Planning a family vacation to New York City? You have come to the right place. We are here to help you find the best neighbourhoods in NYC for families. New York is a bustling city that thrums with energy. Between the iconic tourist attractions and the never-ending stream of people, you won’t know where to look!
The following information will ensure you have all the information to plan the perfect NYC family vacation.
Types of neighbourhoods
NYC has 5 distinct areas (boroughs) which are Manhattan (the most popular amongst tourists), Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens. If you are visiting the city to see some of the famous tourist attractions, you will probably want to stay in Manhattan. This large island is home to most of the attractions you have seen on television. This includes Central Park, the Empire State Building and Times Square. You probably don’t want to be dragging young children on and off public transport (and taxis take a long time given the traffic). Staying somewhere central will make for the most stress-free trip. It will also help you to maximise your time so you can see more during your stay.
Preparing for travel to NYC
NYC is a beloved destination the world over. Whether you were born and raised in the USA or come from the other side of the world, there is a good chance that this iconic city is on your list to visit at least once during your life.
If you are headed to NYC from overseas, it is important that you are aware of the entry requirements that need to be met for you to enter the country. For many people, this is likely to include obtaining an ESTA before your trip.
An ESTA is an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation and is open to any resident belonging to a country belonging to the USA’s visa waiver program. It is a formal pre-approval that travellers can get in place of a traditional visa. The esta visa online application process is very simple and easy to complete. All of your information will be collected via the online portal, then processes by US customs officers. You will receive approval (or rejection) of your application electronically.
It is recommended that you apply for an ESTA at least three weeks before your departure date. That way, you will have time to solve any problems should they arise. Also, take note that possession of an approved ESTA does not make you exempt from customs processing when you first arrive in the USA. You will still need to pass through border control as normal, however the ESTA information will help to make this process a little faster.
If you are from a country that does not belong to the visa waiver program, other entry requirements will apply to you. Always do your research through reputable websites to ensure you do not experience any issues entering the USA.
Is the Bronx dangerous for tourists?
The Bronx has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in New York City. Still, the area has a lot to offer and is quite safe to explore during the day. That being said, it is not without crime. In fact, there is some crime present across of all of NYC. The safest areas being the Upper East Side and Upper West Side in Manhattan, as well as Williamsburg in Brooklyn.
For a family vacation, you will probably feel more comfortable staying in a safer area in Manhattan where you can venture out after dark safely. Staying close to highly populated areas like Times Square (which is busy until well after midnight) is likely to be safer than catching subways or walking down quiet streets alone.
What is the safest neighbourhood in Brooklyn?
Brooklyn is a charming part of NYC and a very popular base for tourists. For a family vacation, we recommend staying in Williamsburg. It is the safest area in the borough with plenty of energy. There is great live music, eclectic vintage shops, and a range of restaurants to try.
What is the busiest place in New York?
NYC has a reputation for being extremely busy. When you first arrive in Manhattan, you will see why. Even the drive from the airport is likely to be filled with endless traffic and you will see the crowds from your window. Do not be put off though – the bustle is what creates the incomparable NYC vibe! The busiest area, however, is Times Square and the surrounding area on Broadway. The place is always crowded with tourists and theatregoers, so be ready to brave the crowds and try not to lose anyone along the way!
What say you?
Thoughts on the Best Neighbourhoods in NYC for Families?
Let’s hear it!
Looking for more USA?