Manhattan Vs Brooklyn: Which is the Better Borough?

New York City remains one of the most popular rental cities in the world. All five of its boroughs offer New Yorkers a little something different from the others. Brooklyn and Manhattan have remained favorites for people looking for apartments for rent in New York though. And among longtime locals, this is still a heated debate. Is Manhattan the best borough in New York City? Or is Brooklyn best? ApartmentLove has laid out the facts.

Both Are Amazing Options

Before we delve into the differences between Manhattan and Brooklyn, ApartmentLove's rent experts want to make it very clear that Manhattan and Brooklyn can be very alike depending on the neighborhood, and are both equally great places to live. Both boroughs boast very easy access to transit, with a robust and well-connected bus and subway system that crosses the entire city.

Both boroughs are the perfect mix of urban and historical as well as unique cultural landscapes. However, there are differences that matter, depending on what the prospective renter values most about their home. The four most common considerations are space, price, access and community. Let's have a look at each.

Too Big? Too Small? Or Just Right?

Contrary to how the saying goes, when it comes to apartments, size matters. Some people prefer compact and functional, minimalist spaces, especially those who live on their own. Manhattan is perfect for solo renters. Notoriously expensive, Manhattan is manageable for those willing to sacrifice the space.

In Brooklyn, it's much simpler to find an apartment for rent with multiple bedrooms. With fully restored brownstone townhomes regaining popularity amongst renters, family-sized townhome rentals are increasingly common in Brooklyn. Many of these units are pet-friendly as well. A key feature of these homes is their large, bright bay windows that give brownstone townhouse complexes a tight knit community feel.

While family-style units are great, ApartmentLove knows that most people don't jump straight from living alone to living with their family or vice versa. In fact, most people have roommates at some point. That's where two-bedroom apartment rentals come into play. Brooklyn is an amazing place to search for roommate-friendly two-bedroom apartments for rent. They are spacious, modern and allow for individual privacy.

The Difference in Rental Prices

It's no secret that New York City is an expensive place to live. But rent prices vary greatly depending on the borough and neighborhood being considered. In Manhattan, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $4,000 per month. By contrast, Brooklyn's average rent price is $3,700 for a one-bedroom apartment that is typically more spacious than in Manhattan. It's also worth noting that there is a greater price variation between Brooklyn neighborhoods and it is even possible to find affordable apartments for rent for $1000 or less per month. That just doesn't happen in Manhattan.

Access to Transit and Landmarks

New Yorkers are always talking about ease of access. This applies to transit, major business hubs and other large institutions and attractions. Generally speaking, New York City's transit system is robust and well-connected, with affordable busses and trains linking all five boroughs fairly quickly, seamlessly and affordably. One fare is only $2.75 and busses and trains run every six to twelve minutes.

With that in mind, it's undeniable that Manhattan gives you access to New York City's core. It is home to notable educational, corporate and judicial organizations like the O'Malley School of Business, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Offices of the Sherriff. It's also the location of iconic cultural landmarks like Times Square. On the other hand, Brooklyn is more artsy and in tune with popular and classical culture, with venues like the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. You also get much easier access to the beaches and the John F Kennedy Airport.

In short, both boroughs provide solid accessibility to all parts of New York City as a whole. For the business-minded folks, Manhattan is the way to go. For those more interested in arts and culture, Brooklyn is the better borough. Either way, both have lots of options for apartments for rent near transit stops.


New York City is a melting pot of people and cultures from all over the world. However, some boroughs have a deeper sense of connection and community than others. Because Manhattan is largely business-focused, the sense of community and connection is more dependent on one's career or company.

On the contrary, Brooklyn has a famous neighborhood feel. Part of this is because of how Brooklyn's apartment rentals were built. Where Manhattan's apartments for rent are largely comprised of sleek high-rise towers, Brooklyn is known for its brownstone townhome complexes. This creates a chance for residents to get to know their neighbors and fosters a sense of community.

Additionally, Brooklyn has a number of cultural enclaves with linguistic diversity. In fact, Brooklyn is home to New York's Ukrainian-American community, Chinese-American community, Indian-American community and Latinx community. In having these enclaves, Brooklyn creates a sense of community for its residents looking to connect with their culture, while also creating a unique experience for others.

So, which is better? Manhattan or Brooklyn? Apartments for rent in Manhattan are great for business-minded individuals who want easy access to New York's financial core and those who love that classic New York feel portrayed in movies. For a more budget-conscious option, and for those who want more space and connection to their neighbors, an apartment for rent in Brooklyn is the way to go.

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Published: January 03, 2023