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Best Neighborhoods in NYC for Singles & Young Professionals

Moving to NYC? The Big Apple has plenty to offer singles and young professionals, but it’s all about finding the perfect neighborhood in the best borough for you. Consider a change of scenery in one of these five best neighborhoods in NYC.

Astoria, Queens

  • Home Price: $397,118 median purchase price; $1,339 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 36% of New York City neighborhoods

Though you can take the N and W lines to more active places like Midtown Manhattan, Astoria has an exciting yet casual vibe and culture completely unique to other neighborhoods in Queens, New York. Home to Greek tavernas, gay bars, and open-air beer gardens, this multi-cultural neighborhood proudly supports its vibrant mix of Italian, Greek, Irish, and LGBTQ community members. With a cost of living 13% more affordable than the rest of NYC and about $872 per square foot (compared to an average $1,500 per square foot in Manhattan), those looking to live in New York can get more bang for their buck in Astoria.

Things to Do in Astoria

View contemporary and classic films from around the world, as well as exhibits on motion pictures, at the Museum of the Moving Image. Swim at the Astoria Pool or play on the tennis courts at Astoria Park. Attend stand-up comedy shows, movie screenings, or workshops on anything from pickling to American Sign Language at female-owned art venue Q.E.D. Meet friends for brunch at Astoria restaurants like The Shady Lady, and be sure to order the Chicken & Waffles or Fried Chicken Gone Wild. Check out Vite Vinosteria for a plate of Gnocchi al Gorgonzola or Pappardelle alla Bolognese. Fill up on delicious cookies like a Funfetti Cookie or a Blueberry Cheesecake Cookie at Chip City. Go out with friends at Astoria bars like The Last Word and sip on a Corpse Reviver #2 or a Southern Gravity.

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Lower East Side, Manhattan

  • Home Price: $208,014 median purchase price; $1,065 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 14% of New York City neighborhoods

The Lower East Side is a great option for those looking to live in safe, affordable neighborhoods in NYC. This eclectic Manhattan neighborhood is one of the best places to rent a home in New York City due to its affordability and access to amazing NYC nightlife, dining, entertainment, and shopping. You can choose from Lower East Side apartments like high-rise condos and pre-war walk-ups in this Downtown Manhattan neighborhood. Plus, getting around New York from the LES is easy thanks to convenient access to NYC transportation like subway station routes B, D, F, J, M, and Z.

Things to Do in Lower East Side

Hear stories and learn about the immigrant experience of the LES at Tenement Museum. Shop for trendy home goods at Coming Soon on Orchard Street for some of the best shopping in NYC. Dive into the work of up-and-coming filmmakers at the annual Lower East Side Film Festival. Experience curated screenings of rare, prestigious films you won’t see at your typical movie theater at Metrograph. Have date night on the giant swings overlooking the East River at Pier 35. Grab a Maple Latte or Vietnamese Iced Coffee at Ludlow Coffee Supply. Enjoy a Pastrami Sandwich or Matzoh Ball Soup when taking your lunch break at Katz’s Delicatessen. Eat Braised Short Rib ‘Huevos Rancheros’ or Kale & Apple Salad for dinner at Beauty & Essex. Watch bartenders mix custom drinks based on your flavor preferences at one of the best bars in the Lower East Side, Attaboy.

Murray Hill, Manhattan

  • Home Price: $650,646 median purchase price; $2,474 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 24% of New York City neighborhoods

A lively neighborhood in Manhattan, Murray Hill is known to draw in recent graduates and young people in NYC due to its reasonable rent prices and casual bar scene. Singles and young professionals often unwind at bars in Murray Hill for after-work drinks and happy hours, so you’ll have no trouble meeting new people in this Manhattan neighborhood. Plus, Murray Hill is close to Midtown and a short walk from Grand Central Terminal, making it easy to get to other parts of the city. And while pre-war townhouses and Beaux-Arts mansions line the streets of Murray Hill, you can also find great deals on roomy Murray Hill high-rise apartments with views of the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building.

Things to Do in Murray Hill

Explore the expansive collections of rare books and beautiful, historical rooms at The Morgan Library & Museum. Appreciate Scandinavian art, movies, live concerts, and lectures at Scandinavia House. Spend the afternoon on the basketball courts, baseball mounds, or football fields at St. Vartan Park. Figure out your favorite coffee order, like a Honey Almond Latte or Ginger Turmeric Latte, at Perk Kafe. Devour breakfast at Ruby’s with dishes like an Egg Sandwich or Ricotta Hotcakes. Slurp down Tonkotsu Ramen or Tan-Tan Ramen at Momosan. Dig into comfort foods like Chicken Pot Pie or Wild Mushroom Flatbread from popular Murray Hill restaurant Cask Bar & Kitchen. Or drink a Siesta Swizzle or Pear of Aces at speakeasy The Raines Law Room.

Upper East Side, Manhattan

Townhome in Upper East Side, Manhattan. Photo by Instagram user @skaufman4050

Photo via @skaufman4050

  • Home Price: $916,352 median purchase price; $1,968 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 64% of New York City neighborhoods

Although the Upper East Side neighborhood in Manhattan is known for upscale living, you can find everything from reasonably priced apartments to luxury townhouses and brownstones. Residents of the Upper East Side enjoy a quieter lifestyle thanks to low crime rates and a shared border with the ever-charming Central Park. But don’t worry—the excitement of the city is still accessible from nearby subway lines 4, 5, 6, F, N, Q, and R. Plus, proximity to high-end cultural establishments—like Museum Mile, Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and The Met—makes the Upper East Side one of the best neighborhoods to live in NYC, especially for young professionals and singles who love the arts!

Things to Do in Upper East Side

Stroll through the neighborhood’s iconic Central Park, and make sure to check out the Shakespeare Garden, Belvedere Castle, and Bethesda Fountain. View modern and contemporary art pieces from renowned artists like Kandinsky, Picasso, and Pollock at Guggenheim. Have a laugh at Comic Strip Live where legendary comedians like Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld got their start. Gather at one of the most well-known Upper East Side restaurants, Bluestone Lane, for Avocado Smash or a Best Mates Bowl. Stop for a Spicy Cumin Lamb Burger or Spicy and Sour Spinach Dumplings at Xi’an Famous Foods. Experience Peruvian cuisine at Mission Ceviche, and try the Arroz con Mariscos or Ceviche Mixto. Pick out treats like Espresso Chip Ice Cream or Milk Chocolate Covered Bacon Bites at The Sweet Shop NYC. Or relax at Upper East Side bars like The Penrose where you can get a Dirty Pickle Martini or a Pandan Panda Punch.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Apartment building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo by Instagram user @studioesnal

Photo via @studioesnal

  • Home Price: $357,174 median purchase price; $1,338 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 40% of New York City neighborhoods

If you’re looking to live in one of the best Brooklyn neighborhoods for young professionals, Williamsburg may be the perfect home for you. Trendy Williamsburg fuses classic Brooklyn charm with bustling New York nightlife, including some of the best bars in NYC—though Williamsburg’s affordability is another major draw to living in this NY neighborhood. With employers in Williamsburg including big NYC startup headquarters like Vice Media and goTenna, it’s pretty easy to commute, but you do have access to the G, J, L, and M lines for travel outside the neighborhood.

Things to Do in Williamsburg

See your favorite artists like Baby Keem or The Lumineers in concert at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Spend your Saturdays at the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg and shop from hundreds of vendors from the best thrift stores in NYC. Go bowling with friends or catch a show put on by performers like M.I.A. or Kanye West at Brooklyn Bowl. Bring a bunch of friends for a game of sand volleyball, a picnic in the grass, or to enjoy the Manhattan skyline view at Domino Park. Establish Partners Coffee as your go-to coffee shop in Williamsburg and order a Drip Coffee or a Cold Brew. Branch out at Williamsburg restaurants with Moroccan dishes like a Tunisian Sandwich or Moroccan Eggs at Cafe Mogador. Enjoy the Hampshire Pork Belly or Seared Foie Gras while seated on the outdoor patio at Traif. Satisfy your sugar craving with Sour Cream Apple Pie or Strawberry Shortcake at Martha’s Country Bakery. Or socialize over a glass of Grandpa Tom’s Lemonade or an Aperol Spritz at The Whiskey Brooklyn.


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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Pinterest graphic: New York City: 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.