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8 Most Beautiful Neighborhoods to Live in New York City

Beau McGlasson

Beau McGlasson

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There is a reason people want to live in New York City.

Despite the crowds, high rent, and broken subways, the city’s beauty, whether it’s obvious or tucked away, keeps everyone coming back.

A lot of things make New York beautiful.

It’s the architecture, from pre-war tenements to lush mansions. It’s the tree-lined side streets to the tree-lined Avenues.

There’s Brooklyn with its blocks of multi-colored row houses, beautiful parks, cozy streets, and amazing skyline views

The Bronx has picturesque neighborhoods, the Botanical Gardens, and who can forget Yankee’s Stadium?

Queens has the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, home of the annual US Open tennis championship, beautiful public parks, hip bars, and restaurants, and some amazing museums.

Staten Island boasts a plethora of stately old Victorians, huge parks, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, and some fantastic modern architecture featured in its public buildings.

And we have Manhattan with Central Park, The Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and its classic museums - it’s known the world over as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

These 8 neighborhoods represent what makes each borough beautiful in its own uniquely New York way.

West Village, Manhattan

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Tree-lined cobblestone streets, beautiful architecture, tucked away coffee shops, and even Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment - West Village is as classic New York as you can get.

Nestled between Lower Manhattan and Midtown, West Village is packed with beautiful and historic homes and shops.

There are enough restaurants, shops, and bars packed into the neighborhood that there’s almost no reason to leave. ,

Take a stroll down W 11th St to see the uniquely charming Palazzo Chupi, or go shopping for a day on the busy but cozy Bleeker St.

There is limited housing space though, which means the price to live here is high. Most of the homes in the neighborhood are mid-rise apartments, walk-ups, and 19th-century row houses.

The median monthly rent for a 1-bedroom is $4,939 and the median sales price is $2.5M.

Park Slope, Brooklyn

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If strollers and brownstones are your thing, you can’t miss Park Slope in Brooklyn.

It’s a residential gem that’s home to the famous (or maybe infamous?) Park Slope Food Coop, rows and rows of gorgeous brownstones, and great sites like the Old Stone House of Brooklyn.

It’s right next to the always-active Prospect Park, full of winding trails and a fantastic zoo.

Take a walk down Garfield Place, a beautifully serene street that shows off the amazing architecture the neighborhood has to offer.

Though far from the cheapest neighborhood in Brooklyn, Park Slope offers some respite from the sky-high rents seen in other neighborhoods in this list.

The median monthly rent for a 1-bedroom is $3,050 and the median sales price is $1.5M.

Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn

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Known for its designation as NYC’s first historic district and its slogan of “America’s original suburb,” Brooklyn Height’s reputation as a beautiful slice of Brooklyn is well-known.

Find your way off the idyllic commercial strip on Montague St and the bustling Boerum Pl and you’ll discover quiet pictures of New York past.

Grace Ct Alley is a tiny representation of the beautifully preserved architecture and historic feel that Brooklyn Heights has to offer.

Situated between the East River and Cadman Plaza Park, you can find beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline just a short walk from the Brooklyn War Memorial and other famous monuments.

Despite it’s proximity to Downtown Brooklyn and the Interstate 278, Brooklyn Heights remains a quiet and localized neighborhood that feels frozen in time.

All of the neighborhood’s history and quiet will cost you, though. It consistently ranks as one of the most expensive Brooklyn neighborhoods to live in.

The median monthly rent for a 1-bedroom is $4,800 and the median sales price is $2.4M.

SoHo, Manhattan

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SoHo (SOuth of HOuston) is one of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods, is full of exceptionally high-end clothing stores and hip dining.

It’s also home to some amazing examples of pre-war architecture and spectacular lofts and art galleries.

Leave behind the quiet of the previous neighborhoods, as SOHO is as busy as it gets.

Its plethora of shopping destinations brings in a high amount of tourists, but that doesn’t stop the area from having a distinct feel.

It’s located just west of Little Italy and south of Greenwich Village, but it maintains its own unique architecture, flow, and distinct community.

The housing options here are exceptionally pricey. You will mostly find luxury co-ops or expensive lofts.

What you end up paying for is the convenience of living in Lower Manhattan, the luxury of having cobblestone sidestreets and gorgeous brick architecture, and the exciting vibe of a world-renowned creative destination.

The median monthly rent for a 1-bedroom is a whopping $9,250 and the median sales price is $3.6M.

Forest Hills, Queens

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Known for its distinct Tudor architecture and amazing views of the Manhattan skyline, Forest Hills is a secluded and quiet neighborhood that captures a beautiful nostalgic feel for New York City.

Adding to that nostalgic feeling is the historic Forest Hills Station and Forest Hills Stadium, an outdoor concert venue that the Beatles played over 50 years ago.

Forest Hills truly lives up to its name. Built on gently rolling hills, the streets are tree-lined and rustic, giving it a distinctly different feel from the rest of NYC.

The housing mostly consists of beautiful Tudor-style single-family homes, but there are apartments available closer to the commercial center on Austin St.

It’s also our first neighborhood on the list with a median monthly rent under $3,000, which tells you how expensive Brooklyn and Manhattan can be.

Rent is significantly cheaper compared to Brookly and Manhattan, but it is on the higher end for Queens.

The median monthly rent for a 1-bedroom is $2,325 and the median sales price is $450,000.

Mott Haven, Bronx

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Mott Haven stands out from the other neighborhoods on this list.

It has a reputation as barren and dangerous, but things are changing in this grittily beautiful South Bronx neighborhood.

The Bertine Block (E 136th between Willis and Brown) is a designated historic district, renowned for its impressive brickwork and architecture.

It’s a perfect example of 19th century NYC, outside of the normal examples in Manhattan.

Aside from the amazing architecture, the area offers some greenery in St. Mary’s Park and a lively bar and restaurant scene.

It’s surrounded by water with the Harlem River to the west and the Bronx Kill waterway to the south. Manhattan is just a short subway ride to the south.

The residential options are mostly tenement buildings, but there are also low-rise options plus some surprising examples of Gothic and Queen Anne style architecture.

Rent stays low, though it is rising.

You can get to Midtown on the 6 in 30 minutes, so commuting from the neighborhood is easy.

The median monthly rent for a 1-bedroom is $2,174 and the median sales price is $1.1M.

Silver Lake, Staten Island

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Just a short ferry ride from Manhattan, Staten Island is a breath of fresh air from the busy hustle of the other boroughs.

And tucked away in the middle of the Island is Silver Lake, a lush green and vibrant neighborhood with a beautiful lake, gently rolling hills, a gorgeous park, and even a golf course.

It features quiet, dead-end streets that offer privacy and space, two words most New Yorkers never hear when looking for a new place to live.

Most of the residences in the area are large homes that back into the park with a few apartment buildings along Victory Blvd.

The inventory stays low in this sleepy neighborhood, so when anything does come on the market, it moves quickly.

The median monthly rent for a 1-bedroom is $2,350 and the median sales price is $519,331.

Carnegie Hill, Manhattan

Carnegie Hill is named after Andrew Carnegie after he built his mansion on 5th Ave and 91st Street in 1901.

If the name Carnegie makes you think of old money, then you’re on the right track.

This neighborhood is known for its luxury. It borders Central Park and offers classic NYC look and feel with a modern twist.

Carnegie Hill is home to famous museums like the Guggenheim, gorgeous pre-war townhomes, the prestigious Hunter College Elementary school (which features an awesome castle-like facade), and features calm energy in the middle of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The residential market is made up of mansions, townhomes, and stately apartment buildings - and features a low turnover rate.

The elite schools in the area, abundance of local cafes and fine dining, and having Central Park as your backyard, keep people in the area and make it hard to find a place to live within its boundaries.

The median monthly rent for a 1-bedroom is $3,650 and the median sales price is $2.9M.

Honorable Mentions

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Putting together this list was difficult because every neighborhood in New York City shines in its own way.

The city is full of beautiful tree-lined side streets, bustling thoroughfares, gorgeous pre-war architecture, and breath-taking views.

The eight neighborhoods above aren’t the only beautiful neighborhoods in the five boroughs, so we have to mention some of our other favorites.

Bedford-Stuyvesant features an array of dog parks and beautiful brownstones, Queen Annes, and Renaissance Revival. Plus its the home to Spike Lee’s love letter to Brooklyn, Do the Right Thing.

DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) has the most iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge plus gorgeous historic brick buildings and a bustling atmosphere.

Harlem features gorgeous churches and the world-famous Apollo Theater, while the Financial District, famous for its towering skyscrapers, also contains a historic district worthy of a visit in its own right.

With the absolutely stunning 45th Ave, a shady street covered with trees and lined with stunning brownstones, Long Island City is also worth a mention.

Plus it has an unrivaled view of the Manhattan skyline.

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