Historically known for its multicultural neighborhoods and working-class roots, the New York City borough of Brooklyn has become in recent years the epitome of hip. The city's most populous borough, Brooklyn draws both locals and visitors with its food (particularly pizza), art spaces, brownstones, parks, and views of Manhattan.
Lying just across the East River from Manhattan, Brooklyn is home to attractions like Coney Island, Prospect Park, Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and, of course, the Brooklyn Bridge. Popular Brooklyn neighborhoods for exploring include trendy Williamsburg and Bushwick; the former warehouse district of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass); Park Slope with its brownstones, restaurants, and shops; and Flatbush, home to the 1920s-era Kings Theatre. Walking tours and food tours offer a relaxing way to see the area with insight from a guide about Brooklyn's history, gentrification, and top spots.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Brooklyn Bridge spans about 6,000 feet (1,830 meters), and the walk across from Manhattan takes about 20 minutes.
- For a shot of Brooklyn's most popular photo op—a slice of the Manhattan Bridge between red-bricked buildings—head to the intersection of Washington and Water streets in DUMBO.
- Top views of the Lower Manhattan skyline can be seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
How to Get There
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must, at least one way. Public transport options include several New York City subway lines, MTA bus lines, and the NYC Ferry on the South Brooklyn or East River routes. Alternatively, hop-on hop-off tours provide easy transportation between Manhattan and Brooklyn, where you can hop off at the bus stops that interest you.
When to Get There
Avoid traveling between boroughs during morning and evening rush hours unless you want to fight commuters for a spot on the subway. Otherwise, Brooklyn is great at any time. Go during the day if you're interested in browsing shops, relaxing over coffee, comparing pizza slices for lunch, or walking across the bridge. For live music in Williamsburg or a romantic stroll along the water, visit at night.
Parks in Brooklyn
Near the center of Brooklyn, Prospect Park is the borough's heart, with Park Slope on one side and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on another. Locals head here to picnic, play sports, and relax by the Boathouse. Fort Greene Park is known for its Revolutionary War history, while Brooklyn Bridge Park provides waterfront green space, gardens, and a bike path. For retro fun, visit Luna Park at Coney Island and take a ride on the 1927 Coney Island Cyclone wooden roller coaster.