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Queens vs. Manhattan: New York City’s Largest Borough vs. Its Smallest

Queens vs. Manhattan: New York City’s Largest Borough vs. Its Smallest

Last Updated on August 16, 2021

Introduction to NYC

New York City is divided into five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Almost all of the most famous attractions are located in Manhattan— New York’s smallest borough. Even though it’s the smallest, it’s the most popular, sometimes being synonymous with New York City itself. NYC has other attractions outside of Manhattan, such as the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn and the Bronx Zoo in The Bronx. Queens is New York’s largest borough, but does it have as many attractions as Manhattan?


First, let’s take a look at what all Manhattan has to offer and its exact size and population.

Size and Population

Manhattan is actually New York’s third most populous borough with a population of about 1,700,000 people (Brooklyn is the most populous at about 2,600,00 people), but because of its size, it’s the most densely populated borough of the five. It’s actual size in land area is 22.83 square miles, compared to Brooklyn being 70.82 square miles. Geographically, Manhattan is divided into Lower Manhattan (downtown), Upper Manhattan (uptown), and Midtown.manhattan skyscrapers from top of the rock

Top Attractions in Manhattan

Hands down,  90% of the best tourist attractions in NYC are located in Manhattan— even the Brooklyn Bridge takes you to Manhattan! Starting with one of the world’s most famous landmarks, you have the Statue of Liberty. Also a famous tourist destination, Central Park is one of the most visited parks in the world. Central Park actually is not the biggest park in New York City, but it contains a zoo, a skating rink, Belvedere Castle, Shakespeare Garden, and Bethesda Fountain. Manhattan is also home to the ever-popular Times Square, one of the busiest junctions in the world.

Other popular attractions located in Manhattan include:

  • The American Museum of Natural History
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • Chinatown
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • The Rockefeller Center
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • 5th Avenue
  • One World Trade Center Observatory
  • The Empire State Building

grand central terminal


Size and Population

Queens is NYC’s largest borough by land area at 108.53 square miles and the second most populous borough with a total population of about 2,300,000 people. Even though it has a pretty huge population, coupled with its large size, Queens is one of the least densely populated boroughs, only second to Staten Island, with a population/land area of 500,000 people/58.37 square miles.queensboro bridge

Top Attractions in Queens

Queens is actually the most culturally diverse borough when it comes to the economy and its residents. Almost half of the people residing in Queens were born outside of the United States. Here you’ll find both of New York City’s airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. Queens also borders Long Island, but it’s probably most famous for being the home of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The Park, home of the New York Mets, also features the 140ft tall Unisphere.

Queens also has other attractions, though not nearly as many as famous as the ones in Manhattan. These include:

  • The Museum of the Moving Image
  • Queens Botanical Garden
  • Queens Museum
  • New York Hall of Science
  • Citi Field (located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park)
  • Gantry Plaza State Park
  • Alley Pond Park
  • The Rockaways (beaches)

rockaway beach

Even though most of the popular attractions are located in Manhattan, it’s definitely worth it to check out the other four boroughs. New York City is also known to have a pretty efficient public transportation system, allowing you to visit the entire city. However, if you want a more personalized NYC experience, it’s worth looking into an NYC bus rental for you and a large group of friends. This way, you can explore all five boroughs at your own pace without the hassle of driving yourself.

NYC is definitely a city to add to your bucket list. Each borough is like its own city, offering a different and unique experience to each visitor.