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A city skyline view of Manhattan filled with very tall buildings, and water in the foreground at night.

Best Neighborhoods in Manhattan for Singles & Young Professionals

Moving to Manhattan? With ample public transportation to New York jobs, local hidden gems, fun nightlife destinations, and more, this New York City borough is a great place for young adults to live. Check out these five best neighborhoods in Manhattan for singles and young professionals!

East Village

  • Home Price: $316,136 median purchase price; $1,538 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 25% of New York City neighborhoods

With remnants of its legendary punk scene still seen throughout the area, East Village is a great Manhattan neighborhood for artists and art-lovers alike. Smack in the center of the neighborhood—and the cultural heart of East Village—sits renowned Tompkins Square Park. People from all over the world visit this famous New York area to attend countless events like stadium concerts, drag shows, and more—in addition to everyday activities, like pick-up games of basketball, casual chess matches, people-watching, and more. Residents of East Village can enjoy all of these activities with just a 15-minute walk. Though residents value the greenery and activity from the iconic park, young adults in Manhattan are especially drawn to East Village’s plentiful roommate and remote work-friendly housing options, as well as top-notch nightlife scene.

Things to Do in East Village

Dance the night away while listening to live music from bands like Soccer Mommy and Trampled by Turtles, or participate in events like the Spongebob Rave and Fangirl Fantasy: K-Pop Night at Webster Hall. Snap at live poetry performances from newbies and seasoned poets alike at 30-time Audelco Award winner and OBIE Grant for Excellence in Theater recipient, Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Enjoy a curation of cinema-defining motion pictures, film revivals, movie premieres, and more at Anthology Film Archives. Celebrate diversity while listening to a wide range of music genres, from jazz to electronic, at Drom. Fill up on Moroccan Eggs, French Toast, and Buttermilk Pancakes at Cafe Mogador. Enjoy Bean and Cheese breakfast tacos, Carne Guisada, and the Green Chili Wild Boar Sandwich at Yellow Rose. Taste authentic Italian Sausages broiled with Peppers, Fettuccini Alfredo pasta, and Fried Calamari at John’s of 12th Street. Satisfy your sweet tooth with delicious celebrity-inspired ice cream flavors like Pink Floyd, Foxy Brown, the Brady Bunch, and more at Mikey Likes It Ice Cream.

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A bownstone style home from the perspective of someone across the street.

Photo via @mannyfueyo

  • Home Price: $321,025 median purchase price; $1,000 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 11% of New York City neighborhoods

Looking to move into an historic NYC neighborhood? Harlem‘s identity as the birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance has continued to be one of inclusivity—with local culture and diversity celebrated during Harlem Week, Juneteenth Jubilee, Harlem Pride Week, and more. This area’s history is also seen in the buildings, with Victorian and Queen Anne-style homes mixed with more modern apartments and townhomes in Harlem—which tend to be affordable housing options in Manhattan. Students attending nearby Ivy League Columbia University flock to Harlem for budget-friendly rent options, while young professionals living in this NYC neighborhood also take advantage of convenient transit—including the Harlem Bus, 125th Street Station, and 148th Street Station.

Things to Do in Harlem

Swing by Amateur Night to support up-and-coming performers, enjoy award-winning music acts, and laugh out loud with comedians at the Apollo Theatre. Enjoy original pieces of art throughout Harlem and visit one of the more popular spots for graffiti art at the Graffiti Hall of Fame. Bust a gut while enjoying a large variety of stand-ups at Comedy in Harlem. Attend a “Jazz Is” concert performed by emerging jazz artists, or check out The Savory Collection at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Satisfy your hunger with the B-Train Sandwich, Green Omelette, and the Hamilton Classic at Sugar Hill Cafe. Fill up on the YEP! Chicken and Waffle, Crispy Bird Sandwich, and the Pan Fried Catfish at Red Rooster. Munch on the Harlem Classic Burger, the Impossible Jerk, and wash them down with a Peanut Butter Shake at the Harlem Shake. Or quench your thirst with unique cocktails such as the Caribbean Mule, Coco With Me, and the What-Her-Melon at 67 Orange Street.


A quaint home in Inwood, Manhattan.

Photo via @joeyp404

  • Home Price: $187,272 median purchase price; $1,126 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 43% of New York City neighborhoods

Nestled between the Harlem River and Inwood Hill Park—and even further insulated by Fort Tryon Park—Inwood is a relatively quiet Manhattan neighborhood great for singles and young professionals looking for a more suburban experience in the Big Apple. Its highly-walkable streets are filled with spacious condos and apartment complexes near convenient commuting lines, like the A Train. Of course, as a NYC neighborhood, Inwood is still a booming hub of activity! Local non-profit Inwood Art Works hosts NYC neighborhood events like the Inwood Film Festival and The Back Porch Show—and you can attend the annual Fall Foliage Hike through the Forever Wild Preserve.

Things to Do in Inwood

Immerse yourself in local history through exhibits like the Gothic Chapel, or view artworks like Adoration of The Magi at The Met Cloisters. Check out the oldest remaining farmhouse in Manhattan and delve into exhibits like Beyond Play and I Was Here at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum. Explore the Hudson River via free guided kayak trips with the Inwood Canoe Club. Test your BMX riding skills on the bike trail at Highbridge Park. Savor Latin fusion dishes like the Empanada Trio, Rock Shrimp Tacos, Oxtail, and more at Pat’e Palo. Fill up on American classics like the Inwood Burger, Roasted Chicken, and Chicken Wings at the Inwood Bar and Grill. Check out the French Onion Soup, Chipotle Burger, Bangers & Mash, and more at Tubby Hook Tavern. Reserve a Manhattan rooftop table to enjoy crafted cocktails like the Wahi Sour, Lovebird, Macori, and more at Republica.

Lower East Side

A view of a modern apartment complex in the Lower East Side, with buildings with a ton of windows.

Photo via @essexcrossing

  • Home Price: $208,014 median purchase price; $1,065 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 12% of New York City neighborhoods

Bursting with young professionals, the Lower East Side is a safe, affordable NYC neighborhood—making it one of the best places in NYC for young adults! LES offers countless housing options in Manhattan, including luxury apartments and brownstone townhomes and condos in gorgeous styles like Neo-Georgian, Federal, Second Empire, and more. Those looking for job opportunities in New York City can find options in Greater Lower Manhattan, nearby Financial District, or just across the Williamsburg Bridge. What young professionals and established families really love about living in Lower East Side is its energy. And though world-class cultural centers like Chinatown, Little Italy, and Little Ukraine are just outside of the neighborhood, the Lower East Side offers residents countless galleries, green spaces like Sara D. Roosevelt Park, events like the Lower East Side Film Festival, and more!

Things to Do in Lower East Side

Immerse yourself in a world of uniquely-curated cinema selections, rare film screenings, and more at Metrograph. Learn about NYC history through Tenement Apartment tours and Neighborhood Walking Tours at the Tenement Museum. Get your daily fix of biscuit-making, “catified” baked goods, Yoga with Cats, or adopt your next furry friend from the first cat cafe in New York City, Meow Parlor. Enjoy live music performances featuring a variety of musical genres at Mercury Lounge. Shoot billiards and drink a Margarita at LES dive bar, 169 Bar. Start your morning right with the Breakfast Sandwich, Avocado Toast, and Harissa Eggs at Good Thanks Cafe. Enjoy the Hot Honey Chicken sandwich, Salted Egg Yolk, and Popcorn Chicken at Double Chicken Please. Or eat Steam Vegetable Dumplings, Beef Noodle Soup, and a Chive Pancake at China North Dumpling.

Murray Hill

A row of townhomes of varying colors in Murray Hill.

Photo via @an_uptown_girl

  • Home Price: $650,646 median purchase price; $2,474 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 22% of New York City neighborhoods

If you want to live in the middle of the action but not in Midtown itself, then living in Murray Hill is your answer! Not only does Murray Hill’s location just off the East River offer gorgeous views in single-family homes and skyrise apartments alike—in a real estate market 37% more affordable than Midtown‘s. This NYC neighborhood is also located minutes from fun biking and jogging on the East River Esplanade and more fun outdoor recreation at St. Vartan Park. Though Murray Hill’s amazing walkability allows you a quick, 20-minute jaunt to Midtown, you can still hop on a one-minute train ride at nearby Grand Central to enjoy infinite entertainment and dining options within Times Square and beyond! That said, singles and young professionals living in Manhattan will find a physically and socially active lifestyle in Murray Hill, with plenty of nearby job opportunities, a robust bar scene, and more.

Things to Do in Murray Hill

Jam out to music genres from rock to show tunes every Saturday night at Shake, Rattle & Roll Dueling Pianos. Unleash your inner artist and pick from a variety of fictional video game worlds, film settings, and more at VR World NYC. Let your inner dog-lover loose with interactive exhibits like Meet the Breed and Dogs on the Job at AKC Museum of the Dog. Gain a deeper understanding of Scandinavian culture and dine at the Bjork Cafe & Bistro at the Scandinavian House—the “Nordic Center of America.” Enjoy classic breakfast dishes like Ham Steak & Eggs, Eggs Benedict, and Blueberry Pancakes at Townhouse Diner. Fill up on The Chicken Loco, Hot Pastrami sandwich, Pizza Burger, and more at Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner. Try out the Wild Mushroom Ravioli, Pan-Roasted Salmon, and Lamb Lasagna at La Stanza. Or turn up the heat and enjoy cocktails like the Jungle Bird, the John Daly, and beers such as the Shock Top at firefighter-themed bar Bravest.


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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Manhattan, NY. 5 Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals.

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.