Moving to Manhattan

Welcome to the world of sleek skyscrapers and glittering lights--where dreams take flight amid the ceaseless hum of humanity. Welcome to Manhattan, NY! A move to this urban paradise can seem simultaneously exciting, daunting, and a tad bit overwhelming. Yet, fear not, we've got you covered. Our comprehensive relocation guide is meticulously designed to navigate you through the city's countless alleyways, all the way from a peaceful uptown studio to a bustling downtown condo. Stay tuned and let us unveil the secrets to a smooth and effortless transition into your Manhattan dream.

Moving to Manhattan, NY landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Manhattan

1. Brace Yourself for Sky-High Prices

Manhattan is undoubtedly one of the most expensive places in the world to live. The cost of living can be four times higher than the national average, so brace yourself for sticker shock when you look at rent prices. It's not uncommon for a tiny studio apartment to cost well over $2,000 a month. And that's not all - expect to pay more for groceries, utilities, and other sundry items.

2. Leave Your Car Behind

If you're moving to Manhattan from a city where car is king, prepare for a huge lifestyle change. Owning a car in Manhattan is more of a burden than it's worth. The cost of parking alone can amount to hundreds of dollars each month. Plus, with Manhattan's copious public transportation options and pedestrian-friendly streets, you may find your car collects dust more than mileage.

3. Get Familiar with the Grid

Manhattan's street layout is largely a grid, making it relatively easy to navigate. The streets run east-west and are numbered (with a few exceptions), while avenues run north-south.

4. Your Zip Code is a Status Symbol

If you think your zip code is simply a postal reference, think again. In Manhattan, zip codes have attained near-mythical status and are seen as badges of honor, a symbol of where you've "made it" in the social and financial ladder. Manhattan's most prestigious zip codes are located in desirable neighborhoods like Tribeca, Soho, and the Upper East Side. For instance, living in 10007 (Tribeca) shows you've truly arrived!

5. Embrace a Smaller Living Space

Space is a luxury commodity in Manhattan. Most likely than not, you'll be trading square footage for the privilege of living in one of the world's most vibrant cities. Learn to maximize every square inch of your apartment! Whether it's under-bed storage or hanging pots and pans in the kitchen, you'll become an expert in space optimization.

6. The Island That Never Sleeps

While it's a well-known fact that New York is 'the city that never sleeps,' Manhattan takes this concept to another level. Traffic, noises, urban clamor, and lights flashing are 24/7 here. This constant energy can be equally exciting and draining So, if peace and quiet are high on your priority list, Manhattan bustling life might take some getting used to.

7. Your Nearest Grocery Store Might be Underground

This one's a quirky, lesser-known fact about Manhattan. Due to the premium on space, you'll find that many supermarkets and grocery stores are located in basement-like setups, fully equipped with escalators for your shopping carts. So don't be surprised if you're moving downwards to get your weekly groceries!

8. Heating is a Serious Business

Here's another insider tip: Most vintage buildings in Manhattan still use steam-radiator heating systems. This means you'll have little to no control over the heat levels in winter. It can get surprisingly balmy indoors, and you may even find yourself cracking open a window in the middle of January to let some cold air in. Be prepared to dress in layers, even at home!

Despite the high costs and unique quirks, moving to Manhattan can be an exciting journey. There's something inimitably vibrant about the city, with its frantic pace, iconic skyline, and unmatched cultural and culinary scenes. So even with brewery basements or 'sauna' like apartments, living in Manhattan remains an unbeatable experience!

What to know before moving to Manhattan, NY image
See the 10 Best Movers Nearest You
(Unbiased) Ranking of the top movers in every city.

Pros and Cons of Living in Manhattan

Pros of Living in Manhattan

Access to High-Quality Entertainment and Cultural Experiences

Living in Manhattan guarantees easy access to a wide array of high-end entertainment and cultural experiences. Home to Broadway, various art galleries, global music events, and international film festivals, there is no shortage of things to do or see.

Excellent Public Transportation

Manhattan boasts a reliable and extensive public transportation system, making moving around the city convenient and cost-efficient. You can easily commute using the subway, buses, bikes, or even by walking, reducing the need for a private vehicle.

Highly Diverse Food Scene

As one of the world's culinary capitals, Manhattan offers a rich, diverse food culture with an impressive array of international cuisines. Whether it's fine dining at a five-star restaurant or sampling ethnic street food, the gastronomic options are virtually limitless.

Global Job Market

Many international companies and iconic businesses have headquarters or key offices in Manhattan, making it a hub for jobs across many industries. Whether you're in finance, theatre, fashion, tech, or any other sector, the city offers a wide array of job prospects.

The 'New York Experience'

Simply put, living in Manhattan offers the unmatched 'New York Experience'. From iconic architecture, scenic parks, a stellar skyline, trendy neighborhoods, and endless opportunities, it's a city that truly lives up to its hype.

Cons of Living in Manhattan

High Cost of Living

Manhattan is among the most expensive cities to live in globally, with high costs for housing, food, transportation, and general living expenses. Even things like groceries or a night out tend to be priced significantly higher than in other cities.


Manhattan is densely populated, leading to crowded public transportation, busy sidewalks, and a general sense of hustle and bustle. If you prefer more peaceful environments or personal space, it could be challenging to adapt.

Small Living Spaces

Due to high real estate costs and demand, living spaces in Manhattan tend to be small, especially compared to those in other cities or states. The lack of space and a yard might be a downside for families or those accustomed to suburban living.

Fast-Paced Lifestyle

The city that never sleeps holds true to its name. The fast-paced Manhattan lifestyle can be mentally and physically exhausting, with the constant on-the-go lifestyle leaving little time for relaxation.

Traffic and Noise

Manhattan is notorious for its busy streets and often loud environment. Heavy traffic, honking taxis, street construction, and general city noise are parts of living in this urban hub.

Modern day picture of Manhattan, NY highlighting pros and cons of living in Manhattan, NY

Is Manhattan a Good Place to Live?

Manhattan, NY is a great place to live because it offers a bustling nightlife, diverse food options, and a plethora of cultural and artsy experiences such as Broadway shows and museums. The city's exceptional public transportation system makes exploring these amazing amenities a breeze. Plus, who could resist the charm of Central Park and the stunning views from skyscrapers like the Empire State Building? Living in Manhattan means living at the heart of it all!

What Is Manhattan Famous For?

The Skyscrapers

Manhattan's skyline is truly one of a kind, home to some of the tallest and most iconic buildings in the world. From the Art Deco majesty of the Empire State Building to the staggering height of One World Trade Center, these skyscrapers are quintessential symbols of the 'Concrete Jungle'.

The Broadway Theater District

Manhattan boasts the famous Broadway Theater District, recognized as the pinnacle of American theater. From musicals to dramas, the shows that make it to these stages are often considered the best in the industry, captivating audiences night after night.

Central Park

In the heart of Manhattan lies Central Park, a breath of fresh green in the urban jungle. The park, spreading over 800 acres, offers a serene escape from city life, with walking paths, zoos, lakes, and even a castle.

The Museums

Manhattan is a haven for culture and art enthusiasts, housing world-renowned institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. These museums boast vast collections, hosting millions of visitors every year who come to admire timeless masterpieces and cutting-edge contemporary works.

Capital building of Manhattan, NY in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the base property tax rate for residential properties in Manhattan, NY is approximately 1.1-1.2%, which is significantly lower than the national average of 1.3%. However, the high valuation of properties in Manhattan can result in higher property tax bills.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Manhattan, NY as of 2023 is 8.875%, which combines a New York state sales tax of 4%, a New York city sales tax of 4.5%, and a Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District surcharge of 0.375%. This rate is higher than the average combined sales tax rate in the United States of 7.2%.

Income Tax

New York City residents, including those living in Manhattan, are required to pay both a state and city income tax. As of 2023, the combined income tax rate for Manhattan residents can range from 6.2% to 13.56%, depending on income brackets. This is one of the highest city income tax rates in the United States.

Housing Market

Manhattan's housing market stands starkly distinct from most parts of the US, characterized by its formidable prices and competitive environment. It exhibits a high median listing price of around $1.39 million, far surpassing the national median. Renters aren't spared either, with a median rent of approximately $3,400, almost triple the US median. The market's high density and demand contribute to these escalated prices. While costly, Manhattan's real estate offers potential high return on investment and the excitement of life in a dynamic urban center. Consider these factors carefully before embarking on your Manhattan home seeking journey.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Manhattan, NY is considerably higher compared to most other cities in the US. It is particularly prominent in categories such as housing, with median real estate prices significantly exceeding national averages. Food, transportation, and entertainment expenses are also steep. However, Manhattan's compelling allure, culturally rich environment, career opportunities, and overall lifestyle continue to attract people from all over the world. Despite its high costs, it remains a desirable location for those who can afford it.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Manhattan, NY boasts a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers and cold winters. During summer, temperatures often rise above 80degF, while winter sees frequent dips below freezing. The city witnesses moderate to heavy rainfall throughout the year, with a yearly average of over 40 inches. Snowfall during winter is common, occasionally leading to traffic disruptions. Manhattan's coastal position subjects it to occasional hurricanes, although the sturdy urban infrastructure often withstands these ferocious storms. Its susceptibility to Nor'easters - fierce storm systems characterized by heavy rain or snow - is arguably more significant, resulting in severe blizzards. Earthquakes are infrequent and generally of low intensity. The city's biggest climate concern, however, is the risk of sea-level rise driven by climate change, with potential to cause significant flooding.

Typical weather in Manhattan, NY

Economy & Job Market

* Finance and Insurance

* Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

* Health Care and Social Assistance

* Retail Trade

* Information

Serving as the beating heart of the world's largest economy, not only is Manhattan, NY the central hub of historical global trading, it's also one of the planet's biggest staging platforms for modern industry! This buzzing metropolis boasts a dazzling diversity of job sectors from the traditional financial services and insurance, the backbone of Manhattan's economy, to the modern and forward thinking professional, scientific and technical services. But that's not all, our beloved Big Apple also has a prolific health care and social assistance scene, an ever-thriving retail trade, and a bustling information industry. Hold on to your hats - in the city that never sleeps, there's no time for napping when it comes to our economy!

Thinking about making Manhattan, NY your own personal playground? Well, there's plenty you ought to know about job hunting in one of the most fiercely competitive markets! While the city can have slightly higher unemployment rates than the national average, fear not, because job opportunities remain plentiful and diversified, especially in finance, technology, and healthcare sectors. As for the best areas for job hunting, Midtown and Downtown Manhattan are where it's at. And let's not forget about the rapidly rising star - Brooklyn! It's increasingly known as a hotspot for new businesses, particularly in tech and creative fields. Put on your finest, grab a coffee to go, and tackle that Manhattan job market head-on, with a New York minute to spare!

Traffic and Transportation

Ready to experience the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, NY? Keep your eyes on the clock as the average commute time here is the highest in the nation at a whopping 36 minutes! Yet fear not, public transportation is your trusty sidekick. The subway operates 24/7, making it a convenient, and quite adventurous way to zip around the city. And don't forget the historic buses or cabs, just raise your hand and you're on your way!

The Staten Island Ferry provides a priceless view of Lady Liberty, all for free, talk about cruise control, right? Plus, for those seeking wings over wheels, Manhattan offers three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark. All assuring your jet-set lifestyle never hits turbulence. So whether by land, sea or sky, Manhattan makes sure your trip is just as vibrant as the city itself!

What is the traffic like in Manhattan, NY?

Best Neighborhoods in Manhattan

1. Greenwich Village

For lovers of charm, old-world architecture, and a bustling social life, Greenwich Village has got it all. This neighborhood is the epitome of a cultural melting pot, with its endless indie cinemas, snazzy jazz-accented clubs, and elegant theaters. Streets here are often buzzing with music from lively buskers and the famous Washington Square Park is never lacking in entertainment. Picture yourself in a cozy brownstone, just steps away from rich comfort food at sidewalk cafes and vintage boutiques!

2. SoHo

Imagine strolling through cobblestone streets with distinct iron-cast buildings on either side, directly to an avant-garde boutique or art gallery. That's just an average day in SoHo - short for "South of Houston Street". This vibrant 'hood oozes bohemian-chic with a touch of opulence, a nod to its history as a haven for artists. Around the corner from trendy design shops are world-class restaurants and pedigreed cocktail joints ideal for the foodies and social butterflies!

3. Upper East Side

Craving a taste of an upscale lifestyle with a sprinkle of classic charm? The Upper East Side has got your back! Best known its museum mile that boasts the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim, tree-lined streets are graced by stately townhomes and high-end fashion shops. Central Park is the neighborhood's backyard - perfect for morning jogs, lazy picnics, or renting a rowboat for a romantic afternoon on the water.

4. Chelsea

Chelsea is the ultimate dream neighborhood for art lovers and the LGBTQ+ community, thanks to a high concentration of art galleries, the presence of the High Line--an elevated park built on a former railway--and the historic Stonewall Inn. There's never a dull moment in Chelsea, whether you're exploring the buzzing Chelsea Market or cheering for your team at the Madison Square Garden. Residential styles range from charming townhomes to modern, luxury condominium towers.

5. Tribeca

Tick off 'living in a former industrial space' from your bucket list in Tribeca, short for 'Triangle Below Canal Street'. You'll enjoy loft-style apartments converted from warehouses and unique boutiques at every corner. The neighborhood's brick sidewalks and well-preserved, historic buildings offer a tranquil escape from more bustling parts of the city. Plus, you'll rub shoulders with celebrities at the annual Tribeca Film Festival!

In conclusion, while every neighborhood in Manhattan has its unique flavor and character, these five standouts are worth considering when moving to the city. Each offers a unique blend of history, culture, and lifestyle options that will make your experience of living in Manhattan memorable and thrilling. Ultimately, choosing where to live in this vibrant city will depend on your personal preferences, interests, and lifestyle needs. Whichever neighborhood you choose, you're in for the love of a lifetime with Manhattan!

Best neighborhoods in Manhattan, NY image

Things to Do

Welcome to the Island with no sleep; the city of dreams. That's right, we're talking Manhattan, New York. Teeming with an audacious array of cultural nuances, vibrant sights, and tantalizing bites, there's always something amazing unveiling around each street corner. So, grab your walkie sneakers and prep yourself to explore 7 of the top things to do in Manhattan - some renowned and some stealthily hidden from the newbie's gaze.

1. Revel in Central Park

Famously known as the 'Lungs of New York City', Central Park is where concrete jungle meets natural tranquility. Whether you fancy a picnic in the expansive Great Lawn, a paddle in the charming Loeb Boathouse or a brisk sprint along the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, this urban oasis possesses a delicate blend of nature and culture.

2. Embrace high art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Art enthusiasts, make way for the mecca of masterpieces -- The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Presenting an impressive collection from ancient times to modern-day art, this elaborate monument to human creativity is an experience to savor.

3. Discover Manhattan's Speakeasy history

Time travel back to the prohibition era by visiting one of Manhattan's speakeasy bars. Sip on reinvented cocktails at Please Don't Tell, accessed through an old phone booth inside a hot dog shop. Or, head to the Raines Law Room and ring the doorbell to signal your arrival. These clandestine watering holes offer you a boozy history lesson.

4. Feed your foodie passion at Smorgasburg

This food market pops up in different boroughs but takes place in Manhattan during the winter. Hosted indoors, Smorgasburg brings together an array of vendors selling diverse foods that offer a flavorful tour of the world without leaving the Big Apple.

5. Step into the underworld of Mmuseumm

An unconventional addition to your Manhattan explorations, Mmuseumm is a micro-museum tucked away in a freight elevator. This pint-sized curiosity showcases ordinary objects with extraordinary narratives from around the world, showcasing the beauty hidden in everyday life.

6. Jazz up your night at the Village Vanguard

Known for its exceptional acoustics and intimate atmosphere, Village Vanguard has witnessed the performances of jazz greats like John Coltrane and Bill Evans. Attend a live jazz session and let your soul sway with the music.

7. Ascend One World Observatory

With sights set on the big city's panoramic skyline, the One World Observatory is your best bet. Soaring high above the city on the World Trade Center's 100th floor, this pinnacle of all panoramic views provides a perspective you can't quite garner elsewhere.

With that, we've covered seven of the top to-dos that reel in the true zeal of Manhattan. This curated list offers a mix of traditional sights and less-explored endeavors, promising an enthralling experience worthy of a New Yorker. So, go ahead and burst out of the 'tourist' bubble. Happy Manhattan-ing!

Things to do in Manhattan, NY?

Find Movers for Your Manhattan Relocation

Having explored the charms and opportunities Manhattan, NY offers, one can only anticipate the thrill of your relocation. What makes it even more exciting is the assurance of a smooth transition with Great Guys Moving. We have skillfully honed relationships with top-tier, licensed, and insured movers known for their exceptional service and affordable pricing patterns. This means a straightforward, personalized moving experience that eases your transition into the Manhattan lifestyle. How about we start your new chapter off right? Embark on your Manhattan journey by requesting a free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today!

See The Best Movers For Moving To New York From...

Find out how much your move costs!