Fun comparison of living costs in NYC’s Upper West and East Sides

This came from an ad but I found it fun to read.

It is no secret that living costs in New York City can be varied. Some neighborhoods are more luxurious than others, but there are many affordable options as well. If you are planning to move to NYC, you are probably interested in knowing more about these differences. We try to answer some of your dilemmas. In this case, we take a look at the most popular New York neighborhoods: Upper East Side vs Upper West Side. Divine Moving and Storage NYC have a long history of helping people move to the city and can make your relocation swift and non-stressful. Moving doesn’t have to be hard – having the right assistance is sometimes all it takes for an easy move. 

What is the main difference between Upper East Side vs Upper West Side?

If you were to ask New York residents which is better, Upper East Side vs Upper West Side – you would probably get very different answers. Most people have their favorite neighborhoods, and in this case, it is very if not extremely hard to choose. Personal preferences aside, some features can be measured, such as living costs. Upper East Side is usually considered to be more high-end. You will have a great time finding out about this, however. Both neighborhoods are wonderful to explore. We are going to take a look at both neighborhoods and compare their living costs so you can decide what suits you best. In any case, moving to Manhattan is an unforgettable experience.

two women and a man smiling behind a pile of moving boxes
Moving can be easy and even fun with the right help and the right attitude

Luxury flourishes in Upper East Side

If you are thinking in terms of upscale living, this is the perfect choice for you. Our Upper East Side movers can help make a crucial difference in your moving experience. Being familiar with every step of the way, they are sure to bring you safely to your destination. Upper East Side refers to the area of New York that falls between the East River, 96th Street, 59th Street, and Central Park. It is often mentioned in movies and tv shows and is well-known for its abundance of amazing architecture, high-end cuisine restaurants, and luxury designer boutiques.

Upper East Side is higher in prices, both when it comes to housing and living expenses. The overall cost of living index is high but close to the national average (113 compared to 100). However, housing costs make the biggest difference in pricing.  Living costs come in second, being much higher than the average. Still, it depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to have. There are more affordable apartments for rent. You don’t have to live a life of luxury, and you most certainly can have a wonderful time in Upper East Side. But, if you plan on raising a family here and sending your kids to schools in the area, expect higher living costs. This is especially true for those who want their kids to go to school in the Upper East Side, as the majority of them are private (and may we add – expensive as well).

a chef laying out vegetables on wooden plates
Upscale dining is frequent with Upper East Side vs Upper West Side living

A neighborhood that is home to young but large aspirations

This lovely neighborhood is also located near Central Park, with West 59th Street, West 110th Street, and the famous Hudson River surrounding it. It is therefore not a big mystery how amazing it is. Make sure to find reputable Upper West Side movers if you are moving to the neighborhood. It is home to many big businesses and famous cultural and artistic centers. Considered to be most popular amongst intellectual elites and the younger generations of businessmen, Upper West Side doesn’t lack in popularity.

Housing prices are again very high (413 compared to New York’s average of 132 on the living cost index), and so are the living expenses. However, renting can be more affordable, since many students rent apartments here. It is a neighborhood generally geared more towards the younger population and their lifestyle. Additionally, it is a neighborhood that has better traffic and walking options than Upper East Side, so it is possible to save money that way. Walking is, therefore, a popular activity in the area. Different parts of the area also bring different prices.

Upper East Side vs Upper West Side in terms of different tastes

Since both neighborhoods have similarly high pricing when it comes to housing and costs of living, your potential decision to pick a favorite comes down to your preferences. Upper East Side has the reputation of being the more expensive area of New York, and people who choose to live there usually have the goal of enjoying what it has to offer. If you are looking to settle down and have a family there, count on higher amounts of money. There is a high probability that the people living there are accustomed to a certain lifestyle.

Upper West Side brings a more refined atmosphere with a lot of culturally enhanced features. You will probably have an easier time fitting here, and it would be somewhat easier to save money. If you have a hard time choosing between Upper East Side vs Upper West Side, you can use this simple guideline to help you:

  • Are you living a single life or are you planning/already having a family?
  • Do you have a car?
  • Is this a temporary or permanent move?
  • Do you want a more simple lifestyle?

By answering these questions, you will be able to see which neighborhood suits you more. Remember that you still can find different options in both neighborhoods, but pay attention to the overall pricing and lifestyle.

an aerial view of Central Park between Upper East Side vs. Upper West Side
Central Park is on the borders of both neighborhoods, so you will be able to enjoy its vicinity wherever you decide to live

Whichever neighborhood you choose, you won’t be disappointed

The prices are as equally important as your living experience. While it is important to find affordable housing options, it is also important to find what your heart desires. This also means that you can be surprised at what suits you better. If you are still having a hard time choosing between Upper East Side vs Upper West Side, relax – they are both amazing and located near each other. Just remember that Central Park is always at your side.

About Author


Born and raised in the upper east side of NYC. I consider myself an expert with anything moving or storage related aspects in New York City. Having been in the NYC relocation industry for almost two decades I found myself at a point that I am able to answer and help my clients on the first phone call. NYC is amazing and I can’t wait for it to recover from the COVID related closures. Feel free to email or call anytime! 212-244-4011

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