visit even more memorable, book a Flytographer and capture the charm that lies in one of your favourite New York City neighbourhoods with a unique photoshoot session. 📸