The Ultimate Guide to the Five Boroughs of NYC

There is something about NYC that allures millions of people from around the globe. This city of many names is the beating heart of the US. It’s often described as the cultural, media, and financial capital of the world, and it’s one of the most important centers of international diplomacy. With nearly 8,8 million residents in an area of 300 square miles, New York City is the most populous in the country. This electric city has inspired many dreams. It’s a vibrant hub for arts and culture and a shopping and culinary mecca. The City that Never Sleeps is a place of superlatives. So, let’s have a closer look at this icon through a comprehensive guide to the five boroughs of NYC. Our experts at Best Movers NYC will share their insiders’ knowledge with you, to paint the picture that will help you determine what borough should you move to.

The ultimate guide to the five boroughs of NYC

The history of the Big Apple as a European settlement goes back to 1624. Back then it was known as New Amsterdam. And in 1664 it got its today’s name, after the Duke of York, who would later become King James. Due to its location on the Hudson River, NYC has been an important center of trade since its early days.

So, because of its economic and cultural power, its geography is somewhat overlooked. New York City is nestled in a naturally sheltered harbor, and its area spreads on islands that are part of a larger archipelago. This is why land is scarce, and this vertical city is the most densely populated in the country.

Besides, New York City consists of five boroughs. These are in fact counties, who are further portioned in numerous neighborhoods. Each borough has its own history and its own flavor. In our guide to the five boroughs of NYC, we will review the ingredients that make each of them unique. Hence, let’s delve into it in alphabetical order.

A satellite image of NYC - guide to the five boroughs of NYC
New York City is in fact part of an archipelago in the Mid-Atlantic

The Bronx

The birthplace of hip-hop is the only borough of NYC that isn’t spread on an island, but it’s connected to the mainland US. With nearly 1,5 million residents and an area of 42 square miles, The Boogie Down is the 4th largest borough. To transfer to your new digs with ease, ensure you partner with trusted Bronx movers, as finding these in the Big Apple may be a challenge bigger than it appears. In terms of culture, The Bronx is famous for its Italian and Hispanic communities. It’s also home to the real Little Italy that is ever so favorite among tourists and locals. Here you’ll find the best Italian food in the city. The Bronx is the northernmost borough in NYC, and with easy access to neighboring Manhattan and Queens, it’s a sought-after relocation destination.

Cost of living in the Bronx

Reportedly, the Bronx is the most affordable borough out of the total five. Although the income here is significantly lower than in other parts of the city, the cost of living corresponds to that as well. The median annual income in the Boogie Down Bronx is $41,500 and the median rent is $1200. The prices of restaurants and groceries are also a bargain if compared to other areas in NYC.

 Most popular neighborhoods in the Bronx

Due to its affordability, but also because of the soulful spirit in the Bronx, many families have put their roots here. In terms of housing, there is varied diversity including condos, single and multi-family homes, and apartments in predominantly mid-rise buildings. The Bronx is also home to the largest co-op complex in the Big Apple, called Co-Op City. And unlike the other boroughs, finding a parking spot here is much easier, so mark that as a plus when you’re hunting for your future relocation spot. So, here’s a pick of the top neighborhoods in the Bronx you should look into:

  • Riverdale – if you appreciate a suburban feel without having to give up on the city, you’re likely to find your ideal home here. Various housing types are available, from spacious family houses to studio apartments and everything in between. The low purchasing and renting prices are a major pull. But, the public subway access is somewhat limited, so you may fear better if you drive while living in Riverdale. Expect to pay about $670,000 for a single-family home and approximately $175,000 for the purchase of a studio apartment.
  • Concourse – or the Chaps Elysees of the Bronx is an elegant area with lots of Art-Deco architecture and apartments at budget-friendly rates. This neighborhood is low-rise with lots of parks and green areas. Besides, you’ll have the Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Museum of Arts nearby.
  • Melrose – known as the unofficial downtown of the Bronx, here you’ll find affordable rentals, great restaurants, and easy access to Manhattan.
Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NYC
The Bronx is the birthplace of hip-hop, and home to the Yankee Stadium, the NYC Zoo, and the Botanical Garden


This iconic borough coexists with Kings County, and with its 69 square miles and 2.5 million residents are the largest among its cousins. In fact, if Brooklyn was a city it would have been the 3rd largest in the US, after Los Angeles and Chicago. It’s a fantastic location to call home if you’re a young professional, looking to grow a family or enlist the best Brooklyn movers to relocate your business. Famous for its independent art scene, exciting food options, and incredible diversity, Brooklyn is home to many green spaces and its spectacular beachfront. It’s a harmoniously residential, commercial, and industrial hub, with fabulous history, and easy access to the rest of the Big Apple.

Cost of living in Brooklyn

Living in Brooklyn isn’t cheap. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the most expensive places to live in the nation. Brooklyn is the second most expensive borough in NYC, only after Manhattan. The average annual household income here is $60,200, buying your home will cost you approximately $700,000 and the median monthly rent is $2,700.

Most popular neighborhoods in Brooklyn – guide to the five boroughs of NYC

In Brooklyn, there’s a strong sense of community, and this is an important cultural feature that gives this borough a unique charm. The residents here pride themselves on the neighborhoods they live in. And so, they are loyal patrons to their nearby shops, bars, and restaurants. Before you set on a house hunt here though, note that even though it’s a renters’ market, it’s a very competitive one. Brooklyn is desired place to live in, so you should do thorough research on neighborhoods, not just property type. We’ve included this brief list on our roadmap to the five boroughs of the Big Apple, to give you the lead so you can further your research on popular Brooklyn neighborhoods.

  • Williamsburg – this is the most famous neighborhood in the borough, as many TV shows are set here. It’s a vibrant neighborhood with a lively art scene, numerous restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues. This is the preferred choice of millennials and anyone appreciating hipster settings.
  • DUMBO – hosts many tech startups, so naturally, you’d expect to find a lot of tech professionals here. Besides, the area offers gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline, and plenty of exciting restaurants, bars, and shopping options.
  • Park Slope – with its iconic brownstones, parks, and great schools, it’s a popular choice for young families seeking to live in a close-knit community.
  • Brooklyn Heights – hosts the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and notable historic architecture. This is a highly sought-after neighborhood in Brooklyn among families and professionals alike.
Brooklyn Bridge - guide to the five boroughs of NYC
Brooklyn is connected to Manhattan by 3 bridges, one of which is the iconic Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan – a guide to the five boroughs of NYC

The business capital of the world is the face of NYC. Manhattan’s skyline is one of the most recognizable sights of the Big Apple. This borough spreads on the Manhattan Island, and through the Marble Hill neighborhood it takes up a small portion of the mainland too. Besides, it incorporates numerous small islets in the East River. Moving here means you absolutely need to find the best Manhattan movers as navigating through the hustle and bustle of this city within the city requires seasoned moving assistance.

Wrapping up Manhattan in a couple of sentences wouldn’t do it justice. This NYC borough is home to numerous world-class points of interest and important institutions. To name but a few, here you’ll find Broadway, The Financial District, The Empire State Building, and the headquarters of The United Nations. It also hosts many top-class museums, galleries, and cultural venues. With an area of 22.83 square miles, and a population of 1.7 million, Manhattan is the smallest, but most densely populated borough of the Big Apple. It also has the highest concentration of skyscrapers in the city.

Manhattan residents are always on the go. Here life happens at a very fast pace. The job market is highly competitive, and Manhattan is the most educated borough, with 62% of its inhabitants holding a bachelors’ degree.

Cost of living in Manhattan

The living costs in Manhattan are the highest in NYC, and in the country. The average household income is $93,000. Median rent is currently at $3,000 per month, and it’s likely to go up in foreseeable future. The income here is among the highest in the city, so it partly compensates for the high costs of living. However, many people that work in Manhattan live in neighboring boroughs and commute daily.

Most popular neighborhoods in Manhattan

For many people, living in Manhattan is living the American Dream. There are 53 neighborhoods in the borough, all of which cater to specific lifestyle requirements and budget limitations. Here you’ll find just about any housing type you’re looking for. From elegant mansions to functional studio apartments, your choices will be limited only by your budget. It’s worth noting that Manhattan is the least family-friendly among the 5 NYC boroughs. So, here is a brief mention of the topmost neighborhoods in Manhattan.

  • The Upper West Side – with the Hudson River and Central Park cradling it, the UWS offers plenty of greenery and an elegant setting to its residents. The subway enables you to move swiftly to any other part of the city. Here you can expect to pay monthly rent starting at $2,000 for a one-bedroom walkup, or $4,000 and above for a unit in a full-service building.
  • SoHo – this high-end neighborhood is a favorite among the local and global elite. Its famous Broadway street is the best shopping spot in the city, and plenty of good restaurants and venues are just here.
  • Washington Heights – is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Manhattan. Here you may find an apartment for rent well within the $2,000 per month price range. Besides, the area has a great number of unique restaurants and shops, so if you’d like to have a break from large chains, this is where to find it.
  • Harlem – this soulful neighborhood is rich in history and culture. It’s one of the most diverse and authentic neighborhoods in the Big Apple. Rents here are also more affordable than in other parts of Manhattan.
Manhattan island
Manhattan is possibly the most well-known area on our guide to the five boroughs of NYC


A fun fact – Queens is the most linguistically diverse community on Earth. Nearly 50% of its population is foreign-born, and this melting pot of cultures encompasses the world in miniature. Queens with its 109 square miles is the largest NYC borough in terms of area. With a population of 2.5 million, it’s the second largest. Getting around may be initially confusing, so make sure you choose reliable Queens movers for a stress-free relocation.

The birthplace of the real estate tycoon and former President Donal Trump is appreciated as a sought-after residential area. Louis Armstrong has also made his home here, and today his house is a museum you could visit. Among the most prominent symbols of Queens is the Unisphere, located in its fabulous Corona Park. Queens is also home to two of the major airports in NYC – La Guardia and JFK.

Cost of living in Queens

Living in Queens is more affordable than in many other urban areas throughout the US. The median household income in this NYC borough is about $65,000, and monthly rentals are approximately $1,500. Buying your home here will cost you $500,000 on average.

Most popular neighborhoods in Queens – guide to the five boroughs of NYC

Queens has a diverse selection of neighborhoods, and most of these radiate a friendly vibe. There are various housing types available, and diverse architectural styles, that give each part of the borough a distinctive feel. Besides, Queens’ proximity to Manhattan means you get to enjoy the heart of the city, without paying the exorbitant living costs. Hence, here are some of the most popular Queens neighborhoods you should check out.

  • Astoria – this charming neighborhood is bear Manhattan, and it hosts semi-detached family homes, many of which have their own gardens. This area traditionally has a large Greek community, and you will surely feel the influence of the exquisite food on offer.
  • Forest Hills – near Forest Park will give you the opportunity to indulge in hiking activities on some of the miles-long trails. The homes are marked by Tudor-style elements that give the landscape a specific charm.
  • Rockaway Beach – a close-neat community where neighbors know each other and where purchasing your own home may not be a far-fetched idea. Besides affordability, here you’ll find calm surroundings and easy access to Manhattan.
Long Island City, Queens, NYC - guide to the five boroughs of NYC
Queens is one of the most culturally diverse communities in the US and in the world

Staten Island – a guide to the five boroughs of NYC

Staten Island coexists with Richmond County, and it’s the southernmost borough of the Big Apple. It’s separated from Manhattan by the New York Harbour and connected to it by a ferry. Sometimes it’s referred to as the Sleepy Borough, as life here is much calmer than in the more central areas of NYC. Our Staten Island movers point out that many families move here, to benefit from this fantastic residential setting. There are many green spaces and beaches on Staten Island and numerous architectonical points of interest.

With an area of 58.5 square miles and a population of about 500,000, Staten Island is the third-largest borough in NYC and the least populated. Living here is a unique experience. Staten Island is dubbed the borough of parks and the greenest borough. According to reports, it’s also the safest borough in the city that never sleeps.

Cost of living in Staten Island

Staten Island is the second wealthiest borough, after Manhattan. However, the cost of living here is actually quite reasonable. With a median household income of $90,000, the average monthly rent of $1,600 isn’t much of a shocker. However, living in Staten Island means you’ll have limited access to public transport. Most of the residents here own a car and need to drive to get around.

Most popular neighborhoods in Staten Island

Yet another point that makes Staten Island stand out from the other boroughs is that it’s mainly residential. This is evident in the overall architectonical style and its calm vibe. Moreover, Staten Island is marked by a strong sense of community, and it’s the most family-friendly borough in NYC. And so, here’s a mention of some of the finest neighborhoods here.

  • West New Brighton – the majority of people living here are middle-class families and young professionals. The area has an urban feel, and it’s packed with lots of great restaurants. Nearby is the Staten Island Zoo, which is home to many exotic animals, including kangaroos.
  • St.George – this is where the ferry to and from Manhattan arrives and departs. Therefore, living here means that you’ll have the best access to central areas. This neighborhood has a vibrant urban feel to it.
  • Oakwood Beach – offers you a quiet suburban feel within the city confines. This is a waterfront community with a relaxing, uncrowded beach.
  • New Springville – is right in the center of Staten Island, with wildlife refuges, parks, and golf course spaces surrounding it. There is also a portion of farmland here, and lots of arts and crafts events in the fall.
  • Tompkinsville – could easily be the most diverse community on Staten Island. It has a significant Dominican and Puerto Rican influence, and it’s home to the largest Cambodian community in the US.
Staten Island ferry with the Statue of Liberty in the background
Staten Island is the greenest borough and a sought-after residential area within NYC

Guide to the Five Boroughs of NYC – are you ready to move?

New York is a fantastic city, offering immense opportunities. It’s incredibly rich and diverse in all aspects, and to know its every nook and cranny may seem impossible. But, not for our movers! Moving to, from, or throughout the Big Apple is a challenge within itself. To navigate its busy streets, find a parking spot or get necessary building permits is sure to prove as a grueling task. Of course, you’ll need solid moving assistance to pull off your relocation project.

However, finding a good mover may be equally difficult as the transfer itself. Thus, partner with us and ensure a swift relocation to or from any of the five boroughs of the city that never sleeps. We have your ideal moving solution at hand, regardless of the complexity of your move. All you need to do is get in touch with us and let us do the rest. Instead of stressing out over your move, relax and take your time to explore this extraordinary city. And, our guide to the five boroughs of NYC will certainly come in handy. So, take your lead, and enjoy a smooth and easy move. Good luck.



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