Local Highlights

Living in Jersey City: What You Need to Know

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If you’re thinking about moving to Jersey City, you’ve come to the right place. This city has no shortage of fun things for locals to do throughout the year. Not only that, but the area is also just a short train ride away from New York City, allowing you to enjoy everything the iconic city has to offer, without having to pay the high real estate cost of living in NYC. Jersey City has a lot to offer to residents of all ages and backgrounds.

Wondering what you need to know before making the move to Jersey City? We’ve created a handy guide that contains everything you need to know about living in Jersey City, from the best neighborhoods for purchasing real estate to what you can do for fun when you have some free time.

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Answering the first questions on your mind: Is it safe and affordable to live in Jersey City?

Before you move to any area, you’ll want to know if it’s safe and whether you can afford to live there. After all, you don’t want to find out that you’re making your home in an area with a high annual crime rate or in a place where a rundown studio apartment costs the same amount as a luxury apartment in a different city.

Thankfully, Jersey City tends to rank well in terms of both safety and affordability. However, keep in mind that, like most cities, how safe and affordable an area depends on the part of town you’re in. This means it’s important to do your research before committing to a community.

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We can help you find the best neighborhoods in Jersey City

When it comes to selecting your ideal neighborhood, we recommend starting with a list of popular areas. Areas like the Jersey City Waterfront, Historic Downtown, The Heights, and Journal Square tend to earn high marks. Once you have this list in front of you, you can start researching these neighborhoods to find out more about their vibe and who tends to live there. This information will help you decide whether you can see yourself as a resident of that area. To help you with this decision, here’s a quick overview of what you can expect from the four areas we mentioned above.

When it comes to the Waterfront, the view is the central amenity and is what truly makes it stand out. The area is home to a stunning boardwalk that runs along the Hudson River, providing amazing views of the Lower Manhattan Skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The Waterfront has become a trendy and relatively affluent area in recent years, but it’s still known for being warm, friendly, and walkable. It’s the type of neighborhood where people know each other, and many young families, children, and dogs live their lives peacefully.

Downtown Jersey City, located between the Grove Street PATH Station and the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall, has become the epicenter of nightlife in Jersey City. The location of the Downtown area makes it easy for Jersey City residents to go to NYC and vice versa. On top of its proximity to New York City, this neighborhood boasts tons of local businesses, including shops, bars, and restaurants. When you’re living in Downtown Jersey City, you can find all things trendy in one area of town, which is why so many locals love it!

Sitting in the northern part of Jersey City is The Heights. The neighborhood’s name is derived from its location on the Palisades, which is a 15-mile stretch of traprock cliffs among the western bank of the Hudson River. Because the area is home to many Spanish speakers, you can find a wealth of Puerto Rican and Cuban restaurants. But that’s not all The Heights has to offer. You can also discover trendy coffee shops, vegetarian-friendly cafes, and places that serve everything from craft beers to gourmet burgers.

Although Journal Square is no longer thought of as the center of Jersey City, it’s still considered one of the largest stops for the PATH Train, which stops in New York City and other New Jersey cities. This is perfect for people that commute to and from the cities frequently. As you explore this area, you’ll discover many historic landmarks, including the Jackie Robinson statue. There’s also a healthy supply of amazing restaurants that serve cuisine from cultures that range from Indian to Filipino.

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Several cities and communities that are close to Jersey City

It’s helpful to understand where Jersey City is located. Seated in Hudson County, this city has the Hudson River to its east and the Hackensack River and Newark to its west. To the north, you’ll find Union City, North Bergen, and Hoboken. You’ll discover Bayonne is to the south. This means all of these cities and communities are easily accessible.

Other areas that you can easily reach from Jersey City include New York City, specifically Manhattan. Public transportation options, as well as the Lincoln Tunnel, make it easy for Jersey City locals to visit NYC whenever they would like to enjoy the city life in the Big Apple.

A reliable public transportation system makes it easy to get around Jersey City

Many people want to know if they’ll need a car to live in Jersey City. It turns out that there are plenty of options for public transit, so there’s actually no need to own a vehicle if you need to commute every day. In fact, close to 50% of Jersey City residents use public transit to get to work, one of the highest rates in the United States.

You’ll find that there’s no shortage of options for public transportation when you’re living in Jersey City. There’s PATH or the Port Authority Trans-Hudson transit system. This nearly 14-mile rapid transit system provides access to northeastern New Jersey cities, including Newark, Harrison, Jersey City, and Hoboken. It also takes passengers to Midtown and Lower Manhattan. Another great transit option is the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, which connects Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, and North Bergen.

When it comes to other public transportation options, you can use the NJ Transit Buses and Citi Bikes to get around locally. You can also hop on the New York Waterway Ferry to make your way to NYC. The officials in Jersey City are always looking for new ways to improve more-efficient and eco-friendly transit options, so more could always be coming.

There are plenty of fun activities to find when you’re living in Jersey City

No guide about living in Jersey City would be complete without discussing some things to do in Jersey City. We won’t go into too much detail here because we have a whole blog dedicated to the topic of the things that residents like to do in Jersey City. However, we do want to provide a quick overview of some popular attractions and activities.

If you love the visual arts, you’ll want to soak up all the street art in Jersey City. Unlike some cities around the country that discourage street artists, this community actually supports them with the Jersey City Mural Arts Program. 

For the foodies, Jersey City is a dream come true. The Jersey City Waterfront features cuisine from all around the world, while Downtown Jersey City offers a similarly delightful array of food. Some local favorites include The Kitchen Step with its everyday eats, BROA with a tantalizing menu of Portuguese dishes, and Mi Casa with Dominican style culinary delights.

After grabbing a bite to eat, you may want to visit White Eagle Hall. This restored historic venue is located in Downtown Jersey City, and it hosts major musical acts in its 800-seat space. The COVID pandemic may have resulted in some canceled and postponed shows, but the venue is still booking acts for the coming months. 

When you’re in Jersey City, you may also want to find a little green space. Luckily, this city offers the beautiful, Lincoln Park. With nearly 275 acres of natural beauty, this park has been offering a respite from city life since 1905. This space features a wide variety of athletic fields and facilities, children’s play areas, historical monuments, beautiful trails, and even public Wi-Fi access. You also have the option of visiting Ellis Island, which is a popular attraction visited by people at Liberty State Park. To keep these areas looking their best, the city is often performing renovations on different parts of these beloved parks.

Jersey City is a great place to call home. Are you ready to make the move?

When you’re living in Jersey City, you can settle in a safe and affordable community that allows you to experience everything that this amazing city (and NYC) have to offer. Whether you decide to live in Downtown Jersey City, The Heights, or somewhere else entirely, you’ll discover tons of fun activities to keep you busy and friendly faces to keep you company.

Want to learn more about living in Jersey City? Nest by Common, located in the heart of Journal Square, offers fully-furnished micro-apartments with amenities and a community that can’t be beat. Find your new home at Nest by Common and discover all of the possibilities right outside your door. 

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