Authentic history and character oozes from the Lower East Side
The Lower East Side of New York City offers travelers unique charm, from its storied past to its gritty alleys and tenement complexes. Once a place of less-than-sterling reputation, the area now attracts visitors and locals from all five boroughs of the city. Travelers who want something different from the ordinary vacation experience find the Lower East Side fashionable, affordable and a contemporary haven for artists, music lovers and urban professionals. Bargain clothing stores, trendy boutiques, Jewish delicatessens, art galleries, French cafés, ethnic restaurants and velvet-roped nightspots create a multicultural blend as diverse and exciting as any cosmopolitan spot on earth.
You can easily get to New York's Lower East Side by bus, subway or taxi. Four airports and six Amtrak train stations are within 30 miles of the city, and shuttles, buses, subway trains, car rentals and an interconnected public transportation system make getting anywhere in the city easy and fast. Driving a car in Manhattan can be problematic because parking is pricey and street parking often difficult to find. Hotels charge extra for parking, so be prepared for that premium if you’re going to drive. Visitors can hail a taxi directly on the street in the Lower East Side, and public transportation options enable them to get anywhere in Manhattan quickly.
Best time to visit
Visiting the Lower East Side is like visiting any neighborhood in New York City, climate-wise. Travelers can choose spring and fall for enjoying street festivals, outdoor entertainment and mild weather. Nonstop holiday partying occupies people in the city from the first of December until New Year's Day, and includes festive holiday window displays, nearby Rockefeller Center's famed Christmas tree, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and edgy Lower East Side live musical celebrations on New Year's Eve. Gourmet visitors can find the best tables during July and August, when locals depart the city for their own vacations and long weekends. Bargain hunters find the best prices from January to April, when hotels offer remarkable discounts.
Lower East Side attractions include shopping, nightlife, art galleries and museums. Visitors can enjoy innovative, self-guided tours by using the Lower East Side Cell Phone Tour application, enabling them to listen to native New Yorkers explain what's important about various cultural sites. Other area attractions include:
Indie Rock Clubs
Rivaling the trendy reputation of any New York neighborhood, the Lower East Side features a downtown vibe and mixture of seasoned performers and emerging musicians. Many concert venues double as bars throughout the neighborhood, and these hotspots include The Mercury Lounge, Arlene's Grocery, The Living Room and Cake Shop, Delancey and Rockwood Music Hall. Visitors find nearly door-to-door late-night entertainment venues for all musical tastes.
Festivals on the Lower East Side include the Lower East Side Film Festival, where BYOB screenings of emerging talent engage film fans, and the Hester Street Fair at the corner of Essex and Hester Streets. Activities and events include interactive gambling, the Grub Street Food Festival, music, games and pushcart shopping. Similar festivals occur throughout the year to celebrate the Lower East Side's Chinese, Jewish and Puerto Rican cultures.
Lower East Side Tenement Museum
This cultural icon attracts scholars, visitors and locals who want to explore their immigrant roots. Dedicated to the city's waves of immigrants, the museum features costumed interpreters, sponsors walking tours of the Lower East Side, and re-creates typical immigrant living conditions at various times in history.
Lower East Side Hotels
Lower East Side hotels include bargain accommodations, towering hotels with all amenities, and trendy boutique hotels. You can easily find the best fit for your preferences in this eclectic neighborhood, whether you want to club-hop, shop, experience offbeat thrills, visit the more than 100 art galleries, or get easy access to indie record stores.
The Lower East Side offers a more gritty and genuine New York experience than visitors usually get when traveling. From burlesque shows to late-night diversions, the Lower East Side offers head-banging, shopping and cultural attractions like no other NYC neighborhood.
* Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. All rates are displayed in USD unless otherwise noted. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency.