Visit Brooklyn: the must-sees and good addresses

Who I am
Carlos Laforet Coll
Author and references

Le Brooklyn Bridge

First of all, and of course, the essential symbol of the Brooklyn district: its bridge! The latter connects it to Manhattan in passing over the East River, and its crossing can be done on foot, by car, by bike, whatever. Also, I strongly advise you to cross it on foot early in the morning, in order to see the city slowly waking up. This is also valid for the end of the day, where you can watch the night fall over New York while enjoying a superb view.

If you cross the bridge towards Manhattan, you will come to the area around Chinatown and Wall Street, two other well-known New York neighborhoods. And if you cross it the other way around, you will come to Brooklyn Bridge Park, which I highly recommend.

Visit Brooklyn: the green spaces

Le Brooklyn Bridge Park

Planning to visit Brooklyn? Then your second stop is of course Brooklyn Bridge Park. The latter constitutes a real vegetable oasis right in the heart of New York City. Here you will find locals and tourists walking, jogging, having a romantic picnic or having an aperitif with friends.

This is actually one of my favorite parks in New York. So if you have the chance to visit New York under the sun, do not hesitate to go there! You will enjoy a nice view of the city and even the Statue of Liberty !

Sunset Park in Brooklyn

And if you want a park that is a little less “mainstream” than Brooklyn Bridge Park, go to Sunset Park. You will also benefit froma superb view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, especially during sunset. It's not for nothing that it's called Sunset Park, by the way!

In addition, Sunset Park in Brooklyn holds a big pool, in which you will love to dive during the hot summer months. The bonus? Entrance to the pool is free, so take advantage of it!

Le Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Finally, if you are a lover of plants of all kinds, you owe it to yourself to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Dating from 1910, the latter covers 21 hectares and holds more than 10000 varieties of plants, flowers and trees.

It is in particular the perfect place for lovers wishing to treat themselves to a small romantic stroll, or to take pretty colorful photos when spring comes.

You will also find a Japanese garden there and, my favorite, the Shakespeare Garden. The latter is none other than a garden containing more than 80 types of plants mentioned by the writer in his various works, and accompanied by a poem. Rather impressive, isn't it? So whether you are a lover of flora or literature, you will find your account there!

Prospect Park

If you are looking for a quiet place to rest for a while, the Prospect Park is for you. Located right next to the Brooklyn Bridge, the latter is quite simply huge: it holds no less than 35 hectares!

The place is calm, wooded and restful. And for the more active, know that you can do it a horseback ride, a boat ride or a pedal boat ride. The perfect place for an afternoon with friends or with your children, in short. Don't forget to pack something for a picnic, because the place is perfect for it!

Visit Brooklyn: the neighborhoods to discover

Bushwick, for a street art journey

Are you an art lover, especially street art? So don't wait any longer to discover Bushwick, THE street art district in the heart of Brooklyn!

The latter is full studios and de Art Galeries of all kinds, and superb graffiti throughout the streets. So grab your camera, open your eyes wide, and here you are, ready to explore Brooklyn as it should be!

The trendy Williamsburg district

The other most popular Brooklyn neighborhood at the moment is Williamsburg. Once a popular neighborhood, it is now very popular, especially by the famous hipsters !

It is a lively district, where you can find superb little stores where you can feast, where to do your shopping, party and have fun. You will also find art galleries, a music hall, small independent theaters, thrift stores and other surprises, since the neighborhood is rather artistic and alternative in general.

I recommend that you go for a walk on Bedford Avenue, which is undoubtedly the liveliest avenue in the neighborhood. Then take your time and stroll aimlessly, getting lost in the streets of the neighborhood. You will find many surprises !

And then, if you plan to visit Brooklyn with friends or family, do not miss the Brooklyn Bowl, the famous bowling neighborhood ! Fun evening and unforgettable memories guaranteed!

Dumbo: the trendy neighborhood

Visiting Brooklyn also passes through a passage in Dumbo. This district which unlike any other is as photogenic! You will easily recognize it thanks to its cobblestone streets and red brick warehouses.

Former industrial area, Dumbo has become an artistic and cultural center. Many art galleries are located in particular. But Dumbo is also trendy restaurants, luxury apartments, shops.

Coney Island for fun and relaxation

Coney Island is another neighborhood to visit in Brooklyn. Whether it's to eat a famous hotdog at Nathan's, to relax on the beach or to take a roller coaster ride, Coney Island is a real playground, especially during the summer period.

During your visit, do not hesitate to take a walk on the beach. It is a real place of relaxation.

Visit Brooklyn: Food and Shop Markets

Shopping at Brooklyn Flea Market

Lovers of shopping, vintage,unique items and food, look no further: go to the Brooklyn Flea Market! The latter is held every weekend at two different places. Saturday 10 a.m. to 17 p.m., meet at 176 Lafayette Avenue for the Fort Green Flea. As for Sunday, the market takes the name of Dumbo Flea and is located on Water Street, at the Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza.

You will find all kinds of decorative objects, vintage clothes, souvenirs, jewelry and other unusual accessories.

Smorgasburg market

Another market that you must discover in New York is Smorgasburg. This last one is a street food market taking place every Sunday during the beautiful season (from April to November).

There you will find many stalls offering many delicious culinary products and dishes in the form of small portions. Different types of cuisine from all over the world will be there for your greatest pleasure. Burgers, tacos, ice cream, Asian specialists, local jams, pastries and other delicacies await you. Count between About $ 10 and $ 15 by small dish, and don't forget to bring cash, because the stands do not have a card machine.

This is THE unmissable event if you plan to visit Brooklyn with friends. So you can opt for a bunch of different little dishes, and share ! And as a bonus, you will enjoy the superb view of the Manhattan skyline, with the One World Trade Center in the landscape! Enough to spend a superb sunny Sunday with friends. A good alternative to brunch, in a way!

Meet at Pier 5, 304 Furman Street, near Brooklyn Bridge Park, from 11 a.m. to 18 p.m.

Unusual activities

The house at 58 Joralemon Street

And to end on an unusual note, I present to you the house at 58 Joralemon Street, one of the secrets of the Brooklyn borough and located near the Brooklyn Heights promenade.

The latter attracts many passers-by and for good reason: it is a fake house ! Red bricks, windows, front door, everything seems normal. And yet this house is a metro evacuation exit which is now over a hundred years old. Indeed, it dates from 1847, and has been used to ventilate the metro since 1908.

So if you pass by there, approach this extraordinary building. Take a look through one of the windows, and see for yourself!

Visit the Brooklyn Brewery

Fancy an unusual activity with friends? Take a look at the Brooklyn Brewery! Open Sunday from noon to 17 p.m., you can take a guided tour.

You will learn much more about this famous local beer, and will even have the opportunity totaste different types !

Cocktails and live music in Brooklyn

Do you like music, especially jazz, and don't know what to do in Brooklyn one night? So let me take you to the BAM Café - in other words, the Brooklyn Academy of Music bar located at 30 Lafayette Avenue.

The place regularly organizes musical, dance, theater and other events. Here you can listen to live music while enjoying a drink with your friends. The perfect place for spend a relaxed and 100% local evening if you plan to visit Brooklyn and know its secrets.

Map of Brooklyn addresses given in this article

And behold, you are now ready to visit Brooklyn in every corner! You can proudly come back from your vacation claiming to know this beautiful neighborhood that is Brooklyn. And who knows, this may give birth to new travel plans, or even move in? But this is another story…

Also, don't forget to bring your camera, a good pair of shoes as usual, and a good mood!

And if you are looking for a place to sleep, be sure to check out my article on hostels in Brooklyn.

[Article updated on 20/02/2020]

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