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Things to do in Brooklyn

Things to do in  Brooklyn

Welcome to Brooklyn

With a rich immigrant history, world-class dining scene, and diverse neighborhoods, there are lots of things to do in Brooklyn, arguably New York City's hippest borough. Trendy Williamsburg is the epicenter of Brooklyn’s shopping, street art, and nightlife scene, while green spaces such as Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens offer a welcome escape from the urban grind. Plus, the views just can't be beat—from the Manhattan skyline at Brooklyn Heights Promenade to the iconic span of the Brooklyn Bridge from its namesake park on the East River shore.

Top 15 attractions in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge

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Extending for 1.3 miles (2 kilometers) across New York City’s East River, this 19th-century bridge sees constant foot, bike, and car traffic thanks to commuters and sightseers alike. After a construction beset by tragedies—at least 20 people died during the building process—this steel-wire suspension bridge, then the world’s largest, finally opened to the public in 1883. Today crossing the Brooklyn Bridge is an essential New York experience. Visitors come in droves to admire the bridge’s dramatic neo-Gothic towers and the stellar views of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront.More

Dyker Heights

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Dyker Heights is a tree-lined family neighborhood located in southwest Brooklyn. The picturesque community began as a luxury housing development at the end of the 19th century. For visitors, Christmastime here is something special, as locals put up colorful lights and decorations that draw visitors from all five boroughs and beyond.More

Dumbo

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Its name may suggest cartoon elephants, but Dumbo—a waterfront neighborhood in the north of Brooklyn—is actually one of the borough’s most stylish and photogenic enclaves. Dumbo’s cobblestone streets and converted warehouses are home to trendy galleries, boutiques, coffee shops, and one of the city’s truly iconic pizzerias.More

Williamsburg

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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.More

Coney Island

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When sweltering summer temperatures hit the city, New Yorkers flock to this kitschy seaside resort. As well as a boardwalk and almost 3 miles (5 kilometers) of sandy beach, Coney Island is home to roller coasters and amusements, New York Aquarium, and Nathan’s Famous, a landmark hot dog joint that started out as a stand in 1916.More

Brooklyn Museum

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A cultural beacon centrally located in New York's hippest borough, the Brooklyn Museum boasts a permanent collection of more than 1.5 million pieces and hosts several rotating exhibits yearly. The museum has a little of everything, from one of the largest Egyptian art holdings in the country to a robust American decorative arts collection.More

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a calming, 52-acre (21-hectare) oasis in the middle of a busy borough. Located adjacent to Prospect Park, the garden boasts an impressive selection of plants, flowers, and trees. The Children’s Garden addresses sustainability, while the Fragrance Garden encourages everyone to stop and smell the flowers.More

Brooklyn Bridge Park

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On the shores of the East River and in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge Park offers an expanse of green and unmatched views of the Lower Manhattan skyline. Spanning some 85 acres (34 hectares), the park hosts destination eateries, the restored antique Jane’s Carousel, seasonal events, and other attractions.More

Brooklyn Heights

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The historic Brooklyn Heights neighborhood is well positioned—just one subway stop from Lower Manhattan. A stroll along the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade for waterfront and city skyline views is a must-do, as is a walk through its streets to see elegant brownstones and visit some destination bars and restaurants.More

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

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Crossing the mouth of upper New York Bay and linking the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge (previously Verrazano-Narrows) is the longest suspension bridge in the U.S. A marvel of engineering, the bridge was completed in 1964, and more than 200,000 vehicles pass on it daily.More

Prospect Park

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Encompassing more than 500 acres (202 hectares) in the heart of Brooklyn, Prospect Park is an ideal space to escape the bustle of the borough. The park offers wooded walks, sunbathing, and car-fee biking and jogging—a perfect stop for those who want a taste of the outdoors in New York.More

Carroll Gardens

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A South Brooklyn gem, Carroll Gardens’ brownstone-lined blocks are ideal for an afternoon stroll. Small cafés, antique shops, and boutiques abound on Smith and Court streets. And for foodies, Carroll Gardens—known for its bakeries, pizzarias, and white-tablecloth Italian restaurants—is a haven. Arrive with an appetite.More

Brooklyn Children's Museum

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One of New York's favorite family-friendly destinations is the Brooklyn Children's Museum. Perfect for kids from 6 months to 8 years old, this interactive museum provides inclusive spaces, daily cultural and arts programs, and educational exhibits—from kid-sized stores in World Brooklyn to diorama habitats in Neighborhood Nature.More

Jacques Torres Chocolate

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For some of New York City’s most famous chocolate treats, head to Jacques Torres Chocolate. Stop by the company’s flagship store in DUMBO, Brooklyn, or one of the other outlets around the city, and enjoy a variety of treats, from handmade truffles to mugs of luxurious hot chocolate and custom-made ice cream sandwiches.More

Grand Army Plaza

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Framing the northern corner of New York City’s Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the oval-shaped Grand Army Plaza boasts a 19th-century military arch, fountain, statuary, tree-dotted lawns, and classical-style gazebos. Set within a traffic circle on Flatbush Avenue, the plaza serves as the park’s main entrance.More

Trip ideas

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All about Brooklyn

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EST (UTC -5)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

A local’s pocket guide to Brooklyn

Claire Bullen

Writer and editor Claire made her home in Brooklyn for years. Though she's since relocated to London, she still returns every year to see old friends and revisit favorite spots and discover new ones (and misses it so!).

The first thing you should do in Brooklyn is...

load up on carbs. You haven’t really been to Brooklyn until you’ve had pizza at Di Fara or Lucali and bagels at La Bagel Delight or Court Street Bagels—and for liquid carbs, the beer at Other Half is on point.

A perfect Saturday in Brooklyn...

Skip the brunch scene, and grab the best bagel and coffee you can find. After browsing the Fort Greene Park Greenmarket or Greenlight Bookstore, hit the Brooklyn Museum — then grab a beer at Gold Star Beer Counter or BierWax.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

walking across the Brooklyn Bridge as the views never get old, even if the crowds do. And it’s worth going to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (adjacent to Prospect Park) throughout the year — yes, even in winter.

To discover the "real" Brooklyn...

don’t just stay in Williamsburg or Park Slope — Brooklyn has many neighborhoods. Visit Brooklyn’s Chinatown in Sunset Park, nosh on vareniki and other Eastern European staples in Brighton Beach, and swing by Little Haiti for a dose of Haitian culture.

For the best view of the city...

you can go to the famous intersection in Dumbo at Front and Washington streets, where the Empire State Building is perfectly framed by the Manhattan Bridge. But for a less clichéd view, head to Green-Wood Cemetery to see the whole skyline.

One thing people get wrong...

Don’t let their sometimes brusque exterior fool you — most New Yorkers really look out for each other. Sure, they’ll get annoyed if you break certain social codes (spatial awareness helps), but the prevailing attitude is that we’re all in this together.

Brooklyn information

Number of Attractions

33

Number of Tours

131

Number of Reviews

1,293

Currency

USD
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