What could be better than having Central Park as your backyard? This huge and legendary green space is a lush oasis in the middle of Manhattan, a respite from the endless hustle and bustle of the city — given how rare that is, it’s no surprise that New Yorkers are willing to pay a premium to live near it. So which Manhattan neighborhoods directly border Central Park? Discover them all here!

Table of Contents

    Which Neighborhoods Are Central Park Adjacent?

    Nine neighborhoods in Manhattan directly border the park. They are (clockwise from the park’s southern edge): Central Park South, Lincoln Square, the Upper West Side, Manhattan Valley, Central Harlem, East Harlem, and the Upper East Side, including Carnegie Hill and Lenox Hill.

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    Where Is Central Park South?

    Anchored by Columbus Circle to the west and the Plaza Hotel to the east, these few blocks along the southern stretch of Central Park contain some of the most expensive real estate in the city. Tourists flock here to pile into horse-drawn carriages and get a taste of the park the old-fashioned way, and those who can afford to live here are rewarded with spectacular park views. This southernmost section of the park is also home to a hidden-in-plain-sight gem: the Hallett Nature Sanctuary, a pristine four-acre wildlife preserve that’s great for bird-watching.

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    How Much Does It Cost To Live in Central Park South?

    Homes in this area are pricey. The median asking price as of April 2021 was $2.6M. The median asking rent was $6,800 for the same period, which is considerably less than the $8,000 median for the same time last year.

    Where Is Lincoln Square?

    This lively neighborhood at the southwest corner of the park is named for Lincoln Center, home to many of Manhattan’s most cherished cultural institutions, such as the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera. Some of the city’s most ritzy condo towers are located here, including the Time Warner Center, which boasts not one but two triple-Michelin-star restaurants at a single address: Per Se and Masa.

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    How Much Does It Cost To Live in Lincoln Square?

    Many homes in this area cost much less than the ones found in Central Park South. The median asking price was $1.2M as of April 2021. The median asking rent for the neighborhood is very reasonable at $2,987 compared to Central Park South.

    central park map
    All the Central Park–adjacent neighborhoods in Manhattan. (Bryan Miller)

    Where Is the Upper West Side?

    Above West 59th Street, you will find the Upper West Side, a vast area that borders the park’s west side. It is a bustling neighborhood with a residential feel. There are many gorgeous prewar buildings here, including some of the city’s most prestigious addresses, like the famed Dakota. On Central Park West at 79th Street, the American Museum of Natural History is a huge attraction. Still, if you venture deeper into the park at 79th Street, you might feel like you’ve been magically transported to the English countryside: The charming Shakespeare Garden features four acres of flowers and plants named in Shakespeare’s works. The Central Park Tennis Center, near 96th Street, boasts New York City’s largest set of public tennis courts.

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    How Much Does It Cost To Live on the Upper West Side?

    You’ll find a broad range of apartments from prewars to new construction. As of April 2021, the median asking rent was $2,800. Home buyers will also find a lot of variety, from brownstones to new condos. The median sales price is $1.7M.

    Where Is Manhattan Valley?

    Cental Park Neighborhoods bow bridge in Central Park
    Bow Bridge is one of Central Park’s biggest attractions. (Getty Images)

    This relatively small parcel at the park’s northwest corner may at first appear quieter than the Upper West Side, but on weekends, the area is just as vibrant. It borders Central Park’s North Woods, one of its “wildest” and most secluded areas, and, as its name suggests, it is nestled in a natural depression amid steep topography. Within the park between 104th and 106th Streets, you’ll find the Great Hill, an excellent picnicking spot — it’s one of the only areas of the park where you’ll actually find picnic tables — that also hosts an annual jazz festival, Great Jazz on the Great Hill, every summer.

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    How Much Does It Cost To Live in Manhattan Valley?

    If you’re looking to buy a condo or co-op, the median asking price as of April 2021 was $940K. The median asking rent was $3,300 for the same period, which may seem steep, but you get a lot more square footage for your rental dollars than in Downtown Manhattan.

    Where Is Central Harlem?

    Central Harlem covers a vast expanse along the park’s northern edge on 110th Street, and it has an extensive and proud history to go with it. It’s undoubtedly one of the most affordable of the Central Park–adjacent neighborhoods, and the area is brimming with grand brownstones. When it comes to great food, this neighborhood delivers. Harlem’s famous restaurant row on Frederick Douglass Boulevard is steps away from the park. And the northernmost part of the park is home to one of Central Park’s most interesting historical gems: the Blockhouse. It was built to defend the city if it came under British attack during the War of 1812. Luckily, it never saw combat, but its remains certainly make for a fascinating visit.

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    How Much Does It Cost To Live in Central Harlem?

    The neighborhood is known for its spacious prewar apartments — many are in rent-stabilized buildings, which is one reason for the area’s low median asking rent of $2,295. Looking to buy? The median asking sales price as of April 2021 was $895K.

    Where Is East Harlem?

    The northeast corner of Central Park offers a peek of East Harlem and the Harlem Meer. (Getty Images)

    This vibrant neighborhood borders the park’s northeast corner, on Fifth Avenue and above 96th Street. One of the park’s most significant attractions in this area is the beautiful Harlem Meer. The large and meandering lake is where you can actually fish for largemouth bass, carp, and more (as long as you release them afterward!). Complimentary fishing poles and bait are available at the lake’s Charles A. Dana Discovery Center

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    How Much Does It Cost To Live in East Harlem?

    Both renters and home buyers can enjoy affordable prices much lower than Manhattan’s median asking for rents and sales. The median asking for sales is $737K. The median asking rent is $2,100.

    Where Is the Upper East Side?

    While this area can be quite affordable (by NYC standards) in its eastern-most sections, it gets more and more rarefied the closer you get to Central Park, culminating in the tony buildings of Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Museum Mile, a long stretch along the eastern edge of the park, is home to one of the city’s crown jewels, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many more top museums. Broadway fans may want to take a walk into the park behind the Met to check out the Alexander Hamilton monument, a noble ode to the man who inspired the musical.

    The Upper East Side Includes Carnegie Hill and Lenox Hill

    Carnegie Hill

    Along the park’s east side from about 86th to 98th Streets, Carnegie Hill is a mostly residential area named for Andrew Carnegie, whose former mansion on East 91st Street now houses the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Between the Cooper Hewitt and its neighbors, the Guggenheim Museum two blocks south, and the Jewish Museum two blocks north, there is no shortage of cultural events in the neighborhood. (If you’re checking out the museums, fortify yourself at Eli’s Essentials, a café and wine bar on 91st & Madison from Eli Zabar, founder of the city’s famous deli institution Zabar’s.) Carnegie Hill’s Central Park border directly fronts the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, one of the park’s most beloved features. It is also one of the most well-used — a scenic 1.58-mile running track rings around it.

    Lenox Hill

    Lenox Hill borders the park’s southeast side, which is home to big-draw tourist attractions like the Central Park Zoo and Wollman Rink and also more local-centric draws like Rumsey Playfield, which hosts the beloved SummerStage concert series every summer and the Winter Jam Festival every winter, with snow machines brought in to create a wonderland of skiing, snowboarding, ice sculpting, and more. The neighborhood is dense with luxury apartment buildings, luxury hotels, and the famous luxury shopping along Madison Avenue, where ultra-high-end brands like Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, and Bottega Veneta all jockey for coveted retail space.

    How Much Does It Cost To Live on the Upper East Side?

    While the median asking price for homes is $1.6M, renting in the area is pretty affordable, thanks to a median asking rent of $2,398 as of April 2021.

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