One of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, Jersey City has developed a globally cosmopolitan ambiance of its own that surpasses New York City’s top neighborhoods. Jersey City is one of those unexpected cities that holds a multitude of opportunities and a higher quality of life.
For starters, it’s located just across the river from one of our nation’s greatest cities. In fact, many people are convinced living in Jersey City is better than living in New York City. It has experienced an unprecedented development boom that’s earned the city a new moniker, “the Sixth Borough.” Jersey City has been renovated and rejuvenated while still maintaining its historical monuments and architecture. Living here, you will find a combined ambiance of modern architecture, urban art and historical preservation. It was nicknamed America’s “golden door” as an ode to the immigrants who once journeyed through Ellis Island.
Jersey City may seem like a small city. However, with more than 260,000 residents, it’s one of the most densely populated in the state of New Jersey. With its rich cultural diversity and how close it is to New York City, it has a character all its own. And that’s not limited to just the city but the neighborhoods throughout it. Whether it’s the historical sites or great local food, each Jersey City neighborhood has a unique vibe. Learn more about these fun pockets throughout the area, and at the end, maybe you’ll discover the best cool Jersey City neighborhood for you.
Journal Square was once the center of Jersey City. As it’s one of the largest stops for the PATH train, it was where many people traveled to in order to get to New York City, Newark, and Hoboken. It’s also home to many historical landmarks, including the famous Jackie Robinson statue as well as the grand Landmark Loew’s Theatre, which hosts film screenings and concerts. A few blocks from the center of Journal Square, you can visit Little India for an authentic meal. Or you can walk up Newark in the opposite direction and grab some Filipino food at either Max’s or Red Ribbon Bakeshop. Journal Square is the next area seeing massive changes. New development along with its longtime history makes it one great Jersey City neighborhood.
Between the Grove Street Path Station and the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall, Downtown Jersey City has become the epicenter of Jersey City’s nightlife. This neighborhood quickly grew since it was easy for Jersey City locals to get to New York City and vice versa. But what solidified it as a cool Jersey City neighborhood is the variety of local businesses that sprung up in the past few years.
Aside from being in the northern part of Jersey City, The Heights got its name from the fact that most of the neighborhood lies on the Palisades. The Jersey City neighborhood, which covers a large part of the city, some great new restaurants and cafes, especially along Central Avenue. Closer to Palisades Avenue, there are more trendy locations like local roaster Modcup and the veggie-friendly café, The Cliff. The Fox & Crow Pub and Parlour serves numerous craft beers, gourmet burgers and puts on concerts in the back practically on a weekly basis.
While Jersey City is close to New York City, you can really only see it from a couple of places. Paulus Hook is one of those areas. Although some may see it as the typical manicured family-friendly area, the sights, as well as food and drink scene, make it a stellar Jersey City neighborhood. Anyone who lives in the area has a grand view of the Big Apple every morning. And if they take the path along the Hudson River, the walk or run will lead people to the historic Colgate Clock, one of Jersey City’s major fixtures.
Bergen-Lafayette was an area that has seen some love over the past few years. As Downtown Jersey City became more crowded, more people started to move south and toward Bergen-Lafayette. And soon after, more small food spots began to pop up, making it a great place to get a good meal.
Greenville encompasses the area south of the West Side Branch of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and north of the city line with Bayonne, between the Upper New York Bay and the Newark Bay. The central core of Greenville is primarily residential, mostly one and two-family homes and lowrise apartment buildings. This part of Greenville is home to the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museum at the Greenville Branch of the Jersey City Public Library, Greenville Hospital, Henry Snyder High School, and New Jersey City University all located on the district's main thoroughfare, Kennedy Boulevard. Besides nearby Liberty State Park other parks include Mercer Park, Bayside, Columbia, and Fricchione.
There are many options of transportation available in Jersey City, so it’s no surprise that almost half of Jersey City commuters take public transit. Whether by rail, water or roadway, getting around Jersey City and to New York City is easy and other reason why some call Jersey City the Sixth Borough.
NJ Path Train
Transit Light Rail
Waterway Ferry Service
The Jersey City Public Schools offers many different schools. It has fourteen (14) Elementary Schools (Pre-K--5), thirteen (13) Grammar Schools (Pre-K-8), four (4) Middle Schools (6-8), six (6) High Schools (9-12), one (1) Secondary School (6-12), one (1) Alternative Program (serving grades 6-12), and three (3) Early Childhood Centers. At the secondary level, Jersey City offers comprehensive Middle and High Schools as well as district-wide selective programs.
Jersey City Board of Education
With its culturally diverse population and proximity to New York, Jersey City has an exciting and vibrant art and culture scene that grows stronger and larger each year. On any given day you will find art fairs, ethnic festivals and flag raisings, local theater, film and performing arts, and great street art/murals.
Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs
Jersey City is home to some of the best public parks that New Jersey has to offer. There is green space to be found in every Jersey City neighborhood that will meet everyone’s needs. Most parks are close to public transportation or have parking nearby making it easy to enjoy a lovely day outdoors. These are great spaces to host a cookout, picnic, go for a bike ride, toss a frisbee or join a pick-up soccer match. In summer months, you will often, you’ll come across festivals with live music being performed by local musicians, or a weekend farmers market where you get to interact with the community and meet your neighbors.Jersey City Parks
In the last five years, Jersey City has exploded with diverse restaurants all over the various neighborhoods. You can find great places to eat in the Heights, Downtown, Bergen-Lafayette…everywhere in Jersey City. There are just too many to name check out my local Small Business Directory for some of the places that I visited.
HCNJ Small Business Directory
Jersey City’s high-rise scene has exploded since the early 2000s. Condominium and CoOp residential has spread throughout the city's many diverse neighborhoods, providing potential buyers with options that meets their budgets while being in a great city with a lot of culture and transportation options. New Condo and CoOp buildings are still being built on the waterfront, Journal Square and in the Heights. Typical buildings in Jersey City are in the 60-120-unit range but of course there are some exceptions. Apartment value and continued development are certainly two good reasons to buy into a burgeoning area like Jersey City. Jersey City not only has the development and housing inventory, but also has the community and culture which attracts people from all over the world. Click the "Homes for Sale" button to the left to see what is available.