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Lower Manhattan, New York City Travel Guide

Lower Manhattan Summary


  • Transportation hub, with subway lines connecting to all points in the city
  • Good weekend deals on hotel rooms and more holiday availability than uptown hotels
  • Battery Park, with gorgeous views of the Statue of Liberty
  • Free summer concerts at the South Street Seaport and Castle Clinton
  • South Street Seaport, with historic ships, a museum, shops, and restaurants
  • Ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • Walking tours of the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Historic landmarks still in operation, like Fraunces Tavern, which dates back to the American Revolution
  • Discount Gucci and Versace at the Century 21 department store
  • Ground Zero, site of the Twin Towers, offers daily guided tours


  • Crowded, narrow streets
  • Dark, eerily empty streets at night
  • Fewer restaurants and bars than in most parts of Manhattan
  • Few businesses, shops, or restaurants open on weekends
  • Noisy construction around Ground Zero
  • Easy to get lost -- the haphazard streets predate the numbered street grid of uptown Manhattan

What It's Like

In the skyscraper-packed southern tip of Manhattan, Wall Street traders weave between tourists along narrow, historic streets. Home to City Hall, the New York Stock Exchange, the cobblestoned streets of the South Street Seaport, Ground Zero, the Brooklyn Bridge, and ferries to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan is a premier tourist destination.

But the area generally shuts down after the Wall Street market closes, and there's scarce activity on the weekends. Shopping is of the bargain-hunting variety -- though the locally loved Century 21 comes with incredible designer deals -- and there are considerably fewer restaurants and bars than in most of Manhattan. Still, there are ample subway lines that will take you anywhere in the city, and the swank arts and nightlife scenes in SoHo and the Lower East Side are only a $5 to $10 cab ride away.

Where to Stay

Near Battery Park, on the southernmost tip of Manhattan, hotels like the Ritz-Carlton offer stunning views of the Statue of Liberty. A few blocks north, in the heart of the financial district, new designer boutiques like Gild Hall are cropping up among the complex web of cobblestoned streets. Across from Ground Zero, where the city has some breathing room, there's the Millenium Hilton, with its 40-foot indoor swimming pool. Also, since most Lower Manhattan hotels target business travelers during the work week, great deals can be found on the weekends.

Lower Manhattan Hotel Guides

  • Best Business Hotels in Lower Manhattan

    The dead-by-night area of Lower Manhattan is convenient to Wall Street and Financial District offices and very popular with business travelers. The hotels on this list have fast and reliable in-room wireless Internet connection, a comfortable and well-equipped business center, and a professional staff used to handling business-oriented requests.