Best NYC Neighborhoods for Young Professionals

For many recent college graduates and young professionals, moving to New York City to begin a career can be an exciting but stressful time. With entry-level salaries, student loans, and little knowledge about the area, recent grads may struggle with finding the perfect neighborhood for their interests and budget. However, many college grads have flocked to these neighborhoods finding just that. These neighborhoods offer different vibes, activities and budgets that make them the best NYC neighborhoods for young professionals.


Upper East Side, Manhattan

While movies and TV shows may have established the Upper East Side as a snotty neighborhood, recent grads can find living options here. Enjoy access to Central Park, The Met and the Guggenheim to have that picture-perfect New York City experience. With such a central location, moving around Manhattan by foot or subway will be easy. However, with any Manhattan apartment, expect smaller rooms with bigger rents than other boroughs.

Murray Hill, Manhattan

Murray Hill can be considered the “fratty” part of New York. If you’re looking to live in Manhattan but retain that college atmosphere, this might be your neighborhood. It’s close proximity to Grand Central makes for an easy commute. Although not as affordable as other neighborhoods on this list, Murray Hill guarantees rowdy bar nights and lively crowds.

Best NYC neighborhoods for young professionals- HarlemHarlem, Manhattan

Harlem has become increasingly more gentrified. Find a few gem restaurants, like the beloved Red Rooster, which are on many foodies must-try establishments. There are also surrounding college campuses, including Colombia, Barnard and CUNY, that create a youthful environment.

Astoria, Queens

Astoria offers large apartments, electric restaurants, and accessible transportation. Broadway and 30th Avenue offer countless options for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Then residents can find their shopping needs along Steinway Ave. Astoria also offers a number of affordable gyms and fun beer gardens. Many apartments in Astoria have been recently renovated by excited landlords thrilled about the neighborhood’s growing popularity.

Long Island City, Queens

Long Island City, a neighbor to Astoria, also offers roomy apartments. What Astoria and Long Island City can’t provide, like clubs or posh bars, can be found in within a 25 minute subway to Manhattan. Long Island City also has an East River Ferry traveling to and from Manhattan. Long Island City has attracted artists with its museums and comedy clubs on the rise.

Best NYC neighborhoods for young professionals- BushwickBushwick, Brooklyn

Bushwick can also be a good option for recent grads if they know where to look. As Williamsburg and the surrounding neighborhoods become more and more expensive, Brooklyn-lovers keep moving to the outskirts. It’s best to live off of the L or M subway for easy transportation access. Find a large Puerto Rican population and Spanish restaurants. There’s a lot of art studios from former warehouses. However, please consider safety when looking at apartments.

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

Join the ranks of Biggie Smalls, the Notorious B.I.G., Fabolous and other rappers from Bed Stuy. If you’re really looking for a deal on an apartment you can find it here. However, crime rates may be intimidating. Avoid living too close to the noisy, above-ground subway J.


If you’re a young professional, how did you pick your neighborhood? What other neighborhoods have you heard attract recent graduates?

Carl Richards

You're moving to the big city, but are you ready? Navigate the real estate market my tips and features.



  1. […] you have my have your heart set on Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn. And you’ve even picked your favorite neighborhood. But what else should go into your NYC apartment search? Well, just like any apartment hunt, you […]