Jersey City is no stranger to development. Families that have lived in town for several generations have watched Jersey City neighborhoods fully transform over the past decade. Now at the height of its growth, with neighborhoods adapting more each year to rising rents, people are flocking to the riverside spot. Amidst all this change, is Jersey City a good place to live?
Even with its rise in popularity, Jersey City neighborhoods still offer something different for every economic level, age and preference. Unlike New York City, however, not all areas are as accessible to public transportation and important amenities like restaurants and grocery stores. Before settling on where to live in Jersey City, it’s important to know the ins and outs of the best neighborhoods today.
Overall, Jersey City neighborhoods are jam-packed with culture, with pretty much every option for genuine food selections from all over the world. With a population of 264,161 in just 21 square miles, it’s no wonder Jersey City is a bustling, active hub for art and opportunity.
Check out our Jersey City neighborhood guide as you prepare for your big move to this iconic Jersey gem.
Jersey City Layout
Perched on the western edge on the Hudson River, Jersey City neighborhoods vary from bustling corporate hubs to residential pockets of brownstones and row houses. The Path Train, with 24-hour service to Midtown, Hoboken, Newark and the World Trade Center, stops in four major hubs of JC. For the most part, the further west the train goes, the more residential the district. While some blocks host train commuters, other neighborhoods are more accessible by local bus service. Though it’s possible to live in Jersey City without a car, it is a helpful tool for grocery shopping or traveling around the state.
When choosing the best place to live in Jersey City, be sure to reference the crime rates map, as neighborhoods vary quite a bit from block to block.
With views of the NYC skyline the Newport area has developed into a full-service living experience for the corporate family. New construction of luxury sky rises within the past ten years has brought ample shopping, ice skating rinks, playgrounds and your choice of fitness centers.
The Newport neighborhood also has its own mall and Path station, making this a one-stop location for both visitors and residents. Its convenient accessibility also means it is one of the least affordable neighborhoods in Jersey City, but ideal for the professional looking for living similar to NYC.
Downtown: Grove Street Area
Right next door to Newport is the Grove Street Downtown area, also with its own Path station. Reinvigorated in the just the past several years, the popular Newark Ave pedestrian plaza transformed the way the city functioned, welcoming countless restaurants and craft bars just in the past few years.
With some of the highest rents in the city, Downtown features historic pre-war brownstones and a mix of young families and NYC professionals. The artistic energy is still reflected in the small-business focus and concentration of city-wide murals across commissioned by the Mayor.
Visitors come from around the city for a drink and Italian dinner at Roman Nose, a beer at Barcade or for brunch on the rooftop of Skinner’s Loft. Kids and adults alike will love Word Bookstore, a popular stopping point for Jersey City shopping and coffee.
Paulus Hook and Van Vorst Park
Moving south of the downtown area, two neighborhoods sit in the heart of the riverside area — Paulus Hook and Van Vorst Park. Historic brick apartments and tree-lined streets welcome young families of professionals and boast a similar vibe to Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. Also a rather affluent area, these two spots are hubs for fine dining interspersed within quiet streets and a more residential energy.
Van Vorst offers Jersey City activities for kids on the weekend, from Farmer’s Markets to movie nights. Paulus Hook is also a short drive to nearby Liberty State Park, known for its several acres of green space, riverside walking paths and access to Ellis Island.
One of the most idyllic and safest neighborhoods in Jersey City, Hamilton Park features a several-block green space that hosts a weekly farmers market and year-round events. The south end of the park also offers more great Jersey City shopping and dining. This neighborhood is quite family-friendly but still welcomes artists and young professionals from surrounding cities.
Convenient for commuters and local workers alike, Hamilton Park is an easy walk to both the Newport and Grove Street Path Stations.
If you’re a professional seeking luxury residential complexes close to your office, Exchange Place is a good pick. Look out over the Statue of Liberty from one of the high rising all-inclusive developments. This neighborhood is often nicknamed Wall Street West, as it is the home to several large corporate buildings and looks out over Manhattan’s Financial District. Though the neighborhood is less residential than perhaps all the rest of Jersey City, it is very accessible to the World Trade Center Path Train and ferries into downtown Manhattan.
Tucked in the westernmost section of Downtown, the area right at the base of the Newark Avenue hill features a list of hidden gems. Bars, restaurants and performance spaces sit amongst row houses and newly renovated apartment buildings. Though residents have a longer walk to the train, the popular area balances a selection of cool things and a bit of quiet compared to the heart of downtown.
Head up the hill from the downtown area and cross into the up-and-coming Jersey City neighborhood of Journal Square. A community-focused mix of working-class residents from all around the world, Journal Square offers access to the city with a lower price tag. Lining the western portion of Newark Ave, Journal Square culminates in a major train station and corporate center. The area features a collection of residential homes at affordable rent prices and pockets of authentic Indian, Filipino and Italian cuisine.
Check out the stunning Landmark Lowes historic theatre for special film showings and cultural events or the weekly green market out front of the Square.
Home to families that have lived in Jersey City for several generations, Jersey City Heights is the residential area that runs along the north side of town. Residents enjoy some of the most comparably affordable rents in the city. Pockets of the Heights are bringing younger families to the area, such as around the popular ModCup Coffee across the street from Riverview Park. As the name suggests, the scenic green space perches on a hill looking out over Hoboken and the Hudson River.
Greenville and Bergen-Lafayette
As one of the largest geographical and most affordable neighborhoods in Jersey City, it’s hard to ignore both the pros and cons of living in this Jersey City neighborhood. If you’re seeking diversity in a neighborhood with stable rental and home prices, Greenville and Bergen-Lafayette are a rare find in this changing city. However, more so than other neighborhoods, crime rates can change block by block. Its distant proximity to the trains can also make living in these spots quite tricky, but if you have no need to travel into Manhattan and are looking to settle in, there are great real estate finds in these areas.
NYC Great Moving welcomes new residents moving to Jersey City from all over the country. Whether they’re making the leap from New York City or joining the area from the west coast, our professional team can guide the process from start to finish. Once you’ve chosen the right Jersey City neighborhood for you, contact one of our enthusiastic team members about planning the details of your upcoming move.