Manhattan/Upper East Side

Looking north on 1st Ave. from the Roosevelt Island Tram at 60th St.

The Upper East Side of Manhattan is one of the city's wealthiest districts. Spanning the stretch of island between 59th Street to 96th Street east of Central Park, the neighborhoods of Lenox Hill, Yorkville, and Carnegie Hill are full of luxurious townhouses and apartment buildings on some of the most affluent addresses in New York. Madison Avenue holds a multitude of fashionable boutiques and fine restaurants catering to the upscale crowd. Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the mayor; many other historic buildings; superb art museums; and many consulates are part of what makes this neighborhood special.

Get in

By subway

The primary subway service to the Upper East Side is via the 4 and 5 express lines and 6 local line, which run under Lexington Avenue. All three lines stop at 59th St. and 86th St., with the 6 also stopping at 68th St., 77th St., and 96th St. 5th Avenue is three blocks west of Lexington Avenue. Since this is the only north-south subway line serving the east side, these trains can get very crowded during rush hour.

Serving the very southern end of the district is the F line, which stops at Lexington Avenue and 63rd St., and the N, Q, and R lines, which run along 59th Street and stop at 5th Avenue and Lexington Avenue. Both Lexington Avenue stations have a free transfer to the 4/5/6 lines at the 59th Street station (the F station is an out-of-system transfer, meaning you have to walk 4 blocks south to 59th Street from 63rd Street).

By bus

Every avenue from 5th to York except for Park Avenue has at least one bus route, and there are also crosstown buses on 57th St. (M57; also M31, which doubles as the York Av. bus), 66th/68th Sts. (M66), 72nd St. (M72, which uses the 66th St. transverse through Central Park), 79th St. (M79), 86th St. (M86) and 96th St. (M96).

On foot or by bicycle

From the Upper West Side, a walk or bike ride to the Upper East Side through Central Park is very pleasant in good weather.


The stretch of Fifth Avenue alongside Central Park in the Upper East Side is commonly referred to as "Museum Mile", though museums and galleries are also to be found off this particular beaten track. Note that the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the primary museum in this area, is covered under the Central Park page. Additionally, the Museum of the City of New York and the El Museo del Barrio are on Fifth Avenue just to the north in Spanish Harlem.

Interior of the Guggenheim Museum


The Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection are among the many venues in the neighborhood that host concert series.


Henry C. Frick House, home of the Frick Collection

Madison Avenue is the center of New York's haute couture, full of small shops selling fabulously expensive clothes, accessories, and housewares to people who can afford not to look at the price tag. Even if it's out of your price range, it's worth a visit just to gawk.


The Upper East Side is a very expensive neighborhood — though less so east of Lexington Ave. — and this is reflected in the categorization of a restaurant that serves a $29 goulash (albeit a good one) as "mid-range."


A fairly typical elegant Park Avenue apartment house




The bimah (altar) of Temple Emanu-El

The Upper East Side is primarily a land of sports bars and Irish pubs, though a few exceptions can be found. Generally, 2nd Avenue contains the highest concentrations of bars and restaurants in this part of the city.


As the Upper East Side is the legendary location of the Park Avenue duplexes of the super-rich, the expensive boutiques of Madison Avenue, and the gorgeous doorman buildings of 5th Avenue, you would figure to be hard-pressed to find inexpensive accommodations there, unless you have a friend you can stay with. If you want to try your luck with apartment-rental websites, you are more likely to find relatively cheaper accommodation east of Lexington Avenue than further west. Otherwise, fortunately, the Lexington Avenue subway line is generally quite good, though crowded, and will speed your way uptown if you're staying downtown and coming up for an afternoon trip.

Sherry Netherland Hotel



Go next

The most obvious place to go next is Central Park. The Upper West Side is on the other side of the park, accessible by walking; bike riding; taking a crosstown bus at 96th, 86th, 79th, or 66th St; or using a taxi or private car. Also, Midtown and the bright lights and ritzy department stores of 5th Avenue in the 40s and 50s are just south of the Upper East Side. East (Spanish) Harlem starts just north of 96th St., though the Upper East Side has increasingly been bleeding into the southern reaches of the Barrio. Roosevelt Island and Queens are on the other side of the East River.

Routes through Upper East Side

Bronx Harlem and Upper Manhattan  N  S  Midtown Financial District
Downtown Brooklyn Midtown  S  E  Long Island City, Queens Jamaica, Queens
Downtown Brooklyn Theater District  S  E  Long Island City and Astoria, Queens

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