Request Quote
Home | Elegant Traveller | A Guide to the New York Boroughs

Elegant Traveller

A Guide to the New York Boroughs

schedule8 Minute Read

11-Oct-2022 Karl Page

A Guide to the New York Boroughs

One of the world's favourite travel destinations, escape to the big apple and discover everything on offer...

The Big Apple or the City of Dreams, whatever you want to call it, New York is a metropolis of light and is often described as a city that never sleeps. The most populated city in the United States, there is no corner of this hub that doesn't offer something special. New York, much like most other cities in the world, is made up of a plethora of boroughs which all have their very own characteristics and quirks.

In this guide, we take a look at the five New York boroughs, what makes each of them unique and why you should plan to visit each and every one of them on your travels to America.
New York at sunset
View of New York at sunset


Arguably the beating heart of New York and protruding into the surrounding waters of the Hudson, East and Harlem Rivers, Manhattan is the most densely populated borough of the five even though it is the smallest geographically. It is home to iconic tourist hotspots like the Empire State Building, Times Square and Broadway to name just a few. For those looking to get stuck into the thick of the action, planning to stay in Manhattan is perfect.

Nicole from the blog Go Far Grow Close loves visiting New York and recommends Manhattan to all those who she offers recommendations to: "Without question, the best New York borough to visit is Manhattan. There are only a few places in the world where you can slip out of your accommodation in the morning and find yourself with the choice to visit countless world-renowned museums, art galleries, restaurants, and shows. It is a place that welcomes people of all ages and interests, without discriminating based on race or sexual orientation. It is "The City That Never Sleeps", (indeed the subway never shuts down), and also a place where it is fascinating and exciting to visit whether it is summer, fall, winter or summer - there is never a shoulder season in Manhattan!"

Highlights to visit in Manhattan:

  • Central Park
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Times Sqaure
  • The High Line
  • The Empire State Building
View of Manhattan at night
View of Manhattan at night

The Bronx

The Bronx was one considered one of the poorest boroughs in New York but in recent years has done a total 180 and is now considered one of the trendiest boroughs in the city. Separated from Manhattan by the Harlem River it is the only area of New York that is actually situated on the mainland.

Jessie On A Journey recently commented on The Bronx on their blog, sharing the following: "When visiting New York, many people skip The Bronx entirely, or only go there to catch a game at Yankee Stadium. But there's so much more to this borough than just baseball! When you explore The Bronx, you'll discover beaches like Orchard Beach, waterfront neighbourhoods like City Island, and the sprawling New York Botanical Garden and Pelham Bay Park - two urban sanctuaries that will make you forget you're in New York City for an afternoon. If you're looking for art, history, culture, or food, The Bronx has no shortage on any of those fronts either."

Highlights to visit in The Bronx:

  • The Yankee Stadium
  • The Bronx Zoo
  • Orchard Beach
  • New York Botanical Gardens
  • The Bronx Museum of Arts
The Bronx, New York
The Bronx, New York


Known for its features in TV shows and films like Gossip Girl, Sex and The City and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Brooklyn was named after the Dutch village of Breukelen and shares a land border with the neighbouring borough of Queens. The Chasing Lenscapes blog wrote an article about their experiences in Brooklyn, commenting:

"It's no secret we love the Big Apple, but let me tell you, Brooklyn is the new IT GIRL in town. On our last visit to New York City, we decided to spend a couple of days in Brooklyn, and oh boy, it was love at first sight. We're talking about some of the best viewpoints of Manhattan, loads of parks and street art, and don't get us started about the food scene. Brooklyn has become very popular over the last year, and it keeps changing as the years go by. The 'Borough of Churches' with its diversity of immigrant populations has turned into the go-to place for artists and hipsters who find Manhattan too expensive and crowded for their taste. It has such a different atmosphere from Manhattan and a much more relaxed vibe with hipster undertones and an exciting art scene. After spending a day in Brooklyn, it's quite easy to understand why so many people are obsessed with this New York borough. So, when you start planning your New York itinerary, do yourself a favour and include at least one day if not a weekend in Brooklyn."

Quite often associated with The Brooklyn Bridge, the area has become increasingly popular in recent years as younger adults flock to its location for cheaper rent prices than the city but with views that are equally as stunning. It is also the thrifting capital of New York with a plethora of thrifting outlets around every corner. If you want to experience the alternative side of New York, then a wander around Brooklyn is a must!

Highlights to visit in Brooklyn:

  • The Brooklyn Museum
  • The Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • Coney Island
  • The New York Aquarium
  • Prospect Park
Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn, New York


Located on Long Island, Queens is the largest New York City borough in terms of area but is often overlooked for its more famous counterparts like Brooklyn and Manhattan. The second most inhabited county in the State of New York and is the most diverse of all of the boroughs. Home to two of the most popular New York airports, it is an underrated borough that deserves more recognition. Situated across the East River from Manhattan, those who live in the borough are almost guaranteed stunning views of the city skyline, something most New Yorkers can only dream of.

Travelling With Jessica reported more on her times in Queens on her blog, commenting: "Did you know that Queens is the most diverse borough in New York? From authentic Indian food in Jackson Heights to iconic attractions like Flushing Meadows, a visit to Queens is a must for locals and tourists alike! It's one to put on your travel radar if you want an authentic taste of NYC's melting pot."

Highlights to visit in Queens:

  • The Museum of Moving Image
  • Flushing Meadows Corona Park
  • Queens Botanical Gardens
  • The New York Hall of Science
  • Astoria Park
View of Queens, New York
View of Queens, New York

Staten Island

Probably a borough that most forget when they think of New York City, Staten Island is located to the southwest of the city. It is one of the city's least urban areas with a plethora of parks and tree-lined streets and the island can be easily reached from Brooklyn by the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge or Staten Island Ferry. However, be aware that it is the only borough in New York that is not connected to the Subway.

"The most remote borough of New York is Staten Island, to the southwest of the city at the entrance to New York Harbour," reportsA Luxury Travel Blog.

They continue to speak a little more about Staten Island: "It is closely linked to New Jersey, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge famously links it to Brooklyn. The Staten Island Ferry sails back and forth all day and night, linking it with Lower Manhattan. Less frequented by visitors to New York, Staten Island is actually a lovely haven and the least densely populated of the city's boroughs. It has many parks and historic buildings to explore, like the 25-acre Richmond Town where 15 buildings have been restored as a living museum. Staten Island Zoo is a popular family attraction, and the many museums occupying historic mansions and other buildings hark back to a lost way of life in New York."

Highlights to visit in Staten Island :

  • Staten Island Zoo
  • Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge
  • The Alice Austen House
  • Staten Island Ferry
  • Greenbelt Nature Centre
Aerial view of Staten Island, New York
Staten Island, New York
If New York is on your travel bucket list and you want to enjoy a luxury family holiday to the city that never sleeps, then hopefully this blog has given you some inspiration on what boroughs to visit on your travels.

If you are looking for more advice or travel tips, make sure you read our online l luxury travel blog, Elegant Traveller.
Karl Page

Karl Page

Digital Experience Manager

With a genuine love for all things travel, I love exploring new destinations and discovering something new, gaining a wealth of experience in luxury holidays along the way.

Feeling Inspired?

To book your next luxury holiday, please call our Luxury Travel Specialists on 01244 897 578