The Ultimate Guide to Moving to Manhattan

So you’re thinking about making a big move to the Big Apple. You’re ready to take a leap into the big city, of other determined and independent individuals.

Where do you even start? What part of New York City should you move to? What do the different areas have to offer?

Will you be able to afford the rent of housing in NYC? What will your commute to work look like? Do you need a car to move here?

With so many villages and sections of NYC to move to, we’ve created a guide to help you move to NYC.

By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll know exactly where you’re going to be in the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. 

Things to Do in NYC

Throughout the years, you’ve heard of a million and one things to do in New York City. You’ve seen the movies and read all of the books that feature New York City.

You know you’ll have to see the  and the Top of the Rock. You’ll have to visit the newest Edge in Hudson Yards. You want to take a stroll through the iconic Central Park.

But what do you need to be looking at to do as a local? You probably won’t be visiting One World Trade Center on a weekly basis, so what exactly will you be doing? You have to look at NYC like it is your backyard, with a ton of things to do around the city – and more than just touristy things.

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New York City is hopping with restaurants and bars, easily found on every street and every corner. With over  to choose from, you’ll never get bored or wonder what to have for dinner.

From hidden speakeasies to rooftop bars, fine Michelin-star restaurants to pizza joints with $2 slices of pizza, there’s a dining experience for everyone to fall in love with.

No matter what you love, here are a few places you have to try when you move to NYC:

  • 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar – perfect for views of the city
  • Joe’s Pizza – grab a hot slice after a night on the town
  • Mr. Purple – hip rooftop bar on the Lower East Side
  • Tao – Thai restaurant turned club at night
  • Piccola Cucina – homemade Italian cuisine with an intimate setting
  • Spice Market – trendy Asian cuisine meets big city vibes
  • Black Tap – meet your biggest sugar rush with a one-of-a-kind milkshake 

Get started exploring NYC with these recommendations and then branch out to find even more you love.


When you think of green space in New York, you probably think of Central Park first. Although Central Park is a beautiful place to have a picnic or play fetch with your dog, there are plenty of other parks around the city that are at your fingertips!

If you want to explore a bit out of Manhattan, you can go to Dumbo in Brooklyn for a nice park area with cute stores and restaurants around it. Prospect Park is another green space in Brooklyn you should visit.

Staying in Manhattan? You can walk the High Line from Midtown to Chelsea for views of the city on a nice, sunny day. You can pause in one of the sitting areas or small grassy areas to have lunch or enjoy a refreshing iced coffee.

Washington Square Park is another place to spend some time outdoors to people-watch or enjoy sitting by the fountain on one of New York City’s more sweltering days.


Not only is NYC full of restaurants and outdoor spaces to enjoy, but the culture in this city is one-of-a-kind. Whether it’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and you spend it at the MET or a weeknight date at the Museum of Modern Art, you’ll find culture everywhere you go.

If museums aren’t for you, go grab a ticket to a live show on Broadway or a play off Broadway. See musicals, operas, jazz shows, and bands perform in this grand city. Look on the Internet for pop-up entertainment venues that occur all the time that you don’t want to miss.

Which Area in NYC Should I Move to?

With so many things to do and so many smaller neighborhoods making up the bigger city, where exactly should you be looking for housing in NYC?

The first thing you should know is that you won’t be getting much for whatever amount of money you choose to spend. The average cost of NYC apartments is around $3,000 for a one bedroom, but can fluctuate more or less depending on where you chose to move. What we do know is that if you’re looking to live comfortably after moving to NYC, you’ll want to have a job that.

When deciding where to move, you’ll first want to narrow down your options based on locations you love. You’ll want to keep an eye out on the market and latest trends. You can find some of those trends at

Decide What Matters to You First

Before you can choose which area of the city you want to move to, you need to think of your priorities.

Do you want to be close to work? Do you prefer to walk outside and have your favorite bar on the corner or a green space to enjoy a picnic? Do you want your streets to be quieter or more lively?

All of these questions are important to ask yourself when moving to NYC. With so many different neighborhoods, you can choose what is the most important to you about your new home.

Upper West Side

If you’re looking for an area that has a ton of greenery and the old-timey Manhattan charm wherever you walk, the Upper West Side has that. You are extremely close to Central Park (possibly even on the edge) and have access to Riverside Park as well.

In addition to the parks you’ll find some of New York’s cutest cafes and boutiques.

If this area seems like the right place, you can expect to spend about $2,500 for a walkup one-bedroom apartment. Want a doorman or more luxury amenities? You’re probably looking at about $4,000. 

For cheaper options, keep moving North of the 100s.

East Village

If you’re looking for a cheaper place to live in Manhattan, look no further than the East Village. However, you will probably notice that this is a hub for the NYU students since many of their dorms are located here. You’ll also see younger crowds since this is the neighborhood with the most amount of bars in the city.

From the East Village, you have quick access to many surrounding areas, one of which is Union Square which can connect you to just about anywhere in the city.


You’ve probably heard of Chelsea when people talk about the Chelsea Market, a walk-through building with tons of unique restaurants and stores on each side of the walkway. But that’s not all Chelsea has to offer.

You’ll find tons of coffee shops and cafes around the High Line to take a nice break from the workday. On weekends, you can expect to explore one of the many art galleries in the area or go shopping at the nearby shops.

Because Chelsea is such a cute and upcoming area, it’s not one of the cheaper places to live. You can expect to pay around $4,000 for a nice one-bedroom apartment in this cute area. However, to offset the high price, you will enjoy easy access to the subway, some of Manhattan’s best restaurants and bars, and gorgeous green spaces.

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side has a great mix of people, places, things to do in NYC, and places to eat. It has a bit of a slower vibe compared to Chelsea and the East Village, but has a mix of affordable rentals and more luxurious condos.

Because of this, you’ll see both older, more established businessmen and also younger people fresh out of college who are new to the city.

When living in the Upper East Side, you’re close to Central Park, some of the hottest and busiest museums in the city, and the famous 5th Avenue.


When you hear the word Midtown, you should immediately think of Grand Central, Times Square, and the Empire State Building. Rockefeller Center should be in that thought, as well.

Since Midtown boasts more of a touristy scene, you have to weigh your options when it comes to your commute and everything else you are looking for in a NYC apartment.

If you choose to be in Midtown, you’ll find that you have very easy access to the main subway lines and bus paths as well. If you have to commute over to Brooklyn or reverse commute into New Jersey, Midtown is an easy place to live to accommodate those needs.

Transportation in Manhattan

If you’re moving to NYC, you probably don’t want to move there with your car. Since NYC has some of the most crowded streets you’ll find in the United States, you don’t want to rely on getting around via car. And if you, it probably won’t be your own car.

Choosing to use Ubers or taxi services in Manhattan are extremely easy and can you get you anywhere in the city pretty quickly. However, the option to use the streets instead of the underground can easily break your wallet.

If you are on a budget or are a more savvy spender, you should consider using the subway to get where you need to go. Although this is a cheaper option, it still gets pretty expensive and can add up quickly. A one-time  $2.75, a 7-day unlimited card costs $33, and a 30-day unlimited metro card costs $127.

Still wondering how you can make transportation cheaper than that? Consider using the bikes scattered around NYC or walk wherever you need to go. Depending on where you live, most places you need on a daily basis will be walkable except possibly your workplace or the location you choose to meet your friends on a Friday night.

What Other Relocation Tips Should I Know?

Before moving to NYC and dealing with the stress of getting an apartment, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you look for your housing in NYC. You’ll want to plan for some specific details when moving.

  • Look for apartments that allow pets if you have one
  • Save up a few months rent to put down your security deposit and pay your brokerage fee
  • Pay attention to whether your building is a walk-up or has an elevator to accommodate your furniture 
  • Tour the neighborhood as well as the apartment building

By following these moving tips, your experience relocating to New York City will be a breeze!

Get Packing for Your Move to NYC

At this point, you’ve probably fallen in love with everything you just read about your move to NYC and everything the city has to offer.

Even better than just falling in love, you now know everything you need to in order to have a successful move to the Big Apple.

Ready to move to the best city in the world? Go get packing!

If you enjoyed reading this guide to Manhattan, check out more of our tips and guides on our blog! You’ll be sure to love them. 

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