Manhattan/Midtown East

Midtown skyline

Midtown East is the core retail and commercial neighborhood of Manhattan, containing the highest concentration of business and money this side of, well, the planet. The Empire State Building, the most iconic building (even if no longer the tallest) in the city is here. Shady Bryant Park abuts the imposing New York Public Library main branch at 42nd Street, while to the east is the magnificent Beaux Arts Grand Central Terminal. Le Corbusier's landmark UN Headquarters is located on the East River. The masterpiece art deco towers of Rockefeller Center and adjoining Radio City sit opposite 5th Avenue from St. Patrick's Cathedral, the seat of the city's archdiocese. Fifth Avenue below 59th remains the toniest and most exclusive retail neighborhood in New York City, home to names like Saks, Tiffany and Bendel (and Apple!). Murray Hill north of 34th Street is home to some of the city's nicest brownstones. Much of the real estate in this neighborhood is likewise quite expensive, and the restaurants, bars and other facilities notably cater to a higher-paying clientele.



Midtown, also called Midtown East to distinguish it from the Theater District to the west, is the area between around 34th St and 59th St (beyond which is Central Park), and from the East River through First, Second, Third, Lexington, Park, Madison, and Fifth Avenues, with Sixth Avenue as the western boundary of the district.

Get in

Midtown Map

By subway

There is plenty of subway service to this area. The 4, 5, and 6 lines travel under Park Avenue (south of Grand Central Station) and Lexington Avenue (north of Grand Central), stopping at 42nd St. (Grand Central Station) and 59th St., with the 6 also stopping at 51st St. and 33rd St. Running under 6th Avenue are the B, D, F, and M lines, which stop at 34th St. (close to the Empire State Building), 42nd St. (at Bryant Park, near the library) and 47-50 St. station (near Rockefeller Center). The F line continues up 6th Avenue, stopping at 57th St., while the E and M lines head under 53rd Street, stopping at 5th Av. and Lexington Av. (a passageway offers a free transfer to the 6 line). The 7 and S (Grand Central Shuttle) lines run under 42nd St. Both of them stop at Grand Central Station, with the 7 also stopping at 5th Av. (free transfer to the B, D, and F lines). Also serving the neighborhood are the N, Q, and R lines, which stop at 34th St. and 6th Av., close to the Empire State Building.

By MTA bus

Regular MTA buses run along every avenue except for short avenues like Vanderbilt, and there are also crosstown buses on 34th, 42nd, 49th/50th, and 57th Sts. In addition, express buses stop along these avenues, including the X25 to Financial District. Express buses charge a $6 fare, with free transfers available to other routes, and local buses charge $2.50 and enable free transfers to other local routes and the subway, with some exceptions.

By Metro North commuter train

Metro North commuter trains originate and terminate at Grand Central Terminal on E. 42 St. between Vanderbilt and Lexington Avs. See the By train section on the main New York City page for more info. Note that the train terminal (but not the subway stop serving it) closes from approximately 1AM to 5AM daily.


Bryant Park, with the Public Library in the background


Grand Central Terminal
The United Nations



For great views:

More about Roosevelt Island below:

Roosevelt Island

Four Freedoms Park as seen looking east from Manhattan.

Roosevelt Island is an elongated island in the East River between Manhattan Island and Queens. Originally a cattle farm, over the years it has had various names and uses, including as an asylum and a quarantine hospital. Today called Roosevelt Island, it is the home to several thousand New Yorkers who like its calm ambiance and connection to Manhattan. The island offers excellent views of the Manhattan skyline, particularly at the   Meditation Steps, just north of the Tramway stop, and   Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, a public space at the southern tip of the island, accessed by one of the riverside promenades. The island also affords one of the best views of the city's 4th of July Fireworks displays when they take place in the East River (for the past few years they have instead been shot off from barges in the Hudson River); in such cases, get to the island very early, or you'll find that the seats are sold out.

There are two ways to access the island from Manhattan. The most popular way for tourists (and certainly the most scenic) is to take the   Roosevelt Island Tramway, an aerial tram which crosses over the stretch of the East River between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island next to the Queensboro Bridge, offering splendid views of the skyline along the way. You can board the tram on Second Avenue at 59th Street; the one-way fare is $2.50; MetroCards accepted. The second option is to take the subway: the F train makes a single stop on the island, connecting it to the East 60s and Midtown to the west and Queens to the east. Additionally, a road bridge connects the island to the intersection of 36th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard in Queens, allowing you to drive, walk, bike, or take the Q102 bus to the island from Queens.


Bergdorf Goodman department store, with the Crown Building (lit up) on the left

Fifth Ave is a shoppers' paradise from 42nd to 60th Streets, boasting numerous flagships stores of national chains. Perpetually mobbed with shoppers and tourists, Fifth Avenue is a virtual standstill during the Christmas shopping season, when Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cartier, Tiffany's, and Lord and Taylor put out their holiday displays. Other popular stores include Niketown, NBA Store, Versace, Gucci, Armani Exchange.

47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues is a large wholesale and retail Jewelry District. It is said that nearly every diamond sold in the US passes first through this street. On this street a dealer's reputation among the community of jewelry dealers is all-important, and million-dollar contracts are agreed to with just a handshake because of the reputation of each dealer.



In the low 30s near Herald Square is Koreatown, an emerging Little Korea of BBQ restaurants and Asian markets centered on 32nd St. between 5th Avenue and Broadway.



The doors of the Chrysler Building, widely considered the finest of many Art Deco skyscrapers in Midtown Manhattan because of decorations that can be seen from nearby as well as its elegant shape when seen from afar




Rockefeller Plaza, Rockefeller Center
The Plaza Hotel

Go next

Routes through Midtown East

Bronx Upper East Side  N  S  Gramercy Flatiron Financial District
Theater District  W  E  Long Island City, Queens Flushing
Upper West Side Theater District  N  S  Greenwich Village Downtown Brooklyn
Long Island City, Queens Upper East Side (F)  N  S  Gramercy Flatiron Downtown Brooklyn
Financial District Theater District  W  E  Long Island City, Queens Jamaica
Long Island City, Queens Theater District  N  S  Gramercy Flatiron Downtown Brooklyn

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, January 25, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.