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About Harlem

Long-established as the heart of African-American culture in New York, Harlem lies in the north of Manhattan between Central Park, Upper Manhattan and the Harlem River. While its community today reflects a more diverse ethnic composition, in the early part of the 20th century it became a predominantly black area, with African-American literature, art, music, dance and social commentary flourishing in what became known as the Harlem Renaissance.

The Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture is a good place to start exploring the neighbourhood, with changing exhibitions that highlight the African-American history of New York, while the Studio Museum of Harlem showcases the work of local, national and international artists of African descent. The neighbourhood is home to the largest church in the United States, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, but perhaps its most famous house of worship is the Abyssinian Baptist Church, the first African-American Baptist Church in New York. Visitors can attend their powerful Gospel Worship Services on Sundays, perfectly followed with a gospel brunch at legendary Sylvia’s Soul Food. The Apollo Theatre is another of Harlem’s iconic landmarks, opening in 1934 to black patrons after 20 years as a whites-only venue, and helping to launch the careers of Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and Michael Jackson. Many of Harlem’s most famous post-World War I residents lived along West 138th and 139th streets in an area of historic townhouses dubbed “Striver’s Row”, including the likes of pianist Eubie Blake, composer WC Handy and dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, while one of Manhattan’s oldest parks, Marcus Garvey Park, is lined with late 19th century architecture and named in honour of the Jamaican Pan-African movement leader.

Harlem is easily accessed by both bus and subway, with stations scattered throughout the neighbourhood. While its sights are fairly spread out, the streets are easily manageable on foot and far friendlier than often reputed.

Harlem was named after a city in the Netherlands, Haarlem, and originally established as a Dutch village in 1658. The Great Migration at the start of the 20th century saw African-American residents stream into the area, firmly stamping their cultural mark during the 1920s and 30s.

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Popular Harlem Hotels

Aloft Harlem

Aloft Harlem
Address
Harlem, New York City
Guest Rating
Very Good, 8,5
Price
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Description

This hotel is set in Manhattan, a quick walk from the Apollo Theater. It also offers an express check-in and check-out feature, valet parking and free Wi-Fi.

The Harlem YMCA

The Harlem YMCA
Address
Harlem, New York City
Guest Rating
6,6
Price
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Description

This hostel is located in Manhattan, just a short stroll from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. It also features an indoor pool, a sauna and free Wi-Fi.

The Central Park North

The Central Park North
Address
Harlem, New York City
Guest Rating
6,6
Price
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Description

A 10-minute walk from Cathedral Parkway-110th Street IND Eighth Avenue Line Station, The Central Park North has a accessible location, making it an ideal base when in New York City. It provides 3-star accommodation with air-conditioned rooms.

The International Cozy Inn

The International Cozy Inn
Address
Harlem, New York City
Guest Rating
Good, 7,4
Price
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Description

This modern guest house is located in New York City and is a few minutes on foot from 125th Street IRT Lenox Avenue Line Subway Station. It also provides free Wi-Fi and a safe.

Home NYC

Home NYC
Address
Harlem, New York City
Guest Rating
Exceptional, 9,5
Price
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Description

Situated in Manhattan, Home NYC offers 3.5-star accommodation and a garden, free Wi-Fi and luggage storage. It is ideally located for those wanting to visit local attractions.

Lita's New York Apartments

Lita's New York Apartments
Address
Harlem, New York City
Price
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Description

Lita's New York Apartments is situated in New York City and offers free wireless internet. It is conveniently located for guests wishing to sightsee in the area.

Tiffini

Tiffini
Address
Harlem, New York City
Price
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Description

Located in Manhattan, this property is just a quick walk to the Apollo Theater. It also offers laundry facilities and free Wi-Fi.

The Gallery House

The Gallery House
Address
Harlem, New York City
Price
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Description

Located in Manhattan, this property is within a 10-minute walk of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, City College of New York and the Hamilton Grange National Memorial. It also provides free Wi-Fi.

Harlem 144 Guest House

Harlem 144 Guest House
Address
Harlem, New York City
Guest Rating
Good, 7,0
Price
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Description

This guest house is situated in Manhattan, just a short stroll from the Apollo Theater. It is conveniently positioned for guests wanting to discover the area's attractions.

Luxury Living Suites

Luxury Living Suites
Address
Harlem, New York City
Price
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Description

Located in Manhattan, this 5-star property is within easy walking distance of the Apollo Theater. It also provides free Wi-Fi, a Jacuzzi and luggage storage.

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