Top 11 cool things to do in Brooklyn. NO 7 may make your wish come true.

After six months in the city I still feel that Brooklyn, one of the five NYC boroughs is underestimated. Almost all travelers focus mainly on Manhattan. While the Big Apple’s main neighborhood does have a lot to offer, I think that Brooklyn has more of the hidden gems. It’s worth any tourist’s attention for a lot of reasons. Here are eleven I highly recommend:

1. Brooklyn Heights Promenade

This is one of the most beautiful pedestrian walking areas in New York. It’s about five hundred meters long and provides great views of the Manhattan skyline. Unfortunately, there are plans for it to be replaced by a six lane highway, so go see it soon. And if you want to fight save it, you can sign a petition here. The promenade is just a small part of the amazing Brooklyn Heights area, which is one of my favorite parts of New York.     

Photo credit: Andrei Ionescu

2. Walk the famous Brooklyn Bridge

This is one of the most touristic things to do in New York, but it’s surprisingly nice, especially if you walk during night time. At that point there won’t be so many people trying to do the same thing and you can have the bridge all to yourself and a few other night crawlers. It takes about thirty minutes (including taking photos) to cross it from Manhattan to Brooklyn or the other way around. When you cross from Brooklyn it’s nicer because you have the Manhattan skyline in front of you and you can admire the Statue of Liberty to the left.

Photo credit: Andrei Ionescu

3. Washington Street, DUMBO

While you are in the area check out the most instagrammable place in town – it’s on Washington Street in DUMBO which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. This place is always crowded with people following social media trends. If you see any photos without people behind, it clearly means they were photoshopped:). However, I couldn’t miss this spot myself.

Photo credit: Andrei Ionescu

4. Domino Park, Williamsburg

This is another charming place in Brooklyn, located along the East River in Williamsburg. It was built on the grounds of the former Domino Sugar Refinery and it’s as sweet as can be. It’s a great place for a walk, for a drink or lunch. You can even join the kids for a fountain play.

5. Have a hipster brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn

I’ve seen the most interesting people at or near this place. So besides the good food, this took me away from the posh atmosphere of Manhattan brunch places.

6. Read a sketchbook at the Brooklyn Art Library

Brooklyn Art Library is a small place in Williamsburg that has a collection of forty thousand sketchbooks from artists all over the world. You can visit it for free and pick any of the sketchbooks to check and read. I found one titled “Kiki”.

7. Try the Rainbow Bagel

This may be the second instragrammable thing in New York. As the name reveals it, this place is where you will find the most “good looking” bagels in the world. I haven’t been there yet, but given the line can take up to three hours during the weekend, I will think about it twice before I go 🙂 #rainbowbagel #makingwishescometrue

8. If you’re in the mood for food, check out Smorgasburg

New Yorkers love eating out even if it’s at an open air street food market. Smorgasburg is famous for its summer Brooklyn locations in Williamsburg and Prospect Park, but it’s now open during winter too. Check out the details here. And try the jerk chicken at the Jamaican stand. It comes with the best cornbread. Fun fact: Smorgasburg is a word play between smorgasbord and Williamsburg.

9. Explore the quaint and quiet area of Red Hook

During the weekend take the IKEA ferry from the Wall Street Pier. You can also take the NYC Ferry but that will cost you $2.75. Both of them will drop you in the Red Hook area, which used to be a prosperous shipping and port area in the early 20th century. I was there in October and I will definitely go back – read about it here.

10. Take a walk through Prospect Park

Prospect Park is said to be Brooklyn’s Central Park, as it was designed by the same people. I’ve seen only a part of it, but it looks far wilder than its brother. I’m hoping to go back and explore more of it including the Botanical Garden.

11. WWII history at the Brooklyn Army Terminal

I went to visit this place during the Open House New York event. It happens every year and, as their mission states, it gives people access to the extraordinary architecture of New York and to the people who help design, build and preserve the city. The Brooklyn Army Terminal served as the largest military supply base in the US through WWII. Today, it is a fully functioning commercial/industrial complex that houses over 100 local businesses and thousands of good manufacturing jobs.


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