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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Jersey City in 2024

Moving to Jersey City? New Jersey’s second-largest city boasts great public transportation, lots of local eats, family-friendly parks, and more. Check out these safe, affordable neighborhoods in Jersey City!

Hackensack Riverfront

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  • Home Price: $389,629 median purchase price; $1,494 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 64% of Jersey City neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking for a neighborhood that blends urban and suburban vibes? Look no further than Hackensack Riverfront! As a popular area to buy a home in Jersey City, residents can find condos, townhomes, and single-family homes ranging from rowhouses to Cape Cods—either near the hustle and bustle of city life or in the quiet, gated community of Society Hill. Whichever you choose, the convenient bus stops along West Side Ave, accessible commutes to New York City via I-78, and a decent walking score help make traveling from this Jersey City neighborhood a breeze. If you prefer to stay closer to home, places like the Hackensack River Greenway are great for getting some exercise while enjoying views of the Hackensack River! Families can also take advantage of nearby schools in Jersey City like James F Murray School, University Academy Charter High School, and more. And students pursuing higher education will appreciate being close to New Jersey City University, located just outside the neighborhood.

Things to Do in Hackensack Riverfront

Get some retail therapy in at stores like Gold Valley, Bath & Body Works, Florence Menswear, and more at Hudson Mall. Take your dog for a walk on the trail or let your kids burn some energy on the playground and athletic fields at Audubon Park. Cheer on NJCU’s D-III sports teams like a men’s or women’s soccer game, or catch a foul ball during a baseball or softball game at the Thomas M. Gerrity Athletic Complex. Explore the work of student artists at the public NJCU Visual Arts Gallery. Try signature toast options like The Popeye, Nutty Banana, and The Heater for breakfast or brunch at Blends Cafe. Share an order of Thai Lettuce Wraps, Mamak Dumplings, Roti Canai, and other Malayasian and Chinese dishes from Mamak House. Sample Chicken Tikka, Kibbeh, Beef Biryani, and more Mediterranean cuisine from Samia Grill & Cafe. Or end your day with a Gelato Milkshake, Affogato Blends, Boba’lato, or other sweet treats from Jersey & Co. Gelato.

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The Heights

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  • Home Price: $454,812 median purchase price; $1,473 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 45% of Jersey City neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families

Elevate your experience of living in Jersey City by choosing a home in the charming neighborhood of The Heights. Nestled atop the Palisades, this vibrant, densely populated community offers a picturesque backdrop with stunning views of Hoboken, the Manhattan skyline, and the Hudson River. The Heights neighborhood also boasts a rich architectural history, featuring a mix of historic brownstones and pre-war buildings, resulting in unique and character-filled streets. Families with children can send them to great schools in Jersey City like Jotham W. Wakeman School, Alfred Zampella School, Christa McAuliffe School, and more. Plus, you can find lots of local restaurants, shops, and amenities along Central Ave, which runs right through the middle of this Jersey City neighborhood.

Things to Do in The Heights

Book a lane, sign up for group classes, or take private lessons at Jersey City Archery. Let the little ones run around on the playground, play a game of soccer on the fields, or spend winters ice skating at Pershing Field Park. Take your kids to their little league games, plan a BBQ, cool off on the splash pads, or let your furry friend roam the dog park at Washington Park. Picnic in the shaded gazebo and enjoy views of the New York City Skyline, Hudson River, and George Washington Bridge at Riverview-Fisk Park. Fuel up with a Mango Shake, Cubano Sandwich, or Spaghetti con Pollo from Rumba’s Cafe. Snack on Mortadella, Maritozzi, Borlotti Bean Salad, and more from Bread and Salt. Order Italian cuisine like Smoked Terrine, Lumache, or Pork Shoulder Stracotto during date night at Corto. Or pick up sweet treats like Coconut Mousse Cake, Tiramisu, Flan, and other desserts at family-owned Dulce De Leche Bakery.

Journal Square

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  • Home Price: $408,459 median purchase price; $1,396 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 27% of Jersey City neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Journal Square—once known for housing the headquarters of the Jersey Journal—is still considered the “cultural center of Hudson County” by many. Historic charm blends with contemporary creativity to create an art hub that brings together the whole community. Murals and mature trees paint a colorful background for the rowhomes, brownstones, and larger detached Colonials. Spaces like the Commuter Gallery, the forthcoming international Centre Pompidou × Jersey City museum, and LGBTQ-centered community events hosted by the Hudson Pride Center keep the neighborhood tight-knit, perfect for residents of all ages who want a strong sense of community. Plus, Journal Square is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Jersey City while also granting easy access to other parts of the area via Journal Square PATH station and I-78 and US-139. This combination of easy travel and the presence of Hudson County Community College make the neighborhood a great place for those seeking higher education.

Things to Do in Journal Square

Beat the summer heat with a swim at Pavonia/Marion Municipal Pool, a public pool in Jersey City. Get involved with your local community’s arts and entertainment at the historic Loew’s Jersey Theatre, once called “The Most Lavish Temple of Entertainment in New Jersey.” Learn about the past through rotating exhibits, regular programs and events, and annual gatherings like The Jersey City Art & Studio Tour and Bergen Square Day at the Museum of Jersey City History. Catch up-and-coming artists, comedy acts, tribute bands, and more at nearby White Eagle Hall. Pick up a House Blend Pour Over, Vanilla Protein Shake Latte, or Matcha Latte from CLO Coffee Co. Sit down for a Vegan Breakfast Burrito, Avocado Madness sandwich, or Chicken Bacon Omelet for Jersey City brunch at Cafe Peanut. Warm up with Lemon & Coriander Soup, Malai Chicken Kebab, Chilli Paneer, and other Indian dishes from Hyderabad House JC. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with Ube Bread, Mango Cream Cake, or Ensaymadas from Philippine Bread House.

McGinley Square

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  • Home Price: $425,200 median purchase price; $1,231 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 18% of Jersey City neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families, retirees

You can find a dynamic intersection of education, culture, and community while living in McGinley Square. Residents of this Jersey City neighborhood appreciate its urban atmosphere meshed with lots trees, small parks, and close proximity to larger green spaces just outside the neighborhood. McGinley Square is also centrally located and highly walkable, making it easy to take advantage of local amenities or commute to other parts of the city. You can get to know your neighbors during the annual Harvest Fest, Neighborhood Clean Up, and more community events hosted by the McGinley Square Special Improvement District. Plus, parents can send their kids to great schools like Julia A. Barnes School and Joseph H. Brensinger Elementary School. And with Saint Peter’s University located in the neighborhood, there’s easy access to higher education and careers at the university.

Things to Do in McGinley Square

Work out with a swim, game of racquet ball or squash, or activities like yoga and martial arts when you become a member at Yanitelli Recreational Life Center. Play chess, cool off at the spray pad, or enjoy the raised gardens at Boyd-McGuiness Park. Sign up for sewing classes, share art, and view the works of other artists at SMUSH Gallery, located just outside of this Jersey City neighborhood. Pull out the pool cues, rack and break the balls, and win a few games at neighborhood pool hall, PD Billiards. Start your day with an Iced Chai Latte, Hibiscus Lavender Iced Tea, or Turmeric Latte at Snapdragon Coffee & Social. Pick up a Piggly Wiggly Bagel Sandwich, Brioche Breakfast Sandwich, or Palestinian Shakshuka for a warm brunch at The Cottage. Order pizzas like the McGinley Pie, Italian Stallion, Funghi, and more from ITA Italian Kitchen. Or savor a Mexican Sausage Burrito, Chorizo Quesadilla, Al Pastor Tacos, and other authentic Mexican dishes from Mi Mariachi.

West Side

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  • Home Price: $326,669 median purchase price; $1,341 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 36% of Jersey City neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families

Discover the perfect blend of urban convenience and green space in West Side, one of the most diverse and affordable neighborhoods in Jersey City. Housing types in this area range from charming single-family homes to modern condominiums, and parents can choose from Badr School, Chaplain Charles Watters School, Learning Community Charter School, and other nearby institutions. Moving to Jersey City’s West Side neighborhood also means that you can easily explore parks, local restaurants, shops, and more right outside your door, since this area is very walkable. Living in West Side is particularly ideal for those who appreciate the outdoors and an active lifestyle, thanks to the popular Lincoln Park—a 150-acre area that provides residents with easy access to some of the best outdoor activities in Jersey City.

Things to Do in West Side

Take your pick from a game of tennis, a run on the track, handball, horseshoes, and more at the vast Lincoln Park—the oldest and largest park in Hudson County. Take in views of the Manhattan skyline while teeing off on the fairways at Skyway Golf Course. Watch the sunset as you paddle down the Hackensack River with Urban Paddle. Immerse yourself in Jersey City culture by meeting artists and viewing their work at Mana Contemporary. Snack on an Almond Croissant or Protein Brownie while sipping a Coquito White Mocha from Treehouse Coffee Shop. Pick up Chicken Flautas, Nachos Rancheros, Pambazos, and other authentic Mexican dishes from My Mexico Restaurant. Enjoy Veal Parmigiana, Baked Ziti, Chicken Cutlet, and more from Carmine’s Italian Deli. Or grab a Ninja Turtles Pizza, Macaroni Salad, or Turkey Chipotle Panini for a quick bite from Super Hero Sub Shop.


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Neighborhood Statistics from AreaVibes

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.