How much fun is Brooklyn Michigan

Brooklyn: sights and our best tips

Most New York visitors limit their trip to Manhattan. New York has so much more to offer: Brooklyn, for example. We'll show you what there is to discover in Brooklyn.

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Brooklyn is one of 5 boroughs in New York and probably the most famous district after Manhattan.

Even if Brooklyn doesn't have the big sights of New York, it is still the most exciting district in New York for us. Brooklyn is creative, Brooklyn is exciting, Brooklyn is different.

In this article we will show you our personal highlights in Brooklyn and of course, as always, give you many practical tips to help you find your way around Brooklyn.

But before we start, we have a few more exciting facts for you:

Brooklyn extends southeast of Manhattan. Both districts are separated from each other by the East River.

Brooklyn has 2.5 million people, almost a million more than Manhattan. That would make Brooklyn the fourth largest city in the United States after New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, if it were a city of its own. In addition, Brooklyn is three times the size of Manhattan in terms of area.

So, now you know and we can devote ourselves to the best sights in Brooklyn and our tips.

Also read our article 1 week in New York for our detailed program suggestion for a day trip to Brooklyn
Here you can find all of our New York articles

The main attractions on a map

We have drawn the most important sights for you on a map so that you can get a rough orientation about Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Bridge

For many New York visitors, the Brooklyn Bridge is the only point of contact with the borough. The bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn and was a technical sensation when it opened in 1883.

The largest suspension bridge in the world at the time was the first bridge to connect the two districts. While there are other bridges spanning the East River today, more than 100,000 cars and thousands of pedestrians cross the Brooklyn Bridge every day.

For us, a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge is part of every visit to New York and can be the perfect way to end or start a day in Brooklyn.

The footpath and bike path is on the second level above the lanes for the cars. Sometimes the paths are quite narrow, so that pedestrians and cyclists often get in each other's way. So be careful not to accidentally stand on the bike path to take a picture. New York cyclists don't like that at all and will point it out loudly to you.

The Brooklyn Bridge comes out in Brooklyn exactly between the two districts Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo, which we will introduce to you in the next two sections.

Directions to the Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan side:

If you want to walk to the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, take line 4 or 5 to Brooklyn Bridge / City Hall station. Alternatively, take Line J to Chambers Street.

Brooklyn side:

In Brooklyn, the closest station is High Street / Brooklyn Bridge. You can get there with line A.

Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights is right across from the southern tip of Manhattan and is now one of the most popular and expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

Attractions in Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Bridge Park

The Brooklyn Bridge Park is particularly worth seeing here. Today there are sports facilities on the former piers and on the banks there are expensive townhouses with the best views of Manhattan.

You should definitely not miss this view here. The skyline of Manhattans looks great, especially in the evening around sunset. It is not for nothing that Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the most popular photo spots in New York.

The most popular photo spot, especially at sunset, can be found here on Google Maps.

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Above the highway that runs between the East River and Brooklyn Heights, you will find the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, from which you also have a great view of Manhattan.

Squibb Bridge

Where the Brookyln Heights Promenade meets Middagh Street, you should turn into the path towards the East River. At first glance you only see Squibb Park (which is uninteresting), but from there you can walk over Squibb Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The small pedestrian bridge is still an insider tip and also a pretty photo spot.

Directions to Brooklyn Heights

To Brooklyn Heights it goes with the line A. The station is called High Street / Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn Heights neighborhood is located on the East River and borders the access to the Brooklyn Bridge to the south.

Dumbo

To the north of Brooklyn Heights is the small neighborhood of Dumbo. The funny name is actually an abbreviation and means Down under Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

Dumbo is a tiny neighborhood that is little more than nine streets. Even so, Dumbo is one of the most desirable and expensive residential areas in Brooklyn.

In the streets of Dumbo you will find many great restaurants, cafes and shops, so a little stroll through Dumbo is definitely worth it.

Sightseeing in Dumbo

Photo opportunity from the Manhattan Bridge

The most spectacular photo opportunity in Dumbo can be found on Main Street at the corner of Water Street (here on Google Maps).

At the end of the street canyon, one of the huge pillars of the Manhattan Bridge rises up. And as if that wasn't spectacular enough, in good weather you can also see the Empire State Building protruding through the arch of the pillars.

Flea market in Dumbo

Every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. you can stroll along the Brooklyn Flea in Dumbo at this location. You can find all information here.

Main Street Park & ​​Pebble Beach

Also worth seeing is the small Main Street Park on the banks of the East River. From here you have great views of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Right next to it you will find Pebble Beach, from which you also have a great view of Jane’s Carousel, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.

Jane’s Carousel

Directly in front of the Brooklyn Bridge is the famous Jane’s Carousel, a richly decorated and extensively restored carousel from 1922. You can ride the carousel between 11:00 and 19:00. One ride is $ 2.

How to get to Dumbo

You can get to Dumbo on Line F. The station is called York Street. Dumbo is also located directly on the East River and is directly north at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Williamsburg

Williamsburg is the hippest part of Brooklyn, Manhattan and maybe even the world. This is where trends are born that will soon be ubiquitous across the country and a little later in Europe. Among other things, the long hipster beards are said to have their origin in Williamsburg.

The quarter was once a rather gloomy place, characterized by industry and shady characters, but those days are long gone. For us, a walk through Williamsburg is simply part of a visit to New York.

Attractions in Williamsburg

Domino Park

The Domino Park, which runs along the East River, is well worth a visit. In the background are the remains of an old sugar factory, which was one of the largest in the world.

Before that, New Yorkers lie on the meadow today on sunny days and enjoy life.

Smorgasburg Food Market

The Smorgasburg Food Market takes place in Williamsburg every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (April to October).

More than 100 food trucks and food stalls serve delicious food in the large open space at East River State Park. A visit is worthwhile, even if it is always very crowded, especially when the weather is nice. On Sundays, the Smorgasburg Food Market takes place in Prospect Park, also in Brooklyn.

Artists & Fleas

Every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Williamsburg hosts Artists and Fleas, a design flea market where you can find art, design, vintage, clothing from local artists and designers.

Bedford Avenue

In addition to these attractions, we recommend that you just drift through the streets around Bedford Avenue. Here you will find many small shops, cafes and nice restaurants.

Our restaurant and food tips in Williamsburg

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Extremely delicious ice cream with many vegan flavors such as Choc Chip Cookie Dough, Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam and Peanut Butter Choc Chip. The vegan varieties are made with cashew, coconut and cocoa butter. You have to like it, some love it. Jenny, for example.

Incidentally, there is not just one branch in Williamsburg. You can find more information and locations on the Van Leuuwen Artisan Ice Cream website.

Little Choc Apothecary

The completely vegan (and gluten-free!) Creperie was also a paradise for Jenny. There are super delicious, savory and sweet crepes and we can warmly recommend the smoothes and juices.

At first glance, the shop looks more like a snack bar, but appearances are deceptive. On the 1st floor there are tables in a cozy atmosphere. You can find more information on the Little Choc Apothecary website.

Sunday in Brooklyn

A super trendy, lovely restaurant that we can warmly recommend - whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are, among other things, very tasty burgers.

You can find more information on the Sunday in Brooklyn website.

Also read our article on our favorite Manhattan restaurants

Directions to Williamsburg

The quickest way to get to Williamsburg from Manhattan is to take the L line. The trains start in downtown Manhattan at various stations along 14th Street. The station in Williamsburg is called Bedford Avenue.

The best way to get to Williamsburg from Dumbo or Brooklyn Heights is by ferry. Take the ER line from Dumbo Pier towards East 34th Street. After two stops, get off at North Williamsburg.

The New York Metrocard is not valid on the ferries. Tickets are sold directly at the pier for $ 2.75. Just keep an eye out for the small sales booth on the pier. Alternatively, you can simply buy your ticket yourself at the machines there.

Bushwick

It's always a thing with trends. For some, Williamsburg is the trendiest neighborhood in Brooklyn, for others it's yesterday's news.

The brand new hotspot in Brooklyn for these people is Bushwick. Like Williamsburg, Bushwick used to be a seedy area with lots of commercial space and few reasons to go there voluntarily.

Many new restaurants and cafés are now being built here. Bushwick is well on the way to becoming the new Williamsburg.

Street art in Bushwick

If hipster cafés aren't your thing, there's another reason to go to Bushwick: the best street art in New York!

Joe Ficalora, who grew up in Bushwick and is the founder of the Bushwick Collective, is responsible for this. As of 2014, the streets of Bushwick have been a huge art gallery.

The world's best street artists create great works of art here. Each image can only be seen for an average of 12 months before it has to give way to a new work of art.

So it pays to keep coming back to Bushwick because there is definitely always something new to see. We absolutely loved the street art in Bushwick. We have never seen so much good street art in one place.

The Bushwick Collective Block Party takes place once a year in June. On one weekend, a lot of new works of art are created, plus there is music, performances and of course delicious drinks.

Most of the street art can be found around Flushing Avenue between Cyprus and Irving Avenues. Here you can find a map on which many street art spots are drawn:

To the street art map

Our tip: You can also book a 2-hour street art tour for around 18 euros per person. You visit the outdoor gallery of the Bushwick Collective, meet a real graffiti artist from New York and learn a lot about the artists and the neighborhood. The tour is in English and you can reserve a ticket here.

Directions to Bushwick

Jefferson Street Metro Station is right in the center of Bushwick's street art. Here you can take the L line from downtown Manhattan via Williamsburg.

Coney Island

Coney Island is the southern tip of Brooklyn. New Yorkers come here in particular to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city and find some relaxation on the beaches and amusement parks of Coney Island.

Attractions on Coney Island

Some New York travelers go to Coney Island for a whole day to see the Luna Park to visit. The classic amusement park has numerous roller coasters and rides to offer.

It's not particularly spectacular, which is why, in our opinion, it is not necessarily worthwhile on your first visit to New York. There are many more exciting things to discover in New York.

For a second or third visit and of course with children, a visit to Luna Park can be worthwhile.

Tickets are $ 69. With some New York Passes, admission is included. If you want to go to Luna Park, it can be worthwhile. You can find out more about the New York Passes in our large comparison:

To the New York Pass comparison

The district is also worth seeing Brighton Beach, which is also called Little Odessa. Many Russian residents live here, there is Russian food and Russian signs everywhere. The district is a bit like Chinatown, only in Russian.

Our tips for exploring Brooklyn

We love Brooklyn and want you to get the most out of your visit to Brooklyn. That is why we have summarized all the important information and our tips for Brooklyn in this section.

Who is Brooklyn for?

For us, a visit to Brooklyn is an absolute must. Of course, that doesn't mean it has to be the same for you.

If you want to see more of New York than the usual highlights in Manhattan, Brooklyn is worth a trip.

If you like to stroll through the trendy neighborhoods of a city, then Brooklyn is for you too.

If you want to hit the coolest bars and cafes in New York and like individual shops, then Brooklyn is a must.

Convinced? Very good!

Is Brooklyn Dangerous?

It is probably because of the many films and series that are set in New York that Brooklyn is often directly associated with crime. That was actually the case for a long time, but that is long gone.

Most parts of Brooklyn, including the neighborhoods presented here are almost as safe as Manhattan. We didn't feel safer in Brooklyn than in any other city.

Conclusion: Brooklyn is safe!

Brooklyn in a day: our suggestion

Of course you can go exploring Brooklyn for a whole week, but we also know that most people only have a relatively limited amount of time in New York.

That's why we've put together a small program suggestion for the perfect day in Brooklyn:

# 1 Bushwick

Take the L line in Manhattan towards Jefferson Street Station.

The first thing you will do there is explore Bushwick Street Art. You should plan about an hour for a walk through the neighborhood.

# 2 Williamsburg

Then take the L line back a few stops to Bedford Avenue.

There you explore the area and you are sure to find a great restaurant for lunch, e.g. B. the Sunday in Brooklyn.

If you come on a Saturday between April and October, you should definitely eat something at the Smorgasburg Food Market.

Then you walk south along the East River through Domino Park to the South Williamsburg ferry station.

# 3 Take the ferry to Dumbo

You take the ferry in the direction of Wall Street / Pier 11 and get off directly after one station. If the weather is good, be sure to go to the upper deck of the ferry, there is a lot to see.

The ticket machine at South Williamsburg station is a bit hidden. You have to walk back about 100 meters in the direction of the street, there is the machine on the right side. You can also buy the tickets on board.

# 4 Dumbo and sunset at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Once in Dumbo, you stroll a bit through the streets of the district and of course take the legendary photo of the Manhattan Bridge.

If you're into photography, don't miss the Manhattan skyline as the sun sets. You have the best view from Brooklyn Bridge Park and the most popular location for a photo of the Manhattan skyline can be found here on Google Maps.

# 5 Back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge

Finally, you walk back to Manhattan over the legendary Brooklyn Bridge. Your feet will likely hurt a little after the day, but that's normal in New York.

In principle, you can also do the tour the other way around. But then the sunset in Brooklyn Bridge Park disappears.

Brooklyn insider tips

If you want to spend more than a day in Brooklyn, we have another book tip for you.

Our dear fellow blogger Ina Bohse lived in Brooklyn for several years and wrote a great travel guide about the district. In their Brooklyn Neighborhood Guide, you'll find explanations of the different neighborhoods in Brooklyn and lots of tips for restaurants and shops.

Go to the Brooklyn Neighborhood Guide

Stay overnight in Brooklyn

Of course, our tips for staying overnight in Brooklyn should not be missing here.

Is it worth a hotel in Brooklyn?

Often you read the recommendation to stay in Brooklyn, as that would be much cheaper than in Manhattan.

In our experience, that's nonsense. The prices in Brooklyn may be a little cheaper than in Manhattan, but not so much that a hotel in Brooklyn is worthwhile.

In our opinion, a hotel in Brooklyn is not particularly suitable for first-time visitors, as the way to the well-known sights in Manhattan is quite long and time-consuming.

Therefore, if you want to pay less for your New York hotel, we recommend that you go to Queens. It's really cheaper than Manhattan and better connected than Brooklyn.

You can find more about this and our hotel tips for New York in our detailed accommodation guide:

Where to stay in New York Our hotel tips!

Our hotel tips for Brooklyn

In our opinion, a hotel in Brooklyn is not for New York newbies. But if you are coming to New York for the second or third time or plan to spend the majority of your trip in Brooklyn, then a hotel in Brooklyn makes perfect sense.

Depending on where you often stay, a hotel in either Williamsburg or Brooklyn Downtown or Brooklyn Heights makes sense for you.

Our hotel tips in Brooklyn Downtown:

EVEN Hotel Brooklyn Very good value for money
New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge Classic in a great location

Our hotel tips in Williamsburg:

Pod Brooklyn Very good value for money
Wythe Hotel Great hotel in an old industrial building
The William Vale Pure luxury with an amazing view

Our conclusion

Brooklyn is just great. We always like to come back to the other side of the East River. Far away from the tourist hotspots, you can get to know New York from a completely different side here.

If we ever move to New York, we will definitely live in Brooklyn. That says it all, doesn't it?

Do you have any tips for Brooklyn? Or do you have a question for us? We look forward to your comment!