Heading to New Jersey and wondering where to stay in Newark? This is a good question, as where you stay in “the Brick City” will make a big difference in your experience.
As a visitor, some areas of Newark will be better for you to stay in than others due to accessibility, safety, and attractions. I’m a New Jersey local with lots of experience in Newark, and I’m here to help you decide where you’ll enjoy your stay the most.
In this article, you’ll find the best places to stay in Newark so you can enjoy the sites and be comfortable. And while you’re here, be sure to bookmark my guide to the top Newark attractions.
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3 Best Places to Stay in Newark
Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Newark? Here are my top picks:
- 🏆 Best Overall Hotel – Courtyard by Marriott Newark Downtown
- ✨ Best Luxury Hotel – Element Harrison – Newark
- 👪 Best for Families – SpringHill Suites by Marriott Newark International Airport
- 👔 Best for Business – Crowne Plaza Hotel Newark Airport
- 🛎️ Best Boutique – TRYP by Wyndham Newark Downtown
- ✈️ Best Near Newark Airport – Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott
- 💵 Best Budget – Comfort Suites Newark – Harrison
You can’t go wrong with any of these hotels in Newark. But, for more info, let’s do a deep dive into some of the best areas and neighborhoods in Newark:
3 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Newark
Newark is a large city in Northeastern New Jersey home to over 300,000 people. It borders many other towns and is easily accessible from many areas. The best places to stay in Newark are non-residential areas where tourists frequent.
In these neighborhoods, there are more attractions and it’s generally much safer in more populated areas. See my guide to safety in Newark for more information.
Let’s look at three of the best neighborhoods to stay in while you’re visiting Newark.
Downtown Newark is where all the action is! This is where you’ll find popular landmarks such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Newark Museum, and the Prudential Center. As such, it also boasts some of the best hotels in Newark. However, because they’re close to the action, these hotels often run a higher rate.
A lot of Downtown Newark is being redone and rejuvenated, so you’ll notice some areas that have more upscale shops. In particular, Whole Foods and Starbucks are newer additions to the scene. Even luxury high rises are starting to make an appearance here!
Staying Downtown is for those looking for more action, want to take in the sights, be closer to Newark’s main attractions, and experience a lot of the best things to do in Newark.
Pros of Staying in Downtown Newark:
- Close to popular attractions
- Public transportation is everywhere
- Quick ride to Manhattan via driving or Newark Penn Station
Con of Staying in Downtown Newark:
- Terrible for parking
- Can be loud at all times of day and night
- The crime rate isn’t the best – be aware of your surroundings, especially at night
📚 Downtown Newark Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Entertainment
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Downtown Newark
Newark Airport Area
👉 Best Area For Business Travelers | ✨ Best Newark Airport Hotels: Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott • Courtyard Newark Liberty International Airport • SpringHill Suites by Marriott Newark International Airport
The area around Newark Airport doesn’t have much in terms of attractions. Because the airport is right there, this area is mainly focused on lodging that business and last-minute travelers tend to frequent. Of course, one of the main perks is that most of the hotels here offer free shuttle service to the airport.
Another perk I like about this area is that you’re not restricted to the dining options at your own hotel. If you want to have dinner at a more upscale hotel restaurant, you can pop on over and do so. Or, if the hotel a few doors down has a great sports bar, feel free to drop in and catch the game while you enjoy a nice, cold beer.
I recommend staying in this area even if you want to enjoy the sights of downtown Newark. You can easily get an Uber or Lyft downtown, then return to your hotel later.
Pros of Staying by Newark Airport:
- Most offer a free airport shuttle service
- One of the safest areas in Newark
- Wide variety of lodging to choose from
Con of Staying by Newark Airport:
- The constant sound of airplanes taking off and landing (if that bothers you)
- Not much to do in this area other than dining
📚 Newark Airport Area Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Business Travelers
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Newark Airport Area
🎟️ Top Attractions – Newark International Airport
The geography of East Newark and Harrison is a little tricky. While the rest of Newark is part of Essex County, East Newark is technically part of Hudson County. Harrison, located right next door, is a suburb of East Newark, also in Hudson County. It’s a little tricky, but they’re all right next to each other.
Harrison is more on the upscale side compared to East Newark and the rest of Newark. The luxury housing market is on the rise here, and its popularity is growing as being an alternative to living in the much more expensive neighborhoods of New York City.
Harrison boasts nice bars and restaurants serving up a wide variety of cuisine from all over the world. You can even catch beautiful waterfront views of the Passaic River from some of the area’s parks.
Pros of Staying in East Newark/Harrison:
- Quieter than downtown Newark and by the airport
- Great restaurants and bars
- Waterfront views in some areas
Con of Staying in East Newark/Harrison:
- Further from downtown Newark’s main attractions
- Not much action in this area
- Parking can be tough
📚 East Newark/Harrison Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Hipsters
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in East Newark/Harrison
👉 Pro Tip: If you have time, then check out more of the state’s great destinations. My guide to the 17 best places to visit in New Jersey is a great place to start your research.
Tips for Staying in Newark
Use a Rideshare Service
No matter where you go in Newark, parking is one of the hardest things to find. Public transportation is a popular option, but the timing can be unreliable – not good if you’re trying to catch a show! To that end, using a rideshare service eliminates a lot of hassle.
While the tourist areas in Newark are decently safe with a police presence, you still want to keep your wits about you when traveling here. If you’re out and about at night, say after a show at the Prudential Center or NJPAC, don’t travel alone. Use a rideshare service to avoid long walks to your next destination.
Downtown is Your Best Bet
If you’re looking for the best place to stay in Newark, then Downtown Newark is your best bet. You’ve got a great balance of nice hotels and many attractions to keep you entertained. And if you want to spend a day in New York City, it’s only a short ride away via car or train.
🏘️ Read Next: Best Places to Live in NJ
Plan a day in New York City
Newark is located close to New York City. Because of this, many have taken advantage of their proximity by taking a day trip to NYC. Parking in the City can be tough – and expensive! Pop on over to Newark Penn Station, and hop on either an NJ Transit train or PATH train to experience the Big Apple for a day.
👉 Considering a night in NYC? Check out this guide to where to stay in New York City!
Don’t Miss Tops Diner!
A Newark staple for years, Tops Diner is one of the most popular restaurants in Newark. Their big portions and great food keep patrons coming back again and again. Just avoid going there on a Sunday. Sundays are their most popular days and many times the line is out the door!
Take a Walk in the Ironbound
The Ironbound area is down Ferry Street and is a predominantly Portuguese neighborhood. This quaint section is filled with some of the best bakeries and restaurants in Newark. While you’re in Newark, make sure to take a stroll down Ferry Street and savor the flavors!
Dine at Fernandes Steakhouse
Some of the best flavors the Ironbound has to offer is at Fernandes Steakhouse. Their mouth-watering cuisine is highly-acclaimed and has diners come back again and again. Steaks and other delectable cuts of meat are their specialties, and they serve it all up in large portions. You definitely won’t leave hungry!
Visit Branch Brook Park
No matter which neighborhood you stay in Newark, if the weather is favorable, then make sure to pay a visit to Branch Brook Park. During the Spring especially, the Cherry Blossoms are beautiful. They only bloom for a few short weeks, so catch them while you can!
👉 Wondering when to visit? My guide to the best time to visit New Jersey will give you all the insider info on the state’s best travel times.
Check out Activities in Military Park
Military Park is home to many events and activities for all ages and activity levels. It’s especially popular during warmer weather. There are fitness classes, as well as a variety of cultural programs. There are even activities to keep the little ones entertained – including a carousel!
👉 Read Next: Top Beaches in New Jersey
FAQs about Staying in Newark
What is the nicest part of Newark?
The nicest part of Newark is the Ironbound, a multicultural area with great restaurants. Downtown Newark is also nice, as it’s being revitalized with luxury lofts and upscale shops.
What hotels are close to Newark Airport?
Marriott’s SpringHill Suites, Courtyard by Marriott Newark Liberty International Airport, and Comfort Suites Newark are just a few Newark hotels that are close to Newark International Airport.
Is it safe to stay in Newark, NJ?
If you stay close to tourist destinations and attractions, then it is safe to stay in Newark. But the crime rate is high in the city, especially after dark, in residential areas, and in isolated places. Try not to travel alone, and as in any city, keep alert.
Can I stay in Newark when traveling to New York City?
Yes, you can stay in Newark when traveling to New York City, as they’re about a 30 min drive apart. You can also take an NJ Transit or PATH train to New York from Newark Penn Station.
Thanks for reading my guide to where to stay in Newark! With a little advanced planning, you can have a great stay in Brick City and take in all the attractions it has to offer.
I hope I helped you figure out where to stay in Newark!
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