When are hotels in NYC cheapest?

Where to stay in New York The best parts of the city and our hotel tips

Are you planning a city trip to New York City? Cool! You will love the city! Finding a hotel in New York can be overwhelming, however. Especially if it's your first time to New York. In our article we will help you orientate yourself in New York. We'll show you where in town you can best stay overnight and give you our hotel tips.

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Hey We are Jenny & Basti

We are the founders of 22places, the 22places online photography course and the cameral love online shop. 22places is your starting point for helpful travel tips and easy-to-understand photo tips - independent and above all: always honest.

We are the founders of 22places - your contact point for helpful travel tips and easy-to-understand photo tips - independent, authentic and above all: always honest. Just learn to take pictures in our online photography course and browse our cameral love online shop.

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The word has probably got around by now that New York is not a super cheap destination for a city break.

But to be honest: For us, the metropolis is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Yes, New York overnight stays are not a bargain, but they are worth every penny!

There are tons of articles about the cheapest way to sleep in New York, and of course there are - beds for less than 100 euros a night.

For accommodation in New York City, however, in most cases the nice phrase “You get what you pay for” applies, meaning quality has its price.

So that you can find the perfect accommodation in New York for you, you should definitely ask yourself the following question: In which part of New York do you stay the best?

Jenny had the privilege of living in New York for a year and knows the city very well! We want to pass on their knowledge to you in this article.

In our article we will show you how to get the most out of your accommodation in New York, give you valuable accommodation tips and answer the question of where you should stay in New York.

You can find even more tips for your vacation in New York here:

A first orientation in New York

With a population of around 8.5 million, New York City is the most populous city in the United States.

It's not for nothing that Manhattan is full of skyscrapers. An incredible number of people live in a relatively small area and the 50 million tourists who visit New York every year also have to go somewhere.

Obviously, orientation is not so easy at first when you come from tranquil Germany to the huge metropolis.

By the way, New York City consists of 5 boroughs, which are called boroughs in English.

  • Manhattan
  • Brooklyn
  • Bronx
  • Queens
  • Staten Island

If you are sightseeing in New York, only Manhattan is interesting for you. There you will find the most important and famous sights of New York.

4 of the 5 parts of New York that we recommend you to stay overnight are therefore also in the Manhattan district.

Tips for staying in New York


With New York's horrific real estate prices, it's no wonder, to be honest, that hotels on a budget are more of a rarity.

If you want to spend as little money as possible on your accommodation in New York and you have no problem with having to travel a certain distance, we have a few tips for you for cheap accommodation in New York below in the post.

But if, like us, you like to spend the night comfortably (fair value for money!) And love to be in the middle of the action, then our article is perfect for you.

But now to the prices: From around 200 euros you can get a chic middle-class hotel in a good location. Cheaper hotels are usually of a significantly poorer quality, and for less than 100 euros it is almost impossible to find a room in a good location.

If you place a little more value on comfort and luxury and would like a large room, you often have to pay 300 or even 400 euros per night.

The price also depends on the travel time. You get the cheapest room rate in January, February, July and August. In the main travel seasons, such as April, May, September and October, the rooms are most expensive.

Attention: accommodation and room tax

The City of New York charges an overnight fee of 14.75 percent and a room tax of $ 3.50 per day.

The overnight fee is usually not included in the price when booking online and is added to the price at the end.

On Booking.com you will find this notice when you have selected a hotel and then check whether there is still availability for your desired dates.

In our example photo, the turquoise arrow points to the spot.

In the end, the tax is added to the specified hotel price.

You will then see the total price in the next booking step.

Quality vs. Price

If you look for good reviews when booking, you can't really go wrong. But there are a few things you should know: New York hotels are tiny. And when we say tiny, we mean tiny too.

It doesn't quite match the tiny hotels in Japan, but we're talking about 15 square meters at a room price of around 200-250 euros, depending on the location.

We don't think that's a bad thing, but many are simply surprised on their first visit.

A good reason to give you our general tip on luggage at this point: Pack lightly and minimalistically.

By the way, we'll show you how we do this in our packing list for city trips. So you don't even have the problem of not being able to store your luggage in the small rooms.

Book early

An important tip for an overnight stay in New York is definitely that you should book as early as possible. The metropolis is a popular destination for tourists all year round.

Especially in the main travel season, many hotels are quickly booked up and you have to take what is left at the end.

Where to stay in New York Book a hotel in the right part of New York

What you should definitely pay attention to is where in New York you are staying.

Which part of New York is best for you to stay also depends a lot on how long you stay and what your plans for your city trip are.

No matter which New York district you choose to stay the night, you should make sure that you are not too far from a subway station (subway).

We now explain which part of the city is best for you.

Where to stay in New York The best neighborhoods on one map!

To make it easier for you to find your way around, we have put together a map for you that shows you the areas we recommend to stay overnight.

For an even better orientation in Manhattan, we have also drawn 10 important sights in the city for you.

We recommend these 5 city districts for overnight stays:

Midtown:Ideal for the first visit to New York.
Upper East Side:Ideal for luxury, shopping and museum lovers.
Chelsea & Greenwich Village:Ideal for New York romantics.
Soho & Lower Eastside:Ideal for hipsters and scene lovers.
Queens:Ideal for those who want to spend less money.

In the next sections we will explain which of the marked districts is the right one for you.

Our New York hotel tips for the respective districts

For each part of the city that are suitable for overnight stays, we give you a selection of approx. Three hotels sorted by price. We have selected all the hotels linked here based on our personal requirements for a hotel.

We would choose the middle price range ourselves, as these hotels usually offer the best value for money for us.

Our personal top hotel recommendation for New York

Our favorite hotel in New York is the CitizenM Hotel in Times Square, which is great value for money in a perfect location.

We have already stayed in a CitizenM in Rotterdam and were already thrilled at the time.

Each hotel has only one room category, all rooms have the same structure and are extremely modern. We are absolute fans of CitizenM and can only warmly recommend the hotel.

Another CitizenM will open in the Bowery in autumn 2018. If you've been to New York several times and don't want to spend the night in Times Square, the CitizenM in Bowery is a very good alternative.

For newbies: Midtown

Midtown is the place to stay for you: If you are in New York City for the first time, want to see as many sights as possible in a short time and you don’t feel like having to travel long distances.

90 percent of all New York visitors are in perfect hands in this part of the city. Not only is Midtown the most popular area for hotel search, it's also the part of the city with the largest selection of hotels in every price range.

Here you live within walking distance of many of the most important and famous sights: 5th Avenue, Times Square, the Broadway theaters, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Rockefeller Center, Central Park and the Empire State Building are not far path.

From Midtown you can explore the city perfectly on foot and from there you can also get to all other parts of the city perfectly.

All major subway lines run through Midtown, so you never really have to go that far to the next station. So perfect!

Benefits of staying in Midtown:

  • Super central
  • Super connected
  • Huge selection of hotels in every price range
  • Many sights are within walking distance

Cons of staying in Midtown:

  • An area for tourists, not locals
  • The density of cool restaurants is lower than in the other districts
  • The many tourists on the street can sometimes be exhausting
  • Volume (when booking a hotel, make sure that the reviews don't complain about too much noise).

Our personal hotel recommendations for Midtown:

For luxury lovers: Upper East Side

The Upper East Side is the place to stay for you, if you like it a little quieter, you want to go jogging in Central Park in the morning and above all want to explore New York's museums.

Although the Upper East Side has changed a little over the years, the typical image of the Upper East Side still prevails: only beautiful, rich people with expensive clothes and small dogs live there, but they don't take them for a walk themselves.

This is a bit of a cliché, of course, but there is actually a lot of truth to it. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, it is worth staying overnight in the Upper East Side.

You will find beautiful houses there, luxury boutiques line up and Central Park is omnipresent.

On 5th Avenue, which runs east along Central Park, you'll find the city's most famous museums. This part of 5th Avenue is also called the Museum Mile.

There you will find z. B. the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitain Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, the Goethe House and the new gallery.

Advantages of staying in the Upper East Side:

  • Within walking distance of many of the city's major museums
  • Central Park is right outside the door
  • Quieter than the other districts

Disadvantages of staying in the Upper East Side:

  • The hotels are a little more expensive than in the other districts
  • Small selection of restaurants and bars, especially in cheaper price ranges
  • Slightly longer journey to the sights in the south of Manhattan

Our personal hotel recommendations for the Upper East Side:

For romantics: Chelsea & Greenwich Village

The Chelsea and Greenwich Village boroughs are ideal places to stay for you, if you have already been to New York, have already ticked off the most important sights and want to immerse yourself more in New York life.

But there are also great districts for you if you just don't want to live in the tourist corners, but rather where real life happens.

Greenwich Village is the artists' district and just like Chelsea, it is teeming with life. In Washington Square you can listen to the street musicians for hours and watch the passers-by without getting bored.

You can walk through narrow, windy streets and admire the sandstone houses that are typical of New York, or you can eat in one of the many cute little restaurants.

There are also some very good comedy clubs in Greenwich Village, and you should visit at least one of them. If you are into jazz bars, you will also find it in the Village.

If you are into chic clubs, you will find several of them in the Meatpacking District, which incidentally also belongs to this part of the city.

Benefits of staying in Chelsea & Greenwich Village:

  • You are in the middle of New York life
  • You have a large selection of great restaurants in every price range
  • You have a large selection of very stylish hotels at reasonable prices
  • You can take the subway quickly to the south (Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty) and also to Midtown.

Cons of staying in Chelsea & Greenwich Village:

  • The sights in Midtown are no longer within walking distance
  • It can get louder there in the evenings and at night, but especially on weekends (make sure when booking that others have not criticized this negatively).

Our personal hotel recommendations for Chelsea and Greenwich Village:

For hipsters: Soho & Lower Eastside

Soho and the Lower Eastside are perfect places to stay for you, if you have already explored the main sights in New York and now want to deal more with the individual districts and life in the city.

Both districts are extremely hip. The Soho neighborhood is directly south of Greenwich Village and is best known for its beautiful cast iron architecture and numerous art and design shops.

The Lower East Side, like Soho, is a typical residential area for New Yorkers. So you won't find any well-known sights here.

What both quarters have to offer, however, is an incredible amount of street life, a mix of super trendy restaurants and boutiques in all price ranges.

The nice thing about the neighborhoods is that you can reach so many other parts of the city on foot.

Nowhere else in New York can you drift through the streets so beautifully! Little Italy, Bowery, China Town - everything is just a stone's throw away.

Benefits of staying in Soho & East Village:

  • You live where the New Yorkers live
  • You have tons of restaurants, bars and shops to suit all budgets

Cons of staying in Soho & East Village:

  • The Lower East Side in particular is not so well connected
  • You have to go to all major attractions

Our personal hotel recommendations for Soho and the Lower East Side:

Cheaper overnight stays in Queens

Queens is the place to stay for youif you are looking for cheap New York accommodation. Here you get a lot more comfort for your money and you don't have to pay upwards of 200 euros for your room.

We have deliberately selected Queens as a district outside of Manhattan, because from there you can get to Midtown super quickly with the subway (approx. 15 minutes). There are some really chic hotels there for a fair price.

So if you don't mind taking the subway from Queens to Manhattan and want to get more bang for your buck, Queens is the place for you.

Benefits of staying in Queens:

  • You get more bang for your buck than you get on Manhattan
  • You pay less, but you can still get to the most important sights very quickly
  • You can enjoy the view of the New York skyline

Cons of staying in Queens:

  • You're not staying in Manhattan
  • You always have to take the train if you want to see something

Our personal hotel recommendations for Queens:

Cheaper overnight stays in New Jersey

New Jersey is a different state, but is just across the street from Manhattan, on the other side of the Hudson River.

Jersey City is directly across from Manhattan and especially from the hotels that are right on the water, you have a great view of the Manhattan skyline. However, the overnight prices are not much lower here than in Manhattan, simply because you can get over there very quickly with the subway.

If you're looking to save money, take a look at Newark hotels.They don't offer a view of Manhattan because Newark is a bit further out, but a good room here costs between 100 and 150 euros.

You should definitely book a hotel in Newark near Newark Penn Station. From here you can take the red PATH train line to the World Trade Center in 22 minutes. A one-way ticket costs $ 2.75.

Benefits of staying in Newark:

  • You get more for your money than in Manhattan
  • If you land in Newark, you'll be near the airport

Cons of staying in Newark:

  • It takes you 20 to 30 minutes to be in Manhattan
  • You don't have a view of the skyline and therefore don't really have that New York feeling

Our personal hotel recommendations for Newark:

Stay in New York cheaply with Airbnb?

On Airbnb you will often find apartments that are sometimes cheaper than comparable hotel rooms. Nevertheless, we would advise against staying in an Airbnb apartment in New York. For a reason:

Airbnb has been illegal in New York since October 2016 (with exceptions)

Affordable housing in New York has always looked bad. Of course, it didn't help that the city was full of apartments that were only rented through Airbnb.

So that you have a rough idea of ​​the prices and the situation of the New York housing market: A small flat share (a window is a luxury!) With a private bathroom in Manhattan starts at $ 1,700 and ends at $ 3,500.

So it's no wonder that New Yorkers spend an average of 60 percent of their income on rent.

Airbnb has made things worse in the past few years, so they have stricter guidelines.

This means: Renting out apartments for a short time (less than a month) is illegal - regardless of whether it is actually a private apartment that is only rented out from time to time or an apartment that was rented exclusively for rent.

The only exception: If you are staying with a New Yorker in a room in his apartment with no more than 2 people and he is also in his apartment himself at that time.

Since the introduction of the strict guidelines, strict controls have also been introduced.

At first, the focus was on the providers who rented out several apartments on Airbnb, but in recent months private landlords have been sentenced to horrific penalties.

So that was our little digression on New York and Airbnb. We wouldn't necessarily want to take the risk.

Where did you stay in New York?

Have you ever been to New York? In which part of the city did you live? Can you recommend a hotel? We look forward to your comment, Jenny & Basti