I'm staying in NY for 3 days in December. I'm travelling alone and on a budget so I've been researching hostels however none of them are getting good reviews. I looked at a few hotels as well but as I'm alone I thought a hostel would be a better way to meet people and socialise. Anyhow, I just don't know which areas are the safest - there are so many - upper west side, upper east side, midtown, downtown, times square etc etc. I'd like to be fairly central and stay somewhere cheap but as I plan to be out in the evenings, safety is my biggest priority - I don't want to be returning late at night to somewhere 'dodgy'. Any advice would be very grateful.
New York right now is considered to be the #1 safest city in the world, thanks to Rudy Guiliani. I wouldn't worry too much about being out at night alone (but don't be wandering around in Central Park or dark side streets alone, just use common sense). The cruise ship I worked on sailed into NYC every Sunday, and as an attractive, 24-year-old blonde, I had no qualms whatsoever about being out by myself. Times Square, the Upper West Side (where the ship docked), mostly all of Manhattan is very safe in my opinion. I wouldn't get yourself into staying in Queens or the Bronx, etc, as that is a bit of a way from the nightlife. I'd stay in Manhattan, nice and close to everything you want to see!!! NYC is an incredible city, it makes you feel welcome and at home the minute you get there, and you can't help but just look in awe at some of the buildings and sights.....Empire State, Chrysler Building, Radio City, Trump Tower, Times Square....I could go on forever. Enjoy every minute of your stay in NYC, it breathes life and energy there.
Oh, maybe check out the prices for the Milford Plaza hotel, and other hotels just off the beat of Times Sqaure....and if you are there on a Sunday, wave to the Norwegain Dawn for me! She arrives in about 8am and sails again at 4pm!!!!
I recommend http://www.bigapplehostel.com/ It's nothing fancy, but clean with comfortable beds (at least the one we slept in) right in the middle of Manhattan, we walked down to East Village/Lower Eastside and up to Metropolitan and all over Manhattan. And like cruisegirl said it's a city that makes you feel very welcome and make you fit right in whichever type of person you are, and it's safe.
You will have a great time!
thank you both for your advice. I was speaking to a couple of new yorkers last night and they said pretty much the same - that NY is very safe. They told me Chelsea is a good area to stay in and I've found a few hotels there that I'm going to check out more. Thanks again for you help - I'm feeling much better about it all now!