Lower Manhattan, or "all the way downtown" in the parlance of New Yorkers, has long been where the action—and transaction—is.
Originally the Dutch trading post called New Amsterdam (1626–47), this neighborhood is home to historic cobblestone streets next to soaring skyscrapers. This mix of old and new, the whirl of Wall Street, and a concentration of city landmarks make the southern tip of Manhattan essential to any NYC visit. There's no street grid to follow, but Broadway runs straight through the center of the area. To the west are Tribeca and Battery Park City, which have a large proportion of residents in addition to office buildings. At the tip of Manhattan is Battery Park, where you'll find the ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as well as Staten Island. The area east of Broadway is still primarily office buildings, but there are now a fair number of full-time residents.