Around the globe, there are some incredible cities to visit: towering Tokyo, bustling New York City, eclectic Amsterdam, and – of course – lovely London usually make the list of the best cities in the world, for varying reasons… but do any of these cities share things in common despite their geographic and cultural distances?
While I usually focus just on London, I thought it would be fun to do something a little different: to examine London alongside one of the other great cities of the world, New York City, and see what they have in common. In particular, this post covers the neighborhoods you can find in both London and NYC.
As you’ll discover, these neighborhoods may share the same names, but in some cases, the similarity stops there; others are surprisingly similar in addition to their shared name. While some posts might tell you there are one or two neighborhoods in common between New York City and London, I compared the complete lists of neighborhoods from both cities (NYC / London) and found seven pairs – plus one area near both cities that also shares a name.
Ready to discover which neighborhoods you can find in both London and New York City – then plan a trip to see them both?
Bayswater is one of the neighborhoods you can find on both sides of the Atlantic. However, while you can find these neighborhoods in both London and NYC, they’re miles apart (both literally and figuratively).
The American version of Bayswater markets itself as a small neighborhood in Queens where middle-class singles and families can find a quiet place to come back after a hectic day in the city.
On the other side of the pond, the London counterpart is what the British would describe as a posh area. Bayswater in London sits right next to Hyde Park and is brimming with historical interests. In the last years, its stunning Georgian buildings with classical façades and terraces have been luring wealthy foreigners who look for spacious flats in the English capital.
You’ll also find a Belmont in both world metropolises. But, like many of the neighborhoods mentioned in the list, the only thing in common these have is the name.
New York’s Belmont is nestled in the Bronx and it screams Italian. The neighborhood is famous for its classic red-sauce joints and pizzerias clustered along Arthur Avenue, which is known as the Bronx’s Little Italy.
In its European form, Belmont doesn’t share the same gastronomic reputation; London’s Belmont is your typical British neighborhood. You’ll see winding streets dotted with rows of semi-detached houses with paned windows and chimneys. The neighborhood is located in the south of London and, unsurprisingly, is a draw for families and first-time buyers.
Chelsea isn’t just one of the most well-known neighborhoods you can find in both London and NYC. This neighborhood goes as far as sharing the same iconic status in both cities.
In New York, Chelsea is one of the coolest neighborhoods and is known as Manhattan’s art district. The high-design buildings, trendy cafés, and fashionable shops attract a mix of people, from art lovers to finance workers. Across the pond, Chelsea is one of the most desired places to live in London and is associated with football, flowers, designer boutiques, and fancy restaurants.
As the multicultural cities they are, it’s no surprise that Chinatown is one of the same neighborhoods in London and NYC. The essence of this neighborhood is shared by both cities. Streets crowded with Chinese restaurants and shops, rows of Chinese signs hanging from the buildings, the smell of traditional Asian dishes and spices enveloping the air, and a cacophony of Chinese words and city sounds invading every corner.
The only noticeable difference between the Chinatowns is that London’s is a lot smaller, whereas New York’s has expanded to the extent of taking over adjacent Little Italy. Regardless of the size, these neighborhoods are well worth a visit.
5. Elm Park
Elm Park is another neighborhood you can find in New York City and London. Unlike other neighborhoods in the list, these two are low-key and probably unknown to most travelers and even locals.
New York’s Elm Park is known for its beautiful parks and its proximity to the Staten Island Ferry. You can find a mix of cultures and plenty of college students roaming the streets. In London, Elm Park is a quiet area with a palpable family atmosphere. It’s easy to spot mothers and fathers with their children walking down the sidewalks and shopping in the markets.
Yes, you’re probably tired of hearing about Kensington when someone mentions London, but perhaps to your surprise, you’ll also find Kensington in New York City. Besides being one of the same neighborhoods in NYC and London, the two Kensingtons share a colorful secret: the one in Brooklyn is actually named after the London neighborhood for the presence of Victorian-style homes.
But that’s about it when it comes to the similarities. New York’s Kensington is mainly a residential area. On the other hand, in London, Kensington is one of the places you visit even if you don’t know you’re visiting it. The affluent neighborhood is brimming with museums, old pubs, London mews, colorful houses, and bustling shopping streets.
Soho is one of those neighborhoods that need no introduction. What makes these neighborhoods fascinating is not the fact that you can find it in both the American and English cities, but that both neighborhoods share a bohemian past.
In New York City, Soho has been synonymous with a thriving artistic community. While you can still find numerous art galleries, the neighborhood’s popularity has attracted designers who’ve gone to great lengths in order to have their flagship operation in Soho. Today, Soho is a top shopping destination, filled with designer boutiques, fancy chain stores, and high-end art galleries.
In London, Soho used to be the city’s red-light district. Today, it’s all about nightlife. The neighborhood’s streets are an endless source of entertainment with theaters, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
Bonus: Brighton Beach
Don’t leave just yet! There’s one more neighborhood that London and New York share: Brighton Beach.
In the New York area, Brighton Beach is known as “Little Odessa”, thanks to the Russian and Eastern European communities that arrived after WWII. The beach, its nightclubs, and delicious restaurants make Brighton Beach a popular summer weekend destination for New Yorkers who want to escape the city’s bustle.
Near London, Brighton Beach isn’t a neighborhood but an actual beach. Yes, you read right. There’s a beach in London. Same as its American counterpart, Brighton Beach is a popular day trip for Londoners who want to relax under the sun.
So which of these neighborhoods you can find in both London and NYC do you want to visit during your trips? Let me know any questions in the comments below!