Booking the best bed and breakfasts in New York City

Big and bustling NYC might not seem like the sort of place to go in search of low-key guest houses, but there's actually a real kaleidoscope of enticing options that promise to provide a fabled Big Apple welcome and a local's experience of the sprawling megacity. This guide will help you pinpoint the best boroughs and neighborhoods, along with the most wallet-friendly bed and breakfasts in New York City.

A NYC neighborhood guide for bed and breakfast bookers

The five boroughs of New York City combine to create the most populous metropolis in the United States, and one of the largest in the world as well. The guide below can help you to know your Chinatown from your Broadway, your Central Park from your Hudson Valley…

A B&B in New York City close to Central Park

Central Park is the green and leafy heart of Manhattan, and one of the most iconic attractions in the Big Apple. It's a fine place to look for romantic bed and breakfasts, with rowhouses peering over the walking paths come summer, clip-clopping horse and carriage rides right on the doorstep, and the winter ice rinks within reach.

Exciting bed and breakfasts in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is a jigsaw of happening neighborhoods woven together on the side of the Upper New York Bay, all with jaw-dropping views of the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Delve into the mix and you'll find pizza joints in the 'Little Italy' of Greenwood, artsy lodgings in between the brewpubs of Williamsburg, and plenty of family fun to keep you going down by the corkscrewing rides of Coney Island.

Hudson Valley and Long Island – bed and breakfasts near NYC

If you're looking to escape the honking cabs and bright lights of Broadway but still want to enjoy the bucket-list sights of the Empire State, there are oodles of bed and breakfasts near NYC that can offer something a little quieter. You can ride the Long Island Rail Road to the east and choose salt-washed guest houses overlooking Hampton beaches and surf breaks. Or, you can sail up the Hudson to quaint Colonial towns like Poughkeepsie in the shadow of the wooded Adirondack Mountains.

Hop across to New Jersey

Although it might not seem like it after just a short PATH train ride across the Hudson River from Midtown, going that way from Penn Station means hopping over the state line. Hoboken awaits in the Garden State, a town of beer-sloshing Irish bars and roastery cafes, not to mention historic B&Bs in old tenement buildings that fringe parks with some of the very best skyline views of Manhattan.

A taste of multiculturalism in Harlem

Venturing to the northern fringes of Manhattan means trading the hubbub of 5th Avenue's colossal department stores for something altogether spicier and more exotic. The neighborhoods here are all Latino cantinas that burst with Brazilian stews and Costa Rican coffees, or lived-in Caribbean enclaves that jive to samba and Bajan beats.

Scoring great bargains on B&Bs in New York City

With such a vast array of pursuits ready to pack out the travel itinerary in the legendary Big Apple, it's easy to see why you might want to hold on for a deal when it comes to booking your bed and breakfast in New York City. Cue the tips below, which offer insights into how you can cut the cost of lodgings in and around the metropolis…

Skip the summer, skip Christmas

New York City's always busy with visitors. But there are two times of the year that see astronomical spikes in the number of sightseers and the price of rooms. The first is Christmas, when the ice rinks of the Rockefeller Center are awash with whizzing bodies. The second is the summertime – prime for wandering Central Park and seeing the Statue of Liberty. For great deals, you might want to avoid the above in favor of cheaper fall or spring.

Always book as early as you can

There aren't nearly as many B&Bs in New York City as glitzy hotels and apartment rentals. That means you're going to want to secure your reservation long in advance of coming, before all the best-priced deals in the best-located establishments get booked up.

Think about a stay outside of Manhattan

There's no harm in looking for accommodations that take you to outer districts of the Big Apple. In fact, some of the very best bed and breakfasts near NYC offer room rates that are considerably cheaper than their compadres in the shadow of the Empire State Building. What's more, they could be located in amazing spots, from the oak-topped ridges of the Hudson Valley to the wave-battered beach towns of Long Island.