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Things to Know About Living in Jersey City

Considering a move to Jersey City? This diverse New Jersey city offers a variety of job opportunities, unique eateries, robust public transportation, and plenty of local attractions to explore. Here are 12 things to know about Jersey City!

Find A High Quality of Life & Affordability on the East Coast

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Want to enjoy all the things a big city has to offer without breaking the bank? Look no further! Not only is Jersey City a great place to live in New Jersey, but Chilltown is consistently recognized as one of the best places to live in the U.S., thanks to its history of good vibes and music and East Coast affordability! So, though the cost of living in Jersey City is 39% higher than the national average, living in JC is more affordable than fellow East Coast areas such as New York City—where the cost of living is 60% higher than the national average. Not to mention—Jersey City’s housing is 69% more affordable than housing options found in NYC. That means living in Jersey City is more budget-friendly than living in New York City. To help afford living in Jersey City, however, residents earn an annual average salary of $87,000, which is higher than the national average!

Chilltown Is a Great Place to Work—Or Commute to Work

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Looking for employment on the East Coast? Jersey City could be the place for you! Located between Newark and New York City, Jersey City offers convenient proximity to jobs in NYC and Newark. In fact, Jersey City is one of the best places to live in New Jersey if you’re commuting to NYC! But proximity isn’t the only reason why people live in Jersey City and work in New York. As a whole, while the Garden State’s job market is robust with an unemployment rate of 3.5%, over 400,000 residents commute from New Jersey to New York City for work due to the greater job variety—and to avoid NYC’s higher income tax! Jersey City’s market in particular has more recently improved due to businesses moving from larger cities to JC for more favorable taxes and rent costs. This business migration has occurred so often that Jersey City has even become known as the “6th Borough!” When it comes to jobs in Jersey City, some of the top companies for employment include IPC Systems, Lord Abbett, and New York Life Investments. Plus, as a city within a leading state for telecommuter employment, Jersey City offers work-from-home opportunities!

Graduate from Jersey City Colleges

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Are you thinking about enrolling in higher education? There are several Jersey City universities that can get you on track toward your goals. Expand your knowledge in popular programs like nursing, psychology, and criminal justice at New Jersey City University. Fuel your passion for business, marketing, biology, and other majors at Saint Peter’s University. Grow your professional skillset in the allied health field, or opt for nursing and dental hygiene programs at Eastern International College. Go the community college route and take courses in fields like liberal arts, hospitality, and exercise science at Hudson County Community College. Or commute about 40 minutes west of Jersey City to choose from over 150 programs—including computer science, psychology, biology, and more—at Rutgers University.

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Experience Convenient JC Transportation

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Although it’s possible to get around Jersey City with your car, many opt for the convenience of Jersey City’s public transportation. In fact, nearly 50% of Jersey City residents use public transit for their commute to work! Residents also have an easy time getting around on foot, as the city boasts a nearly perfect walking score. Save money on gas when you rent a bike or electric bike through the Citi Bike app. Make use of New Jersey Transit options like the Hudson Bergen Light Rail, or grab a seat on a transit bus. Enjoy a stress-free trip to a nearby city or get to work smoothly when you ride the PATH Train. Travel to New York in style when you board Jersey City Ferries. Or head just 25 minutes outside of the city to fly off to your next destination from the Newark Liberty International Airport.

Learn About Jersey City History

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One of the best parts about living in Jersey City is the opportunity to learn about different cultures from across the globe without having to leave your home! Commonly referred to as “America’s Golden Door”, Jersey City boasts a diverse cultural background and is known for its association with Ellis Island. Starting in 1892, tens of millions of immigrants passed through passenger railroad stations in Jersey City as they made their way from Ellis Island to the rest of the United States. A long-standing cultural haven, Jersey City is consistently recognized as one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. today, and over half of the population speaks a language other than English. Jersey City’s Office of Cultural Affairs spotlights a variety of events throughout the year for residents to celebrate the city’s rich history, including the African Cultural Arts Juneteenth Family Festival and Salsa on the Grove.

Explore the Outdoors in Jersey City

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No matter the season—beautiful riverfront views, spacious Jersey City parks, and other fun outdoor recreation opportunities await you. Feel the ocean breeze as you embark on water tours of the city through Urban Paddle Kayak and Sea the City Jet Ski. Let your kiddos loose at the playground, play fetch at the dog run, help in the community garden, and more at Van Vorst Park in Downtown Jersey City. Practice your swing at the batting cages, serve it up on the tennis courts, or cool off at the spray pool at Washington Park. Compete in ping-pong, ride the iconic carousel, and built sandcastles at the “only sandy urban beach on the Hudson River” at Newport Green Park. Traverse over 150 acres of park space, take your pick from 21 tennis courts, or rent a kayak for a day on the water at Lincoln Park. Go fishing or crabbing, observe wildlife, and take a ferry to Ellis Island at Liberty State Park. Enjoy views of the NYC skyline when you walk, bike, or jog on more than 18 miles of trails at the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.

Find an Inclusive LGBTQ Community

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As one of the most diverse cities in America, you’ll have no trouble finding an accepting Jersey City LGBTQ community. According to the Municipal Equality Index Scorecard, Jersey City is one of the most supportive LGBTQ cities because of its strong programming, LGBTQ representation in leadership, and inclusive health programs. Celebrate the LGBTQ community at one of the largest pride festivals in the Northeast with Jersey City Pride. Take part in events thrown by the Mayor’s LGBTQ+ Task Force—such as the Winter Apparel Drive and annual gathering to paint the town rainbow in front of City Hall. Expand your knowledge with cultural sensitivity trainings, take advantage of health and social services, and advocate for the LGBTQ community at the Hudson Pride Center.

Discover Fun for the Whole Family

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Curious about things to do in Jersey City with kids? There are plenty of Jersey City attractions the entire family will enjoy! Explore rotating exhibits like Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails, interact with mind-boggling art installations like The Building, and meet exotic animals through Wild About Animals at Liberty Science Center. Challenge your family with a night of bowling, enroll the little ones in a summer league, or plan your kid’s next birthday party at Hudson Lanes. Race in European-style go-karts, shoot for the high score at the arcade, and cue up billiards at RPM Raceway. Lace up your skates and glide across the ice during the winter season at Newport Skates. Compete with your family on the tennis court, hone your skateboarding skills, and shoot some hoops at Berry Lane Park. Or journey slightly outside the city to move through 14 interactive art exhibits, jump into a ball pit, and show off your moves on the dance floor at Color Factory.

Appreciate the Arts

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You’ll find some of the best things to do in Jersey City through its vibrant arts and culture scene! Tickle your funny bone during the Jersey City Comedy Festival, enjoy live theatrical productions, and attend multi-media art festivals at Art House Productions. Spend the day exploring captivating Jersey City street art scattered throughout the city as part of the Jersey City Mural Arts Program. Gather friends together to see local New Jersey theatre and international performances like Bowie at Warsaw, Fantasy Within, and The Best Child in the World at the Jersey City Theatre Center. Marvel at stunning Russian artwork, attend auctions, and meet the artists during other events at the MORA Museum of International Art. Enjoy live ballet performances like Peter and the Wolf, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, and more at the Jersey City Ballet Company. Support the work of emerging artists by visiting the constantly-rotating works at Deep Space Gallery. Take a short trip just 20 minutes outside of town to immerse yourself in live events like the On The Waterfront Storytelling Series and the annual 7th Inning Stretch—or support student productions of plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Miles Square Theatre.

Attend Jersey City Festivals

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Start making room in your calendar—Jersey City festivals are sure to keep you busy throughout the year. Partake in a German-style celebration featuring more than 150 styles of craft beers, interactive games, delicious food, and live entertainment at the Jersey City Craft Brew Fest. Listen to a variety of performance groups, view original art creations, and enjoy homemade ethnic foods at the Hudson West Folk Festival. Travel to Downtown Jersey City to support local vendors, get your face painted, and chill out in the beer garden at JC’s All About Downtown Street Fair. Relax to world-class jazz, pick from a variety of food trucks, and sip drinks at the Jersey City Jazz Festival. Taste delicious food, learn new dances, and enjoy live Latin jazz music at Pierfest. Play interactive games, relax with live entertainment, and sample wines from around the world at Jersey City Wine Fest.

Devour Jersey City Eats

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Jersey City’s rich culture is reflected in its diverse food options—from Italian classics to modern Indian cuisine, you’ll have no problem finding great places to eat in Jersey City! Start your day off with locally-sourced breakfast dishes like the Sausage Weekender, Avocado Toast, and The Pimento at sam a.m. Order the Suppli, Mortadella on Bianca Sandwich, or a Torta Salata at Bread & Salt Bakery. Sit outside at one of the best Jersey City restaurants and feast on Italian dishes like Chicken Liver Toast, Rigatoni, and Smoked Pork Shoulder at Corto. Enjoy Jersey City BBQ favorites like Giant Beef Rib, a BBQ Taco, or Fried Chicken Burritos at Hamilton Pork. Eat authentic Mexican cuisine like the Tacos Carnitas, Tortilla Sopa, and the Chorizo Quesadilla at Taqueria Downtown. Dine on Fresh Oysters, a Beet Salad, or the Baked Meatloaf at Light Horse Tavern. Or treat yourself to takeout with Chicken Korma, Beef Tehari, or the Curry Pomfret Fish at Korai Kitchen.

Experience Nightlife in JC

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You’ll always find adventure when it comes to Jersey City nightlife. Travel to Downtown Jersey City to rock out to live performances, dress up for theme nights, or dance the night away at White Eagle Hall. Sip specialty cocktails like a Moscow Mule or Vanilla Old Fashioned while enjoying comedians at The Laugh Tour Comedy Club. Sample over 100 European imports and U.S. craft beers like the Three Philosophers, Purple Haze, and Back to Reality while you dance to live music and DJs at Zeppelin Hall. Experience a Jersey City rooftop bar offering Taco Tuesdays, karaoke, drag shows, and more at Six26 (named after the Marriage Equality Act). Sip carefully-crafted cocktails like the Lifetime Ban, Country Comfort, and Queen’s Park Swizzle at The Archer. Or end the night downing tap beers, go out for Ladies Night on Thursdays, or dance along to music from the jukebox at Lucky 7 Tavern.


Moving to Jersey City? With accessible storage facilities throughout the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro, Extra Space Storage can help with your transition. Find Jersey City storage near you!

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.