Moving to New York City: Complete Moving Guide 2024

By: Emily Kirschenbaum Last Updated: Jan 01, 2024

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No wonder you are moving to New York City - it’s the most fantastic city on Earth! Read on for all the details about what it’s really like to live in New York City.

Moving to New York City: Complete Moving Guide 2024

Moving to New York City can be both exciting and a little bit scary. Known as the city that never sleeps, New York offers a vibrant and diverse culture, unparalleled opportunities, and a bustling atmosphere that can inspire anyone.

However, with over 8 million people and a reputation for being expensive, fast-paced, and sometimes even dangerous, moving to New York City can be intimidating for newcomers.

Despite the challenges, many people dream of making the move to the Big Apple. Whether it’s to pursue a career, attend college, or simply experience the unique energy that is New York City, the City attracts people from all over the world.

Before you make your move, let’s explore what it’s really like to live in New York City, including the pros and cons, the job market, and the best places to live.

No matter if you are a recent graduate, an aspiring actor or artist, or just looking for a change of scenery, we’ve got all the information that will help you make an informed decision about moving to New York City.

Why Move to New York City?

An up-and-coming place to live, there is any number of reasons why one might want to move to Las Vegas, but some of the key draws include:

  • Diversity: NYC is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with a population made up of people from all cultures and walks of life. Living in the City offers tremendous opportunities to experience different cultures, languages, and traditions.
  • Careers: As a major hub for many industries such as finance, media, fashion, and technology, there are many job opportunities for people with all different backgrounds, skill sets, and interests. Whether you are looking to start a new career or move up in an existing career, New York City is likely to have options for you.
  • World-Class Amenities: New York City is full of top-notch restaurants, museums, theaters, parks, and shopping. New Yorkers have access to some of the best entertainment, dining, and cultural experiences right on their doorsteps.
  • Public Transportation: The extensive public transportation in NYC includes buses, subways, trains, and ferries, and is easy to navigate. There’s almost no need for a car, which is especially useful for newcomers who want to explore different neighborhoods at will.
  • Vibrant Lifestyle: There’s no place quite like NYC – it’s fast-paced and there is always something happening from concerts and events to festivals and parades. The City is a great place for anyone who loves being in the middle of the action and experiencing the energy of a bustling city.

How Much Does it Cost to Move to New York City?

The cost of moving to New York City can vary greatly, ranging from $400 to $13000. While the chart below can provide a rough estimate to help you start budgeting your moving expenses, it’s important to note that the cost can fluctuate significantly based on the total distance and size of your move.

Type of Service 1 Bedroom 2-3 Bedrooms 4-5 Bedrooms
DIY/Truck Rental $400 – $2250 $700 – $4250 $1600 – $4650
Moving Container $750 – $2750 $1200 – $5000 $2400 – $7900
Full Service $1300 – $3900 $1900 – $8800 $3500 – $13000+

Our Most Recommended Long Distance Movers

A reputable and trustworthy long distance movers will make all the difference in ensuring that your move to New York City goes smoothly and is stress-free.

We’ve put in hours of research combined with real-world experience to bring you highly recommended movers:



Moving APT

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Native Van Lines

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Adams Van Lines

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What are the Pros and Cons of Moving to New York City?

The Pros The Cons
  • Career opportunities
  • Great public transportation
  • Museums and culture
  • Food scene
  • Central Park
  • High rent/home prices
  • Expensive
  • Traffic
  • People can be aggressive
  • Rats

What’s the Cost of Living in New York City?

It is very expensive to live in New York City, with a cost of living that is 95% higher than the national average. Every category of costs from housing to utilities to food and more is higher in New York City than both the state and national average.

Housing is the biggest culprit when it comes to the high cost of living in New York City, with housing costs a whopping 258% higher than the national average. On average, monthly rent is over $4,000 while purchasing a home will cost an average of $1.5 million.

Grocery prices are about 39% higher than the national average and people in New York City spend over $4 on a loaf of bread and more than $3 for a gallon of milk. A dozen eggs is just over $2. Healthcare is another high expense in New York City, with doctor’s visits costing around $128 out of pocket.

Where are the Best Neighborhoods to Live in New York City?

It’s hard to narrow down the best neighborhoods in New York City as there are so many different areas each with its own unique character and charm.

Whether you want to be right in the midst of all the action in Midtown Manhattan or have a bit more of a suburban feel in Queens or another borough, there are tons of different options that can suit every preference.

Following is a sampling of some of the more attractive areas to live in:

1. Upper West Side

Located between Central Park and the Hudson River, the Upper West Side of Manhattan is known for beautiful brownstone buildings with lots of charm, tree-lined streets, and excellent schools.

2. Greenwich Village

Also called simply “The Village,” this neighborhood is historic and trendy and situated in Lower Manhattan. The Village is known for its bohemian vibe, eclectic shops and delicious and diverse food scene.

3. Park Slope

Outside of Manhattan, the Park Slope area of Brooklyn is an up-and-coming neighborhood attractive to families and young professionals. An easy commute to the City, it offers a bit more of a suburban feel.

4. Williamsburg

Also located in Brooklyn, Williamsburg has become one of the trendiest neighborhoods in New York City. There’s an active nightlife scene, trendy and upscale shops and boutiques, and lots of waterfront parks.

5. Astoria

Another neighborhood located in one of the City’s outer boroughs, Astoria is situated in Queens. It’s known for its diverse food scene, waterfront parks, and affordable housing options.

6. Battery Park City

This area is located on the southern tip of Manhattan and has great waterfront views, lots of green parks, and easy access to different modes of public transportation.

7. Tribeca

Another trendy downtown Manhattan neighborhood, Tribeca boasts beautiful loft apartments, many restaurants, and Hudson River views.

8. Jackson Heights

This Queens neighborhood is one of the most diverse in New York City and offers a wide array of ethnic restaurants and markets. Jackson Heights has a great transportation hub and offers easy access to other parts of the city.

9. Brooklyn Heights

Located close to the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, this neighborhood is well-known for historic brownstone homes, tree-lined streets and gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline.

10. Upper East Side

Located on the east side of Manhattan, this neighborhood has luxurious apartments, and high-end shopping and is home to cultural institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. It’s also close to Central Park and other parks along the East River.

How is the Job Market in New York City?

The job market in New York City is highly competitive and diverse, with lots of opportunities available in a wide range of industries. As one of the largest and most influential cities in the world, New York City is a major hub for companies in finance, media, technology, healthcare, and many other fields.

This means that job seekers in NYC have access to a wealth of job opportunities, but they may also face stiff competition from other highly qualified candidates. In addition, the high cost of living in New York City can make it difficult for some job seekers to afford to live in the city while looking for work.

One of the unique features of the job market in New York City is the emphasis on networking and personal connections. A lot of job openings are filled through referrals or recommendations from people already working in the industry or company.

This means that building a strong professional network is essential for job seekers in New York as it can help them gain access to jobs that might not be advertised.

What is New York City Most Known for?

New York City is famous for so many things, including its iconic landmarks which attract millions of tourists each year. The Statue of Liberty is one of the city’s most recognizable symbols, as is the Empire State Building, which was once the tallest building in the world.

The observation deck on the 86th floor offers stunning views of the city skyline. Other notable landmarks include the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Times Square, and the 9/11 Memorial.

In addition to the famous landmarks, New York City is also known for its wide array of cultural offerings. This includes Broadway shows, world-class museums, and art galleries.

Visitors and locals can taste the flavors of the world at any of the city’s numerous restaurants and food carts that serve everything from pizza and bagels to falafel and dim sum.

Finally, New York City is also well known for its role as a global financial and economic hub and is home to the New York Stock Exchange and many international corporations. There is a bustling startup scene in New York City as well, and it is often considered the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world.

What are the Best Schools and Universities in New York City?

New York City is home to some of the best schools and universities in the country and even the world. Some of the top institutions include:

  • Columbia University – is one of the most prestigious universities in the country, known for its rigorous academic programs and renowned faculty.
  • New York University – a private research university with campuses in Greenwich Village, Midtown, and Brooklyn, NYU is known for its diverse student body and programs in business, law, and the arts.
  • Fordham University – a private Jesuit university in the Bronx, Fordham has a strong liberal arts program as well as well-regarded business and law schools.
  • The City University of New York – a public university system with 25 campuses throughout the city, CUNY is known for its affordable tuition for city residents.
  • The Juilliard School – is one of the world’s most prestigious performing arts schools with programs focusing on music, dance, and drama.

When it comes to school-age children, there are generally three options for school types:

  • Public Schools – NYC has the largest public school system in the US with over 1,800 schools and over 1 million students. The schools are divided into 32 local districts and are all free and open to all local students, offering a range of programs and services to meet the needs of diverse student populations.
  • Charter Schools – These are independently run public schools that receive public funding but operate outside of the traditional public school system. In NYC, charter schools are known for their innovative programs and often have longer school days than traditional public schools.
  • Private Schools – There are many private schools in New York City with a range of educational philosophies, including religious and secular schools, single-sex and co-ed schools, and schools that focus on certain academic areas or extracurricular activities. Private schools tend to have smaller class sizes and more personalized attention but also come with a high price tag.


How can I downsize my possessions if I’m moving to a smaller apartment in New York City?

Many people who move to New York City from other states find they have too many belongings to fit in a small apartment. The best way to downsize is to start early – begin a few weeks before your move by sorting your clothes and other items and getting rid of things you don’t wear or use.

Also consider your furniture – if you have pieces that will be too large to fit in your new apartment, try to sell them or give them away before you move.

How can I ensure that the mover’s van will be able to park near my apartment building?

One of the issues with moving to New York City is the difficulty in parking moving vans or U-Hauls. Although commercial vehicles do have some special privileges like being able to double park, you should check the signs and be aware of alternate sides of the street parking as well as street cleaning.

You might be able to schedule your move for a day that works better for the parking restrictions. In some cases, you might have to apply for a parking permit for the moving van a few days ahead of time.

What are some ways to save money on a move to New York City?

Moving to New York City from out of state or across the country can be costly if you choose to hire best moving company.

However, there are ways to save money, such as taking on some of the work yourself. One option is to pack and unpack your belongings yourself instead of paying the movers to do it.

Another option is to obtain free or low-cost boxes from nearby businesses. Additionally, reducing the number of items you need to move by decluttering can also help keep expenses down.

In the New York State of Mind

Moving to New York City can be exciting and transformative. As one of the most diverse and lively cities in the world, NYC offers endless opportunities for personal and professional growth.

However, it is important to also be prepared for the challenges that come with living in a busy city like New York, including the high costs of living.

Don’t let the challenges scare you though – as long as you are patient, persistent, and open-minded you’ll be able to navigate your new life in the Big Apple just fine. Of course, start your life there off on the right foot by choosing a reliable and trustworthy moving company.