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Best NYC Neighborhoods to Live in Your 20’s

It's crazy to think I've been living in NYC for almost three years now! Life is flying by from how much fun it has been living in the city!

Anyways, during these past few years, myself and many friends have moved all over NYC to find the most reasonable apartment. When you are in your young 20's, it's easier to compromise because it's only a temporary home you are living in. Finding a new NYC home with space, nice appliances and a great location is difficult.

I follower of my blog reached out asking for the best areas to consider moving to, and I thought "WOW, I wish I had a more up-to-date guide on where to move to in NYC"....OK Sara, so create it, and now I present to you....the BEST NYC Neighborhoods to Live in Your 20's! I have split it up by area and neighborhood for easy browsing. Here is a useful map I found online that splits up the NYC nicely!

Photo credit: NYC Tourist

I am not covering all the neighborhoods to live in because I want this article to be as honest as possible! Some of the NYC neighborhoods I wouldn't recommend to live in due to safety, not enjoyable or worth the money. So, I am 100% sticking by my recommendations below and being truthful!

There are a few things to look for in an apartment, such as: budget, location and quality of space. Finding all three is difficult, but anything is possible!


Murray Hill

Budget-friendly: ☆☆☆

Location: ☆☆☆

Size of Space: ☆

This spot is known as a "right of passage". Most people in my friend group moved to Murray Hill as their first home in Manhattan. It's a great spot to take a subway anywhere, and a lot of apartment options available with a doorman.


Upper East Side

Budget-friendly: ☆☆☆☆

Location: ☆☆

Size of Space: ☆☆☆☆

Upper East Side definitely has some awesome apartments! If you are looking for something with more space and close to the park, Upper East Side is for you. You have great shopping options (Bloomingdales is not too far and other major brands), and will get more bang for your buck. You will find more families surrounding you, but if you want more space for a lower price, definitely take a tour of Upper East Side apartments.


Greenwich Village / West Village

Budget-friendly: ☆

Location: ☆☆☆☆☆

Size of Space: ☆

If you want an AMAZING location with a neighborhood vibe and want to live in a "hot spot", West Village is for you. The streets have so much character and are filled with many trendy restaurants and cute boutiques. Also, if you are a fan of the TV show "Friends", this is the neighborhood where the famous "Friends" building is located.


East Village

Budget-friendly: ☆☆☆☆

Location: ☆☆☆☆

Size of Space: ☆☆☆

East Village is known for its laid back daytime atmosphere and upbeat nightlife. There are so many great bar spots, speakeasys, and a fun neighborhood vibe. Not the prettiest location, but many hidden gems for award winning foodie spots can be found here. This spot is filled with all ages, primarily NYU students and post grads - great spot to see people in their young 20's walking around.



Budget-friendly: ☆☆☆☆

Location: ☆☆

Size of Space: ☆☆

Chelsea is a large, and fun area to be in! Located on the western side of Manhattan, you can walk to a bunch of areas from Chelsea, such as Chelsea Market, Meatpacking and a quick walk to the High Line. This area won't have as much of a neighborhood vibe as one of the village areas, but amazing to walk to a bunch of different hot spots in NYC.


Financial District

Budget-friendly: ☆☆☆☆

Location: ☆☆

Size of Space: ☆☆☆☆

If you are looking for an apartment with nice amenities, rooftop access and newer building, you can find it in the Financial District. This area is known for their newer buildings in a very corporate area. It's a close walk away from Tribeca and Chinatown, and you will be able to get more bang for your buck.



Budget-friendly: ☆☆☆☆

Location: ☆☆

Size of Space: ☆☆☆☆☆

I don't have MANY friends that are out in Brooklyn because the prices are going UP! Previously, one of the subway lines was suppose to shut down for repairs, but the project found a workaround to not cause the line to shutdown and prices are still increasing! Brooklyn is perfect if you want a hipster vibe, but still close enough to the city. The most popular neighborhoods are:

  • Buckwick

  • Williamsburg

  • Bed-Stuy

  • Greenpoint

  • Crown Heights

If you are moving to NYC for all the action and to be in the heart of it, I would try Manhattan for one year, then move out to Brooklyn. You will definitely get more bang for your buck, but the prices are higher than they previously were years ago.


New Jersey

Budget-friendly: ☆☆☆☆

Location: ☆

Size of Space: ☆☆☆☆☆

Right across the Hudson River, you will find awesome towns filled with city commuters. These areas are great if you want more space, nicer appliances, but not as expensive as Manhattan. The most popular neighborhoods are:

  • Hoboken

  • Jersey City

To get to these areas, you can take the PATH train to different areas of Manhattan. Plus the skyline views with the sunset are pretty awesome in NJ.

What's an area of NYC you would recommend folks to live in? Drop your suggestions in the comments below!

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