Brooklyn is New York's coolest borough, and Williamsburg is hipster mecca. Packed with galleries, music venues, and arts spaces, Williamsburg is a prime destination to soak up Brooklyn's eclectic culture. From its cupcake shops and dive bars to its independent movie theaters, Williamsburg is an ideal place to shop and indulge.The Basics
The heart of Williamsburg is Bedford Avenue, which is home to dozens of restaurants and boutiques. On weekends, you'll find artisans selling handicrafts and book vendors unloading paperbacks. Clothes shopping is a good bet in this fashion-forward neighborhood, and vintage and second-hand clothing stores offer everything from old-time denim to cowboy boots.
Williamsburg is also a historically diverse neighborhood. The Hasidic Jewish community lives on the south side, and visitors can book walking tours to learn about Hasidic history and religious practices. The fast-changing neighborhood is also home to waterfront condos, renovated warehouses, and trendy restaurants. Try a walking tour or bike tour to get the lay of the land. Local guides cover the essentials in only a couple hours, leaving visitors well prepared for self-guided adventuring.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Art enthusiasts can delve into Williamsburg's cultural underground on an art tour.
- Williamsburg is a big neighborhood best explored on foot, so comfortable shoes are a must.
- Foodies should consider a beer or pizza tour, since Brooklyn serves the tastiest by-the-slice pizza on the planet.
For a scenic route, stroll across the Williamsburg Bridge from Manhattan's Lower East Side. From there, it's a short walk to Bedford Avenue. Alternatively, you can hop on the subway. Take the L train to the Bedford Avenue station or the G train to the Metropolitan Avenue or Nassau Avenue station. When to Get There
Weekends are bustling on Bedford Avenue. For brunch and boutique shopping, plan to arrive around 10am, since many of the shops open midmorning. For a night out, arrive in the early evening for dinner, but plan to stay late. Since locals love to party, bars and venues stay open well into the night—last call for drinks is 4am; many places don't get going until midnight.
Located off Kent Avenue, in the shadow of the old Domino Sugar Refinery, Williamsburg’s waterfront Domino Park offers unobstructed views and an East River breeze. Visit on a summer weekend and you might catch an outdoor concert or movie screening. At night, all year round, the park is the perfect place to watch Manhattan's skyline sparkle.