If you’re looking at that picture above and thinking it doesn’t quite look like New York, you’re right. That’s Jersey City.
So many maps of New York City leave New Jersey off the map. It’s given many New Yorkers the idea that there’s nothing west of the Hudson worth checking out, causing them to miss out on amazing views, great neighborhoods, and fantastic real estate deals.
You don’t have to be a local to take advantage of Jersey City.
People rave about the views from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. These people have not been to Jersey City.
Painting or Reality? ?? Huhuu ihr Lieben, wir durften heute das Hotel wechseln und sind nun im #hyattregencyjerseycity. 2009 habe ich genau hier meinen ersten New York Urlaub verbracht und habe nur gute Erinnerungen an dieses Hotel. Die Aussicht ist einfach der Wahnsinn??Damals sah die Skyline allerdings noch ein wenig leerer aus als heute. Darum konnte ich natürlich nicht widerstehen und habe vermutlich ca. 1000 Bilder gemacht ??? #fotojunkie. Kennt ihr das, wenn ihr ein und das selbe Motive immer und immer wieder fotografieren müsst? Weil es einfach zu schön ist, um nur EIN Foto davon zu machen? ??? Oder geht's nur mir so? ? #jerseycity#hyattregency#skyline#oneworldtradecenter#worldtradecenter#manhatten#newyork#hudsonriver#hudson#travelling#cabincrew#flightattendant#stewardess#crew#hotel#happygirl#traveller#view#unbelievable#blogger#youtuber#behappyandtravel
People love the MTA subway, but there are some serious perks to the PATH system, too. It runs between 6 am and midnight, connecting Jersey City with Manhattan.
The much smaller system doesn’t have the tentacle reach of the MTA, but it’s much more reliable and there’s zero chance you’ll be lost for hours or end up in the wrong borough. There are schedules online and in the station.
The trains will take you to the World Trade Center, Christopher Street, 14th Street, 23rd Street, and 33rd Street.
You can also take the ferry from Paulus Hook to the World Trade Center, Wall Street, Midtown,
My favorite Jersey City neighborhood is Grove Street. It has the classic brownstones, boutiques, hip bars, and charming cafes you expect to see in NYC. It really has everything a proper Brooklyn neighborhood has, including a Barcade and Two Boots Pizza. Torico might be the best ice cream spot in the US. There are several good spots to get cocktails, including Dullboy.
Paulus Hook is a sleek new urbanist paradise of high rises on the waterfront. If you want marina access and the Manhattan skyline, this is your spot. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of spots to grab a bite and a pint. It’s also home to the Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden and the Museum of Russian Art.
Pavonia Newport is a weird place. You could stay in a highrise on the waterfront and have no idea that you’re on top of a microcosm of Americana. The Newport PATH station spits you out into a mall. The mall and parking deck are open whenever the trains are running, since it stands between the train station and the charming tree-lined streets of Pavonia. If you head north out of the station, you end up in a suburban wasteland of horrendous traffic, enormous parking lots, and a Target. You know you want to go to the Target.
While not part of Jersey City, Hoboken is along the PATH line and is another incredibly charming city. The Hoboken PATH station leaves you at the waterfront. Follow Sinatra Drive (named for Frank Sinatra, Hoboken native) or Washington Street to enjoy the views and the city.
The Statue of Liberty
Don’t want to wait for hours for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty in the sweltering sun? Take the 20-30 minute walk from downtown Jersey City to the ferry terminal in Liberty State Park.
This walk takes you past the Colgate Clock, the end of the Morris Canal, to the Empty Sky 9-11 Memorial, the abandoned Central Railroad of NJ Terminal, and a selection of bars and restaurants. You can’t beat the views, even before you get on the boat.
Liberty State Park is also home to the Liberty State Science Center. It’s not my favorite science center in the US, but it’s worth a detour if you’re nerdy or have kids in tow.
While all three NYC airports have bad reputations, Newark is generally considered the best of the worst.
You can reach Newark airport (EWR) by hopping on the PATH and transferring to either bus routes 62 or 67. You can also take a cab for about $40.
Where you’re staying
Hotels in NJ are cheaper, period. They’re also nicer than the hotels you’ll find in most of Brooklyn or Queens, simply by virtue of being newer. The apartments available are also nicer and more affordable.
As always, make sure you’re near a PATH station — or at least the light rail.
PATH runs 24 hours a day, not 6am to midnight.
And there is no neighborhood named Pavonia. There’s Hamilton Park, and Newport. Pavonia was the old name of the Newport PATH station because it’s on old Pavonia Ave.
Not all of Paulus Hook is new buildings….in fact, Paulus Hook contains the oldest brownstone blocks in Jersey City, dating back to the 1820s and 1830s.
I appreciate your passion for Jersey City!
What hotel do you recommend for a stay in late March for about 4 nights with children age 10 and 6?
I’d suggest looking into a home exchange, rather than a hotel. I don’t do hotels or kids 😉
When I visit NYC, I stay with friends there. My preferred stop is in Jersey City. Years ago, that was a warehouse district controlled, I believe, by Mafia interests and not where a person should be (or be found). But after the 9/11 attack, several banks moved operations to Jersey City in order to decentralize. What followed was wide redevelopment, including many waterfront residential towers, such as the one my friends live in. They are from India, BTW, as are many residents of Jersey City. So authentic Indian food is widespread and inexpensive. They pay perhaps half the rent they would expect to pay in Manhattan, for twice the space. Yet they can be in Manhattan in 5-10 minutes, far faster than I could when I lived in central Brooklyn. The view of Manhattan from the New Jersey shore is also awesome. Nearby cafe districts rival Manhattan and the Light Rail system there is delightful, far more laid-back than the NY Subway.
I have never known another person who says Jersey is better than NYC; but I stay in the other side of the World and what I consume is what the mass media feed me. It is so good to read your point of view today. I had no idea the airport in Jersey city is the best out of all the airports in NYC! If I get better quality hotels and apartments at cheaper price in Jersey city then no doubt I will choose it over NYC!
I stayed very near Jersey City (with my ex-boyfriend’s family in Nutley) and LOVED being in New Jersey over NYC because of all the great things to do in NJ. I loved Liberty State Park and being able to easily get to the city and then be able to step away from it. Great tips!
I was just in NYC this past September, and we stayed in an Air BnB in Jersey City. While I usually stay with friends when I’m in town, my partner and I wanted our own space after a 25-hour flight over from New Zealand. It’s so much more affordable, close to town and much more worth it! I’m glad someone else shares my opinion 🙂
I live in NYC, but I always forget how expensive it is to stay here. I think this is good advice about staying in Jersey City. The PATH train does make it easy to come to NYC and the views are great. I hate Newark, though, because it’s the hardest to get to if you live in NYC. At least it is better than LaGuardia!
This post is perfect. I have been thinking of having a stop over a few days in NYC from Europe on my way to South America. I didn’t know where I would like to stay. I didn’t know much about Jersey City This post makes me want to stay there. The views are amazing 😀
I’ve never been to New Jersey so I found this guide really interesting. It sounds like a great idea to visit the Statue of Liberty from the ferry terminal here. I’ll also check out Grove Street if I visit!
You know, I’m actually flying out of Newark (my first time :/) in September, so I’m going to bookmark this for later! I usually fly out of JFK if I’m headed to NY. Thanks for this great guide — I can see why it’s worth staying here!
Oh, thank you so much for bringing me in Jersey City by just reading your blog post. I like everything about what you have written about this City, especially the panoramic view of the whole City and the people as well. The whole City is very clean which is truly so great to amble around. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I haven’t been here and I wish I can traipse my feet here soon.
The path system definitely saves time and looks reliable. The 20-30 minute walk from downtown Jersey City to the ferry terminal in Liberty State Park looks beautiful and interesting. Your comparison of NK with NYC definitely makes us think it would be a great option to stay.
I would have never thought to stay in Jersy when visiting NYC, but you have totally convinced me. The views are absolutely amazing and I would love to walk around Grove Street. I am a sucker for hip bars and charming cafes 🙂