You are still pondering where to stay in New York City but you're leaving soon? No worries! You've come to the right place! 😉
For many travellers, finding the perfect accommodation for a trip to New York is an important and often time-consuming step. New York is not known for its low prices when it comes to accommodation! But never fear – with my advice, you will find where to stay in New York City by reading this article!
I explain everything in this article, giving my best plans and favourite addresses. I’ll help you know which borough to choose and what budget to plan 😊
"Cheap" accommodation in New York City
Where to sleep for cheap in New York City? — This is the question I get asked every time!
Even if the definition of "cheap" is quite relative in New York, it is possible to find accommodation for as cheap as £77 a night. Of course, I'm talking about a decent double room, in a hotel that isn’t located on the other side of the city (no point in wasting an hour in the morning and evening commutes).
So yes, £77 per night is the minimum budget you will have to spend to sleep in a double room in New York City 🙂
How to choose a hotel in New York City?
If you book far enough in advance, you can find good deals in the Manhattan borough directly! But you'll need to book well in advance, for there will be few good deals left as early as one or two months before your departure.
That’s why I recommend looking for where to stay in New York City and booking your accommodation as soon as your travel dates are set.
The Manhattan area is really great for accommodation in New York: you will be close to all the different places of interest. On the other hand, it is also the most expensive area to sleep in New York... And therefore not necessarily affordable for all 😔
To save money (or to discover another atmosphere), I advise you to look into other neighbourhoods such as Brooklyn, Queens, Chelsea or Greenwich Village. There are many possibilities – you just need to find a hotel close to an underground station. Remember that New York is a huge city, so choose a well-located hotel to avoid wasting too much time getting around.
Don't worry though, no matter which area you choose, you will be able to get to Manhattan in 15-20 minutes by underground! 😁
My favourite accommodation in the heart of the city 🏙
If you want to fully enjoy the atmosphere of the city during your stay and your budget allows it, I recommend opting for a hotel in the city centre. The Square Hotel, for example, is a very well located hotel in Manhattan. Right next to Times Square, close to Central Park and the Empire State Building, the hotel will definitely meet your expectations!
Double rooms are available from £161. This hotel could be a very good choice to make the most of your stay in New York City. Just remember to book your room in advance to get the best price 😉
My recommendations for 'cheap' accommodation
When going to New York for the first time, you don't necessarily know which neighbourhood to choose to find a cheap hotel. Well, it's easy: to find a room with a good quality/price ratio, you have to move away from the heart of the city!
The further away you get from the heart of Manhattan and the city's top attractions, the lower the hotel rates become.
For example, Brooklyn and Queens are the best places to stay, with rooms averaging $100/night in low season. And the neighbourhood is generally quite pleasant!
Find cheap accommodation in Brooklyn
If you go to Brooklyn, you will be ideally placed to discover the famous Brooklyn Bridge in the early morning 🙌
You can also easily stroll through Brooklyn Bridge Park and wander through the large Brooklyn Flea Market. Not to mention that you will be able to spend your evenings in the area’s trendy bars.
- One of my favourite places to stay in Brooklyn is the Pod Brooklyn Hotel. The rooms are chic, simple and clean. The best part? It costs about £126 a night in low season!
Where to sleep in Queens?
Queens is also a great district to stay in, and even cheaper than Brooklyn. In the neighbourhood, you can visit the Museum of the Moving Image, Flushing Meadows Park (where the US Open takes place) or the Mets Stadium (baseball team). It is also there that you can find Rockaway Beach!
- In this area, I recommend a rather nice hotel where I already slept and that I also recommended to friends who were planning a last minute trip to New York. The LIC Hotel’s rates are pretty good – about £92 per night if you book in advance and in the low tourist season. You will be 2 minutes away from the New York underground and, from there, 20 minutes away from Central Park. It’s really perfect to move around freely and without spending too much time on travel every day. Plus, you will get a great view of the skyline from the hotel’s rooftop!
Are there good deals on cheap accommodation in Manhattan?
Yes, if you plan well in advance, there are indeed some hotels in Manhattan that are accessible from £85 a night in low season (and about £115 in high season). They are not the most luxurious hotels (and certainly not the most stylish ones…) but they are located in the heart of New York City!
- Hotel 31 is one of the most affordable accommodations in Manhattan. The rooms are quite old fashioned but you won't find anything cheaper in Manhattan. The hotel is clean and cheap for New York, and is good value for money for the Manhattan area – about £118 per night. There’s a 5 minute walk to the Empire State Building and about 15 minutes to Times Square. Perfect for an evening stroll around Manhattan before walking back to your hotel!
- The Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York also has great promotions from time to time. It offers really stylish rooms and is very well located. However, prices vary from £77 to £230 per night, depending on the season. Again, check the prices for the dates of your stay – it's the best way to see the up-to-date rates.
And if you have a very comfortable accommodation budget?
You now know that a room in New York City costs a minimum of £85-£105 per night (£77-£92), but if you are ready to increase your accommodation budget, you can opt for a hotel close to Manhattan, or even in the heart of the district.
This would actually be ideal for a short stay, for it is in Manhattan that there are the most things to see and do: Times Square, Madison Square Garden, Broadway, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center... You will even have the opportunity to shop in the wonderful boutiques of 5th Avenue!
Moreover, with a bigger budget (from 300 dollars/night) you will be able to select a luxury hotel and live a dream stay! And New York has no shortage of beautiful hotels! 😄
- Le Méridien New York is a 5-star hotel offering spacious rooms and suites. Located in Midtown, Manhattan, you can walk directly to Central Park (about 300 metres away), and Times Square (about 1.3 km away). While staying at this hotel, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and Central Park from the rooftop bar. For a night in a room with a king-size bed, expect to pay a minimum of £326.
- If you want to stay in a 5-star hotel in Midtown Manhattan, the JW Marriott Essex House New York may be just what you need. Located across from Central Park, this luxury hotel offers rooms with custom-made furniture. You will also have access to restaurants, a spa and a 24-hour gym. Some rooms overlook the interior, while others offer city and park views. Overnight rates are at least £478.
- The Plaza Hotel is also located in Manhattan, next to Central Park and 5th Avenue. If you stay here, you will have access to luxurious, spacious rooms and modern bathrooms. You can also take advantage of restaurants and bars such as the Palm Court – one of the best destinations for an afternoon snack in New York City. Expect to pay at least £595 per night.
Alternatives to hotels
If your budget is limited (less than £77 for accommodation), renting a hotel room is not mandatory. There are many other, much more economical options available to you 👍
Renting from a private person
The first option is to rent a room from a local person. This is a good solution if you prefer to spend your money on visits and outings and if you think you will spend most of your time outside. However, if you don't want to share a bathroom and kitchen with your host, don't bother!
Another option would be to rent a furnished flat – it’s actually the best option. This can even cost you less than a hotel room would! This option is also very interesting if you are planning to travel with your family.
The most popular website for renting accommodation from local people is Airbnb. The platform has a very large number of flats but beware – demand is high. Alternatively, you can also use Abritel or Wimdu (the flats are rented by professionals) or Vrbo. New York Habitat is also an agency specialising in flat rentals.
As for rental prices, you will find flats at a wide range of prices. Some are available from as little as £85/night 😃
Have you thought about booking your activities? 🗽
While in New York City, you will surely want to do as many activities as possible 🙌 Whether it's visiting museums, climbing to the top of the Empire State Building or going on a cruise to see the Statue of Liberty, there is no shortage of things to do in the City That Never Sleeps!
But remember to book your activities in advance to make sure you don't miss out on anything 😉
You can get accommodation almost free of charge by lending your flat or house to strangers. In exchange, they will also lend you their home for the duration of your stay. To take advantage of this, register and create your profile on HomeExchange.
This exchange can be reciprocal (you exchange your home with New Yorkers who will be visiting the United Kingdom at the same time) or you can accumulate points by lending your home over the course of the year to pay for your future accommodation abroad.
To find a flat, check out sites like Intervac or HomeLink International.
Most people travelling on a budget (especially if they are alone) opt for hostel accommodation. A bed in a hostel dormitory costs about $25-$30 per person and per night. A trifling sum compared to hotel rates!
However, don't hesitate to compare hostels with each other – prices can vary and so can accommodation conditions. Careful though: prices can quickly rise in high season!
If you are tempted by this adventure, look on Booking.com or on the reference website Hostelworld. You'll find dormitory beds and even private rooms at reduced prices! For example, you can get a single bed in a mixed dormitory in the “Broadway Hotel & Hostel” from £22/night.
Of course, if you are a bit worried about the quality of the dormitories, you should choose a hostel that is part of the Hostelling International network. Unfortunately, there is only one such hostel in New York! 😕 It is located on the Upper West Side. All other hostels are privately owned. But it's the largest youth hostel in the country and the 2nd largest in the world: with 700 beds in all, you're bound to find one for yourself!
Bed & Breakfasts
For a warmer and more authentic welcome, opt for a room in a Bed & Breakfast. Breakfast will obviously be included and you will be able to enjoy true interactions with New Yorkers during your stay.
The average cost of a night is between £58 and £136. For example, you can stay in a period house (1898) at Lefferts Manor Bed & Breakfast in Brooklyn, or in the 255West Guesthouse in Harlem.
This is a new trend where people offer their couch to sleep on, for a price. You can find a list of places to sleep on the couchsurfing community website, Couchsurfing.com.
It's usually free and you can (often) meet some great people. Here too, note that demand is high and you will not always find a couch available 🙁
On the other hand, if you really value your comfort and privacy, don't even consider this option! 😅
Top 5 tips to find the best value hotel
- Book your accommodation as far in advance as possible (up to 6 months before the date of your stay if you can!). Yes, New York is a very popular city, and the best hotels are quickly fully booked – so make your hotel reservation as soon as you know the dates of your stay.
- Get away from the heart of Manhattan and choose an accommodation in the Queens, Brooklyn or Harlem districts. Always choose a place not far from an underground station (preferably a 5 to 10 minute walk on foot)! Otherwise your stay will be ruined by the time you waste in transport 😕
- Avoid the high tourist season, during which prices can double! For example, forget the period from April to September, the Halloween period, the New York marathon period and the Christmas holidays. Prefer a stay in January, February and March. Also note that prices are much more expensive on weekends than during the week.
Therefore, if you have the opportunity, go during the off-peak period, even if it is rather cold at that time in New York. Besides, the city in the snow is just beautiful! Not to mention that you'll avoid endless queues at the entrance to the various New York City attractions! 🙌
- Use the Booking platform. This will allow you to quickly compare prices from one district to another. If you're lucky, you may even come across a good deal!
- Don't forget to look at the comments left by hotel guests – they will often let you know which hotels are superb in terms of comfort and service, and which are disappointing or should be avoided. This way you won't waste time searching 😉
That's it for this article on where to stay in New York City! I hope that with my tips you will be able to find the perfect place to stay on your next trip to the City That Never Sleeps 😊 And if you’re still wondering what to do in New York City, check out my article to discover many original activities! 😄