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View of the Queensboro Bridge in Queens, NY

17 Things to Know About Living in Queens

Considering moving to Queens? The largest borough in New York City offers plenty of entertainment, access to beaches and parks, easy transportation options, a great job market, and more. Check out these 17 things to know about living in Queens!

The “Most Ethnically Diverse Urban Area in the World”

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Queens is one of the most densely populated boroughs of NYC with over 2 million residents. Often referred to as “The World’s Borough,” Queens is home to a wide range of ethnic groups and has become the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. Jackson Heights alone has over 160 languages spoken by residents and hosts lively annual events like the New Queens Pride Parade & Festival. Within Jackson Heights is Little India, where you can celebrate Diwali with locals every autumn. And be sure to check out Little Guyana, which has a large Guyanese population and is home to one of the most colorful international business districts in the city—filled with Chinese-Guyanese restaurants, Indian clothing stores, and other gems!

Let Your Career Take Flight

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Living in Queens means you have convenient access to many job opportunities in the healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment, and transportation industries. The airline industry brings in a big boost for the Queens economy—and it’s a major employer in the neighborhoods surrounding the borough, too! JetBlue, one of the largest airlines in America, is headquartered in Queens and offers careers for pilots, airport operations, and ground operations. Find other great airport job options at LaGuardia Airport and John F Kennedy Airport. Consider working for Queens-based companies, like local E. Gluck Corporation, which manufactures watches for brands like Nine West and Juicy Couture. Snag jobs in retail, music technology, finance, and more at the famous musical instrument company, Steinway & Sons. If you’re pursuing a career in the healthcare field, secure a position at top-notch hospitals like Mount Sinai Queens and NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital.

Get a Degree at Top Colleges

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Looking to pursue higher education? This NYC borough has a variety of highly-rated institutions! One of the best colleges for veterans, attend a school with a variety of majors and over 100 clubs and organizations for students at Queens College. Engage in real-world learning experiences as you work toward a degree in a premier liberal arts, healthcare, or academic sciences program at York College. Find faith-based education with over 180 student organizations and more than 100 undergraduate programs to choose from at St. John’s University-Queens Residential Campus. Seek an associate’s degree in criminal justice, business administration, or psychology—or get your prerequisites for a four-year college program at Queensborough Community College. Or check out the nursing or medical degrees at non-religious St. Paul’s School of Nursing-Queens Campus.

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Experience World-Class Public Transit

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Queens has plenty of public transportation options on land and in the water. Residents without cars can hop on one of the MTA New York City Transit buses or take advantage of 81 conveniently located Queens subway stations. You can even get around on water by taking the NYC Ferry to reach destinations like Manhattan, Brooklyn, and The Bronx. If you’re looking to reach Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, take the Roosevelt Island Tram located on the East River. Of course, Queens also offers good walkability along with bike paths for cyclists throughout the borough. Plus, residents looking to travel further have access to two large international airports: LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and John F Kennedy Airport (JFK).

Live in the Ideal NYC Borough for Families

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Located on Long Island, this NYC borough has an incredibly diverse population and relative affordability. Home to several safe areas in NYC, Queens offers families affordable neighborhoods to live with a variety of styles, including rowhomes, condos, apartments, and single-family homes in Tudor, Victorian, American Foursquare, and Cape Cod styles. And as one of the best boroughs to raise a family or buy a home in NYC, Queens is an excellent option for settling down. Compared to Manhattan and Brooklyn, Queens has a significantly lower cost of living and more affordable housing—with a median home price of $690,000 and an average rental cost of $2,801 per month. To top it off, these affordable housing options are near job opportunities and highly-rated Queens schools like The Windsor School, Martin Luther School, and Maspeth High School.

Plant Roots in Queens’ Neighborhoods

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The borough of Queens is a patchwork of neighborhoods that all have their own unique personality. Located in northern Queens, Astoria offers stunning riverfront views of New York City, eclectic architecture, and housing options ranging from luxury condos to waterfront homes. Ideal for families and young professionals, Jamaica, NY is a quiet neighborhood with quick access to entertainment in nearby Manhattan. Vibrant Flushing has plenty of fun hang-out spots with karaoke bars and a bustling nightlife, making it a perfect NYC neighborhood for singles and young professionals—plus, it’s home to one of the city’s largest parks! Jackson Heights is a safe, affordable Queens neighborhood made up of rowhouses and Tudor-style homes and offers an array of international cuisines. And Corona, Queens is known for its multicultural heritage—specifically offering some of the best Cuban and Mexican restaurants in NYC!

Take a Trip to Chinatown

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Many people know about Chinatown in Manhattan, but the Chinatown in Flushing, Queens is bigger and has been a destination for Chinese immigrants since the mid-1700s! It draws in foodies and tourists alike because of its various Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurants, offering some of the best NYC dumplings, bao, and noodle dishes you can find. When you visit Chinatown in Flushing, make your way to New World Mall, which features a giant Asian supermarket, a variety of shopping destinations, and over 25 different Asian food vendors. Celebrate Chinese New Year at the Flushing Lunar New Year Parade and admire the red and golden lanterns decorating the streets. Indulge in traditional Shanghai cuisine with Crispy Garlic Ribs or Five-Spice Braised Beef along with Luffa Egg Drop Soup at Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao. Place an order of Deep Fried Sesame Balls, Grandma Style Braised Pork, and many different types of Soup Dumplings at Shanghai You Garden. Or try Golden Toast, Pastel De Nata, or an Iced Honey Yuzu Tea for a sweet treat at Spot Dessert Bar.

Enjoy Top NYC Parks in Queens

Another big perk of living in Queens is getting to enjoy the city’s natural beauty at its many parks and beaches! Visit one of the less-crowded New York City beaches to relax, sunbathe, and bike scenic paved paths at Fort Tilden Beach. Swim in the largest pool in NYC, see Movies on the Waterfront, and grind the rails in the skate park at Astoria Park. Stroll through manicured gardens, check out the mist fountain, and catch a free outdoor concert at Gantry Plaza State Park. Bring your furry best friend to the dog run, visit the cafe, and play basketball or volleyball at Hunter’s Point South Park. Climb the rope obstacle course offered by the Alley Pond Park Adventure Program and appreciate conservation efforts for the wooded areas, meadows, and tidal flats at Alley Pond Park. Enjoy dozens of tree species in the historic tree grove, do yoga, and dance in the spray showers at Kissena Park. Or play 18 holes while admiring picturesque views of the Manhattan skyline from the highest point in Queens at Douglaston Golf Course.

Find Kid-Friendly Fun in Queens

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There are plenty of exciting, kid-friendly things to do in Queens. Catch a wave, explore the playgrounds, and visit concession stands for breakfast burritos, burgers, and Italian ice when you hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach. Splash in the spray showers, swim in the indoor pool, or go ice skating at 898-acre Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Escape city life to see over 12,000 acres of water ponds, islands, and woods, visit one of the largest wild bird sanctuaries in the northeastern U.S., and go camping at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Take a hayride and learn more about alpacas, sheep, pigs, and other animals at Queens County Farm Museum. Walk through a 39-acre oasis including the Children’s Garden, Arboretum, and Rose Garden, and sign up for educational kids programs at the Queens Botanical Garden. Or feed sea lions, go on special quests to learn about cool creatures and play games, and see animals like an American bison, pumas, and bald eagles at Queens Zoo.

Become a Sports Fan

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When it comes to sports, Queens has many options for both hardcore and casual fans. Head to Citi Field to watch top-notch baseball played by the New York Mets (MLB). See the Jackie Robinson “42” memorial in the Rotunda and the large collection of team memorabilia, also at Citi Field, in the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum. Catch a game at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which is home to the US Open Tennis Championships. Snag basketball tickets at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum to see the Long Island Nets (NBA G League). Enjoy some soccer in Queens with the NY Shamrocks (USASA). Or plan to line the streets in Queens to see the halfway point of the largest marathon in the world—the NYC Marathon!

Discover Queens’ Arts & Culture

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With the borough’s variety of visual and performance art spaces, it’s not hard to find a place to admire Queens art and culture. Experience professional dance and theatre performances that reflect the borough’s diversity like the Queensboro Dance Festival at Queens Theatre. Visit Queens College to witness everything from annual cultural celebrations to trios, orchestras, and other concerts at Kupferberg Center of the Arts. Attend experimental visual, performance, and musical art shows like Electronicon at Knockdown Center. See many disciplines of performing arts including comedians, theater productions, visual artists at work, and more at New York City landmark, Flushing Town Hall. Support international and local filmmakers by seeing exciting films and attending panels at the Queens World Film Festival. Or witness the creative work of street artists focused on community beautification and positive social change at the Welling Court Mural Project.

Check Out Amazing Museums in Queens

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There’s something for everyone’s tastes at the numerous museums in Queens. Celebrate the world of film with exhibits like The Jim Henson Exhibition where you can see 47 puppets, storyboards, and costumes from his work at the Museum of the Moving Image. Tour community-centered Contemporary art with exhibits such as Artist Interventions and genre-expanding performances like Warm Up 2023 at MoMA PS1. View sculptures, drawings, and more from renowned American artist Isamu Noguchi, including exhibitions like Noguchi Subscapes at Noguchi Museum. Connect this great borough’s past to the present by perusing exhibits such as the World’s Fair Collection and rotating displays like Liberating Our Truth at the Queens Museum. Explore exhibitions such as Powering the City and see daily engineering demos at the New York Hall of Science. And check out the beautiful large-scale sculptures while watching the sunset on the East River at Socrates Sculpture Park.

Get Down with Queens’ Jazz Scene

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Known as the home of jazz in the early 1920s thanks to the influx of jazz musicians arriving in NYC, Queens has a rich history of jazz music still thriving today! Attend festivals, performances, and workshops through the Queens Jazz Overground, a collective of Queens jazz musicians that make this borough a jazz destination. Catch jazz, rock, Latin, and other live music performances at Terraza 7. Watch jazz come alive with the Ed Jackson Quartet and other ensembles at the Jackson Room. Order wine by the glass, savor oysters and cheese, and appreciate live jazz at Domaine Bar a Vins. And visit the former home of this borough’s beloved jazz icon to see many of his personal possessions and exhibits like Here to Stay at the Louis Armstrong House Museum.

Attend Lively Community Events

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Queens has a variety of community events worth experiencing. Browse over 85 independent vendors selling merchandise, food, and art, watch performances by local bands and artists, and celebrate the community’s cultural diversity and heritage at the Queens Night Market. Hop on kid-friendly rides, snack on turkey legs and cotton candy, see the classic car show, and more at the Myrtle Avenue Festival. Experience Columbian culture with folklore, music, dancers, and the after-party at the Colombian Parade. Cheer on the racing dragon boats, and see dancing, live music, and kung fu performances at the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. Enjoy carnival rides, live music, and theatrical performances, and wind your way through the corn maze at the Queens County Fair. Or join over 10,000 shoppers excited to see unique vendors specializing in arts and crafts, and munch on great food while letting your kids play games at the Forest Hills Street Fair.

Check Out Amazing Restaurants in Queens

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As the city’s largest, most populated borough, it’s no surprise that Queens is home to some of the best restaurants in New York City! Bring your pooch to the very first dog cafe in the U.S. and enjoy Scones or a Baguettini paired with a Sparkling Peach Bellini at Chateau le Woof. Nothing says NYC like fresh ‘za, so grab a slice of Sicilian, Chicken Alfredo, or Grandma Pizza at Gaby’s Pizza. Discover Venezuelan cuisine with Pastelitos, a Zuliana Cachapa, or a Pulled Roasted Pork Bowl at Patacon Pisao. Order Wood Fired Tiger Prawns, a Calzone, or the Queen Pizza at Milkflower. Try traditional Asian barbecue with Sweet Crispy Tofu, Seafood Cakes, or Marinated Boneless Ribs at Gan-Hoo BBQ. Sample Taiwanese comfort food like Crispy Chicken Bian Dang, Veggie Yumplings, or Sesame Garlic Cold Noodles at Yumpling. Enjoy French recipes like Pate de Campagne, Croque Monsieur, or a La Complete Crepe at Bistro Eloise. Or snag a seat at the old-fashioned soda counter for Cherry Vanilla or Coffee Chip Ice Cream with an assortment of toppings and syrups on top at Eddie’s Sweet Shop.

Grab Some Queens Street Food

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Queens’ street food and trucks are everywhere you’ll be and come in many varieties, thanks to this area’s ethnic and cultural diversity. Head to Jackson Heights for Tostadas, Tacos, and Consome at Birria-Landia. Sample fresh Tibetan Steamed Veggie Momo, Chicken Momo, or a Pork Bun at Mom’s Momo. Try authentic Greek dishes in Astoria like a Chicken Souvlaki Pita Sandwich, Pork Gyro a la Carte, or Loukaniko Horiatiko at King Souvlaki. Find quality Middle Eastern food like the Falafel Over Rice Platter, Beef Shawarma Sandwich, or Chicken Shishkebabs at Mahmoud’s Corner Halal Food Cart. Enjoy Jamaican recipes in the neighborhood of Jamaica such as Jerked Chicken, Stewed Oxtails, or Fried Plantains at Jamrock Jerk. Or visit Corona for Torta Pumas, Torta Zorros Atlas, or Torta Potros at Tortas Neza.

Enjoy a Night Out on the Town

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There are plenty of fantastic nightlife options to choose from in Queens. Take advantage of happy hour with craft cocktails like Angel Eyes and Frozen Cosmo, or sample a great beer or bourbon at Dutch Kills Bar. Try small plates like Pineapple Shrimp while sipping an Open Sesame or Chrysanthemum Old Fashioned on the rooftop of the Hyatt Place Hotel at Leaf Bar & Lounge. Visit the tasting room to sample creative, always rotating beers like the Finback Mortality Wanes, Rolling in Clouds, or Down the Line at Finback Brewery. Stop by the oldest beer hall in NYC and sit among trees at picnic tables to enjoy Lagers, Wines, The Beer Flight, and more at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden. Attend themed events, rent out the year-round courtyard, and discover different scotches, ciders, and rums at Katch Astoria. Or rent a cabana by the pool during the day, then dance to live DJs or reggae in the evening at The Rockaway Hotel & Spa—open to visitors and locals alike!


Thinking about living in Queens? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities throughout the New York City metro, so we can help with your transition. Find a storage unit 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.