Top 7 Best neighborhoods to live in Manhattan with the Best quality of life – 2024

Manhattan, often called the heart of New York City, has a mix of neighborhoods, each offering its own distinctive character. From busy Midtown to artsy Lower East Side and elegant Upper East Side. 

Living in Manhattan means living in NYC (the city that never sleeps) and enjoying the busy life in financial districts, where each day brings new adventures and endless opportunities.

Manhattan has the ideal neighborhood for you, whether you want city life, classic New York life, peaceful park living, or a combination of both. MovingWaldo identified the top 7 best neighborhoods to live in Manhattan that offer the best quality of life in 2024. This list will assist you in finding the ideal place to live.

Methodology

Due to “Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best places.

Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in NYC, we based our ranking on three criteria: safety, affordability, and quality of life.

Based on a careful analysis of crime rates derived from the Borough and Precinct Crime Statistics provided by the NYPD, we calculated the average number of various crimes per 1000 people. These crimes include Murders, Rapes, Robberies, Felonious Assaults, Burglaries, Grand Larcenies, and Grand Larceny of Vehicles. 

The crime data utilized pertains to the year 2022. The selection of this particular year is due to the fact that agencies, on a voluntary basis, submit data encompassing the entirety of the previous year. Subsequently, there is an administrative period required for the meticulous organization and dissemination of the data on the web platform.

Affordability takes into account the prices of housing and renting. Statistics come from Rockethomes‘ median pricing for June 2023 and Zillow’s 1-bedroom median cost for July 2023.

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, the quality of education, the quality of healthcare, the feeling of safety, public transportation, the environment (cleanliness), as well as the availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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Best neighborhoods to live in Manhattan

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1. East Harlem

East Harlem - City View
  • Crime rate: 11.54 crimes per 1,000 people (23rd precinct)
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,495
  • Median property buying cost: $731,333

East Harlem, also known as “El Barrio” or Spanish Harlem, is a culturally rich neighborhood in the northeastern part of Manhattan, NYC.

The area has convenient transportation options, including subway lines, ensuring easy commutes within East Harlem and to other parts of Manhattan. Residents have access to Washington Housing Playground, Thomas Jefferson Park, and the North End of Central Park.

As of July 2023, the cost of a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,495, while the median cost of housing stands at $731,333 as of June 2023.

Reviews from real people on online forums like Reddit highlight the cultural diversity, dynamic street life, and authentic local food scene that make East Harlem one of the best neighborhoods in Manhattan. The reported crime rate is 11.53 crimes per 1,000 people, which indicates a sense of safety within the community.

Rocket Homes (June 2023)Zillow (July 2023)City data (2020)NYPD (2022)

East Harlem, Manhattan, NYC

2. Midtown East

Midtown East - Central Park
  • Crime rate: 17.10 crimes per 1,000 people (17th precinct)
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $3,995
  • Median property buying cost: $1,106,325

Midtown East is a bustling neighborhood known for its central location and iconic landmarks like Central Park, Grand Central Terminal, and the United Nations headquarters.

In terms of safety, Midtown East has a reported crime rate of 17.10 crimes per 1,000 people, offering a secure environment for NYC residents.

Real reviews on platforms like Reddit often highlight Midtown East’s convenience with easy access to multiple subway lines, as well as the nice view of the Chrysler Building and its proximity to Time Square.

As of June 2023, the median cost of housing is approximately $1,106,325, while a 1-bedroom apartment costs around $3,995 as of July 2023, making it one of the best neighborhoods in NYC.

Rocket Homes (June 2023), Zillow (July 2023), City data (2020), & NYPD (2022)

Midtown East, Manhattan, NYC

3. Hell's Kitchen South

Clinton/Hell's Kitchen South - Midtown Manhattan
  • Crime rate: 19.78 crimes per 1,000 people (10th precinct)
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $3,595
  • Median property buying cost: $1,115,000

Hell’s Kitchen South, also known as Clinton, is famous for its lively atmosphere, multiple dining options, and thriving entertainment scene, including live music. 

The neighborhood is home to numerous schools, such as P.S. 111 Adolph S. Ochs, and Professional Performing Arts High School (PPAS), providing quality educational opportunities for families.

Residents can enjoy this walkable neighborhood, exploring the Hudson River Park and DeWitt Clinton Park. Reviews from real people on online forums like Reddit often praise Hell’s Kitchen South for its energetic ambiance, unique cultural experiences, great music venues, and proximity to Broadway theaters. 

Safety is also a consideration, with the reported crime rate standing at 19.78 crimes per 1,000 people. With a 1-bedroom apartment costing around $3,595 as of July 2023 and the median cost of housing at $1,115,000 as of June 2023, Hell’s Kitchen South appeals to individuals and families seeking a lively living experience.

Rockethomes (June 2023)Zillow (July 2023)City data (2020) & NYPD (2022)

Hell's Kitchen South, Manhattan, NYC

4. Morningside Heights

Apartment in Morningside Heights
  • Crime rate: 24.87 crimes per 1,000 people (26th precinct)
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $4,225
  • Median property buying cost: $699,000

Morningside Heights is home to one of the most renowned educational institutions, Columbia University, making it an attractive choice for college students.

The neighborhood’s proximity to Riverside Park and Morningside Park provides enough recreational areas for outdoor activities, as well as extraordinary restaurants and coffee shops. Reviews from real people on online forums like Reddit frequently highlight the neighborhood’s peaceful atmosphere, bordered by tree parks, intellectual ambiance, and diverse community.

In terms of safety, Morningside Heights has a reported crime rate of 24.87 crimes per 1,000 people. While living in the area comes with a high cost, with a 1-bedroom apartment averaging $4,225 as of July 2023 and a median housing cost of $699,000 as of June 2023. Locals find the perfect blend of academics and green spaces well worth the investment.

Zillow (July 2023), City data (2020) & NYPD (2022)

Morningside Heights, Manhattan, NYC

5. East Village

  • Crime rate: 31.87 crimes per 1000 people (9th precinct)
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $3,050
  • Median property buying cost: $1,200,000

East Village is renowned for its safety, with a reported crime rate of 31.87 crimes per 1000 people. The area offers diverse recreational options, including parks like Tompkins Square Park and the John V. Lindsay East River Park that provides a beautiful waterfront pathway for bicyclists and pedestrians to enjoy, promoting relaxation and socialization. 

The neighborhood’s vibrant artistic community earns praise from real people on forums like Reddit, making it a charming and unique residential environment. 

With a rich history as one of New York’s wealthiest districts, East Village showcases beautiful architecture. And it’s well-known for its vibrant nightlife and restaurants.

As of June 2023, the median housing cost is approximately $1,200,000, and a 1-bedroom apartment is around $3,050 as of July 2023, solidifying East Village as one of the best neighborhoods in NYC.

Zillow (July 2023), City data (2020), & NYPD (2022)

East Village, Manhattan, NYC

6. Two Bridges

Two Bridges - View at Night
  • Crime rate: 55.19 crimes per 1,000 people (7th precinct)
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,895
  • Median property buying cost: $1,200,000

Two Bridges offers a unique blend of history and modernity. The employment rate in Two Bridges is promising, with opportunities available in various sectors such as retail, hospitality, and services. 

This neighborhood earns its name from its location between the two most famous bridges in Manhattan: the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge, where you can get sensational views of both.

Reviews from real people on online forums like Reddit praise the area for its vibrant atmosphere, diverse dining options, and unique character.

It has a reported crime rate of 55.19 crimes per 1,000 people, which may be a consideration for potential residents. The median cost of housing is $1,200,000 as of June 2023, with 1-bedroom apartments renting for approximately $2,895 as of July 2023.

Rocket Homes (June 2023)Zillow (July 2023)City data (2020) & NYPD (2022)

Two Bridges, Manhattan, NYC

7. Chelsea

  • Crime rate: 26.47 crimes per 1000 people (10th precinct)
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $4,500
  • Median property buying cost: $1,950,000

Chelsea is an art district with galleries showcasing works by established and new artists. The High Line, an elevated park built on old railroad tracks, adds to the artistic charm of Chelsea. Additionally, you can visit the Little Island, Manhattan’s newest “floating” green space, and explore the area’s upscale businesses.

Reviews from real people on online forums describe Chelsea as an exciting and welcoming neighborhood to call home, boasting a lively atmosphere filled with inspiring artwork and beautiful parks that bring the community together.

Chelsea also offers cultural experiences with its museums and art galleries.

It has a reported crime rate of 26.47 crimes per 1,000 people, which may be a consideration for potential residents. The median cost of housing is $1,950,000 as of June 2023, with 1-bedroom apartments renting for approximately $4,500 as of July 2023.

Rockethomes (June 2023), Zillow (July 2023), City data (2020), & NYPD (2022)

Chelsea, Manhattan, NYC

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Conclusion

Living in Manhattan provides a hustle and bustle way of life. Its accessibility and a strong sense of community make it appealing to residents from all walks of life. Moving to Manhattan means immersing yourself in the energy and excitement of living in the Big Apple. 

There is always something going on, and the fast-paced atmosphere keeps residents interested and motivated. This article will help you choose the best neighborhood in Manhattan with the Best Quality of life – 2024.

Are you planning to move soon? Learn about the Best Manhattan Movers!

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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