New York’s iconic boroughs were created when the city we know today was established in 1898. Before then, the city was made up solely of Manhattan. Each borough has its own president, though the whole city is overseen by the Mayor of New York. If you’re planning a visit to the Big Apple and you’re interested in getting out of central Manhattan, read on to learn a little more about each of the five boroughs and choose the destination that suits you best!
Start with Manhattan. Whether it's your first time in the city or you’re revisiting an old favourite, the several districts of Manhattan never fail to charm.
Manhattan is split into five districts of its own:
• Lower Manhattan
• Midtown Manhattan
• Upper Manhattan
• Washington Heights
Most of New York’s most popular attractions are in Manhattan, including the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Centre, and Times Square. You must visit these spots if it’s your first time in the city; forget about searching for New York’s coolest hangouts for a minute and get involved.
Separated from Manhattan by the East River, Brooklyn is the most highly populated borough with over 2,600,000 residents! Walk across Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan or take the subway to Prospect Park or Coney Island. We recommend taking a picnic to the park or Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a low-cost way to enjoy the area.
Brooklyn is bursting with life, with several vibrant neighbourhoods characterised by the different ethnic groups who live there. Stroll along Atlantic Avenue from Brooklyn Bridge for independent cafés and coffee shops, bars, and restaurants and to soak in a little local atmosphere.
Queens is the largest and most up-and-coming borough in New York. The centre for independent art and cinema, Queens is also known for its roots in jazz and was the home of Louis Armstrong in the mid-twentieth century.
Want to live like a local in Queens? Start by eating something! Thanks to its cultural diversity, Queens is a cornucopia of international dining options. Spend a day at the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and make sure you check out the Unisphere (you are a tourist, after all).
The Bronx is separated from Manhattan by the Harlem River, and is the only borough located on the mainland. It’s easy to dive into the local flow here, with plenty going on and loads to see and do.
In terms of culture, the Bronx is New York’s rap and hip-hop gem. There are more than seventy languages spoken on the streets, though most speak English or Spanish. If you’re planning to visit the Bronx while you’re in New York, you might prefer to stick to the Hudson River area, as some parts of the borough can be a little unsafe if you don’t know your way around.
We recommend you grab tickets to an event at Yankee Stadium or take a stroll around New York Botanical Garden during your time in the Bronx.
Though it’s just half an hour away from Manhattan, Staten Island is the least visited of New York’s boroughs. Hop on the ferry to Staten Island and check out its array of colonial buildings and visit historic Richmond Town or Fort Wadsworth.
Looking for hotels in New York? Choose ibis hotels near New York airport and forget about travelling long distances when you land.