Travelling can be expensive, and accommodation is often where you can save the most money. But New York is a big city with a high cost of living – finding a cheap hotel there is challenging and requires time and sometimes, even a bit of luck.
However, if you're wondering where to stay in New York for cheap, don't worry! In this article, I'll give you helpful tips to find an affordable hotel in New York City and avoid unpleasant surprises. I've also gathered some good recommendations for budget hotels in New York, so just keep reading! 😊
Things to consider when looking for an affordable place to sleep in New York City
To find a hotel at the best price in New York, it's important to know the different factors that have a significant influence on the price:
- Location: the closer a hotel is to the centre of Manhattan and other world-famous avenues, the more expensive it will be.
- Amenities: naturally, the more numerous and high-quality the services, the higher the price.
- Travel period: prices skyrocket during the peak tourist season. The high season in New York typically goes from April to October, with a peak in July and August. Prices also rise during the year-end holidays.
- Time of booking: the earlier you book, the more options you'll have and the better deals you can find. Indeed, the best budget hotels and those with the best value for money are often fully booked several weeks in advance.
As you probably understood, to maximise your chances of finding a cheap hotel in New York City, you’ll have to book early, choose a hotel that offers modest amenities and that is relatively far from the centre of Manhattan (but not too far, as I'll explain later in this article). And if you can, I recommend visiting New York outside of peak tourist periods – that’s the best way to save money 👍
My budget-friendly hotel recommendation in New York City🏨
If you want to stay in an affordable hotel during your trip to New York, I recommend the West Side YMCA which is located in Manhattan, in the Upper West Side neighbourhood – right next to Central Park and Columbus Circle.
This hotel offers standard double rooms with shared bathrooms for approximately £130 per night. Considering its location, it’s one of the most affordable hotels you will find in New York City. However, make sure to book your room as early as you can to secure it and enjoy the best rates!😉
What are budget hotels in New York City like?
Before I give you my recommendations of the best affordable hotels in New York City, let’s quickly go over the average budget you should allocate for a night in a hotel in this city. In general, you’ll have to spend around £217 per night for a standard room in a Manhattan hotel.
The hotels I will talk about in the following lines all offer cheaper prices. However, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. Firstly, when it is not specified, the prices mentioned are those outside of peak tourist periods and for bookings made well in advance.
Let me tell you right away, if you are travelling to New York City in July and book your room in one of these hotels only a week before your departure, they will likely be fully booked – and even if they are not, you will have to pay a much higher price 😕
You should also know that budget hotels in Manhattan are rarely located in the very heart of Manhattan. Moreover, they almost always offer small rooms and may not always have private bathrooms. The affordable hotels I recommend are located in Manhattan and Queens – which in my opinion, are the only boroughs where you can truly find reasonably priced accommodations without staying too far from the city centre 😁
Selection of affordable hotels in New York City
Affordable hotels in Manhattan
The Belvedere Hotel
The Belvedere Hotel is located in the heart of the Theater District and Times Square, less than 1 km from Radio City Music Hall and a 10-minute walk from Broadway Theatre. This 4-star establishment offers spacious rooms equipped with everything you need to feel comfortable during your stay. You'll also have access to a restaurant serving Brazilian specialties, a fitness centre, and a meeting room. For a night at the Belvedere Hotel, expect a minimum price of £123.
HOTEL 31 EXTENDED STAY
This 2-star hotel is perfectly located in Manhattan, close to the Empire State Building and several subway stations. Hotel 31 Extended Stay is a family-run establishment that will give you a warm welcome and is just a few steps away from the city's major attractions – without being expensive. Please note that this hotel is in high demand and tends to be fully booked weeks in advance throughout the year. The small, clean double rooms with shared or private bathrooms are available from around £103 per night.
The Jane Hotel
Here is a charming little hotel located in Greenwich Village, just steps away from the High Line and several subway stations. This picturesque and quiet neighbourhood is close to everything and it is also truly one of the best places to stay during a trip to New York City. The Jane Hotel is situated in a renovated historic building and features a bar and restaurant. Its comfortable and stylishly decorated rooms, with private bathrooms, are available for around £95 per night.
Affordable hotels in Queens
Wyndham Garden Long Island City
This 3-star hotel is located in Long Island, Queens, just steps away from the East River and the Queensboro Bridge, and approximately 500 metres from the Queensboro Plaza subway station and the Long Island City train station. It is also about fifteen minutes from the centre of Manhattan. Wyndham Garden Long Island City features a highly appreciated restaurant and a fitness centre. This peaceful establishment offers great hospitality and rooms for two starting for around £121 per night.
Grandview Hotel New York
The Grandview Hotel New York, with its prime location close to a subway station, allows easy access to popular attractions and landmarks in the city. The hotel offers comfortable and well-appointed rooms, a fitness centre, on-site dining options, and friendly customer service. You can rent a room for about £93 per night.
Is it better to stay in Manhattan, or should you choose another borough?
If budget was not a factor, the answer would be quite simple: you should sleep in Manhattan. However, it is in this borough that hotels are most expensive. So if you wish to save money, you will have to decide between either staying in Manhattan or venturing further away from the centre and staying in other boroughs like Queens and Brooklyn, or even in New Jersey.
Staying a bit further from Manhattan can be interesting in some cases – especially if you plan on staying in New York for a long time. For a pretty standard trip to New York however, during which you will want to explore all the interesting areas in the city (which are mostly located in Manhattan) – straying too far away will have you spending a significant amount of time in transportation, which is not a good thing when you’re in the city for only a few days.
Travellers sometimes underestimate travel times and think that it is relatively quick to reach Manhattan from anywhere in New York City, but such is not always the case. And I can speak from experience! During my first trip to New York, I stayed in a hotel located 45 minutes away from Midtown. This meant I had to spend 1.5 hours each day commuting – and even longer if there were unexpected delays 🥲 Moreover, such a distance prevented me from easily going back and forth to my hotel during the day, for a quick rest or to drop something off.
This is why I truly believe that finding a hotel located within a maximum of twenty minutes from Midtown is the best option for most tourists. There are several options for this:
- Staying in Manhattan, some distance away from the centre.
- Staying in Brooklyn, in a neighbourhood close to Manhattan and a subway station… but it is actually very hard to find an affordable hotel that fits these criteria.
- Staying in Queens, particularly in Long Island and neighbourhoods closer to the East River, which are the only ones from which you can get to Midtown in 20 minutes.
- Staying in New Jersey – a city that is very close to New York City. However, this will have you taking the ferry or making a more complex subway journey to reach the sites you want to visit.
That's all for this article! I hope you enjoyed it and that you now have a good idea of where to find affordable accommodations in New York City! If you're still wondering what to do in New York during your stay, check out my article on the subject – you'll learn about all the must-see places and must-do activities in the Big Apple! 😄