Living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan: Is There a Difference?


Are you interested in living in New York City? If so, you’ll need to decide which of the five NYC boroughs you want to live in before making a move to the Big Apple.

You’re more than welcome to choose any of the five boroughs that you want. They each bring something different to the table and will provide you with a unique NYC experience.

But more often than not, those moving to NYC tend to narrow their options down to Brooklyn and Manhattan. If you fall into this category, you should learn about living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan before picking one over the other.

It’ll be important for you to consider everything from the cost of living in Manhattan, NY vs. the cost of living in Brooklyn to the things that you’ll be able to do when living in Manhattan vs. living in Brooklyn.

Here are some of the factors you’ll want to mull over when you have the living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan debate.

Cost of Living

When you’re thinking about living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan, one of the first things that you’ll want to take into account is the cost of living. You’re going to find that there will be a big difference between the cost of living in Manhattan vs. Brooklyn.

Housing, for example, is typically going to cost you more when you’re moving to Manhattan as opposed to Brooklyn. The apartment prices in Manhattan tend to be much higher than the apartment prices in Brooklyn.

That being said, there are some neighborhoods in Brooklyn where you’ll find apartments that cost more than the apartments in certain neighborhoods in Manhattan. But generally speaking, your housing costs are going to be higher in Manhattan than in Brooklyn.

Lots of other things will cost you more in Manhattan than in Brooklyn, too. You can expect to pay a premium for everything from food to clothing when living in Manhattan vs. Brooklyn.


If Brooklyn was its own city rather than being a part of New York City, it would actually be one of the biggest cities in the entire country. It has a population of about 2.6 million people, which makes it almost twice as large as Manhattan in terms of population. There are about 1.6 million people living in Manhattan.

Brooklyn is also very big size-wise. It sits at just under 70 square miles. This makes it more than three times the size of Manhattan, which is right around 23 square miles.

Whether you see the size of Brooklyn vs. the size of Manhattan as a positive or negative is going to be based on your personal preferences. But because Brooklyn is so large, there are more places to live in the borough. And this is at least partly why the cost of living in Brooklyn is more manageable than the cost of living in Manhattan.


Because Manhattan is so much smaller than Brooklyn, it’s usually a lot easier to get around in it. When living in Manhattan, you’ll be able to walk around to many places. You’ll also find that subway stops will be a dime a dozen in Manhattan, which isn’t always the case in Brooklyn.

With that in mind, it’s almost impossible for the average person living in Manhattan to own a car. It can cost a small fortune to pay for a parking spot in the city. This is an issue that you won’t face in Brooklyn, which has plenty of parking options in many of the neighborhoods scattered throughout the borough.

You’ll want to give some serious thought to how you plan to get around while living in New York City. It might be one of the deciding factors when it comes to living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan.


New York City has one of the most iconic skylines in the entire world. Even if you live in NYC, you’ll never get tired of looking up at the skyline and seeing everything that it has to offer.

But it’s worth noting that those who live in the thick of things in Manhattan aren’t always able to soak up the skyline. Since they’re so close to it, they aren’t able to enjoy it daily.

Those living in Brooklyn, on the other hand, shouldn’t have any problems checking out the NYC skyline day in and day out. They’ll be just far enough away from it to get a good glimpse of the skyline whenever they want.

Things to Do

It doesn’t matter if you live in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or one of the other NYC boroughs. There is always going to be something to do in your neck of the woods!

They don’t call NYC “The City That Never Sleeps” for nothing. It’s filled with fun things to see and do at all times.

You are, however, going to have decidedly different things to do when living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan. You should remember this when you’re trying to pick one over the other.

Manhattan is chock-full of all the things that many NYC tourists like to do. While living in Manhattan, you’ll be able to climb up to the top of the Empire State Building, take a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and attend a Broadway show whenever you want.

But this could come at a cost. To do these things, you’ll have to spend a lot of your time navigating your way around the aforementioned tourists who don’t always have the first clue as to where they’re going.

Brooklyn might not have all the things to do that we just talked about. But it is situated in a spot where you’ll be able to get to these things when you want to do them. And it also has its own things to do.

When in Brooklyn, you can:

  • Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Visit the Brooklyn Museum
  • Hang out in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Go for a jog in Prospect Park
  • Have some fun in Coney Island

It all depends on what you feel like doing during a day in New York City.

Community Feel

Those living in Manhattan often fall in love with the hustle and bustle of it all. There are always people coming and going, and there is never a dull moment.

But this can have an obvious impact on the community feel in this part of New York City. While some neighborhoods in Manhattan feel like tight-knit communities, most of them feel more like train stations with people always passing through them rather than communities of people who care about one another.

If you don’t mind this, then living in Manhattan might be right for you. But if you’re someone who values living in a place where you feel like you’re a part of a community, Brooklyn might be your best bet.

Some neighborhoods in Brooklyn are starting to feel more like Manhattan these days. But as you go further out in Brooklyn, you’ll find that many neighborhoods will feel like suburbs. You’ll be able to get to know your neighbors better when you’re living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan in many cases.


Let us start by saying this: You really can’t wrong living in Manhattan or Brooklyn when it comes to food. New York City as a whole is filled with so much delicious food.

But you will probably notice a difference in the food that you eat when living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan. You’ll have to decide which types of food experiences will suit you better while thinking of where you want to live.

Manhattan is known for its fine dining opportunities. It’s home to many fantastic restaurants like:

  • Buvette
  • Teranga
  • The Four Horsemen
  • Le Bernardin
  • Charlie Bird

Brooklyn has lots of excellent restaurants as well. But in recent years, it has become more a foodie destination than a place that’s known for its fine dining.

People tend to flock to Brooklyn to visit places like Smorgasburg, the biggest open-air food market in the whole country. They also congregate at places like DeKalb Market Hall to patronize the food vendors there.

The food is going to be amazing in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. You just need to try to hone in on what kind of food you plan to eat the most when living in New York City.


Regardless of whether you spend your time living in Manhattan or Brooklyn, you’re going to meet your fair share of incredible people. New York City is among the most diverse cities globally, which will provide you with a chance to rub elbows with people you might not meet otherwise.

But you will find some slight differences between those living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan. Since the cost of living in Manhattan is so high, many people living in the borough are on the wealthier side.

Because of the lower cost of living in Brooklyn meanwhile, you can expect to meet a lot of artists, entrepreneurs, and other people who have big dreams in this borough. Brooklyn is also regarded as the better place to raise a family when compared to Manhattan.


Do you live and breathe sports? Then you have to take in a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden while living in New York City. The Garden is a sports mecca that every sports fan should visit at least once.

You can also visit the Garden to see the New York Rangers play or to watch any number of college basketball games take place throughout the course of a year. It’s an amazing venue to catch a sporting event at.

For a long time, that gave Manhattan a leg up on Brooklyn in the sports department. But now that Brooklyn has the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets, it has also turned into a great place to catch a live sporting event. It has made a living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan a tie for many sports fans.


It’s impossible to predict what Manhattan and Brooklyn have in store for people in the future. But it’s safe to say that both boroughs will continue to grow and improve well into the future.

Brooklyn might have a slight advantage in growing and improving, though, based solely on its size. There is still so much untapped potential scattered throughout Brooklyn at this time.

If you’re interested in being a part of something that’s still on the ground floor in many ways, you might like living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan better. You’ll be excited to see how Brooklyn develops over time.

That isn’t to say that Manhattan will not develop into something different than it is right now as we move forward. But Brooklyn is expected to undergo more changes than Manhattan, which might be another good reason for you to move there.

Living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan: Which Should You Choose?

As you’ve seen here, there are so many differences that come along with living in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan. These boroughs might not be very far apart, but they both provide people with different living experiences.

You should go through all the factors that we’ve discussed here while weighing these two options. They should help you decide which borough is going to work best for you.

By choosing the right borough, you’ll make a living in New York City so much fun. You’ll sleep better at night knowing that you made the right choice in the end.

Would you like to get your hands on some moving tips and tricks that will make moving to Manhattan or Brooklyn so much less stressful for you? Find them by poking around on the rest of our blog and reading through some of the informative articles on it.