Where To Stay In New York City: Best Areas & Hotels

Did someone say boujie, chic, or ultra-posh? Referred to by locals as the UES, the Upper East Side of town is where luxury meets fancy with a side of classy.

The Upper East Side is quite a large area and is broken down into three smaller neighbourhoods:

  • Lenox Hill
  • Carnegie Hill
  • Yorkville

The gorgeous streets showcase one stunning mansion after the other and you’ll find plenty of charming parks, coffee shops and incredible museums.

Perhaps you’ve wanted to visit the UES ever since watching Gossip Girl or maybe you’ve never heard of the neighbourhood before – whatever the reason, it’s worth it. It will be one of New York’s best areas you can stay in.

Life moves at a slower pace on this side of Manhatten which is perfect if you want to escape the flashiness of Midtown.

You’ll find a different type of flashy here, as you gaze at the breathtaking mansions on Fifth Avenue with their Central Park views.

Looking for a little less uber-glamourous (read: affordable)? Closer to the East River you’ll find a more real-life experience where you can get a taste of what life is like for the mortals (locals).

If you want to soak up the art scene you are in the right area. Fifth Avenue is also known as the Museum Mile which houses a wealth of world-class museums and cultural institutions, such as the magnificent Metropolitan Museum of Art and of course the Guggenheim. Buy your tickets ahead of time and a real insider tip: make use of the free (!) audio guide tour for a whole different experience.

Take a break at LeVain Bakery for some mouth-watering baked goods.

With your sugar rush kicking in, make sure to add Albertine Bookstore to your stop-off list. Even if you are not book shopping take some time to explore this beautiful shop.

Other things to see and do in the Upper East Side of Manhatten:

  • Cooper Hewitt Design Museum
  • Neue Gallery
  • Central Park and the Central Park Zoo
  • Nothing says NYC like a cool speakeasy. Head to UES. It looks like a normal ice cream shop but if you ask for the storage room you’ll be taken to a secret bar with ice cream-themed cocktails
  • In the mood for real ice cream? Try Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, they have some of the most interesting flavours and the best ice cream in town.
  • Channel your inner Blair Waldorf and go shopping at the iconic Bloomingdales (or just window shop, as the prices on the tags here definitely scream UES)
  • Roosevelt Island Tram
  • Shopaholic in the house? Head to Madison Avenue
  • Want a fun, but slightly different night out? At Hex & Co they have over a thousand different board games, some of which you’ll probably never heard of
  • Venture towards 59E59 for an epic off-broadway experience and support the local art scene