Jersey City is New Jersey's second-largest city. Jersey City sits in Hudson County in the northeastern section of the state, across the Hudson from its older and bigger cousin, New York City and south of Hoboken. It is frequently referred to as New York’s “sixth borough”.
Until the early 1600s, the area was inhabited by Lenape Indians. The Dutch then settled here as a part of the colony of New Amsterdam, it evolved into an industrial powerhouse, with railroads winding up and down the city (some of these lines are still used today). Although Jersey City lost its powerhouse status and became troubled with decline in the 1960s, the decline would begin to be reversed in the 1980s, and the city would be transformed into what it is today. Most tourists may only come in for cheap accommodation and its proximity to New York City, but Jersey City has plenty of things to offer up for the average visitor, including miles of recreational space with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, diverse neighborhoods, and dining options that rival those found across the river.
- Historic Downtown - This area, directly to the west of the waterfront, is characterized by rows of restored brownstones, new condominiums, and some retail (largely centered on Grove Street). This area includes the historic neighborhoods of Paulus Hook along the Morris Canal, and Hamilton Park, Harsimus Cove, and Van Vorst Park further inland.
- Waterfront - Although considered to be part of Downtown Jersey City by most locals, this area is often categorized as a separate neighborhood because it is so different from the Historic Downtown area. Characterized by high-rise condos and office towers, it's also home to the planned community of Newport, which includes the popular Newport Mall.
- Journal Square - Named after the Jersey Journal, whose headquarters are here, this is the commercial heart of the city. It's home to the Hudson County Community College, and to the county's courthouse and administration buildings.
- The Heights - Situated atop the Palisades, this primarily residential neighborhood is home to some of the county's best preserved Victorian mansions. This area has unparalleled views of the Manhattan skyline, owing to its location high above downtown Jersey City and Hoboken.
- Liberty State Park - This district includes Liberty State Park itself, Cochrane Stadium/Caven Point Athletic Complex, and the exclusive Port Liberte development, which is home to luxury townhouses and condominiums as well as the Liberty National Golf Course.
- Bergen/Lafayette - This neighborhood of brownstones, row houses, and pre-war buildings is slowly feeling the effects of gentrification from the neighboring downtown area and the restoration of the massive Art Deco former medical center to residences and commercial space.
- West Side - This ethnically diverse neighborhood is home to Lincoln Park, Jersey City's own Central Park, New Jersey City University, and residential developments at the Hackensack River at Droyer's Point.
- Greenville - This area in the southern end of Jersey City is considered the roughest part of the city, but it is slowly being redeveloped.
Jersey City is the second-largest city in New Jersey, trailing Newark in population, but far surpassing Trenton, the state capital. It is on a peninsula that includes Hoboken to the north and Bayonne to the south, and is bounded by the Hudson River and Manhattan to the east and the Hackensack River to the west. An interesting geographic feature of the city is that within its borders are the only two cases in the country where a US state has exclaves that are both geographically and politically surrounded by another state: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, both exclaves of New York in New Jersey. As a result of a 1997 federal court decision, most of Ellis Island is now within Jersey City, with New York retaining a small landlocked portion that encompasses most of the immigration building.
Jersey City shares much of its history, geography, and culture with New York City, much moreso than other parts of New Jersey. Like New York City, it was settled by the Dutch in the 1600s, and this is still evidenced today by the prevalence of Dutch place names in both cities, and the use of the Dutch tricolors in their very similar flags. As in Brooklyn, rows of brownstones and other rowhouses started being built throughout Jersey City with the arrival of the steam ferry in the 1820s and continued throughout the 19th century. Ellis Island was a large source of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe and Ireland that shaped the culture of both Jersey City and New York City from the 1880s until the 1920s.
The opening of the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad tunnels into Manhattan in 1908 caused another population boom, with tenements and grand apartment buildings going up in neighborhoods such as Journal Square and along Kennedy Boulevard in the 1910s and 1920s.
Once a humming center of industry, Jersey City housed the booming factories of Colgate and Dixon-Ticonderoga. It was a railroad hub, where the transcontinental rail lines of the country's great railroads (including the famed Pennsylvania Railroad) converged from all across the country. All the railroads to New York City actually ended on the Jersey side of the waterfront, where passengers transferred to ferries to go into Manhattan. Today, Jersey City is neither of these things. Decades of deindustrialization, railroad bankruptcies, government mismanagement and other disappointments had a profound effect on this once booming town. The automobile era and a fear of urban areas caused significant "white flight" to the suburbs in the middle of the 20th century; once affluent areas became centers of poverty and crime. The city lost 87,000 people, almost a third of its population, and apartment buildings and row houses became vacant lots and parking lots. Jersey City was a mirror of what was happening in New York City, although perhaps to a more significant and depressing degree.
During the 1970s, immigrants began moving to Jersey City in droves, attracted by cheap real estate and a chance at experiencing the storied American dream. Today, these immigrants have helped to shape the city into a melting pot of the world's cultures and ethnicities. Nowhere else in the state is there a city as diverse and as interesting as Jersey City in this respect.
Later, the growing popularity of New York City in the 1990s had a significant impact on Jersey City, too. Old railyards along the waterfront became the sites of gleaming new office towers and high-rise condominiums. Brownstones further inland were fixed up by people moving back into the city. Jersey City's renaissance quickly began.
The city has gone through significant transformations over the course of its lifetime. And it's not over yet. High-rises continue to sprout up along the waterfront like weeds, attracting Manhattanites priced out of the real estate market there, while offering quick commutes to jobs in Downtown Manhattan and Midtown. Office towers continue to fill up with new tenants, including the backoffice functions of many New York City-based companies, earning it the moniker "Wall Street West." (In fact, Jersey City has more Class A office space than downtown Pittsburgh or Atlanta.) New stores catering to Jersey City's new gentry continue to pop up almost weekly. It's a city in transition, and it's exciting and frightening at the same time.
Jersey City is about a 10-minute ride from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR IATA), which is a major hub for United Airlines, and is one of the three airports serving the New York metropolitan area. A taxi to Jersey City from EWR will set you back about $40.
If you don't have a lot of bags, consider taking the train from the airport. Catch AirTrain from your terminal to the Newark Airport train station. Take a New York-bound New Jersey Transit train one stop to Newark Penn Station, then cross the platform to catch the PATH to Jersey City. On weekdays, you can take the North Jersey Coast Line to Hoboken where you can transfer to the PATH train. The AirTrain/NJ Transit train is $8.25; PATH is $2.75. The ride takes about 45 minutes.
The two other airports in the region are LaGuardia Airport (LGA IATA) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK IATA), both in the borough of Queens in New York City. A cab from LGA or JFK to Jersey City will cost about $100. From JFK airport it is also possible to take either the A or E subway trains from Howard Beach or Jamaica respectively and transfer at World Trade Center to the PATH.
Driving into Jersey City is not recommended. While driving into Jersey City is only difficult at rush hour, finding on-street parking once you are there is a hassle at all times of day. Many streets -- particularly in downtown Jersey City and Journal Square -- require parking permits to park for longer than a couple of hours. If you park in a permit zone, your car may be booted by the Parking Authority, especially if you have out-of-state plates.
Since Jersey City sits at the western end of the Holland Tunnel, your best bet is to take any highway that leads directly to it. On the New Jersey side, this includes Interstate 78 (look for signs to exits 14-14c), US 1-9, and Interstate 280. On the New York side, take the West Side Highway and Canal Street from Manhattan.
The PATH metro service runs has multiple stops in Jersey City with connections to Newark, Lower Manhattan, Midtown Manhattan, and Hoboken. It costs $2.75 one-way. You can purchase a single-ride MetroCard from the vending machines near the turnstiles; they accept cash or credit/debit cards. Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards can be used on the PATH, however the Unlimited MetroCards (i.e., the 7-day and 30-day unlimited ride cards for the subway) cannot. While MetroCards can be used in the PATH and New York City subway system, the PATH does not integrate with the OMNY contactless fare payment system, as of Dec 2022.
From the Pavonia/Newport PATH station, Lower Manhattan is about seven minutes away, Midtown Manhattan (33rd Street) is about 15 minutes away, and Newark Penn Station is about 25 minutes away. From Newark Penn Station, you can connect to regional New Jersey Transit and interstate Amtrak trains.
The nearest locations that New Jersey Transit trains stop are in Newark-Penn Station and Hoboken -- you will have to switch to either PATH or the Light Rail to get to Jersey City from there.
NJ Transit and other operators run buses to the Journal Square Transportation Center bus terminal. Greyhound buses stop at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan and the bus terminal at Newark Penn Station. From the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York, take NJ Transit Buses 125 and 119 which go directly to Journal Square (the fare is $3.10; trip takes about 30 minutes) or NJ Transit Bus 1 from Newark Penn Station.
NY Waterway operates four ferry routes connecting Jersey City to Manhattan. The routes from Port Liberté and Liberty Harbor connect to Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan. The other two ferry routes leave from Exchange Place, and connect to World Financial Center and West 39th Street in Midtown. Check the NY Waterway website for schedules.
Intrepid wanderers might find the "dollar" vans a quick and cheap way to travel around town. These vans, which are operated largely by Hispanic immigrants to serve that community, arose in response to the lack of frequent and reliable bus service in the area. Although no longer a dollar (the fare is now $1.75), these small buses travel from Newport Mall up Newark Avenue, brush past Journal Square, and travel up Palisade Avenue towards the Heights (similar vans run up Kennedy Boulevard from Journal Square). Also, they run to-and-fro between NYC and Journal Square, the fare being $2.50, which is much cheaper. These vans don't travel on a fixed schedule, but operate relatively frequently during the day (they come by every five minutes or so). To get on board, flag the driver down. To get off the bus, say "next stop" to the driver about a block or so before your desired stop. Pay the driver as you leave the bus.
The best way to navigate within Jersey City, as a tourist, is on foot and via mass transit. As a dense urban environment Jersey City, and especially its tourist and commercial destinations, are well served by PATH, light rail, and bus service.
Unlike in Manhattan, taxis can be difficult to come by in Jersey City. You often have to call ahead to have one pick you up, although taxis are stationed at the Exchange Place, Grove Street and Journal Square PATH stations. Taxis in Jersey City can run either metered or unmetered (flat rate); the price is generally the same either way. If you are going unmetered, ask the price before getting into the taxi (or ask the dispatcher when you call ahead). Taxis are not cheap; a cab from Grove Street to Journal Square is about $10.
App based ride share services like Lyft and Uber operate in Jersey City. Via has also partnered with the city to operate an on demand ride share system that only runs within Jersey City. The Via fleet of minivans and SUVs holds multiple passengers and offers wheelchair accessible rides. Via is a discount option with rates starting at $2 per ride but wait times at its 'virtual bus stops' are typically 15-20mins.
PATH service, in addition to offering outside connections, has four stops in Jersey City: Journal Square, Grove Street, Exchange Place, and Pavonia/Newport. Connections to the light rail can be made at the Exchange Place and Pavonia stops. The Journal Square stop offers connections to the Journal Square Transportation Center and a variety of NJ Transit bus routes.
Bus service covers all corners of Jersey City but service levels vary by route.
The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail runs largely north/south through the city. It connects the downtown Jersey City waterfront to Hoboken in the north and to Bergen Lafayette, Greenville, and Bayonne to the south. Note the light rail operates on a proof-of-payment ticketing system which means digital and paper tickets must be activated prior to boarding. Paper tickets must be time stamped using validator machines located at light rail stations. Digital tickets must be activated prior to boarding and will take three minutes before they become valid.
Both the light rail and bus systems are operated by NJ Transit. Download the official NJ Transit app for route information and schedules. The in app ticketing system is especially beneficial for visitors allowing you to navigate the sometimes complex zone and fare system prior to boarding which will save you the time and hassle of trying to figure it out while boarding the bus.
Citibike provided by Lyft is the exclusive bike share system in Jersey City and has many docks around Downtown Jersey City. The docks are more spaced out the farther you go out of downtown (map). The Citibike system in Jersey City is integrated with neighboring New York City and Hoboken. Accounts, passes, and keys work across all three municipalities. Daily rates range from $3.99 for a single ride to a $15 day pass.
Due to a recent investment by the local government many streets have protected bike lanes. Off road shared use trails can be found along the Hudson River waterfront and in Liberty State Park. The East Coast Greenway, a bike path that runs from Maine to Florida, cuts through Jersey City from Newark, eastward through Lincoln Park and city streets, to the ferries and to the riverfront walkway running north. As of 2022, bike routes across the Hackensack river are limited to the Lincoln Highway Hackensack River Bridge but should be expanded with the completion of the Wittpenn Bridge and the Essex-Hudson Greenway.
- 1 Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Powerhouse, Washington Boulevard. The Powerhouse is a Romanesque revival industrial masterpiece built between 1906 and 1908. The Powerhouse was designed by architect John Oakman, an alumnus of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The Powerhouse allowed the operation of the first trans-Hudson subway, the direct predecessor of today's PATH. It ceased operation as a power generating station in 1929. After years of neglect, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 after it was nominated by the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, an all volunteer not-for-profit organization. The city has designated the Powerhouse a developer, the Cordish company, which has renovated a similar power plant in Baltimore's Harbor.
- 2 Jersey City City Hall, 280 Grove St. (ride the PATH to Grove Street station, then walk south on the street of the same name). Completed in 1896, this imposing granite and marble municipal structure was designed by Lewis Broome, who also designed the Trenton Statehouse. A bronze memorial monument by Philip Martiny stands in the small plaza in front of the City Hall entrance. The memorial bears the inscription: "Erected by the People of Hudson County to Commemorate the Valor of the Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines of the Civil War." The statue is of the Goddess of Victory in a seated pose. Although she has lain aside her shield, her hand rests in readiness upon her sword, though she offers the olive branch of peace.
- 3 Justice William Brennan Courthouse (Hudson County Courthouse), 583 Newark Ave. (Walk east from Journal Square station.), ☏ . This stunning Beaux-Arts style building is a glimpse into the county's rich and storied history. Be sure to check out its stained glass dome and detailed murals. Guided tours are available on weekdays.
- 4 Colgate Clock, 2 Hudson Street (Walk from Essex Street or Exchange Place stations.). Dating back to 1924, the Colgate clock is a reminder of the numerous industries which once dominated the city. Manhattan residents still glance across the Hudson to tell the time from this iconic clock.
- 5 Liberty State Park, Morris Pesin Drive (take the New Jersey Turnpike to exit 14B; once you made it to the exit, make a left after the last toll plaza. Light rail via the Liberty State Park stop.), ☏ , toll-free: . Daily 6AM-10PM. Liberty State Park (map) is as large as New York's Central Park but is far less developed. Nonetheless, it gets some 4 million visitors a year, drawn to the waterfront to see unsurpassed views of Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Don't miss fireworks displays over the water in the Fourth of July! Most tourists see the Statue of Liberty from Manhattan, but if you're coming by car, it's easier to do so from the Park. Make your reservations online ahead of time. Admission to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are free, but you must buy a ferry ticket to make it to both sites. The ferry is first-come, first-served, but your advance reservation will guarantee you a particular window of time in which to visit the Statue. Tickets are sold in the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ) terminal. While you are waiting for the ferry to depart, be sure to admire its early 20th-century ironwork and architecture. For immigrants heading west to places like Chicago and Pittsburgh after processing at Ellis Island, this is where their overland rail journeys began. Free.
- 6 Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd (take the light rail to Liberty State Park station, and follow the signs to the Science Center, or Ttke the NJ Turnpike to exit 14b, or 14c), ☏ . Th-Su 10AM-4PM. In Liberty State Park. Home to the largest planetarium in the Americas, and it offers lessons on the biology of the Hudson River Estuary and an exhibit dedicated to skyscrapers.
- 7 Centre Pompidou, 25 Journal Sq. Will open in 2023.
- 8 Loew's Jersey Theatre, 54 Journal Square (adjacent to Journal Square station on the PATH). One of the five Loew's "Wonder Palaces," the Loew's Jersey was one of New York City's flagship movie palaces. The interior of the theater is surprisingly intricate and detailed; one person remarked that standing in the lobby of the Loew's is like standing inside a Faberge egg. It is being lovingly restored by a local group, and often hosts live events and screens movie revivals.
- 9 Lincoln Park, 690 WestSide Ave (take the 80 bus from Journal Square to Kensington Ave), ☏ . Belmont Avenue at WestSide Avenue. In 1905, “West Side Park”, as it used to be called, was designed by landscape architect Charles Lowrie and Daniel W. Langston and features multiple historical points of interest. “Lincoln the Mystic”, a seated statue of the US President, was sculpted by James Earle Fraser. It was dedicated on June 14, 1930 when the park was given its current name of Lincoln Park. The fountain at the entrance of Lincoln Park was designed by the sculptor Pierre J. Cheronin and completed in 1911. It is 53-feet high and decorated with water spouting frogs and allegorical figures and is considered the largest concrete fountain in the world. The park honors history through several monuments, such the Irish Famine Memorial, Civil War Soldier statue, James T. Farrier Firefighter Memorial, and by the display of two historic cannons and sun houses.
- 10 Apple Tree House, 298 Academy St (walk south from Journal Square PATH), ☏ . House where Generals George Washington and Marquis de Lafayette dined and discussed war tactics. A walking cane that was made out of the apple tree that once existed is displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Tours are available on Wednesdays.
- 11 Van Vorst House, 530 Palisade Ave. Oldest structure in Jersey City and one of the oldest in New Jersey. Build c 1740.
- 12 Paulus Hook (take the Light Rail to Essex St). Today, Paulus Hook is a charming neighborhood of Brownstone Row Houses with an excellent view of New York city, served by a light rail. It used to be a small peninsula surrounded by marsh, and connected the mainland by a causeway that was passable only at low tide. It was the main landing point before the Revolutionary War for travelers going into Bergen County from New York City. It has since been backfilled and Paulus Hook is no longer a hook. Paulus Hook was the site of British fortifications during the revolution that caused serious problems for the local revolutionary government- it was used as a base for loyalist raids into Bergen County. Major Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee (father of the later Confederate General Robert E. Lee) took the fortifications by a night assault carried out during low tide on August 19, 1779.
- 13 St Paul's Roman Catholic Church, 14 Greenville Ave, ☏ , toll-free: . One of the tallest and oldest church towers in New Jersey. Built in the 1860s.
- 14 St John The Baptist Church, 3026 Kennedy Blvd (ONCE you get out of the PATH Station, look for a church tower with a green top), ☏ , Johns3026@comcast.net. Designed in the 1890s with stained-glass windows, a Seth Thomas clock, a Romanesque-Byzantine edifice, and a recreation of Raphael's "Disputation of the Holy Sacrament". The church's design features a gold tessera (a fusion of pure gold leaf and two pieces of glass) which only four other churches in the United States have.
- 15 Pershing Field, Summit Ave (take the 83 bus from Journal Square and get off at the Carlton Ave stop). The park offers a lot of recreational activities including a running track, a pool, and an ice-skating rink. However, the park has a very deep military history since it was the location of a military camp during World War I. The park offers memorials for those who served in both world wars, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The park even has remnants of an old armory that once was located in McGinley Square.
- 16 Reservoir No 3, Reservoir Ave at Summit Ave (next to Pershing Field). This was the location of one of the nation's first water works facilities. The reservoir fell into disuse in the 1990s, and it began to look like a smaller version of the New Jersey Meadowlands. Today, the reservoir one of the few places within the New York metro area to view wildlife, but you must make an appointment online.
- 17 Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial, 1 Audrey Zapp Dr (the memorial is next to the former CRRNJ Terminal which is where they hand out tickets for the Statue of Liberty ferries). Memorial dedicated to all 746 9/11 casualties from New Jersey. There are remains of the original towers adjacent to the memorial
- 18 Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, 1 Audrey Zapp Dr (take exit 14B off the NJ Turnpike; follow the signs to Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island. Via light rail get off at the Liberty State Park station and follow the trails along Audrey Zapp Dr for 1.3 miles), ☏ . Historic railroad terminal where immigrants were sent during their Ellis Island arrival in the late 19th century. In 1975, the terminal was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and became a state landmark. It is now an immigration museum and the place to buy tickets to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
- 19 Skyway Memorial Park. Memorial park under construction commemorating COVID-19 victms of New Jersey. Opens in 2023
- 20 India Square, 800 Newark Ave. Largest enclave of Asian Indians in the Western Hemisphere.
- Walk along the Hudson Waterfront. Take in the breathtaking views. From most points along the waterfront, you can see (on a clear day) from the Verrazano Narrows Bridge all the way up the Hudson River to Midtown Manhattan. Just south of the Exchange Place PATH station is a waterfront pier which extends some 250 m into the Hudson River. From the pier, one will often see locals fishing, tourists taking pictures of the Manhattan skyline, and even people playing chess at one of the tables on the pier. This is one of the most popular locations to photograph the Island of Manhattan, as it is directly across from downtown and the World Trade Center.
- Ferry to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island, 1 Audrey Zapp Dr, toll-free: . Although most people visiting these sites take the ferries from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, you can also catch the Statue Cruises ferries bound for Liberty Island and Ellis Island from Liberty State Park. The landing is directly in front of the old Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal building.
- 1 RPM Raceway, 99 Caven Point Rd (take exit 14b from the NJ Turnpike, make a left at the stop sign, then make a right at the first traffic light), ☏ . Formerly the Pole Position Raceway, RPM is an indoor go-kart race track where you can race others at 45 mph (72 km/h).
Although Jersey City isn't known for its extensive shopping options, the City's new gentry have begun to bring with it classier and pricier shops. Nevertheless, some "old school" shops and bodegas (delis) continue to be mainstays, particularly for locals. Parts of Jersey City are in the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program, which allows retailers to charge half the state's sales tax (3.4375%) rather than the full sales tax rate, and clothing is not taxed at all. Retailers often have stickers on their doors showing that they participate in the UEZ program.
- 1 Heights Shopping District, Central Ave (take the 87 bus from Greenville or the 119 from New York and Bayonne).
- 2 Tia's Place, 277 Grove Street (next to Razza). Trendy clothing store, for the hipster set, catering mostly to women (although they do have a men's section).
- 3 Newport Centre Mall, 30 Mall Dr West (from Newark Bay Extension East: make a right on Jersey Ave and follow the signs; the Light Rail and PATH trains also stop to Pavonia/Newport), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-9:30PM, Su 11AM-6PM. The county's largest indoor mall. It is just south of the Holland Tunnel, and hosts a Macy's, JCPenney, Kohl's, Sears, AMC (formerly Cineplex Odeon) movie theater, and a variety of other chain stores, such as Toys Express and Spencer Gifts. All of the mall's more than 150 stores are part of the Urban Enterprise Zone. It's not free to park in the mall's parking garages; it's $2 to park there for up to 2 hours. Watch out if you stay parked longer than 6 hours; the rate zooms up, presumably to capture commuters parking there to take the PATH train from the Pavonia/Newport station to Manhattan. HBLR also serves Newport Center.
- 4 Hudson Mall, 701 NJ-440 (after crossing the two drawbridges from exit 15e, follow the signs to Route 440), ☏ .
- 5 Journal Square, 930 Bergen Ave (take the PATH train from 33rd St or the World Trade Center (New York) to the end, or the 125 bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal).
- 6 Stadium Plaza Shopping Center, Kellogg St (take NJ Turnpike to exit 15E to Jersey City, then follow the signs to Route 440). Shopping center built on the grounds of the demolished Roosevelt Stadium. The shopping center includes ACME (supermarket), Rainbow (clothing store), Wendy's (fast food), Stadium Pizza (pizzeria), Dollar Ruby (thrift store), and Capital One Bank.
- 7 McGinley Square and Journal Square Shopping Districts, 700-920 Bergen Ave (walking distance from Journal Square PATH station).
- 8 Newark Ave Pedestrian Plaza, 2-190 Newark Ave (go to the Grove St PATH Station and look for the mural of a tidal wave).
A short walk south from the Journal Square Path, this multi vendor set-up carries a wide assortment of furniture, vintage goods, collectibles, antiques, housewares, fair trade & artisan direct merchandise, hand made, crafts, and other fineries.
One of the great things about Jersey City is the diversity of its restaurant options. From wonderfully affordable Indian and Cuban restaurants to uber-trendy hotspots to elegant dining options offering stunning views of Manhattan with dinner, Jersey City has a little something for everyone. The city is also developing its own street food culture, which is somewhat similar to New York's. Vendors are typically around Exchange Place and near other recreational areas throughout the city.
- 1 Wonder Bagels, 517 Jersey Ave (From Grove St Path, walk on Columbus Dr away from the skyscrapers), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 5AM–3PM. Fresh bagels through the morning with a wide variety of cream cheeses and sandwiches available. As a bonus for vegans, multiple types of non-dairy/tofu cream cheese is available. On Saturday and Sunday morning, the line can easily be out the door.
- 2 Iron Monkey, 99 Greene Street, ☏ . Su-Th 11AM - 2AM, F Sa 11AM - 3AM. Craft draft beer bar near Exchange Place.
- 3 El Sason de Las Americas, 305 Grove St, ☏ . Daily 5:30AM-8:30PM. Don't bother trying to speak English as, for the most, everyone speaks Spanish only. Pointing at what you want works, and the only word you really need to know anyway is pernil, Spanish for pork. Super cheap and super good. They are located downtown at the intersection of Grove and Wayne Sts (a block from the Grove St PATH station).
- 4 Ahri's Kitchen, 227 Seventh Street, ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-3PM & 5-10PM, Sa Su 11AM-9:30PM. Korean food.
- 5 Dosa Hut, 777 Newark Avenue, ☏ . M-F 9:30AM-10PM, Sa Su 9AM-10PM. Although Little India abounds with South Indian restaurants serving dosas (a kind of crepe, made from rice and yellow split peas, usually rolled around a filling of potatoes and cashews), the Dosa Hut probably has the widest selection possible, with 30 dosas to choose from. Dosa Hut (as with many South Indian restaurants) is vegetarian.
- 6 White Mana, 480 Tonnelle Avenue (take the Lincoln Tunnel Exit from the Pulaski Skyway and make a right on the first traffic light (Manhattan Ave)), ☏ . (US 1-9). It has been here since the 1940s, and served up prize-winning hamburgers at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
- 7 Taqueria Downtown, 354 Grove Street, ☏ . Daily 11AM - 10:45PM. A basic taqueria with simple yet satisfying Mexican fare. This is not a typical "Tex-Mex" restaurant. The menu includes rules such as "no oversized burritos," "no guacamole," and "no fajitas." However, with tacos ranging from $2 to $3, you can easily have a cheap meal. Other basic and inexpensive Mexican fare is available.
- 8 Miss America Diner, 322 WestSide Ave (take the lightrail to WestSide Avenue and walk towards the red brick building for three blocks to Culver Ave), ☏ . M-F 6AM-8PM. One of the few surviving family diners of the 20th century, it's considered one of the best diners in New Jersey not only for its food but also for its vintage interior and exterior. It has been featured in commercials for 7-up and Tums in the 1980s, and a 2020 episode of ABC's "What Would You Do?".
- 9 Little Quiapo/Philippine Bread House, 530 Newark Ave. 6AM-6PM. Very cheap Filipino "turo-turo" (literally, point-point - as in, you point to the food you want to order) restaurants, while Little Quiapo is tucked away in the back of a shopping center. In front of the same shopping center is Philippine Bread House, a decades-old baking landmark for Filipino pastries such as ensaymada, halaya, and pan de sal.
- 10 Between Friends Food Truck, 1850 John F Kennedy Blvd (take the 10 bus from Journal Square to Wade St), toll-free: . M-F 10:30AM-7PM. Serves halal food including Moroccan mergues sausage and falafel. Each is served with chopped vegetables and seasoned rice, and each meal costs less than $20.
- 11 Cherry's Lounge, 102 Martin Luther King Dr (Take the 87-Gates Ave bus from Journal Sq to Armstrong Ave), ☏ .
- 12 Lee Sim's Chocolates, 743 Bergen Ave, ☏ , email@example.com. Weekdays and Saturdays 9AM-3PM. Locally owned chocolate store that opened in 1949. The customers come from around the US and the chocolate can be custom made.
- 13 Second Street Bakery, ☏ . Tu-Sa 9AM-2PM, Su 9AM-1PM. A family-owned Italian bakery and deli.
- 14 Razza Pizza, 275 Grove Street (across the street from the city hall), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 5-10PM. This restaurant is only open for 5 hours a day, and reservations and deliveries aren’t a thing here. The crowds, the long wait times, and everything else is all worth it however, as once you are seated you will get to taste some of the best pizza in the NYC area. Even the appetizers such as the bread and butter, as well as the meatballs, are worth the extra money. Some have even controversially dared to call it the best pizza in New York, including food critic Pete Wells writing for the New York Times.
- 15 Laico's, 67 Terhune Ave, ☏ , email@example.com. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F 10AM-11:30PM, Sa noon-10:30PM, Su 1-9PM. An out-of-the-way restaurant that serves some of the best Italian food in the NYC metro area. Don't expect to find anything else noteworthy in the area, but you will not regret coming to Laico's: the complimentary bread and house salad are enough to make it a worthwhile trip!
- 16 Hard Grove Cafe, 286 1st St (corner of 1st St and Newark Ave), ☏ . Near and dear to the hearts of long-time residents because of its long tenure at this location (years ago it was just about the only non-dodgy place to get a meal downtown). It is a Cuban-American diner with unique decor (including plastic palm trees), acceptable food, great drinks, and decent (but sometimes lacking) service. Previously owned by Dominic Santana, a local promoter who was known for his attempts to flaunt the city's restrictive cabaret laws and also known for owning the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. It has since gone under new ownership, who have made the decor a bit more colorful and added some fancier menu items while keeping the old favorites. Also has a good selection of Cuban rum mixed drinks.
- 17 Mamak House, 250 Route 440 (By the Society Hill exit on Route 440), ☏ . Everyday 11AM-9PM. Malaysian-Chinese fusion restaurant.
- 18 Honshu Lounge, 95 Greene Street (corner w/ York St) (near Exchange Pl Light Rail, across the street from Iron Monkey), ☏ . Ranked as the best sushi place in Jersey City by Foursquare and one of the 50 best in the United States by the Daily Meal.
- 19 Hamilton Inn, 708 Jersey Avenue (take the Newark Bay Extension (NJ Turnpike exits 14-14C) to the Holland Tunnel; stay in the right lane and do not go to any of the exits; at the first traffic light (Jersey Ave) make a right), ☏ . Tu-Th 11:30AM-11PM, F 11:30AM-1AM, Sa 10AM-1AM, Su M 10AM-10PM.
- 20 Ed & Mary's, 174 Coles Street, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 11AM-10PM.
- 21 Madame Claude Cafe, 364 Fourth Street (take NJ 7 to Jersey City; cross the bridge and do not turn for another 2 miles; once you go downhill past the cemetery, make a right on 4th St), ☏ , email@example.com. Tu-Th 5-10PM, F 5-11PM, Weekend brunch is 10AM-4PM. A tiny French bistro in an unlikely location at the edge of downtown, this restaurant is a tiny piece of Paris in gritty Jersey City.
- 22 Cafe La Rustique, 611 Jersey Ave (corner w/ 5th St), ☏ . Tu-Su 11AM-8PM. Great thin-crust pizza, among the best in town (try the mozzarella!), as well as quality salads and pasta.
- 23 Rasoi Cafe Bar Restaurant, 810 Newark Avenue, ☏ . Their lunch buffet is fantastic. Service is spotty, but the food is worth it. Has been featured in The Star-Ledger (a local newspaper) and CNN. Also has locations in Edison and East Brunswick.
- 24 Korai Kitchen, 576 Summit Avenue Jersey City, NJ 07306 (from Journal Sq Station: go to Pavonia Ave going downhill, then turn left on Summit Ave (look for the radiation building)), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-F 5:30-9PM, Sa Su noon-4 PM & 6-9PM. One of the few places in Metro New York to offer Bangladeshi cuisine. Reservations must be made for parties of 4 or more.
- 25 Pinwheel Garden, 318 Communipaw Ave, ☏ . 11:30AM-8PM. Southeast Asian family-owned fusion restaurant.
- 26 La Primicia Restaurant, 452 West Side Ave, ☏ .
- 27 Light Horse Tavern, 199 Washington Street, ☏ . Main dishes range from $19-34. The wine selection is good, and the food is outstanding. Ambiance is very classy, with historical tidbits adorning the walls. The restaurant is named after "Light Horse Harry" Lee, father of Robert E. Lee, who fought against the British at the famous "Battle of Paulus Hook" (famous in Paulus Hook, at least).
- 28 Vu, 2 Exchange Place (take the PATH train to Exchange Place, it's inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Exchange Place). Daily 5:30AM-10PM. Vu has a private dining area, lounge, and restaurant with views of New York City
- 29 Rooftop at Exchange Place, 1 Exchange Place, ☏ . Tu-Th 4-10PM, F Sa 4PM-midnight. High class restaurant that offers all types of food from cocktails to sandwiches to brunch. You can either go to the terrace, which is the stylish first floor of the building, or you can go to the roof, hence the name, which has 360° views of New York City, and a DJ.
- 30 Emmas, 4 Path Plaza (next to Journal Square PATH), ☏ . Weekdays 11:30AM-9PM.
- 31 Lokal, 2 2nd St (Take the Light Rail train to Harsimus Cove), ☏ , email@example.com.
- 1 Barcade, 163 Newark Avenue, ☏ . Su-Th noon-2AM, F Sa noon-3AM. An expansion of the popular Brooklyn destination. Besides serving a daily rotating menu of about two dozen reasonably priced ($5-6) microbrews, the bar also sports more than 30 classic arcade systems at 25¢ per play. 21+ only
- 2 Lucky 7, 322 Second Street, ☏ . Very popular local watering hole. New York Magazine wrote of this place: "Some nights they have a D.J.; some nights it’s big hair and Bon Jovi."
- 3 Zeppelin Hall Biergarten and Restaurant, 88 Liberty View Drive (Take the Light Rail to Jersey Ave and walk a few blocks), ☏ . W-F 4PM-2AM, Sa Su noon-1AM. This hall in the new Liberty Harbor development is a huge biergarten with seating for up to 800 people. One of Jersey City's most popular hang-out spots, with 144 taps and $10 liters of beer. Family-friendly.
- 4 The Honorable William Wall (Willy Wall), New York Bay (the restaurant offers a water taxi from the pier at the foot of Warren St and Marin Blvd), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-F 5:45–9:30PM, Sa 12:15–4:30PM, 5:15-9PM.
- 5 Batello, 502 Washington Blvd, ☏ .
- 6 Vu, 2 Exchange Place (take the PATH train to Exchange Place, it's inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel). Daily 5:30AM-10PM.
Many budget-minded New York City tourists decide to stay in moderately-priced Jersey City hotels because of its proximity to Manhattan. Hotels along or near the waterfront are quite safe and very well-appointed. Avoid the strip of motels along US 1-9 (Tonnelle Avenue) north of Journal Square. The area is industrial, unsafe, and is a haven for prostitution and other illicit activities.
- 1 Holland Hotel, Holland Tunnel Plaza East, ☏ . This non-descript motel, directly in front of the Holland Tunnel, is a popular option for budget-minded travellers. It's clean, safe, reasonably priced, and only a short walk from the Pavonia/Newport PATH station.
- 2 Ramada Limited Jersey City, 65 Tonnelle Avenue, ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Short walk to Journal Square, offers transportation to Newark Airport.
- 3 Sonesta Simply Suites, 21 Second Street, ☏ .
- 4 Courtyard Jersey City Newport, 540 Washington Boulevard (take New Jersey Turnpike North towards New York City; take Exit 14C towards the Holland Tunnel; after paying the toll at 14C continue toward the Holland Tunnel; turn right on Jersey Avenue (first light); immediately bear left toward the Newport Centre Mall and continue to Washington Boulevard (first stop light) and turn right; hotel is on the left), ☏ , fax: . By the Newport Centre Mall and one block from the waterfront.
- 5 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Jersey City, 455 Washington Boulevard (the closest train station is the Harsimus Cove Light Rail Station), ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Popular with business travelers, this all-suite hotel is near the Pavonia/Newport PATH and Newport Mall.
- 6 Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson, 2 Exchange Place (from the Holland Tunnel (exiting NY): make a left on Grove St., at the fourth traffic light (Columbus Ave) make a left; the Hyatt is at the end of the road), ☏ , email@example.com. On the Hudson River, this hotel has fabulous views of Manhattan. And it's practically right beside the Exchange Place PATH station, making trips into Manhattan a breeze. The Hyatt is easily Jersey City's nicest hotel.
Jersey City is served by two area codes - 201 and the overlay area code, 551. This means that 10-digit dialing is required. When dialing locally (within the 201 and 551 area codes), do not dial +1 before the number. For calls to other area codes, you must dial +1 before the number you're calling. Even though New York City is just across the Hudson, it's considered to be a long-distance call. Of course, with the advent of cellphones, long-distance calling is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
As in Manhattan, internet cafes are fairly uncommon in Jersey City as Wi-Fi is becoming more readily available. Notably, Janam Indian Tea on Grove Street and the Daily Grind Coffee Lounge on Morris Street offer free Wi-Fi connections.
Jersey City is very safe for a major city, and its crime rate is comparable to that of New York City. However, it pays to exercise precautions. Outside of Journal Square, Historic Downtown, and the Newark Avenue pedestrian plaza, many streets are virtually deserted after midnight, making those walking alone easy targets. If you must walk alone, stick to well-lit, major streets and don't flash your wallet, cellphone, camera, or iPod.
Try to avoid the southern section of the city, bordering Bayonne, particularly the neighborhood of Greenville. In particular, Martin Luther King Drive and Ocean Avenue should be avoided. This is the most crime-ridden portion of the city and it is a primarily low-income area, which is close to Liberty Science Center, Liberty State Park, and other areas that would be of interest to tourists. Making a wrong turn near these destinations can lead visitors traveling by car into unsavory neighborhoods. The light rail stations south of Jersey Avenue are within the southern areas of the city, and exercising caution is heavily suggested after dark.
Do not leave any valuables in your car.
- Manhattan - Some of the world's finest dining, entertainment, shopping, and nightlife are only a ten-minute train ride away. Leave your car at one of the numerous parking lots and garages around Grove Street or Journal Square PATH stations and take in all that America's greatest city has to offer.
- Newark - Despite its reputation for high crime and race riots, Newark is undergoing a renaissance of its own. Be sure to check out a show at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), one of the best concert halls in the country. After that, hit up the vibrant Ironbound neighborhood for some amazing Brazilian food.
- Hoboken - Reputedly, Hoboken has the most bars per square mile of any city in the United States. And it's only a PATH ride away.
- The Gateway, or North Jersey, is surprisingly diverse.
- Jersey Shore-a day trip to some of the finest beaches on the East Coast
|Routes through Jersey City|
|Allentown ← Newark ←||W E||→ Manhattan → END|
|New York City ← Fort Lee ←||N S||→ Newark → Philadelphia|
|New York City ← Fort Lee ←||N S||→ Newark → Cape May|
|END ←||N S||→ Bayonne → Edison|
|END ← Hoboken ←||N S||→ Bayonne → END|
|North Bergen ← Hoboken ←||N S||→ END|
|END ← Hoboken ←||NW SE||→ Financial District, Manhattan → END|
|Newark ← Harrison ←||W E||→ Financial District, Manhattan → END|
|END ←||SW NE||→ Greenwich Village, Manhattan → Herald Square, Manhattan|