Queens, the largest borough in New York City, is a cultural melting pot with a diverse population of over two million people.
Each neighborhood within Queens has its own unique charm, offering a wide range of experiences to its residents and visitors. From the trendy and up-and-coming to the historic and well-established, Queens has something for everyone.
So, I decided to take a closer look at the 10 best neighborhoods in Queens, highlighting the features that make them stand out.
What to look for…
I’ve taken into consideration factors such as affordability, accessibility, safety, and community to compile a list of neighborhoods that represent the best that Queens has to offer. So whether you’re a long-time resident or a newcomer to Queens, my guide will help you discover some of the most vibrant and livable neighborhoods in the borough.
So without further ado, let’s explore the 10 best neighborhoods that make Queens such an exciting place to live, work, and play.
- The 10 Best Neighborhoods In Queens
- Forest Hills
- Long Island City
- The Rockaways
- Jamaica Estates
- Kew Gardens
- Still Not Sure Where To Relocate?
- Final Thoughts
The 10 Best Neighborhoods In Queens
It is located in the northwestern part of Queens and is a popular neighborhood with a dynamic cultural scene and diverse population.
Its Greek heritage is a notable feature, with numerous Greek restaurants, cafes, and shops spread throughout the area. Not a fan of Greek food? No problem. There’s a diverse range of dining options that cater to every taste. Astoria also boasts a great art scene with a variety of galleries and performance spaces.
A stone’s throw from Manhattan…
Apart from its cultural offerings, it has a lot to offer in terms of accessibility and outdoor activities. Astoria Park is one of the largest parks in Queens, situated along the East River with stunning views of Manhattan’s skyline. Another popular destination is the Socrates Sculpture Park, which features contemporary art installations.
The neighborhood’s accessibility to Manhattan is another bonus. With multiple subway lines and a quick 20-minute commute to Midtown Manhattan, it is a convenient location for those who work in the city but want to live in a quieter neighborhood.
But it doesn’t come cheap…
You will have to pay more for the privilege of living here. The average house price in Astoria is high compared to other areas in Queens, with a median sale price of around $900,000. The average apartment rental price is also quite high at $2,675 per month.
Forest Hills is a charming neighborhood that is known for its tree-lined streets and beautiful homes. Located a short subway ride from Manhattan, Forest Hills offers residents easy access to the city while providing a peaceful and welcoming retreat.
The architecture in Forest Hills has to be mentioned. The neighborhood boasts a mix of architectural styles, including Tudor, Colonial, and Art Deco. Its picturesque streets are filled with homes and charming apartment buildings that are highly sought after by both buyers and renters.
Amazing schools in the area…
Forest Hills is also home to a number of excellent schools, making it a popular choice for families with children. The neighborhood has several top-rated public and private schools, including the highly regarded Forest Hills High School.
On top of all that, there’s a thriving commercial district along Austin Street. Here, you’ll find an array of shopping and dining options, including boutique shops, specialty stores, and a variety of restaurants.
Do you like the outdoors?
Forest Hills also has a number of green spaces for residents to enjoy, including the expansive Forest Park. This 500-acre park offers hiking trails, sports fields, playgrounds, and even a golf course.
The median sale price for a home in Forest Hills is $460,000, although this number is dragged way down by a large number of co-op and condo properties on offer. If you want one of the beautiful mock Tudor family homes, that will cost you more than $1.3 million. The average apartment rental will set you back around $2,500 per month. Rental prices have increased by around 10% in a year.
Long Island City
Long Island City (LIC) is a rapidly growing neighborhood located in the westernmost part of Queens, just across the East River from Manhattan. It has undergone significant development in recent years and is now a bustling hub of commerce, culture, and entertainment.
The skyline is off the scale here, dominated by sleek glass skyscrapers and luxury apartment buildings. The neighborhood is home to The Museum of Modern Art, one of the largest and most influential contemporary art institutions in the world, as well as a growing number of galleries, theaters, and performance spaces.
For those who love the outdoors, LIC offers several parks and waterfront green spaces. Gantry Plaza State Park is a popular destination, offering mind-blowing views of the Manhattan skyline and a variety of recreational activities.
In terms of accessibility, LIC is right in the mix. The neighborhood has excellent subway and bus connections, with just a quick 5-minute ride to Midtown Manhattan. LIC is also home to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), providing residents with easy access to other parts of Long Island and beyond.
You pay for location…
Its proximity to Manhattan means the housing is expensive by Queens standards. The average sale price for a house in LIC is around $860,000, while rental prices are also high. A one-bedroom apartment will set you back £3,695, and if you want two bedrooms, be prepared to pay over $5,000.
Next door to Long Island City is the beautiful neighborhood of Sunnyside. It is known for its historic six-story apartment buildings and vibrant commercial areas.
The average home price in Sunnyside is around $650,000, making it more affordable compared to other areas of New York City. Rental prices are rising but still reasonable, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment around $2,400 per month and a two-bedroom costing closer to $3,000.
Fresh farmers markets…
Despite rising rental prices, Sunnyside remains an attractive option for those looking for a community feel while still having easy access to the rest of the city. The neighborhood is very well-connected to public transportation, with several subway lines serving the area. Manhattan is minutes away.
A wide range of dining and shopping experiences are also on offer. The neighborhood has a bustling commercial district with loads of shops, cafes, and restaurants, including the popular Sunnyside Greenmarket, which features fresh produce and local vendors.
Sunnyside also boasts several parks and gardens, including the iconic Sunnyside Gardens Park, which provides residents with access to tennis courts, playgrounds, and a community garden.
Bayside is a picturesque neighborhood located in the northeastern part of Queens. One of the highlights of the neighborhood is its beautiful waterfront and marina, which provide residents with stunning views of the Long Island Sound and access to a variety of water-based activities.
Housing options include a large number of free-standing family homes. The average home price is around $800,000, which is a fair bit higher than usual in Queens at $550,000. The rental price for a one-bedroom apartment is around $2,100 per month, with two-bedroom apartments going for $2,600.
No subway service is available…
Bayside doesn’t have a subway service, but the Long Island Rail Road does connect residents to Penn Station. The neighborhood also has easy access to major highways, making it easy to get to other parts of Queens and beyond. It also has a bustling commercial district with all the usual big-box stores and a ton of family-run restaurants and businesses on Bell Boulevard.
The Bayside marina is a major attraction for residents and visitors alike. It provides access to boating and fishing opportunities and is a popular spot for waterfront dining and relaxation. There are several waterfront events held throughout the year, including outdoor concerts and festivals. If ease of access to the city isn’t your number one priority, this is a great place to live.
The Rockaways is a vibrant beach community located in the southernmost part of Queens. The neighborhood is famed for its beautiful beaches, oceanfront boardwalk, and lively atmosphere. It is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, especially during the summer months.
The highlight is its beautiful beaches. The neighborhood is home to several public beaches, including Rockaway Beach, which is the only legal surfing beach in New York City.
Exciting food and nightlife!
It also has a lively boardwalk that stretches for miles, providing residents and visitors with stunning views of the ocean. There’s an exciting food and nightlife scene along the boardwalk with plenty of restaurants and bars, many of which specialize in seafood and live music.
Housing options include a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. The average home price is around $700,000, making it slightly more affordable compared to other beach communities in New York City.
Perfect for the laid-back folk…
Rental prices are also more affordable compared to other neighborhoods on my list. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,800 per month, rising to $2,250 for two bedrooms.
Overall, The Rockaways is a lively and diverse neighborhood that offers residents a unique beachside experience with easy access to the rest of New York City. It’s a great place to call home for those who are looking for a laid-back beach lifestyle.
Up next, in my guide to the 10 Best Neighborhoods in Queens, Jamaica Estates is one of the more affluent residential neighborhoods in Queens, known for its spacious Tudor-style homes, safe streets, and excellent public schools. It is a popular choice for families who are looking for a safe and peaceful suburban environment while still being within easy reach of the city.
It is mostly residential; however, the nearby neighborhood of Jamaica is full of interesting restaurants and shops, and bars. If you like Caribbean food, you’re in for a treat.
It’ll make a dent in your wallet!
Housing consists mostly of single-family homes, with the average home price being $1.3 million, making it one of the more expensive neighborhoods in Queens. Apartment rental prices in Jamaica Estates are also quite high, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment around $2,000 per month and a two-bedroom pad costing $2,700.
Several parks and green spaces grace the area, with Cunningham Park being the most popular. The park features a lake, sports fields, and playgrounds. It also has several community centers, including the Jamaica Estates Association, which hosts events and activities for residents throughout the year.
Suburban family lifestyle…
Overall, Jamaica Estates is a great place to live for families looking for a safe and comfortable suburban lifestyle with great transport links to the rest of the city.
Located in central Queens, Kew Gardens is a delightful residential neighborhood. Think of a more affordable version of Forest Hills. With great public transportation links, the neighborhood is a popular choice for those looking for a quiet and peaceful environment with ease of access to the city.
One of the standout features of Kew Gardens is its proximity to Forest Park, a 500-acre space where residents can enjoy hiking trails, biking, or picnicking. There are also several sports fields and playgrounds, making it a popular destination for keeping fit and family activities.
The many single-family homes to multi-unit buildings. The average home price in the area is around $500,000, making it a more affordable option than some of the other neighborhoods in Queens. Apartment rentals are $1,800 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,400 if you need two bedrooms.
Getting around is also no problem here. The neighborhood is served by several subway lines which provide swift access to Manhattan and other parts of Queens. The Long Island Rail Road also has a station in Kew Gardens.
Lots of entertainment available…
As far as retail and entertainment go, there are plenty of cool shops, restaurants, and cafes located along Lefferts Boulevard. The Kew Gardens Cinema, a historic movie theater, is also located in the neighborhood, offering residents a unique cinematic experience. There’s plenty to attract potential residents here.
Straddling the border between Brooklyn and Queens gives the residents of Ridgewood access to the exciting nightlife scene both boroughs have to offer.
Connoisseurs of the fine arts are well catered for, with several galleries, theaters, and music venues located throughout the neighborhood. The Ridgewood Reservoir, a 50-acre park and nature reserve, is also located in the area and offers residents a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Getting around is no problem!
It is also known for its excellent transport connections. Several subway lines come here, including the M and L trains, which provide straightforward routes to Manhattan and other parts of Queens. The neighborhood is also located near major highways, making car travel a simple affair.
This Queens neighborhood also has a diverse array of dining options with international cuisine available from all over the world. Ridgewood also has several public parks and playgrounds, a valuable asset for families.
Endless housing options…
Housing options are diverse, ranging from brick row houses to multi-unit apartment buildings. The average home price in the area is around $630,000, a bargain when you consider how well-located it is. Apartment rentals cost $2,350 for a single-bedroom pad and $2,800 for two-bedroom residences.
If cultural enrichment is what you’re after, Flushing may be the neighborhood for you. It has a long history dating all the way back to the 1650s when it was one of the original towns in Queens County. These days it’s an international melting pot, with around two-thirds of residents being born outside of the U.S.
A large number of these are Chinese, and Flushing is home to one of the largest Chinatowns in the world. As you can imagine, this has resulted in it becoming a veritable paradise for food lovers who make their way there from every corner of the city. Name an international cuisine, and you can find it here.
Local shopping at your disposal!
Flushing also has one of the busiest central business districts in the whole of New York, covering all the shopping needs of the locals. Both the subway and LIRR train provide great transport options to get anywhere in the city fast.
The neighborhood’s standout landmarks and attractions include the Queens Botanical Garden, a 39-acre oasis. The area is also home to several historic landmarks, such as Flushing Town Hall and the Bowne House, which is a museum showcasing the area’s colonial history. Flushing Meadows, the home of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, is also located here.
Spoilt for choice…
The housing available is varied, with a selection of multi-unit apartment buildings to single-family homes. The average home price in the area is around $660,000, and a one-bedroom apartment will cost you $2,000 per month, rising to $2,500 if you need an extra bedroom.
Still Not Sure Where To Relocate?
We can help! Let’s find out more about the Safest Places To Live In Florida, the Safest Places To Live In Florida, and the Safest Neighborhoods In Philadelphia, as well as the Safest Cities In California, the Safest Cities In Texas, and the Safest Neighborhoods In Atlanta.
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And for a better understanding of areas to avoid, check out the 10 Most Dangerous States In The US, followed by the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Los Angeles, the Most Dangerous Cities In Florida, and the 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Chicago, in 2023.
As you can see, Queens is a diverse and exciting borough that offers residents a wide variety of neighborhoods to choose from. Each neighborhood has its own unique character, cultural heritage, and amenities, making it easy for people to find a place that suits their lifestyle and preferences.
From the waterfront communities of The Rockaways and Bayside to the architectural delights of Forest Hills and the vibrant cultural scene of Flushing, Queens truly has something for everyone. The variety of housing options, excellent public schools, and generally outstanding transport links make Queens an attractive option for families and young professionals alike.
Queens caters to all needs…
Whether you’re looking for a quiet suburban community or a bustling urban center, Queens has it all. With its rich history, diverse population, and excellent quality of life, it’s no wonder that Queens continues to rise in popularity as a destination for those looking to call New York City their home.
Happy Home Hunting!